31 July 2008

looking forward into the past

well it seems that after a rather wretched summer movie season, things are getting back to normal. this weekend landmark is opening a brittish costume drama custom made for the "discerning" older crowd that they covet as well as a liberal guilt documentary that will show us just how great we are at being sympathetic americans. and by some stroke of miracle, they are actually opening something that i want to see.

but before i can get to that i have to ask one question...has enough time passed that we as a community are ready for a cinematic representation of nostalgia for way back in the day of 1994? i mean what's next, a period piece about the birth of the backstreet boys in good ole 96?

but all joking aside i want to see the wackness(dir. jonathan levine) i mean honestly, i remember the good old days of tribe called quest and the beginnings of biggie smalls. and while i am not so sure i feel old enough yet to put on the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia, i am interested in a film where the protagonist loses his virginity roughly around the same time i did.

and that's not all you get with this one. no, you also get little awesome goodies like sir ghandi smoking bud and making out with an olsen twin. rock! and i must say that much like the preview to the film, i too often spend far too much of my time daydreaming about a dancing olivia thirlby. this weekend i fully intend on beating the heat and getting into the air conditioned indoors for this one and i encourage you to as well.

other than that i am looking forward to the controversy sure to be caused by my public (hopefully) taking the time to read this, as it is the type of objective, thoughful review that my (probably well earned) reputation as a rabel rouser wouldn't allow my people to see when i tried to do similar. try to keep an open mind and enjoy!

and after reading adam nayman's baller article, hopefully you will have a mind opened sufficiently enough to get really adventurous and go see a film that shows how the other half lives. (and by the other half i mean china, roughly half the worlds population) go see still life by genius jia zhang ke at the indianapolis art center on tuesday at 7pm. jia is incredible and his unflinching eye toward humanism caught in the teeth of impending industrial revolution is heartbreaking, yet also often breathtaking to behold. i will be there and if i see you there we will definitely discuss afterwards. good times.

and lastly, i am looking forward to showing you this, the best trailer ever for a movie i have no chance in hell of seeing.

have a nice weekend.

29 July 2008

the warrior of glamour vs. hollywood

on the comment board of the jonas brothers post, it has been suggested that we here at the bc are "anti-hollywood" and that we are predisposed to disliking any product that comes from it. although we sometimes are a tad overcritical toward hollywood pictures,(because we think with the talent and the method of production they could do better) to say we are anti-hollywood really couldn't be further from the truth.

see, i have pretty much spent the last ten years educating myself on film and film history and one of my primary tools has been the turner classic movies channel(with uncle bob osbourne) now anyone who has ever seen the lineup on a normal tcm evening should be able to see that what they offer is a small sampling of some of the best(and worst) of what hollywood has to offer. it is during the past decade that i have cultivated my love of the classic hollywood style and in particular the first golden age(roughly 1930-1945) my love for artists such as ernst lubitsch and george cukor and howard hawks and the like has grown to the point that i revere each of these men and their work as if they are gods in my own personal mythology.

what i love about these films is the fact that they weren't trying to sell themselves, they were just films sent out to theaters so that in two weeks they could be replaced by new ones. there is a sense of anarchy in the films of someone like preston sturgess, as if they were simply throwing ideas against a wall to see what stuck. films like his incredible palm beach story are zany, madcap pieces that often remind me of the best scenes from the recent output of the apatow gang in that there is such spontinaety that the viewer senses that alot of it was made up on the spot by really creative people in the moment(all the beard jokes in knocked up) this to me is the best of what hollywood has to offer, talented people using their talents to make really interesting works.

but that was old hollywood, and that still doesn't mean that i can't be anti hollywood now. this is true for the most part as it often seems to me that the work coming out of hollywood right now is meant for either product placement or merchandising rights, as if just making a good movie is not enough. and that is what it comes down to most of the time, hollywood pumping out trash for public consumption so it can make a buck. but like all things there are various sides to it, and i have to say that occasionally hollywood puts out some good material. right now i dig the apatow productions, although dewey cox makes me fearful that like their idols such as hal ashby they are losing touch with the audience that they seem to portray so effectively in knocked up. i also really really dig pta and respect guys like scorcese for being able to bring unique personal visions to the screen while still within the confines of the studio system.

but all that doesn't really answer the question, "is beer cannes anti-hollywood?" the answer to that is a little tricky because i feel that for one to be anti something, they must have its structural opposite accounted for and therefore must be pro something. we here at beer cannes are pro-cinema. and that is about it.

usually, i try not to make judgements based on labels given to films like hollywood, indie, french, bollywood...etc, i prefer to enjoy them in the moment which in a way is like a vacuum that allows for a world where only the piece in question and i coexist. we begin the viewing process with no real sense of judgement about what we are watching.

and this is glorious as it allows us to put all forms of the medium that is electronic pictoral representation on the same plane to start. that is why here at the bc we can hype a film like joe wisner's structuralist masterpiece bacon or zach proctor's historical leaning johnson county fair and put them right next to a pan of the new batman or praise for aaron katz or hou hsiao hsien.

because to us, these things are all the same. just because bacon is not playing at the local multiplex does not make it less relevant in our eyes, as it is a work like any other that deserves its own specific careful consideration of its merits.

it took me forever to come to this point, as i too, used to kind of sneer at local films and video art and treat them as if they were somehow second class citizens in the abundantly large world of cinema. but then a funny thing happened...i started to try to do something.

