Monday, September 27, 2004

famile tie wraps

My absence of late has been mainly due to the intense pursuit of completing The Family Tie, and now I'm excited to announce that the hard part is over... the picture is wrapped! I had been expecting this day to come a lot sooner, seeing as how I started post exactly a year ago and had wrapped principal six years ago in Chicago, but I'd certainly saved the hardest for last. And when you have virtually no money to execute complicated scenes, the process tends to be a bit sluggish.

production sheet

Without revealing too much background on these pictures and how they are placed within the film, they represent the last real date of production on the film. Rounding out the crew are Jen Rock (Art Dept), Maz (FX), Rahmin (Schplitz!) and myself. Maz's cat wanted to get help out as well, so special thanks for her enthusiastic affection. With the completion of these scenes, the post production can resume its course, which I anticipate needing another month in all, before planning on the gala premiere of this monster. Thanks to everyone that has been supportive of this endeavor, whether directly or not, and I promise your efforts and energy are going to translate into a wonderfully disturbing little movie!

Rahmin gets his stomach schplitzed

BTW - For any locals, I'm having a screening as part of Anthology's New Filmmaker series this Wednesday. They'll be showing the video for General Queer on the big screen! Look for my email...

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Saturday, September 18, 2004

Vincent Gallo gives good head

I've somewhat avoided the reviews on this one, but from what I've sensed, they're somewhat erratic: some find a vacuous exercise in self-indulgence, others, like myself, find a work of understated genius. I can see why people might be in the former camp; it's a very raw and slow-paced piece of cinema. Shots always manage to go on 10-20 seconds longer then you'd expect them to, and the camerawork is raw and coarse, but it is precisely this sense of unexpected mundanity that open's up Brown Bunny to a deeply contemplative meditation on this character's isolation and laconic manner.

To characterize Brown Bunny with a plot or a greater purpose than the experience that it offers is a waste of time. BB is a heady road movie in the truest sense of the word; it most definitely echoes the quietude and aimlessness of the adventures on the road of James Taylor and Dennis Wilson in Monte Hellman's Two-Lane Blacktop from the early '70s. The only subject Gallo seems to enjoy framing in his picture more than himself is the empty and dark landscape of urban and rural America, and he certainly takes his time to do so. Gallo's world here is one of remote and isolated observation, and for those of you that have travelled cross-country alone, it may be a familiar landscape.

Brown Bunny is a dirty movie... not just for its infamous blowjob, but as far as the graininess of the picture, the nearly constant soft focus on the subjects, and the grime and bug splatter caking the view of Gallo's windshield during the cross country trek. Nevertheless, Gallo's overwelming commitment to this unconventional style forces the viewer into finding beauty in this stark vision, or maybe it forces the viewer to want to kill themselves. I'm sure it goes either way, but for me, it absolutely clicked.

Yes, Chloe Sevigny gives Gallo full-on fellatio toward the film's end. Knowing this going in, the scene still managed to shock me in its frank and explicit content, but, oddly enough, it didn't feel exploitational nor entirely inappropriate... it pushes the film, and its bleak and weary tone, completely into the stratosphere. One of the things that really makes the scene work is the fact that you NEVER see this in the movies, kids: two well-known actors having unsimulated sex onscreen (by sex, I mean sexual relations). Being subjected to this act of what many deem pornographic, is more proof of Gallo's commitment to confront the audience's expectations of what can or can't happen in cinema. My hat's off to Gallo (and Chloe's, too, for that matter - let's be fair) for the boldness of this decision, and the many other bold decisions throughout the film.

Don't get me wrong, the movie is definitely pushing it's luck with the audience's patience, and I think if it were another 30 minutes longer I might have had to scream myself, but when was the last time we'd been subjected to such an unabashedly personal and daring vision? Gallo may be an egomaniac and a loudmouth when it suits him, but he is, without any doubt in my mind, an artist whose voice is worth hearing, and I eagerly welcome his next foray into film. It is sure to be wholly unique, and that's something we can always use more of...

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Thursday, September 16, 2004

"Bring 'Em On!"

From an op/ed on The Guardian
Bush's war is already lost. Retired general William Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, told me: "Bush hasn't found the WMD. Al-Qaida, it's worse, he's lost on that front. That he's going to achieve a democracy there? That goal is lost, too. It's lost." He adds: "Right now, the course we're on, we're achieving Bin Laden's ends."

