30 October, 2009

Unicron Spraken

One should make movies innocently — the way Adam and Eve named the animals, their first day in the garden…Learn from your own interior vision of things, as if there had never been a D.W.Griffith, or a [Sergei] Eisenstein, or a [John] Ford, or a [Jean] Renoir, or anybody.

--Orson Welles

29 October, 2009

Welcome to Thursday Night


And how are you doing this fine evening?

Criterion's Little Fuck-Ups

Vice Magazine catalogs ten mind-boggling mistakes that the Criterion people have made.

Branded to Kill


I kind of wish I bought this movie over Tokyo Drifter. Then again, I also own Youth of the Beast and that goes a long way to take the sting out. Now, if only I could find my copy of it. . .

28 October, 2009

The World of 1942

BEING A MOD


IS SOME BULLSHIT SOMETIMES

Fuck Off, Nazi Scum

I like Europe, because they don't have racism over there like we do.

They're just so much more civilized than us.

Bonus!

What do you think of that Mr. Micklewhite?


Yeah, that's what I figured too.

27 October, 2009

Dyatlov Pass Accident

Personally I like the word "Incident" more, but either one will do. Now, go ahead and read up on one of the creepier unsolved mysteries Russia has ever had (that didn't involve the government murdering people en mass).

Russia is a terrible place.

The Old Workhorse

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This was my first car parked outside of the Citibank on Bellflower. She had over 300,000 miles and 20 years to her. She never gave me any trouble and was a fine workhorse until the day she broke. Oh, sure her batteries were fucked up more than a few times and she had an oil leak, and more than a couple of things had either run into her or scraped her, and she probably hit a few things herself. And her roof leaked any time it rained, but she was a fine car. She got me nearly thirty miles to the gallon. That is until the day she her axel broke in half somewhere in East LA. That was a fun night. I remember that Johnny Rotten was on Love Line that night.

The Honda Civic. A fine car indeed.

It's Just One of Those Days

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A flesh-eating weasel day.

Oh well.

3-D

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It's the future!

China

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Yep.

26 October, 2009

This Week in Maurice Micklewhite


Now that's style.

Shit Looks Rough


Yup.

Damnit


I've gone and forgotten where this photo is from.

A little help?

25 October, 2009

Great Moments in Hats


Now there is a man who is confident in his station in life.

Enter the Dragon, et al.

Someone like Jean-Luc Godard is for me intellectual counterfeit money when compared to a good Kung Fu film. --Werner Herzog

I can't tell if Herzog is insulting Godard, Kung Fu, or both, but after watching Enter the Dragon for the first time, I've been thinking about the "good Kung Fu" film. I know I used to watch a ton of them in high school, but sense then, they've kind of fallen off the map for me. When I watched Iron Monkey again over the summer I realized how much of my life had been wasted without Kung Fu in my life.



Truth be told, I wasn't all that impressed with the movie. I'd wager that this is nothing short of blasphemy, but I really don't see what there is to be impressed by. Nothing about it ages all that well and the low-budget style choices that it makes aren't quite over the top enough to be enjoyed for camp value. So, it's just this movie, that isn't entirely uninteresting, sitting on the fence with over-the-top ironic fun on one side and moving artistry (or at least well executed artistry) on the other. And that's no damn fun to watch.

Though I think the movie does need commending for not killing the black guy first.

Besides the poster (which is phenomenal), there is some aesthetic pleasure to be weaned out of the movies. What I find most interesting about the movie isn't the fights (which hold up terribly), but the footage of Hong Kong. I get the feeling that the Hong Kong shot in this movie isn't one that exists any more. If this movie was shot today, it'd probably show the same ghettos, but all of the actors would be parkouring all over the damn place and then the city would just be another prop in an action scene instead of being a place where people sleep, eat, and breath. Dense, worn down spaces like that are always interesting to me. They're like a real life version of Blade Runner, but with slightly better lighting and slightly less acid rain. If there's anything in Enter the Dragon that stands out, it's this.

