Julia Marchese’s Movie List 2019

These are the movies Julia Marchese watched in 2019 (in case you care about such things)

 

 

Shout out to all of the insane, terrific cinema I attended this year (especially when shown on film) and all of the folks who programmed & made it happen –  courtesy of  The EgyptianThe AeroThe El Capitan, Voyager Institute, Beyond Fest, Friday Night Frights, Secret Sixteen, The Nuart, Dynasty Typewriter, the BFI, Maltinfest, Alamo Drafthouse DTLA, and the incredible Somerville Theatre. 

 

 

and to all of the friends who watched this movies with me/because of me. 

 

 

Key:

MN – Movie Night – my weekly movie night I have had with friends for over 8 years – (name in parenthesis chose the movie that week).

 

HMSG – movie watched for and talked about on my podcast Horror Movie Survival Guide.

 

BC – Brian Crewe‘s movie night, a friend who shows a wide variety of cinematic gems in his unbelievable home movie set up 

 

 

  1. Maid to Order – MN (Teri)

  2. The Haunting – HMSG 

  3. Poltergeist 2 HMSG 

  4. Unbreakable – BC

  5. Split – BC

  6. Fried Green Tomatoes – MN (Melanie) 

  7. Freaks – HMSG

  8. Private Parts (1972) 

  9. The Recordkeepers – BC

  10. Bingo Long and his Traveling All Stars & Motor Kings – MN (Julia)

  11. The Little Mermaid (El Capitan) 

  12. All is True

  13. The Parallax View 

  14. Dressed to Kill (Egyptian) 

  15. Paddington 2 – MN (Paul)

  16. Oculus – HMSG

  17. Purple Rain – BC 

  18. Soapdish – MN (Eric)

  19. The Stay Awake – HMSG

  20. Happy Death Day – HMSG 

  21. The Shining – HMSG

  22. Ready Player One

  23. Putney Swope – MN (Matt)

  24. Creep

  25. Mr Deeds Goes To Town 

  26. I Am Not Your Negro – MN (Teri)

  27. Sleepwalkers – HMSG

  28. The In Crowd

  29. Poor Little Rich Girl – BC

  30. Sparrows – BC

  31. Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House

  32. Harold and Maude

  33. Martin HMSG

  34. The Gang’s All Here – MN (David)

  35. Let the Right One In HMSG

  36. Ju-On HMSG 

  37. Live.Die.Repeat (Edge of Tomorrow) – MN (Julia)

  38. Cruel Hearts

  39. Sorry, Wrong Number (BFI) 

  40. Night Train Murders

  41. Island of Death

  42. Juliet, Naked

  43. Slaughterhouse Rulez

  44. The Darkest Minds

  45. A Simple Favor

  46. The Favourite

  47. Paper Towns – MN (Melanie)

  48. Us

  49. Alien – HMSG

  50. The Thing– HMSG

  51. Fire in the Sky – HMSG 

  52. Event Horizon – HMSG

  53. Secret History of UFOs – (MN) – Eric 

  54. Pet Sematary (2019)

  55. Hollywood Shuffle – MN (Teri)

  56. The Omen – HMSG

  57. 28 Days Later – HMSG

  58. The Kiss – HMSG 

  59. Wall-E – MN (Melanie)

  60. The Love Witch – HMSG

  61. Blood and Sand – MN (David)

  62. Sing Street (Maltinfest)

  63. The Death of Superman Lives (Maltinfest)

  64. Songcatcher (Maltinfest)

  65. Absolute Beginners (Maltinfest)

  66. Mr. Deeds Goes To Town – MN (Julia)

  67. Howard the Duck

  68. Gremlins 2 (Egyptian)

  69. They Look Like People HMSG

  70. The Ritual – HMSG

  71. The Taking of Pelham 123 – MN (Eric)

  72. The Woman – HMSG

  73. Slither – HMSG

  74. Booksmart

  75. Doctor Sleep

  76. The Quiet Ones – HMSG

  77. Rocketman

  78. Sister Sister – HMSG 

  79. The Perfection – HMSG

  80. The Descent – HMSG

  81. Gypsy 

  82. Rocketman

  83. Jennifer’s Body – HMSG

  84. April Fools’ Day – HMSG

  85. The Great Buster – BC

  86. Battling Butler – BC

  87. The Bees – MN (Matt)

  88. Phantom of the Paradise

  89. Easy A

  90. The Book Thief – MN (Melanie) 

  91. Yesterday

  92. Rocketman

  93. Do the Right Thing

  94. About Time

  95. Playtime – MN (David)

  96. Happy Death Day 2U

  97. Slumdog Millionaire

  98. A Field in England

  99. The Aristocats

  100. Yesterday

  101. The Sword in the Stone

  102. Under the Silver Lake

  103. Clowns & Robbers

  104. Glass

  105. Isn’t it Romantic?

  106. The Devil’s Rain – HMSG

  107. Amityville 2: the Possession  – HMSG

  108. Detention – MN (Matt)

  109. The Wicker Man

  110. The House on Haunted Hill (B&W 35mm marathon at Egyptian) 

  111. The Thing From Another World (B&W 35mm marathon at Egyptian

  112. Freaks (B&W 35mm marathon at Egyptian

  113. Them! (B&W 35mm marathon at Egyptian

  114. The Haunting (B&W 35mm marathon at Egyptian

  115. Cat People (B&W 35mm marathon at Egyptian

  116. The Legend of Billie Jean – MN (Julia)

  117. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 

  118. A Woman in Paris – BC

  119. Souls for Sale – BC

  120. Terrorvision – HMSG 

  121. Midnight – HMSG

  122. From Beyond – HMSG

  123. Right At Your Door – HMSG

  124. The Id – HMSG 

  125. The Stuff – HMSG

  126. Annihilation – HMSG 

  127. Wizards – MN (David)

  128. Swiss Family Robinson – MN (Melanie) 

  129. Ladyhawke – MN (Eric)

  130. It Chapter 2

  131. Season of the Witch – HMSG 

  132. It Follows – HMSG 

  133. Apollo 11 

  134. Never Too Young To Die – MN (Matt)

  135. It Chapter 2 (All Clown Screening at Alamo Drafthouse

  136. Breaking Away (Egyptian)

  137. Shaun of the Dead – HMSG

  138. Three From Hell 

  139. Step Up 3D – MN (Teri)

  140. Firestarter

  141. Nightmare Before Christmas (El Capitan)

  142. Tootsie – MN (David)

  143. Dreamcatcher – HMSG 

  144. Puppetmaster HMSG 

  145. Joker

  146. Absentia– HMSG

  147. Don’t Look Now – HMSG

  148. Tales from the Crypt – (16mm Horror Anthology Marathon at Dynasty Typewriter)

  149. Creepshow 2 – (16mm Horror Anthology Marathon at Dynasty Typewriter)

  150. Twilight Zone: The Movie – (16mm Horror Anthology Marathon at Dynasty Typewriter)

  151. Asylum – (16mm Horror Anthology Marathon at Dynasty Typewriter)

  152. Black Sabbath – (16mm Horror Anthology Marathon at Dynasty Typewriter)

  153. The Skeleton Key – MN (Julia)

  154. Zombieland (All Zombies Double Feature Screening at Alamo Drafthouse)

  155. Zombieland Double Tap (All Zombies Double Feature Screening at Alamo Drafthouse)

  156. Oculus

  157. The Monster Squad – MN (Melanie)

  158. Crazy Stupid Love 

  159. He’s Just Not That Into You

  160. Ju-On – (my Halloween Hullabaloo programming series at the Somerville Theatre in Boston

  161. Battle Royale –  (my Halloween Hullabaloo programming series at the Somerville Theatre in Boston

  162. Fade to Black – (my Halloween Hullabaloo programming series at the Somerville Theatre in Boston

  163. Cutting Class – (my Halloween Hullabaloo programming series at the Somerville Theatre in Boston

  164. Psycho – (my Halloween Hullabaloo programming series at the Somerville Theatre in Boston)  

  165. Firestarter – (my Halloween Hullabaloo programming series at the Somerville Theatre in Boston) 

  166. The Dead Zone – (my Halloween Hullabaloo programming series at the Somerville Theatre in Boston

  167. Carrie – (my Halloween Hullabaloo programming series at the Somerville Theatre in Boston

  168. Nightmare on Elm Street (my Halloween Hullabaloo programming series at the Somerville Theatre in Boston

  169. New Nightmare – (my Halloween Hullabaloo programming series at the Somerville Theatre in Boston

  170. Frozen – (my Halloween Hullabaloo programming series at the Somerville Theatre in Boston

  171. Freaks – (my Halloween Hullabaloo programming series at the Somerville Theatre in Boston

  172. Texas Chainsaw Massacre – (my Halloween Hullabaloo programming series at the Somerville Theatre in Boston

  173. Rocky Horror Picture Show (Somerville Theatre) 

  174. Plus One

  175. Moonstruck 

  176. Bridesmaids 

  177. Doctor Sleep

  178. Hour of the Wolf– HMSG

  179. The Fly– HMSG

  180. Carnival of Souls HMSG

  181. Tapeheads

  182. Gymkata – MN (Matt)

  183. The Invitation – HMSG

  184. Ladybug, Ladybug (Joe Dante’s personal 16mm print at Egyptian)

  185. Green Room – HMSG

  186. 7Up – MN (David)

  187. 7 Plus 7 – MN (David) 

  188. Knives Out

  189. Jojo Rabbit

  190. Charlie’s Angels (2019)

  191. Parasite

  192. 21 Up

  193. 28 Up

  194. 35 Up

  195. 42 Up

  196. 49 Up

  197. 56 Up

  198. 63 Up

  199. Big Hero Six – MN (Melanie)

  200. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (Aero)

  201. The Force Awakens

  202. The Last Jedi

  203. Miracle on 34th Street 

  204. Rise of Skywalker

  205. Firestarter

  206. Blow Out

  207. In Fabric

 

Here’s to LOTS more fantabulous movies in 2020!! 

 

 

Julia Marchese’s All Killer No Filler Halloween Hullabaloo!

 

 

Halloween is my favorite holiday – I love dressing up, getting candy, listening to ghostly tunes and watching scary movies. (I mean, I always like these things, but especially around Halloween!) 

Every year I try to do special things and really enjoy the holiday to its fullest – and this year is certainly going to be my best Halloween yet. 

 

The incredible Somerville Theatre in Massachusetts (who I have programmed film series for the last two summers – The Summer of Love series in 2017, and the female half of their Play it Cool series in 2018) asked me to program the week leading up to Halloween this year, and I am simply over the moon about it – a horror hounds dream! 

 

The best part about it is I will be attending the screenings as well! I’ve never been to the theatre so I am chuffed beyond belief to be able to watch all of these wonderful films with you! 

Ladies and gentlemen, won’t you join me for my All Killer No Filler Halloween Hullabaloo?! 

 

 

SCHEDULE:

 

*Thursday Oct.24: BATTLE ROYALE at 7:30 , JU-ON: THE GRUDGE at 9:45

 

*Friday Oct. 25:  FADE TO BLACK at 7:30 , CUTTING CLASS at 9:40 , PSYCHO at 11:45

 

*Saturday Oct. 26: FIRESTARTER at 7:30 , THE DEAD ZONE at 9:45 , CARRIE at MIDNIGHT

 

*Sunday Oct. 27: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM ST at 6:30 , WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE at 8:30

 

*Monday Oct. 28: FROZEN (2010) at 7:30

 

*Tuesday Oct. 29: FREAKS, with short subjects at 7:30

 

*Wednesday Oct. 30: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE at 7:30

 

 

 

 

Battle Royle & Ju-On – J-Horror Double Feature

 

 

The the early 2000’s, Japan was crushing the new horror wave with its violent, unique, terrifying visions. Battle Royale (2000) smashed its brutal way around the globe, shocking everyone with its barbaric premise and dark sense of humor,  influencing countless other movies.  If you’ve never seen this film on the big screen before, hope you’re ready for an intense ride! Ju-On (2002) is my absolute favorite of the J-Horror craze – with disturbing images that won’t leave your mind and a new spin on the old haunted house trope, this film is scrumptiously frightening.

 

 

 

 

Fade to Black, Cutting Class & Psycho – Killer Crushes

 

 

 

These three fantastic films are linked together by the fact that I have an intense crush on each of the killers in the film – I know, I know, kinda weird to admit – but when you see the actors portraying each one, you’ll understand. Dennis Christopher plays the shy cinephile loner Eric Binford in 1980’s Fade to Black, an under seen film that I show to everyone I meet, with a great concept and terrific lead performance. Another under seen gem, 1989’s Cutting Class, might be best known for being one of Brad Pitt’s very first lead roles, but I’m more interested in Donovan Leitch’s off kilter, bowling shoes wearing teenage psycho Brian Woods. And lastly, but certainly not leastly, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 masterpiece Psycho, with that voyeuristic mama’s boy that gets my heart beating a little bit faster, that adorable psychotic Norman Bates, played by the incredible Anthony Perkins.

 

 

 

 

Firestarter, The Dead Zone and Carrie – Stephen King Pyro/Telekenesis

Triple Feature 

 

 

I am, to put it mildly, super obsessed with Stephen King (ask me about my Dark Tower quest!) and his stories of people with special powers they can’t quite control are some of my very favorites. We start off with 1984’s Firestarter, with Drew Barrymore giving a powerhouse performance as the pint sized pyrokenetic Charlie McGee – this movie is so good – and there would be no Stranger Things without it. Then we flip on over to Cronenberg’s 1983 film The Dead Zone, where Christopher Walken stars as harmless school teacher turned paranoid psychic John Smith – whose visions are terrifying, but not as terrifying as the fact that he can’t quite see if they’ll come true or not. We end with Brian de Palma’s 1976 classic Carrie, starring Sissy Spacek as the bullied, broken Carrie White. The film is meticulously crafted and directed, with star turning performances and is the movie that launched Stephen King’s name into the stratosphere, so we should all give it the mad respect it deserves.

 

 

 

 

Nightmare on Elm Street & Wes Craven’s New Nightmare – My Favorite Final Girl 

 

 

My podcast, Horror Movie Survival Guide, is all about how to survive horror films and become the final girl, and all of that final girl love stems from one character – Heather Langenkamp’s fiery Nancy Thompson from the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Nancy in 1984’s Nightmare on Elm Street (my very favorite horror films of all time) is such a terrific role model – fearless, loyal, smart, and most importantly – self-reliant – Nancy is always fun to watch and admire, but watching Heather Langenkamp play herself in the superbly meta 1994 film Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is even juicier, and watching them back to back is absolute perfection.

 

 

 

 

Frozen

 

 

Adam Green’s 2010 film Frozen is super potent and packs a powerful punch – a hyper intense watch, this film brings out of control amazing performances, a tight, super inventive script and Green’s fun directing style to create a nonstop white knuckle ride from beginning to end. To me, the best horror films are those that focus on strong characters that I like and identify with, going through trying situations and pushed to their limit, with lots of deep dialogue – this film is all of that and more.

 

 

 

 

Freaks 

 

 

Tod Browning’s 1932 film Freaks is a classic for a reason. Yes, it’s scary, but not for the reasons you might think and it’s also charming, heartbreaking and life affirming. Browning himself performed in the circus as a youth and had great affection for his cast, which comes through in the finished film. A wonder to behold (especially on the big screen), this film is so well directed and a must see for every film fan. And because Freaks is only a little over an hour, we’re gonna throw in some short Halloween themed surprises before the movie!

 

 

 

 

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 

 

 

I’ve watched hundreds of horror films in my lifetime, and I can say with great confidence that Tobe Hooper’s 1974 film Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the scariest horror film ever made. No other film matches the grainy, gritty, dirty, snuff film feeling of this movie, with its unknown actors, bare bones budget, lack of soundtrack and some of the most intense villians ever put to screen. If you’ve never seen this film on the big screen with an audience, get ready for a whole different experience than watching it at home. And if you’re looking for the perfect horror film to scare the hell out of you and get in the mood for Halloween, this is the film. 

 

Julia’s Marchese’s Movie List 2018

These are the movies Julia Marchese watched in 2018 (in case you care about such things) 
Shout out to all of the insane, awesome rep programming I attended this year, especially those I watched on film –  courtesy of  The Tampa Theatre, The Egyptian, The Aero, Cinematic Void, Beyond Fest, Friday Night FrightsDynasty Typewriter, Secret Sixteen,  Vidiots, LACMAVoyager InstituteGenesis Cinema, Prince Charles Cinema, Crouch End Picturehouse , Scalarama – and to all of the friends who watched this movies with me/because of me. 

 

Key:

MN – Movie Night – my weekly movie night I have had with friends for over 8 years – (name in parenthesis chose the movie that week).

HMSG – movie watched for and talked about on my podcast Horror Movie Survival Guide.

BCBrian Crewes movie night, a friend who shows a wide variety of cinematic gems in his unbelievable home movie set up 

 

1. The Shape of Water – Tampa Theatre

2. The Greatest Showman 

3. In the Mouth of Madness – HMSG

4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

5. Get Out

6. Cars 3 

7. Standing Ovation – MN – (Matt)

8. Child’s Play – HMSG 

9. Psycho – HMSG

10. Friday the 13th – HMSG

11. Rocky Horror Picture Show – Nuart at Midnight 

12. The Holy Mountain 

13. Alphaville – MN – (David)

14. Beetlejuice 

15. Heathers 

16. Star Wars: The Last Jedi 

17. Lady Bird 

18. Masculine Feminine – MN (Julia)

19. Don’t Look Now – Egyptian – 35mm 

21. Charlie’s Angels

22. Velvet Goldmine

23. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

24. Pumpkinhead – HMSG

25. Psycho  – MN (Melanie)

26. People Under the Stairs – HSMG

27. Jaws – HMSG

28. Winchester

29. Stage Door – MN (Eric)

30. Viva – Loyola Marymount  

31. Secret Admirer – Egyptian – 35mm 

32. Mystery Date – Egyptian – 35mm 

33. Talented Mr. Ripley – MN (Matt)

34. Harold and Maude

35. Cat’s Eye – HMSG

36. Mute

37. Basketcase – Egyptian

38. Brain Damage – Egyptian – 35mm 

39. Frankenhooker – Egyptian – 35mm

40. Wild at Heart – BC

41. Darkest Hour

42. Across the Universe 🍓

43. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – MN  (Melanie)

44. Creepshow – HMSG

46. Nightmares – HMSG

47. The Pornographers – MN (David)

48. Annilhilation 

49. Red Sparrow 

50. Coco – MN (Teri)

51. Mind Game – Egyptian 

52. Miracle Mile 

53. Altered States – HMSG

54. Blue Juice – MN (Julia)

55. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – HMSG

56. Exorcist 2 – HMSG

57. Downsizing 

58. Lost Boys HMSG

59. Suspiria 1978 HMSG

60. The Pillow Book – MN (Paul)

61. Halloween 2 – HMSG

63. Isle of Dogs 

64. Annihilation 

65. Pet Sematary 2 – HMSG

66. Ready Player One 

67. Wonderstruck

68. 24 Hours to Live

69. Yes Man

70. Breathe

71. If I Stay

72. Kingsman: the Secret Service

73. Kingsman: the Golden Circle

74. Breakin all the Rules – MN (Teri) 

75. The Seventh Seal – Egyptian – 35mm 

76. The Magician – Egyptian – 35mm

77. Blood and Sand – BC

78. Stage Struck – BC

79. Thrashin’ – MN (Julia)

80. First Reformed

81. Ghoulies – HMSG

82. Grey Gardens – Egyptian

83. Mommie Dearest – Egyptian

84. Race With The Devil – MN (Paul)

85. Ready Player One

86. Dance of the Dead

87. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – MN (Eric)

88. The Breakfast Club – BC

89. Solo – El Capitan

90. Mac & Me – MN (Matt)

91. The Gate – HMSG

92. Critters – HMSG

93. Barefoot 

94. Arachnophobia – HMSG

95. The American Astronaut – MN (David)

96. Dead Calm – HMSG 

97. I Feel Pretty

98. Model Shop 

99. I Heart Huckabees – MN (Melanie)

100. Hereditary 

101. Upgrade 

102. Valley of the Dolls – Egyptian

103. What’s the Matter with Helen? – Egyptian – 35mm

104. War of the Worlds – BC

105. ET – BC

106. 2001: A Space Odyssey – Aero – 70mm

107. Hellraiser – HMSG

108. Domino – MN (Julia)

110. Hell Night – HMSG

111. La Ronde – MN (Paul)

112. Inception – Egyptian – 35mm

113. Adrift

114. A Quiet Place

115. Gassss – MN (Matt)

116. Gleaming the Cube – Egyptian – 35mm

117. North Shore – Egyptian – 35mm

118. BMX Bandits – Egyptian

119. Firestarter – HMSG

120. Show People – Paramount Ranch – 16mm

121. Shag – MN (Teri)

122. Children of the Corn – HMSG

123. It’s Alive – HMSG

124. Bloody Birthday – HMSG

125. City of Gold – MN (David)

126. Won’t You be my Neighbor?

127. The Frighteners – Egyptian – 35mm

128. Re-Animator – Egyptian – 35mm

129. Backbeat 

130. Across the Universe 🍓

131.Eighth Grade 

132. Waitress – MN (Melanie)

133. Dracula Untold

134. Dracula: Dead and Loving It

135. Predestination 

136. Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared Syn – Egyptian 3D – 35mm

137. Rottweiler – Egyptian 3D- 35mm

138. These are the Damned – MN (Jamie)

139. Van Helsing

140. Empire Strikes Back – Hollywood Bowl

142. Blackkklansman 

143. A Life Less Ordinary – MN (Julia)

144. The Bride – HMSG

145. He Knows You’re Alone – HMSG

146. Don’t Breathe 

147. The Blob – HMSG

148. The Cruise – MN (Paul)

149. Spacecamp – BC

150. Herzog’s Nosferatu – MN (Matt)

151. The Believers – HMSG

152. The Uninvited – HMSG

153. Dracula 2000

154. Dracula 79

155. LA Plays Itself

156. Suing the Devil – 5 Minute Game at Dynasty Typewriter

157. Splash – MN (Teri)

158. Dawn of the Dead – HMSG

159. Christine – HMSG

160. Love at First Bite

161. Wacky Taxi – MN (David)

162. Horror of Dracula

163. Blood for Dracula

165. The Thief of Bagdad – BC

166. Children of Men – MN (Melanie)

167. Down to Earth – Crouch End Picturehouse

168. Frogs – Genesis Cinema/Scalarama

169. Daughters of Darkness- Genesis Cinema/Scalarama

170. Top Secret! – Genesis Cinema/Scalarama

171. Phantom of the Paradise – Genesis Cinema/Scalarama

172. After Hours – Genesis Cinema/Scalarama – 35mm

173. The Sentinel – Genesis Cinema/Scalarama – 35mm

174. The In Crowd – Genesis Cinema/Scalarama

175. Heavy Metal Parking Lot – Genesis Cinema/Scalarama

176. Crumb – Genesis Cinema/Scalarama

177. La Ronde – Genesis Cinema/Scalarama

178. Hocus Pocus – Prince Charles Cinema 

179. Oculus

180. Deadly Friend HMSG

181. What They Had 

182. Night of the Living Dead – MN (Matt)

183. The Kindergarten Teacher 

184. The Holy Mountain

185. Shocker – HMSG

186. The Outsiders – BC

187. Rumblefish – BC

189. Lost Souls – MN (Julia)

190. Scream – HMSG

191. The Hills Have Eyes – HMSG

192. Child’s Play 2 – 16mm Marathon Dynasty Typewriter

193. The Fly 2 – 16mm Marathon Dynasty Typewriter 

194. Poltergeist 3 – 16mm Marathon Dynasty Typewriter 

195. Phantasm 2 – 16mm Marathon Dynasty Typewriter 

196. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare – HMSG

197. Suspiria 2018 – Egyptian

198. Nightmare Before Christmas – El Capitan

199. The Changeling – BC

200. The Lady in White – BC

201. The Witches of Eastwick – MN (Teri)

202. Bohemian Rhapsody

203. Rocky 4 – MN (David)  

204. Eight Days a Week 

205. The Other Side of the Wind

206. Border 

207. A Quiet Place 

208. Halloween 2018 

209. Taking Woodstock – MN (Melanie)

210. Amityville Horror HSMG

212. Strange Invaders – HMSG

213. The Dark Half – HMSG

214. A Star is Born 2018

215. Bird Box 

216. Mary Poppins

217. Firestarter – MN (Julia)

218. Roma 

219. Fright Night – HMSG

220. Shoot The Piano Player – MN (Paul)

221. Vox Lux 

222. Mandy – Nuart at Midnight 

223. Ben Hur 1925 – BC

224. Day of the Dead – HMSG

225. Victor/Victoria – MN (Eric)

226. The Dead Zone – HMSG

227. Fade to Black – HMSG

228. Mary Poppins Returns 

229. Santa Slays – MN (Matt)

230. The Christmas Chronicles

231. Mary Poppins Returns

232. The Chipmunk Adventure

233. Mary Queen of Scots

234. Stan & Ollie

Fifty Episodes of Horror Movie Survival Guide!

