Monday, January 29, 2007

A Trip Through Time, Space, And Rehab.

Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut
2001, USA
Richard Kelly
DVD




The most impressive thing about this newly minted cult classic about time travel and schizophrenia is that the film itself is a portal through time. By watching Donnie Darko, I was catapulted 2 hours and 9 minutes into the future, where boredom reigns supreme, and simultaneously launched back to a time where taking Ketamine was cool. Sadly, even by watching the film in reverse, there is no way to get your 2 hours back, but at least when the lights go back on, you don't feel quite so much like you're on a couple bumps of disassociative anesthetic.


One of the special features on the DVD.


The original cut of Donnie Darko is a dreamy, unsettling, masterpiece of poetic science fiction. The director's cut, on the other hand, is long. That's probably the only thing I can say about it. If you've got enough drugs running through your system, or at least drifting about in the fluid of your spinal column, this movie will be the greatest thing since the stash can and the coke spoon. If, however, you're like me, and have about as much patience for indulgent club-kid trip-outs as you do for waiting on hold to the best of Aqua, this film will be about as palatable as Go, except much, much slower. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Darko, a mental disturbed teen who narrowly escapes death and then becomes convinced he's living in a parallel universe, a blip in the space-time continuum. In order to set things right and save Jena Malone's life, he must hallucinate a lot of those water things from The Abyss, pose his head like Pyle from Full Metal Jacket, and kill a guy in bunny suit. Don't worry, this all makes sense if you've gone retarded from chemicals, and it's way better than reading a book. It joins the ranks of other important films in drug culture, and shines as one of the jewels of the paper Burger King crown of trashy cinema.

1) Trainspotting. A fantastic film, exhilarating and fresh, that suffers only slightly from the fact that its only purpose seems to be to get ravers hooked on smack.

2) Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. Children's movies + LSD = annoying Marilyn Manson fans.

3) Spun. Fuck you. I could cut a single frame from a bunch of NFB documentaries and shake them in a bag full of splicing tape and make a better movie than this piece of shit seizure. Sure, it's directed by one of the old percussionists from Bathory, but he edits like drummers do blast beats, and makes drug use look like watching music videos on fast forward.

4) Requiem For A Dream. This is like the Reefer Madness for the 90s, teaching the viewer that if you do drugs, your arm will fall off, or you'll get fucked in the ass with a dildo while the entire board of directors for Nortel watches.

5) Dazed and Confused. A great film ruined by a retarded audience. I shudder to think of the nuances of Richard Linklater's drowsy film lost in a haze of pot smoke in rep theatres, the sound lost in the crackling of burning Royal Blunt papers and the snitching of bugs crawling through matted dreadlocks. It's like playing Mozart at an after-hours club, or reading Dante to women.

Still, Donnie Darko is a great film. Or rather, was a great film, until Richard Kelly got his hands on it again. The morning after watching the director's cut, all I'm left with is a bad headache, a 2-hour chunk of missing time. And I didn’t even get to take any Ketamine.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Light, Human, and Sexual. Just The Way I Like My Children.

Little Children
2006, USA
Todd Fields
35mm


It's not every day you come across a child molestation comedy. Well, not a legal one, at least. The Internet is full of surprises, but a lot of them will get your IP address tracked by the FBI, so it's best to leave well enough alone. Sometimes, no matter how much you'd like to see a naked woman and a pack of wild dogs driven by equal parts lust and hunger, you should just stick to surfing for pictures of Britney Spears' shaved vagina like everybody else. I hear TMZ or whatever crap website Perez Hilton complains about not being famous on has some charming pictures of Lindsay Lohan looking like her coke buzz is wearing off. Maybe check that out instead of googling "funny pederast".





Surpringly, it took me about 20 minutes to find this photo. A 20 seconds to get off to it.



