2010
11.12

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI89ovR36r0

Enter the Void – dir. by Gaspar Noe

I am a fan of Noe’s. Pushing multiple envelopes constantly, doing things within the medium of film that few attempt. IRREVERSIBLE’ and I STAND ALONE are powerful films. i have always found Noe’s work to be blunt, in a manner of speaking. most superfluous material is stripped away. his cinematography is dizzying, literally. and he does not shy away from the graphic. visceral films, always. leave you thinking.
ETV is an experience in the same vein. the story is interesting and well told, flowing. but visually…this is in a league of its own. this may be what dying/being dead looks like. there are sequences that are just works of art, pure and simple.the flying over cityscapes, the club sequences, flashbacks, all of it. and the visuals mesh with the philosophical ruminations quite well. absorbing, beautiful stuff.
if you can track this down (ETV has been making the indie-theatre circuit for a few months now) i highly recommend it. WARNING: the film contains countless scenes with stroboscopic effects, avoid if you are prone to seizures.

Enjoy the weekend

2010
11.07

it’s been a bit. nothing much happens in eight months though, eh? life, death, bowling… weddings, plane rides, drinks, maybe some softball or jet skiing…maybe you saw a race car parked in front of a trailer in bradley county, or took trips to the grocery. regardless, hope you’ve been well.


THE WETTEST COUNTY IN THE WORLD
great novel by matt bondurant. tells the story of a small family of moonshiners. thoroughly enjoyed it. stark, cold, interesting characters. set in appalachia. bondurant has a unique voice, made me think of faulkner, fitzgerald, and The Foxfire Guides simultaneously. last i heard, j. hillcoat and nick cave were working on a film adaptation. anyone who has seen The Proposition should feel a slight tingling in his/her loins.

THE NATIONAL – lemonworld
off of the album High Violet
good fun if you enjoy that sort of fun

Utah
the state. nice place, bit unique. desert-to-mountain transition. the mormon church/temple/tobacco outlet was a site.

MATT KING – graveyard shift
congrats all around. ronny did well.

enjoy your day

2010
03.06

Don’t make ’em like they used to, eh? Find below clips and trailers from some of my favorite terrible movies. Everyone holds certain trash near and dear, so feel free to comment back and share the crap-tacular, cheesy gems from your childhood.

Pocket Ninjas

Pay close attention to the facial expressions throughout, multiple balloon fight scenes, and the poor girl in lycra that falls for the old “dollar bill blowing down the sidewalk” gag for a good minute or two. And rollerblades.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOLNOWnBlnQ

Truck Turner

Isaac Hayes, as Isaac Hayes, as a bounty hunter… or “skip chaser’. I’d never heard the phrase before….learn something new every day….

RAD

What do you do when you have funding for a teen romance but all the good settings and plot devices have been used? Throw the kids on BMX bikes and rip-off Dirty Dancing…and throw in the Illinois Nazi guy from Blues Brothers for good measure.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=607eTT2y1ZU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyW9864AXVk

Howard the Duck
Even as a wee lad I remember thinking ‘How could the Star Wars guy make this?’ But now I know that ducks drink Budweiser, enjoy fornicating with humans, and that Tim Robbins is better in this than he was in Shawshank Redemption. So, my sincere thanks again Mr. Lucas.

Enjoy the weekend,

C.W.H

2010
02.28

I do not have cable. If it wasn’t for Hulu I would know as much about current cable programming as a geriatric, though I do watch Andy Griffith and M*A*S*H whenever possible. But an internet connection I have, and I know people that watch things and they tell me about them. This arrangement works for me.
Anyway, a new show on FX came across my radar screen recently. Archer. Archer is hilarious. The show follows a secret agent that works for his mother, and it’s animated. It makes me laugh out loud when I am alone, which I try not to do very often. See below:


Look for Archer on Hulu here

Enjoy your week.

C.W.H.

