Sunday, September 23, 2007

what pulled me away

Every year I get whisked away from our fleabag cinema to chat up and shmooze with folks in the international film scene and this year I had to look after a blog dedicated to this little sidejob. You can check it here, but if you want highlights, check these snippets out below. There will be more to come on the blog like a Q&A with George A. Romero and Stuart Gordon, but in the meantime, you can watch a never before seen, 4 part interview with Dario Argento from 1990 (check the user page for the other 3 parts), and Dario and Brian Yuzna introducing films that they had in the Toronto Festival of Festivals' Midnight Madness selection from 1990. The Bloor Cinema is no longer used by the Fest, but still runs rep and specialty fest programming. Just saw NIGHT OF THE CREEPS there on Thursday with director Fred Decker in person! And in these flashback clips, keep your eyes peeled for this dude:

Sorry ladies, as much as you beg me, that look is not coming back....

TIFF - Classic Midnight Madness # 1

TIFF - Classic Midnight Madness # 2

TIFF - Classic Dario Argento Interview - Part 1

get outta my seat! I'm BACK!


I just finished a viewing of 1971's, 'Refinements In Love' with Rene Bond and narrated/hostessed by the lovely Liz Renay. Ostensibly, I guess it's a quasi-documentary type Mondo film studying the changing morals of the late 60s and early 70s sexual revolution but really it's just an excuse to show some hardcore inserts to prop-up timeless sexual psychology stories and whatnot. There was quite a bit more explicit (it was porno, people) lewdness than I was expecting but the faux doctors and expert opinioners were as great as the examples of problems they brought forward for examination. The french kissing seemed awkward.

One 'soon to be married' couple consisted of a prudish girl of Victorian strongmindedness and a self-described normal, red-blooded American who just couldn't handle it anymore. She calms his raging animal and then tries to get the subject changed.

Near Wife: Tell me what you did today.
Near Husband: I suffered.
Me: big laughs

*Spoiler* Apparently they later separated and he moved to the East Coast while she retained custody of their child. *End spoiler*

All the while, there is this intermittent yet interesting folky score that outlines some of the activity on the screen and clearly inspired later acts such as Arthur & Yu. The waterbed song is pure enchantment.

Anyway, enough of my cold and congested rambling, the real reason I am here is to show that the marquees of sleazy California are as good (not quite so, though) as Times Square. As usual, these Mondo films have a great batch of footage with vast historical significance to some people. And there's a nice montage of what appears to be Las Vegas' land of topless establishments in there as well.

And, curiously, we have Times Square for a second in there too. Meduim Cool across the street!

God Told Me To

Tony Lo Bianco takes on Evil in this 1976 Larry Cohen joint. Might be time to finally run that God Told Me To/Q: The Winged Serpent double bill!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The grand shadows of fallen giants

Dear CN Tower

Hi. How are you? Are you sad today? I'm sorry if this is the case but try to remember that no matter what happens, you'll always be the coolest freestanding structure in the world. You got that covered easy and nobody can ever take it away from you or you from us.

I'll never forget the high thrills you provided me with and the dizzying fun it is to look up when I'm down there beside you. Remember when Mlle. Moore gave me such trouble for climbing past the bars and into one of those little round window well things? Ha! Screw her! We knew what we were doing. To spit off of your breezy heights is to be alive.

I love you.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Free reign

It's so nice when the brains behind the blog are all off busying themselves for the Toronto International Film Festival and us rural bumpkins can just kinda say, "Whu?," as we drag a broom around the empty place and sort of dwell on whatever we fancy and push the accepatable boundaries of run-on sentences while doing it, man. That's nice.

Last weekend while seated even slightly more into 'the sticks' for a spell, we returned to the warm chest of one of our all time favourite screen bounders, George Sanders, and re-watched his near final farewell to celluloid, 1971's Psychomania. I've got a dismal old dupe-y VHS around that was recorded at 24 hour speed but I've been itching to get a nicer copy to revisit so I got this cheap DVD under poor advice only to later find that it has a scene trimmed where our man George is introduced and something else that sounds wonderful also happens but I've forgotten what that one is. So, either we go for a UK cut of the film on DVD or find a special someone who has the nice, widescreen version that is OOP and too much at $100 or so but apparently is fully intact. Such decisions.

If you've never seen the film, I suggest you seek it out and bathe in the remarkably fun nonsense that it is. Basically, due to some family witchcraft history and a particular fondness of frogs, this young chap who is the head boy of a motorcycle gang (they're called 'The Living Dead'!) decides it would be terrific fun to willingly kill themselves in order to come back as indestructible immortals and continue their unique brand of childish mayhem and kill a few people who disapprove and tut tut too! So, they do, damned kids! And it's a joy to behold and there is a rather plaintive (and head-shakingly awesome) song sang at this young man's funeral party where he is in a hole and on his bike in full gear and a ton more of golden moments that make it all so worthwhile and enjoyable if you're in for a goof of a good time. I guarantee your smiles and good times, people.

And Sanders plays a butler and even though he is near his low moment of eventual suicide and acting in dregs clearly beneath him, the man is a true actor and professional to the finish and delivers a fine performance all around. A class act always.

Here is the type of awful, no-good goings on that these young and leathered limeys get up to. For shame!

And here we see the country of origin, UK quad for this treasure of cinema.