Or, alternately, watch Little Children, a strangely comic look at the dark underbelly of suburbia. A subject explored in only 2 to 3 hundred films in the past few years, Little Children is a refreshingly light take on adultery, pedophilia, and pornography. It's been noted that couples who laugh during sex have sex more often, so judging by the way I responded to this film, I should be quite busy with the next Girl Scout troop I meet. Starring Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly, and several people with disturbingly pock- marked faces, the film is certainly not farce or satire, but the tone isn't weighed down by the usual grimness and sobriety that burden films of this type. Instead, there's a humanity and a natural sense of humor. And coupled with narration that sounds like William Burroughs reading fairy tales through a heroin nod, there's a dreamy, upbeat feel to the film.

Speaking of heroin, Winslet is ours, with an added 'e'. She's a bad mother, as inattentive to her daughter as she is to her bushy eyebrows, who starts up a torrid affair with the guy from Angels In America after catching her husband sniffing mail order panties and masturbating to internet porn. Meanwhile, a convicted sex offender moves into the neighborhood, which stirs up a whole hornet's nest worth of trouble. Director Todd Field clearly has learned a great deal about evoking humanity and emotion without grinding things to a heavy- handed halt while voicing Ol' Drippy on Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and those lessons come into play here. By maintaining a non-judgmental moral stance, and letting the characters and situations speak for themselves, Little Children manages to balance the tightrope between humor and exploitation, humanity and drama, and creates a warm, realistic film. For more information, try googling 'realistic pedophile movie'. Just don't tell the FBI I told you to.

Underage? Read a PG-13 review at The Comic Book Bin. Then come over to my house and let me watch you touch yourself. Girls and effeminate boys only need apply.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Like Where's Waldo, But You're Looking For The Actual Movie Review.

The Queen
2006, UK
Stephen Frears
35mm



Honestly, I don't know what the big deal with Princess Diana was. People keep claiming her transformation from school teacher to princess was some sort of fairy tale, but all the fairy tales I've ever read at least had a cool monster or two to menace the heroine, not some inbred blue-blood with skin hanging off his face like a coat on a hook. Diana was like the Paris Hilton of Britain, completely devoid of any skill or talent, but famous nonetheless. Of course, her notoriety came from disliking land mines and waving like golf fans clap, instead of from taking an awkward cum shot and throwing up Grey Goose vodka, but she's useless nonetheless. Still, her death inexplicably shook the world, in one of those really gay outpourings of useless grief. It's like the whole planet had a really cute dog that got hit by a train. Even useless layabouts like Britney Spears are at least famous for a reason, which is they have big tits and can stitch together a vocal track with Pro tools, but celebrities who are famous for no reason are infuriating. And Diana and Paris Hilton are by no means the only ones who have captured the public eye seemingly accidentally.



There. That should be worth a few more hits. But not the kind I'm looking for, which would break her nose.


1) Nicole Ritchie. Famous for being friends with someone who's famous. Also for looking kind of like a shaved shitzu.



2) Anna Nicole Smith. Was she a Playboy model? Was that it? Posing with your top off in a magazine so tame it wouldn't get a 13 year-old boy off is enough to lead to a TV show? I can't wait for the new sitcom starring that girl from the VO5 Hot Oil ads. Plus, Smith’s got tits like milk bags, which should be enough to disqualify you from wearing tight clothing, let alone prancing around in the buff.



3) Ashlee Simpson. This is the only recording artist I know who is famous for not singing. Or she was. Then, she got famous for getting a nose job, a career move that turned out great for Jennifer Grey, and will no doubt work wonders for the bony sister of a famous dimwit. Before, with her enormous nose, there was at least something on her face to distract from her vapid stare, which drifted unfocused around the room like a co-ed at her first keg party. Except, unlike the co-ed, Simpson’s evening ends with her spending $10 000 on surgery instead of throwing up in a bathtub while being sodomized by a football player. Life is not fair.



What a disgusting bunch. Like Diana, who incidentally is not in The Queen, a subtle and enthralling story of the Royal Family's public relations crisis after the princess’ death that featuring a Golden Globe-winning performance by Helen Mirren, these people are universally loved for no valid reason. They're famous because they're celebrities, and celebrities because they're famous. It's like we're caught in a time look, a self-fulfilling prophecy, a snake eating its own tail, which by default, is shitting in it's own mouth. And in ours.

