Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

What ever your plans are tonight, we hope you have a very happy Halloween! Carve pumpkins, eat candy, watch horror movies, have a blast! In case you need ideas of something to watch, here are some old posts you can revisit...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Repulsion (1965)

I don't know if any of you are aware but: I am not a woman. I've never been one and I never will be one. I can never truly know what it is like to be a woman. When #YesAllWomen was making the rounds after the Santa Barbara shooting that everyone seems to have forgotten about, I was aghast at all of the things I was reading. Sure as a man I might know what it is like to feel afraid whilst walking through a particularly "rough" neighborhood, but I will never know what it is like to live every day in a world where half the population is a potential threat to my well-being. Sure, "not all men" but how can you ever really know who is truly a, "good guy" and who is not?

Repulsion is great cinema because it is 100% successful at putting you into the mindset of its protagonist. You feel every leer and catcall. Your pulse rises every time a man comes close. Is he friend or foe? And even if he is friendly: For how long? This and Rosemary's Baby are masterpieces of subjective suspense that resonate with women for "telling it like it is" and shock men by placing them on the other side of the gender divide. Roman Polanski really gets it. But then again, he also had to flee the United States after he drugged and had sex with a 13-year-old girl.

Sure, "not all men" but how can you ever really know who is truly a, "good guy" who is not?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween on Etsy 2

Halloween is almost here, which sadly means that it's almost over. A couple years ago I dug around Etsy looking for fun horror movied themed goodies to buy to keep the spooky vibes going all year long (view that list here) and I bring you even more awesome stuff to check out! I'm especially impressed by a lot of the art I'm finding on the site...can I take it all home?

Vincent Price necklace HERE
Tippi Hedren print HERE
Jack and Sally dolls HERE
Dr. Frank-N-Furter print HERE
Bride of Frankenstein print HERE
The Black Cat pillow HERE
Beetlejuice phone case HERE
Pugsley Addams silhouette art HERE
Rosemary's Baby tannis necklace HERE

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wonder Women

While other big name franchises are giving opportunities to up and comers like Rian Johnson (Star Wars Episode VIII), Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), Colin Treverrow (Jurassic World) and Josh Trank (The Fantastic Four), Warner Brothers has opted to offer the Wonder Woman directing reins to the two biggest names in female filmmaker history: Kathryn Bigelow and Catherine Hardwicke. As much as I would love to see Kathryn Bigelow take on a film about a kick-ass Amazonian, a bigger part of me would rather see it go to a lesser known female filmmaker. If we just keep hiring the same "big name" female filmmakers over and over again, how are any other women supposed to get their chance? And don't give me any of that malarkey about how other female filmmakers haven't proven themselves capable of taking on a film of such scope. What part of Safety Not Guaranteed screams out, "I'm ready to direct a Jurassic Park sequel!"? Stop making excuses. Well let's just hope that when/if Bigelow/Hardwicke pass on this Warners don't give up on women entirely and opt for Brett Ratner or some such hack. Who would you like to see direct Wonder Woman?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Quote: Se7en

"What sick ridiculous puppets we are / and what gross little stage we dance on / What fun we have dancing and fucking / Not a care in the world / Not knowing that we are nothing / We are not what was intended."

Se7en (1995)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tough Questions: To Dub or to Sub?

After finally watching the less than stellar new Godzilla film, I found myself in desperate need for some classic “man in a suit” monster brawlin’ and ordered some old favorites from Amazon (Godzilla vs. Monster Zero and War of the Gargantuas for the curious). But when they arrived I found myself faced with a classic dilemma: to dub or to sub?

Though some filmmakers like Pier Paolo Pasolini have sometimes overseen and approved the English version of a film, 99% of the time this is done by some low-level functionary at the foreign distribution company for whom this is “just another film” rather than a labor of love. As a cinephile, I know I’m supposed to always see films in their original language so that I am getting the filmmaker’s direct and unencumbered vision. But can there be exceptions to that rule?

