Saturday, December 29, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
We'll just have to see if the appearance of Kylie Minogue in the Christmas special that aired today changes anything. However, it can't be anything as good as this:
Pervy Dalek shots thanks to Cosmobells who have some special Doctor Who audio treats over at their fun little blog.
Thought we might share some of the lumps of coal that we found in the bottom of our stocking this morning. After I mentionned THE SILENT PARTNER in my last post, I must of course bring up that other yuletime Canadian classic BLACK CHRISTMAS - although it turns out that David Cronenberg's EASTERN PROMISES is a new Canadian Christmas themed cinema offering. Head over to the download page at Canuxploitation! to listen to this radio spot for the film. Certianly can't make gags about obscene phone calls in ad copy these days... Also explore Canuxploitation for more radio ads, theme songs from films including THE BIG MEAT EATER, STARSHIP INVASIONS and PINBALL SUMMER, plus some wallpaper for other fine tax shelter productions.
While searching YouTube for "Santa" and "horror", I came across this tightly edited little gem - kill scenes from bad Santa films – and by "bad" we mean bloody and bad, not mind-numbing Billy Bob Thornton bad. With a heavy metal yuletide score, it contains some violence and nudity that is surprising for YouTube (particularly the deer antlers through the chest of the damsel in destress).
If you need a break from the loops of holiday muzak, listen to the Ken Freedman's Krampus Christmas show over at WFMU, an aural antidote for constant cheery carols with reverence paid to our dark bodyguard of Saint Nick. I have pulled a favourite Christmas country song of mine that he broadcast for your enjoyment. Go here to download it or check out the pop-up player for the song here or the real player link.Or just head over here to listen to the full 3 hour show on MP3 or with RealAudio.
Oh the horror! Santa has been really bad over in Italy! The fine folks at The Groovy Age of Horror share the secrets behind the pages of this nasty fumetti in two parts (one + two) as it is quite the cliffhanger.
All these pics come from a tasty new blog that I stumbled on, Monster Brains, a fantabulous bestiary of things furred and finned, with a special seasonal interest in all art that is Krampus-worthy. For more info on Krampus, read the wikipedia entry or this eye-witness account of the pre-Christian Alpine demon's wrath.
Here is a quick lesson on Krampus:
Some footage of the Krampus in spreading Xmas pain:
And his recent TV appearance in the US:
Sadly, the reason for mentioning the film on our blog serves as an epitaph for the legendary Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, who composed the score for the film and sadly passed away on Sunday night. THE SILENT PARTNER was the only feature film that he did a score for, even though his muic had been used in the soundtracks of several films including Woody Allen's PLAY IT AGAIN SAM.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Pure arthouse goodness! Greatness, even. The trailer is gorgeous! I've got this mother here n disc and ready for re-viewing, so, come on winter break! I got so overly into Peter Greenaway after seeing 'The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover' in the theatre that I often get blurry on the highs and lows of the specific films (I don't think I've been further than a few of the major films up until 'Pillow Book' and I didn't like 'Prospero's Books' at all) as they tend to blend together now and then just like all that Vonnegut I read in a mid-high school frenzy. Oh well. I always loved them even if it became a little much at times so I'm really looking forward to this one which was my pet apart from 'The Cook...'. I wish I could think of an appropriate anagram.
The oh-so-stylish British quad and Michael Nyman to boot. What more do you need?
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I saw two films when I was in Buenos Aires. My friend Matias and I had to arrange to get a cab to take us all the way out to a shopping centre in the Bs. As. 'burbs to see Beowulf: La Leyenda (in 3-D IMAX! With IMAX-sized Spanish subtitles!) The tickets cost 14 pesos - or about $4.75 Canadian. You could bring beer into the theatre as well...beer and IMAX goggles, plus the trailer for Soy Leyenda!
On my last weekend in town I went to the Palermo multiplex down the street from the massive Alto Palermo shopping centre to take in a trasnoche screening of Gone Baby Gone. A trasnoche, film-lovers, is a movie-going tradition on the weekends in Buenos Aires - shows start between 1 and 1:30 a.m and are PACKED! You have dinner at 10, maybe an ice cream afterwards, then you roll over to the trasnoche, and THEN you go out clubbing. You can get popcorn either sugared (the local preference) or salted (no such thing as buttered popcorn in this town either way). And no Diet Coke - round here it's called Coke Light. Got to see some amazing Argentine commercials plus the trailer for P.T. Anderson's upcoming Habrá Sangre. Except for kids films, all international movies are in their original language with subtitles en Castellano. Argentinian films for the most part play in their own cinemas.
I couldn't find any of the massive theatres that used to exist in Buenos Aires in their original state; the Monumental, right down on Lavalle (the pedestrian tourist trap) used to have 3,000 seats (you can get a glimpse of it in its former glory in my previous post, at the start of one of the 60's Sandro trailers I linked to) but is now a run-down movie pit - they were playing Supercool, Michael Clayton and El Asesinato De Jesse James Por El Cobarde Robert Ford, plus two films that haven't even come out in North America, a thriller by Andrew Lau starring Richard Gere and some John Travolta / Salma Hayek period piece...
I learned something about Toronto while I was travelling as well, a lesson that left my city in the general deficit column. A small Romanian film like 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days wins the Palme D'Or, and that fall it quietly pops up in Toronto and plays at the Cumberland for a couple of weeks, before winding up at the back of the Carlton for a couple more weeks. Meanwhile in Buenos Aires, the very same film plays at every multiplex downtown, often with giant ads for the engagement in the lobby, and when I went over to the Palermo on a Saturday night at midnight, the 1:30 a.m. show was already sold out. What are we to make of this?
(See my modest set of Buenos Aires movie theatre pictures here...)