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yes YES

After a pitiful rookerful of a turnout last night at my reel deal screening and an ugly interaction with the management at the shitty club sugar in tribeca, I have turned my frown into a smile as I book the next production date on The Family Tie to shoot the opening shot of the film and another special effect that has been missing all along and this would effectively finish photography on the project which will be the final "big hump" standing in the way of completing this damned film.

mood: fuck you, i'm happy

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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

On the edge of Brooklyn...

This was how some of my Friday went...

this is my little movie, inspired by the water on the broken docks of greenpoint

Greenpoint is beautiful!

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Monday, September 06, 2004

Labor Day Present

Enjoy! Compliments Tex Avery and Jen Rock...

BTW - This is a 21 MB quicktime, but it's oh-so-worth it! See if it jogs any memories....

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Friday, September 03, 2004

The prez puts on a good show

Well, after a week of anti-RNC, anti-Bush sentiment proliferating through the streets of NYC, the prez got up on the podium last night and gave a calm, well-crafted speech to gain public support for his re-election. While I wish he had stumbled his words and let his ideas fall out slipshod, Bush gave a passionate and effective speech that proves the dem's really have their work cut out for them. Bush hit the nail on the head with domestic issues - pressing buttons with talk of taxes (they're too complicated!), health care (too expensive) and, of course, safety from terrorism (to be determined).

Of course, it was all a bunch of horseshit, but that's politics.

Afterwards, Kerry & Edwards held a rally in Ohio so that John Kerry could respond to some of the attacks that his campaign has been under by the lapdog speakers at the RNC. I SO wanted Kerry to get up there, piping mad, and espouse a clear distinction between himself and Bush that could be a true "wake-up call to America" (as he claimed the RNC to be), but instead it felt like the same sort of politicking that had been going on all week at MSG. His words bordered on rhetoric, and his delivery was flat. Sure, the people there were all up in arms and excitable - especially the ladies in the audience when John Edwards went around for a group grope - but is that the best Kerry's got? C'mon, man... republicans have taken the gloves off, why can't you?

Don't get me wrong - Kerry's got my vote. Anything but "FOUR MORE YEARS" of the chicanery from this administration: an international and domestic embarrasment for America which has done more damage to our country than we can possibly know. The problem four years ago was (among other things), Gore couldn't sell himself to the swing voters as a compassionate alternative from his opponent. Kerry's team has got to do a better job of getting their message out or we are doomed. And if things do continue on this path of "compassionate conservatism," it's time for me to either hightail it outta here or have NYC claim independence from the union.

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Thursday, September 02, 2004

Flip-Flopping on the Flip-Flopper

From a related story on the Air America Radio website...

In his speech at the Republican Convention "Democrat" Zell Miller ripped into John Kerry saying Kerry would arm the military with "spitballs" and "outsource our national security" to Paris. In another speech three years ago Zeller had a different take on Kerry: "My job tonight is an easy one: to present to you one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders and a good friend."

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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The True Lies of Arnold

To quote George Liquor American from Ren & Stimpy, "What's this crap?!"

"If you believe that government should be accountable to the people, not the people to the government, then you are a Republican! If you believe a person should be treated as an individual, not as a member of an interest group, then you are a Republican! If you believe this country, not the United Nations, is the best hope of democracy in the world, then you are a Republican! And, ladies and gentlemen, if you believe we must be fierce and relentless and terminate terrorism, then you are a Republican!"

They (politicians) really will say anything that sounds good to get your vote. It really strikes me as frightening and sad how this election game is mounted on such a massive scale of deception. Left/Right is not just an issue of values any more, it's an issue of truth vs. lies. I'd have to be stupid not to see that dems bend words to fit their own agenda sometimes, but listening to Arnold speak last night really was making my blood boil. How can anyone really take this ham-handed "you are a republican if..." seriously? It's not just rhetoric, it's bullshit!

a) Our government is not accountable to the people, but big business
b) People are treated as members of interest groups, not as individuals
c) Most upsetting, the arrogant claim that we, the United States, knows what's best for the world in spite of the opinions of the rest of the world, is truly dangerous and most definitely undermines our reputation, safety and propagates - not terminates - terrorism.

Please, folks - let's hope the rest of the country can get a clue and say "you're terminated, fucker" this november.

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