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Chilled Monkey Brains Bowl for your next Indiana Jones-themed dinner party
01:24 pm


Home decor

I find these monkey brain bowls by FireBox amusing, but with a price tag of $58.59 a pop, maybe not enough to purchase. If they were a tad cheaper I’d probably buy a set of four. If you’ve got the extra dough to spend, these would make an excellent conversation piece for sure but you might get sick of eating red jello or cherry cobbler all the time.

Via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Black female filmmaker gently goes face-to-face with Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis
12:54 pm

Current Events

The Aryans

Mo Asumang, who’s the daughter of a black Ghanaian father and a white German mother, talks to the BBC about her new documentary The Aryans in which she peacefully confronts racists about what makes them tick.

There are some real zingers in this short piece, especially when she confronts a Ku Klux Klan member about his garb.

Filmmaker Mo Asumang embarks on a journey into the abyss of political evil and finds out that the Aryans originally come from an area which now belongs to Iran. ‘The Aryans’ is a personal journey into the madness of racism: Mo Asumang meets German neo-Nazis, America’s most notorious racist Tom Metzger and members of the Ku Klux Klan in the Midwest. When she encounters the true Aryans in Iran, she realizes that they are friendly and cosmopolitan people who lay no claims to being members of a superior race.

What I like about Mo’s interview style is her gentle approach. She’s not confrontational. It’s almost like the KKK members are ashamed or feel shameful of what they’re doing when they speak to her.  That’s a unique talent!

Via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Behind the scenes of David Lynch’s ‘Dune’
01:49 pm


David Lynch
Frank Herbert

When it was released thirty years ago, David Lynch’s film version of Frank Herbert’s science-fiction novel Dune was almost unanimously reviled by critics. It was considered incomprehensible, boring, disjointed, cold, and the special effects were cheap and nasty. When I saw it the following year, I couldn’t understand the enmity. I liked David Lynch as a filmmaker, and thought Dune was an intelligent, well-made and thoroughly engaging film. Lynch’s vision (via author Herbert) was not the clean, pristine, plastic, over-lit world of Star Wars, it was a gritty, darker and a far more believable construct than what Lucas had created with Skywalker and co.

I also think Lynch was was being overly harsh on himself when he said:

“I started selling out on Dune. Looking back, it’s no one’s fault but my own. I probably shouldn’t have done that picture, but I saw tons and tons of possibilities for things I loved, and this was the structure to do them in. There was so much room to create a world. But I got strong indications from [producers] Raffaella and Dino De Laurentiis of what kind of film they expected, and I knew I didn’t have final cut.”

All employment involves some selling out, and the creative industries involve this more than most. However, Dune‘s Frank Herbert was more diplomatic:

“I enjoyed the film even as a cut and I told it as I saw it: What reached the screen is a visual feast that begins as Dune begins and you hear my dialogue all through it.”

Unlike some behind the scenes photos where actors pose on set and directors smile for camera, these pictures from the making of Dune give a good idea of the intense work cast and crew go through in the making of a movie.
More images and videos after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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What if heterosexuals were a bullied minority?
01:21 pm




Why the hell were there no After School Specials like Love is All You Need? The short film by Kim Rocco Shields depicts an alternate reality where heterosexuality is a societal taboo. “Breeders” are denigrated, even the proud ones with pink and blue bumper stickers on their cars, harassed on a daily basis, constantly told they are going to hell and have disgusting, perverted, sinful lifestyles, and subjected to violence. The main character, Ashley, is a young girl who is horrified to realize that she is attracted to boys.

In her review of the film blogger Jennifer Coté said:

The world of this film is one in which the perfect nuclear family consists either of two moms or two dads, and any kid who dares to dream of a future that looks different from this runs the risk of merciless bullying. As you can probably guess from my description thus far, this short film carries some weighty messages about sexually-motivated bullying and suicides, but the fact that the story is set in an alternate universe somehow enables the flick to come off as neither preachy nor heavy handed…  This is to say: the way that writer Kim Rocco Shields thinks to put every heterosexual viewer into the shoes of a bullied kid is absolutely brilliant, and it left me itching to get this movie shown in schools everywhere.

