With occasional reflection on the perpetual absurdity/intrigue of life and society in general.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday, June 6, 2016

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Stephin Merritt - I Don't Want To Get Over You - Song for the Day



Arts & Crass: The Highbrow Lowbrow Film Podcast: Ep. 4: Brain Damage and The Son

Arts & Crass: The Highbrow Lowbrow Film Podcast: Ep. 4: Brain Damage and The Son: In Episode 4, Tod and Cullen talk about Brain Damage (Henenlotter, 1988), The Son (Dardenne & Dardenne, 2002), the horror host tradition, and the ethics of addressing juvenile delinquency.

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Link to listen to Ep. 4: https://ia800507.us.archive.org/19/items/ArtsCrassEp.4BrainDamageAndTheSon/Arts&Crass%20Ep.%204%20-%20Brain%20Damage%20and%20The%20Son.mp3

Arts & Crass: The Highbrow Lowbrow Film Podcast: Ep. 3: Cannibal Holocaust and The 400 Blows

Arts & Crass: The Highbrow Lowbrow Film Podcast: Ep. 3: Cannibal Holocaust and The 400 Blows: In Episode 3, Tod and Cullen discuss Cannibal Holocaust (Deodato, 1980), The 400 Blows (Truffaut, 1959), European fascism, and Truffaut's obsession with Hitchcock.

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Link to listen to Ep. 3: https://archive.org/download/ArtsCrassEp.2CannibalHolocaustAndThe400Blows/Arts&Crass%20Ep.%202%20-%20Cannibal%20Holocaust%20and%20The%20400%20Blows.mp3

Arts & Crass: The Highbrow Lowbrow Film Podcast: Ep. 2: La Strada & Return of the Living Dead

Arts & Crass: The Highbrow Lowbrow Film Podcast: Ep. 2: La Strada & Return of the Living Dead: Tod and Cullen discuss La Strada (Fellini, 1954) and Return of the Living Dead (O'Bannon, 1985)


Link to listen to Ep. 2:
https://archive.org/details/ArtsCrassEp.2LaStradaAndReturnOfTheLivingDead

Arts & Crass: The Highbrow Lowbrow Film Podcast - with Cullen and Tod

The Highbrow Lowbrow Film Podcast with Cullen Wade and Tod Gorman
Tod (arthouse film-school rebel) and Cullen (cultured gorehound) subject each other to films they wouldn't watch otherwise.
WARNING: All films are spoiled!

It's about this simple:  Tod loves arthouse films. 
                                   Cullen loves horror films. 
                                   Tod hasn't seen many horror films. 
                                   Cullen hasn't seen many arthouse films. 
                                   Cultural exchange ensues.

That's right, yours truly and Cullen Wade, good friend/fellow cinephile (aka film nerd) and biab contributor, have been recording and broadcasting a BRILLIANTLY UNIQUE (ummm?) film podcast for nearly a year now.  Yes, I am just now getting it posted to the blog.

It has been engaging, educational, cinematically challenging and an all around positive experience. Actually, to ruin any cool I may have about personal projects, I'm  having a blast with this one.  What better forum could a hopeless film nerd ask for? - especially counter to one of my elite favorite film-banter partners.  And now I can at least fake some level of savvy dirty knowledge of cult horror/gore with the best of them - well, at least not sound like a complete dumdum for about five minutes of passionate horror-film chat.
You actually could have heard us discuss all of this and much more in the episode 10 anniversary round-up, had we not so very sadly lost episodes 7-11 in the ever fatal mac hard-drive crash (unedited and not backed up - that's right, kids).  So, there are technically 13 episodes, one of which is a two-part special edition, and two more soon to be posted (however, 6 episodes shall remain a mystery, at least for the time being - there is an unpublished pilot/Ep.1).  So, that's 16 episodes minus 6 for a soon to be grand total of 10 released episodes.  Wow, that was probably unnecessary.