 

When my best friend Marion Kerr and I were ensconced in our Irvine apartment during our senior year of college, slurping Tab and watching one of the latest batches of horror movie VHS’ rented from nearby Gold Star Video, little did we think that so many years later we would a.) be doing a podcast about the whole shebang b.) that we would be at episode 50 already!

 

It baffles my mind to think of anyone wanting to listen to us rabbit on about scary movies, but talking about them with Marion is one of my very favorite things to do and I think it shows in our enthusiasm when recording.

 

Thank you to Teri Gamble, our producer and my duchess, for suggesting this podcast in the first place to producer Adam Bowman. Adam, thanks for making us the first podcast on Indie Popcorn FM. An honor in itself! You both have been so supportive, and I’m so grateful for you both. You’re good people.

 

 

Thank you, too, of course, to Miss Marion, for letting me show her hundreds of horror movies not once but twice during our friendship, even the gory ones like Hellraiser. We knew when we were writing the horror movie notebook back at UCI that it would become something else, but just didn’t know what – now we know! It’s Horror Movie Survival Guide!

 

I also just want to say thank you to everyone who listens to my show, and especially my friends who listen to support, even if they don’t like horror that much. I love hearing everyone’s thoughts on our episodes, or a film, or theory  – it delights me to inspire people to watch Final Exam or Lady in White for the first time. Sharing movies I love with others makes me so incredibly happy (that’s why I love film programming) and introducing folks to Radish and Wildman makes my gory horror hound heart so content.

 

 

SO thank you all for making this Final Girl happy, and here’s to delving into the hundreds of other titles still waiting to be discussed in the horror movie notebook!

 

https://www.buzzsprout.com/104713

 

What I love about cinema.

 

 

 

I recently moved to a new pad right in the heart of Hollywood, and yesterday I finally used my new location to its full advantage. I live within walking distance to several movie theaters – and yesterday I set out to go to one, and ending up going to three. 

 

 

 

 

It was my first time at the Arena Cinelounge on Sunset and although I was a little nervous at first about a cinema in a office building, it turned out to be a wonderful place. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable and the theater itself is spacious, with comfortable seats and plenty of leg room. I went to see an incredible documentary Dawson City: Frozen Time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being the cinephile and lover of film history that I am, this film was absolute magic to me. Bill Morrison has crafted a love letter to cinema and film itself, done with next to no dialogue and constructed in an experimental fashion.

 

Canada’s Dawson City was a mining town that experienced brief fame from a gold rush in the 1890’s, and became a place that launched not only several movie chain moguls, but also preserved much of film’s history itself. Being the end of the line for film prints making their way north, Dawson City ended up inadvertently collecting thousands of film prints, since the distributors & studios didn’t want to pay to ship all of the prints back. Although many of the prints were destroyed, some were preserved underneath an ice rink for decades, and discovered in the 1970’s. Many of these were the only living print in existence for hundreds of lost silent films.

 

 

 

You get to see hundreds of these films in Dawson City: Frozen Time, and they are the definition of cinematic magic. The distortion and damage done to many of these films from the years of neglect become part of the film and adds to the beauty of it. The music is stellar as well, incorporating the sound of the damaged film running through a projector as part of the score in places.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And amongst these findings were several newsreels – documentary footage taken in the 1890’s of prospectors rushing to Dawson City to stake their claim. Watching these men walk through the streets of Dawson City in 1897, smiling and looking curiously at the camera, is the only kind of time travel I will ever know.

 

 

 

I get to see how the world looked through their eyes at that captured moment, and that feeling, more than anything, is what I love about watching old films. I am traveling back to see people who lived and breathed and hoped just like I do. They worked hard to get to a remote city in Canada to possibly find some gold. Many did. But not one of them knew that a few seconds of  their lives would be forever immortalized and would, over a hundred years later, be watched by a girl in Hollywood, California, wearing a Fight Club T Shirt. And yet, that happened. And for a few moments those men were alive again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This film gave me everything I want a film to give me – an opportunity to see the beauty of the world, the wonder of it, and hope for mankind. That through art, we can show our true selves to each other – even if only for a few hours. It’s the feeling I chase when I go to films, like a junkie craving my next fix. Often the film disappoints, and I’m then ravenous to find it again. Someone asked me recently to describe my perfect moment of joy, and I said the moment in a cinema right before the film begins. The moment when there is absolute quiet, when no one is talking or breathing, and the possibility of the film is infinite. It could be as great as you imagine it in your own version in your head, or lacking sadly. But the times when the film is better than you could begin to imagine it, when the audience is taken along and the feeling of enjoyment in the theater is palpable – this is what it all boils down to as why I adore film so much. 

 

And that’s why I saw IT twice this weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I read It when I was in junior high – I was the girl on the bus listening to mix tapes on her walkman and reading Stephen King novels. As such, I have read a lot of his books, and I honestly think It is his best novel. His writing is at its absolute peak, the characters are vivid and full, and the depiction of horror is raw, evil and at its most terrifying. I forced the book onto several friends in junior high and high school, and one friend and I called each other Eddie (me) and Bevvie (her) after our favorite characters in the book, for the entirety of high school. I’ve read It dozens of times.

 

 

 

 

I was very dubious of this film, as I am of all remakes  – especially horror ones. The stupendous performances Tim Curry and Dennis Christopher in the 1990 version make it wonderful,  but I did find that version a bit…lacking. So I was willing to give this one a go. And I loved it.

 

 

 

 

 

The film is warm and fun, scary and horrifying, with terrific performances from all of the kids. Its hard to construct a large central cast in which all of the acting is on an equal level, but they’ve done it here. I felt each one really captured the character from the pages of the book, and although a great amount of trimming and a fair amount of changes were done to the novel, I didn’t mind the choices they made. The film is obviously made with a lot of love.

 

 

No one can EVER top a Tim Curry performance, natch, but I really really enjoyed Bill Skarsgard’s  performance as Pennywise. Although gruesome and intense, I found the character so captivating that there was something almost slightly appealing about him at times, which made him even more creepy. I only wish there was more of him in the film! The special effects were spooky and fun, and a good time was had by all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are so few modern horror movies that I want to see that I am now rarely in an excited opening night audience, but circumstances made it so that I was a the 9:30pm opening night show, Friday night. I’m such a horror hound that I don’t scare easily anymore, but I love seeing horror movies with an audience so much because it heightens your experience a hundred times.

 

 

 

The audience fucking loved It. They were squirming, gasping, giggling nervously from fear after every big scare. The girl next to me hid her face every time Pennywise came on screen for the entire film. She was fucking petrified.

 

And being part of the to audience go through all of that – that indescribable feeling of a room full of strangers as one is the most joyful thing I know. But it is indescribable. How do I, a human with only five supposed senses, feel a room full of people? How can the air seem thicker in the moments when the monster is on screen? How can it feel suddenly lighter when the danger has passed and everyone breathes normally and giggles at how frightened they were just moments ago? I don’t believe in god. I don’t believe in magic – but these moments are ones that make me think there may be something that really does connect people on some level. It gives me hope.

 

 

 

So I went to go see It again on Saturday at the Dome in Hollywood – because I wanted to experience it again – with even more people this time. The Dome seats over 800, and while not to capacity, the theater was quite full. And it was the same as the night before – the screams and gasps, the nervous laughter, with people hiding behind their eyes and squeezing onto their neighbor. Amazing.

 

 

When people tell me they don’t like being scared, when they can’t watch a horror movie in the theater because it freaks them out so much, I understand.  But I secretly think they are missing out on a wonderful human experience. To be with hundreds of strangers and feel the fear in the room, then the explosive release when the villain has been bested, when everyone feels safe because they are all together, watching these things as one, and don’t we know in the end everyone will be all right? That the credits will roll, and the rush you have felt for the last 2 hours will be buzzing in your system while your heart beat slows, and the terror is over. You can walk back out into the bright sunlight, and think – wasn’t that a fun ride? It’s the experience that It gave me twice this weekend, and I think Stephen King would be very proud because somehow I think he knows all about that feeling too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, walking home, I stumbled upon a screening just beginning at the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard – The Witch Who Came From the Sea. It is an exploitation movie from 1976 by director Matt Cimber, starring Millie Perkins – both of whom were there for a Q & A session afterward. The film (on glorious, crackling 35mm) was quirky and odd, with a dreamlike quality unlike most of its grindhouse ilk. Here I got to experience the audience in a difference way. There was a back story of the heroine where she was sexually abused by her father – with some uncomfortable flashback scenes. And such a different feeling when the entire audience is ill at ease, shifting in their seats and averting their eyes to avoid the images on the screen – not out of fear, but out of shame and embarrassment. That feeling, amplified by dozens of people is such an infrequent, uncomfortable feeling that I can see a certain beauty in it.

 

I know of several directors whose trademark seems to be exploiting this feeling – making the audience feel shame or humiliation or embarrassment. I don’t dig it. It doesn’t float my boat (down into the drain with Pennywise). The Witch Who Came From the Sea (great title) was a bizarre film that I had never heard of, but that I am glad that I saw.

 

I often wonder what it is like for other people to go to the movies. I know everyone doesn’t have the nearly holy experience it can be for me. I think back to going with friends to see movies completely indiscriminately in junior high, often seeing terrible films just because that’s what the local multiplex is playing, and I can’t really remember any of the experiences at all.

 

I certainly didn’t watch the film that way I do now – after years of studying film at university, which completely changed the way I saw movies, and after the thousands of films I have seen since then. I maybe knew who the actors were (and the boys name, definitely, if he was cute) but that was about it. Didn’t know many directors, didn’t think about all of the craft and artistry and sweat and blood it takes to get every single film on that screen. How many people work behind the scenes on all of these films, in pre and post production, on the set, distributing it, booking it, projecting it, all the way to your screen.

 

I do wish sometimes I could time travel back to that junior high me time frame and see films the way she would have. And sometimes I think to myself  I haven’t learned much from my time living in Hollywood. Then I look at the way I see movies now and that the cinema going experience delights me in a way no other media can.  That it is in my bone marrow.  I fucking love cinema.

 

Three different cinemas, three completely different film experiences, all within doorsteps to my house. It may be cramped, and without air conditioning, but I suppose this new place might have some perks after all.

 

 

 

Horror Movie Survival Guide

 

 

 

When I met my best friend, Marion, in college, she had never seen a single horror flick in her entire life.

 

 

 

 

I was the girl showing friends Pet Sematary in junior high, and was appalled she had shunned a genre so beloved to me.

 

 

So I made her a deal – watch Nightmare on Elm Street with me – my favorite horror film, and the best horror film ever, in my opinion – and if she wasn’t blown away by it, I would never force her to watch another horror movie again.

 

 

 

 

She consented after some debate, and we sat to watch it, me with overwhelming excitement at getting to share one of my favorite films with one of my favorite people, her with extreme trepidation for the upcoming first time experience.

 

 

 

 

Needless to say, Marion absolutely loved Nightmare on Elm Street – especially Heather Langenkamp’s number one badass Final Girl, Nancy, and her determination to live and beat big bad Freddy Krueger. A character who, when questioned why she is perusing a book on booby traps, obliquely quips “I’m into survival”. 

 

 

 

And with that one line, Marion was sold.

 

 

She asked me if kick ass women besting the villain was a theme in horror, and I said yes. So, we could watch these films as a kind of training course in how to survive, she posited. And I said absolutely. The more movies we watched, the better chance we had at becoming the Final Girl.

 

 

 

And that’s how the two of us decided to spend our senior year of college watching every horror movie in the horror section of our local video store, Gold Star Video. We ended up watching over 200 films that year.

 

 

Not just watching, mind you, but keeping them all tracked and logged in our Horror Movie Notebook. We covered the notebook with our favorite horror movie images and filled it up with page after page of obsessive horror nerd rantings, creating our own rating system and noting down our favorite lines and moments in each movie.

 

 

 

 

And now, thanks to the Indie Popcorn Network, Marion and I will be co-hosting a weekly podcast called Horror Movie Survival Guide – where we revisit our Horror Movie Notebook and re-watch the films from our senior year of college, covering a different film each episode.

 

 

 

I am so excited to dip back into the notebook, and talk about the films I love so dearly, and specifically what lessons each film teaches on survival.

 

 

 

 

You can listen to the first episode, “I’m Into Survival”, discussing Wes Craven’s 1984 masterpiece, Nightmare on Elm Street, at the link below. 

 

 

 

You can also follow Horror Movie Survival Guide on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where we will be posting new episodes each week.

 

 

Give it a listen and send in your opinions – always happy to hear from fellow horror hounds! 

 

Listen here: 

 

 

http://horrormoviesurvivalguide.buzzsprout.com/104713/532361-nightmare-on-elm-street-i-m-into-survival

 

 

Summer of Love

 

 

So very excited to announce that I have been asked to program a summer series at the amazing Somerville Theater in Massachusetts – entirely on 35mm! 

 

You can read about what I chose to program and why below:

 

“2017 heralds the 50th anniversary of 1967’s famed “Summer of Love”, where every hippie in America hightailed it to dear old San Fran to turn on, tune in and drop out. To stand up to the generation before them and say: “No. We don’t like your way. We are going to try something different.” 

 

This counterculture lived in incredible, bold new ways in 1967 – communally, out front and with love for free, and with sincere hope for true equality.

 

They listened to incredible music – Sgt, Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Their Satanic Majesty’s Request were two of the dozens of mind blowing releases of that year.

 

They ingested incredible drugs – like Acapulco Gold and Owlsey’s outta site LSD.

 

But most importantly, the hippies were genuinely trying to do a truly incredible thing – to get the world to simply stop fighting and love one another.

 

Let’s say that again. Simply stop fighting and love one another.

 

In 1967 it was a radical idea to strive for, and sadly, now, in 2017 – 50 years later – it still is.

 

When Ian Judge very kindly asked me to curate some films this summer, he generously gave me absolute carte blanche on what I could program.

 

And I chose to program four films that will let you time travel back to 1967, and take a snapshot of the world of film that year.

 

We start with Roman Polanski in a carefree mood, having fun and slaying undead in THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS.

 

Next is one of my very favorite films, with all of the sex and drugs and heartlessness of show business on glorious, lurid display – VALLEY OF THE DOLLS.

 

Los Angeles counterculture gets exploited, and the grown ups get put in their place in RIOT ON SUNSET STRIP

 

And lastly, Godard puts his crazy, out of control stamp on the era in the under seen WEEKEND

 

I hope when you come to these films, you’ll put away your cell phone and mentally transport yourself back 50 years.

 

The 35mm projector will spin to life just as it did then, and when the images start dancing on the screen, pretend it really is 1967.

 

Let the films show you the people, the colors, the sound and the psychedelic sights of 1967. Let yourself be carried away by the counter culture, and let them whisper their battle cry in your ear:

 

Simply stop fighting and love one another.

 

Peace and love, Julia Marchese”

 

 

If you live in the Somerville area and would like to attend, you can buy tickets at the links below:

 

Fearless Vampire Killers

 

Valley of the Dolls

 

Riot on Sunset Strip

 

Weekend 

 

Thanks again to Ian Judge and all of the other cool cats at the Somerville for giving me this bitchin’ opportunity! Long live 35mm! 

A One Hit Wonder

 

Since I was a little girl, I’ve only ever been interested in music from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. My favorite cassettes growing up were Ricky Nelson, Jan & Dean and The Monkees.

 

The first “modern” band I ever liked was Stray Cats – because they looked and sounded like they were from the 50’s.

 

In high school I only listened to the oldies station & I started my lifelong obsession with The Beatles . So, needless to say, I think of myself of having a pretty deep and wide knowledge of music from those decades.

 

Lately I’ve been listening to an internet radio station called Retro Attic Rare Oldies Radio, which plays little known and obscure songs from the 50’s-late 70’s. I’ve heard a lot of the songs before, but there are quite a few that are new to me. A lot of these are terrible, and I don’t really feel badly that I don’t know them. 

 

But recently on the station I heard a song that I had never heard before that has been stuck in my head for weeks, and to me finding a new song that I like such a terrific delight.

 

Ariel is a one hit wonder (reaching #26 in the Billboard charts in 1977) from a singer named Dean Friedman. The song caught my attention because of the offbeat & quirky lyrics and I thought listening to his voice that it was Weird Al at first. 

 

The song is a classic love song, but the lyrics are peculiar, honest and realistic, the tune catchy as fuck, and I find his voice & phrasing charming. Such great harmonies, fun bass line – sax solo! What’s not to like? 

 

Is this song mind blowing? No.

 

But there is something about the song that just makes me feel happy. The cover of the album makes me happy too.  Look how shaggy and forlorn he is! Love it. 

 

 

So I thought I would share it with you. 

 

Have you heard this song before? 

 

 

If you haven’t, give it a listen and let me know what you think.  

 

Are there any songs that you have found recently that make you happy? 

 

Send them over!

 

I’m always open to finding new music – whether it be truly new, or just new to me. 

 

 

And a thank you to Dean Friedman for writing a song 40 years ago that makes a girl here in 2017 happy. 

 

 

 

 

Sundance & Art House Convergence 2017

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2017 has started out quite auspiciously as I was able to attend two super cool cinephile events that I had never been to, back to back – Art House Convergence & Sundance

 

Since I am currently looking for a new position AND looking for help in making my next film as well, these two cinema & film centered events were perfect places to schmooze and meet folks who share the same interests. I went in with a finished DVD copy of my first film –  which was fantastic to have – and an openness to new adventures in cinema wherever they may be. I love film so much, as long as I am working with in it in someway, I’ll be happy, and I knew I would meet lots of folks that felt the same way. 

 

First was the Art House Convergence, held in Midway, Utah Jan 16-19. I had heard about the Convergence when I was with the New Bev, but never got the chance to attend. When my friend Anna Feder (who programs the Bright Lights Series at Emerson, and who brought the 35mm print of Out of Print out to Boston in 2015) told me she had an extra bed in her hotel for the Convergence, I jumped at the chance to tag along. The opening night film was the incredible Nacho Vigalondo’s newest Colossal, which was super cool AND I got to karaoke White Lines by Grandmaster Flash while Anna rocked out Maneater by Hall and Oates. 

 

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I volunteered for the Convergence, which meant I “hosted” one of their conference rooms for two days of cinema related panels. I got to hear all sorts of diverse panels, from building your social media audience and fundraising for galas to – my favorite –  the After Midnite panel hosted by Mark Anastasio from the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, MA. A man of incredible style and taste and owner of the coolest pin collection ever – see below. 

 

 

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Mark talked about how seeing Holy Mountain at midnight blew his mind and made him want to focus on midnight programming – as a Jodorowsky fan myself, I totally related. 

 

 

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It was super cool to meet dedicated cinema owners and programmers from all over North America, and everyone I met was incredibly kind. I ran into my chum Jessie Maltin, and had the pleasure of having dinner with her and her lovely husband and amazing parents for two nights in a row. Chatting casually about 16mm film with Leonard Maltin was pretty damn rad. 

 

 

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The closing night party of the Art House Convergence was held at a resort that had an ICE CASTLE. I didn’t know these things existed, and it was absolutely magical. They played epic music and the castle changed colors and there were three ice slides. SO COOL. 

 

 

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I took the shuttle from the Art House Convergence on Jan 19 to Sundance in Park City, where I stayed through Jan 25. Again, friends came to the rescue when my BFF Teri Gamble offered to share her bed with me at the amazing condo she was staying at in Sundance, and another friend helped me in getting a super sweet badge for the festival. (I have wonderful friends!)

 

 

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Teri works as PR for Media Circus/Circus Road Films, and over the course of my staying there, I got to know all of the cool folks who work there – including Adam Bowman, Glen Reynolds and Sebastian Twardosz – and their cool friends Michael Philip, Alex Ferrari  & Austin Nordell.  

 

 

 

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I was able to see 11 films at Sundance, my very first film being an 8:30am screening of I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore. I have loved Melanie Lynskey since I saw her in Heavenly Creatures on opening day, and Elijah Wood since I was ten, so I was majorly stoked to see them act in a flick together. And they didn’t disappoint. I loved I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore, loved the characters and the crazy directions it swerved into, and its very unique tone. I am so thrilled that it won the Grand Jury award – it deserved it.

 

 

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I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore ended up being the film I recommended to everyone I spoke to (and I was pleasantly surprised at how friendly absolutely everyone is at Sundance!) and at the end of the day the first film I saw was the best film I saw there – even after 10 others. The others being Person to Person, LA Times, I Dream in Another Language, Before I Fall, The Discovery, Marjorie Prime, Machines, Quest, Its Not Yet Dark, Band Aid). Some of these films were very good, but nothing touched I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore for me. 

 

Being that I was staying in the Media Circus condo, I also got to be involved in two super duper rad events that became the highlight of my trip. The first was to get to sit in on an interview that Indie Film Hustle conducted with Spectrevision/Company X.

 

 

 

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I’ve loved all of Spectrevision’s releases so far, and after attending the Spectrevision/Cinefamily  produced staged reading of Joe Dante’s incredible script for the Roger Corman Biopic The Man With Kaleidoscope Eyes – which was AMAZING – I was so delighted to hear that they were going to produce the full film version.  Joe Dante is obviously a genius as a director, but he is also one of the nicest people I have ever met, and I am so excited for him to finally get to tell one of his amazing Corman tales on screen! 

 

 

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The Indie Film Hustle interview was such fun, with Daniel Noah, Elijah Wood, Josh Waller & Lisa Whalen giggling and riffing each other, and Alex and Sebastian asking the right questions to get an honest and heartfelt answer. And I unexpectedly got a shout out in the middle of the interview, which was pretty rad. (Elijah is pointing to me off screen at 35:13 when he mentions the New Beverly – which I yelled back “They fired me!” which is why Josh is doing the finger across the throat and Elijah is saying “I Know, I know…Julia’s gonna kill me!” ) 

 

 

 

 

If I was merely interested in working with Company X before this interview, after it, I am completely determined. Their whole lookout on their jobs, on how they support their filmmakers and aren’t afraid to take chances, sounded like heaven to me. They are the producers every filmmaker dreams of meeting. So excited to see what they produce in the future. 

 

 

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As if that wasn’t enough awesomeness for one day, that night those crazy Media Circus folks threw a RAGING party at the condo, for the upcoming doc On the Sly: In Search of the Family Stone. I jumped right in and ended up being a bartender for the night, and it was the most fun bartending I have ever done. (And yes, I was suckered into paying for a bartending license when I first moved to LA). 

 

 

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Apparently, props must be given to Tim League for inventing this game (and for just general radness), but it’s called Shot Roulette. A D20 is thrown three times, and each number corresponds to a bottle of some beverage. Three beverages are added to your shot, which you then shoot, and name. 

 

 

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I say beverage because it wasn’t all booze – although there was moonshine, whiskey and all sorts of flavored liquors – there was also fish sauce, clam juice and cream of mushroom soup. I must have poured hundreds of shots during that party, and about 75% of them were absolutely repulsive, but no one refused to drink theirs. It would be against the spirit of the game! So to your health to everyone I served that night, and well done on your sense of adventure! The game is complete genius, and turned the party into an absolute blast – it was so much fun to be in the middle of it all. 

 

 

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Many thanks to all of the fellows and ladies that I met during the Art House Convergence & Sundance – you were all so kind, and it was thanks to you that I had such an amazing time. It was so great to be back with cinema focused folks again, and talking about the future and its possibilities. I am so excited to go through the stack of business cards I got & get back in touch with you all – and am hopeful that one of these cards represents someone to help guide me to my next adventure – wherever that adventure may be. 

 

 

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WE DID IT!!