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For me the ultimate badass in martial arts is always going to be Sonny Chiba. If it wasn't for the Kill Bill movies where he played a version of Hattori Hanzo, he'd probably be best known as Terry Shurugi in The Street Fighter. The Street Fighter is always going to have a special place in my heart. It's gritty and gory and is full some of the best over-acting the genre has ever seen. It's also got a wonderful theme and Chiba is a goddamn maniac in the movie. He fucking destroys everything in that movie. It's great.

Just look at this:



Now, that's a good Kung Fu movie, even if it doesn't actually have any Kung Fu in it.

On the Arcade Fire

I've been conducting an experiment recently. It's a rather simple one and it's been spurred on by the trailer of Where the Wild Things Are. I realized while watching it that, as good as the actual film looks, what was selling it was the song "Wake Up" by the Arcade Fire playing behind it. That song alone made the film seem to be that much more whimsical, which got me thinking: How far does the power of that song extend? Can you put that song over any kids movie and make it seem better? Can you do that with any film? What if the film

So, naturally, I played "Wake Up" to the Schindler's List trailer.

And, maybe it's just the bastard in me, but I think it worked. Not to say that it made me start to itch for a Holocaust melodrama, but it did take quite a bit of sting out of the movie. I suggest you try it, if not with that movie, with something else that makes no sense. I tried it with 300 and it worked pretty well, so maybe anything that's reliant on music in the first place does pretty well in this experiment. It's worth checking out.

Anyways, let me know what you find, if anything.

BONUS:


DOUBLE BONUS:

23 October, 2009

Not Quite a Megabyte

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LAUGH. LAUGH DAMN YOU.

Moscow by Night


Moscow. . . it almost doesn't look like a terrible place from here.

Blackout

Place Unknown


You got any ideas where this place is? I'm guessing Tokyo. That sound right to you? Ah. . . who cares?

Hey, That's Pretty Cool


Evening. How're you doing?

(Originally found at Warren Ellis dot com, photo by Stewart Bremer)

Even More on Writing

A Bad Place to be a Baby

Or anything, for that matter.


This caption doesn't go with this image, but:

Hanifa, a midwife, holds the tool kit that she would bring on her rounds if she could only find the materials to fill it. Though she says things have improved — in the past, she used flints for cutting and piles of earth for soaking up blood — it is still hard for her to find plastic gloves, razors and needles in Badakhshan.

22 October, 2009

How Appropriate

Take a gander at the shittiest vampire merchandise on the free market.

But that Blackula soap is pretty fuckin' dope, though.

Pulp


Hi, welcome to the Gilded Terror. What's up with you?

The Products of Unskilled Labor

Here's something I wrote up for my internship at KABC/KLOS. It's a list of the Top Ten Most Original Serial Killers (plus one, which I didn't write). Besides the fact that I'm pretty proud of how it turned up (and that it's going to be syndicated nationally), I managed to get a long-time favorite and one of the all time, under-appreciated murderers onto the list-- that's right-- the Long Beach Pick-Slayer himself, Walter C. Kaniski is now one among such psychopathic luminaries as Ed Gein and the Zodiac Killer.

It almost makes me tingle with pride.

I just hope this doesn't end up like some kind of Candy-Man-type situation where us speaking his name makes him start murdering people.

21 October, 2009

Gilliam on Vice

Read up, why don't you? Everyone loves a Gilliam!

20 October, 2009

Angelino Half-Jew

Adam Goldberg shows us his least favorite places in LA.

The Fall



Hey, you-- Go watch The Fall. It ain't great, but it's sure pretty as Hell and pretty can go a long way.



I loved that trailer so much, I bought the Beethoven song in it. . . which one that is escapes me at the moment.

I think I've told you before about this movie, but it's still true.

Thus Spake Thompson

Now this, this is writing:
Dear Holly,

Okay, you lazy bitch, I’m getting tired of this waterhead fuckaround that you’re doing with The Rum Diary.

