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Andy Griffith Channels Glenn Beck
08.07.2009
01:45 pm

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While the world mourns the death of that champion of misfits, John Hughes, we should also note the passing of On The Waterfront scribe, Budd Schulberg.  I say “note,” which should not at all be confused with “mourn.”  Schulberg did after all, under HUAC pressure, squeal on Bertolt Brecht, prompting the playwright’s unwanted return to Europe.  Shameful politics aside, though, Schulberg was responsible for such edgy-for-its-time fare as Ben Stiller’s pipe-dream project, What Makes Sammy Run, and the screenplay for A Face In The Crowd.  Of that film, which Slate‘s Troy Patterson calls “The Best Movie About Television You’ve Never Seen,”

Andy Griffith played Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes, a garrulous Arkansas hick who becomes a star of radio and television by laying on the down-home charm.  The Mayberry-type charisma curdles once he goes on up to New York City and becomes a demagogue, something of a hybrid of Will Rogers, Glenn Beck, and Sweet Smell of Success’ J.J. Hunsecker.

The above clip features one of Griffith’s more unhinged moments.  In it, Lonesome Larry shills, rockabilly-style, for “Vitajex,” a stimulant for men whose sole aim, it seems, is to “fill your gal with ‘oooh,’ and ecstasy!
 
Slate: The Best Movie About Television You’ve Never Seen

Patrick Goldstein Sorts Out The Schulberg Legacy

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
The Beat Hotel: Burroughs, Ginsberg, Corso and Gysin in Paris
08.07.2009
10:05 am

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New documentary film coming in Fall of 2009:

The Beat Hotel, a new film by Documentary Arts, goes deep into the legacy of the American Beats in Paris during the heady years between 1957 and 1963, when Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso fled the obscenity trials in the United States surrounding the publication of Ginsbergs poem Howl. They took refuge in a cheap no-name hotel they had heard about at 9, Rue Git le Coeur and were soon joined by William Burroughs, Ian Somerville, Brion Gysin, and others from England and elsewhere in Europe, seeking out the freedom that the Latin Quarter of Paris might provide.

The Beat Hotel, as it came to be called, was a sanctuary of creativity, but was also, as British photographer Harold Chapman recalls, an entire community of complete oddballs, bizarre, strange people, poets, writers, artists, musicians, pimps, prostitutes, policemen, and everybody you could imagine. And in this environment, Burroughs finished his controversial book Naked Lunch; Ian Somerville and Brion Gysin invented the Dream Machine; Corso wrote some of his greatest poems; and Harold Norse, in his own cut-up experiments, wrote the novella, aptly called The Beat Hotel.

Thank you Steve Silberman!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Bombin’: Graffiti Documentary featuring Goldie and Massive Attack’s 3D (1985)
08.02.2009
02:01 pm

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There’s no consensus on exactly when “Bombin’” came out.  IMDb says 1988, but other sources say between 1985 - 1987. Who knows? Whatever the year, “Bombin’” is a treat!

Scratchworx says:

First shown on Channel 4 in the UK, Bombin’ chronicles the journey of NY artist Brim through the UK media, as well as meeting a young Goldie, who in turn travels to NYC to meet Afrika Baambaata. This was filmed at the times of the Birmingham riots and shows the parallels of life in the inner city on both sides of the Atlantic.

Bombin’ on Flicker


(via Nerdcore)

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Vanishing Point
07.30.2009
03:06 pm

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Vanishing Point (1971): An excellent road movie. An excellent drug movie. An excellent movie about America. And one of the great Man vs. the World and All Odds films (up there with Cool Hand Luke).

OK, it’s actually kind of cheesy and terrible in the way that only post-Easy Rider grindhouse flicks could be. But the sentiment at the core of the movie is so righteous that you might as well have this on in the background next time you have your shady friends over. Also, I’m surprised Robert Rodriguez or, for that matter, Michael Bay hasn’t remade this.