some of you might remember a while back when mike scott and myself were forcing all of our people into viewings of our to date video masterpiece esteban sunglasses:the warrior of glamour. it was around this time, when viewing it with friends that i began to realize that the line i believed existed between home films made with one's buddies and standard studio fare in fact did not exist. i began to notice that at points during our film, we were eliciting the same types of laughs that something like ron burgundy does. we had made something for public consumption(however small the public) and it was being viewed and hopefully being thought about.

it was at this point that all the labels put on films became irrelevant to me. it was at this point that i became an advocate for going out and making your own low budget original shit, because it was no longer hollywood's latest release vs. shane white's reunion because those things are on the same side, they are the same thing. they were made with the same purpose in mind and that is to simply be seen.

so in answer to the question, no we are not anti-hollywood because hollywood doesn't come into our realm of consideration when dealing with film. when i say the names hawks, hitchcock, proctor, nolan, berg, wisner, godard, myers, hou, the one thing they all have in common is that i have seen their films in the last year. it's like, i can look at the art of picasso and then look at the work of scott grow and judge them both as works of art, because they are. ultimately in the beer cannes universe it's a simple equation:


so no we are not anti-hollywood because to me and my relatively small viewing public, i like to believe that esteban sunglasses is right there with them. the warrior of glamour is hollywood, baby. and we here at the bc don't ever hate ourselves.

so what does all this mean to the reader? probably not a whole hell of a lot other than i urge each and everyone of you to pursue your particular creative passions and i will as always offer thoughtful criticism without the slightest hint of snobbery because what you are doing is on a smaller scale. on this slice of the web universe there are no scales...because everything is phat to us. keep working and the beer cannes will keep working to blow good, interesting shit up.

25 July 2008

why the jo bros kick batman's ass

batman is a little like woody allen to me. every few years or so, i will get sucked into the hype swirling around, believing comments like "a rare return to form," or the "best work in years" only to end up completely disappointed in the formulaic and ultimately uninspired retread that unspools in front of my eyes. the new batman is a little like match point to me, in that after watching what has been reviewed as a "great piece of cinema" i left the theater feeling just as empty and unfulfilled as when i walked in. both films fail to deliver anything more than a rehashing of themes and motifs already covered in previous similar works. much like match point is essentially a remake of other woody allen crime films(like the one with martin landau), the new batman is essentially just another batman film in a long lineage of bad ones since the first tim burton directed piece with jack as the joker.

my complaints are as follows:

first, it's way too long. now i know regis got killed for saying that, with people saying that he was "too old" and all. but regis was right. this movie is about an hour or so too long. it really could have ended with the dual explosion. it could have killed maggie gyllenhaal(a good thing) and set the stage for the next film's villain. but it didn't. no, this film instead decided that it wanted to be like an elementary school research report speech. it beleves that if it keeps on adding information on top of information that we won't notice the lack of cohesion in the narrative and we wont recognize what it is doing, which is rambling. it's like one incredibly long, and ultimately pointless, run on sentence. and i am not sure why it chose to do this.

ater all, if heath ledger is as freaking good as everyone says he is in his portrayal of the joker(which he really isn't...sorry...r.i.p.) then why does nolan feel the need to tack on another villain to the end of his film.(as boring a last houe as there ever was) as opposed to the "original" retelling that nolan's series has aimed to be, i find that this is a recurring motif in all batman films after the first burton. why is that? are batman's villains too insufficiently drawn as characters to warrant carrying a film by themselves? which brings me back to the question: if heath ledger is so "oscar worthy" why not let his performance carry the film? the answer to that is hopefully this: deep down i think nolan understands that ledger is really just doing a shitty, not nearly as funny(or as menacing) version of the frank booth character from blue velvet. now that muther fucker was crazy. he was chaos. ledger's joker just seems like a one note, sadistic clown that completely lacks the depth that the continual explanation of his scars strives for. maybe he needs a hit of the gas, but it seems alot like the guy at the party who talks louder than everyone else and laughs at his own jokes. he just wants attention and that in itself kind of makes him pathetic. so pathetic that in a failed attempt to glean some sort of emotional resonance, therefore giving the joker's character more depth/importance, they tack on another villain that they try to explain as some sort of joker protege.

and that is harvey "twoface" dent. admirably portrayed by the often fire aaron eckhart, who frankly has very little to work with here. character deficiencies aside, my real complaint was his face after the burn accident. it was like one half was eckhart and the other side was the face from the evil dead 2 video box. seriously was that eye bruce campbell's? and anatomically speaking, if one's muscular tissue is exposed wouldn't that a: be bleeding and b: get infected in a way as to cause death or at least lots of puss? not in the batman world...where apparently batman can be shot and stabbed but a man can walk around with muscular tissue and burnt flesh exposed and everything is okay. for real?

and while we are on the subject of mangled flesh, i have to ask, is christian bale's throat okay? in his (few) scenes as bruce wayne he seemed to be speaking fine, but when confronted with the criminal element his vocal inflection seemed to be channeling the vocal register of louis armstrong singing what a wonderful world. seriously he sounded like satchmo with a dick/cum bubble caught in his throat. what's up with that? i mean he sounded like buster poindexter singing hot hot hot.