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 THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to every single one of you that donated, shared and tweeted about my Independent Cinema in the UK campaign. 

 

I am so very chuffed to be able to not only tour along with Out of Print, but also interview some incredible British cinemas – and I got some beauties lined up! I can’t wait to share it all with you! 

 

I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have so many wonderful people out there who believe in me. I have a hard time believing in myself sometimes, and your support truly gives me hope.

 

I am going to make the best damn project I can, and work hard to make it worthy of all of your support.

 

Plane tickets are bought, Thundercats Are Go! 

 

And I want to thank all 93 of you that donated to make this project happen.

 

Thank you to:

Marion Kerr

Brian Crewe

Anthony Swilley

Jehangeer Sunderji

Thomas Dyer

Aoife O’Sullivan

Joe Vanourney

John Rackham

Paul Hrissikopoulos

Gill Regan

Gail Marsh

Richard Beer

Bobby Bennett

Pat & Lamar Marchese

Becky D’Anna

John Marsh

Bing Bailey

David Wirth

Lotti Knowles

Megan Riordan

Toby Miller

Danielle Hood

Eric Soto

Peter Knight

Christopher Roberts

Tyler Gray

John Duncan

Terry McCarty

Ceri Ashcroft

Dom Zook

Jeff Beeching

Ruth Ann Harnisch

Luke Doran

Lance & Lorelle Davis

Jane Pike

Chris Eibes

Kathleen Dolan

Nigel Smith

Jennifer Upton

Patton Oswalt

John Ringhoff

Darren Van Dusen

Karen Irvin

Jonathan Hatfull

Crystal Clements

Carey Kaplan

EF Contentment

Tim Davis

Courtney Joyner

Toni Posey

Rick Dominicus

Richard Martinez

Daryl Zero

Stevie Cattigan

Dallas King

Mercury Troy

Polly Rose

Anne Seabright

Anita Getzler

Maxwell Marchese

Judith Page-Leiberman

Jill Halverson

Jon Schell

Tara Judah

Taylor Posey

Duncan Carson

Annika Klein

Fergal Rock

Quentin Desert 

Andrew Gaughen

Joanne Lentino

PC Rae 

Paul Maskell 

 

AND a secret thank you to all of you marvelous, mysterious private & anonymous donors! 

 

And last but certainly not least, thank you to the folks at Go Fund Me, whose PR team helped me with press and who gave the final $250 to make sure this project succeeded. 

 

THANK YOU.

 

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Thank you.

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I need to thank all of you. 

 

Because of you, I was able to not only make my first film, but also have it distributed. 

 

If you feel like you’ve been hearing about Out of Print forever – you kind of have. Can you believe that I launched my Kickstarter in 2012?

 

And it took four years to get to this point, the film being released on Amazon & Itunes as well as playing in independent cinemas on 35mm. 

 

That’s how long it takes to make a movie – from soup to nuts, and the thing I have enjoyed most about this entire process is I have learned how to make and sell a film.

 

I raised the money, hired the crew, scheduled the interviews, rented the equipment, drew up the contracts, interviewed the cast, bought the lunches, paid the crew, sent out the Kickstarter incentives*, filmed in London, edited the film and got the color & sound done**, had selected folks watch a rough cut and give notes, got screeners made and sent out to film festivals, got the film digitized and made into a 35mm print (!!), premiered at the Sidewalk Film Festival and won the Programmer’s Award, personally toured with the film to several colleges and had wonderful Q&A’s with students, personally booked the film tour around the world, was featured on dozens of cool podcasts, was interviewed by dozens of awesome websites, was fired from the very establishment I had centered my film on, learned a hard fucking lesson about Hollywood, found a sales agent who took the film to the American Film Market, found a distributor who sold the film, and had the film premiere on VOD and be playing in independent cinemas on 35mm at the same time. 

 

A hearty thanks to all of you who rode along with me. 

 

Thank you all for all of your support and patience during these last four years. I am over the moon about the positive reviews Out of Print has gotten recently, and am so very thankful to all of you for making it happen. 

 

That being said, it hasn’t all been rainbows and unicorns. Losing the New Bev broke my spirit hard core, and I’m still licking my wounds. I have a film that I now look at and wish it was different – I wish I hadn’t just focused on one theater, I see the repetition in the film, the lag in the middle and a thousand other little problems with it.

 

But I am proud of the film I made, and love the response that it has gotten. I’m glad that my honest passion for cinema & 35mm film shines through, and that it has gotten people to be curious about that small cinema near them, and what they are watching the movie on. That was always my goal with the film, and in that I think I have succeeded. 

 

So what comes next? 

 

Los Angeles has lost some of its sparkle. 

 

I’m still looking for a job.

 

Am I going to make another film?  I hope so. 

 

I have a project I think would blow people’s minds.

 

And I have been hoping Out of Print will lead to the next film..but I don’t know. I haven’t been able to predict a thing correctly about this film yet, so let the chips fall where they may. 

 

But I am still so passionate about cinema, and always will be. I don’t quite know what direction to turn in these days, but whichever way I go, I am sure there is film waiting for me at the end of the road.  

 

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*with the help of John Quinn, Daniel  Owens and Jon Schell, respectively. 

 

** If you donated to Out of Print’s Kickstarter and are owed a DVD, fear not! They will be  arriving by Christmas…

 

Out of Print Screenings!

Out of Print – coming to a theater near YOU! (If you live in Southern California)

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Well hello there! Long time no see!

 

I have had requests for some local screenings of Out of Print, and I am happy to oblige!

 

If you live in Orange County – come on down to The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana on Friday, September 4th at 7:30.

 

If you haven’t been to the Frida, it’s such an incredible theater and bringing true independent cinema to the OC in a fun and creative way!

 

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If you don’t feel like crossing the Orange curtain, come the next night, Saturday, September 5th at 7:30 to the Crest Theatre in Westwood!

 

The Crest was built in 1940 and is a GORGEOUS cinema.

 

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At the moment it looks as if both screenings will be on blu-ray – but it will still be big and loud and gorgeous. 

 

I will be in attendance for both screenings – so come on down with any questions you may have!

 

Also, the soundtrack – scored by my brother, Peter Marchese –  will be for sale at both screenings for $10 a pop.

 

Hope to see you there!

 

Buy tickets for the Frida show here! 

Buy tickets for the Crest show here!

Where I’m At

I feel like I need to give everyone an update of what’s been going on with the movie…sorry it’s so late, but I haven’t felt much like writing lately. Been in a kind of lethargic/super anxious haze waiting to see what will happen with Out of Print. 

 

This is all stream of consciousness so forgive me if things are a little slapdash. 

Man, I had no idea how brutal the whole film festival process was. As the film was rejected from festival after festival, my stress began to bulldoze higher and higher.

 

Sundance? No.

 

SXSW? No.

 

Hot Docs? No.

 

And so on and so forth. My redemption came in the form of the Sidewalk Film Festival, in Birmingham, Alabama where Out of Print will be premiering on August 23rd, followed by a panel discussing the importance of film preservation. My parents will be joining me, and I couldn’t be happier. Having them both there for my first feature film premiere is a fantastic feeling. I couldn’t have done it with out them. 

 

So, the film will premiere at Sidewalk, and then hopefully I can screen it at the New Beverly before the year is out!?

 

After that, who knows? More film festivals? Distribution? VOD stuff? A tour of revival cinemas with the film on 35mm?

 

Yes, It’s true, I was able to make a 35mm print of the film, thanks to the incredibly generous help of Digineg, Deluxe, Kodak and Fotokem. I actually have a 35mm print of Out of Print!! So so so happy, and still rather startled – I had no idea going into making this film that I would one day be able to shoot AND show it on FILM. 

 

While I have been sitting at home waiting for the rejection letters, like a draft dodger nervously checking the mailbox, I have been writing. When someone asks me what I am working on next, I want to be able to give them a wide range of options! So, in the works are: 

 

3 documentary pitches

 

3 feature films scripts

 

1 television show pitch

 

1 novel 

 

It’s been a strange year because after the thrill of the Kickstarter succeeding, filming the movie, editing and getting all the bits and pieces together, you send it out to be appraised and then it’s kind of out of your hands. Its hard to keep the enthusiasm going (myself as well as the fans).

 

 

The film was officially finished in 2013 and I don’t think I had watched it all the way the through for a couple of months. There was a screening at Fotokem of my print 2 weeks ago and I watched it and thought “Oh, no. This is all wrong. I made the wrong movie – I should have edited this and that……” and so on.

 

 

I’m sure every first time filmmaker goes through it. 

 

 

But I am so very excited to have it screen with a crowd – only close friends and family have seen the film so far – and i’m sure I will feel totally different about the film after that.

 

I hope it goes over well. 

 

I kind of feel like I am standing on the tippy-toe edge of a cliff, about to jump off  – and I have absolutely no idea what is waiting for me below. 

 

 

 

Horror Forever

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My senior year of college, I lived with (still) my best friend, Marion Kerr. We lived in Irvine (which I am convinced is the Hellmouth), near a little video store called Gold Star Video, run by a sweet-faced woman named Peru. We decided to challenge ourselves to watch every horror movie in their horror section that year. We watched a lot of terrible films (Halloween 3, Dead End Drive In), but also found some unheralded gems (Fade to Black, Final Exam) and we officially became horror junkies. Since she and I are pretty angel faced, we confused people with our  blood lust – Peru was perplexed, and even Jackie Joseph, who we spoke to at our first Fangoria convention felt compelled to ask, “What are you nice girls doing here?”

 

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We kept a notebook and wrote down info on every film – cast, quotes, popular horror themes (lead girl’s name ending in Y, someone calling “who’s there?”, topless chicks, etc). We clutched each other in abject horror during Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Last House on the Left. Marion fell off the couch she was so scared when Johnny Depp got sucked into his bed in the original Nightmare on Elm Street (still my have horror movie of all time). We were scared, but we also felt that with every horror movie we watched, we had a better chance of survival in case of actual events. We knew not to run down that blind alley, not to check the hallway with only a candle to light the way, to never say “I’ll be right back!” We felt proud that we sat through all of the Nightmares, Halloweens, Friday the 13ths, Hellraisers and Child’s Plays – even if most of them sucked.

 

 

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To be honest, becoming a horror fan is one of the smartest things I have ever done. I’ve made incredible friends and gotten several jobs because of my enthusiasm for horror – including one at Second Spin, and one of the leads in Delta Delta Die! back in 2003.  A Full Moon Feature, I was overly excited to get covered in a bucket a blood, and that I got to deliver possibly the best line in the film – (watch below at 1:30). Sadly, my career as a scream queen has yet to take off. (Even though I have a FANTASTIC horror movie scream).

 

 

I’ve never particularly understood why horror – nay, all film itself – it’s mainly a man’s game. At the New Bev I am constantly perplexed by the man/woman ratio (90% men on 90% of nights) – where are the other Julias? I understand that not everyone enjoys being frightened, but I find being scared a delight – it makes me feel alive –  my heart pounds, my breath quickens, my hands clutch each other in anticipation – I love it. And, of course, watching horror films in the theater with an audience is the BEST way to see them.

 

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I have been so disappointed in horror films lately – I have been trying to keep up, more or less, with modern horror but I hadn’t seen any movie within the last five years that had really rocked my socks – until this week. I decided to take in a double of The Quiet Ones and Oculus – two recent horror films I knew nothing about, save the posters I had seen around town. I was ready for disappointment – everything I had seen recently had been reductive, CGI filled and boring. Luckily, I was wrong.

 

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The Quiet Ones gets extra points off the bat for being a new Hammer Film. Set in England in 1974 and “inspired by true events”, the film follows a small crew of students helping a slightly dastardly Oxford abnormal psych professor while he tries to prove that the young girl in his psychiatric care is merely insane, not possessed. Jared Harris does a snakily wonderful job as the professor, and Olivia Cooke is hauntingly beautiful as the disturbed girl, but it is Sam Claflin that stars as the shy cameraman, Brian, that steals the film. Because of the time period & set up, half the film is shown in 16mm – as we look through Brian’s camera – which of course delighted me. The film has some decent scares, and some nice twists – I look forward to seeing what else Hammer will be offering up in the next few years. And I am officially crushing on Sam Claflin. Hubba Hubba.

 

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But the film that I really want to write about is Oculus – which blew my goddamn mind. It is one of the scariest, cleverest and well written horror films I have seen since 28 Days Later. And, of course, knowing absolutely nothing about it made it even more fun. (I am going to try to not spoil too much here, but some plot points will be revealed.)

 

Not since my favorite final girl Nancy kicked Freddy’s burnt butt has there been a heroine as incredible as Karen Gillan’s Kaley. She is beautiful, smart, and has spent 10 years devising a fool-proof plan to kill the demon that lurks inside the Lasser Glass – an antique mirror that has killed over 40 people in a very personal and horrific manner over the last 400 years, including her mother and father. Or is Kaley crazy, and did her parents just lose their minds? Either way, she has more booby traps and kill switches than you can shake a stick at, and she ain’t backing down for no one – not even her younger brother, Tim, who has been getting brainwashed at  mental institution for the last decade. But she’s believably awesome – she hasn’t turned into a Sarah Connor type, but is going to win using her intelligence and street smarts.

 

M90 Karen Gillian stars in Relativity Media's OCULUS. Photo Credit: John Estes ©2013 Lasser Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

 

The film jumps back and forth between two timelines – Kaley and Tim as children going through their parents downward spiral, as well as their present attempt to kill the evil – and it does so seamlessly. There are several astounding gore effects in the film that are terrifically squirm worthy, but the thing that makes the film so terrifying is that it locks into a fear I think every child has had at some point .What if your parents – the people you trust wholeheartedly for your security and well-being – went crazy. Like REALLY crazy. By tapping into this primal fear, the film knocks you off-balance and puts you back into the child’s mind – where monsters lurk around every corner and you wouldn’t dare leave the closet door open at night. Brilliant. And genuinely horrifying.

 

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I had also never seen Karen Gillan before and I think I am in love. I am a straight woman, but she might be the most beautiful girl I have ever seen and she KILLS this role. I know Doctor Who fans are already on board her train, but I am signing up for a ticket here and now. I hope she becomes a big star because she fucking deserves it. Also, she chews an apple cuter than anyone else I have ever seen in my life.

 

 

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I highly recommend Oculus – it got me excited for horror again, and that’s saying a lot. It’s inspired me to write a horror script myself – something I should have done years ago – that pulls from all of the horror knowledge I have accrued over the years. And if a movie can do that, i’d say it’s worth your $14 bucks.

Thank you, Glee.

 

 

I’m having a really bad week.

 

Nothing has changed in my life – everyone I know is (thankfully) happy and healthy, I still have my jobs, and everything is cruising along normally on the surface.

 

Underneath that is me having maybe one of the worst bouts of depression/anxiety I have ever had. And the scariest part is I’m on two medications right now for depression and anxiety. And it is still absolutely crippling.

 

Before I go any further, let me say I have an appointment this afternoon to see a doctor and get this all sussed out.

 

But in the meantime…yesterday I could barely function, dragging myself as if I were a zombie to the gym and then to the grocery store. It was a friend’s birthday recently and I promised him I would make him a cake, so I robotically put one together.

 

I shouldn’t have gone to work and I should have called off my regular Monday movie night – that’s how bad I was. I would have done – but I had made the cake.

 

I ended up leaving movie night halfway through, which I had never done before, seeing as I am the host, but I couldn’t keep up the charade any longer – and I had been slumped apathetically in my boyfriend’s lap, so my charade – if I had any to begin with – had been paper thin.

 

I curled up in bed and waited for sleep. I just didn’t want to have to think or feel anymore.

 

This morning I woke up slightly better, but still in dire need of a doctor’s advice. So while I wait for my appointment, I am snuggled up on my couch under the quilt I made, sipping a Tab and watching Glee.

 

And Glee is making me so fucking happy.

 

And this, folks, is why people make art.

 

When the cast and crew behind Glee were filming, they would never know that one day a girl battling with severe depression would watch the show and find it a lone source of joy in a world otherwise completely overwhelming to her. And I think that every one of those actors, crew members and writers would probably agree that if their show can do that for one person, then all of it has been worth it.

 

I’m that person.

 

Thank you, everyone behind Glee. You’ve helped me more than you could ever know.

 

35 things I have learned in my 35 years on Earth.

I turn 35 on March 18. I thought I would impart what wisdom I have accumulated thus far. If you can call it wisdom…

 

1. Don’t let other people’s opinions of you change the way you look at yourself. You’re awesome. Trust me.

 

 

2. Be kind to everyone you meet. You never know when they might pop up again in your life. But if someone is a dick to you, be a dick back. Fuck that guy.

 

 

3. Take good care of your teeth. You can have crooked teeth and have it be adorable, but no matter what, they should always be clean and white. When  you haven’t flossed since the last time your mom made you its gross. Floss and brush and you don’t have to worry about your teeth falling out or heart disease later. 

 

 

4. On a similar note, keep your nose hairs in check. No one like to look at protruding hairs – and the older you get, the more unruly they become. I highly recommend getting a nose hair trimmer – available for less than $20 at your local drug store! 

 

 

5. Here’s my dating advice: If you see someone you think is cute, ask them out. The worst they can say is no. Even if they do, I promise you they will let you down easy and won’t say “Eew! NO!”  You might waste an evening of your time with them if you don’t get along, but what’s one evening out of your life? And maybe you’ll gain a lover, a friend, or at least a good story.

 

 

6. Be considerate of others. Pay attention to the space around you. Other people deserve the respect you expect from them. Please be considerate when playing your music, using your phone, driving, walking around –  Awareness, please.

 

 

7. READ. I devour books by the truckload. I love to learn and can’t wait to see what book is going to blow my mind next.

 

 

8. Be honest. Telling people what you really feel helps pretty much every situation there is. Which leads me to:

 

 

9. Pay attention to your instincts. When you meet someone and a little voice inside tells you that’s there’s something off about them, listen to that voice. Humans are amazing creatures and our body has a little defense mechanism built right in – that most people plow right over intellectually. You will save yourself from dangerous situations in every facet of your life with this.

 

 

10. The Beatles are the greatest band on Earth. If you don’t like the Beatles it is either because:

 

a. You haven’t listened to enough of their songs. You need to explore the deep cuts – there is a little something for everyone. I guarantee you that I can find you ONE Beatles song you would like, regardless of your music tastes.

         

  b. You are contrary and reject them because everyone has told you your whole life that The Beatles are the greatest band on Earth. But if you let this  go, you would actually like them. ( see letter a. above)

 

 

11. Converse were, are, and will always will be the coolest shoe on the planet. Black high tops go with absolutely anything, in any style. Preppy, gangster, punk, goth, nerd – Chuck Taylors know no societal boundaries. When I see someone wearing Converse I like them a little better.

 

 

12. Braces are a fucking scam.  You will get your braces off and your teeth will be perfect. BUT YOU WILL NEED TO WEAR YOUR RETAINER EVERY NIGHT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE IF YOU WANT YOUR TEETH TO STAY AS THEY ARE. Truth. 

 

 

13.  Life is too short to waste time matching your socks. The only people that see you in your socks are your close friends and family, so who cares?  Oh, but the TSA guys at the airport are going to tell you EVERY TIME you go through that your socks don’t match. Humiliating-1984-esque body scans AND hilarious jokes? It’s almost too much to bear.

 

 

14. Punctuality. I am always on time. I think making other people wait for you is very disrespectful and suggests that you consider your time more important than theirs.  I understand there are exceptions when you legitimately couldn’t help but being late, but 95% of the time you could have made it on time, you just didn’t.

 

 

15. Stand up for what you believe in. I felt so moved when I found out that movie studios were going to stop making 35mm prints that I felt compelled to create a petition to ask the studios to continue sharing their prints with revival cinemas indefinitely. It sparked a debate in film circles and lead to me making my first feature film. At first I wasn’t going to do anything because I didn’t think an online petition would make any difference – but then I realized that fighting for what i think is valuable is more important than how many signatures I got. I’m so glad I listened to that little voice. (See #9)

 

 

16. TCB. Take Care of Business. If you say you are going to do something, do it. Don’t hem and haw and maybe get to it two weeks later. After I raised the money on Kickstarter to make Out of Print, we were shooting the film less than a month later. I finished the entire film, soup to nuts in a little under a year.

 

 

17. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. You are just as important as everyone else and you deserve to be treated as an equal.

 

 

18. Movies – and the art of watching movies with an audience – is one of my very favorite things. Nothing makes me happier than being in a darkened theater surrounded by like minded people enjoying a brilliant film. End of story.

 

 

19. Don’t buy into your own hype. Living in Hollywood, I have seen folks get famous and consequently act as if they are suddenly better than you and too busy to be your friend, or are simply “ON” all of time. It’s exhausting and a major drag. True friends are ones that won’t agree with you on everything, but will tell you when you’re being a major chump.

 

 

20. Traveling is the best way to discover who you are. Seeing how the world works (or doesn’t, in some cases) and how everything around the globe is so different yet so incredibly similar is a real mind opener.  Food, clothing, sights, weather, customs…the wonders of travel never cease. And when you return, I promise you’ll see your own life in a new way, too.

 

 

21. If a restaurant looks dodgy, the food is not good. I had been living my life by the old “Hey, it’s in a dingy shopping mall and the people looked shocked when I walked in the door and everything is covered in grease but maybe its a HIDDEN GEM” mantra. Folks, that mantra has failed me more times than I care to count. I could write an entire separate post about  the abominable meals I have been served in Los Angeles. I’m an experimental girl and I love exploring the city and am always up for trying a new place, but ain’t nobody got time for lousy food.

 

 

22. No one wants to hear you complain. Not even your mom. Venting is a normal human response –  I’m not saying keep everything bottled up inside –  just don’t let your life become overwhelmed with negativity. If you spend just one day noticing how much you and the people around you complain, I promise you’ll want to cut back.

 

 

23. Always take the time to appreciate an amazing ass.

 

 

24. If you start a fight club and proudly walk around with a black eye as a woman, people will think you are a domestic violence victim.

 

 

25. Be silly. Don’t trust people who aren’t.

 

 

26. No woman is immune to the biological clock.

 

 

27. Electric blankets are the fucking best. I wish I could time travel back to my childhood and tell myself to buy one, post-haste. Instead of shivering under your covers for way too long in the winter, just crank this little puppy up ten minutes before you jump in the hay, and you’re in for warm, snuggly heaven.

 

 

28. Cookie Butter is the life. Find me a substance more delicious than this – I double dog dare you.

 

 

29. Whether you are a very poor man or a very rich man, it is always in bad taste to talk about money.

 

 

30. Be wary of corporations and cities that white wash everything. They are out to kill your soul.

 

 

31. Whatever you fantasize about is okay. It’s in your head.

 

 

32. Love at first sight really exists. 

 

 

33. Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know something. Ask. No shame in it whatsoever.

 

 

34. Stay away from talking about politics and religion.

 

 

35. Lastly, and most importantly. Just Be Cool. If everyone in this world was just Cool, think about how much better this world would be.

 

The Greatest Book You’ve Never Read

I love books that show up out of nowhere and strike you across the face with their brilliance.

 

 

There are two books in my life that I have serendipitously plucked from a bookstore shelf, taken home – where they absolute blew my mind and which I have consequently re-read every year and will continue to forever and forever, amen.

 

 

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The first book was found just as I was about to leave for college – The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis. (That’s my much loved copy pictured above) I had never heard of it, but the cover design and title intrigued me and I felt  pulled to it. It ended up totally and completely rocking my little socks right off. I had never read a writer with such a natural, casual voice and Ellis’ use of the multi-narrator format in the book opened my eyes to non-traditional narration. He doesn’t use it in a heavy-handed Crash kind of way, but allows the readers to piece together a truth for themselves from the varying snatches of reality from each of his characters. It also allows for a richer narrative, letting the reader into the thoughts of several of the characters, instead of just one.

 

 

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A few years ago, there was a bit of a ruckus amongst Twilight fans when Stephenie Meyer’s half-finished manuscript for her novel, Midnight Sun, leaked online. She retaliated by  announcing that she was abandoning the novel, to much disappointment from fans. Midnight Sun is Twilight told from Edward’s point of view, and from what’s available on-line, it’s really enlightening. Like everyone else, you may have asked “Why is Edward such an over-controlling asshole?” – being privy his thoughts, emotions and motivations in Midnight Sun make him seem more like a man in desperate love than a mind reading psycho. The publication of Midnight Sun would have changed people’s feelings on the whole series. In any case,  I think it’s a majorly cool idea to write a novel in a series from a different characters point of views.