Shields made the film a few years ago at the beginning of Dan Savage’s It Gets Better campaign to illustrate to flummoxed adults why so many LGBT preteens and teen-agers were committing suicide after being mercilessly bullied.

The Daily Californian’s Matthew Kirschenbaum took issue with the predominantly white suburban setting of the film:

First of all, it is important to recognize that the video portrays problematic (mis)appropriations of queer identity and unrepresentative portrayals of only white, middle-class folk. Still, it is beneficial because it puts sexuality-based oppression into a different lens — one for the oppressor to relate to. I don’t believe the target audience of the video is the queer crowd fighting for queer agenda and equality, but rather non-queers who are dubious of change.

The video implicitly advocates issues such as marriage equality and calls hatred into question. Personally, it took me a few minutes to realize what was really happening in the video, and it strikingly resembled something familiar to me, being one of those kids coming to realization. Although unfortunately extreme and dramatic, the common themes of bullying and realizing difference play out to highlight the opposers of queer agenda and their unjustified, harmful acts and sayings.

In an interview with Sonoma SunTV’s Rick Love Shields said:

Actually my first draft of the script, I wrote it for a little boy that was bullied, and I realized that our society is so used to seeing violence against men in general. Our society is very used to seeing violence, so I thought, well, what better way to open people’s eyes is to get a female protagonist who looks like the girl next door, who’s relatable in every way and show her being bullied as a boy would. So in one scene she is hit across the face by an older guy, and that happens to boys all the time. It brings awareness when you’re seeing it happen to a young girl.


Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Discussion
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Harry Dean Stanton shares his Zen wisdom
06:06 am


Harry Dean Stanton

Who knew Harry Dean Stanton was such a mystical Zen master? Apparently Marlon Brando did and the two actors spent many an hour sharing their wisdom about acting, life and the meaning of existence. One day, Brando asked Stanton what he thought of him? Stanton replied:

“I think you’re nothing.”

Brando laughed.

“He knew what I was talking about. The old eastern concept, one guy phrased it, ‘To realise you’re nothing is wisdom. To realise you’re everything is love. Or pure intelligence or pure awareness.

“Ultimately that can’t be defined in words, it’s beyond words, beyond consciousness. And that’s a hard sell, but it’s true.”

If that doesn’t twist your melon, then you may be surprised to hear that Mr. Stanton thinks everything is predestined. That might scare the shit out of some people, but dear old Harry still thinks life is predestined. When asked to explain what he means and how predestination affects the reasons he chose one role over another, Stanton responds:

“Again there’s no answer to that. Don’t you follow what I’m trying to say? Everyone wants an answer to why I did this, why all this happened, ultimately there is no answer to it.

“Everything happens the way it’s going to happen, no one’s in charge, it’s all going to go down, you know, Iraq, war, Napoleon, serial killers, wars, all of it. You never know what’s going to happen next. We think we’re in charge and ten seconds from now none of us in this room know what we’re going to be thinking or saying. So who the fuck’s in charge?”

You are Harry, and for the next twenty minutes you’re going to tell us all about it.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Anatomical illustrations of Godzilla and other Japanese monsters
06:27 am



These remarkable images of the anatomy of Godzilla, Mothra, and Anguirus are a little bit puzzling. They clearly come from a book (the Anguirus picture has the number 69 prominently displayed in the upper-left-hand corner), but I don’t know what the book is or who the artist is or what any of the Japanese text says. And two of them are cut off on the side—I’d particularly like to see what the artist did with the spiked tail club of Anguirus, but it’s not visible.