Underage? Read a PG-13 review at The Comic Book Bin. Then come over to my house and let me watch you touch yourself. Girls and effeminate boys only need apply.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Guilt Trips and Gold Teeth.

Blood Diamond
2006, USA
Edward Zwick
35mm


Remind me never to go to Africa. Not that my going was ever a particular danger, since I enjoy visiting areas where the culinary specialties run a bit more exotic than dirt and grubs, but now I'm especially sure. When I go on vacation, I like to keep all my limbs attached to the trunk of my body, as opposed to twitching in the iron rich dust like maggots in bone meal. The whole point of this movie, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a Rhodesian diamond smuggler/mercenary, Djimon Honsou as a fisherman with a hidden gem, and Jennifer Connelly as Lois Lane, seems to be to make me feel guilty for buying conflict diamonds. Well, it's not going to fly. Sure, the trade results in the deaths of thousands in slave camps, civil war, and general strife, but it does also results in cheap diamonds. And ultimately, when I'm spelling my own name on my platinum fronts, I try to be cost effective, in order to still have money for spinning hubcaps, fur coats, and various other gaudy accoutrements better suited for a Valley Girl Barbie than a grown man. It's all about value, and since I would normally pay extra for merchandise someone has died over, like my Bonnie and Clyde death car and Anne Frank oven knob, those blood diamonds are a real steal. Plus, I wouldn't want the Chinese pre-teen ghosts who haunt my Nike Air Force Ones to feel lonely. I also have a belt buckle that speaks in tongues, and a dress that's possessed by the spirits of three plus-sized prostitutes and a senator's daughter.




That's how I roll. Like an idiot.



But that's beside the point. I don't know why I should feel guilty about this mass genocide supporting my swap meet jewelry. After all, it's just Africa. Sure, the continent is the cradle of civilization. But, it's also the cradle of HIV and those annoying Christian buy-a-black-baby commercials. In fact, that's what these movie is, one of those stupid infomercials with the kids with swollen stomachs and crusted eyelids covered in insects while a white guy in a beard and a C level soap opera star try to extort money out of teary-eyed viewers. In Blood Diamond, the bearded white guy is played by Jennifer Connelly, as the moral center of the film. She does this completely oblivious to the fact that portraying a white American as the moral center in Africa is like, well, portraying a white American as the moral center of anything. Americans like to think of themselves as John Wayne's, tough-but-fair, violent-but-just vigilantes who do the right thing no matter what, when in reality they're just that Jared guy from the Subway ads pre-diet: fat, retarded children who consume all they encounter in a cocoon of oblivious entitlement. They couldn't form the moral center of a Twinkie, let alone a continent.

And this reference to deliciously sickly sweetness is no accident. While most of Blood Diamond is a realistic, gripping, and violent exploration of a country tearing itself and its people to pieces, it's peppered with saccharine, cheaply melodramatic scenes that stick out and distract from all the machete hacking and gunshot wounds. It's a shame really, that the pockets of histrionic emotion spoil the film, like cooking clam chowder with icing sugar instead of flour, because Leonardo DiCaprio is great in it. One of the few instances in which he seems like a character instead of a Tiger Beat cover, DiCaprio's Danny Archer is amoral but intensely likeable, evil but entertaining, Dennis the Menace with a Mauser instead of a slingshot. As awful as he his, he’s the real draw of the film. They should have made his character the American.

Underage? Read a PG-13 review at The Comic Book Bin. Then come over to my house and let me watch you touch yourself. Girls and effeminate boys only need apply.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

A Sweet Tooth, And A Nose For Meth.