 

Jump Back.

 

I have probably read The Rules of Attraction more times than any other book (with Valley of the Dolls coming in close second). It blooms and gets richer with every reading – references within the different narratives begin to overlap. All of Bret Easton Ellis’  books take place in a demented universe of his own creation; most of his characters criss-cross wonderfully, often popping up in one, if not all, of his novels. For example, Sean Bateman – one of the three main narrators in The Rules of Attraction – is younger brother to Patrick Bateman, aka American Psycho. They each cameo in the other’s books as background players. Ellis has built such a big world for himself to play in, its fun to see where he’ll go next.

 

 

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Also, I love Ellis’ books because his characters are appalling awful – cold, vain, heartless bisexual nymphomaniac drug addled blood sucking vampires (sometimes literally). His characters are the complete opposite of me and I am fascinated by their twisted world. Ellis probably based most –  if not all – of his characters off of people he knew in real life, including himself, god bless him. Go on wit yer bad self, Bret Easton Ellis.

 

 

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The second book that I found –  the one alluded to in the title of this post –  only a month ago. I was intrigued by the title and cover, but the killer copy on the back cinched it for me:

 

“You hold in your hands a true lost classic, one of the most legendary cult books ever published in America. Jack Black’s autobiography was a bestseller and went through five printings in the late 1920’s. It has led a mostly subterranean existence since then – best known as William S. Burrough’s favorite book, one he admitted lifting big chunks of from memory for his first novel, Junky. But its time we got wise to this book, which is itself a remarkably wise book – and a ripping true saga. It’s an amazing journey into a hobo underworld; freight hopping around the still wide open West at the turn of the century, becoming a member of the “yegg” Brotherhood and a highwayman, learning the outlaw philosophy from Foot-and-a-half-George and The Sanctimonous Kid, getting hooked on opium, passing through hobo jungles, hop joints and penitentiaries. This is a chunk of the American story entirely left out of the history books – it’s a lot richer and stranger than the official version.”

 

 

Fuck. Yes.

 

William S. Burrough’s favorite book? Hop joints? The Sanctimonious Kid?! Sign me up! (Well done, copy writer at AK Press!)*

 

 

You Can’t Win is an autobiography by Jack Black (not that Jack Black) published in 1926.  Jack dropped out of society at 14 in the late 19th century and grew up learning underhand skills like home burglary, safe cracking, opium smoking and rail riding from folks with names like Smiler, Soapy Smith and Salt Chunk Mary. “Blacky”, as he was called when he was on the road, was one of the “Johnson Family” and was a staunch member of the Yegg Brotherhood of Criminals.**

 

 

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You Can’t Win follows Blacks journey in and out of jails (escaped from in both the USA & Canada), successful and failed burglaries, his decade long crippling addiction to opium and finally his friendships with fellow hoboes in jails and bum conventions throughout North America. That in itself would be an incredible book, but the craziest part (and this is no spoiler, he begins the book with this information) is that unlike most of the people we meet with Jack in this book, he was able to reform, become an upright citizen and end up as a writer and librarian.

 

 

Instead of spending his life wasting away as a hop head or getting blown away in a botched robbery attempt like most people he knew, Black realized that he could do society a service by putting his years of wrong doing to use by writing a book which laid out, in plain language, what was going through the heads and hearts of societies dropouts, and to remind people that in the end, even the lowliest criminal need love too.

 

 

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Black writes in an efficient and conversational manner, and doesn’t sugar coat. He never tries to come off as the “hero” and tells his story with fondness and heart. Black gives a speech at the end of this book that may be one of the best end-of-book-speeches ever.

 

I loved this book so much that I knew as soon as I finished reading it (and re-read that fantastic speech a second time) that I must tell the world of my new-found favorite book. Please let me know if you read either or both of these and what you think of them. Also, I would also love to know about what books have rocked your world.

 

I’m always looking for a good book.

 

*The company that published You Can’t Win, AK Press, aka Nabat Books,  is amazing and where I am going to be spending all of my birthday money. They’re so cool that prisoners can get any of their books sent to them for $10 and this is their bitchin’ manifesto:

 

 

 

“Nabat books is a series dedicated to reprinting forgotten memoirs by various misfits, outsiders and rebels. Nabat books are based on a few simple propositions:

 

 

That to be a success under current definition is highly toxic – wealth, fame and power are a poison cocktail; that era of triumphant capitalism that enshrines the most dreary human pathologies like greed and self-interest as good and natural; that the “winners” version of reality and history is deeply lame and soul-rotting stuff.

 

Given this it follows that the truly interesting and meaningful lives and real adventures are only to be had on the margins of what Kenneth Rexroth called “the social lie”. Its with the dropouts, misfits, dissidents, renegades and revolutionaries, against the grain, between the cracks and amonst the enemies if the state that the good stuff can be found.

Fortunately there is a mighty underground river of testimony from the disaffected, a large cache of hidden history, of public secrets overlooked by the oppressive conventional wisdom that Nabat books aims to tap into. A little something to set against the crushed hopes, mountains of corpses, and commodification of everything. Actually, we think this is the best thing western civilization has going for itself.”

 

** The Yegg Brotherhood is the idea that criminals aren’t lowly, brainless animals but men with character. Black says “The thief who goes out and steals money to pay back room rent rather than swindle his poor landlady has character. The one who runs away without paying her has no character…In the underworld one has good or bad character as in any other layer of society. The thief who pays off borrowed money, debts, or grudges has a good character among his fellows; and the thief who does the reverse has a bad character.” Fascinating stuff, honor amonst thieves…

 

***Just found out, while googling pictures for this post, that You Can’t Win has been made into a feature film starring Michael Pitt (?!) and will be released this year sometime. Don’t know how I feel about that….

Living the Dream

I had a moment of pure joy today.  I was sitting in my awesome living room in the rad Hollywood apartment I share with my amazing boyfriend, watching Glee on Netflix (I heart you Cory Monteith RIP), and addressing countless envelopes to send out the soundtrack to Out of Print for my Kickstarter backers. I looked up and thought – I am exactly where I want to be right now. I smiled and took a celebratory sip of my Mello Yello.

 

I have had a few film festival rejections the last few weeks –  and they are no fun for anyone. And although I’ve had some bad days, I feel like a positive change is coming just around the corner.  I feel like I am standing on the edge of a giant cliff, about to finally take the next step off into the unknown. Once Out of Print premieres and begins to gather up steam, my life is going to go in a crazy new direction – one that I am so excited to discover, no matter what happens with the film.  The waiting to hear back from festivals has been killing me, but Ive taken this pent up energy and using it to write treatments as many ideas as I can  – so that if, and when, I am asked “what I have coming up next” I will have lots of answers – A novel, a couple of screen plays, documentaries, a TV show, 35mm storage solutions, etc – so I feel like this stagnant period has actually been productive.

 

I am so interested to see if my film speaks to audiences and inspires them to seek our their local cinemas . THAT is the goal of my film. To show people how important community is when it comes to cinema.  And to make every person who supported me along the way – all of my Kickstarter backers, my cast and crew, my friends and family, the folks helping me make my 35mm print, everyone – proud. When I first started working on this film, the thought of having to make all of these people proud terrified me. How could I possibility make a film worthy of everyone? But now I see that all anyone wants is for me to make the best film I can possibly make – nothing more. And I think I can say in all honesty that I made that film.

 

After waiting so restlessly for  “my future to begin” for so many months, today really opened my eyes to the fact that by focusing on the future, I am missing out on just how groovy my present is. Living with the man I adore in a sweet Hollywood pad with all of the VHS and vinyl a girl could ask for, sending out CD’s of the soundtrack (composed by my amazing older brother) for the feature length documentary that I raised over $80,000 to make and which will make its world premiere in the next six months. Yessir. I’d say no matter what the future may bring, I’m a lucky girl – right now.

Waiting…

Out of Print has been submitted to a total of 8 festivals – so far. Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Hot Docs, Atlanta, Omaha, Seattle and the American Doc Film Festival. Sundance would be the first festival chronologically, in January. I should hear within the next two weeks whether or not my film is accepted to Sundance or not, and the waiting is absolutely killing me.

 

 

My future as a filmmaker hangs in the balance and I will know soon enough a hint as to how my next year will be. Most film festivals want your film to world premiere at their festival and frown upon showings beforehand. (Which is why there hasn’t been a screening of the film as of yet. I hope to do one next year at the New Bev…) I would be more than thrilled to premiere Out of Print at any of the festivals listed above, but since Sundance is the first fest of the year, let’s talk about that. 

 

 

Sundance is THE film festival. If your film gets accepted (and the odds are rough. almost 1,700 feature-length documentary films were submitted to Sundance in 2013, only 40 are selected to screen.) you will definitely gain attention. So I know that my life will be significantly different if I am rejected or accepted to Sundance. And I will (or will not) be getting a phone call in the next 10 days or so that will set my life down one path or another – can you imagine waiting for that phone call since August??

 

 

I do have high hopes for the film. I think I did the best job I possibly could and I think the results are a film that is funny, sad, educational, goofy and sincere. A film that smacks of my personality. A film that fights with all of its core for revival cinema and 35mm.

 

 

Of the few friends and family that have seen it, all of the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive and every single one has said that it makes them want to go to the New Beverly Cinema – AND to their other local revival houses, so I feel like I have done my job. 

 

And – this will sound corny as all get out – but I genuinely want the movie to succeed so that, if nothing else, it will make people interested in their local cinemas again –  THAT is the ultimate goal. 

 

I am also super excited to announce that I am in talks right now with some incredibly lovely fellows over at Kodak, Fotokem and Digineg about making a 35mm print of Out of Print!! I figured a film that argues so hard for 35mm film exhibition can’t be shown on digital, right?? I am so fricking excited about this and will keep everyone updated – but can you imagine premiering Out of Print on 35mm?? Eek!!

 

 

Thanks for all of your continued support and loyalty – so very appreciated. Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me. Viva la 35mm!!

 

 

Creating a Cult Hit…

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Every film lover has a handful of super obscure films that they love. Films we foist on our friends at movie nights,  films that – when we meet another person who knows it – feel like friends. Films that should have a cult following, but somehow slipped through the cracks.

 

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One of those films for me is TAPEHEADS, released in 1988, starring real life pals John Cusack and Tim Robbins. My family has seen this film a thousand times (and still sometimes randomly yell “Swanky Modes!” at each other). The story of two loser friends who start a music video company, the film is produced by Michael Nesmith and co-stars (big breath) Sam Moore (from Sam & Dave), Junior Walker, Susan Tyrrell, Bobcat Goldthwait, Devo, Fishbone, Jello Biafra, Mary Crosby, Don Cornelius, Jessica Walter, Doug McClure, Connie Stevens, King Cotton, Doug E. Fresh, Weird Al Yankovic and Ted Nugent. (whew!) And did I mention it’s kind of a musical?! 

 

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Last but certainly not least, this film also co-stars New Beverly friend and regular, Clu Gulager! When I first saw Clu at the Bev, I thought “Hey! It’s Norman Mart from Tapeheads!!” Clu is super awesome in this movie, and there is a scene where he – no lie – rides Susan Tyrrell in a tutu. Now how can you say no to that?!

 

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I have owned a copy on VHS since it came out, and I have shown that tape to dozens of friends over the years – and now I get the rare opportunity to show it on the big screen – to you – at midnight, this coming Saturday, August 10th.

 

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I really want to pack this screening, and get the word out about this criminally underrated film. I am hoping to show TAPEHEADS once a month at midnight for the rest of the year and try to build up an audience for it. I would love it to be like a Rocky Horror or a Scott Pilgrim! Director Bill Fishman and special guests will introduce the screening this Saturday!

 

So please, as a fellow movie lover, spread the word & help this film junkie’s dream of creating a deserving cult hit come true!

 

 

 

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100 more things I like

And to balance the negative!!

(My first Things I Like list)

 

 

1. Buxom Russ Meyer babes

 

2. 1960’s hair and makeup

 

3. Time travel

 

4. Jacqueline Susann novels

 

5. Mods

 

6. Jack Kerouac

 

7. Neal Cassady

 

8. Farm Basket

 

9. Luv-It Frozen Custard

 

10. Unexpected treats in the mail

 

11. Wabi-sabi

 

12. Sleazy 1970’s New York

 

13. French New Wave films

 

14. Jean-Pierre Leaud

 

15. Dirty, Sooty, Diseased Jack-the-Ripper time period London

 

16.  Prairie dogs

 

17. Hedgehogs

 

18. Hypothetical questions

 

19. Used bookstores

 

20. Playing a brand new vinyl record for the first time

 

21. Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

22. Animated mice

 

23. Making my loved ones laugh

 

24. Feeling my dry, clean hair against my bare back

 

25. Watergate salad

 

26. Wearing ribbons in my hair

 

27. Psychedelia

 

28. Creme Brûlée

 

29. French dips

 

30. Girls with luscious asses

 

31. Cheshire cat moons

 

32. Reading books out loud with my boyfriend

 

33. My boyfriend

 

34. Freaks and Geeks

 

35. Shakespeare

 

36. Saying (and reading) Dostoevsky

 

37. Heart shaped sunglasses

 

38. Exploring LA

 

39. Turkey dinners with all of the fixins

 

40. Gravy

 

41. Imagining Dale Cooper and Audrey Horne being in love

 

42. Simon Pegg’s face

 

43. Kettle korn

 

44. All you can eat Korean BBQ

 

45. The smell of old books

 

46. Donuts

 

47. Parisian pastries

 

48. Men who have good taste in shoes

 

49. Imagining the pitch meetings for terrible films

 

50. Little boy haircuts

 

51. Arby’s

 

52. 1970’s mirror art

 

53. Engrish

 

54. Hot anime babes

 

55. Wearing cat ears

 

56. My thin wrists

 

57. Crispy pepperoni on pizzas

 

58. My handwriting

 

59. Dance dance revolution

 

60. My pink sparkly Dungeons & Dragons dice

 

61. Bustles

 

62. Caramel apple empanadas from Taco Bell

 

63. Owls

 

64. Cross stitch

 

65. People I love becoming parents

 

66. Christmas cookies

 

67. Cookie butter

 

68. Piglets

 

69. Rare filet mignon

 

70. Winona Ryder

 

71. Boys who wear glasses

 

72. Funky bass

 

73. Boys in short shorts

 

74. Everything is Terrible

 

75. Birthday cake ice cream

 

76. Movies where evil wins in the end

 

77. Homemade guac & chips

 

78. Dreaming of finding a house for sale whose decor hasn’t been changed since the 1970’s

 

79. Beard papa

 

80. Magic hour

 

81. Carey Mulligan
 
82. Pizookies

 

83. Boys in tight pants

 

84. Boys who read philosophy for fun

 

85. Clever graffiti 

 

86. 60’s dresses with lots of petticoats

 

87. Making Christmas dinner for my family

 

88. The soundtrack to The Chipmunk Adventure

 

89. Jim Sturgess

 

90. Little asian girls

 

91. Groovy 70’s wallpaper 

 

92. Aaron Johnson

 

93. Busty 60s sex kittens with massive hair

 

94. Scoops ice cream

 

95. Vintage lunchboxes

 

96. Solar powered Japanese head nodders

 

97. Anastasia Krupnik

 

98. Divine

 

99. 1970’s gigantic headphones

 

100. Making Lists! 

100 more things I don’t like

I have been writing this blog for over 3 years now, and WordPress has a nifty little feature that allows you to see how people get to your blog. Most come from Twitter, but sometime people just Google random things that get them to me – John Waters, Cameron Crowe, New Beverly, Etc… and every single day, since I posted it, the highest rated post on my blog has been “100 Things I Don’t Like.” Yes, folks, every damn day, people are apparently searching Google for “Things I Don’t Like.” How the hell would Google know what you don’t like? Why the hell would anyone search for that? It boggles the mind. BUT, I thought I’d give in and write another list, just to keep those confused-Googlers happy. I will follow up with “100 More Things I Do Like” – but enjoy these for now, in no particular order, of course…

 

 

1. When my hair gets tangled in my necklace

2. People who give me crumpled up money at the box office

3. That all trailers look & sound exactly the same now

4. Blisters on the back of my heels from new shoes

5. Waiters who say “My name is X, and I’ll be taking care of you today”

6. When I toss and turn and can’t sleep, even though I’m exhausted

7. People who don’t tell me when I have a boogie in my nose

8. People who stress me out because they’re so stressed out

9.  When my fingernail breaks so far up it bleeds

10. The smell of eggs

11. People who don’t floss and I can see the plaque build-up on their teeth

12. Super hero movies

13. The faces/noises guys make at the gym

14. Morning breath

15. People (men especially) who don’t keep their nose hair in check

16. Over attentive sales people – especially the ones who follow me around

17. Men in those awful rugged, athletic hiking sandals

18.  Thinking about having to be on a diet and exercise for the rest of my life

19. Spam (Both kinds)

20. The recycling man who collects the wine bottles from the restaurant across the street from  my house at 5:00am

21. The never ending construction in Los Angeles

22. Trolls (all kinds)

23. Cute boys who wear baggy pants so I can’t check out their butts

24. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation

25. My biological clock

26. Being choked by my seatbelt

27. Couples that argue in public

28. Mindless action films

29. Corporate/strip mall/cookie cutter America

30. Being hungry late at night when its too late to eat

31. People who make promises they don’t keep

32. Toothpaste crust

33. People who talk so quietly you can never hear what they say

34. Girls who pee on public toilet seats

35. Jorts

36. Lumpy pudding

37. Dirty feet

38. War/medical gore

39. Doctor/lawyer/police procedurals

40. Hearing someone hawk a loogie

41. Sweating under my bangs

42. Talking/listening to people talk about going to the bathroom

43. Days when you wake up and just want the day to be over

44. The corners of my house that I can never seem to get clean

45. The feeling I get after working out – like my teeth have fuzz on them

46. The term “eating clean”

47. Walking through a cobweb

48. Stretch marks

49. When I bite into something I’ve microwaved and it’s cold in the middle

50. The word “dude”

51. Alcohol

52. Coffee

53. Being scanned at the airport

54. Nubby carpet

55. When I am excited to eat and very hungry and the food is subpar

56. Oil spill sunglasses

57. The feeling on my hands after I reach into a bag of raisins

58. People who talk on their phone when they come up to the box office

59. Being pigeon holed

60. Baggy slacks with pleats in the front

61. Grown-ups who still act like they’re in junior high

62. The music from Seinfeld

63. Beavis and Butthead impressions

64. Books that disappoint

65. Ayn Rand

66. How expensive make-up is

67. Dirty carpet

68. Unexplainable pain

69. Christopher Guest films

70. New horror films

71. Christopher Walken

72. Bruce Willis

73. Clutter

74. When my water tastes weird

75. Toe cleavage 

76. The sound of a dry razor going over a man’s stubbly face

77. People who ask for a “dark chocolate Mounds”

78. Irvine

79. Realizing that I missed the age bracket to be the star of a teen movie

80. Worrying about the future

81. The fashion industry

82. Being forced to listen to Christmas carols two months before Christmas

83. People with dead shark eyes

84. comb-overs

85. 90’s action stars

86. All the dwarf songs in the Hobbit

87. Motorcycles with engines so loud they hurt my ears

88. Feeling fat

89. Awards shows

90. Futuristic neon hideous tennis shoes

91. Public showers

92. Losing touch with friends

93. Small talk 

94. Bald men with fat rolls on the backs of their necks

95. David Cronenberg

96. Jennifer Love Hewitt

97. Disappointing  the people I love

98. People who are too cool to dance

99. Feeling left out

100. People who google “things I don’t like” 

An Ode to My Gym

O Gym! 

 

How you intrigue me with your vast wasteland of weirdos and muscleheads. How varied are they? Let me count the ways!

 

To the gym rats who filmed each other working out.

 

To the sad math teacher who seemed about one week away from suicide. 

 

To the old Chinese man who rocked a mean blues harmonica in the pool area. 

 

To the old Korean women who never swim, but only bounce and who frequently hawk horrible loogies in the shower. 

 

To the man making business deals while spinning. 

 

To the macho dude who got into a shouting match in the middle of the room. 

 

To the personal trainer who was eating a chocolate chip cookie when he checked me in. 

 

To the incredible woman with a true poodle mullet, 7th grade nurse slacks and a denim Looney Tunes embroidered button down – who I just found out was ALSO the crazy swimming lady with full on mask, snorkel and flippers.

 

To the man who asked me while I was swimming if I took any kind of special medicine to get my skin this perfect pink-white color. 

 

To the older woman with huge fake breasts who had had so much plastic surgery she looks like Janice from the muppets. 

 

To the men who insist on making awful, contorted faces and groaning in a repulsive way while they lift weights. 

 

To the personal trainer who looks like a taller, dopier Jake Gyllenhaal. 

 

I salute you all. 

Girlhood Crush – Film Series

 

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So I know some of you thought I was just idly rambling on about boys that i like to look at, but in actuality I had a bigger plan!! (evil laughter) July 15 & 16 will mark the first double feature at the New Beverly Cinema for the Girlhood Crush series! Since I began my blog with Ethan Hawke, my first double is Dead Poet’s Society paired with Reality Bites.

 

 

 

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Ladies, this is my challenge to you. Prove that there are female film fans in LA. I work at the New Bev 5 days a week and every single night, without fail, there are probably 75% men in attendance. Now i’m no feminist, and I love the women that do come, but I can’t help but think “Where are the other Julia’s?” I KNOW I’m not the only major film geek girl in LA, so prove me wrong. Let’s rally together for our love of gorgeous boys and revival cinema and watch some amazing movies together!!

 

 

 

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I am hoping to do a Girlhood Crush double feature every month at the Bev, two movies starring one beautiful boy, and I would love for this to catch on and be an event that movie chicks dig. But it will only catch on if you show up! So, as a fellow girl and film lover, be a pal and let people know about this bitchin’ Hawke double coming up this month, and come on down!!

 

 

 

Tickets available at the door – $8 for two movies!! Monday and Tuesday, July 15 & 16. Dead Poet’s Society plays at 7:30 and Reality Bites plays at 10pm. 

Girlhood Crush – Christian Bale

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I don’t have a clue what happened on the set of American Psycho, but whatever it was, it changed Christian Bale’s life forever. Up until that film, Christian had mostly been playing the lovable-crafty-slightly-abrasive-gorgeous-dream-boy, then he beefed up and veneered out to play Patrick Bateman, and I feel like he kind of stayed that way forever. (The same way Jennifer Connelly sadly lost all of her luscious curves to play a heroin addict in Requiem for a Dream, and then stayed scary skinny afterwards.) In recent years, Bale has kind of gone into Nicolas Cage territory – swinging wildly from blockbuster action films (Terminator Salvation) to indies where he gets sharply emaciated (The Machinist, Rescue Dawn, The Fighter) and, of course, his ridiculously voiced Batman. He’s yelled at lighting guys, he’s shaved his head bald – he’s kind of all over the map. So I can’t say much for him as he is now (except I saw him at Disneyland once and he is TALL.) But, once upon a time….

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A couple of years ago for my birthday, I threw myself a “Dress as a Spielberg Character” party. We had several Elliots from ET, Elsa from Last Crusade, even a Smee and Peter Pan. I dressed as Christian Bale’s character in Empire of the Sun, in a little British school boy outfit – and everyone asked me if I was supposed to be the guitarist from AC/DC. NO ONE at that party had ever seen Empire of the Sun – a Spielberg movie!! As you can probably guess, I saw it upon its release in the theater. And while WWII internment camp movies probably aren’t normal fare for 8 year olds, I adored it. And thought Christian Bale was precious – and an incredible actor. He blew me away again in Henry V

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So, of course, when in 1992 I heard he was headlining a musical about cute NYC turn of the century paper boys called Newsies I was all in. At the time, Christian was adorable, the movie was decent, and that was that. I recently learned that Christian did not sign on to a musical, but that they changed their minds once he was already cast, and he bravely decided to learn to sing and dance and stay on the film. When watching Newsies as an adult, this is very obvious. He is kind of an awful singer and dancer, but he’s so beautiful and he’s trying so hard that it’s kind of endearing. 