I will continue to embed each episode as a running series on boy in a box, but you can find all episodes streaming or as downloads at Arts & Crass: The Highbrow Lowbrow Film Podcast blog, on iTunes, Facebook and a handful of other places.  As with any venture, I'm sure we got off to a rocky start, being relatively new to voice radio, but we hit our stride relatively quickly and naturally (i think).  We have quite a few less "ums" and "uhs" than early on, and ever evolving dialogue and cinematic analysis - with heart.  Hope you enjoy - at least a little.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fellowman - Sobriety (Official Video) - boy in a box productions

- directed by tod gorman and co-produced by boy in a box productions
- other well deserved credits included below the video 


Published on May 10, 2016
Directed & edited by:  Tod Gorman (boy in a box productions)
Shot by:  Arthur Crafaik & Tod Gorman
Starring:  Joe Roberts, Harli Saxon, Bernard Hankins, Michael Monroe, Tracy Saxon, Mike White, Louis Hampton, Phil Green, Jon Fields, Dillon Koon, Ohmar, Addison Dodds and Fellowman.

Budget:  $0 - $100
Locations:  Charlottesville, VA

Fellowman - Raw Data Vol. 1 mixtape available now at http://fellowmanrap.bandcamp.com/
Facebook: Spititout Inc
Instagram: fellowman_spititout
Twitter: Spititout_inc

Special thanks to Joseph Roberts (introducing and starring), Arthur Crafaik (camera, production and all around go-to), Tracy, Bernard, Mike, Mike, Lou, Jon, Ohmar, Addison, Dillon, Harli, 
D Johnson, Ed and all of the many extras and friends that assisted generously with their time and talents, and, of course, Cullen - for driving the creative process and project, and for offering us some real hip-hop with soul.


For further info and music by Fellowman, I highly encourage you to visit the following links.
Link to Fellowman Bandcamp page:  http://fellowmanrap.bandcamp.com/releases

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Bressonian Quote #23 - Notes from a Master Filmmaker

  
"Cinematographer's film where expression is obtained by relations of images and of sounds, and not by a mimicry done with gestures and intonations of voice (whether actors' or non-actors').  One that does not analyze or explain.  That recomposes."  Robert Bresson

From:  Notes sur le Cinematographe/Notes on the Cinematographer (1975)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Graduation Advice from 'the peoples' pervert' - John Waters’ RISD 2015 Commencement Speech

Why can't we all be so lucky as to have a brilliantly twisted mad man of this caliber to offer us advice upon graduation from art school/film school?  The Class of 2015 at RISD was treated with face to face guidance from the master of transgressive independent cinema himself, John Waters.  I can't even remember who spoke at my graduation. Wait, was I even at my graduation?  Hmm?  Can't remember that either.  Enjoy, and be sure to watch the video posted below.

Link to full article:  Addicting Info - Best Graduation Advice Ever: "Go Out Into The World And F*ck It Up Beautifully"

If you don’t have time to watch Waters’ entire 12-minute speech, here are the top 13 take-aways.
  1. Get used to rejection: “Hopefully you have been taught never to fear rejection in the workplace. Remember, a no is free.”
  2. Find your partners in crime: “A career in the arts is like a hitchhiking trip. All you need is one person to say “Get in” and off you go. And then the confidence begins.”
  3. Stay inspired: “If you’re a visual artist, go see the shows in the galleries that are frantically competing to find the one bad neighborhood left in Manhattan to open up in.”
  4. Ask you’d make something better: “Watch every movie that gets a negative review in the New York Times and figure out what the director did wrong.”
  5. Keep informed: “Read, read, read!”
  6. Learn from your enemies: “Listen to your political enemies, especially the smart ones, and then figure out a way to make them laugh.”
  7. Hone your sense of humor: “Humor is always the best defense and weapon. If you can make an idiot laugh, they’ll at least pause and listen before they do something stupid – to you.”
  8. Use the world for artistic inspiration: “Watch people on the streets. Spy, be nosy, eavesdrop.”
  9. Stay open to new things: “As you get older, you’ll need youth spies that will keep you abreast of new music that nobody has heard of yet.”
  10. Don’t hate rich people: “They’re not all awful. Believe me, I know some evil poor people, too. We need some rich people: Who else is going to back our movies or buy our art?”
  11. Use technology wisely: “Outrage outdated critics. Use technology for transgression, not lazy social living.”
  12. Screw what others think: “Design clothes so hideous that they can’t be worn ironically.”
  13. Do something fabulous: “Go out into the world and f*ck it up beautifully.”

