Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bird of Prey

hey, look at this...

click the picture to enlarge

i came across this guy/girl on youtube

and my mind was blown into tiny little gratified bits.

he/she goes by the name BLU

here's another...enjoy

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Labor of Lust

life in the street, it's pretty ruff
you gotta be strong you gotta be tuff
no regrets and no remorse
down the street on my iron horse
'cuz I'm a midnight rider
when night-time falls

out in the street
I make the laws.

Hear the entire album @
photos by Matt Bryan

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Woman Under the Influence

I know very little about the director John Cassavetes, except that Martin Scorcese holds him in the highest regard. And since I hold Scorcese in the highest regard it's high time I see one of his films.

I got the sense from the Criterion packaging that the film might be out on the fashionable or artistic edge the 60-70s, something with high aspirations, but perhaps in the hands of a director with a too stylistic an agenda. I couldn't have been more wrong.

The film makes good on its promise to be edgy, challenging, different, but more than that it takes the viewer on a highly rewarding emotional journey on the level of character studies from the era like Five Easy Pieces, or Cool Hand Luke.

The woman in question is Mable, a wife and mother who may or may not be suffering from a mental illness. Her husband is domineering and manipulative yet we get the impression that he has all the best intentions. After we get this set-up down in the first 30 mins or so, we are treated to nearly an hour of Mable(Gena Rowlands) giving what must have been one of the most emotionally taxing performances in film history. In this hour we get to know Mable well which is to say we get to know her condition well and how it drives just about everyone around her to the brink.

The film is in 2 parts. Nearing the end of the first part the film reaches it's emotional climax as Mable comes more unhinged and is sent away. An interview with the director reveals that he feels her character to be more symptomatic of her social situation that of any mental problem, a revelation that is hard to swallow considering Mable's paranioa and muttering. Her dialogue though is at once damning and canonizing as while she seems to be cracking under the emotion strain of her family she nevertheless voices personal emotional epiphanies about her marriage that would make anyone go...huh. Her husband while having hit her on one occasion and yelled at her in front of friends, rises to a level approaching herioc in this unscored iconic scene that ends with an abrupt cut to the husband at work a soft country song playing in the background. Work is emotionally easy. It's home-life that requires real energy.

The second half of the film is Mable's return home. She struggles to keep her excitement in check, which makes her seem profoundly sad and pathetic. Incapable of seeing her this way, her husband takes her aside, from their family guests, to re-establish his control over her and snap her out of the sadness spell. By measures it works, until Mable is up on the sofa twirling about and humming a song. Their guests leave and the family returns to chaos, until right near the end when Mable, putting her children to bed becomes sweet and soft spoken.

"I'm worried about you" her son says to her has she tucks him into bed.

"Don't worry about me, I'm a grown up" is her reply. Which, when taken in context is the punchline to this 2 1/2 hour love story.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ok, maybe not the best movie mash-up on You-tube.

or Brokeback to the Future
But heres the point, As it says, both of these films came out in 1999.
American Beauty also came out that year which is essentially the same film.

I'm only beginning to realize the impact this concentration of films had upon my impressionable 17 year old mind.

They all focus on a central character, an every-man, who has been offering his life to the machine and finds a convenient exit in order to live out his true existential calling.

These were my heros, and in many ways still are, as the movies themselves are representations of the ideas of those who would soon become my literary heroes Sartre, Thoreau, Vonnegut, Orwell, Huxley and the like, though lately I find myself reading things far less it goes.

Any way you want to slice it though, 1999 was a great year for movies .It was the year of Magnolia, Being John Malkovich, Titus, Payback, Dogma, and Eyes Wide Shut...though I can't say I watched that one until a few years later And, it was also the year of Office Space which is strikingly similar in theme to the big 3 above.

But if you were 17, an outsider, and had seen The Faculty, and Disturbing Behavior the year before, then you knew that the status quo were all sheep pulling their wool over your eyes anyhow. 1999 was the nail in the coffin.

Collectively we let our stubble grow, started appreciating bed-head, got familiar with eastern-thought, wore dark colors, and tried to find the back door. Our great war , tyler told us, was a spiritual war, our great depression our lives.

Those of us who didn't stay home voted for Nader.

The rest is an inconvenient history.