Friday, December 14, 2007
Taken from the Off-Off Blogway:
The Wooster Group’s production of Francesco Cavalli’s opera La Didone takes up a work from the days when opera was an emerging art form, and sets it down in a new world splintered by video imagery and made brazen by the electric guitar. Stirring another Italian cultural work of art into the mix, the Group brings into collision the ancient shipwreck tale of Aeneas and his Dido with the crashed spaceships of Mario Bava’s 1965 Sci-fi B-movie horror film Planet of the Vampires. Identical leather spacesuits, forbidding planetary landscapes and battles with the walking dead meet with the baroque qualities of Cavalli’s score.And an article about it from The List
It means opera fans shouldn’t expect a simple telling of the legend of Aeneas as he ventures from the smouldering ruins of a defeated Troy into the alien land of Carthage and the arms of Dido. Nor should trash culture buffs expect only the tale of Captain Mark Markary whose spaceship is lured to the planet of Aura where a dying race of aliens inhabits his zombie-like crew. Rather they should expect both at once: a cross-cultural cocktail of mind-boggling oddness.And to refresh out memory, here is a scene that recalls a certain extraterrestrial terror franchise, followed by a piece of cut an paste experimental animation to round this post off...
On one hand, you’ve got Dido, played by mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn, wearing a cape of sci-fi silver. On the other, you’ve got space cadet Sanya, played by Valk, who joins in with the operatic choruses. There are ray guns and baroque strings, punch-ups and arias, helmets and wigs. It’s as unconventional as the electric guitar in the four-strong orchestra and is certain to blow up a storm of outraged critical sensibilities when it opens at the Royal Lyceum.
Monday, December 10, 2007
I'm here because my vacation ends tomorrow and I'm on my way into a Musimundo store (there are no HMVs in Buenos Aires) to grab a couple of DVDs of Sandro, a living legend, a man I had never heard of before until I arrived here. He was all over the papers because he had recently turned 60 and was on yet another comeback trail (his last comeback apparently had him hooked up to an oxygen tank on stage but that wasn't enough to keep him from being snowed under by women's underwear).
But sometimes you achieve something that gets you buried in women's underwear for the rest of your life.
Sandro, the Argentine Elvis Presley (or is he the Argentine Amitabh Bachchan?) was a pop singer who made a dozen or so musicals in the sixties and seventies that were massively popular in Latin America... like Presley's films, they seemed to exist as pure vehicles to deliver the man candy to the ladies...here's a trailer or two of the goods.
If you want your own Sandro DVDs but can't hike it to Buenos Aires, you are in luck.
Monday, December 03, 2007
One good reason to live through winter this year is the (promised and speculated) 2008 release of the documentary on the late and wonderful Arthur Russell. I wasn't totally thrilled with the Scott Walker documentary that made me put away the noose last year and foolishly push into 2007 but I am keeping high hopes for this one whether wise or not. I think when you choose to profile an artist that isn't so common, you are forced (through financiers?) to use some hip and cool, known artists in there to draw the crowds and get some tickets sold. I was suspect of that when I watched the Scott Walker film and seeing Jens Lekman here makes me feel the same. Still, I am going to keep drawing frozen breaths into the next year so that I can see anything at all to do with Arthur Russell, so deep is my love for the man.
I first read about him in that stuffy British music-snob magazine, The Wire, back when they were starting to compile compilations and re-release his music and go through the archives of his huge, self-recorded output. I actually found a few cool bands through that rag but I haven't seen a copy in ages. Anyway, nothing I've listened to since falling for Mr Walker all those years ago has affected me quite like Mr Russell. There's this absolute beauty that is infused in everything from the solo, voice and cello stuff through the disco music and there is a healthy dose of melancholy as well and his voice is so perfect that it's nearly unreal. There are a million magical variables, actually. It's too tough to pinpoint but it is absolutely attracting to me and I am always stilled by listening to him, as corny as that sounds. If you're new to him, you should definitely seek him out any way that you can and I suggest you get it all. Then you can be obsessed and have a reason to smile through this bleak season without resorting to superabundant bourbon, like Haggard would.
All the info on the documentary can be found here.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
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Rue Morgue also holds the monthly CineMacbre Movie Nights at The Bloor Cinema and the last film they showed was a pristine print of Mario Bava's BAY OF BLOOD. Other screenings have included NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, HATCHET, PHANTASM, Doug Buck's SISTERS, THE ABANDONED, and RITUALS. Plus they have a radio show – the last show had Liisa Ladoucer interviewing Francois-Edues Chanfrault, the composer of A L'INTERIER and HAUTE TENSION). Basically they are making Toronto a better place to live in.
However, the real reason of this post is to show off this little clip reel I made of some photos and low res footage shot at their Halloween party, the Masque of Black Death! Costumes, booze and performers galore, it is the ultimate trick or treat. This year they had the Goblin tribute band GOBLINA play, featuring above mentioned Goblin member Maurizio Guarini and Coralina Cataldi Tassoni on guest vocals!
Thanks for the great treat Rue Morgue!
Goblina at Rue Morgue's Masque of Black Death
Romero and Argento Reunion at Fest of Fear 07<
Argento on Witches at Fest of Fear 07
This in from cinema patron Marc Walkow's blog, Outcast Cinema about Synapse Films' three-disc release of the Legends of the Poisonous Seductress. After watching these trailers, I am itching to see the features, especially the first entry in scope black and white that looks absolutely delirious! Here are the trailers and an assortment of pics from the films, but for better context, visit Marc's blog.
There is such a wealth of undiscovered Japanese films out there. Everyone goes on about the Lady Snowblood films, but there are a number of other wild action film series such as Wicked Priest or Oichi The Blind Swordswoman (aka CRIMSON BAT). Seeing these projected with an audience today would be a blast!