Dubbed Godzilla movie marathons taped off TV were a permanent fixture of my adolescence and were frequently watched during the car rides to Boy Scout outings. Similarly, my childhood video store only had the original Funimation dub of Akira. Perhaps if I'd grown up with them subtitled I would hate the dubs, but that wasn't my childhood. As any psychologist will tell you, the experiences of adolescence can really stick with you. This is why I still know the names of all three of the titular 3 Ninjas. But why do I still watch the original 1954 Gojira subtitled?

And what about Italian films? Up until very recently, ALL Italian films were dubbed, even in their own language. Am I really losing anything when I watch a Leone or Argento film with the American voice cast? But then why don’t I watch Fellini or Antonioni films dubbed? Is that due to some sort of intellectual snobbery where “art” is elevated above “genre”? I love both types of films equally, so why make the distinction? Stone me if you will. I am an imperfect being.

How do you watch foreign films? Do you sometimes prefer the dub? Let us know in the comments.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rent This: Mad Love (1935)

I'm fascinated by films about obsession. I also love camp-fests and Peter Lorre, so Mad Love fits the bill brilliantly. Lorre plays Dr. Gogol, a doctor who is obsessed with Yvonne Orlac, an actress (Frances Drake), and goes to see her perform night after night. She's aware of his possessive interest in her and it makes her uncomfortable. When her pianist husband (Colin Clive) gets in a terrible accident and potentially damages his hands beyond repair, she knows Gogol is the only one capable of saving him. When the bandages come off,  his hands look unfamiliar to him. Whose hands are they? Why is Dr. Gogol hearing voices? Is the actress in even more danger than before?

This is such a bizarre and fun movie. The leads are all hamming it up, Dr. Gogol has a drunk housekeeper who steals the show, and the plot gets more and more twisted and strange. And at a lean 68 minutes and directed by The Mummy (1932) director Karl Freund, who can resist it? Add this to your list of spooky-fun movies for this time of year! Check out the trailer's a hoot!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Obvious Child (2014)

Going into this film, all of the press was about how this was “the abortion movie” and the "anti-Juno". All that hype had me prepared for a turgid and impassioned defense of a woman’s right to choose that would be scarce on laughs and border on preachy. Had this film not starred the amazing Jenny Slate I might have just waited for video. I’m really glad that I didn’t wait. Sure there’s an abortion in there, but this film is about so much more. It’s about relationships, it’s about family, it’s about friendship, and it’s about growing up. It’s also one of the best on-screen depictions of stand-up comedy that I have ever seen and absolutely laugh-out-loud hilarious. Just as a woman should never allow herself to be defined by the fact that she chose to have an abortion, this film boldly refuses to allow itself to be defined by the fact that its protagonist chooses to have an abortion. It’s a wonderful film that defies easy definition about a wonderful woman who isn't easy to define, and I love it for that!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Quote: The Black Cat

"Are we men or are we children? Of what use are all these melodramatic gestures? You say your soul was killed, that you have been dead all these years. And what of me? Did we not both die here in Marmaros 15 years ago? Are we any the less victims of the war than those whose bodies were torn asunder? Are we not both the living dead? And now you come to me, playing at being an avenging angel, childishly thirsting for my blood. We understand each other too well. We know too much of life. We shall play a little game, Vitus. A game of death, if you like..."

The Black Cat (1934)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Inception (2010)

Filmmakers have been obsessed with magicians and con artists since forever. Directors ranging from Orson Welles to David Mamet have remarked that they feel a sort of kinship with these various "professionals" who make a living by "putting one over" on an audience/mark. And in the end, that's what film is: a large, elaborate trick intended to make someone feel something without noticing all the moving parts that go into it. You're casting a spell over an audience and allowing them to share in a collective dream while also lightening their wallets the price of a ticket. The subtlest misstep and jig is up, the illusion is pierced.

Does Cobb's totem keep spinning or does it tip over? The mere fact that you care is really all that matters. It means that you have bought into the dream. The mission was a success.