Monday, July 28, 2008



I finally saw Richard Kelly's second effort, Southland Tales (2007). It is clearly a bad film, but stands alone from any other piece of shit I've ever seen because it is, by a long shot, the most thought-provoking piece of shit I've ever seen. Most bad films are deliciously awful like Showgirls (1995) or staggeringly bad, like William Freidkin's Bug (2007). Friedkin thought he was being profound but failed so miserably at it that you wanted to strangle him for wasting your time. And for his hubris. These were the sentiments expressed by most critics of Southland Tales, most infamously at Cannes. They are wrong about the time, right about the hubris.

Kelly says A LOT of interesting things in this film, but clearly loses control of the behemoth he created. I applaud the effort, especially since this was supposed to be a mainstream film. (The film made virtually no money and forced Sony to bitch slap Kelly with a clear mandate: make us a blockbuster, or you're through!). Kelly came as close to a mainstream 'avant-garde' film as one could imagine, tottering the line between the two, and falling on either side, on his face, many times over.

For starters, every actor in this film, maybe for the exception of The Rock, play characters completely against their typecasts. For instance, Sarah Michelle Gellar plays a porn star, Jon Lovitz plays a cruel cold-hearted cop, Sean William Scott, a nervous deadpan cop, etc. The characters are neither flat archetypes or fleshed out beings. Kelly's storyline that guides them has no apparent logic either—and doesn't seem to give a rat's ass about it—but seems to beg for a compass at the same time. This brings to mind David Lynch's Inland Empire (2007), a movie that uses chaos to fine effect. Lynch just lets go, and alllowing the 'plot' to meander rhizomatically. Kelly seems to want that, but gets too controlling just when he's reached the limit.
Without getting too involved, the film starts out as a typical B-rate apocalyptic flick. The dialogue made me cringe, especially Justin Timberlake's Desert Storm veteran character. Lots of flashy/dinky graphics flutter about. I started to wonder how this was possible that Kelly could do this without wanting to kill himself. But I knew he was too smart for this, and quickly I realized after the film's all too long setup, that he was taking a piss, flouting every convention he could shake a penis at. The dialogue started to become too ridiculous to be taken seriously, the acting too stiff, the humor too deadpan. I knew something was up. I still don't know WHAT THE HELL that is exactly but it was up and it has kept me guessing since. It's WAY more than I can say about Bug. But at least in that one I got to see Ashley Judd's boobies.

If you want to read a good take on this film click here. I think the guy's spot on.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rip Torn attempts to Kill Norman Mailer

Yes, it happened. Sort of. This clip is from an 'outtake' from Norman Mailer's 1968 film Maidstone. Mailer in his usual bravura declared the film a radical breakthrough in cinema where reality and fiction blur. It doesn't sound that novel to me. And I think the rest of them realized as much because I've never heard of Mailer's filmic endeavors until now.

Here, Rip Torn tries to brain Mailer with a hammer, prompting Mailer to nearly bite off Torn's ear. Yummy.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mystery solved

The word “lethologica” describes the state of not being able to remember the word you want.



This man made national news when he shot—while drunk—his Lawn Boy (lawnmower) when it failed to start. He faces jail time and a whopping $11,000 fine.


It seems a bit harsh to me. For starters, if I were to do some forensic work on this case I would see things differently. Instead of seeing him as an unbathed, piss drunk middle-aged man going postal on his lawmower—without his wife's permission (she was the one to call police), I see him as an unbathed, piss drunk, middle-aged man coming to terms with his mortality and limitations. After all, he was approaching age 60! Frustrated by his life's failings and his unfulfilled dreams he had no recourse but to pull out his trusty shotgun and shoot his malfunctioning Lawn Boy clear to Kingdom Come. If you're having a bad day, nothing feels better than to mow your lawn after vomiting 2 gallons of Jim Beam. Everyone knows that. But the mower would not start, adding insult to an already injured heart. The mower had to be shot. Period. But such catharsis is taboo in the face of law. I just hope they cut The Lawn Boy killer some slack.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Oh No I didn't!


I just read all about these TOTAL losers, the types who camp out DAYS in advance in front of the Apple Store to get a new 3G Apple iPhone. They think as if life will become more meaningful after attaining this gadget which does roughly almost all the things they do anyway, except now it can be done while waiting for the bus? And even if that was the and all and be all couldn't they WAIT a little longer—you know live life and stuff—so they could stroll right in and get said gadget? The human psyche is an endless pit of perplexitude. I know that's not a real word, but it's my blog and I can do what I want.