We are not even spinning our wheels aggresivly. It’s like the whole Project got turned over to Zombies who live in cardboard boxes under the Hollywood Freeway… I seem to be the only person who’s doing anything about getting this movie Made. I have rounded up Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Brad Pitt, Nick Nolte & a fine screenwriter from England, named Michael Thomas, who is a very smart boy & has so far been a pleasure to talk to & conspire with…

So there’s yr. fucking Script & all you have to do now is act like a Professional & Pay him. What the hell do you think Making a Movie is all about? Nobody needs to hear any more of that Gibberish about yr. New Mercedes & yr. Ski Trips & how Hopelessly Broke the Shooting Gallery is…. If you’re that fucking Poor you should get out of the Movie Business. It is no place for Amateurs & Dilletants who don’t want to do anything but “take lunch” & Waste serious people’s Time.

Fuck this. We have a good writer, we have the main parts casted & we have a very marketable movie that will not even be hard to make….

And all you are is a goddamn Bystander, making stupid suggestions & jabbering now & then like some half-bright Kid with No Money & No Energy & no focus except on yr. own tits…. I’m sick of hearing about Cuba & Japs & yr. Yo-yo partners who want to change the story because the violence makes them Queasy.

Shit on them. I’d much rather deal with a Live asshole than a Dead worm with No Light in his Eyes…. If you people don’t want to Do Anything with this movie, just cough up the Option & I’ll talk to someone else. The only thing You’re going to get by quitting and curling up in a Fetal position is relentless Grief and Embarrassment. And the one thing you won’t have is Fun…

Okay, That’s my Outburst for today. Let’s hope that it gets Somebody off the dime. And if you don’t Do Something QUICK you’re going to Destroy a very good idea. I’m in the mood to chop yr. fucking hands off.

R.S.V.P

(Signed)

HUNTER

cc:
Depp
Benecio
M. Thomas
Nolte
Shapiro


(Stolen from You Might Find Yourself)

Now That's Wisdom

“Not all things done that are bad are done for bad reason, nor are good things always done for good reasons.”

- Crow Man

(Stolen from Delta Foxtrot)

18 October, 2009

Crap

Shit is popping off in Iran.

I Shall Become a Bat


And that's how you make brilliant sequential art.

(A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments)

Taking People to Task

I had an Afghan-nerd moment tonight that I feel pretty good about, so I thought it was appropriate that the New York Times put this up on their website tonight.



What it is, is a collection of historial photos of Afghanistan, or as the Times phrases it:

Mr. Salisbury’s evocative and smartly composed photos, taken in and around Kabul in 1961, were among the surprising images that greeted Darcy Eveleigh, a Times photo editor, as she peered into old file cabinets in the photo archive to find illustrations for Elisabeth Bumiller’s article on Afghanistan before 1978 in the Week in Review.

“When I opened up the folders, I was floored,” she said. In contact sheet after contact sheet, print after print, Afghanistan’s golden era of stability had been recorded for The Times by staff members better known for their bylines as correspondents: A. M. Rosenthal, Ralph Blumenthal and William Borders among them.


Enjoy.

Post-script: Afghan pirate radio.

They Shoot Porn Stars, Don't They?

Ever feel the need to be disgusted with humanity? Well, look no further than They Shoot Porn Stars, Don't They? Here's a sample:

At the center of the screen, a young woman is perched on the edge of the couch, alone. As the camera closes in on her, she smiles tentatively and crosses her arms protectively.

Her look is that of a 21st century Bettie Page. She has long, dark hair with short bangs and bright blue eyes rimmed with heavy black eyeliner. She wears a cropped black top with a plunging v-neck, a baby pink plaid miniskirt (not unlike the one worn by Britney Spears in the schoolgirl-themed music video for “… Baby One More Time”), and white high heels—otherwise known as “stripper shoes.”

“OK, so what are we going to do?” a man standing off-camera asks in a voice that sounds as if it has been digitally altered. “Should I just beat the shit out of her?”

But, really, the rest of the piece is a fascinating tour of one of the most torrid industries out there.

17 October, 2009

Artsy Saturdays

Ivan the Terrible Kills His Son
"Ivan the Terrible And His Son Ivan, 16 November 1581" by Ilya Repin, 1885

A Blast From the Past

I think I drew this some time in high school. It didn't age all that well-- like most of the things I did in high school. I've got to work on this again, because this is a killer image.