Plot? Oh, a crankhead drives a supercharger across the country while being pursued by the hounds of hell, all while being egged on by a blind radio DJ named Super Soul. That’s about all you need for two hours of Awesome.

Check out the trailer. (Also, this jam that Primal Scream made in tribute to the movie in 1997.)

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
Cat Ladies: When Cats Mean “Meow” to You Than People
07.22.2009
03:42 pm

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CAT LADIES is a one hour verit?ɬ

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
1 OR 2 THINGS I KNOW ABOUT 2 OR 3 THINGS
07.22.2009
12:03 am

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For the smart people at Criterion, summers of late usually mean Godard, and today fills in some gaps in the Jean-Luc oeuvre with the simultaneous release of Made In U.S.A., and 2 Or 3 Things I Know About Her.  Like my personal Godardian favorite, La Chinoise (also made in ‘67),  2 Or 3 Things is another (I know, some of you are sighing, yet another) Critique of Consumer Culture.   But, unlike Chinoise, where Godard seems to waver between scorn and sympathy for the revolutionaries and their urge to rip things up and start from scratch, 2 Or 3 seems to make no bones about the absolute futility of such exercises to begin with.  Consumer culture, in short, is inescapable.  That being said, the film is a treat to behold, with typically gorgeous cinematography from Raoul Coutard (for his famous “swirling espresso,” see below).  Whether you appreciate mid-era Godard or not (and Romanian new wave aside), the days of directors pairing “film” with “consumerist critique,” seems very far away to me now.  The days of even talking about it seem farther.

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
Kuroshio Sea: Second Largest Aquarium Tank in the World
07.20.2009
05:55 pm

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Jon Rawlinson, producer, cameraman and editor based in Vancouver, Canada, shot this beautiful piece of video at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan. Jon says:

The main tank called the “Kuroshio Sea” holds 7,500-cubic meters (1,981,290 gallons) of water and features the world’s second largest acrylic glass panel, measuring 8.2 meters by 22.5 meters with a thickness of 60 centimeters. Whale sharks and manta rays are kept amongst many other fish species in the main tank.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Emotional Japanese Fangirl Shock Harry Potter and Ron Weasley
07.20.2009
04:18 pm

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Japanese fangirl interviews Harry Potter and Ron Weasley.  Tokyomango says:

A popular variety TV show called Sanma no Karakuri TV had a contest where 10,000 Japanese Harry Potter fans competed for a chance to fly to the UK, visit the set of the HP movies, and interview Ron and Harry. The winner was a high school girl named Kana Matsuda. Here’s a hilarious clip of her interviewing Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley. Watch it! It has subtitles. I’m personally a bigger fan of Ron than Harry, but if you want to watch the video of her interviewing Daniel Radcliffe, it’s here.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Michel Gondry’s $20 Portrait Project
07.20.2009
03:37 pm

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Quirky French film director Michel Gondry was taking commissions for $20 portraits but apparently the response was so great that he has put a temporary hold on taking new orders. As soon as I read this on Gothamist, I immediately went to his website, made my order and emailed him the above photo. That was in April and last Friday our portrait arrived. We love it! Best $20 I have ever spent!

(I think from the way he drew me, he could tell I was stoned, what do you think?)

Michel Gondry’s Flickr archive of his $20 portraits:


Michel Gondry.com

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘It Might Get Loud’ - starring Jimmy Page, Jack White and The Edge
07.19.2009
12:38 am

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Definitely looks promising! Opens in New York and Los Angeles Thursday, August 14.

The history of the electric guitar as seen from the point of view of three significant musicians: Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, U2’s The Edge and the White Stripes’ Jack White. It tells the personal stories, of three generations of electric guitar virtuosos. It reveals how each developed his unique sound and style of playing his favorite instrument. Concentrating on the artists musical rebellion, traveling with him to influential locations and provoking rare discussion as to how and why he writes and plays.
It Might Get Loud
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