May 25, 2008
Dullness on four wheels.
This film is really bad, but it is difficult to say exactly in what category of badness it falls, due to the fact that the version I saw was on VHS, with a very muddy, washed out transfer and panned and scanned to the point where one could rarely even tell who was speaking. Many scenes just showed the actors arms, with their faces being completely cut off.
Anyhow, the basic deal is Brad Harris is lumbering around some car races and people die. A woman played by Olinka Berova sleeps around. Graham Hill is in it, which is sort of interesting. But not very. I found myself picking up a book and reading it while watching the film which is something I don’t normally do.
Normally the Italians are very good at filming cars, but this one just didn’t take off.
This one is directed by Guido Malatesta but he is credited as “James Reed”. I suppose that they wanted people to believe it was an English film.
May 20, 2008
This anthology, edited by Estelle Valls de Gomis, is finally out. It has three stories of mine, Metrophilias, translated into French in it. The TOC is very impressive, including some interesting authors such as Jean Lorrain and Eugène Mouton. It’s a beautiful book, and definitely worth checking out if you read French.
Here is the blurb:
La littérature fantastique est fréquemment mâtinée d’érotisme, mais elle donne aussi très souvent lieu à l’élaboration de fantasmes plus ou moins morbides ayant trait au fétichisme.
L’on y rencontre entre autres des collectionneurs frénétiques, des amoureux transis, des obsédés du pied, du sein, ou de la cuisse, des amateurs d’art ou d’absinthe et des affamés du maroquin. C’est cette propension à se passionner jusqu’à la névrose pour des objets, des lieux ou des personnages – thèmes que l’on retrouve notamment chez Théophile Gautier – que nous allons explorer ici à travers de délicieux voyages dans des textes fantastiques, érotiques, ou simplement oniriques ayant en commun de faire la part belle à cette joie obsessionnelle qui naît de la proximité ou de la possession de la chose adorée.
Cette anthologie vous entraînera à la suite d’auteurs parfois peu connus ou oubliés mais toujours talentueux, comme Joséphin Péladan, Pierre Louÿs, Charles Asselineau ou Jean Lorrain, aux côtés de nos chers maîtres, Guy de Maupassant ou Théophile Gautier, sans oublier le suave Oscar Wilde et Joris Karl Huysmans pour ne citer que quelques noms parmi ces nombreux explorateurs de l’interdit que nous vous proposons de redécouvrir.
Ces figures du dix-neuvième siècle seront accompagnées d’auteurs contemporains au talent confirmé comme Charlotte Bousquet, Armand Cabasson et Brendan Connell, dignes héritiers des auteurs sus-cités. Le fétichisme, comme la valeur, n’attendant pas le nombre des années, ils seront accompagnés des toutes jeunes mais prometteuses plumes de Marc Kiska et Marie Angèle Prétot, ressuscitant à leur manière le romantisme noir, et de la lumineuse Léonor Lara, à l’écriture si richement évocatrice.
May 18, 2008
Director: Antonio Román / Mario Bava
Z-list Ringo film that has garnered some micro-cult status due to Mario Bava apparently taking over direction after the assigned director got fired.
The Good: The music. The score by Nino Oliviero, complemented by nice Spanish lyrics, is about the only thing that keeps this film moving. In one scene Ringo shoots a guy’s ear off. Piero Lulli as the villain Carter. This actor has appeared as tons of bad guys and is good at it. The one thing I kept wondering though is why he was wearing a leather biker’s jacket in the middle of the desert.
The Bad: Lacklustre cinematography. The setting is supposed to be New Mexico, but in the background the ocean keeps creeping in. The furniture breaks far too easily and the sets are shoddy.
The Ugly: Ken Clark, who plays Ringo. This guy not only sucks as an actor, but it seems that due to the fact he was a body-builder, directors felt compelled to have him take off his shirt and show his hairy chest in every film he was in.
May 17, 2008
Arabesque was probably the worst of the many many bad Euro-Disco groups, and their song Indio Boy justly represents the body of their work.
There song Friday Night isn’t much better musically, but at least they have some cool pants.
May 16, 2008
A conversation I had yesterday with another unnamed individual:
“Have you ever eaten cat?”
“Yes. My grandmother used to cook them.”
“Where did she get the cats from?”
“She raised them?”
“In a cage?”
“And to kill them?”
“You use a rifle.”
May 15, 2008
A story I wrote with the always interesting Forrest Aguirre is up over at Serendipity.
It was originally published in Neotrope.
This is the only story I have ever written in collaboration with another author, but I think it turned out to be a good match.
May 14, 2008
A conversation I had today:
“What did you do yesterday?”
“I cooked lunch for my family. Polenta and roast beef. I prefer rabbit but my children don’t like it. I also like cat but they don’t like that either.”
“Cat with polenta?”
“What kind of sauce?”
“Cacciatore. With tomato sauce.”
“Where do you get the cats?”
“Is it good?”
“If the cat is good, then yes. You don’t want a domestic cat that has been raised on food from a can. They need to eat mice and snakes.”
. . . . Now, I know that this cat is a specialty of the area I live in (Ticino), but I have not yet been actually offered it.
May 13, 2008
My metrophilia story Peking has just been published in the Canadian magazine Existere.
May 12, 2008
This is most definitely the best kendo movie you will ever see.
The story is about the preparation of a kendo club for the national championship and the training and rivalries within the club.
Full of scenes of clattering bamboo swords and young men screaming and lunging at each other, director Kenji Masumi, who is probably best known for his entries into the Zatoichi and Lone Wolf series, manages to create significant tension out of very simple situations. In some ways this film reminded me of some of Kurosawa’s lesser efforts. Which is of course a good thing.
The lead is played by Raizo Ichikawa, who is known for his Sleepy Eyes of Death films. Here however, he far surpasses all the other roles I have seen him in. He really does a marvellous job as the club captain whose only purpose at life is to win at kendo.
May 11, 2008
Lust, Caution: This was a decent film, but left me sort of cold. I wish Ang Lee would stick to comedies, because I think his skills are better served in that area. Few film-makers can make good comedies. He can. On the other hand, there are more than enough depressing films to go around. So why make more?
The Hunting Party: I liked this film. It is not incredible, but certainly worth taking a look at.
Il Lupo e l’agnello: A funny comedy with Tomas Milian and Michel Serrault, who plays a hen-pecked hair dresser who has to pretend to be gay in order to please his mother in law. There is definitely a touch of La Cage aux folles in this one.
The Bank Job: Not bad. If they had only chosen a more normal looking actress for the leading female role it would have been a very good film. As it is, women with their cheek bones protruding just make it hard to forget that you are watching a film.