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She's going to make a fine tattoo for someone someday.

COMICS? GET THAT SHIT OUTTA HERE!

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FUCK THIS NOISE!

16 October, 2009

Look at This Fucking Guy


Now here is a guy who seems to know what's going on.

Too Late the Hero


Sometimes I want to be able to speak the Queen's English. Not be English mind you, just have the ability to speak it. Turn it on, turn it off. Impress the ladies, write realistic characters, pull pranks on your loved ones. It'd be great.

I love the posters to older movies. They really don't make them like they used to. Now it's all computer graphics and photography, but back then things fucking exploded. Men were men, dames were dames, and everyone took the rail. Again, I don't want you to think that I want to go to the past, I just want them to make posters like they did in the past.

I don't think this is unreasonable.

Infernal Landscapes


Add China to the list of places I don't want to go to. It looks like Detroit, but nobody speaks English or a Dante poem that doesn't rhyme.

(Via the NY Times.)

(Make sure you look at image number nine.)

15 October, 2009

Photomontage



Mark Weaver can make some pretty cool designs. He knows how to use a mustache. I think we all have a lot to learn from him.

(Official site here.)

On Photography

“If you look through your camera and see an image you’ve seen before, don’t click the shutter.”

- Alexey Brodovitch

Fuck It

Now is the time for Nick Cave.

14 October, 2009

Not to Be Out Crazied

Russia, not one to be over-shadowed by Iran in terms of insanity has this to say about a new military doctrine they're working on:
Russia is weighing changes to its military doctrine that would allow for a “preventive” nuclear strike against its enemies — even those armed only with conventional weapons.

Couldn't they just brag about their dicks or something instead, like civilized human beings?

PS: Being in Afghanistan suuuuuuuuucks.

Life of the Submariner


Can you tell what book he's reading?

Of all the jobs foisted on people during World War II, I imagine that being a submariner has to be one of the more terrible. Sure, flying bombing missions wasn't exactly living at the Ritz, but at least when you were screwed you knew where you were going to explode. Submariners had no such luxury.

Still, though, he looks pretty cozy.

Advice From Moorcock

”Obey and enjoy the genre."
-- Michale Moorcock

Apparently in his prime, Michael Moorcock could complete a twenty-thousand word novel in a week. The reason he worked so feverishly was because he had an addiction to eating at Harrods.

My point is, he would know a thing or two about writing.

13 October, 2009

EXCITING!

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COMICS!

The Other 100 Best Movie Quotes of All Time


I'm not sure why Blade 3 is there, but it is, and it's still a pretty solid list.

Die Walkure


Brünnhilde the Valkyrie by Arthur Rackham.

12 October, 2009

Wisdom in Diagrams

A Brief Thought on Word Use

There's a severe lack of education regarding the use of words. They get thrown around a lot, misused, abused, or worse, hardly get used at all. There's a right word for the right situation and we shouldn't try to pound square pegs into round holes when it comes to words-- especially when it comes to taking the time to actually sit down and commit them to paper. If you're going to go to the effort of immortalizing your words, it should show.

The only reason I bring this up is because of the word "epic." It gets bandied about a lot and it only seems to diminish the impact a word like "epic" should have.

Personally I think that no one should ever use the word "epic" unless there's an elephant involved.

I think we can all agree that this is a reasonable rule to abide by.

The Underground


The iconography of the London Underground-- or any rail line-- is really interesting to me. I think other people have this feeling in them as well, which is probably why it's used so often in art and graphic design. It's because it's fucking cool looking, people!

11 October, 2009

Newest Sequential Art Dump

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09 October, 2009

Shut up, Iran

Just knock it off, already. We get it, you're badasses. Now let's move on.

Cops is Pretty Fantastic

For some reason I spent years of my life not watching Cops. Those were years wasted. Cops is a show, if there ever was one, about the human condition. No fake reality bullshit or gimmicks, just a drunk guy without a shirt trying to outrun a police officer in a patrol car.

That show is a wonder.



(Inspired by Pajiba)

BEING A MAN


MALE!

HEMINGWAY! SHOOTING A TIGER! LESBIANS!