in all i found this film to be almost exactly like every other batman film starring val kilmer or george clooney. batman fights his way through a convoluted plot much to the chagrin of a two headed monster that acts as his antagonists. there are explosions, gadgets and ultim ately the unfulfilled hopes and dreams for better film inspired by the countless good reviews of the piece in question.

and ultimately, like the title of this entry states, that is why the jonas brothers(the jo bros for those in the know) kick batman's ass. see the jonas brother's come to you with hype, but it is the right kind of hype. far from being dubbed as the savior of an otherwise uninspired season, the jo bros are touted merely as brotherd that play music for preteens. no reviewer has ever told me that they are great, or a return to form for the "boy band" or that they are the new greatest band in rock and roll. no, the hype machine merely informs me of their existence(and the fact that young girls scream for their existence) and then i hear them and i say to myself...damn these dudes aren't half bad, a little like a the maroon five without the racy lyrics, but generally pretty poppy and most likely infinitely dancable. and that is really the best we can hope for with a disney channel band. ultimately it comes down to the fact that the jonas brothers deliver the goods that were promised to me, while batman surely does not.it's a little bit like the guess who and the doors argument. i groove to the jo bros on the radio and want it to play all night as opposed to the new batman, which i just wanted to end.

24 July 2008

looking forward to something

it's thursday...and therefore time for the official rundown of what beer cannes supports doing with your free time over the next week.

kicking off the list is the opening of stepbrothers, the new will ferrell, john c. reilly joint(not directed by spike lee) will ferrell is one of the rare actors that always manages to drag me to the screen. i've seen all his "dumb" comedies in the theater(not stranger than fiction, which sucks) and stepbrothers will be no exception as it looks quite a bit better than semi pro, which despite being dogged out by just about everybody, actually went down smooth with this watcher.

and then there is saturday. personally i have been waiting for a while for saturday as it is the day i take my burgeoning love of nascar to the next level by attending my first race. the nationwide series race at o'reilly raceway park is going to be huge and i am expecting big big things from my man clint bowyer is currently leading the series but is only 200 points up on that cool dude/cheater carl edwards. i will be rooting big time for clint and i hope that all the bc faithful will keep their fingers crossed as well as clint rocks the wild mile at orp.

another thing that is getting me hyped is the fact that the landmark megaplex...urm...arts theater is opening two films that are actually in limited release as opposed to the recent run of blockbusters it had been booking. and while i personally don't care about hunter thompson(outside of the ben fong torres joke in almost famous) or about chinese orphans, i am happy that these films are being booked as i think it is a step in the right direction to getting the art film train back on the tracks.

but sadly, all this hype pales in comparison to the image i just saw flash across the screen on one of those celebrity trash shows. today, a man chose not to sport his trademark daisy dukes, and while speking to congress about an initiative to incorporate physichal fitness more fully into the lives of (fat) american children, friend of beer cannes richard simmons wore a power suit. and i knew immediately that that is the best shit i am going to see all week. i will post a picture as soon as i can find one, but i urge you to see this for yourselves.

happy viewing.

21 July 2008

coolest person in the world contest: round one

(disclaimer) because of feared judge tampering and attempts at bribes, all frequent contributors and friends to this place are out of the running. not that it matters as only michael maier(who doesn't even read me) would have made the first cut. thank you for understanding.

these people are cool.

neil patrick harris. over in the comments section of another blog, a person wrote that they didn't like nor seem to get the appeal of joss weedon and neil patrick harris. joss is okay, some good, some bad and i can understand that, but nph. n-p-h! got to be kidding me, right? neil patrick harris is freaking awesome and here's why. first that dude was a teenage doctor. badass. what the hell was i doing at 14...i guarantee i wasn't pretending to be a teenage doctor. sadly i was probably trying to figure out a way into some poor girls underpants. second, on that episode of the simpsons where bart gets implicated by the mob, guess who plays bart in the made for tv movie...oh yeah, neil patrick harris. third, harold and kumar. all i gotta say. fourth, he went out and made a show without the help of corporate money and put it on the net for everyone. viva la revolucion! and its a musical. and lastly give him props for being one of the few openly gay actors who doesn't constantly accept the role of "gay friend" like that stupid cracker from will and grace. and he kills the regis impersonation. totally cool dude.

stephan pastis does this awesome comic strip called pearls before swine. after the boondocks dude quit doing strips, there really wasn't alot going on in the comics section of the indy star. and then like heaven's gate opening, this little golden nugget chose to shine its brilliant light upon us. and from the first day's strip, which i haven't taken the time to find as i have it committed to memory, i was hooked. now like most strips, it isn't always good. but like the good ones, when its on, it becomes unforgetable. this jerky rat and stupid pig and smarmy zebra and ignorant ass crocodiles inhabit this world where the stupidity caused by vanity is the ultimate sin, and when one finds their way to it, they will be knocked down with jokes. these animals lay their pearls of wisdom before the swine of humanity and cut to its core with a deft precision not often found in comic strips.

gus van sant can do anything. he can do hollywood(good will hunting) he can do off-hollywood(drugstore cowboy, idaho) and he can do absolute unknown indie(elephant, paranoid park) and all of his work will be carried off with massive amounts of class and an undeniably precise and personal vision that he manages to execute perfectly almost every time. his style is impeccable, from handheld scenes of shared, if flawed, intimacy, to slow tracking shots that lull the viewer into that dreamlike feeling where time slows down and awareness(especially self-awareness) is heightened. the scene in paranoid park with the kid gliding slow motion down the locker lined hallway of his high school to the sounds of the song let me help is a work of art that makes me believe that the oscars need to start a new catagory for best use of a preexisting song in a film, just so paranoid park can be the first recipient.

