Monday, May 21, 2007

a hundred thousand angels

i know - it's CHEEZY. but i like it. is anybody out there?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Arvo Part

I discovered Arvo Part a few years ago when I was obsessed with Duncan Sheik (before he became the new Steven Sondheim) and he quoted Arvo as being one of his influences. Thus, being a You Tube junkie I punched in Arvo Part's name and these two videos came up and then add to the mix - Bjork! If any of you have been following my blog you know why I adore her...

Anyway I found this BBC TV thingy where she offers her "minimalist" influences...

I offer these videos.

I wish I was a true artist. I wish I had a focus and a vision. I wish...

But these mutha's give me inspiration so I share it with you.

Whether you get or agree with the people in these videos you have acknowledge their focus and desire and lack of commercial bullshit.

please watch.

Monday, May 14, 2007

the Secret Life Of Plants

This is a trippy Stevie Wonder video. Well, it's not really a video as videos were not videos in 1979. Meaning - there was no MTV so they were just little art films.


In 1973 these two dudes by the name of Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird wrote a book called The Secret Life Plants and it was all about the relationships between plants and man. I've never read it and all I truly know about it is what I've read on Wikipedia. I'm such a fake intellectual! Basically the book focuses on the "New Age" idea that plants are so much more than plants and have feelings and can be learned from...Oh. how 70's!

In 1979 there was a documentary made based on the book and Stevie Wonder wrote the soundtrack...

I'd always been a weird kid when it came to music and I bought The Secret Life of Plants the first day it came out. My household was full of music - mostly to drown out the sounds of dysfunction. That said, my one brother would be listening to avant guard jazz which many times sounded like the AFFLECK duck while my father would be playing his organ for hours at a time. I think he played at Fenway park as the sub organist - thus my unconscious was/is imprinted with Take Me Out To The Ball Game in all it's cheezy organ-gasmic glory. My other brother would listen to the Beatles and then take the record off the turntable (yes - it was that long ago) and replace it with Frank Sinatra while my sister listened to Fleetwood Mac. As I worshipped my sister I adopted her Fleetwood Mac obsession so by the early 80's I was perming my hair and cutting my skirts into shards in order to look like Stevie Nicks in the Stand Back video.

Little known fact : Prince played keyboards on that tune.

But back to the Secret Life Of Plants and this video - what I love about this song and this video is how beautiful and open Stevie Wonder is. It's one of the few times you see him without his sunglasses.

Growing up my Cousin Pam, was born blind,absolutely refused to wear sunglasses. That is not to say making the choice to wear sunglasses is bad but what I loved about Pam was she forced people to acknowledge she was blind. I'd love to say her blindness made her more intuitive and patient but actually it made her really angry. It motivated her - being that she got both law and education degrees. She travelled the world and absolutely refused to be pitied or condescended to. But at the same time she had no tolerance for people who didn't know how to deal with someone who was blind. She would floor someone in their ignorance and basically shame them and many times it was embarassing from my 13 year old perspective. That said it was what in the long run made me love and respect her that much more. She passed at much too young an age of breast cancer but before she left this earth she taught me that her complications, physical and emotional, made her beautifully human. She had to fight for everything and, no, she didn't appreciate it. She was fuckin mad about it. But she kept on keeping on and did the best she could and never, ever backed down.

I hope you dig this video. The soundtrack is on napster. Check it out!

My friend Danny

My dear friend Danny is one of the featured clowns in the Dragone show Le Reve at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas. If you haven't had a chance to see it I highly recommend trekking to Vegas and checking it out. It's a beautiful show filled with dream imagery, swimming nymphs and gorgeous music. I wish I could fly around like these mofos.....

Now Danny is insane and ridiculously talented. These are just two of the many reasons I adore him. Below I'm proud to present Danny and his fellow clowns - The Gods of Sex. It's strange, quirky and the beginning of something really hot...

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Wings Of Desire

Wings of Desire was recently recommended to me and being a bit of a foreign film snob I immediately went to Blockbuster and checked it out. I cannot recommend this film enough. It is spacious, contemplative, hauntingly beautiful, an inspired melancholy and affirming of the human condition.

Filmed throughout Berlin it is a love letter to the city. It's the story of an angel who wants to give up his wings to experience the sensations of being human.

I found myself scared by his decision. Why give up a spiritual life where nothing can hurt you to enter a human world of broken expectations and selfish driven need? Why? Because he was bored - that's why. He wants the gamble, the unknown and the possible ultimate payoff - the sensation of truly loving someone.

The film is remarkable in it's simplicity and it's saddness. The images are stark and the characters silently transform themselves. The narrative is strangely dense without ever feeling heavy. The cinematography is breathtaking and the images stay with you for a long time. The opening sequence is ridiculously gorgeous.