Apocalypto
2006, USA
Mel Gibson
35mm



As far as Hollywood filmmaking goes, Mel Gibson makes flawless diamonds of cinematic perfection. Wait, did I say 'diamond'? Because I meant 'one of those sugar crystal rings you get from candy machines in bus stations'. This movie is Cheez Wiz. I'm not trying to be stuck up or elitist, but I don't drive a fucking Chevy and I've got all my teeth, so there's no way I'm falling for this bullshit. It's like hanging on the edge of your seat to find out how Walker, Texas Ranger is going to end. I'd say this movie is formulaic, but that would imply that math was involved in the computation of the plot. Instead, I'm guessing they used a ruler, drawing a straight line from point A to point B. So, less algebra and more shop class, which is exactly the workmanlike approach to filmmaking that ruins Mel Gibson movies. These are films for people who get confused by wrestling plotlines, who buy hot dogs from 7-11, who mix Pepsi and Orange crush in their Big Gulps. These are films for the unwashed, Old Spiced masses, full of action, romance, pseudo-Christian morality, and a rousing score.


The Decline of Western Civilization, Part 1.


Apocalypto is five episodes of Cops strung together. Everyone has bad teeth, the theatre smells like breath on a Sunday morning, and, just like Cops, I can't understand what anyone in the movie is saying because they're all Spanish. Or Mexican or Indian or whatever, point is they're brown and probably on crystal meth. That would explain why the whole movie is
ephedrine, border patrol minutes behind. Apparently, in the days before the age of home electronics, this is what you did instead of staying up for three days taking apart a VCR then dying of renal failure. Also, you set a lot of traps like a particularly vicious Roadrunner cartoon. Jaguar Paw is a noble Mexican living with his family in small jungle village, for from the temptations of the big city. His idyllic,childishly pastoral existence is shattered, however, when his village is attacked by a bunch of guys with tattoos and body piercing, provingthat Mel Gibson has the same phobias as my mother.





The rest of the movie, aside from the running, concerns itself with the essential rural/urban conflict that has inflamed Christian fundamentalists since the times of Sodom, Gomorrah, and Las Vegas. Most Bible thumpers would have you believe that living in the country is like a vacation for the soul, and we'd all pick daisies and drink fresh cream while our children skipped in fields of golden wheat and laughed along with the sound of church bells. The city, on the other hand, is a suppurating sore of vice and sin, where the screams of the innocent are silenced only by the cocks of the guilty. In reality, the only people I know who moved to the country did so in order they could beat their wives without the neighbors calling the police. Still, the reactionary moral posturing is ever-present and obvious in this film, with the Mayan city portrayed as full of obese children with shaved eyebrows, like they've spent their entire lives immobile, stuffed full of cocoa and rubbing themselves until the hair comes off. Gibson's juvenile portrayal is just subversive enough that it plays into the Bible Belt's subconscious prejudices and fear of the other without getting too offensive, with enough trappings of art-house respectability to win over some of the film critics in the red states. By subtitling the film, Gibson attempts to move it away from the simplistic 80s action movie template to a more universal context, making it look like not just Texas hates Mexicans. Sadly, he's probably right, and what's worse, I'm pretty sure the whole world loves those little candy rings, too.

Underage? Read a PG-13 review at The Comic Book Bin. Then come over to my house and let me watch you touch yourself. Girls and effeminate boys only need apply.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Brit Popculture.