19 July 2008

beer cannes doesn't really do...political

but for this we will try. possibly, the greatest music video ever.

also watch dr. horrible's sing-a-long blog. it does kind of rule.

18 July 2008

sitting on the dock of the bay...

in the comments section of the entry directly prior to this one, the nicest person i've ever met jason maier and i both professed a guilty passion enjoyment of the films of michael bay. now, i rarely feel guilty when it comes to any intake of art, but sometimes that which is in question is so diabolical(like michael bay) that one has no choice but to feel a little pang of shame alongside the otherwise flawless enjoyment of the piece. take pearl harbour, the michael bay film, not the actual event. i mean if i were to distill a narrative theme from this film(a tricky proposition no doubt) i would have to say fire. michael bay is the ultimate purveyor of fire, and in particular people running from it, in the entire history of cinema. seeing how i like to see things on fire (like cuba gooding's performance in pearl harbour) i easily succumb to the rampant gunshots and bombs(the island) that help to create bay's grand symphony of flames. obscenely stupid with cinematic flair is still cinematic flair. betcha you thought i was gonna say stupid, but i can't because i kinda dig michael bay and i am not ashamed to admit it.

at least not as ashamed as i am to admit that i love taylor swift. even though she kinda looks like she is perpetually caught in that half state in the middle of transformation between human and werewolf, her songs still make me smile everytime i hear them in the car. at first i thought that tim mcgraw was just a bubblegum country novelty song by an underfed teenage hillbilly as if its catchiness was some sort of fluke. but then i heard teardrops on my guitar and it felt like my soul wanted to well up and i wanted to immediately be transported back to the first girl i ever had a huge crush on(anne butler) just so we could listen to taylor swift and awkwardly slow dance in the gym/cafeteria at our 7th grade prom. yeah, i love it that much...and it made me love the tim mcgraw song that much too. taylor swift, like the film the virgin suicides, takes the tenderest feelings and best bits of dreamy, teenage, girly poetry and packages them in a way that distills its very essence while creating a safe world which it and its appreciators can inhabit. today, when i heard our song on the radio, i smiled big and started to love taylor swift as something more than this silly guilty pleasure.

my ultimate hope is that by admitting my love for radio disney's newest pop-country pre-teen princess, that i can summon the courage to go out and buy the album that has as of now eluded me in part to the silent judgement i am sure to recieve from behind the register of k-mart or wherever the hell i buy it from. maybe i will buy it along with bad boys, as i want to show...

that i love michael bay and taylor swift.

17 July 2008

what there is to look forward to

as you may have seen on the my life in lists blog, next week there will be a public screening of the sam fuller film pickup on south street at the mass ave videostore. if you have not seen this film, we at beer cannes implore you to take the time and do so, as it is a reminder that having a quick pace and developing characters well are not mutually exclusive qualities of action oriented films. it really is just a real strong, tough, anti-everything, balls out, sweaty, winner of a movie, and that's from a guy that usually doesn't enjoy action/adventure/crime cinema.

another big positive and something i am most definitely looking forward to is that the indianapolis museum of art is opening a new theater which we here strongly endorsed as it is important to inspiring a more interesting/educated culture if there is an intersection of history, art, and the cinema available for public consumption. look at what the cinematheque francais did for the french new wave...and i know...it's indianapolis...but...i'm just saying.

i will only see batman if i go watch it at the imax or at tibbs drive in, the greatest place in town. i think i'm gonna have to opt for the imax on this one seeing how its like 326 degrees outside right now and it's huge running time would throw off any attempt at the tibbs triple feature. and, of course there is the fact that outside of the prestige, which was actually pretty good, i really couldn't give a crap about christopher nolan's entire slick huckster output, and might opt out entirely. this dude really is one step from brett ratner, mc g territory here; he's definitely in the waiting room with luke greenfield to be in the club that isn't fit to lick a good hollywood director like doug liman's ball sack.

seriously though, its hot as heck, you have probably been working way too hard and over the next week you should sit back and get yourself a netflix. beer cannes recommends boarding gate. it's another huge winner from the most prolific producer of winners working today, olivier assayas, a man i need to start remembering when i make my best of lists. he is awesome. period.

14 July 2008

a shout out, a dream, and the beginnings of a credo

i have some pretty fucking talented friends. if joe wisner's baller breakout bacon didn't prove that to you, then perhaps a new work by zach proctor entitled johnson county fair will. it is what we here at the bc like to refer to as pure cinema. what we mean by that is that it is a marriage of sound and image as opposed to the plot driven, literary type of film that we are used to coming from hollywood. there are very few examples of this left in the world as audiences have gotten past the act of jumping out of their seats fearful of the train coming toward them as they did at the initial lumiere screenings ages ago.

