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Sexist nightmares from real casting websites
03.13.2015
08:20 am

Topics:
Advertising
Movies
Sex
Television

Tags:
sexism
acting


 
Two things that almost any amount of media consumption should teach even the most obtuse viewer: (1) Most everyone on TV and in movies is crazy attractive, and (2) Men get the lion’s share of the good parts. Combine those with a soupçon of ageism and you have instantly created a toxic environment in which only sexy, young women are likely to be cast in any given role.

If TV shows and movies are going to end up that way, some or most of those tendencies have to be made explicit during the creation of the product, and casting is one of the primary places that happens. In our world you can’t just say out loud that a woman’s bra measurement matters more than her acting ability, .... but sometimes casting agents do it anyway!

A new Tumblr called Casting Call Woe has smartly decided to shine a spotlight on this odious side of the entertainment industry. Sometimes the sentences are amusing, like the way they try to put a positive spin on “We’re looking for a hot bimbo to play this professor,” but a couple of them are super creepy.
 

 

 

 
More of these groanworthy examples from real casting websites after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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John Waters on ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’!


 
There’s no way that the director of Pink Flamingos, Polyester, Hairspray, and Female Trouble could live in a boring house; viewers across the country got a good glimpse of the home of John Waters when the intolerable Robin Leach and the crew of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous paid a visit to his house in the suburbs of Baltimore.

Pretty much every moment of the episode is solid gold. Waters plays up the occasion for maximum humor, while also treating viewers to a glimpse of his favorite Baltimore watering hole, the Club Charles.
 

 
John Waters is amazing as always, but some of the best lines here are intoned in Robin Leach’s patented plummy shriek: “It is the house of a man who wrote the book on schlock value and plays it for all it’s worth! ... The man who calls the shots swears he has three all-time idols: Anita Ekberg, Liberace, and Francis the Talking Mule!” (In between those two statements we see Waters’ receptionist inform him that Mother Theresa is on the line, to which Waters responds with an irritated, “Tell her I’ll call her back!”)

More Leach: “It’s a fine line between parody and the macabre: A jar of dirt from the lawn of mass murderer John Wayne Gacy sits next to polio vaccine!” I was trying to figure out the timing of this…. there is a reference to some more profitable movies Waters has made, so I suppose it has to be after Hairspray in 1987.

Also, check out Rookie Mag’s gallery of pics taken at Waters’ home.
 

 
(Poster by Sarah Hedlund)

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Pimpin’ ain’t easy: Miles Davis on ‘Miami Vice’
03.11.2015
08:20 am

Topics:
Fashion
Music
Television

Tags:
Miles Davis
Miami Vice


 
One thing about Miles Davis, he’s difficult to mistake for anyone else on the planet. With his high forehead, pinched features, and ultra-raspy voice, he’s so incredibly distinctive a person that it rather impedes any endeavors he might make into vanish into a role in an actorly way—he’s always unmistakably “Miles Davis.” For whatever reason (probably $$$), in 1985 the most restless and innovative jazz musician of the 20th century decided that he wanted to take part in an episode of Miami Vice, at that time one of the hottest shows on TV. Watching the episode, it’s easy to see the appeal the show must have had at the time, the plot is threadbare and the acting attitudinal, but you get the trappings of an R-rated crime thriller without having to think too hard about it.
 

 
Davis appeared on season 2, episode 6, “Junk Love.” The idea is that Crockett and Tubbs arrest the owner of a whorehouse, a dude named “Ivory Jones”—played by Miles. They realize that a local druglord (of course) is obsessed with one of his prostitutes…. do you really want me to go on? The key here is that Ivory is a scumbag but collaborating with the local constabulary, which means we get plenty of scenes of him hanging out with Crockett and Tubbs. It’s a challenge to watch Don Johnson and not perceive him as doing a Kevin Costner imitation, but Costner wasn’t very well known yet. Most of Davis’ dialogue is semi-incomprehensible, but you haven’t lived until you’ve seen the genius behind Bitches Brew croak, “Watch that big cabin cruiser, he has a thing about them.”

Musical cues include Robert Plant’s “Little by Little,” Wang Chung’s “True Love,” and Bryan Ferry’s “Slave To Love.”