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I guess Bale really loves to dance, though, because his next film was the 1993 film Swing Kids. LADIES. Can we talk about this movie. Seriously talk. Because I cannot even tell you how INTO this movie I was.  I was heavily into swing the moment I saw Swing Kids – which was about six months to a year before it became cool in popular culture. I bought and wore a vintage 40’s dress to my freshman year winter formal (see photo below, i’m bottom left) and was HEARTILY made fun of. (“Why are you wearing those weird clothes? Why is your hair like that?) (Even though I knew deep down I looked bitchin’). And all of those fucking posers were the ones who got super into swing when it got fashionable. Ahh, high school…but I digress…

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Swing Kids is a movie wherein good-hearted best friends Christian Bale and Robert Sean Leonard (don’t worry, we’ll get to him soon…) decide that the only way they can really rebel against that pesky nazi party is to swing dance. This is seriously the plot of this movie. Swing dancing vs. nazis. (But who didn’t tear up at the end….swing heil! swing heil!) For ME this was a movie featuring two of my very favorite boys being so incredibly adorable I could bearly stand it, AND dancing like fucking badasses. (and some nazi stuff….) I listened to the soundtrack obsessively, I was INTO it. AND it fully cemented my Leonard/Bale crushes. One of my favorite things about the film is that even though he is supposed to be German, Bale has the exact same New Yawk accent he has in Newsies. The fact that Branagh is doing a hard German accent, and Leonard and Whaley have a flat Americans just makes it even weirder…

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Then we had his super cute portrayal of Laurie in Little Women, followed by his incredibly fucking hot performance in Velvet Goldmine. Can I pause just a minute and say that Velvet Goldmine might be one of the best Hollywood films for hot boy-on-boy action – Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale AND Jonathan Rhys-Myers? YES PLEASE. We had one more dreamboat role for Bale in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and then BAM! Patrick Bateman for life. So weird. 

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BUT! At least he is a man who had grown up strong and takes the roles he really wants, so kudos to him for that. 

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Mr. Bale, I salute you. 

Girlhood Crush – Elijah Wood

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Let’s go waaaaaaaaay back. Back to one of my very first boy crushes. I was 10 in 1989 and I loved watching music videos. I was also in my one phase of my entire life when I actually listened to current pop music. (I have listened to mainly 50’s and 60’s stuff before and since) I loved Paula Abdul, and I loved watching her music videos. The David Fincher directed Forever Your Girl video was one of my favorites – because there was a little boy in it playing a sad business man who had the most spectacular eyes and was the most beautiful little boy I had ever seen in my life. His name was Elijah Wood.

 

 

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MTV and VH1 only had a handful of videos in rotation at one time in those days, so I would usually spend my afternoons after school waiting during an entire rotation to see the video twice, if possible. I eagerly watched everything I could get my hands on that he was in. I would watch whole films just to get a glimpse. Avalon, Paradise, Radio Flyer, Forever Young, The Good Son – these were all consumed voraciously. And THEN The Adventures of Huck Finn came out and I was hooked. I saw it several times in the theater. Being obsessed with this film lead to my Mark Twain obsession, and I read all of the Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn I could get my hands on (including the super obscure Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective.) I told you, somehow, my boy obsessions almost always seemed to lead to literature in some way. It also started my movie poster collection. I asked the local movie theater near my house in Las Vegas what they were going to do with the Huck Finn poster after the movie stopped playing there – throw it out, they said. I said I wanted it and from then on they would give/sell me any movie posters I wanted. I had the Huck Finn poster up in my room for years.

 

 

 

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I stayed loyal during the teenage “lean years” of The Ice Storm and The Faculty. I loved watching him grow up. (I’m two years old than he). And then, of course, came Lord of the Rings. I couldn’t have been happier when I heard Elijah had been chosen to play Frodo – and that Peter Jackson was directing!! One of my favorite directors AND one of my favorite actors?! I was doomed to be obsessed. I attended every midnight screening of the films, and have done middle earth madness too (watching all three directors cuts back to back – a 12 hour endeavor). I was elated that Elijah was finally getting the top billing and acting kudos he deserved. He seemed to take in all in stride, and I loved that even more.

 

 

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Since Lord of the Rings,  he has made so many interesting and cool choices with his career – everything from Sin City to Everything is Illuminated to Maniac and Wilfred. And, I learned, he has started own production company as well.

 

 

 

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I met Elijah this past December at Butt-Numb-A-Thon at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas. I knew he would be there and I was asbolsutely ecstatic – and terrified. He follows me on twitter, so I knew he at least knew who I was, but when you dream about meeting someone for 25 years, theres a little bit of pressure there. Mingling in the theater before the first film, I told my friend Moises how excited/nervous I was to meet Elijah. He laughed and said he would introduce us, they were friendly. I said okay, but urged him to wait until a couple of movies had played and I had calmed down a bit. He said he would. Just then my order of nachos arrived and I sat down happily to munch. Suddenly, there was a tap on my shoulder. You see where this is headed. I turned around with a giant mouthful of nachos and found myself gazing into those giant blue eyes I knew so well. I made a small yelping sound, turned bright red and clumsily stood up. I proceeded to babble in an octave two higher than my own about how big of a fan I was and how excited I was to meet him. It was pretty embarassing. He took it very well and was very sweet and gave me a big hug and said he was looking forward to Out of Print. It was pretty much everything I dreamed it would be.

 

 

 

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Then, about two weeks ago, Elijah messaged me and asked if he could do a private screening at the New Beverly. I assured him I would do everything in my power to make that happen. And so, this past weekend, we had a small cast & crew screening of a great indie film that he did called Grand Piano – and I brought something with me to show him. In 1990, when I was at the height of my obsession with him, I had written him a letter. A typical fan letter to be sure, praising his acting abilities and his good looks. And he sent me back a signed headshot. Which I have kept all of these years. I told him about this, and showed him the picture. And he laughed. He thought it was hilarious. I showed the director of Grand Piano, Eugenio Mira, the picture and told him that I had been in love with him since I was 10. Eugenio said, “I’m a straight man, but I’m in love with him too.” At which point Elijah came into the room and Eugenio and I both giggled nervously and assured him we were most certainly not just talking about how in love with him we are. Elijah handled my nervous adoration in a great way (i’m sure he’s used to it) and was incredibly sweet and friendly. We talked about horror movies, and I got three incredible hugs.

 

 

 

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I cannot tell you what a relief it is to me that he is a genuinely nice person. One of the downfalls of girlhood crushes is being in love with a fantasy – not the person themselves. And meeting this person who has been built up so much in your mind can be scary – what if they crush everything I have thought about them my whole life? Rest assurred, he is nice, smart and funny. And incredibly fucking good looking.

 

 

 

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So this might be super awkward if he ends up reading this (Hi, Elijah!) since I would genuinely like for him to program at the New Beverly and work with him in the future, but I couldn’t write about my girlhood crushes and not write about the one I have had the longest.  I have been in love with this man for most of my life, and I imagine I will continue to be for the rest of it. I have confidence that he will continue to make great choices in his career, and I look forward to seeing him continue to grow up.

 

 

 

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Mr. Wood, I salute you.

 

 

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Girlhood Crush – Ethan Hawke

Alright, Ladies. I’m going to take you back. Back to a time – somewhere between 1988-1995, when you were reaching that tender age in which a teenage girl begins to yearn for an adorable, sensitive boy to hold and kiss. But this particular type of boy couldn’t be found at school or at youth meetings, he could only be found in between the pages of such mockingly named periodicals as Bop, Big Bopper and Tiger Beat.

 

 

Yes, I’m talking about your pin-up boy crush.

 

 

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We’ve all had them. I, at one time or another had five or more boys at once pinned to my bedroom wall. Cute boys. Boys with crooked smiles. Boys with heart melting blue eyes. Boys with dangerously cute floppy hair.

 

 

I actually spent my summer between 6th and 7th grade writing letters frantically with up to 10 pen pals a day – from all over the country and from all over the world – girls found in the back of said magazines who would trade you pictures of your crush if you sent back pictures of hers (especially awesome if they lived in another country and you got French or Japanese versions of newspaper clippings.) Say you weren’t totally into Jonathan Brandis (I wasn’t – something too goody-goody about him) but you LOVED Edward Furlong (I did – that hair…ooh…that hair…) you two could switch and BINGO! You got rid of the ones you didn’t want for ones that you did! More posters to love and kiss!!

 

 

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The thing that’s funny to me looking back now, is that none of my feelings for any of these boys were ever sexual. I dreamed of kissing them, snuggling with them and maybe living together, but nothing beyond that. They remained perfect boyfriend fantasies – always saying and doing the right things. I would spend hours with my friends at weekend sleep-overs lying in bed, lights out, describing our ideal chaste lives with our beaus. Mainly this would consist of describing our first date, leading up to the life changing good-night kiss, and then fast forwarding to our incredibly hip wedding, the details of which a teenage girl can get lost in for hours.

 

 

I decided today I should take a walk through memory lane and re-visit all of those old crushes who adorned my walls and book covers. Find the particular snapshots of my loves that I gazed at longingly every night, falling asleep beside and waking up to every morning. The ones that burrowed their way into my soul – even now. The ones that I loved so much it almost hurt.

 

 

We’re going to start with one that, thankfully, has been making a comeback as of late…Ladies…remember Mr. Ethan Hawke?

 

 

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Dead Poet’s Society loomed large during my junior high years. A movie made especially for the pre-pubescent girl – brimming with gorgeous boys in uniforms being passionate about life, love and poetry!! (SWOON!) I was a fan of both Ethan Hawke and Robert Sean Leonard in this film (we’ll get to Mr. Leonard in another post), but today lets focus on Mr. Hawke. His character, Todd, is unbearably shy. and yearning to belong – to break out – to sound his barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world!! I was INTO this character. And, by proxy, I got into some poetry, so this was a win win situation. And as you will see in these posts, my boy crushes very often turned into literary explorations. Yes, I will write it here for the world to see – if you asked me about all of the books I have ever read in my lifetime you would probably find that 75% or more were read for a reason trailing back to a cute boy. And I LOVE to read.

 

 

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I was also known for pillaging the video store after I found a new crush. Eager to get more face time with my darling, I would watch any movie I found with them in it. Which lead to me watching some pretty varied and weird things as a pre-teen. Watching Dead Poet’s Society lead me to watch Dad, White Fang (leading to a brief Jack London phase), A Midnight Clear and even Alive. Can I confess something that’s super creepy looking back on it? I was INTO Alive. Way too into it. I saw the movie 11 times in the theater. My 14th birthday party was me dragging all of my friends to the theater to see it. I read the books – it was, like, a whole thing. Only I could go to a movie about plane-crashed-cannibal-rugby-players FOR THE CUTE BOYS. Sigh. Okay, onward.

 

 

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Let’s take a long stroll down Mystery Date lane. Ladies. LADIES. This is primo stuff. First rate shy-smiles, hair tosses and sweet kisses. Heady. I cannot count the number of times I watched this movie. I knew every glance, every awkward giggle, every twisted smile by heart. I just re-watched this movie today and can I tell you, it doesn’t disappoint. He is still as incredibly beautiful as I remember, and everything came flooding back. So much so that I immediately had to leap upon this laptop and type away my overflowing thoughts and feelings. Wowsers.

 

 

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Ethan also wins special points for sending me an autograph in reply to my girlish letter! (many didn’t – we will get to the Corey Haim autograph debacle in another post)I actually kept up a correspondence with Ethan Hawke’s grandmother for a while, as I found out she was answering his fan letters for him at the time. She kept me posted on all his movie adventures for a year or two!! (When you’re a teenage girl, knowing even Ethan Hawke’s grandmother is a dream come true, and worth major bragging points in middle school.)

 

 

I followed onwards with Reality Bites and Before Sunrise, but the height of my Ethan Hawke fanaticism had waned. I still make it a point to watch his new films when they appeal to me, but at the time my crushes ran hot and cold and fast. You snoozed, and I was on to other boys and other posters. Still! I am glad he is back in business with TWO movies in the theaters currently! (Before Midnight and The Purge)

 

 

Mr. Hawke, I salute you.

Kerouac, Man.

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I have been a major Jack Kerouac fan since I was about 15. I found On the Road and became fascinated with his world of jazz, poetry, and intellectualism. I would carry my battered copy around with me throughout high school, highlighting my favorite words and phrases. My friends and I started dressing in black and going to weekly poetry readings at the Enigma coffee-house. (My grandmother was very opposed to this – every week she would accuse me of going to hang out with dope fiends in an opium den. Really. In 1995.)

 

 

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My high school Kerouac coup de grace (besides having his “burn. burn. burn” speech as my senior quote) was convincing ten or so of my friends to dress up as beatniks with me for Halloween. We went trick or treating, wearing our dark shades and black turtlenecks, calling out “Trick Or Treat, Daddy-O” as doors were opened. I then would start shouting passages from On The Road to them while  bebop jazz blared from my boombox. Needless to say, most people were flummoxed. Las Vegas is many things, but a literary hub is not one of them.

 

 

 

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After high school I fell out of the obsession, but happily recently found it again – thanks to Walter Salles’ film adaptation of On the Road. I was nervous going in, since the book is practically un-filmable and because the subject matter is so dear, but I was overwhelmingly surprised. It’s a tremendous film. I know it’s been snubbed quite a bit because of Kristen Stewart’s involvement, but she is great in the film, and fought very hard to be part of it. Sam Riley is fantastically gruff and salty as Sal Paradise, Garrett Hedlund does a passable Neal Cassady, and Tom Sturridge shines bright as Allen Ginsberg.  It’s beautifully shot, and obviously made with great care.  The film captures the feeling and the energy of the book very well – fleshing out the naughtiest bits such as their frequent drug use and promiscuous sex for a modern-day audience . These portions are in the book, alright, just glossed over as would have been necessary in 1957, the year the book was published.

 

 

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Unfortunately, it played in ONE theater in Los Angeles for two weeks. Seriously. I saw the film in its opening week, and dragged my boyfriend back to see it the second week, since I knew it wouldn’t last long. I don’t know what the studio did with their marketing campaign there, but it was really given a lousy showing. I’m sure it will be on VOD and Netflix and whatnot soon – please check it out, I’d love to know what you think.

 

 

As an adult, I’ve seen past the bongos and lingo to see what the Beats were really about – LIVING. Just experiencing everything as it comes and filtering it into language as best as possible. I can’t think of another literary movement so enthralled with just living living living – more, faster, crazier, louder. It’s really inspiring – DO MORE! BE MORE!

 

 

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The one who has really captured my attention this time around, though, has been Neal Cassady (Dean Moriarty in On the Road and Cody Pomeroy in several others), Kerouac’s buddy and accomplice. Besides inspiring Kerouac to actually go on the road and, in turn, write his novels, he also was a muse to Allen Ginsberg and Ken Kesey – who later admitted to basing Randle McMurphy from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest on Cassady. He was the inspiration and spark  for two major cultural movements – both the Beats and the crazy Acid Head’s of the 60’s – Neal Cassady was the driver for Further, the bus that took Kesey & the Merry Pranksters across America to blow everyone’s mind.

 

 

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How could ONE man inspire so much? Everyone who met him declared him god-like, holy, a man with infinite energy and enthusiasm – a man who wanted to live more than anyone they had ever met. I’ve ready several biographies/autobiographies of Neal now, and of course each one reveals the negative side to his incandescence – the constant disappearing and drinking, sex and drugs, leaving behind wives and children without a second thought if it led to KICKS quicker and easier. I’m not condoning such behavior, of course, but it has got me wondering. If Neal inspired so much incredible art – and only lived to be 42, mind you,  I have to root for him for living his life the way he wanted to and not ever letting anything get in his way.

 

 

So here I sit, listening to bebop jazz (the closest thing you could get to rock n roll in 1950), and dreaming of Neal Cassady. Wanting to meet him and just spend time LIVING myself. Lighting out for the territories myself and see what mad people await me out there in the world – because the only people for me are the mad ones….

 

 

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A moving moment at the New Beverly

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As everyone knows, the New Beverly Cinema is my favorite place in the world, and getting to work there is so incredible. I get to program double features for my birthday (this year its The Chipmunk Adventure & The Secret Of Nimh), meet my heroes and get paid to watch movies. What more could a girl ask for?

 

 

This past week we showed a double feature of Rian Johnson’s Looper & Brick with Rian in attendance. I got to know Rian when he did his week of programming back in 2009. He’s a funny, sweet, intelligent and humble guy – not to mention incredibly talented. He did lots of unique and fun things during his week of programming – power point presentations, musical performances, dancing – and his choices of movies (all con men movies in honor of Brothers Bloom) were amazing – including F for Fake, The Lady Eve, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and The Man Who Would Be King. 

 

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So, in short, when Rian is around, fun ensues.

 

 

Both nights screenings of Looper & Brick were sold out, and Rian brought along special guests both nights – actors Nora Zehenter, Noah Segan and Matthew O’Leary the first night, and Michele Posch, costume designer on Brick as well as his cinematographer,Steve Yedlin the second night. Both nights he also brought along his cousin and composer of all of his films, Nathan Johnson.

 

After the Q&A on the second night, Rian announced they had planned a little something special – I didn’t even know what it was. 

 

 

 

Rian, Nathan, Michelle and Noah proceeded to re-enact the opening scene of Brick, along with live musical accompaniment. Noah donned Joseph Gordon Levitt’s coat from the film and knelt by Michelle, who put on Emilie de Ravin’s jacket from the film and lay facedown on the stage. Nathan brought out his metallophone – the instrument that makes the haunting noise in the score – and Rian played guitar. I knelt by Rian and held the microphone. 

 

 

 

I have to say, kneeling there, in my favorite place in the entire world, transfixed along with the sold out crowd, watching these amazing people and hearing this beautiful music is right up there in my top five New Beverly moments – and that’s saying a lot. 

 

 

 

Just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge this incredible memory, and say how grateful I am to have such a terrific job. 

 

 

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Connection.

Humans are  limited to their own senses to experience our existence — we can only see what our own eyes behold and can only describe what we view through language – ultimately a very limited way of sharing life.

 

 

Desperate for a better way to connect with one another  humans created art. Art – in any form – is a way of taking what is inside and sharing it when words fail. Any song, poem, book, painting, film, photograph, or dance is one person opening themselves up to the world and allowing other to see whats inside of their heart, brain, body and soul. Whenever you are moved by a work of art, it is because you see yourself in it. You recognize the emotions the artist is conveying – because you have felt the same way. You connect to that person. Some people feel that connection strongly to jazz, or ballet or abstract painting – I feel it to film. 

 

 

Film is such an incredible medium because it can encompass all of the other art forms. Film is a moving image captured for eternity,  and we are able to return to a specific slice of history whenever we like. We can remember how a film made us feel the first time we saw it, or marvel at how that same film seems to change when you see it years later. Film can be mere escapism or fantasy, it can be truthful or damning or experimental. It can be used to capture a specific moment in time, or – in the case of Apted’s UP series, a lifetime. To me, it is the best expression of humanity available.  Filmmakers are brave souls, who are willing to reveal their true selves to the world. And, just like every artist before them, they are trying to connect. They want to show the audience THEIR world – and they can be as varied as the worlds of David Lynch to Jean-Luc Godard, of Quentin Tarantino to Baz Luhrmann. 

 

 

Often times, the best part of glimpsing into another person’s world is to witness their vulnerability and their fallibility. To see mistakes. Films come alive when the unexpected happens – when the singer messes up a lyric or yells in excitement, or when an actor improvises a line that feels right in that moment. Something that couldn’t have been planned. I’m coming to realize as I get older just how beautiful imperfection is. There is a charm to things that are perfect, but to me wear and decay and the imprint left behind by man is far more dazzling.

 

 

One of my favorite things about film – and i’m talking about physical film now – is that it is imperfect. It is created by humans, which means mistakes will be made. The print will get scratched, it will get caught in a projector and broken, it will get dusty and old and faded. And to me, THAT is what makes film so enthralling and sublime. Watching a movie, I can see its history and all of the people’s hands that this particular print has gone through. I like knowing that it has been physically shipped around the world, that different projectionists have touched it, that it has gone through hundreds of projectors. And I love that I can see that up on the screen. 

 

 

I watched the documentary Sound City yesterday, and one of the things that struck me about the film was how similar Dave Grohls’ argument about the importance of analog music is to the one I am trying to make about analog film in Out of Print. He is a huge advocate for analog recording because it forces musicians to be in the same room at the same time, and have to actually play together. This sounds silly of course, but it is something essential to music that we are quickly losing. When you can record digitally and layer tracks infinitely, it is possible to record an entire album without the band ever being in the building at the same time. Listen to Marvin Gaye’s “Got to give it up” – what makes it an amazing song is that you can hear that he is having a party in the studio and is feeding off of the energy of everyone else in the room – It just takes the song to an entirely different level – we connect with it. It sounds like everyone in the studio that day was having a great time and we want to be a part of it. 

 

 

I feel like film is the exact same way – not only did everyone have to be in the same room to create the film, but you need to share the experience of watching it with an audience as well because it will change the energy of the film entirely. Have you ever had a movie that you loved as a child and watched on VHS constantly, and then had the opportunity to see it projected on film in a theater? I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that it seemed like an entirely different film. People will laugh at jokes you never got, and particular moments will stand out to you in a way that they never did before. The movie didn’t change, but the environment you watch it in will change your perception of it completely. I’m not a spiritual person, but the energy I can feel when I am in a packed theater with a crowd who is overflowing with excitement to see a film? That is an extraordinary and sacred feeling. 

 

 

I am in no way a technophobe. I celebrate the advancement of technology for many reasons. My point is that I just can’t understand why if humans looking want to feel connection and unity with other humans,  why do we continue to distance ourselves from that goal? The funny thing is that as much as humans desire true connections with other humans, we keep inventing technology that takes us further and further away from it. Human interaction is essential to existence. Why, then, are we allowing everything that is human about art to be taken away?  Music created entirely through a computer, with vocals run through auto tune so that they are essentially digital and sound nothing like an actual person’s voice. CGI is fantastic, but lacks the physical presence that practical effects have.  Digital films may be crisp and pristine, but also feel cold and detached. I have no idea what the future will look like anymore. In just the last decade, I feel that the transition from community to individuality has already begun to change mankind. I feel the lack of consideration for others and the loss of interest in public art forms is the tip of the iceberg – where it goes in the next fifty years is anyone’s guess. 

 

 

The intent of all of this rambling is just to say that I still feel that human to human connection is the most important thing life has to offer. The convenience of streaming netflix or downloading music is undeniable, but what is the cost? Will a time come when people decide they don’t want to watch films in cinemas anymore or go to concerts? If and when that happens, what does that say about how mankind has evolved?  I have no idea what the future will look like anymore. In just the last decade, I feel that the transition from community to individuality has already begun to change mankind. I feel the lack of consideration for others and the loss of interest in public art forms is the tip of the iceberg – where it goes in the next fifty years is anyone’s guess. Is all of this advancement leading to a happier future? I doubt it. I can only see humans disconnecting further from each other as time ticks on. Who knows? Maybe art will become even better as the cry for connection becomes more desperate. All I know is that I want my life to be full of people and film and art and love and  imperfection – and I want to see the world through as many people’s eyes as I possibly can while I’m here. 

I love you, Mr. Sutcliffe.

I am a dyed in the wool Beatles fan, and will be until the day I die.

 

 

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When I was 15, I dug out my parents old Beatles records and started listening out of curiosity – was this band really the greatest band ever, as I had always heard? Answer: yes.

 

 

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I took this new obsession to school with me and lo: my best friends transformed into the Beat Girls, all of us adopting a Beatle name (I was George) and listening to nothing but Beatles for the rest of my high school career. And wearing nothing but Beatles shirts. And watching Beatles movies every weekend. And falling in love and having my first kiss with a Beatles impersonator. (He was Paul).

And through all of this Beatles-ness, although we loved the Fab Four more than humanly possible, the one Beatle we all TRULY adored, myself especially, was Stuart Sutcliffe – the Beatle who never was.

 

 

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I’m sure most of you know the story, so I won’t be long with it, but before the Beatles hit it big they played for several months in trashy nightclubs in Hamburg, Germany. (According to some, this is why the Beatles were so great, because they put in their “10,000 hours” of  rehearsal time that it supposedly takes to become GREAT at a skill) John, Paul and George were there, but their drummer wasn’t Ringo, but a gentleman named Pete Best, who had the unfortunate fate to get booted from the band just before they hit it big. And Paul wasn’t playing bass, John’s best friend Stu Sutcliffe was.