Billy Liar
1963, UK
John Schlesinger
DVD



The British sense of humor is a difficult thing to define, primarily because it doesn’t seem to exist. The Brits have a sense of the absurd, certainly, as evidenced by Monty Python and Tony Blair, and they do pronounce things amusingly, but if those were the sole criteria for being funny, we'd all be listening to stand up recordings of people from Alabama reading from university textbooks. Still, it seems to be quite popular among older white parents and kids who like calculus. That's not to say that early 60s British comedy Billy Liar isn't a good movie. With its childlike play between fantasy and reality, childhood and maturity, this story of a creative but flighty young man with a Peter-Pan-complex toys between being lighthearted and tragic, like a conversation with me when I haven't been taking my Lithium. But the real highlight of the film is its rapid-fire, improvisational dialogue. American comedies of the same period were all weighty, clunky affairs, every joke telegraphed and the plot so constructed it feels like it was directed by cranes. Even now, I picture most Hollywood comedies as being helmed by some boorish, whiskey-fattened lout, as if James Belushi has been behind the camera of every movie ever made. So while Billy Liar never made me laugh, it never made me want to give up laughing for fear the sound might carry on a southerly blowing wind current and encourage a sequel to Beer Fest. I've actually been on a humor strike since they cancelled Futurama, replacing it with the preening excuse for a post-football drinking game that is Family Guy. Did Stewie say something as if he were a cross between James Mason and Hitler? Take another shot of Jagermeister, frat boy. But don't drink too much! You'll want to be able to remember enough to quote the whole fucking thing in the back of Early American Literature class, should your voice be too hoarse to do a good impression of Cartman from South Park.



Comic genius. I hope Chris Farley plays him in the feature film. In hell.




In fact, what's even the point in smiling? And I say that not because I've spent too much money on Joy Division CDs. It's just that trying to find a good comedy is like finding a virgin at a Peaches concert; it takes a really long time, and once you finally succeed, you've forgotten how to either laugh or tie a ball gag, depending on which stream of metaphor you're following. There hasn't been a funny movie made since 1993, when Army of Darkness reached a zenith in comedic genius and set up the inevitable long decline that follows such a lofty peak. And now, as we wallow in the rut left behind by such mighty giants as Army of Darkness and Billy Liar, we can only let the facial muscles atrophy as we watch humor fade away, leaving us only with reruns of Three's Company and ball gag jokes.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Reich & Roll 2007


Night Of The Living Metalcore Retards.

Day of the Dead
1985, USA
George A. Romero
DVD



Day of the Dead has long been regarded as the least of George A. Romero's Dead films. Thankfully for fans, Romero had the decency to make a much crappier film with Land of the Dead, causing the third movie in the series to rise leaps and bounds in comparative quality. And that's nothing to scoff at. People have made very good livings being bad at what they do, but at least being better than their competition. American Idol is a prime example of this phenomenon. No one on that show is capable of doing anything other than modulate their voices hysterically like an Arab woman ululated over the Israeli-bullet-riddled body of her son. However, some of them wail a little more or less atonally than others, which apparently is enough to make Simon Cowell stop imitating Anne Robinson long enough to give out some grudging praise. Jessica Simpson looks like a talent because she's not quite as shrill as her hook-nosed, aggressively ignorant sister, and the only reason that people watch CBS Evening News with Katie Couric is that they can't cum watching war footage when it's narrated by Tom Brokaw.


I can't finish until someone who sounds like my kindergarten teacher tells me how tragic this is.


Following the pattern of the series, Day of the Dead has humanity reduced to its last dying embers, with a few soldiers and scientists ensconced in an underground bunker, struggling to cure the zombie epidemic that has already destroyed civilization. More claustrophobic and contained than its predecessor, Dawn of the Dead, the film is also more nihilistic, with a real sense of entropy pervading the film. As the zombies fitfully wander about, reduced to nothing but instinctual cues and memories of their past lives, so do the humans, going through the motions of productivity amid the ruins of humanity. But yet, it still has the happiest ending of all the films, with the altruistic heroes ending their ordeal on a sunny beach, lounging, fishing, and preparing to inbreed themselves into a new world.