Saturday, July 25, 2015

50 Years Ago, Bob Dylan Electrified A Decade With One Concert - NPR - Artist of Interest


Listen to the Story:

In the early 1960s, burgeoning folk music scenes were burbling up all over the country, and the Newport Folk Festival was their confluence.
By the middle of the decade, the reigning king was a youngBob Dylan, the man who gave them the now-standards "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'." But on this day 50 years ago, Bob Dylan did the unthinkable, the unforgiveable: He plugged in an electric guitar, and he rocked hard.
Link:  All Things Considered - NPR

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Lobster - Featured Film of Interest - Trailer/Teaser

The Lobster (2015)
















A new film from the mind of Yorgos Lanthimos, director of Dogtooth (2009) - nothing else need be said.  I'm quite excited about this film and Lanthimos' first stretch into English language cinema. Refer to my posts on Dogtooth (Kynodontas) for further exploration.


            The Lobster IMDB
            Cannes Review

Monday, July 20, 2015

Bressonian Quote #22 - Notes from a Master Filmmaker

"No possible relations between an actor and a tree.  The two belong to diferent worlds. (A stage tree simulates a real tree.)"  - Robert Bresson

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Pixar's Inside Out - Featured Film of Interest - Trailer

Just hoping and dreaming that the sweet beautiful cerebral heart of Pixar from old (ummm, not really so old)  is still beating strong somewhere deep in that Disney machine, and nothing can keep its creative brew from eventually surfacing. From what I am hearing from young and older alike (even from the critics, analysts and media types), my dreams may be reality worthy.  However, the trailers and promotions look fun and interesting but do not yet leave me without some skepticism. Looking forward to it regardless.
It's been too long since Wall-E held me longing for more with full emotional investment thru 30 mins of near silence, or the Toy Story gang pulled my tears on cue as they reached for each others hands while facing fiery certain death, and, of course, Up (all of it). If nothing else, I will enjoy the anticipation of the possibility of that special Pixar magic that reaches the depths of my child's mind and heart, and captivates my adult curiosity.

Trailer:

  1. Critic reviews
    A stunningly original concept that will not only delight and entertain the companys massive worldwide audience, but also promises to forever change the way people think about the way people think.
    Peter Debruge·Variety
    t’s not just a brilliant idea, but maybe the most conceptually daring movie the Bay Area animation house has ever produced. And that’s really saying something, what with WALL-E on the books.
    A.A. Dowd·A.V. Club
    As fabulous as the vocal performances are in “Inside Out,” it’s the clever writing and lush visuals that catapult it into greatness.
    Ann Hornaday·Washington Post
    Inside Out, which takes place mostly in the head of an 11-year-old girl named Riley, is a thrilling return to form for Pixar Animation Studios.
    A. O. Scott·New York Times

Links:  Pixar - Inside Out
            Inside Out
            IMDB - Inside Out

Monday, July 6, 2015

First Cousin Once Removed - Documentary Film of Interest - Highly Recommended

I saw this film at the Virginia Film Festival nearly two years ago, followed by a Q&A with director Alan Berliner.  It is a Poignant, Poetic, Echoing meditation on memory, life, time and the personal, philosophical considerations of existence in the moment and reflections of the past.  Berliner's Q&A was a bonus and privilege - he paralleled the film with thoughtful, generous, sometimes ambiguous and emotionally complex responses and unsolicited shares.

At the time, the film was relatively early-on in it's initial festival run.  I was new to Charlottesville and the VA Film Festival (by which I have become increasingly impressed), but I was aware of Berliner through some of his earlier films, thanks to one of my favorite film professors/friend, which gratefully drew me to the screening.  The film has since received relatively wide critical acclaim, though still remains somewhat obscure.  It is now promoted, distributed and exhibited through HBO Documentaries (well deserved and hopefully opens a wide audience).