MALE!

08 October, 2009

Afghanistan Don't Fuck Around



Here's some crazy shit if you didn't hear about it already. The attack caused the death of eight Americans (a total, it is constantly pointed out-- rightfully so-- is one of the highest death tolls in the eight years we've been in Afghanistan*), as well as three Afghan soldiers. Besides being a massive, coordinated, and, most importantly, deadly attack, the whole thing reminds me of Vietnam.

Ever since the invasion of Iraq, that comparison has been thrown around a lot to no real gain. It's only confused the wars we're in now and the wars we've fought in the past. Still, though, any time I ever hear about a remote outpost being overrun by insurgents, my mind goes to South-East Asia. I can't help it!



This reminded me of an entry in the diary of Robert Baden-Powell (who basically founded the Boy Scouts). He served in Afghanistan during the Second Anglo-Afghan War and during the occupation, the British had trouble with ghazis attacking their soldiers. It didn't do much to get the British to think about leaving, but that wasn't really the point. The point of the attacks was that, in the attacker's mind, he would instantly be sent to heaven after not only killing an infidel, but dying for his religion. Spotty logic aside, the British had a problem. So, they figured out a solution. What they decided to do was, instead of killing every Afghan they saw with grudge (which would have simply been every Afghan they saw), they would bury every ghazi that attacked them with a dog, thereby-- according to the ghazi's beliefs-- preventing him from going to heaven. Attacks against British soldiers in the streets dropped down to nothing.



Some might think that it's pretty religiously insensitive and I guess, yeah, it is, but it's also a pretty sick burn.

"Oh you're going to fuck with us, eh, chap? Well, we're just going to use your own silly code against you. How about them apples? And what's more is that if you weren't a jerk in the first place we wouldn't even be doing this to you! Think on that! I mean, we can buy the life of one of our soldiers with one dog? Maybe even only part of a dog? Alright. Fine by us. And just look at this place. Dogs bleeding everywhere. Dogs in the mountains. Dogs in the trees. Dogs in the aqueducts. Dogs doing algebra. Dogs riding other dogs. You'd have to pay money not to have a dog in this country! And you know what else! I know people that would consider it an honor to be buried with a dog! Huh? Chew on that!"

Come on, that's kind of funny. Admit it.

I wonder if we still do this with the scumbags we're fighting and if we aren't, why not**? It seems like something that'd be right up the Psychological Warfare people's alley. Those guys love a good practical joke. Then again I don't see the need to bring the poor dogs into this. Poor guys probably have bad enough times.

Oh well. Until then.



*Bloody hell. We've been in Afghanistan for eight years? When did that happen? That's over a third of my life. Jeepers H. Crackers. I guess when you think about it, it's kind of encouraging. I mean, even though I haven't done too much with my life in that amount of time, it seems that neither has Afghanistan.

**Stupid question, I know.

So I've Been Interning

I recently obtained an internship at KLOS/KABC. It's not a bad gig. I'm getting a taste for the slow death that is working in an office for eight hours a day, but that's okay. I'm getting experience and doing things that I'd probably do for fun anyways. Stuff like this. Go ahead. Click on it. That shit is white hot.

07 October, 2009

Afghanistan is Terrible


Here's Afghanistan's current spring fashion now and for the next three hundred years.

I have a new theory and I want someone to do some actual investigating on this. I think that the crappiness of a country has a direct correlation to how many animal fights they have there. Think about it. Afghanistan loves dog fights (or anything fights, really), Mexico has cock fights, and I'm sure we can dig something up with Somalia or another one of the screwier African nations. I'm serious. Knock out the bear fights and there's a chance for a better future.

Sleep on it, gentle readers.

(Photo by Thomas Abercrombie)

Penguins Are Not For Pillows


Tonight is the night for silly pictures of animals.

Penguins are one of these silly animals.

Admit it, though, that'd be a rad pillow.

Ham Time


IT IS NOT A HAM BUT IT WILL DO

06 October, 2009

The Siege of Paris


"The Siege of Paris in 1871," Jean-Louis Ernest Meissonier, 1884.