Published October 18, 2016
Tags: Art, Paul Thomas Anderson, Pop Culture
In my late teens, early 20s I had a love/hate relationship with Paul Thomas Anderson. At the time I was an aspiring filmmaker and I couldn’t get over how ridiculously young Anderson was when he, not only wrote, but directed flicks like “Hard Eight,” “Boogie Nights” and “Magnolia” (all released before he turned 30). I desperately wanted to find some way to dismiss this dude’s immense talent. My wish was granted when the Jealous, Ambitionless Wannabes Who Get Off On Calling Out The Derivative Qualities of Contemporary Works of Popular Art hipped me to “Raging Bull,” “Saturday Night Fever” and “Short Cuts.” Turns out this so-called ‘wunderkind’ was merely riffing on old shit?! Sometimes even lifting entire scenes from these old flicks???!!! I was so relieved; like a fat slob who thinks that if he could just get his hands on some steroids he would be just as good as Barry Bonds, but then something hit me…
PTA, early in his career, was like a virtuoso hip hop producer. His movies (most notably “Boogie Nights” and “Magnolia”) were like those breathless Oscar montages where a fleeting staccato blur of the more evocative moments of several well-known movies is presented over a sweeping orchestral score. He wasn’t ‘stealing,’ he was sampling, re-appropriating the imagery of artists like Scorsese, Altman and De Palma, while adding a flavor all his own.
I really dig the groove he has settled into lately. His recent flicks feel like the kinda films an ‘extroverted’ Terrence Malick would make.
Published August 25, 2016
Tags: Art, Wolf Children
It has been seven years since the events of the last movie, and Ame—who was living in the mountains (he’s basically the new Sensai) until his pack and the rest of the animals were forced out by a logging company—is leading a “Planet of the Apes”-style revolt against the company’s employees and the surrounding town (their end goal is to reach the CEO’s estate). Yuki—who has been living ‘exclusively’ as human for the last seven years (only her mom, her husband Sōhei and Ame know her secret)—gets wind of what’s going down and puts her political career (possible twist: her campaign is being funded by the logging company’s CEO) on hold to go reason with her brother.
Published January 8, 2016
Art , Comedy , Politics , Pop Culture , Race , Religion , Sexuality , Some Shit About US
Tags: Art, Comedy, Political Correctness, Politics, Pop Culture, Race, Religion, Sexuality
An ‘offensive‘ joke that references race, religion, sexuality or any other ‘sensitive’ is like a fragrant, impossible-to-resist hunk of cheese that attracts identity fetishists; brings them out into the light and then SMACK!!! traps ’em. Now we can all gawk at ’em; see just who among us is ADDICTED to their superficial identities; see who is fighting tooth-an’-nail to keep their heads above the surface; the ones afraid to dip below to that unifying regardless-of-‘who’-you-THINK-you-are-love-is-love-and-fear-is-fear place. That ‘bloody truth’ that comedians trade in.
The great thing about a (good) ‘offensive’ joke (not talkin’ about that hacky “look at me saying ‘nigger’ without any context just for a cheap unfunny thrill” shit) is how it exposes the diversity of our fakeness. I think some comics avoid mining this territory because they fear people who—simply because the comic doesn’t look like them—may feel ‘obligated’ to protest, which (given the vociferousness/notoriety/level of ‘victimhood’ of the protester) could result in the comic getting labeled (read: ceremoniously ‘branded’) a Racist™, Sexist™, Homophobe™, etc.
But you know what?
Continue reading ‘A Fag, a Nigger and a Spic walk into a trap…’
This is an album (among others) that I turn to whenever I need to feel doper than I actually am and I think that’s hip hop’s greatest ‘virtue’ (no matter how vulgar, misogynistic, homophobic its lyrics). Its infectious, gut-rattling beats (composed of I-don’t-give-a-fuck-I’m-using-that-break-by-any-means-necessary hijacked sounds) underpinned by (absurdly) hyperbolic, singsong-y braggadocio has helped everyone from suburbanites to athletes to politicians to Fortune 500-ers to college students preparing for a final exam (of many different racial, gender, sexual and ethnic stripes) get in touch with their (respective) inner baller/boss/whatever-new-epithet-it-will-probably-pioneer-that-will-be-used-as-a-descriptor-for-bad-ass-muthafucka-who-ain’t-got-time-to-worry-about-no-bitchmade-shit.
Published December 17, 2015
Art , The Sublime
Tags: Art, Hip Hop, The Sublime
I feel some-kinda-way when I hear folks blather on about how sampling isn’t a ‘real’ art form. Not only is it legit as hell (just peep a fave-of-mine DJ Shadow; no difference—aesthetically—in my mind between “Midnight In A Perfect World” and “Clair De Lune”) it speaks to a universal truth. Stop rolling your eyes. Let me explain…
Continue reading ‘Bending Beats’
Here’s my Back to the Future II spin-off idea (originally shared on my Twitter page) centering around the ‘screaming girl’ (Loretta) from this scene…
The setting is alt-2015. Loretta, now in her 30s and a producer on MJ’s (he’s alive in alt-2015) comeback tour…
His “This Is Only The Beginning” tour. She’s anxious because its next stop is Hill Valley. She dreads going back there. Horrible childhood.
Doc escapes the asylum, blends in with MJ concert-goers waiting outside Biff’s casino (concert venue). By chance he meets Loretta.
Loretta is distraught. She tells him how she despises Hill Valley. He understands. The place is a dump, even in 2015. He devises a plan…
He will go back in time to stop Biff, Loretta asks if he can drop her off in Hollywood in 1982 on his way back. He agrees.
Why Hollywood? Why 1982? So she can crash the “Thriller” recording sessions. Her fave MJ album. The only thing that made her childhood tolerable.
Continue reading ‘2015A’