Extraordinary filmmaking and still resonating in my head. An honest, personal profile, not only of the life of a brilliant man, Honig (and the duality of that brilliance), in the depths of Alzheimer's, but of life in general.  Alzheimer's is rarely mentioned, but echoes through the film in abstract subtle trembles that are both haunting and oddly elating in life-affirmation. Truly unique, beautiful piece of work and experience, for the filmmaker and for us.  The most effective, expansive and broadly reflective documentary that I have seen in years. Highly recommended, to say the least.

Continue reading for complete Synopsis, Review and Trailer.


-Synopsis:
"Sometime in the new millennium, Edwin Honig—the distinguished poet, translator, critic and university professor—began showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease, which gradually but inexorably brought on the loss of his memory, command of language and relation to the past. Filmmaker Alan Berliner—for whom Honig was a cousin, a friend and a mentor—documented their meetings over five years; his new film chronicles the steady decline of Honig’s mind and body, but also the strength and stamina of his spirit, as well as his innate charm and wonderfully playful way with words and sounds. Occasional moments of lucidity offer an insight as to the ways in which Honig attempts to make sense out of what is happening to him. First Cousin Once Removed is an unflinching essay on the fragility of being human, and a stark reminder of the profound role that memory plays in all of our lives."


-Review:  
By Eric Kohn

Documentarian Alan Berliner is frequently the focus of his movies, but his intentions extend beyond his neuroses. Rather than the star of the show, he's a vessel for bigger ideas and evades the perils of self-indulgence that could result from putting himself in front of the camera.
That tricky balance is on display better than ever in the stirring "First Cousin Once Removed," which deepens an oeuvre that has already dealt with the tender issues of father-son relationships ("Nobody's Business") and insomnia ("Wide Awake") by exploring his fears of senility to devastating effect. Using a powerful focal point to manifest the movie's central concerns, Berliner makes his interest in the topic relevant to everyone.
His case study is Edwin Honig, the first cousin of Berliner's mother, a bond that gives the movie its title. But there's more about Honig -- once a world-class poet and founder of Brown University's creative writing program -- that has been removed beyond his relationship to the filmmaker. Suffering from Alzheimer's disease before the movie begins, Honig has lost grasp of his identity or any firm understanding of his relationships to those around him. Still haunted from his own father's death from the disease, Berliner sets out to understand the nature of Honig's increasing frailty by working to unlock the older man's dwindling memories.
Equal parts psychological mystery and lyrical treatise on the passage of time, "First Cousin Once Removed" predominantly centers on Berliner's interrogation of Honig in his Rhode Island home during various stages of his condition (the specific chronology remains unclear). From the outset, Berliner utilizes an aggressively fractured narrative that replicates his subject's state of confusion by showing the filmmaker arriving at Honig's home several times in succession with various results: Sometimes Honig recognizes his relative, and other times Berliner only gets a blank stare. But in even when he lacks complete lucidity, Honig still has the capacity to grapple with his deteriorating state. "I know there's a past and I know that I lived it," he said, leaving much else up for discussion.  
Continue reading:  Indiewire Review
-Trailer:

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Surrender and the Rhythm - reflections and observations

I pulled a nice, neatly packed cigarette out of the hip, eco-friendly box to smoke, and, meanwhile, another cig dropped from my pack and onto the ground.  I asked myself, "do i trust my hand more than that of the rhythm of the universe - or even gravity and an accidental hand-tilt, for that matter?" I put the nice clean cigarette from my hand back in the pack, bent over and picked up the cig from the dirt-laden ground and put it in my mouth.  A little grit in my teeth til i spit, but good smoke and stunningly beautiful moon.  Sometimes dirty cigarettes are better.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bressonian Quote #21 - Notes from a Master Filmmaker



"To think it more natural for a movement to be made or a phrase said like this than like that is absurd, is meaningless in cinematography." Robert Bresson 

From:  Notes sur le Cinematographe/Notes on the Cinematographer (1975)