What is even more remarkable about this film is the approach the director (Wim Wenders) took in making it. He barely had a script so he just filmed and let the story take it's own shape. The screenwriter would send him a page of text from time to time and the actors basically followed the director's lead. As a result the film is sparse and poetic and most narration is done in voice over.

Peter Falk plays himself and, at first it feels jarring to have Columbo floating around in this German art film but as the story unfolds - it all makes sense. In addition, a young Nick Cave makes a cameo and he rocks!

Next time you go to the video store or pick your monthly Netflixs - watch Wings of Desire.

Friday, May 4, 2007


This is my favorite band.

I love this song and video.

I feel like I'm trapped in a bear suit.......................

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Script Coverage

I love doing script coverage. I've learned so much from these young screenwriters. The majority, while not always film ready, are fresh, raw and inspired. However - there comes instances where a script is so bad I cannot refrain from my east coast sarcasm. I think this is the meanest coverage I've written so I decided to share it with the internet. And no - the writer has no idea that this blog exists and names/titles have been changed to protect the innocent.

THE ROOMMATE's mundane and unimaginative take on the 1990’s film SINGLE WHITE FEMALE fails to convey any suspense or drama. The chills and thrills are non existent and the premise is ridiculous.

Jenny Weston could not be a more squeaky clean, orange juice drinking, dimwitted or annoyingly unperceptive protagonist. Not every heroine has to be two steps ahead but 3 miles behind leaves an audience rolling their eyes and actually rooting for the twisted roommate. Jenny’s seeming disregard for basic red flags of “your boyfriend is cheating on you and he wants ME!” as well as the numerous late evenings where Leanne carries strange “body-part like forms” in plastic bags out to the dumpster literally encourages the film audience to throw their popcorn in the air and walk out of the theatre.

Leanne, with her paintings covered with blood red slashes and gory depictions of flayed body parts, only needs to start eating flies and talking with a Renfield (Dracula’s servant) Transylvanian dialect to complete the over the top, crazy eyed psycho roommie. How a character ends up at the scene of each and every murder and no one makes the connection is beyond me and beyond any thinking audience member over the age of 7. Although very colorful there is not one realistic characteristic to Leanne.

Mark Connor, football hunk and seemingly out of the blue arson victim/vicious killer fills the screen with a lot of good face time but it’s a shame he has no internal heartbeat. And by making him a “psycho” at the end of the script that wraps up everything in a tight package feels forced and insulting to one’s intelligence.

The pacing of this script is slow and laborious. The ACT I incident of Natalie’s death is too sudden and formulaic. A prelude to the real story is always a fun trick in horror films. For example: Drew Barrymore’s immediate death in Scream or Janet Leigh’s shower scene in Psycho. A prelude can work if it’s scary but in The Roommate Natalie’s death feels self consciously thrust into the beginning of the film in an attempt to manipulate and solidify that –YES - THIS A SCARY MOVIE.

It’s not.

ACT II shifts erratically from the crazy roommate painting fervently to Jenny crying in the campus coffee shop (which she does often – oh, so often) about someone or something with the action then suddenly switching to non thrilling death scenes.

The ACT III showdown/rundown/hoedown of over explanations for unsubstantiated story and character through lines is nothing more than a headache inducing mess. Mark Connors in his Obi-Wan Kenobi hood revealing the complete and total truth is laughable.

The dialogue, although capturing a tiny taste of adolescent teen speak, only solidifies the script's adolescent flaws. Each character is interchangeable – there is no style to the dialogue. We are not looking for Shakespeare in a horror flick but where is the humor? The punchy young teen banter? The sexual repression? The dialogue is as inspired as a computerized voice message system.

In horror flicks one must be willing to suspend their disbelief and allow a werewolf or a zombie to appear realistic, however, in The Roommate there is obviously no concern for creating any sort of believability as the characters motivations do not add up, the drama is not scary thus went don’t want to go along for the spooky ride, and finally, the screen writer fails to provide any escape route into the unknown. That said, anyone sitting in the audience watching this film would be desperately searching for an escape route to their car thus getting away from this movie.

Horror films, when done well, shed light on the hypocrisy within society. By using extreme situations a writer and filmmaker can explore the unbelievable and make it terrifyingly believable. They lead us outside of our reality and once returned we may reflect on how little difference there is between the dark side and light/accepted side of our world. The Zombies in George Romero’s film NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD are not much different from those hypnotized shoppers sleepwalking through the mall going from The Gap to Old Navy to Cinnabun. Great horror films allow us to experience our own deaths, our own fears and our own psychology/sanity.

It’s such a shame when I come across a script like The Roommate. It is 101 pages of non thrills and unrealistic one dimensional characters that go absolutely nowhere and accomplish absolutely nothing.