Anguirus is kind of the star of the show here, because his anatomy is so very compelling. In Godzilla Raids Again, the scientists mention how tough Anguirus is to defeat because he has “a brain for each limb.” You can see in the pic that there is some text about Anguirus’ left knee, presumably it is an explanation of Anguirus’ unique central nervous system. According to the Worlds of Imagination website, Anguirus “has also shown the ability to curl himself into a ball and propel himself at tremendous speed in Godzilla: Final Wars.”

A couple of years ago Brad McGinty did a few similar illustrations of the Xenomorph from Alien, Mogwai from Gremlins, and a few others, but these don’t look to be from him as far as I can tell.
Here’s a rousing confrontation between Anguirus and Godzilla from Godzilla Raids Again, complete with tumbling Japanese edifices. Awesome as always.


Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Andy Kaufman’s bizarre ‘My Dinner with Andre’ parody

In 1981, the Louis Malle-directed My Dinner with Andre was released to instant and lasting acclaim. The daring film had almost no conventional narrative, and revolved entirely around a lengthy and intense dinner conversation between old friends played by theater director Andre Gregory and the absolutely wonderful actor/playwright Wallace Shawn. (If for nothing else, you surely know him as “Vizzini” in The Princess Bride. If you haven’t read his work, maybe consider giving his Essays collection a whirl, for starters. He is quite brilliant.) Thanks to the charm of the two performers and the compelling content of the conversation, this risky and limited conceit worked.

Given its massive critical success and utterly distinctive character, the film has been parodied and used as a punchline countless times across all media. A favorite of mine was a throwaway sight gag in a 1993 Simpsons episode which showed the effete Martin Prince character playing a My Dinner with Andre arcade game.

But perhaps the very first parody/homage/whatever to emerge was the Andy Kaufman gem My Breakfast With Blassie. Where Andre featured a perceptive meaning-of-life debate between two patrician theater mavens in an elegant Manhattan restaurant, My Breakfast with Blassie presented two wrestlers—Kaufman, who was immersed in his bizarre late-career wrestling phase at the time (thus the neck brace), and actual legendary wrestling world figure “Classy” Freddie Blassie—spending an hourlong and oft-interrupted chat burnishing their own egos and griping about germs and the banality of small-talk over greasy food in a noisy, homely diner. You also get to see Blassie totally beat Dr. Atkins to the low-carb punch. The film was released direct to videocassette in late 1983, only months before Kaufman’s death from cancer. It’s been reissued on DVD twice, once in 2000, bundled with the I’m From Hollywood documentary about Kaufman’s wrestling exploits, and on its own in 2009. It turned up on YouTube last week, so you can see it right here if you like, but you might want to watch it soon, in case it gets yanked.

After the jump, Kaufman and Blassie talking about the project on Late Night with David Letterman...

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Surrealist masters, dada directors & avant-garde all stars in ‘Dreams Money Can Buy’

Dreams Money Can Buy is a 1947 anthology film made by artist/author Hans Richter and collaborators like Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Leger, Man Ray, Alexander Calder, Max Ernst and others. There is music from John Cage, Paul Bowles and a number by scandalous bisexual torch singer Libby Holman and popular African-American singer Josh White (who was later caught up in the “Red Scare” and black-listed) on the original soundtrack titled “The Girl with the Pre-Fabricated Heart” that plays during Leger’s segment.

Richter’s goal was to bring the avant-garde out of the museum and into the movie house and the results, predictably, are rather unique. Certainly Dreams Money Can Buy must have been a stunner at the time and it still is. With no spoken dialogue, the plot, such that there is one, revolves around a man who rents a room where he can peer into the mirror and see people’s dreams. He sets up shop and we meet his clients and see their interior lives in the dream sequences. As you can imagine with the above list of collaborators, the film is a dizzying treat of audio-visual creation.

Marcel Duchamp’s contribution “Discs” is especially interesting. Here we see Duchamp’s famous Rotoreliefs in action, with a “prepared piano” soundtrack performed by John Cage. [I was once offered a box of glass and wood reproductions in miniature of Duchamp’s kinetic sculptures—at a good price, too—and like a fucking idiot I passed on it].