This episode is, unfortunately, only available on Hulu—actually the Cloo network, but it amounts to the same thing.
 

 
Thank you Joe Yachanin!

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Dennis Hopper on ‘The Johnny Cash Show,’ The LSD-25 remix
03.09.2015
01:24 pm

Topics:
Drugs
Television

Tags:
Dennis Hopper


 
The year was 1970 and Dennis Hopper was still riding the wake of the internationally huge cultural phenomenon of Easy Rider. Clearly, the cat could get away with just about anything including appearing on Johnny Cash’s weekly TV show reading Rudyard Kipling’ poem “If.” Now most of us pop culture obsessives have seen this clip of Hopper on the Cash show. It’s pretty pervasive on the ‘net and you may have already stumbled across it. But some smart cookie by the name of “Gints Apsits” has played around with the Hopper footage and created something that might resemble where Hopper’s psychedelicized head could have been at this particular point in his life.

Not only do words infect, egotize, narcotize, and paralyze, but they enter into and colour the minutest cells of the brain. . . . Rudyard Kipling.

Perhaps we’re watching Hopper watching himself through the eyes of his gas-huffing character Frank Booth. Or is that too damned heavy meta?
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Tim Heidecker is back as ‘Decker,’ a true American hero who hates terrorism
03.09.2015
10:49 am

Topics:
Television

Tags:
Tim Heidecker


 
AdultSwim.com’s adventure series Decker, starring Tim Heidecker as Agent Jack Decker a “true American hero” who is “capable of getting the job done,” returns today for a new season with new three-minute webisodes dropping daily for “the foreseeable future” as the press release put it.

Decker battles terrorism and the worst president we’ve ever had so Americans can haz freedom, saving Hawaii from the Taliban with the help of his trusty sidekick, CIA code-breaker Kington (Heidecker’s co-host of On Cinema At The Cinema, Gregg Turkington AKA Neil Hamburger).

Dangerous Minds: How would you describe Decker?

Tim Heidecker: Decker is a web series which follows lone wolf CIA agent Jack Decker as he fights terrorism and battles with the bureaucracy of Washington… the character is my character from On Cinema’s version of the ultimate action star. It’s his attempt at doing, Steven Seagal, Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, Robert DeNiro all at once, but it comes out closer to Donald Trump. The editing is either done by him or someone with very little experience in the entertainment arts.

It’s important to take note that Decker is a spin off of a web series based on a podcast. ;)

So the Decker character is pretty closely based on the real you?

Not really in any way, except that if I really did try to make an action show I would fail as well.

What are the advantages of the three-minute drama over say, a five-minute episodic?

Well we are trying to capture the short attention spans of this terrible generation, I guess!  One of the macro jokes we play with is the lack of story movement and the fun we have with padding things—stretching story and jokes until they feel like they may break. Cutting these up into a a TON of episodes helps.  We’re going to release one a day, five days a week for… a while.

You and Eric are incredibly prolific. You just had the Bedtime Stories series, there’s your cooking show, and now hot on the heels of your recent three-hour Oscar telecast, there’s a brand new series of Decker. Only David Lynch seems to be able to churn out material at the rate you guys can. He launched his own line of David Lynch signature coffee beans, so I’m wondering if we can expect a Tim and Eric edible product line in the future?

We flirted with opening a small restaurant called “Hamburgers and Hot Dogs” for a while in LA, but everyone we knew said we were crazy to get into the food business. The odds are just so high that you’ll fail! There’s a really, really perfect product out there that we might try to dip into soon—more on that later.

I’m happy to hear that you have that perception. I often feel unproductive but when you list it out it sounds mighty nice!

New episodes of Decker will premiere every day, Monday to Friday, from now to whenever on AdultSwim.com.

Below, the Decker “sizzle” reel:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Watch ‘The Italian Machine,’ David Cronenberg’s Ballardian motorcycle fetish short


 
I’ve already written an item for DM on Secret Weapons, David Cronenberg’s near-incomprehensible TV short from 1972 about a dystopian state that uses mind control drugs and a rebel biker gang that opposes it—in that movie, however, despite the stated existence of a biker gang, there were scarcely any motorcycles to be seen in it. That problem, at least, does not arise in Cronenberg’s 1976 short The Italian Machine.