 

 

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Stu and John met in art college in Liverpool, and Stu was roped into joining the band at John’s cajoling. He was a painter, not a musician, but they were best friends and I imagine most young Englishmen wouldn’t turn down a free trip to Germany to play in an upgraded strip club with all the free beer they could drink!

 

 

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By all accounts, Stuart was a pretty terrible bassist, but the thing he had that no one else did was STYLE. And he was COOL.

 

 

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Soon after arriving, Stuart met Astrid Kirchherr, a German photographer, and they fell madly in love. So in love, in fact, that Stuart became far more interested in spending time with her than he did in playing with the Beatles. But before he left, he and Astrid introduced the Beatles to their infamous mop top haircuts and Nehru suits – an important aspect of the look of the band, to be sure, then he quit the band, enrolled in the Hamburg Art Institute, asked Astrid to marry him – and died.

 

 

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At age 21, Stuart Sutcliffe had a brain hemorrhage. The direct cause still isn’t known, although theories often point to a brawl in which he was savagely kicked to the head, or that he (and all of the other Beatles) were chowing down speed for months on end in able to play the 6 hour sets they were forced to play in Germany.

 

 

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Stuart’s death affected the Beatles deeply, especially John, who was already struggling with getting over the death of his mother only a few years before. John believed that Stuart was a genius and looked up to him – HE was the cool, smart one – and so John felt forced to step into Stuart’s role. When you really look at all of the events leading up to the eventual reign of the Beatles as the THE BEATLES, its amazing to see how each one shaped them into what they would become.

 

 

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In 1994, Iain Softley – after consulting long and hard with Stuart’s mother and sister and Astrid herself – wrote and directed a movie called Backbeat – all about Stuart’s story. Now its become a stage play, and I saw it last weekend. It’s a fantastic show, full of loud rock and young energy. (The older woman sitting next to me immediately put her hands over her ears when the music started). I was ecstatic to see it, and it blew me away. I was so happy to see Stu get the recognition he deserves, and the realization that his short life impacted so many people is really uplifting. You can’t help but wonder what would have happened if he would have lived. Would he have designed all of the Beatles album covers? Eventually rejoined the band? Had children? Become a famous artist? We will never know.

 

 

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The show made me feel so lucky to know all that I know about the band. I got all of the inside jokes, recognized the hard work that went into the wardrobe and accents and music, knew every song by heart. I felt that my Beatles knowledge allowed me to get far more out of the show than anyone else there. I was part of the insiders club. And I knew all about Stuart. It made me feel so comforted.

 

 

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But the Beatles are a never-failing source of comfort for me. I can play a particular tune, or watch a Hard Days Night, and suddenly I am ME again – and since the Beatles music never changes, it is a constant I can return to. I had a particularly rough end of 2007 – and what buoyed me up during that time? Seeing Across the Universe in the theater. A movie that, though flawed, took me in and gave me hope and made me smile. I saw it 12 times in the theater.

 

 

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I had always thought, honestly, I would grow up and out of the Beatles. And while I may not listen to them every single day now, they are always in my heart. They are more than a band, they are my friends who understand me, and I feel like I understand them as well. I have a friend that I can always go to, and I know they will be there for me.

 

 

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In 2010, I got my first tattoo – the strawberry that Jude paints in Across the Universe, along with the lyrics from Strawberry Fields Forever – “Nothing is real”. I love it even more today than I did when I got it. It gives me relief when it’s all too much, whatever is dragging me down isn’t real. And I think, in some strange way, that’s what Stuart knew too.  Stuart has, since age 15, held an otherworldly appeal to me. I am fascinated by this man who lived so hard and accomplished so much, even when dying so young. I am an atheist and don’t subscribe to spirituality, but the way I feel about Stuart Sutcliffe is about the closest I come to it. I understand him, feel that he is an important part of MY life, even though I never met him. I take inspiration from him being able to see beyond fame and fortune and recognize that they weren’t real.  They weren’t the most important thing to him. That’s something that took every other Beatle years and years to realize – that no matter how famous they were or how much money they had, that the thing they really wanted was true love.

 

 

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For Stuart Sutcliffe, even at age 21,  love was more important than anything – even the fucking Beatles. THAT is real.

 

 

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Another Independent Movie Theater Needs Your Help

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From my 35mm petition through the making of Out of Print, I have had nothing but amazing support from Deb & Steve Snell who run Tor’s Drive-In in Australia. (Which has been running continuously since 1966!) A couple who love cinema from the bottom of their hearts, Steve and Deb have been fighting for their dream drive in for years. 

 

 

This is the kind of passion & persistence that theater owners all over the world are demonstrating  – to the deaf ears of the studios. I have been receiving so many incredible personal stories of movie theaters all over the world since the inception of  the petition, and every one inspires me and breaks my heart at the same time. I want, more than anything, for movie lovers & film distributors to read these personal accounts (like this, and those in my previous posts) and understand that movies mean more to people that just entertainment – they can be their entire livelihood. 

 

 

Digital is, of course, a threat to the drive in. But Steve assures me, “We will run on film until the last lab shuts down.” 

 

 

Please help me get their story told. We need to all fight together to keep these precious independent theaters alive and thriving. 

 

 

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Deb writes: 

 

 

“Steve & I bought the drive-in over 20 years ago – he was 19, and I was 18.  Prior to this we both worked for Ben & Phyl DeLuca who own the Summergarden Theatre in Queens Beach – just an hour or so east as the crow flies, but 3 hours by road.  They have owned that theatre for over 50 years now!  Anyway, that’s where we met but we made the move west to run a drive-in.  We both had to work other jobs to keep the place (still do), but within a year or so we built another small drive-in so that we could run alternative product, for what is an extremely small market in Charters Towers (pop approx 8,000 – but this has fluctuated over the years – there seems to have been small, but steady growth over the past few years however).

 

 

We had also dreamed of building a cinema on the same property.  In the meantime the council here were talking about building their own complex – auditorium for performing arts etc and a cinema complex.  We tried to get involved and co-operate, but the then council didn’t want to deal with “those kids” and there were all sorts of unpleasant rumours circulating.  The film distributors and industry colleagues told us that we should build our own cinema anyway as at least we would retain some of the day market that we hadn’t been able to access with the drive-in.  

 

 

At around the same time, the cinema complexes expanded rapidly in Townsville – our nearest city approx an hour away, more free to air TV channels, pay TV, and the dreaded internet downloading of movies – mostly illegal.  Our son has teachers who quite proudly talk about downloading movies illegally – so we can’t overstate how  massive a problem this is in the industry.  So the cinema trade was fairly ordinary, then when the council venue opened, we only operated for a few years or so before we had to close it and get more work outside of the cinema operations we have here.  Any ideas we had (example, morning tea movies – a movie and free morning tea for $5), the opposition would copy and undercut us (they did it for $4 until we closed our cinema – there haven’t been morning tea movies in this town for over a decade now).  We later learned that the Council was paying our opposition management a substantial management fee, plus he was getting the venue virtually rent free, plus all the perks of being a council venue and enjoying free publicity and a high profile.  This was an election issue last year and continues to be rather contentious amongst the locals.  

 

Anyway, we kept the drive-in going as it had a bigger market than the cinema at our location – tough as we had inclement weather and we are a second run venue in a small town.  But it is a passion of ours and through other income we converted the cinema into a 2 story house and re-opened the second drive-in field we had going some 20 years ago.  So the twin drive-in has been going for just over a year, and it has been a very quiet year.  But we keep looking forward and now we are getting families and folks from Townsville making the trip for the “drive-in experience”.    Last year, after much negotiating, we brought up the Sydney Traveling Film Festival for the first time in Charters Towers and it came again this year.   It presented an opportunity for locals to see foreign and indy films theatrically – so many patrons had never seen a foreign film before in their lives.

 

 

Several years ago we also had the opportunity to purchase what was then “16mm Australia” which was a distributor for non-theatrical (schools, clubs, film societies etc.) and was running out of Sydney.  We managed to build that up as Amalgamated Movies and are the non-theatrical distributors for Sony Pictures Releasing and Madman Entertainment, Australia wide.   We store what is available from their 16mm catalogue and some 35mm prints.    Roadshow manage the rest of the non-theatrical market in Australia and several years ago dumped all of their 16mm prints – a few went to the archive, but a very few.  Compared to 35mm, 16mm can be rather substandard, but some of our prints are in very good condition and the latest of the catalogue comes up as well as 35mm on our smaller drive-in screen.  It all amounts to the film stock.  Never has the quality of film been so brilliant and durable, and they want to get rid of it.  We don’t understand why it can’t co-exist with new digital technology.

 

 

 

At the moment, there is widespread panic regarding the death of 35mm.  We have been told by most of the distributors, that they intend printing film for at least another 2 or so years, some are saying much more.  They get the prints struck in Malaysia now, so they don’t even cost half of the $1500 which is the cost being quoted regularly in the news and periodicals at the moment. Where we stand is that when film stops, the drive-in will be forced to be repertory (which is an incredibly small market in Charters Towers) and that will be restricted as most of the distributors are culling their 35mm stock at an alarming rate.  We couldn’t even access a print of Chinatown last year – this is insane.  If we were to get pennies from heaven and finance the digital conversion, we know that the equipments life would be very short – laser is around the corner and the technology keeps outdating itself.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars down the toilet!  So we want to stay open, but we just have to see what happens.

 

We recently had a Halloween night for the kids which was popular – they all got in for $5 and received a gift bag if they dressed up, and a couple of weeks ago a Christmas themed night which again was only $5 all ages. We don’t really make any money out of these nights, but it’s not really what we’re about and it gets traffic through the place at least.  It makes for a great night out for families as well, which is important for a community.  So we’re always trying new things, but our future is really in the hands of the studios at this point.

 

Thanks again for fighting the good fight!”

 

 

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Smashing Pumpkins (and lots of other ugly ceramics)

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It all started when my boyfriends’ roommate moved out and left behind a huge, hideous ceramic cupcake. It was so ugly and useless that I got an itching to smash it. David, being the understanding boyfriend that he is, assisted me in my odd compulsion and after I dropped it on the ground and then broke it into further oblivion with a hammer very sweetly swept it up and threw the shards away for me. And so an obsession was born….

 

 

As we all know, New Year’s is one of those love-to-hate-it holidays – in a similar vein to Valentine’s Day. You pretend to be too cool to care about it, but everyone knows all anyone wants is to find the BEST party of ALL time to be at when the clock strikes twelve. Let’s be honest, have any of you every found that party? I sure haven’t. So for the last couple of years, I have been trying not to stress about it, but just have fun. When David suggested that we spend New Year’s smashing more ugly ceramics I couldn’t say yes fast enough. 

 

 

I spent most of my Christmas holiday in my hometown of Las Vegas scouring thrift stores to find the cheapest, ugliest and most satisfying ceramics to smash. None cost over $4. We are talking pigs wearing overalls. Swans with teddy bears riding on them. Demonic easter bunnies. I was, truth be told, doing a world a favor by getting rid of these ghastly works of “art”. 

 

 

 

 

But still, David and I felt a little guilty for just smashing things for no reason. And then! I found out about Piece by Piece – an LA based charity that looks for broken ceramics in order to teach underprivileged folks how to make mosaics. Perfecto! Can you believe it? We could smash away to our hearts content in good conscience, and then actually HELP A CHARITY at the same time. Amazing. 

 

 

SO. New Year’s Eve David and I found a semi-private place in an industrial area of Glendale and hauled out our loot. A fair haul, if I do say so myself. 

 

 

smashable

 

 

 

 

And there was THIS guy – the piece de resistance – a truly horrifying specimen. (The eyes don’t light up, they were just glass marbles reflecting from the flash.) Can you imagine the person who donated this to the goodwill – or, more disturbing still – the “artist” who made this masterpiece?! YIKES. We decided we would save him for last. 

 

 

piecederesistance.

 

 

 

And MAN. If you have never smashed anything as hard as you can, I highly recommend it. It is so satisfying to the mind, body and soul. More people with violent urges should try this first before they use their fist or a gun –  it is a truly gratifying way to get out any anger, frustration or bad juju you might have pent up inside you in a totally “good clean fun” kinda way. 

 

 

hammer

 

 

 

We were slightly disturbed by the fact that no matter how hard we threw the objects, the ones with faces always smashed completely – except the face would almost always remain in tact. Creepy. 

 

 

 

 

lionface dollface bearface pigfacedollface2

 

 

Know what else was creepy? These boots, just sitting on the curb, looking like someone had just stepped out of them. 

 

 

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Then, there were three. These we mentally imbued with special miseries from the previous year and took out all of the frustration we had on them. So delightfully fulfilling. 

 

 

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After the smash-a-thon, we started the monstrous task of sweeping up the enormous mess we had made. 

 

 

mess

 

Half way through, the police rolled up. “Hey Guys”, David called cavalierly, continuing to sweep up large shards of broken pottery. “HI!” I cried sunnily, walking over to the car. “What’s going here?” the mustachioed fuzz inquired. “Oh, we’re just smashing pottery, but we’re all done now and we’re cleaning it up.” I said. The two cops looked at each other and laughed. “Alright, Happy New Years” they chuckled, and drove off. Painless. And probably their easiest call all night. 

 

The clean up took longer than expected, and we vowed next time we would shatter ceramics over a tarp for no fuss no muss clean up. We swept up every shard as best we could and bagged it all up for me to drive over to donate later this week. 

 

 

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All in all, a FANTASTIC way to spend New Years. I think this may become my NYE ritual from now on. And now I have a whole year to ferret out ugly ceramics. I’m smiling just thinking about it…..

 

 

 

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The Future Is Now!!

Every once in a while, something will be invented that makes me feel like we are slowly heading into a Bladerunner-esque future. It started with the electronic billboards around Los Angeles, which totally blew my mind. The fact that I can carry a video camera, phone, still camera, and music player with thousands of songs on it all in my small purse like it’s no big deal. Self inflatable tires. Ketchup bottles that pour like water. 3D printers – the list goes on and on. It’s incredible. 

 

And now – YOU, my friends, can buy your very own robotic cat ears that respond to your brainwaves. 

 

I saw the promotional video for these puppies about six months ago, and giddily announced to my boyfriend, David,  that I wanted these for Christmas. Well, guess what? Like the wonderful boyfriend he is, he remembered and bought them for me!! I squealed with absolute delight upon opening them yesterday. (We had an early Christmas, since he is going down to Mayan temples in Mexico to get a front row seat for the apocalypse on the 21st and write an article about it – you know, as you do). 

 

A company called Neurowear makes them, and they are called Necomimi. They are battery operated and have a sensor that rests against your forehead, and a clip that attaches to your left earlobe. You pop them on, hit the power switch and they immediately start calibrating to your brainwaves. And they TOTALLY WORK. 

 

The ears perked up when David held my hand or kissed me. If he ever needed any more solid proof that I love him, these ears made it super super obvious. They wiggled when I concentrated. They drooped when I was relaxed. Fucking amazing. 

 

We decided to go for a walk along Melrose that afternoon and I wore them out to test the reaction. Most people I passed on the street didn’t even look twice (It IS Los Angeles, after all). But – I went into three places that got three very different reactions – 

 

1. Golden Apple Comics – the man working there almost immediately commented on them and when I told him about them he said he had also seen them online. He was excited to see them in real life and asked how they worked. We had a nice little conversation – comic book guys would of course know about these things. 

 

2. Japan LA – the little Sanrio pop up store a little ways down Melrose. The cute Japanese girls there were utterly unimpressed. They said cute ears, and when I started to explain, they cut me off “Oh, we know”. They said, a little snottily. Wow. Okay, Japanese girls are already WAY over this. I started to feel like no one would be amazed like I was…and then..

 

3. Vienna Cafe, also on Melrose. I BLEW MY WAITRESSES’ MIND. Like, she couldn’t speak for about 15 seconds and just sat staring at me after I explained them. She couldn’t wrap her head around it. She was having her “future is now” moment. She asked all about where you could buy them (neurowear.com) , how much they were ($100), did they have different ears (etsy, of course, is all over this.) etc. It was CLEAR she was going to go straight home after work and buy herself a pair. Her mind was so blown, she dragged several of her fellow wait staff over to stare at me. She waited to see how they responded when I tasted my food. (they wiggled happily). THIS was the response I was looking for. 

 

I am a very very happy little kitten. The future is looking pretty goddam awesome from where I am sitting. Now if only I could get one of the new tails that Neurowear just debuted….Hmmmm…

 

50 Things I Learned Traveling Through Reykjavik, Paris and London.

 

 

 

1. Breaking your little toe the day before you leave for a trip where you will be walking 10 hours a day is not a good idea. 

 

 

 

2. Icelandic Air gives you NO free food on their flights – even ones over 8 hours. No peanuts, nothing.   You must buy everything. Not cool. 

 

 

 

3. Iceland is very very expensive – think $30-$40 for a normal meal, per person. Rough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Icelanders REALLY love their licorice. It’s the main candy choice, by far. Mainly we saw the brand Dracula – a little weird to know that little Icelandic kids probably relate Dracula more to candy than they do to blood sucking. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Reykjavik has an awesome restaurant/coffee shop called The Laundromat which is also – surprise! – a laundromat! So you can get dinner/drink some coffee while you do your laundry. Brilliant! Los Angeles, get on this. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. The afore mentioned Laundromat also has book shelves wrapped around the bar that have color coordinated books – as all cool places should!

 

 

 

7. You can get an “Iceland sampler” at some restaurants that include pieces of puffin, whale and cured shark – the national dish – which is so potent it is served to you in a sealed mason jar. Unfortunately, I did not have the $65 necessary to sample said meats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Reykjavik features the worlds only Phallological museum. (Yes, that means a penis museum).  I was excited to go, and then quickly horrified by the hundreds of disembodied penises floating in jars. Descriptions were in several languages – including Esperanto. They boast to have a sample from every mammal that lives on Iceland. That includes a full specimen (public scalp, too) from a 95-year-old man. (Shudders). Feminists, you will be pleased to know that there is a vagina museum in Rotterdam. Guess I better hit that up next, just for balance. 

 

 

 

9. The word geyser comes from an Icelandic town “Geysir” where there are several geysers. All geysers are named after these!

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. One of the most beautiful places in the entire world is near Reykjavik – a waterfall with a permanent rainbow over it – called Gullfoss. Really amazingly spectacular.

 

 

 

11. Everyone – regardless of age or gender – LOVES a good water slide. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. The pastries in Paris are just as amazing as they say. 

 

 

 

13. When traveling in Paris, everyone will find their little patisserie/boulangier with their favorite snacks and will need to go daily. Mine had the most incredible ham/Gruyère/butter baguette I have ever tasted in my life. I felt like Jerry Horne from Twin Peaks coming back with a suitcase full.

 

 

 

14. The most popular dog in Paris currently is not the poodle, but the jack russell. I saw them everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

15. Shakespeare & Company is one of the very best bookstores in the world. I took a two hour nap there on the bed provided. Heavenly.

 

 

 

16. Accidentally arriving at Notre Dame when evening mass is starting is pretty awesome. 

 

 

 

17. The curator at the Orsay really knew what they were doing when they put this painting front and center when you walk into the room. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18. French people really DO all walk around with baguette peeking out of the top of their grocery bags.

 

 

 

19. David Lynch designed a nightclub called Silencio in Paris – it is very exclusive  (members only until midnight). And I got to go! More on this later….

 

 

 

20. Absinthe bars sound like a great idea, and you will feel cool dissolving the sugar on the spoon, but it tastes fucking awful and makes you feel like you are dying. 

 

 

 

21. My favorite part of the cruise along the Seine wasn’t all the happy French couples kissing, or the friends hanging out on the banks, but the teenager who flipped me off. Right on, kid. 

 

 

 

22. Sometimes sitting in a park in Paris watching people can be more fun than looking through museums. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23. The coolest record store ever is in Paris – it is a bookstore, comic book store, movie store and record store all in one. They were playing the Fame soundtrack while I was in there, and no one minded me singing along. I scored some sweet French 60’s pop vinyl for 20 cents a piece. 20 cents!!

 

 

 

24. The public toilets of the future are here – and are on the streets in Paris. They are cylinders that have an automatic door that opens & closes behind you and a friendly woman’s voice welcoming you inside. Automatic soap, water, dryer and towel dispensers. After every user, the cylinder closes and goes through a thorough 30 second cleaning and disinfecting cycle. The best part? They’re FREE!! Los Angeles, get on this. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25. America desperately needs to get curry dipping sauce at their McDonald’s. Its scrumptious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

26. French people really do exclaim things like “Voila!” and “Sacre Bleu!”

 

 

 

27. 2 years of high school French will get you surprisingly far. 

 

 

 

28. London really is my favorite city in the world. 

 

 

 

29. Vinmag is one of the coolest stores in the world – I got a Battleship Potemkin bag, and a Quadrophenia shirt. I go every time I am in the UK. We need one here, badly. Los Angeles, get on this.

 

 

 

30. Brighton, original home to the mods, still has one of the raddest mod shops ever. I go in every time just to drool and wish I were a skinny British lad in the 60’s.

 

 

 

31. I will get asked for directions in every foreign country I am in. I take this to mean I look like a native and that I look like I know where I am going. I take it as a compliment. 

 

 

 

32. They still sell jellied eels in seaside towns in the UK. Please stop the madness, Britain. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

33. Taking a break for afternoon tea – complete with scones, jam and clotted cream – is really delightful. Why don’t we do this? Los Angeles, get on this. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

34. Camden is, without a doubt, the most incredible shopping district in the world. 

 

 

 

35. Cyberdog is an incredible store because it started in the early 90’s – which means it went from being futuristic clothing to retro-futuristic clothing without blinking an eye.

 

 

 

36. I get a donut from the donut man in Camden every time I go, because they look so big and delicious – and I forget every single time how terrible they are. Never again. 

 

 

 

37. Scala Beyond is an amazing six week tribute to the now defunct London Scala – look at these films!

 

 

 

38. The Prince Charles Cinema is – next to the New Bev  of course – now my favorite movie theater in the entire world. 

 

 

 

39. Every cinema should have sweet as well as salty popcorn – Los Angeles, get on this. 

 

 

 

40. Spending even just one day in London will ensure that when you blow your nose that night, it will be black. 

 

 

 

41. It is impossible to walk through London without slipping back in time in your mind – mostly to Victorian London and how incredibly god awful it must have been.

 

 

 

 

 

 

42. If it is the right consistency, you can punch a bowl of custard as hard as you can and your hand will simply bounce off the top. But, if you slowly push your hand in the top, it will sink all the way in. ASTOUNDING. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

43. Primark – while having outstanding clothes at stupidly low prices – is hell on earth.

 

 

 

44. Penguin publishes terrific books. 

 

 

 

45. I should never eat at another Wetherspoon’s as long as I live. Repulsive.

 

 

 

46. I want to marry, or possibly BE Paul Vickery – the programmer for the Prince Charles Cinema. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

47. I love Mr. Kipling’s “exceedingly good” cakes more than any human should. It is scary. I am going to start a one woman petition to ask them to export to the USA. Cherry Bakewells and Angel Slices could bring me to my knees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

48. While the underground seems to break down  & have an awful lot of delays, the conductors always very politely explain the reasons to you, which I find very considerate of them, in the long run.

 

 

 

49. Night of the Comet & Fast Times at Ridgemont High are timeless and cross cultural boundaries very well. EVERYONE loves Spicoli.

 

 

 

 

 

 

50. Having my name ten feet high on a marquee just off Leicester Square in London means I can pretty much die happy now.

 

 

Jenny Ringo and the Monkey’s Paw

I love having filmmaker friends. Watching a film that a friend makes is like getting to peek into their soul a little more than you usually do. Because no matter how hard you try, your film is going to taste like you – your fingerprints are going to be all over the thing. So watching a film made by a friend is like getting to see them up on the big screen, like getting to hang out with them and watch them at the same time, if that makes sense.

 

 

 

Luckily, my friends are talented as well. Two of my dearest friends, Andrea & Chris Regan, are an adorable married couple who also make films together. Their first venture, Jenny Ringo & the Monkey’s Paw is up on Vimeo and worth a watch.