Below, Dreams Money Can Buy in its entirety on YouTube. If you want to watch with the original soundtrack, it’s here. The “modern” soundtrack in the version embedded below was recorded by The Real Tuesday Weld and is pretty faithful to the original music. This is one of those films that demands to be screened outside at night under the stars. You can buy the DVD (which has both the original and modern soundtrack) here.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Twin Peaks-themed shower curtains
11:37 am


Twin Peaks

I have a thing for unusual shower curtains. I guess it’s because my bathroom is totally boring and bland and just the right one adds a certain je ne sais quoi. Or maybe I’m just a weirdo with a shower curtain fetish? (If that’s not a thing yet, it will be.)

I picked a few Twin Peaks-inspired curtains I liked the best. The links underneath the images lead to where you can purchase them.

Twin Peaks Map by Robert Farkas available here for $69.95.

Twin Peaks, Laura Palmer - Pixel Portrait available here for $68.00

Agent Dale Cooper / Twin Peaks available here for $68

David Lynch Signature Cup Coffee (Rabbit Blend) available here for $68

Black Lodge Dreams (Twin Peaks) available here for $68

Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks available here for $68
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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The lost Mod who may have inspired The Who’s ‘Quadrophenia’
10:53 am


The Who
Pete Townshend
Simon Wells

In the climactic scenes of the film Quadrophenia, based on The Who’s concept album, Jimmy (Phil Daniels) rides a prized Mod scooter along the cliffs at Beachy Head, East Sussex, before hurling it over the cliff on to the sea-lashed rocks below. It’s a symbolic end to Jimmy’s life as a Mod, as a follower believing in false idols, like his hero Ace Face (Sting) (whose scooter he stole), a local Mod leader, who turns out be nothing more than a bell-boy lackey. Jimmy’s fall is central to the film, and to Pete Townhend’s album. But Jimmy’s symbolic crash may have actually been inspired by the death of Mod teenager, Barry Prior in 1964.

Novelist, journalist and musician, Simon Wells believes he has uncovered the lost Mod who may have inspired Townshend’s Quadrophenia. Wells is the author of such best-selling biographies as Coming Down Fast on Charles Manson; Butterfly on a Wheel: The Great Rolling Stones Drugs Bust, The Beatles 365 Days, and a novel Tripping Horse. He has just finished a book on the making of the film Quadrophenia, which will be released next month. In 2009, Wells uncovered a news-clipping about Barry Prior’s death, which started his investigations into the story.

In the spring of 1964, a 17- year-old trainee accountant by the name of Barry Prior fell to his death at [Saltdean]. He’d been down to Brighton with a group of friends from London, to engage in what history now defines as the “Mods and Rockers” riots of the early 1960s. Whether by design or through an act of eerie synchronicity, Barry’s journey is echoed by the album and attendant film version of Quadrophenia, Pete Townshend’s classic paean to teenage angst. The fact that the concept’s protagonist, a similarly aged office worker from London, met his “demise” on a Brighton cliff top haunts me. As far as I’m concerned, these similarities are just far too extraordinary to be an act of coincidence.

Wells uncovered a local newspaper report of the accident, which detailed what had happened to Prior.

I pull out a photocopy of a news feature concerning Barry’s death that I uncovered quite by accident a while back. It’s from the Brighton Evening Argus, a provincial daily newspaper that’s as much a fixture of the town as the promenade and pier. Next to the headline, “Mod Falls to Death at Brighton Cliff”, there’s a photograph of Barry’s scooter and a group of sullen youngsters in a huddle around the cliff edge.

As one would expect from a local newspaper, it’s pretty stilted in its reporting of the drama. Additionally, as the Argus is a daily issue, the feature was probably thrown together in order to meet the noonday deadline. The article informs me that following an eventful day in Brighton, this group of thrill seeking Mods arrived at Saltdean around 3am.