It’s almost jaw-dropping how much progress Cronenberg had made between these two movies. The Italian Machine relinquishes all aspirations toward big-dick sci-fi in favor of a far more nuanced, engrossing, unfussy meditation on technology, art, decadence, and, shall we say, the pet obsessions of warring subcultures. The idea of the movie, which lasts only 23 minutes, is that a bunch of motorcycle buffs, having learned that an incredibly rare and high-quality Italian motorcycle, specifically a 1976 Ducati 900 Desmo Super Sport, has come into the possession of a local art enthusiast who intends to keep it in his living room as a sculpture, take on the moral imperative of liberating the machine from its outré confines and restoring it to its rightful purpose of kicking ass on the open road. 
 

 
What The Italian Machine, which first appared on the CBC television program Teleplay, most resembles is a really good short story; more specifically it reminds me a great deal of J. G. Ballard, which isn’t very strange considering that Cronenberg adapted Ballard’s Crash a couple of decades later. In The Italian Machine, Lionel, Fred, and Bug are three motorcycle nuts who enjoy the kind of nerdy oneupmanship that probably features on every episode of The Big Bang Theory. Upon finding out the identity of the Ducati’s purchaser, one Edgar Mouette, they concoct a plan to pose as a magazine crew of photographers doing a spread on Mouette’s interiors. That Ballardian angle resides mainly in Mouette and his cohorts, philosophical aesthetes to the max (when they’re not taking cocaine). Once Lionel and his buddies gain entry, it is the viewer’s task to decide which side is the nuttier of the two. Eventually they do get ahold of the bike, at which point their own ability to fetishize the machine unexpectedly manifests itself.

Truly, a top-notch piece of work, very in line with the many dark masterpieces Cronenberg would make in the years to come.
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Kate Bush: Performs ‘Kite’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ in her first ever TV appearance, 1978
03.09.2015
08:13 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Television

Tags:
Kate Bush

kb78001.jpg
 
It doesn’t matter where you start—it’s where you’re going that counts.

Kate Bush made her television debut in a disused train depot in West Germany, when she guested on the light entertainment show Bios Bahnhof (Bio’s Station) for WDR-TV, February 9th, 1978. In front of a well-heeled, middle-aged audience, Kate sang two songs: one with her backing band (“Kite”); and one to a backing track (“Wuthering Heights”)—the B and A-side of her debut single.

“Wuthering Heights” was a revolutionary debut and still sounds as radical today as it did when first released. But its success may never have happened had her record label E.M.I. stuck with their plan to release “James and the Cold Gun” as her first single from Kate’s album The Kick Inside.

“James and the Cold Gun” was one of the songs Kate performed when she was learning her craft as lead singer with her brother’s group the K.T. Bush Band during the summer of 1977. The K.T. Bush Band gigged around London, traveling in a small Hillman Imp, performing covers of the Beatles and the Stones and Marvin Gaye’s “Heard It Through the Grapevine.” They also tried out a few of Kate’s original compositions like “James and the Cold Gun” where she would mime a shoot-out with the audience.
 
kbtb78001.jpg
Kate Bush fronts the K.T. Bush Band circa 1977.
 

The K.T. Bush Band perform a Beatles classic, 1977.
 
Kate was determined her first release should be “Wuthering Heights” and pushed the label until they conceded.

“Wuthering Heights” had been scheduled for release in November 1977, but E.M.I. held the single back until January 1978 fearing it would be lost in the festive froth of Christmas records—Paul McCartney made the top of the hit parade that year with “Mull of Kintyre,” which went on to become the biggest selling UK single at that time. Fortunately, a few promo discs of the single fell into the hands of some radio DJs, who were mesmerized by the song and played it prior to its official January release. It caught the public’s attention and “Wuthering Heights” rapidly moved to the UK #1 on 5th March 1978, the first number #1 to be written by a woman.

And what about Bio who spotted this exquisite talent before anyone else? Well, he is Alfred Biolek an entertainer and TV producer, who had previously produced two special German-language editions of Monty Python for German TV—for which John Cleese, Eric Idle and co. had to learn German phonetically as none of the Pythons spoke the language fluently. Bio certainly had an uncanny knack for picking up on original talent before anyone else.