What's best about this movie is, of course, the pet zombie they train, who is capable of rudimentary thought and simplistic, primal instincts. Since this movie was made in 1985, that would give the mindless hordes bred from this monstrosity time to grow up and put Atreyu in their Friend List on MySpace. It all makes sense now. The hair that looks like it was cut with a machete to crudely resemble a Motley Crue groupie from the 80s, the toothpick-leg jeans like a second, weathered skin, the shoes that look like checkered slippers so they can slide easily over feet swollen with decay, it’s all so obvious; emo kids are the undead. This explains why their entire vernacular is imitated from those 90s skatepunks who have since grown up to work in kitchens. They’re just monkeys aping zoo janitors. Their bite appears to be contagious, judging from the fact that I can't pass a radio without hearing My Chemical Romance whining about something, and that everyone on the subway at 11 PM looks like they slept outside waiting in line to get the same Avenged Sevenfold belt buckle. They stink of that foul mix of tobacco you get when you smoke whatever you can bum outside the fire doors in high school, and have that kind of carefully constructed disheveled look that speaks to either a perfectly embalmed corpse mussing its suit climbing out of a grave, or a few hours in the bathroom with a case of that Tigi BedHead mousse. And yet, with all these similarities, I'm still not allowed to shoot them in the head whenever they pull out their Blackberrys and text someone a link to a Hedley video on YouTube. Compared to Day of the Dead, this is hell.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

High on Hatred.

Pusher
1996, Denmark
Nicolas Winding Refn
DVD

There's no such thing as a cool drug dealer. They subsist on misery, despair, and stupid looking track pants. Despite what shitty dope movies marketed at retarded club kids would have you believe, drug dealers have their 'jobs' not because they're bad asses you need to admire, but rather because it's the only profession where you can sleep until 3 pm, watch The Price Is Right everyday, and still make the rent on their shitty bachelor apartment that smells like sweat and old beer. Yes, I know you wish your life was like Go, but it's not. Instead, you're buying coke off a scabby high school drop out who doesn't remember your name. But, that won't stop you from pretending you played WWF Smackdown on his 52' plasma screen so you can impress the 18 year old girl you're looking to bang with how hard you are. Unless you're a girl, in which case you're trying to impress everyone with how hard you can party, which is shorthand for saying how quickly you can pass out with your top off in a room full of guys who have never had sex sober.


The best way to get popular in high school.


Uh, where was I? Oh yeah, Pusher. Well, Pusher is not a good movie. It doesn't seem to have much of a point, and there's not a single character in the whole film that I wouldn't cross the street to avoid, much less stare at for an hour and 42 minutes. But, in the context of drug movies, when placed along side thinly veiled glorifications of drug culture like Trainspotting, Go, and Human Traffic, Pusher really stands out as a brutal antithesis. It's not that's it's a particularly grim or frightening portrayal, but it does show drug culture the way it is: depressing, stagnant, and full of middle aged guys with gold jewelry moving powder down the drug chain until it makes itself up the nose of a 23 year-old at a Prodigy concert. Never mind the damage drugs do to your body, what about the damage they do to your mind, when all you're capable of talking about is how high you got at Osheaga, and how hung over you are today? Fuck! Talk about something else! Anything else! Quit comparing hash oils and coke prices! I like eggs, but you don't see me spending all day loudly arguing over the merits of white versus brown, how good my grocer is, or how big the omelet I ate last night was. You're like a broken record, and the music fucking sucks.


Uh, where was I? Oh, yeah, Pusher. Yeah, the movie's Danish, or some country where the language sounds like gay German. It's about a drug dealer, as you may have guessed, who owes his supplier some money, then ends up owing him some more money, and then some more. Nothing really happens, aside from this guy getting more and more screwed, and then things end really abruptly. The film is shot with a hand-held, Run Lola Run sense of pacing, emphasizing the grittiness of the story, and trying to make a lifestyle that's essentially a lot of sitting in parked cars waiting for the cell phone to ring look exciting. It sort of works, I guess, because some people get their heads beaten in with baseball bats, but in the end it doesn't seem worth it. The two leads look like Tom Sizemore and a shark, respectively, and the movie makes you feel so ugly and depressed, you'll need to get right fucked up afterwards.

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Short, And Anything But Sweet. Unless You Find Rape Romantic. And Hey, That's Your Business.