 

 

 

The film stars Rosie Duncan as Jenny, a slightly off kilter girl whose world is turned upside down when she returns from a Wiccan retreat (as you do) to find her room mate Gavin (Lukas Habberton) has acquired a monkey’s paw from a strange magician on the Brighton pier (as you do). Its one of THOSE monkeys paw, that of the W.W. Jacobs short story, where you get your wishes, alright, but they are going to come at a heavy price.

 

 

 

The film is fun and clever, taking unexpected twists (a musical number!!) and doesn’t take itself too seriously – a downfall of LOTS of short films. Duncan is believable and clearly having a good time. I suspect Andrea & Chris may have cast Habberton specifically knowing that he is my exact type (tall, thin, british, adorable) and that I would moon over him. Looks aside, I think he was my favorite character in the piece, he seemed to be inhabiting his character’s skin the most naturally.

 

 

But in any case, its really great fun, its only 25 minutes – give it a look. And, if you like what you see, stay tuned, because a sequel – Jenny Ringo and the Cabaret from Hell  – is on its way to you!

 

And as for the filmmaker’s personality coming through with the film, well, I think you can see why I am friends with these two.  

Check it out here:

JENNYRINGO.COM

Slob vs Snob part deux

Slob vs Snob 

So last week, my buddy Donald and decided that his pick should, from now on, be watched first on our High Brow/Low Brow Fridays, since after a wacky 80’s comedy, it’s pretty hard to keep the momentum going with a French film from the 60’s. Which is not to say that one is more entertaining than the other, but well…you get it..

 

 

So Donald’s pick was Stolen Kisses, the third in Truffaut’s Antoine Doinel cycle. I am a BIG Jean Pierre Leaud fan (Masculin Feminin ROCKS) and think he is about one of the most charming men to ever appear on the big screen, so I was game. It was adorable – Jean Pierre Leaud is one of those actors who I could watch do absolutely anything and be enthralled – I just love his face. (Simon Pegg and John Simm are two other examples). Donald explained to me the history & background of the film -summed up nicely by this passage from Cinelogue –

 

 

“A frequently unsung hero of the French New Wave was Henri Langlois, who founded the Cinémathèque Française in 1936. The Cinémathèque was a Paris-based theater and, more importantly, a film museum. Langlois devoted much of life to saving films and even preserving other cinematic items like cameras and costumes. The French New Wavers were all consciously aware of Langlois’ importance, and were frequently found in the front row of packed screenings. In 1968, French culture minister André Malraux attempted to fire Langlois by stopping the funding. In response, an enormous film community rose up in protest (eventually getting the ’68 Cannes Film Festival shut down), but none louder than French New Wavers, and none more so within that group than Truffaut. The experience had a profound effect on Truffaut, and it’s apparent in the film and audio clips available from time just how determined—even militant—Truffaut was in getting Langlois and the Cinémathèque reinstated.”

 

 

 

 

Hey! That sounds pretty familiar !! I was so thrilled and inspired by how passionate the directors were about this movie theater! It made me feel like I wasn’t doing enough in my quest to help save revival cinemas & 35mm. I guess Truffaut will do that to you.

 

 

 

The In Crowd was my choice for the day. A lost 80’s classic, the In Crowd stars the gorgeous Donovan Leitch (another one of those faces I could watch forever) in a kind of gender swap Hairspray -minus the racial tension. Leitch plays Del, a good smart kid who longs to DANCE! He races home after school every day to watch Perry Parker, the local teen dance show and practice his own moves. (Leitch, tall and lanky as they come is a surprisingly great dancer). Then, one day, by a nutty turn of events, Del lands his spot on Perry Parker (who is played by Joey Pants at his smarmiest) AND gets to dance with Vicky, the girl of his dreams. But, as Del finds out, even teenage fame has its drawbacks.

 

 

 

Lets face it, Truffaut it ain’t, but the In Crowd is so much fun, how can you complain? The actors are having a blast and the dancing and music alone enough reason to watch this flick. Donald pointed out how HARD the actors dance in this film (especially in a have to see to be believed dance off scene) – like they are giving it 110% at all times. I rebutted that the only other person I could think of that is trying to dance this hard on film is Elizabeth Berkley in Showgirls – except she was trying so hard to make up for the fact that she really can’t dance…

 

 

ANYWAY. Two beautiful boys, two great flicks….both highly recommended.

 

 

 

Next week – because Stolen Kisses was so wonderful and because I could endlessly watch Jean Pierre Leaud, we are breaking protocol a bit. Leaud starred in 5 films for Truffaut as Antoine Doinel – The 400 Blows, Antoine & Collette, Stolen Kisses, Bed & Board and Love on the Run – and we are going to watch them all! Maybe the week after we will have to do an all low brow day?!

More cinema news….

I have continued my correspondence with several independent cinemas around the globe and have had some truly remarkable conversations. I wanted to share some more with you. For the most part I am overwhelmed with the courage and passion from the owners & managers of these cinemas, who are doing their best to keep independent cinemas alive, and film shown purely for the love of it. 

 

I have started a Facebook page for the Global Association of Independent Theaters, an organization I have started to allow independent cinemas all over the world to start talking to each other, to find out what is working for other theaters, and to ask for help if need be. I am also adding several theaters – with lots more to come –  to Out of Print’s website, so that where ever you may be in the world, hopefully you can find an independent cinema not too far away from you! 

 

While I have been getting several positive and reassuring emails from theaters that are chugging along, some – as in my previous post – are heartbreaking. The first comes from Neil Merryweather from the now closed Regal Cinema – Melton Mowbray – Leicestershire.. He writes: 

 

“Firstly, let me thank you for contacting us. I wish you all the best with your fight to keep 35mm going.

 

Unfortunately due to the death of my father and economic pressures in the town, we’ve decided to close.

 

Another reason we closed was the enormous costs we were incurring – largely because of digital projection. I’m unsure of the operating systems in the USA but here, for example, a new lamp costs over £1000 for about six months life. Ridiculous. Surely the studios should either contribute financially or reduce their percentages.

 

Our cinema was built in 1934 and is currently empty. We left a perfectly good, 40-year-old 35mm projector in situ for them. The only problem they will have is finding someone to operate/ service it – no easy task in a small market town.” 

 

Next comes from Tim O’Brien from the Vassar Theatre in Michigan. He writes:

 

” I’ve owned the Vassar Theatre for 22 years and have also owned several other theatres in that time. The Vassar was distressed when I acquired it, and over a thirteen year period from 1992 – 2005 I completely restored the theatre to its former art-deco glory. We’re a first-run theatre in a rural Michigan market with a very poor economy.

 

Although business is marginal at best, I’m committed to keeping this theatre alive as it’s been my life. The impending D-day may be the death knell, however. I’ve been denied financing on the digital equipment and can’t see how we’re going to be able to make this stretch, short of an appeal to the community for help. As a “for-profit” business (that’s never made a profit), I’m uncomfortable with this.

 

I’m not against digital and readily acknowledge its many benefits. It has ruined this business, however, and made it very difficult for independents to survive, much less embrace new opportunities. Even if a small theatre can absorb the costs for the conversion, the business model is forever changed as the evolving technology will require ever greater investment with no end in sight.

 

 The independents are squeezed on one side by our multiplex competitors whose digital equipment has been subsidized by the distributors, and on the other side by the non-profits who it seems need only pass a hat to collect public and private funds from many sources.

 

Alas, I fear the Vassar Theatre will become a statistic as one of many left behind in this brave new world.”

 

On the flip side of the coin, I have received a few emails from folks who – needless to say – I felt it was best NOT to respond to. Everyone is welcome to their opinion, of course, but the thought of these folks running movie theaters makes me sad; when there are so many people who would give anything to run a cinema. 

 

The first comes from Andrew Mungo of the Screening Room in Massachusetts:

 

” I am not a cynic but I truly feel that the 35mm issue raging is a non-starter. The technology is on the way out. That’s that. Think of the environment. Almost every 35mm print has always become toxic waste. There is  no room to store every 35mm print ever made. Almost all must de destroyed and that has always been the case. Other technologies are better, cheaper, quieter, cooler, create less waste, the list goes on. I’m 63 years-old, have been running movies for 35 years. I welcome new tech. The only way to stay with 35mm is to do old stuff. Anybody younger than me who resists new tech is a premature fuddy-duddy. And out-of-touch.”

 

And finally, the coup de grace, Mr. Rui Pereira  from the Kingsway Theater in Toronto, who sounds like a barrel of fun to work for. 

 

 “I desperately avoid terms like:

1. rep

2. art house

3. discount

4. love of film

5. 2nd run

6. revival

7. community theatre

8. classic

 

All of the above are terms used to diminish movie theatres and reduce history to nostalgia and memory to an amusement ride.

 

At the Kingsway I charge FULL price the same as our local 18 – plex. If anyone complains about the price I ask them to leave.

 

Our staff also wear uniforms and clean clothing – no hippies here or ‘film types’ – if you like films don’t open a movie theatre.”

 

Can you imagine? We certainly wouldn’t want anyone who likes movies to work in a movie theater, now would we?! It makes my heart so heavy to know that there are people who are just in this business to make money, and don’t care a lick for film. I know it is naive of me, but somewhere inside of me I still dream of a world where people aren’t driven solely by their greed. To be able to run a movie theater and make it small and cozy and anti-establishment and run entirely for the love of the art of cinema? That’s certainly my dream, and I know it is many of yours as well. Sadly, greed – not only from the studios forcing this digital change-over, but by theater owners themselves – always gets the last laugh. 

Slob vs Snob

Slob  vs Snob

I have a friend, Donald McQuade, who has about the most stereotypical “film snob” taste out of anyone I know. He honestly loves Truffaut, Godard, Ozu…all of those tried and true film school directors who all of us know we should like, but probably haven’t seen as many of their films as we should. He’s true blue as well – he’s been watching this stuff since he was a kid and adores it without a touch of irony. 

Which is not to say that I don’t love classic film. I do. Tremendously. I cherish my vast love of film, and the fact that I love cinema across class boundaries, color, language, genres, age or type. I’ve seen almost every Chaplin film, have seen all of the French New Wave biggies (and adore Masculin Feminin especially) and lots of art and foreign films but I would say that beyond my film school/New Bev education, my high brow film viewing has been a bit lacking.

 

Donald, meanwhile, is just the opposite. He has seen countless Kurosawa movies, but not Last House on the Left. Fellini yes, Hughes, not so much. So we decided that we should cross-educate each other with a weekly High Brow/Low Brow Friday double feature at his place. I would show him one of my favorite “low brow” films and he would counter with one of his favorite “high brow” films. 

We had our inaugural screening last week with a Final Exam/Mon Oncle double. 

Final Exam, for those of you who don’t know, is one of my favorite horror movies. So much so that when they were recording the commentary track for the DVD, I was asked to moderate the commentary since I probably was its biggest fan!

Directed by Jimmy Huston (who also directed the ever popular Robert Sean Leonard vehicle My Best Friend is a Vampire) in 1981, Final Exam at first glance appears to be a very cookie cutter slasher film. But, lurking beneath the surface is actually a very clever little movie, with my favorite horror movie character of all time, RADISH. Radish Rocks – yes, I made a shirt that says that and actually wore it to record my DVD commentary (freaking out Joel S. Rice, who played said character). Every self-aware horror movie character you have ever seen on-screen started out with this one – a brainy geek who loves horror and true crime a little too much – so much so that he’s become paranoid about serial killers stalking around in his own life . And guess what? He’s right. I also have an “alternate theory” to this film that may or may not have been what the filmmaker intended – but that’s all available on the commentary track, so you can listen for it on your own time.Surprisingly, Donald came up with the same theory I did when watching the film! He loved the cheesy costumes, Radish and his frat-boy nemesis Wildman, the synth soundtrack and the existential ending. A win!

After a cookie break, we continued on with Mon Oncle, Jacques Tati’s 1958 film starring his famous Monsieur Hulot. I had never seen any of Tati’s films before, but Donald gave me a quick de-briefing before we began. There were lots of things I really liked about the film – it’s deadpan view of the rich and their never-ending quest to have the best and most modern inventions at their fingertips, the almost Wes Anderson like attention to detail, and the sound design was AMAZING. I joked that we should have been playing a drinking game while watching it and every time something buzzed in the film, you were to take a drink. You would be sloshed within ten minutes.

That being said, I definitely think the film would have played much better had I seen it with an audience. This kind of French comedy is so incredibly subtle – and I don’t laugh out loud much when watching movies – that I think hearing the other viewers’ reactions would have made this film a lot funnier.  It fell a little flat with just the two of us in his living room.

 

So stay tuned for next weeks edition of Snob Vs Slob – who knows what crazy mis-matched pair of films we will be watching next?! 

The reality of it.

So in addition to making Out of Print, I am also trying to create a database of independent movie theaters around the world so that all of the little guys can start talking to each other and relying on one another for help. As I see it, many theaters rallying together makes more sense than each one struggling individually. (To check out the growing database, you can click HERE.) 

 

I have been emailing back and forth with some incredible folks all over the country and the world, and they have been sharing the trials and tribulations of their theaters – places like Australia, Japan, France, Turkey, the UK, and of course, the USA. Several theaters have campaigns going on right now to help them raise the funds necessary to install the soon-to-be mandatory digital projector – and if they don’t make their goal, their doors will close. 

 

Most single screen independent cinemas are squeaking by as it is, and simply cannot afford to upgrade. A new digital projector costs anywhere from $60,000-$200,000 and it must be installed by the end of the year at the latest. And the studios have been adamant in most cases that not only must the theaters install these pricey new projectors, but they must also get rid of their 35mm projectors entirely. They are not allowed to subsist side by side. 

 

Losing the “mom and pop” theaters around the country has been one of my major fears and I received a couple of emails this week that made these fears a reality. I am very heartbroken about the realities of what’s happening and I wanted to share them and let everyone know what is happening with your local theaters. 

 

I have been writing to Jenna MacGregor who runs the Historic Park Theatre in Estes Park, CO. It is the oldest operating movie theater in America that was originally built as a movie theater – since 1913. It is on the Historic National Register and runs May through September.  I will quote her letter to me:

 

“We have been informed directly by our Sony representative this year that we cannot have their shows because she only has a couple of 35mm prints in the area and that everyone else is Digital.   This is discrimination by the film companies. I was told that the film would go to the other theatre because they were digital and she did not have to get them a 35mm print.  Amazing that while 35mm film is actually clearer than digital the film companies are so affected by the cost of a print that it is causing those of us with greater quality to be discriminated against. 

 

For our theatre to transition to digital the number we have been told is no less than $60,000  for the projector and the needed computer.  Our theatre is run by our family and not paid.  Everyone is a volunteer.  My uncle and cousin are the projectionist, concession attendants and theatre cleaners, my mom is the ticket seller, my father and children are the ticket takers, I am the film and event booker.  No one is paid…our earned funds goes towards, utilities, taxes, rental fees for films, etc.  To build 60K for digital is not in our budget.

 

Many have told me to go non-profit.  There is just one problem – we live on the same property that the theatre is built on and cannot be non-profit and living at that non-profit facility.   

Well here is enough for you all to start thinking and fighting for the quality of 35mm film.  Keep it going and allow the theatre to stay in business.”

 

In a shockingly similar story, I also have been writing with Elizabeth Peters, of the Toby Theater in Invermere Canada. She writes:

 

“We are one of those small town theatres that was built in 1952.  It’s a bit ironic that this year 2012 our 60th anniversary is likely to be our last year of operation because of the decision to stop making movie theatre films available in the 35mm format.  My husband Ron and I have owned the Toby Theatre since late 1971 so we have been in the industry for almost 41 years.

 

 We have worked hard to maintain our small town theatre business over the years. We do it all!!!  My husband is the projectionist, the popcorn maker, the janitor and the maintenance man for the business along with being the bookkeeper and the website designer.  I am the ticket seller and my husband’s assistant in any capacity that is required (my duties are too many to list in this email).  We have loved the movie business despite the hard work required to keep it going.  We have worked to make our theatre a place where families could come together and enjoy a night out.  We have earned the reputation as having the best popcorn around by giving people the best that we can give. 

 

Unfortunately we do not have the funds to do the conversion to digital. After 40 plus years we still live in an apartment above our theatre so you can see there is no excess cash to convert to digital.  When 35mm films are no longer available we will be out of business.The loss of a theatre in this community will affect the local population but to a greater degree those who come from Calgary, Alberta and vacation here, who  have been avid supporters of the Toby for many years.  We are a part of this town’s history that will disappear forever.

 

We feel that all small town  theatres around the world have contributed to the film industry in ways that the big film companies just can’t see and won’t see until it is too late.  Small town theatres and independent theatres are a part of the history of the film industry. It is a sad day for all of us to see its end on the horizon basically because of greed of Hollywood (at least that is our perspective). 

 

Running the Toby Theatre has been our life work that started six months after we were married and has continued to present day.  People tell us we are unusual–married and working side by side for 40 years and we not only love each other we still like each other.”

 

These are just two of the hundreds of theaters around the country – and the world – that are facing extinction because of the digital conversion. And, let’s be honest, we can’t save them all. But I just wanted to let everyone know that cinemas that have been around for decades, cinemas that are run by families for the sheer love of film, are dying because the studios are so hungry to force the digital conversion and make  35mm obsolete. 

 

Is it worth it? 

 

 

awesome stuff is afoot!!

 

Wow! I’ve been waiting to post a blog until I had really cool news and now I have TWO bitchin things to talk about!! 

 

 

First off, while you are waiting for our amazing new website, here’s a little something to wet your whistle. We have a new You Tube Channel!! Here’s my introduction:

 

 

 

We have some really fun behind the scenes videos we will be posting and this first one is with two of my favorite gentlemen, Rian Johnson and Noah Segan. They had an incredibly silly and informative tandem interview which had the whole crew in stitches. 

 

 

ALSO!!!! My double feature at the Prince Charles Cinema in London has finally been announced! Huzzah!! Monday, September 17th at 7pm I will be showing two Los Angeles teen 80’s comedies, (both coincidentally starring the ever rad Kelli Maroney!) NIGHT OF THE COMET & FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH!!

 

 

 

 

Paul Vickery of the PCC is my best-friend-i’ve-yet-to-meet over in London and has made me a spectacular poster just for my event. So cool!!!

 

 

I CANNOT WAIT to hightail it across the pond and get some footage of another fantastic revival cinema that loves film just as much as I do. A side project to the film has been to try and connect with as many independent cinemas around the globe as I can – I feel that if we all stand up and rally together, we have a better chance of survival. I will be filming interviews with employees of the PCC while I am there, as well as talking to some of the cinephiles that attend my screening – thank you again to everyone who donated to my Kickstarter and made this possible. It will be an incredible addition to Out of Print, I assure you. 

 

Speaking of Out of Print footage, it is looking wonderful. My editor John Quinn and I have been going through it and every single interview we did has great laughs, stories and insights. You guys are going to love it. It’s also going to be chockfull of vintage, groovy film snipes and graphics – as you can see in the videos. Super fun. 

 

That’s all for now – Viva 35mm!!

 

 

It’s all happening!

Yes, folks, it’s true. I am ACTUALLY going to be directing a feature-length documentary. Who am I and when did this happen?!

 

 

Not to say that I am not excited, of course, because I am, but my laser beam focus in life has always been acting, so to suddenly be such a passionate film activist and director? This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful wife!

 

 

After some intense, thought-provoking, heart wrenching pre-production, Out of Print will start filming this upcoming Monday, June 18th. The bulk of this first part of the shoot will be interviews and atmospheric New Bev stuff. Right now the plan is to film the interviews on digital  (Red Scarlet and Canon 7D) (mostly to have longer run time for the interviewees to talk without interruption), and the cinematic shots of the New Bev in 35mm film. I definitely want to have some film & digital footage shown side by side in the finished film, so those who can’t normally tell the difference will finally get to  see first hand each formats unique looks, advantages and disadvantages. I think having a film with multiple formats will be really interesting, both visually and  in processing.

 

 

 

 

Opening your fridge and having it full of cans of 35mm film is one of the coolest feelings. (No pun intended). I am so thankful to Panavision for donating cameras to our shoot and Kodak for donating film.  I am so lucky to be able to shoot some of my movie on actual 35mm. Wow!!

 

 

I want to introduce my crew to you. They are some brilliant, gorgeous, incredible folk and I am really happy to be working with each and every one of them.

 

 

I first met Alex Simon, my DP, when he was shooting Marion Kerr’s 2010 film Golden Earrings, in which I starred. Alex is so creative, talented and easy-going and has been irreplaceable with helping me with everything technical.

 

 

I met Alissa Davis, my line producer, through Alex and although we haven’t known each other long I can already tell we are going to do great things together. She is so ferocious and adorable and has the ability to read my mind and say exactly what I was thinking, before I even knew I was thinking it. She can see this film lined up completely in her head, and is on the same course with me – it’s nice to have someone to walk it with.

 

 

alex, alissa and i. 

 

 

Jeremy Kerr and Brandon Musselman are Alex’s right hand men, grip & gaffer, and also did some time on Golden Earrings. It’s so nice to have a DP who has a crew he knows and trusts.

 

 

Rob Fillmore will be doing the sound for Out of Print. He worked on Vivian Kerr’s Lines, and is coming to me highly recommended. I am excited to work with him.

 

 

Matt Dinan will be my on set photographer – you might recognize Matt from behind the concession stand at the New Bev. Little do our customers know that besides his superior popcorn slinging skills, Matt is also a consummate art photographer and professional cynic.

 

 

Jered Natera & Drew Coombs will be my PA’s during the shoot – both insanely groovy and competent gentleman.

 

 

John Quinn will be my editor. If there is anyone who threatens to be more enthusiastic about this project than me, it is John. He emailed me the day my kickstarter launched and announced that this was his dream project and that he would do anything to be my editor – hey, what am I good for if not making dreams come true?

 

 

Anthony Huang will be my DIT and asst. editor – he also comes highly recommended and I am looking forward to working with him.

 

 

Peter Marchese, better known an Tokyoidaho, will be doing the music for Out of Print. He may be my older brother, but he is also a savvy musical genius and I am thrilled beyond words that he will be doing our score. I am looking forward to hearing lots of Moog.

 

 

Todd Spence and Charlie Hill have been kind enough to agree to help me with the artwork for the film. Both of these cats are crazy creative and their work is astounding. I am over the moon.

 

 

 

 

thank you, charlie! 

 

I have received so many offers from all over the world from people who want to be involved in this project, and I am so very very flattered and grateful. I wish all of you could work on this with me, but know that every bit of support – moral, financial, etc. – helps this film out in some way. I only hope I can make a finished product that will be in line with the high hopes everyone has for this!

 

I will be updating once we start filming with sneak preview clips and stories – next time I talk to you all, I will officially be a “film director”. Eek!!

My locker room speech.

Int. Locker Room, Day. 

 

A sad bunch of film lovers sit dejectedly on benches, some have their heads in their hands. It looks hopeless. Soft music swells in the background. 

 

JULIA enters, full of energy, passion burning in her eyes, hair aflame with color. 

 

 

 

JULIA: Okay, cinephiles. I know this looks bad. 65 hours left to raise almost $40,000. You think we can’t do it?

 

 

 

She pauses, looks around. 

 

 

JULIA: Well I think we can. These next 65 hours are the ones that matter most. Why? Because now is the time when you show me what you are really made of. You look at Kickstarter, you see how far we are from our goal and you shrug, think “We’re so far away…how will my $10 make a difference now?” Well, I’m here to tell you it will. Because if everyone who saw the site just kicked in that last little bit, we might just win this thing. 

 

 

Some of the film lovers start to look up from their laps. 

 

JULIA: I know you all love the New Beverly. That’s apparent. The support has been wonderful, but you all need to know what we are up against. Movie studios. Corporations. Digital projection. These are frightening foes. But if the New Beverly Cinema stands for anything, it stands for hope. We’ve never given in or sold out and we’re not about to start now. If you think that a chance to make a movie like this comes around often, brother, you better think twice. NOW is the time to make this film, because NOW is when it will make the most impact. I can’t say where revival cinemas and 35mm will be in five or ten years. But I can say that right now we have the motivation, the passion, the forward momentum we need to get this film made and document the way the New Beverly was in 2012. 

 

Music swells

 

JULIA: Failure is not an option. Think of every epiphany and beautiful moment you have ever had in a cinema and then think about what would happen if those moments were erased from your life. YOU can make a difference by just putting in $5 or sending this to your aunt in Topeka who has a little mad money. We film lovers must stand up NOW and shout from the rooftops that 35mm matters! Revival cinema matters! THE NEW BEVERLY MATTERS!!