2010
02.18

Another cinema experience I recommend.
C’est arrivé près de chez vous (Man Bites Dog) is a French film directed by Remy Belvaux. Its available from Criterion in a great remastered version; the cover art is something. It’s somewhat difficult to track down though, but certainly worth it.
I saw this years ago, and thought of it a few days back. Rewatching, I kept thinking about how films made over a decade ago (1992 in the case of this film) can be relevant years after. Quasi-documentary, completely original, horrifying, hilarious; this is one with several layers. A film crew follows a man around (serial killer) and things happen. Dinner parties. A train ride. Discussions covering cinema, music, and the ballast ratio required to keep a midget’s corpse submerged in a body of water. I won’t say anything else.
Interesting idea when you think about our obsession with ‘reality’ television, graphic video on the news, etc.’ What the hell is wrong with us, why are you entertained by this?’ oozes from this flick, which makes the viewer the consummate ironic character. I almost feel like the audience isn’t supposed to “enjoy” this film. Instead it is something to be analyzed, both on its own and in context (philosophical, cultural, political, etc etc etc). Entertainment value is derived from the pleasure resulting from mental exercise. In the US a majority of our films lack any intellectual requirement. Watching Transformers 2, everything is put right out there for you. There is little (intentional) subtext or mental engagement, just scantily-clad women and explosions. Both great things, but come on. I suppose if you don’t enjoy thinking this might not be the best post for you. In fact, go away.

C.W.H.

2010
02.14

Greetings,

Two films I just finished:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKC-FKGMeCY

Bronson

Bronson is not a date movie, though I’d love to hear from someone that gives that a shot. It is, however, a great film exploring the life and legend of one of Britain’s most famous inmates. This is one that stuck with me, as most things that can simultaneously pull off being strange, well-written, violent, and hysterical often do. Stars Tom Hardy and Matt King, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. Tom Hardy’s performance is a truly great one, and the soundtrack is top-notch. This has been out for some time overseas and just snuck into video stores in the Bible Belt recently. That’s a shame, really, because British flicks are quite good.
If you take the time to watch the trailer I lovingly added above, you will no doubt notice the critical comparison to A ClockWork Orange, the Anthony Burgess novel/Stanley Kubrick film that everyone should read/see several times in their lifetime. While that comparison is a blatantly obvious one, and Refn does nod to Kubrick several times in his film, these are different films with different purposes. I think. The film does not ebb and flow evenly in terms of pace, but I liked that. It almost explodes at you at times, then disappears into a fucked-up kabuki theatre format for a bit. Made the narrative as a whole more unique. And it didn’t remind me of a Guy Ritchie flick. Good stuff, worth checking out.

Gommora

Directed by Matteo Garrone
In Italian, with subtitles

This is a remarkable film. Let me begin by stating that I am a fan of the mafioso genre. The Godfather Saga, Goodfellas, Casino, Once Upon a Time in America, Road to Perdition (sort of), The Sopranos…all exceptional. I can’t stand Scarface though. Anyway, the genre always makes for good story-telling. For those of us that choose to never act on those thoughts of being a gangster or criminal mastermind, a nice mafia flick is the ultimate in escapism. But should the traits that permeate the genre and give the Michael Corleones and Tony Sopranos their clout be seen as admirable? That question and countless others have been asked about films forever; the idealizing of the out-cast, the criminal, the sympathetic sociopath. And several US films have looked at the brutal side of the life, no doubt. Who can forget Layla playing softly in the background for the executions in Goodfellas, or Scorcese’s The Departed? Hell, the entire film Road to Perdition looks at classic gangster flick notions of violence/revenge/and attitudes towards manliness under a microscope.
But Gommora strips everything back. All the glitz and glamour are gone from the gangster story here. Instead, Gommora shows the brutality, corruption, and utter disregard for human life that drives members of the Italian Cammora. This is a shocking film, though not for the same reasons Scorcese’s films are (Martin Scorcese did produce this, by the way). Violence is everywhere, but it fits into the landscape. The violence did stick with me, but it was because of the nonchalance with which the acts were carried out. Nothing was over-the-top, but simply calculated and brutal. And the director did a great job insinuating things here: costumes, sets, actors. All the parts go in to creating a world that is crumbling under the weight of crime, and nothing is flashy. The set-up reminded me of the Spanish-language flick Amores Perros; several parallel stories wound around a single idea. Great performances by relative unknowns. Can’t recommend this enough.

Hope everyone enjoys his or her week.