All That Heaven Allows
1955, USA
Douglas Sirk
DVD


Douglas Sirk is the king of the melodrama, which means he was the queen of the soap opera. 'Melodrama' is just a nice way of saying 'regurgitated Sweet 'N' Low', of course, so that film professors can teach classes without sounding like the cinematic version of Oprah's Book Club, but we'll grant that conceit for now and move on. All of his films include tortured love that for some reason or another dare not speak its name, the scorn of society heaped upon trembling shoulders, and scores that swell like my crotch during a Jerry's Kids Telethon. As you can see, I as well suffer from a love that dare not speak its name, which is that I like to fuck retarded children, but you don't see any Technicolor cameras following me around in Panavision. It's a little unfair, I think, that certain, let's say peccadilloes, are privileged, whereas others are still vilified. Jane Wyman can date a bohemian tree-planter in All That Heaven Allows, and she gets a movie made about her. I rape my way through one short bus and I end up spending 6 months in a hospital for sex offenders. It's just not fair.



The shag-wagon.

The love that dare not speak its name, in the particular case of All That Heaven Allows, is inter-class dating with an age difference. The first part of the movie is encumbered by clunky, over-expository dialogue, but after we meet the characters, primarily recently widowed Wyman and gardener love interest, this move a long a little more rapidly, allowing the beautiful cinematography and Sirk's patented overly-dramatic framing to take center stage to the weepy story. Amusingly enough, the lower class gardener is played by Rock Hudson, which means that the scandal in reality is Jane Wyman fucking a gay guy with AIDS. But no one knew that the time, which is always the case when you're giving a girl an STD. Or, in my case, a 6-year-old boy with Down's Syndrome, riding the bus to school.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

I'm Not Racist. Some Of My Best T-Shirts Are Black.

Roots, Episode 3
1977, USA
Marvin J. Chompsky, John Erman, David Greene, Gilbert Moses
VHS


I've learned a lot from Roots, through the television miniseries' subtle examination of the history of the African in America, tracing their journey from slavery to The Flavor of Love 2. I don't know what the crap is up with that show, but that seems an awfully tacky way to cap a 250-year journey, like ending a 5 course meal with a bucket of fried chicken. For those of you unfamiliar with that particular reality TV gem, I feel like it gives a much better perspective of the black experience than Roots. In it, disfigured retard Flavor Flav lounges around in his nouveau riche mansion, enveloped in garish clown clothing and surrounded by gaggles of ugly hood rats vying for the honor of getting an STD from the confused half of Public Enemy. But still, I learned more from Roots. In fact, I've learned so much, I think my brain is so full I'll have to stop watching this pedantic, lecturing nonsense. In this episode, Geordie Laforge grows up into that guy from Good Times, and gets his foot cut off by slave catchers. Also, Louis Gossett Jr dies, though sadly not soon enough to prevent his role in Diggstown. While I may not continue with the series much further, I will nevertheless take the time to share some of the important lessons I've learned from this enlightening show, which presumes that the viewer is some sort of ignorant plantation owner requiring slow repetition of an after-school-special-quality.



250 years of history ends here. I'm glad I get to see it.

1) You used to be able to buy and sell black people. Why you would want to do that is beyond me. The overhead costs for owning a Negro must be astronomical. The malt liquor bills alone would bankrupt all but the wealthiest tobacco farmer, plus I prefer my silverware in the kitchen drawer, not pawned to buy Jamaican press. This explains why life is so cheap in the 'hood, or so the nearly indecipherable mumblings of 50 Cent would have me believe.

2) Coloreds were forbidden to read in the days of the slave trade. This explains why they refuse to do so now, and every rap album is titled with a crude approximation of phonetics.

3) Slaves were assigned their names instead of being allowed to use their own. This explains the term 'slave name', and the myriad of modern colored names created by mixing attitudes of rebellion, a bunch of 'y's, and the suffix '-esha'.

And, I think that's about it for me and Roots. I might try to pick up the rest of the series later on, but odds are I'm done. After all, I know how the plight of the African American ends. In a gaudy mansion, surrounded by scabby hookers.

More Roots: Episode 1, Episode 2

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