that is what proctor's work reminds me of. the parade line forms a slow progression moving into and out of the frame in a manner similar to the train entering the lumiere factory. this is what cinema intended, a clever mashup of sound and image that makes one feel, that makes one see. unlike the "book on film" type of movies that we have come to know that have story arc and character development and various other tropes of other, "lesser" art forms like literature, these slices of pure cinema do little besides represent ideas, give us something to look at and listen to, and above all make us think. i guess these films do quite a bit after all, and without the large scale methods of production that the proletariat(i.e. not beer cannes readers) has come to expect from movies.

and that ladies and gentleman brings me to my dream. sometime toward the end of the year, october or november, i would like to hold the first annual beer cannes film festival. as i know loads of talented people who tend to like/make all sorts of types of films i feel that securing entries should not be a problem. as you can tell by this site's constanat championing of works like bacon and johnson county fair, we will pretty much look at anything in our lifelong quest to come to a clear definition of what cinema is.(which at this point seems like everything) i want voices as diverse as zach proctor and joe wisner and shane white and myself and mike scott and anybody else who thinks that they have something that they would like to share in less than 30 minutes to make something and submit it to the fest.( a john peddie ode to his son?, mike maier finally getting motorcycles right on film?) whatever the fuck ever. readers of this blog who know similarly talented people(they are everywhere) that show an interest in artistic expression of this ilk are encouraged to tell their friends so their friends can submit.

my dream is to have a party where these films will be seen and voted on, both by the audience and by a jury of film illuminatti who have shown little interest in making films yet still have strong voices and infinite credibility in the bc universe (ryan micheel, jury foreman?) and two awards will be handed out as such. but who cares about awards as much as the forum for having new, interesting, off the beaten path work seen by an audience of discerning indianapolis viewers.

i want my reader's help! submit ideas in the comment section.
i want films of all sorts. experimental docs about crack head trannies to abstract color splotches. it all has its place in the beer cannes film festival. just be original and make it yours. own it.

because here at beer cannes, we are all about the cinema and the amazing things that it can do. we are all about expanding the ideas of what it is. and most importantly we are all about lending a voice to works that need to be seen from this incredibly talented city of ours. beer cannes is the property of its contributor's various messages...i am merely the vessel by way of which these messages travel. we are hollywood for those that don't have the industry connections to do that sort of thing. we are a friend to all you badass indy artists and filmmakers, and we want to show you some love.

pablo picasso never got called an asshole...

so my bro joe wisner(bacon) was over yesterday and we began talking about various artistic projects that we would like to undertake. along the way, the subject came up of joe's recent trip to an east side artists auction of their wares and how that made him feel about the overall status of art, and more in particular, the art of painting. somewhere during all this, with a cheeky bend in our smiles, we got onto the subject of what truly defines art to us especially in the form of paint to canvas and much to my suprise we both had some very "outside the gallery" thinking on the subject.

now, anybody that knows me knows my feelings on how antiquated of an artform i think that most of them have become in the wake of the moving image as video effects can now bring expressionism, impressionism and abstract expressionism into the way of moving that these artists could only have dreamed of when trying to capture that movement on the ststic canvas. if you doubt that ask me to view one of my many video projects...please.

but this entry is not about that exactly. because as antiquated as painting may be, i still enjoy looking at it and am occasionally moved into liking it. oddly enough though, as joe and i discovered, films tend to show me what i want from paintings more often than galleries do. and by this i don't mean bullshit like painter's painting(a doc about the abstract expressionists) or the lame as all hell pollock(starring the vile and revolting ed harris). and it has nothing to do with the moving image giving life as in the above paragraph. no, i find that my favorite paintings actually tend to be part of the greater set designs in films.

my favorite painting of all time was done by an annonymous artist, not some famous one like picasso. it sits above the desk of jimmy stewart(american hero/treasure) in his home office in the film harvey. yaeh my favorite painting ever is a rockwellian portrait of a nine foot rabbit with his arm around the shoulder of jimmy stewart. and anyone who knows me knows i am not afraid to admit it. i'm not afraid because that painting is perfect.

and then joe brought up something that i had forgotten about, the paintings in the royal tenenbaums. these, by artist miguel calderon, also exemplify the "harvey" school of painting as they are painted by someone with actual painting talent, the type of people who mastered fruitbowls, flowers and the human form before moving on. and unlike alot of talented artists they didn't move into the realm of just splashing colors on canvas(mark rothko et al.) no they managed to use their sizable talent and mix in a little oddball humor and come up with amazing works.

the sad part of all this is that i live in a world where i have to go to the movies to see badass, original work like this, while the numerous galleries and museums around here show off either the newest in knockoffs of older modes of painting or some talentless hacks splashes of color that don't mean anything. occasionally i get lucky and robert meko unveils a new piece, but that is like once a year. no the sad part is, even with the strides already made, this city still has a long way to go before i can have a firsthand look upon the works of a genius like arturo herrera .

oh well, at least i still have the cinema to show me the best of what the painting world has to offer.