The performance, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Monkee see Monkee do: Micky Dolenz’s glam rock disaster
03.08.2015
04:30 pm

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture
Television

Tags:
Monkees
Mickey Dolenz


 
It’s Monkee member (yes, that sounds funny) Micky Dolenz’s birthday today so I have a good enough reason to bring back one of my favorite posts from the Dangerous Minds’ archives for your viewing and listening pleasure.

In this video, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees goes glam on The Greatest Golden Hits of The Monkees TV special from 1977.

I’m guessing this was intended as a joke. On the other hand, Dolenz directed the show and maybe just maybe this was his idea of a hip career move or he was tired of The Beatles comparisons and wanted to move on to other things.

Micky, Marc Bolan wants his pants back.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Scully is a punk: ‘X Files’ Gillian Anderson, teenage delinquent
03.05.2015
09:21 am

Topics:
Punk
Television

Tags:
punks
Gillian Anderson


 
X Files’ Special Agent Dana Scully has a punk rock past she’s not afraid to fess up to.

Actress Gillian Anderson still considers herself a “punk” at heart, confirming in a Parade Magazine interview, “even though I can dress up like a soccer mom, the punk rocker will forever be under my skin.”

In an NPR profile, Anderson expounds on being a punk-as-fuck teenage malefactor:

When we moved to Michigan ... my folks still had a flat in London that we would go to in the summertime. And through one of those trips I had started to become interested in the punk scene and started to dress differently than a lot of the kids in Grand Rapids, Michigan, were dressing. And I got my nose pierced and I started to shave my head and dye my hair and wear a lot of black. And so I looked like somebody that might be arrested. ... I was a bit of a class clown, usually the one that people would get to do the things that they were afraid to get in trouble for. So the mixture of those two things contributed, no doubt, to that vote.

And, in fact, on graduation night, I was arrested. ... I had a boyfriend at the time who was a couple centuries older than I was and I’d convinced him that we should go and glue the locks of the school so that people couldn’t get in in the morning. And lo and behold, they had a security guard because it was graduation night and they were concerned that idiots like me might try and do something like that.


Check out this 1985 photo of young, punk rock troublemaker, Gillian Anderson and take your crush to the next level
 

And this image purportedly from her high school yearbook (prior to lock-glueing arrest)
 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Discussion
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‘80s ‘sicko, freako’ goth band hilariously hardtrolls this kooky conservative TV host
03.04.2015
11:30 am

Topics:
Music
Occult
Television

Tags:
Radio Werewolf
Wally George


 
Submitted for your approval are two priceless videos from the cusp of the late ‘80s “Satanic Panic” era which, despite the outrageously ridiculous performances, are an insight into just how seriously some folks took the threat of creeping occultism at the time. Placed in historical context, this was the start of a cycle of hysteria so real that many high-profile arrests were made based on groundless allegations of “Satanic ritual abuse,” most notably the McMartin Preschool and West Memphis Three cases. It was a heavy time for followers of the left-hand path, but these clips remain utterly hilarious.
 

Wally George, host of ‘Hot Seat’

Hot Seat was a syndicated talk show, running from 1983 to 1992, hosted by over-the-top reactionary conservative commentator (and estranged father of actress Rebecca De Mornay), Wally George, who termed his delivery “combat TV.” The show’s format was a precursor to the popular “shock talk” shows hosted by the likes of Morton Downey, Jr. and Jerry Springer, with a profoundly right-wing posture. Hot Seat‘s studio audience was generally comprised of aggressively out-of-control meatheads, as you will see in these clips.

In the segments, Wally brings ‘80s uproarious cult goth band, Radio Werewolf - led by Nikolas Schreck, onto the program, and is given the treatment.

Since the mid 80’s Schreck has been a major figure in occult circles, having been a public spokesman at times for the Church of Satan, the Temple of Set, and his own Werewolf Order.

Schreck married Zeena, daughter of Church of Satan founder, Anton LaVey, and the two of them together have published several acclaimed books on occult and esoteric subjects such as The Manson File: Myth and Reality of an Outlaw Shaman and Demons of the Flesh: The Complete Guide to Left-Hand Path Sex Magic.