Regards,

C.W.H.

2010
02.05

I traveled to Illinois recently. Driving through Kentucky, I began thinking about which states I’ve visited in the past and those I hope to see soon. Somewhere outside of Paducah, Kentucky I realized that I don’t know a damn thing about Delaware.

Delaware Fun Facts and Trivia

-Delaware has a state bug – the ladybug!
-On December 7, 1787, Delaware, became the first state to ratify the United States Constitution.
-The most historic site in Frederica is Barratt’s Chapel east of town. The chapel is where the Methodist Church of America was organized in 1784. Barratt’s Chapel is known as the Cradle of Methodism. It was built in 1780 and is the oldest surviving church built by and for Methodists in the United States.
-Delaware is the only state in the US without any national parks.
-At its widest point, Delaware is 35 miles across.
-Of the 50 US states that have counties, Delaware has the fewest number of counties – only 3. (Alaska is the only state without counties.)
-According to a survey by the National Science Foundation, Delaware has more doctoral-level (Ph.D.) scientists and engineers, as a percentage of the population, than any other state. Delaware also has a higher rate of patent awards, per person, than any other state.
-Tradition holds that the new 13-star flag created by Betsy Ross, the Stars and Stripes, was first unfurled in the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, September 3, 1777.
-The first tractor John Deere made is in the Messick Agricultural Museum, Inc. in Harrington, Delaware.
-The Delaware Museum of Natural History houses one of the hemisphere’s largest shell collections.
-In 1880, the first beauty contest in the United States was held in Rehoboth Beach. Thomas Edison was one of the three judges in this contest, called the “Miss United States” contest. This contest is considered to be the foreunner of the Miss America pageant.

Now you know, and knowing doesn’t mean shit in the battle.
G.I. Joe lied.

Best,
C.W.H.

2010
01.27

2010
01.21

Greetings,

Ahhh political discourse in America today. Parties have become similar to sports teams, and the ‘Yankees-Red Sox fan’ brand of hatred is quite visible these days.  We’ve all seen the signs, listened to the interviews, and heard the debates. People are all over television screaming at me these days; I feel as though I am watching the overly descriptive post-tornado interviews on the evening news with new subject matter. I do not own “the moral high ground”, and my logic is flawed from time to time. I thoroughly enjoy politics, political philosophy, and history. Spirited conversation is neat and fun. However, I do not enjoy being called anti-American, and I resent being sniped at from the perch of religion.

 M. Brendan Dougherty, Associate Editor of The American Conservative, wrote this piece. He is a gifted writer with a sharp mind, though I disagree with him from time to time. That being said, I think this article speaks to the problems of one party overtly, while hinting at shortcomings of the other.

Enjoy:

http://www.theawl.com/2010/01/dear-conservative-movement-stop-ruining-my-life-by-michael-brendan-dougherty

Good Luck,

C.W.H.

2010
01.07

There is no such thing as nothingness, and zero does not exist. Everything is something. Nothing is nothing.-V. Hugo

This world is a fiery conglomerate of  fuck-ups, reality television, decent people, bad pizza, shiny plastic, good bourbon, ideologues, bedazzled t-shirts, and Christmas gift cards. Strange times to be walking around, processing it all. But filling my lungs with cold air, I am happy to be alive in 2010 and wish approx. 22% of the people I come across the best. I am also happy to have an outlet through which I may air my dirty laundry, agitate, massage, placate, and skewer. I got a thesaurus and a garbage disposal for Christmas. So read on for tidbits from my worried mind, and always do what the blog says. Also, for God’s sake read a book or seven this year…and talk with an old person for an hour or so….and don’t be a dick too terribly often.                                VIVA El Trash

Listen:

Relevant, I believe. Disasters took place in 2009, and who doesn’t want to murder every now and again? Tom Waits did the intro, great collection of songs

Book Cover

http://peopletakewarning.com/index2.html

Listen/Videos:

-I recently discovered Deer Tick. I am impressed.

-And John Prine….grew up on this guy. He wrote a song about Jesus, specifically the years in which he was MIA in the Bible.

And avoid Red Lobster…that isn’t seafood I don’t think.

Happy New Year, good luck