10 July 2008

what you should be looking forward to...

unfortunately for me, i was responsible for one time in my life and made a plan, took some time off work, and saw the new hou when it played at the indianapolis international film festival. unfortunate in that, this has left me without something to look forward to this week.

fortunately for you, i didn't see many of you in the audience. so you do.

so this week, instead of telling you what i am hyped about seeing(which by the way is nothing in particular)i get to put the early stamp on this particular piece of grade aaa taiwanese(by way of paris)beef. this selection is coming with the beer cannes approved insignia on the shrink wrap. i(landmark) present for your pleasure:

the flight of the red balloon-hou hsiao hsien

if you have the desire to be wrapped up in a foreign atmosphere where everything is new, and fresh, and alive in a way that makes one gaze upon it with a childlike wonder then watch this film. it's beauty, as if seeing the world through the eyes of a child, allows any petty tensions to fade upon the instant immerssion into the new fantastic that is a fresh way of seeing the mundane world. no experience shall be taken for granted in hou hsiao hsien's paris as the lens swirls and dips and slides to take in every molecule of air that the cityscape has to offer. this film allows one to discover things anew and discover them in a different way. it is gorgeous and the work of a true poet, writing a sonnet to a life that is loved for its living.

other than that, i might watch when did you last see your father, as i kinda liked the look of shopgirl and i like colin firth, or perhaps roman de gare even though i often refer to director claude lelouch as claude ledouche because his previous work seems so mediocre at best. but then again, i may just go see the hou again as i know it will be infinitely better than the above two pretenders. or perhaps standard operating procedure(thanks heather!!) has scarred me to the point that i am fearful of the recorded image. or then again maybe not.

so go hop to it and go see the flight of the red balloon... sit up real close to the screen and tell them beer cannes sent you.

my other car is a mercedes

how come every time i see that bumper sticker that reads, "if you're not the lead dog, the view never changes," it's on the back of like an 87 ford fiesta that looks as if the view for the driver rarely changes.

just once, i would love to see the "my other car is a mercedes" blast pasted on the back of a ferrari or a porsche.

oh well. my blog is smarter than your honor student.

08 July 2008

i don't think i fit into this indy world (guided by voices, velocity girls): my opus.

often working for twelve straight in the heat and oppressive humidity will get one into a state in which they have no choice but to feel a little out of sorts, like one just doesn't fit. i was tired and quickly entering into that state when i kind of got this compulsion to just come home and spit some bile, i mean, some furious hate onto this here page. and then something odd happened...something almost surreal.

as i was driving home i was listening to fast talk or whatever cheesy title this cool nascar show on am radio has when out of nowhere i was caught in this strange occurrence which i will try to relate like this. anyone who reads this blog knows that i have a hate hard on for carl edwards. i expel perhaps too much energy in my hatred of him and the cheating 99 team. and after the day i had, i was ready to burst my hatred bubble to the sounds of carl edwards via telephone on this show. but an odd thing happened in the midst of the latest cheating scandal(irony), he held up his end of the interview like a freaking champ. he is actually kind of a cool dude. he even appeared on an episode of 24 as the head of homeland security(typical cheater). and then, horrifically, i find myself actually kind of starting to like the guy.

i hate when, after i shoot my trap off in a hateful fashion, that i end up kind of kicking myself in the ass when the object of my hate transforms into this kind of interesting, tangible existence too me. in other words, i hate that i can't hate carl edwards with the passion with which i used to hate him. i kick into neanderthal mode at that point and want to direct my vitriolic rage in another direction. however, it also, frankly, sort of confuses me and and i dreamily begin to wonder about some of my other judgements of dislike. i wonder if they too are somewhat invalid. sometimes i hate the fact that i hate. but for now i am going to focus on that hate and find somewhere to direct it, and if you give me a little time i will work to both prove this hate correct and find my way back toward the glowing positivity for which the beer cannes name is known.

as i begin my journey of obese gulps of haterade, i am thinking now of hipsters and emo kids as i believe it is good to start an essay in hate by directing it at those that most of the population also do indeed hate. it will get people on my side early and i think that is important. to clarify a point now, i don't really hate the emo kids(they are too busy hating themselves) i just kind of worked them in so that i can tell this rad joke a little later. but i do hate the hell out of some hipster mother fuckers. these bastards that roll out of their house looking like fucking nikki sixx of motley crue and wearing skin tight black jeans with black socks on a hundred degree day and acting like they are too cool to ever be bothered with the heat. fuck you. fuck your shitty obscure garage band. and fuck aqua net...or whatever kind of mousse you (over)use in your hair. you aren't a fucking rock star bon jovi, you just sell their records.

q. how many hipsters does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
a. some obscure number that you have never heard of.

q. how many emo kids does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
a. who gives a shit, let them cry in the dark.

and speaking of a cry in the dark, mine is about to burst through aldous huxley's proverbial doors of perception when i spit in the direction of jim morrison and the vile, putrid, asscrackesque doors. the doors kind of suck. they don't write catchy songs in the least, which is sin number one in my book. but that isn't even the important thing with them, as i can always forgive them of their sin by not listening. no the thing that bothers me about the doors is their percieved perception as being some deeper than thou poetic artists. i mean c'mon this morrison fucker was nothing but a drug addled cliche slinger. "love her madly as she's walking out the door","try to set the night on... fire." he needed to set his fucking notebook on fire because i guarantee you that was some trite ass trash. and then this dude has the nerve to spit out a book of poetry. who is this guy...jewell? i mean seriously, if jewell had died after her first album and subsequent book, would she be looked on as this joanie mitchell-esque, whimsichal, poet genius instead of the washed up, snaggletoothed, failed techno come lately country singer she has become? because her and old jimbo were slinging from the same pile of stereotypical shit in my opinion. would kurt loder have the same balls to call out jimmy as he did jewell? or would he suck at the teat of fame instead of cutting it off as he should?