This reminds me of my weekend: Pants, La Beautiful, The Gentle Giant, and myself plopped a blanket on the sidewalk in front of the Vista Theater over 1 and a half hours early to see a movie and get good seats. We were there to see The Dark Knight (2008). Was this film worth sitting outside on the sidewalk, waiting for hours, while eating out of a tub of ice cream?

Hells Yes.

Am I a loser?

No, I am a winner!

We got CENTER seats! The screen was NOT in perspective! And the film was pretty, pretty good. The Director/writer, Christopher Nolan got all Joseph Campbell on us with this one. Heath Ledger was so good despite him being dead and everything.

The film was long, yet I was fullfilled. Especially when I see a huge truck "trip", do a backflip, and a Jester, or Joker, or Clown come out of it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pants was slapping me while I was blogging

Oh yes she was.

And then I posted this hilarafunnious video by the great Zach Galafiankis. It's the final installment of his Absolut Vodka ad series featuring Tim and Eric. I have to say I was less enthused by these than his other efforts, but they have grown on me. Maybe because I'm biased towards Zach G's genius. Maybe I was less excited about these at first because the comedy of these videos is more about awkwardness, like when Zach berated Tim and Eric in Part 2 for their "conversation mistake". Or maybe it's about putting comedy and awkwardness together and seeing what happens, hence the unscripted feel of these plugs.
Anyhoo, this is the best one by any measure, so enjoy. I plan to blog later about Zach's Alan Finger character on the defunkt Comedy Central show Dog Bites Man. So hold your breathe until you do and don't die from it.

Find more videos like this on aspecialthing

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


In maybe one of the most fascinating news stories in recent memory, the final chapter has been closed. The Los Angeles judge and jury sent two old ladies, both in their 70s, to prison for the rest of their little old lives.

They befriended homeless men under the pretense of offering them financial help. Once taking life insurance policies on them, they killed them in dark alleys made to look like hit and run accidents. They got away with the first one, but the fuzz busted them the second time.

Despite the fact that they're bad apples, I can't help but have a fascination with bad grandmas.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Hi I'm Mr. Dr. Drunky. Theeth are the only wordths I know of that slusually prepain to drinking a nithe alky bevuage:

"Hey have a:


of my dwink"

Email moi if you snow more words because I slike 'em.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Pants, La Beautiful, The Gentle Giant, and your humble blog-ater hit the galleries for the season finale this weekend. The obligatory group show thing was on the menu. The only piece that I remember seeing that night was this gem by Peter Saul at Honor Fraser's space:
Saul's psychedelic pointilism always tickles my taint(sp?). Steve DiBennedetto's large ugly painting in the same show was kind of ugly in a bad way, but after two beers and a nip of Vodka, it started to look kinda sexy. I'm still deciding if this is a good thing.
We then hit 'Lil Tokyo for some Boba. As you can see, Pants and I got some killer buzzes from the watermelon slush. This gypsy woman who sat next to us (who looked strikingly similar to La Beautiful) pined for a sip. The Gentle Giant looked on with vague disapproval.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm baaaack

I'm back in El Gay after a nice long break. I learned to be better in touch with my creative feelers. All the nature around me converted ulcers to butterflies. I made work that felt good rather than falling into the usual idea of hoping to suffer now and feel good later.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Striped on the Fourth of July


It was an 8+ hour train ride back to NYC on July 4, not counting the wait at the train station beforehand. VSC couldn't get us out of their place fast enough. The infamous Combo (pizza flavor) snack, my fellow Vermont Studio Centerian Julia Hickey, the movie Stripes (1981), and a large Red Stripe beer were my only company. I am convinced Amtrak, while generous with the leg room, designed chairs specifically to keep people awake or cause massive spinal injury. I could not really get too much sleep throughout. I tried fetal postions, the downward dog, the Golden Lotus, the kick-to-the-stomach, all unable to crack the sleep code of these chairs. A bummer since I had slept only 4 hours the night before due to late night packing.
When I arrived in NYC, I was greeted by the familiar smell of piss and hot dog that usually accompany the summer. Yum. But it was a sweet piss smell. It's been two years since I've been here. I later watched fireworks on a roof in Brooklyn with Metal Mags and Collin Cringle. I thought the fireworks display did its job and appeared to set the sky ablaze with color and form. Cringle was 'in' with all the different fireworks names like "The Amazer", "The Supersplat", and my favorite, the "Octosnatch". Oh, and the rain didn't put the fireworks out!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Vermont update number whatever

The fellow residents made this 'poster' the other day. One day bleeds into the next. Only my jug of moonshine to guide the way. The last day is this Friday. Meh.