 

Schreck, pictured here with wife Zeena, who co-directed Radio Werewolf from 1988-93. Both renounced Satanism and occultism in the late ‘90s and today are artists and Buddhist teachers.
 
I had the opportunity to discuss Radio Werewolf’s Hot Seat appearances with Nikolas, in this exclusive Dangerous Minds interview:

I was initially aware of one appearance Radio Werewolf made on Hot Seat, but your webmaster informed me that you actually appeared on the show twice.

Nikolas Schreck: Well, thank God you turned to me to correct your appalling ignorance on these matters of earth-shaking importance! Now future historians can use your article to confirm that in fact, Radio Werewolf battled Wally George an unholy three times. Our first titanic Hot Seat struggle took place on April 25, 1987. That went over so well that he then invited us on his radio program, where Wally started things off with a bang with a little flattery, introducing me as more dangerous than Hitler, Jim Jones and Manson. The other guest that night was a Baptist minister who officially declared me possessed. Our final Armageddon of the airwaves occurred in the Fall of ‘87, when Radio Werewolf returned to Hot Seat to declare our triumphant return to the stage after the little obstacle of my ear getting cut off during that eventful summer. And that event led to a kind of “Brides of Radio Werewolf” spinoff, since Wally, admirer of the ladies that he was, was so taken with two of my stripper girlfriends who accompanied me to the show that he later had them on as guests so that he could pretend moral outrage at our sinful ménage à trois. If I’d paid Wally to be Radio Werewolf’s publicist, he couldn’t have done a better job.

Wally George’s presentation is so exaggerated that at times he comes off as, what would be known in the world of professional wrestling, a “heel.” Did you ever get the impression that there was any insincerity or fakery to George’s act?

NS: Wally was a consummate showman, no more or less insincere or fake than his showbiz idol Ronald Reagan, who both cunningly played exaggerated roles for their niche Neanderthal audience in the grand old tradition of American populist demagoguery. Offstage, Wally was unfailingly courteous to me, and was actually genuinely supportive of my career, despite his on-the-air hostility. Hard to say which one of us was “the heel” or “the face”. Our encounters were definitely “kayfabe” professional wrestling at its finest though. The difference being that what we did when the cameras rolled was completely improvised. We served each others needs. I understood that Radio Werewolf couldn’t be “The Most Evil Band in the World” without a worthy Van Helsing adversary such as Wally to oppose us. And he needed me to be the “Man You Love To Hate” so that he could be the “Good Guy” for his fans. Really, the supposedly more legitimate network news journalists who interviewed me were all just as contrived and two-faced as Wally.  At least he was honest about it.
 

 
In the OC Weekly article on Wally George you are quoted “the audience was whipped into a genuine frenzy. They did not take it as a joke, and it felt very dangerous to be there.” Do you feel there was a closed loop between exploitative infotainers such as Wally George and Geraldo Rivera, and a fearful Cold War era public that created the Satanic Panic of the 80’s? Did you personally experience repercussions as a result of your appearances on Hot Seat?

NS: The live audiences watching the Radio Werewolf appearances on Hot Seat could easily have turned into lynch mobs, but I was as recklessly irresponsible as Wally in feeding fuel to the fire. It’s astute that you place all this in its Cold War context, because looking at these and other wacky ‘80s clips today without understanding the panicky fear of imminent nuclear Armageddon permeating the USA under the Reagan regime, it’s hard to understand the hysterical theological intensity driving the Satanic Panic. Wally and Geraldo were both simply fear-mongering entertainers making a living by giving the terrified audience exactly what they wanted. And I was part of the same closed loop, in that I collaborated with them by consciously embodying their worst fears, since that early phase of Radio Werewolf was designed as a self-parodying, mirroring manifestation of that society’s deepest nightmares about “occult music”. As for repercussions, Wally first invited us on Hot Seat after the horrified reaction in Los Angeles to my public announcement of Radio Werewolf’s “Free Manson” benefit concert at a Friday the 13th performance in March of ‘87. That was immediately followed by many months of death threats, LAPD surveillance and harassment of me and my friends, blacklisting and banning from certain clubs, the need to have security guards patrol our concerts, so I can’t determine how much of these shenanigans were inspired by the Wally vs. Werewolf broadcasts specifically.
 
More interview and those amazing clips after the jump.

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Discussion
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