and speaking of cutting it off, since cutting it off is already "on the table"(metaphorically) can i stop seeing it projected on the big screen(literally) this solid fuck you is directed at sociopathic frat fucker eli roth. stop cutting dicks. i'm sick of the splatter porn as i sit in aghast amazement, not at what i see on screen which is trite showmanship at best, but in the fact that people are watching this craving the newest, most exotic display of mutilation that the mind could offer. in a recent cinemascope, errol morris commented how this mode of recent cinema is a product of the war angainst islam as being one that the americans fight with a method of sexual humiliation and domination. a war of who's cock is larger. while i agree with his assessment of the war, i completely disagree with the idea that this is the intent of mr. roth and his ilk. personally, i don't think they are smart enough to contemplate this metaphor until someone more intelligent, like mr. morris, points it out. i honestly think that they are just sensationalist assholes who always feel the need to "up the ante" in some way. either that or they are just perverts that like the look and sound of penis being sliced off.

and speaking of the sound of cut dicks, john fogarty sounds as if his penis has been sliced off hostel style. i mean really...fuck creedence clearwater revival. their songs might be catchy if they didn't have that fucking guy that sounds perpetually constipated gurgling on the tracks. could anybody else in the band sing? because honestly, they picked the only freaking guy on the planet that could make geddy lee's voice sound as clear as whitney houston's by comparisson. but i suppose it wasn't entirely their fault. after all the shit voiced singer trend had already been established by the wheezing, nasal, allergic to tonal quality musings of the jim morrison-esque "poet" bob dylan.

and speaking of bob dylan, i'm not really gonna spit on bob dylan's songs. he has some good ones, he has some that are vile. no, i'm not gonna do that as frankly, i am wholly indifferent to his music outside of making fun of it by singing along as poorly as possible. no today's hatered directed toward bobby boy is for fucking up an otherwise fine piece of work. i'm not there would have been a great, damn-near perfect film if it wasn't for that fucking chucklefuck bob dylan and his obscenely vacuous persona. the pacing was incredible, the dynamics of the narrative arrangement were flawless(much like this essay), and the visuals were todd haynes' normal slice of perfection. but at the center of it all was an ego of pretention that couldn't even seem to fit within the same frame asthe film itself. it's as if todd haynes found the only subject ever that would make david bowie, sorry maxwell demon, look both deeper than surface level and humble in contrast.

and speaking of humility, i am going to serve a dose to simon and garfunkel, whose entity i don't exactly hate except when taken in conjunction with the idea that after these two split they went on to become better expressed, much more interesting artists. paul simon wrote my favorites of his repetoire, me and julio, codachrome, call me al...are all mega fucking hits in my mind. and art garfunkel started blowing up as a really skilled and intuitive actor in some big timers like mike nichol's film carnal knowledge and nicholas roeg's disturbingly great movie bad timing. when i think of their post band careers, i can't help but wonder how good the sound of silence would have sounded without garfunkel pussing it up and how many well drawn ineffectual pussy characters could have come to the screen had these two not been dragging each other down. and that thought kind of makes me hate the duo that is simon and garfunkel.

and speaking of hate, that brings me to my final hate of this essay and oddly enough the place where it comes back to positivity as i earlier wrote that it would. right now i hate that when i made out my fourth of july pantheon of musical artists, the beer cannes rock & roll hall of fame if you will, that i forgot to include the awesome jonathan richman and the sweetly seductive mary lou lord to the list. i wish to attone for that now by extolling their oddly similar virtues. the thing that these two artists do with their songs is to capture the pure ennui(at best) and the utter dissillusionment(at worst) created by the naive hopefullness inherent in the concept of the american dream. there is a wonder to their music that amazes me as i find it strange that they can be so downbeat melancholly and so dreamily hopeful simultaneously. they are two definite, surefire additions to the pantheon.

and speaking of additions to the pantheon, there is another badass that i forgot to mention who just so happens to be the punchline to one of my favorite jokes.

q. how do you turn a duck into an r&b singer?
a. put it in the microwave until its bill withers.

lean on me.

05 July 2008

4th of july asbury park (sandy)...another top ten-ish list.

as the fireworks are hailing over little eden tonight, i find myself contemplating what exactly this experimental concept that we know as america truly means. america, in its purest sense, seems to be forever linked in my mind to the concept of freedom. and while these words are nothing more than abstracts with countless and no doubt highly subjective meanings, i feel that we can begin to distill the essence of these things if we put our minds to it...or maybe our hearts.

so it goes that as i attempt to reconcile my thoughts on freedom and this once proud experiment in democracy, i find that they are almost inexplicably linked in my warped psyche with the history of rock and roll and its subsequent offshoots brightening up the airwaves that exist between the spaces we inhabit as the physical representations of our persons. that, to me, is freedom in its purest form. and as i begin to well up from all this love of the supposed "freedom" that "america" represents, i feel it my patriotic duty to pay some sort of tribute to the awesomeness that i occasionally take for granted.

although the relevance of top ten lists has been argued on this site, yesterday i felt compelled to colate another collection of iconic symbols in my life. it's my birthday gift to america and to freedom itself. so without furter adieu, i present to you the greatest of what freedom and rock and roll and that eternal struggle has to audibly offer. these are the sounds of beer cannes. this is the top ten recording artists of all time.