What happened in the ensuing hours is a mystery. All that is known is that Barry’s body was discovered shortly after 7am, lying sprawled some 100 feet below on the beach. Colin Goulden, one of Barry’s circle recalled the moment when they discovered that Barry wasn’t where he should be.

“One of the boys said he was missing and we started looking for him,” said a stunned Goulden.

“Someone looked over the cliff and saw him lying there. He shouted out, but at first we thought he was mucking about, trying to get us all up.”

Fred Butler, another friend from London could hardly bring himself to look at Barry’s scooter as reporters pressed him for an explanation:

“I don’t know what could have happened. There was no trouble or fighting. We came out here to get out of the way. Perhaps he got up in the night and went for a walk. No one saw anything and there were no screams.”

Trying to make some sense of this, my immediate thought is that in his bleary state, Barry may well have gone for a pee or some other ablution, misjudged his footing and headed off into the unknown. Presumably, the fence is a recent addition; had it been in place back in 1964 history might well have been different. I gingerly venture forwards and peer over the cliff. It’s absolutely terrifying and offers no respite in its descent to the ground. Barry wouldn’t have stood a chance.


Barry’s friends went for help, but after the events in Brighton between Mods and Rockers earlier in the day, no one would answer their doors, as one friend explained to the paper:

“We went over to the houses on the other side of the road to call the police,” recalled one of the lads. “But they wouldn’t open their doors at first. They thought we were out for trouble: you know what it is.”

Emergency services eventually arrived, who then had to make a 1600 foot detour along the cliff to reach Barry’s body on the shore below.

One of youths, either too shaken or terrified to give his name to the Argus, recalled the grisly scene when they approached Barry’s body.

“It was horrible,” he said. “He was lying there wearing a green anorak and socks but no shoes. He was horribly bashed up.”

The article concludes that after Barry’s body was taken away by ambulance to hospital, the police took a few of the Mods back to Brighton to fill out witness statements. Following the completion of the necessary paperwork, they were allowed to leave. It must have been a pitiful and sombre retreat back to London, with the impending horror of having to recount Barry’s death to his family weighing heavily on their minds.

Brighton was a focus for the Mods during the early 1960s, where they famously gathered to face-up to rival Rockers. The town was also a favorite haunt for The Who, performing extensively here in 1964 at the Florida Rooms.

The place obviously found favour with Pete Townshend, who dedicated Quadrophenia‘s album to those lucky few who attended those Florida Rooms gigs. When pressed on this, Townshend has recalled a seismic event that occurred in his consciousness one blisteringly hot summer night in August 1964. Following a typically frantic Who performance, Pete left the sunken reaches of the venue and perched himself on the promenade to wind down. As he meditated on the sea while having a relaxing smoke, the last few stragglers from the concert made their way up the marble steps to street level. As the faintly metronomic sound of the tide morphed with the strains of Tamla Motown seeping out of the Ballroom, it made for an enchanting aural concoction. As if on cue, a few hardy Mods stepped into their scooters, and drove around in a circular formation before moving off into the darkness. As these disparate elements gradually merged into a moving motion picture, Townshend was entranced. To him it was the “most perfect moment of my life”, a confirmation of the sort of landscape that had played in his head, but rarely in reality. Elements of this scene are echoed in the film of Quadrophenia, where a group of scooter riders similarly engage in an automated circle dance at first light. As I piece the images together at the same location, it strikes me that this particular experience defined Townshend’s vision for Quadrophenia more than any other factor.

A coroner’s inquest concluded a verdict of “death by misadventure.” But the story doesn’t finish there, as Simon Wells discovered that Barry’s brother was later employed by The Who, which makes it more than likely that Pete Townshend had heard of Barry Prior’s ill-fated trip to Brighton and tragic death long before he wrote Quadrophenia.

Read Simon Wells original article here, details of his forthcoming book Quadrophenia: The Book of the Film here.

Previously on Dangerous Minds
The Rolling Stones great drugs bust

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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