hall ond oates-make me want to do the d.a.n.c.e. 1,2,3,4,5...they are the best representation of pure fun ever put out into the zeitgeist. and they can totally sing their asses off.

the guess who-drunken buffoons who weren't afraid to be drunken buffoons. poetic.

the jesus and mary chain-because "rock and roll is supposed to be dumb" right randy albright.

bruce springsteen-because every organization, even a list, needs a fucking boss. and because he has the best singing voice ever which makes everything he does seem a little more important.

america-because it's the 4th of july and because the heat was hot and because they aren't actually american.

jim croce-is cat stevens on steroids and james taylor for cool, smart, and classy people

m.i.a.- because its supposed to be about revolution, even the silent ones in your head. and as ryan said, the pineapple express trailer makes paper planes the best song in the world.

old dirty bastard-two albums, infinite insanity. pure crazy with pop hooks. a hero.

led zeppelin-because i have ears and because you can't have a list like this without them.

new order-rose from the ashes of depression like the phoenix of ecstacy.

the stone roses-the single greatest album from front to back ever made.

the eagles-have the most good songs of anyone consistently played on the radio. they are as if creedence clearwater had grace, dignity, and vocal talent.

neil diamond-because everybody i know has a different favorite song. mine used to be cracklin rosie...now its forever in blue jeans.

oasis-because i went to high school in the mid to late nineties.

and manimal-because nathan cook is the best guitarist on the planet, joe wisner, the drummer, has as much talent as anyone i've ever seen, and because i sing my ass off like my life depended on it. we form like voltron to make rock for your cock.

airwaves are the last fortress of anarchy. they are the purest form of absolute freedom left...take them over and remember that choice is the greatest gift that existence gives us, whether the choices matter or not. choose away!

glitteratti: the new media mafia in the nap.

if you will be so adventurous as to actually click on the links to the left of this, you will find the best and brightest(and mike maier) this town has to offer on full display. and as happy days are here again, i am glad to report a new star in the indy blog skyline. ryan micheel, landmark luminaria, has begun posting his musings on popular culture. this is a really good thing as it is something which we here at the b.c. have been petitioning for for a while now.

so click on the link that begs the question "why are you even reading my shit..."
you might just learn something.

cheers ryan, i hope this doesn't plunge me further into irrelevancy.
and a big thanks to john peddie, one of the smartest dudes i know, for joining the cause to get ryan to do a blog. and for being a cool dude in general.

here is to saving the city...one pop culture experience at a time.

04 July 2008

rumor has it...

...that rob reiner is a fat fucking sexist slob. has there ever been a female screen character more pathetic than the one jennifer aniston plays in this film? aside from the complete inability to make even the simplest decisionwithout patriarchal input, the thing that i find most horrific is the fact that she constantly needs some sort of reassurance, either from her fiancee or her dad or some other male, just to feel like she is not pathetic. and that in turn makes her pretty damned pathetic. seriously, jen's charachter from the good girl(a feminist masterpiece, no doubt) called and even she thinks this way of behaving is bordering on ultimate loserdom. jeanne diellman just wants that bitch to make a decision on her own even if she prostitutes herself and caps a mutherfucker.

but she can't. as reiner beats it into our heads that she absolutely neeeds the men in her life for her to have any sembelance of inner peace.

and speaking of the men in her life, do you know how hard it is to completely waste a talent the size of mark ruffalo's? a much better film would have been him and richard jenkins sitting in an empty room watching fucking paint dry. it, at least, wouldn't have made me want to puke.

seriously meathead...why don't next time you just save us the lame graduate subplot and just make a movie about a helpless woman who needs to suck a dick every fifteen minutes like some sort of iv fluid or she will die. at least i will know coming in that it's sexist as opposed to you doing something even more insulting and hiding these antiquated attitudes in a picture aimed at women.

that...and mix in a salad you bloated piece of shit.

03 July 2008

fireworks is what i'm looking forward to

just remember when you're being inundated with all this fourth of july brew-ha-ha what you're really celebrating: the fact that a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic, white guys didn't want to pay their taxes. attack the gas station...

so it seems as if landmark is trying to go all boss hog on us and get the new errol morris game. but i have to admit, their behavior lately has made me cynical. i wonder this...if i go see standard operating procedure on the fourth of july, is this goning to leave me subject to some sort of patriot act illegal search of my persons? cause if so, that shit isn't even mine...i let a friend borrow these jeans and he must have left that stuff there.

but seriously...you might as well watch it because i guarantee(without having seen it) that it is a better made film than hardcock or indiana jones and the moron palace. i mean for real...errol morris once got a dude off of death row with one of his films(how many times has old satan spielberg done that?)

in all seriousness though, i don't usually like documentaries or films about wartime activities. but some of them you just ought to see. and standard operating procedure is the one. it is probably(an assumption made without the aid of an actual movie schedule) the showcase of the greatest filmmaking talent available in this city right now. for real...read the interview in the last cinemascope and i guarantee you will have your mind blown in a joe wisner film type of fashion at least once during the interview.

just go see it...if only to express the small inner anti-american sentiment all americans secretly keep in their hearts. see it just to prove me wrong on this point:

in the sixties the counterculture used to stage sit-ins as a form of protest...i would be delighted if our generation could merely sit still for any significant duration. given, counterculture probably doesn't even exist any more in the youtube-iverse we live in. but still i can hope.

prove me wrong...please