 

The music swells to a crescendo. 

 

The film lovers stand, a slow clap begins. 

 

JULIA stands, panting and sweating. She has given this speech everything she has. She smiles to the camera, we fade to black. 

 

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1101489177/out-of-print-a-documentary-about-the-new-beverly-c

5 days left.

I have 5 days to raise over $40,000 on my kickstarter for my documentary. I know everyone says that the majority of the money comes in at the last-minute, and I am trying my very best to think positive, but I can’t help feel a needling sense of panic. 

 

People have started to ask me what I will do if the kickstarter fails, and I tell them I haven’t thought about it – and I haven’t. I feel like if I keep my eye on the prize, as it were, I can manifest it happening somehow. 

 

It has truly been an interesting ride so far. I have been overwhelmed with support in the form of emails, tweets, facebook posts and face to face conversation at the New Bev. I have been on more podcasts & given more interviews in the last three weeks that I ever thought possible. I have been thanking my lucky stars every night when I lay down, astounded at the positive response that this campaign has gotten. I want to say thank you to every single person who has helped me – in any way – donating, spreading the word, interviewing me, moral support, everything. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

I feel like I won’t be able to finally relax until the kickstarter is over on the 24th, and even then, who knows? Will I be happy because we succeeded and nervous about what lies ahead, or disgruntled and saddened that I wont be able to make the film after all? 

 

Earlier this week I made an allusion to the old Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland films where the answer to every problem was to “put on a show” to make that money they needed. Or maybe an 80’s montage where the money offered to the winner of that contest just happens to be the exact amount that’s needed to save the rec center. But the thing that worries me is that my life, sadly, isn’t a film. I have no idea if I am going to make this or not. But I knew that was the chance I was taking going in. 

 

Okay, positive thoughts. I guess that’s my final strategy. If everyone will just join me in thinking that the film will succeed, maybe we can manifest it into reality? I’d make a movie about that…

 

Out of Print Press!

Everything related to Out of Print film – so far….

Ain’t it Cool News

Popcorn Mafia

Moveable Fest

Daily Grindhouse

Killer Film 

Crave Online

First Showing 

You Bent My Wookie

Podpocalypse

Your Hollywood Friends and Neighbors

Random Dreamer 

Indiewire

Planet Etheria

Save 35mm

Oh The Horror 

The Film Stage

Flixist

Badass Digest 

Slash Film

Film School Rejects

Reel Mama

Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule

Huffington Post 

Hwood Minotaur

Reddit 

Trailers From Hell

Buzzfeed

Writer By Night

Mile High Cinema

New Beverly Archive!

Have you been going to the New Beverly for years? Do you have a collection of old calendars? Photos you’ve taken at the theater? Video? Any newspaper clippings? 

 

I am collecting all of this and any other New Beverly related items you might have to create an archive of everything New Bev!! In addition to having all of the information for historical purposes, I also plan to use as much as I can for the documentary I am directing! 

 

I am especially interested in creating a complete back catalogue of calendars. I will treat all materials with great care and will be returned to you safe and sound. I plan to copy/scan all items to eventually be included for the public’s perusal on our website! 

 

Please help record the New Bev’s history! 

 

You can mail anything to the theater at:

Julia Marchese 

C/O New Beverly Cinema

7165 Beverly Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90004

or you can email me at fightfor35mm@yahoo.com 

New Beverly Documentary!

I’m taking my love for the New Beverly Cinema to the next level – I will be directing a feature length documentary about it!!

 

 

This is a dream I have had since I started at the New Bev six years ago and I am finally making it happen. I will be exploring the theater’s history, its employees, regulars and programmers and also creating an archive of New Bev calendars, photos, video, articles and ads. I will also be traveling to other revival cinemas to create a dialogue about the challenge of the digital conversion and to highlight how important support your local theater really is. Please donate and help me spread the word!!

 

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1101489177/out-of-print-a-documentary-about-the-new-beverly-c

Cameron Crowe, You’re My Hero

My hero-worship began when I first saw Say Anything my senior year of high school and it completely blew me away. Like everyone else, I fell in love with Lloyd Dobler, but I also fell in love with the director, Cameron Crowe.

 

 

I worked at a video store the summer after high school, and was dismayed by the monotonous video store customer chant, “What’s in, and new, and good?”  I would gently steer the customers away from renting Con Air and Turbulence and hand them Say Anything. “Have you seen this one? It’s directed by Cameron Crowe, stars John Cusack…give it a chance, I think you’ll like it.” I successfully got dozens of people to rent Say Anything that summer, and every single one loved it. 

 

 

 

Then I found out about Fast Times at Ridgemont High. A great movie to be sure, but when I found out that Cameron had gone undercover in a high school for a year to research the book?!  I coveted the out of print tome and searched every used book store I could. I finally found a copy, which I cherish, and which I used as reference in my final essay for my film class in college, in which I purposed that every character in the film – except Stacy – is actually a virgin. When we showed Fast Times in that same film class, I showed up late and burst through the doors with checkered vans in hand and a bagel in my pants and yelled “Hey! There’s no birthday party for me here!” An hour later I had my best friend deliver me a pizza. My teacher was delighted, gave me extra credit, and called me “Spicoli” the rest of the year. 

 

If there was one thing I wish Cameron Crowe would do, it’s re-publish Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It’s a terrific book. 

 

 

 

THEN I found out that he had started writing for rock magazines and gone on the road at 15. Wow, I thought, how cool!! He should make a movie about that! Lo and behold, Almost Famous was born,which I think is a masterpiece and is one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time. I was one of those kids smugly saying well, yeah, but I knew about this before the film. 

 

 

 

I recently saw We Bought A Zoo. When my friend turned to me when it was over to ask what I had thought about the film, I burst into  tears. It was so well done, so honest, it totally got me. Cameron definitely has still got it. 

 

My birthday is this Sunday, the 18th, and I have chosen to show Say Anything and Almost Famous as a double feature. I am so lucky to work at the New Beverly, where I can choose my favorite movies to play for my birthday. I sent a twitter to Cameron asking if he could make it down for a Q&A, and although he can’t make it, he took the time to sign several incredible items for me to raffle off at the screenings on Sunday and Monday. 

 

It is an indescribable feeling when an artist you have admired for so long also turns out to be an honest to goodness nice person. But I guess that’s why I have called Cameron Crowe my hero for so long. Because in spite of living such an over the top and cool life – he remains humble and as he calls it, “uncool”. He’s never let his fame go to his head, and he still tells stories that everyone can relate to. He is such an amazing filmmaker because his stories are real and honest, his dialogue actually sounds like how people talk, and his ability to be sentimental without over flowing into sappiness is unparalleled. 

 

I have championed him since I was 18 years old, and this Sunday, when I turn 33, I will continue to do so. Cameron, here’s to you. 

 

 

Rainbow Hair!

I have successfully achieved my childhood dream of having hair like a My Little Pony. Proof:

WE DID IT!!!

My petition to fight for 35mm has finally reached its goal of 10,000 signatures, a little over three months after its creation. I am so proud and so thankful to everyone who supported me. If you are interested in more information, you can check out my previous blog that links to all the articles written about the petition, or email me at fightfor35mm@yahoo.com. 

 

 

Lovely Rita

 

In my opinion, Rita Hayworth is the most beautiful woman who ever lived. Her grace, warmth and sexiness lights up the screen. I am super excited for the New Beverly’s Rita Hayworth double feature on February 10th and 11th – You Were Never Lovelier & Cover Girl. In the first Rita co-stars with Fred Astaire, in the second Gene Kelly.

 

 

As many of you know, I am a hard core Xanadu fan. I love it without shame, and I love that Gene Kelly lends the same amount of charm to it that he does to every other one of his movies.

 

A little known fact about Xanadu is that it is based on two Rita Hayworth films – Down to Earth and Cover Girl. In the first Rita plays the muse Terpsichore come down to help a young man put on a show (sound familiar?) and in the second she is a dancer working at a nightclub owned by Gene Kelly named after his character, Danny Maguire. That’s right, the SAME Danny Maguire he plays in Xanadu!

 

 This little character cross over makes me love Xanadu even more. So Saturday, February 11th, you have the opportunity to come watch Cover Girl  at 9:30, and then stay for the midnight show of Xanadu – seeing  Gene Kelly play this character in 1944 and again in 1980. Genius!!

As charming as Olivia Newton John is, she ain’t no Rita Hayworth. Come check out the incandescent Rita tonight and tomorrow and see what I mean! 

 

Frustration.

I can’t say that 2012 has been starting off particularly well for me. 

 

Aside from some automotive trouble, and the usual dire financial straits I am always in, I am finding myself frustrated frequently. 

 

I always dreamed of being a revolutionary, a la Abbie Hoffman, or some such sixties cool cat. But I am not confident or violent enough to challenge “the man” in such a way. Now I feel like I have become a revolutionary – albeit in a very very small way – in the fight to keep 35mm available. I should be over the moon, but instead I feel confused and conflicted. 

 

Lots of people have accused me of thinking digital is stupid, which I certainly don’t. I think it is an incredible medium for the independent filmmaker. The plain fact that anyone now has the ability to pick up a camera and shoot a film for pennies, and not have to worry about buying or developing film stock is astounding. I know that I can’t stop the future from happening, and that the future of cinema is digital. I am powerless against that fight, and that is something I have accepted. 

 

However, I DO believe that 35mm is a superior format to watch movies in a theater. That is my personal opinion, and according to my petition, one that over 8,000 people share. All I am asking is to let 35mm prints remain available to screen indefinitely. Little theaters are struggling all over the country, and I know I can’t save all of them, as much as I would like to. The destruction of independent businesses and the mono-globalization of large businesses makes me sad. When I drive past countless shopping centers with the same stores in them in hundreds of cities, it depresses me. I know this is something that I will only be seeing more and more of in the future, so I am trying very hard to get past it. 

 

I will always enjoy going to a single screen movie house over a multiplex. I will always prefer seeing a movie for the first time, on the big screen, in 35mm. While large corporations charge exorbitant amounts for movie tickets and audiences members become more and more inconsiderate of their fellow movie goers, independent theaters just become more and more precious. Thank god for the Alamo Draft House and their stringent no texting policy. Thank god for the Nuart, continuing to show Rocky Horror Picture Show weekly. Thank god for the Cinefamily, willing to take chances on films that no other theater will. 

 

The point is, if I have one, that I am more than happy to be the face of this revolution, or whatever it is, if people will actually listen to what I am saying and understand what it is I am really fighting for. Just embrace and preserve our past.  That is all. I thought it was a battle I could get everyone I know behind, but I was wrong. And though it is silly, it hurts. I love film and the New Beverly Cinema so so much, and when either of these things are threatened, I will do everything I can to fight back.  I’m afraid this position I have taken is going to have larger consequences than I first bargained for. But if movies have taught me anything, it is that I have to speak up for what I believe in and what is important to me – lets just hope this particular film has a happy ending. 

Never Let Me Go

 

Rarely does a film come along where we are afforded the luxury of knowing absolutely nothing about the plot. I find this to usually be my preferred method of watching a movie, so I can be completely open-minded and surprised. When Never Let Me Go came out in September 2010, the only thing I knew was that it starred Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield, two of my favorite actors. I went in completely blind, and was incredibly and absolutely blown away.

 

 

When the film ended, I didn’t want to leave the theater because I didn’t want to break the spell the film had created, nor disturb the emotional effect it had on me – and I was crying buckets. I truly think this film was the best of 2010, and was shocked and outraged when it was overlooked, not only by viewers, but by the awards. Both Golden Globes and Oscars completely snubbed the incredible performances given by all three leads. 

 

I have been championing the film since its release, begging friends and neighbors to see it. I wanted to play it at the New Beverly as soon as possible, but Fox Searchlight told me that out of all of the hundreds of prints made, only two remained. One was irreparably damaged, and the other on long-term loan to a cruise ship. Whether they were telling the truth or not, I can’t say, but I will say that I am completely overjoyed that we will finally be showing it at the New Bev on January 11th and 12th with (schedule permitting) director Mark Romanek in attendance both nights.

 

 

If I have ever implored you to attend a film I have booked at the theater, and you haven’t come, you owe me one. Please come see this film. Please tell everyone you know to come. It is beautiful, masterfully shot and performed, disturbing, the most interesting use of science fiction I have seen and completely heartbreaking.

 

This is the kind of film I hope to be seeing more of, and the kind that I hope one day to star in myself.

 

Romanek himself picked the doubles’ second feature, Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451. I have read the book, but never seen the film and am very excited to see it, especially to compare the similarities to Never Let Me Go.

 

You’ll notice I haven’t discussed the plot of the film at all, and I have done so on purpose. I hope you will come to the show knowing only what I have told you, and trust me. You might walk away from it with your heart broken, but there is no way to walk away from this film without admitting its brilliance and beauty. 

The fight continues!! – updated!

Thank you to everyone who has supported my petition to save 35mm!!

Here are the links to all of the articles written about it so far – and thank you to all of the authors, of course!!

Let’s keep fighting the good fight!! Long Live 35mm!

LA Weekly

The Smithsonian

The Guardian

The Atlantic

Movieline

 AV Club

Aint It Cool News

Indiewire

Screen Comment

Reddit

Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule

Trailers From Hell

Schofizzy

Fatblog

Borned to be Hanged

Cinematica

50 Westerns 

Kine Artefacts

All About Jazz

Carole & Co

Campus Circle 

Reel Speak

Tumblr 

Badass Digest

2 Pop

Docspace

Row Three

Sunscreen Film Festival

Film at the Paramount

Classic Film School

Flannel Owl

Cinemacord

Little White Lies

Leopard 13

The L Magazine

The Short Goodbye

Flagpole Magazine

Theatre Historical Society

Motion Within Motion

Cinema Treasures

Criticspeak


Fight for 35mm!

I work at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles, California. We are a repertory double feature house that opened in 1978. We screen films from every decade of cinema – from silents to foreign, independents, art house to contemporary. Films that make-up the glorious history of the art, that should be viewed as they were meant to be – in a theater with fellow film lovers, projected from film. 

 

We only show films on 35mm. 

The major film studios have decided that they eventually want to stop renting all archival 35mm film prints entirely because there are so few revival houses left, and because digital is cheap and the cost of storing and shipping prints is high. 

I firmly believe that when you go out to the cinema, the film should be shown in 35mm. The digital capabilities currently available for theatrical presentation are no more advanced than the blu-rays you watch at home. The average theater ticket in Los Angeles is $14 – so you are basically paying just to watch the same thing you could watch on your own TV on a bigger screen. 

At the New Beverly, we have never been about making money – a double feature ticket costs only $8. We are passionate about cinema and film lovers. We still use a reel to reel projection system, and our projectionists care dearly about film, checking each print carefully before it screens and monitoring the film as it runs to ensure the best projection possible. With digital screenings, the projectionists will become obsolete and the film will be run by ushers pushing a button – they don’t ever have to even enter the theater. 

The human touch will be entirely taken away. The New Beverly Cinema tries our hardest to be a timeless establishment that represents the best that the art of cinema has to offer. We want to remain a haven where true film lovers can watch a film as it was meant to be seen – in 35mm. Revival houses perform an undeniable service to movie watchers – a chance to watch films with an audience that would otherwise only be available for home viewing. Film is meant to be a communal experience, and nothing can surpass watching a film with a receptive audience, in a cinema, projected from a film print. 

 

I feel very strongly about this issue and cannot stand idly by and let digital projection destroy the art that I live for. As one voice I cannot change the future, but hopefully if enough film lovers speak up, we can prove to the studios that repertory cinema is important and that we want 35mm to remain available to screen. 

Please sign this petition and forward it to any cinephiles you know. Let’s fight for 35mm!

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/fight-for-35mm/

The Imaginarium of Mr. Gilliam

 

I love Los Angeles. Living here has afforded me the incredible opportunity of meeting several of my heroes – Cameron Crowe, Baz Luhrmann, Wes Craven, John Waters  – and just last night – Terry Gilliam.

 


I was a big fan of Time Bandits as a kid, as well as Baron Munchausen  – and of course Monty Python –   but it wasn’t until I saw Brazil that I fully understood just what a genius Gilliam is.

 

 


I think Brazil might be the best film ever made. It represents everything I love about filmmaking, all in one movie. Plus, it has the greatest ending ever put on film, and blows my mind every single time I watch it. My boyfriend watched it for his first time with me this January when Edgar Wright showed it at the New Beverly. Before David watched it,  I told him it was amazing. Edgar said it was amazing. Richard Kelly, who was also introducing, said it was amazing.

 


So the bar was set high.


After the incredible end shot, David just looked at me. I returned his gaze with a smile and slight shrug and said, “Yup. That’s the end.” David’s mouth was agape and he shook his head slowly in bewilderment. “I…can’t…even…begin to…digest that…” he murmured. “I’ll be right back. I’m going to go run around the block.” With that he leaped up and ran up the aisle. I followed him out front and, sure enough, he took off. He made a lap and shouted “One more!” as he went by again. He stopped after his second lap, looked at me with a giant smile on his face, and said, “That was the best movie I have ever seen.”

 

 


He was so astounded by the film that his brain couldn’t handle it and he had to run around the block. I have never, in all my years of  movie going, reacted or heard of anyone reacting in such a manner to any film. But it makes sense that Brazil would evoke such a reaction, and it was David’s reaction to Brazil that made me fall in love with him.

 


When I told David Terry Gilliam was going to be at the Aero in person, introducing Brazil, he immediately agreed to go. I have shown him several more of Gilliam’s films since January, so he was really looking forward to it. 

 


I was super excited to hear Gilliam talk, as he is not a director you hear out and about too often. He was smiley and cheerful, self-deprecating and hilarious. When asked about the unfortunate circumstances that seem to befall him and his films quite often, he replied, “When I get an idea for a project in my head, it kind of possesses me, and I can’t rest until I have completed it. I can’t let God upset my plans, now, can I?” Superb.


He talked about how he has stopped storyboarding, and instead lets the actors develop how the scene should go. How he likes getting input from every department, so the entire crew feels involved. That often his ideas are just found on set, but somehow just seem to work. How he feels like life in America is more like Brazil now than ever before. 

 


We were also lucky enough to be able to view a short that Gilliam had just finished, The Wholly Family, about a family travelling in Naples and the fantasy fever dream that the son falls into. It was trippy and silly, slightly frightening and overwhelming – everything you would expect from a Gilliam film. Unbelievably, this is his first short.

 

 

 

I was able to meet Terry briefly, get a picture with him, and ask him to program at the New Beverly. He said he heard about the theater from Edgar (thank you, thank you, Mr. Wright) and took my card. Everyone please keep your fingers crossed that I hear from him. I think I could pretty much die happy if he programmed at the theater. 


I hope that Terry Gilliam continues making films for a long, long time. I hope he never sells out and makes “commercially viable” films, but continues to follow his heart and make the films that he wants to. It’s somehow fitting to me that some sort of disaster almost always nearly destroy the making of each of his films – because like the anti-establishment characters he loves so much, he is able to beat the odds,  stand up and continue on, somehow. While it may seem to him now that God is standing in his way, I think that the man upstairs must know what he’s doing when all of his roadblocks produce such fantastic cinema. 

 

The Good Doctor


“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”

 

Hunter S. Thompson.  Just his name will immediately garner a response.  Genius?  Madman?  Freedom Fighter?  Selfish Bastard?  I think all of these terms are correct.  The New Beverly Cinema recently played a double feature of Terry Gilliam’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” starring Johnny Depp and  the documentary “Gonzo:  the life and work of Hunter S. Thompson”. Two of the several films made  about the same man – a writer, no less – in the last 20 years —not usual  Hollywood fodder.  What was it about the infamous Dr. Gonzo that made him so appealing in just about every medium?

 


Before he became the drug-addled, cigarette holder-chomping, Hawaiian shirt-wearing weirdo he was known to be, Hunter was a member of the United States Air Force.  Not surprisingly, he was discharged, and they noted that “he will not be guided by policy.”  The military and the complete lack of respect for authority do not go hand in hand.  He found his niche after shadowing the Hell’s Angels for a year and writing an expose about them (promptly getting “stomped” by the Angels after its release).

 

From there, Hunter’s “gonzo” writing style blew up his stories, and they appeared in Esquire and The New York Times, among others.  I really admire Hunter, along with his contemporaries Timothy Leary and Ken Kesey, for completely marching to his own drum and being completely true to himself.  While working, Thompson was more often than not on a variety of drugs and alcohol.  He was known to carry a loaded gun with him at all times, and of course he was famously associated with a 300-pound, Samoan attorney.  He refused to live by any of society’s rules, and became not only a fantastic writer, but also a pop culture icon and a character within his own stories.

 

As with any talented artist, the line between genius and insanity is thin.  Hunter rode that line better than any artist before or since.  He ran for sheriff in Aspen, Colorado, in 1970, under the Freak Power ticket, and shaved his head so he could call the Republican candidate “my long-haired opponent.”

 


He almost won, garnering 44% of the votes.  I sure as hell would have voted for him.

 

As he predicted to all throughout his life, Thompson shot and killed himself in 2005, and his ashes were shot out of a cannon to Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky”.  His death, like his life, was strange and ridiculous.


I long for journalism to regain the courage and individuality that Hunter S. Thompson brought to the field. I want to read stories by reporters stoned out of their mind, getting paid to destroy hotel rooms and cover events they may not even make it to.  The thought of there never being another writer like him makes me sad, and makes me yearn for an era where being a little bit out of control was mysterious and supported.

 


I offer myself to fill that gap. I am not usually an advocate of drugs or alcohol, but If anyone would care to pay me to take a highly irresponsible trip and completely go out of my mind, I’m up for it.   For Hunter.

Fun with Colored Wax!

 

 

A few weekends ago, inspired by a random photo we came across, my boyfriend David and I decided to try a little artistic experiment. I bought some canvases from Blick, some crayons, super glue and some lighters. We unwrapped and arranged the crayons atop the canvas to our liking, then glued them on.

 

 

 

We tried two methods of melting the crayons: lighter and hair dryer. The hair dryer was not terribly effective, having too large of a surface area and too difficult to control the air flow. This was my hair dryer painting:

 

 

 

This was David’s:

 

 

 

The lighter turned out way way better, but hurt the hell out  my hand after holding it down for so long.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the success of the small lighter painting, I was confident and curious to try again, so i bought a bigger canvas and came up with this masterpiece.

 

 

 

 

I’m really excited to continue with these “paintings”. They are pretty bitchin.  But i switched from glue to tape, because of the residue, and i bought a butane torch, so I don’t have to hold down the lighter anymore.  Who knows where this mad experiment will lead?

 

All of it reminds me of this Sesame Street gem from our youth: 

 

I love you, Mr. John Waters

  

 

 

As I have mentioned here several times before, I have been obsessed with the 60’s for pretty much my entire life – case in point, one of my favorite movies growing up was John Waters’ Hairspray. I longed to have the amazing hair, the delicious dresses and the ability to dance my ass off on The Corny Collins Show. I loved John Waters because he made this movie, and had no idea of his sleazy past. 

 

 

 

At 15, one of my best friends in high school decided that we should watch Pink Flamingos for New Years Eve. Hearing John Waters was the director, I readily agreed, not realizing that my innocent eyes and soul were about to become irreparably corrupted. I blanched almost immediately when I understood what the next 90 minutes or so would entail, and have still not had the courage to re-watch it. I was shocked and appalled – John Waters would have been thrilled. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Older, and a lot more used to crazy films, I now can fully understand and appreciate the sum of all of John Waters’ work. I have all of his books and read them repeatedly. The thing that I love so much about him is that he revels in what most people try their entire life to avoid. Dirt. Sleaze. Filth. These things make him happy, and for that reason he is one of my heroes. I love that he has always been his true self, that he loved his misfit friends with an open heart, and that he isn’t afraid to embrace what he honestly loves about life. In one of his books, John recounts what he calls “the greatest moment of my life” in which, sitting on a bus stop in Baltimore, he was hit full in the face by a carton of chinese food that a passing car had thrown out of the window. Amazing. 

 

 

 

 

I finally met John Waters this past weekend at the Aero at a screening of Female Trouble. The place was packed and the audience was eating up the movie with a plastic spoon. He participated in a Q&A afterwards and snarkily answered every question the audience posed. He said that he feels like his films are made for the people who are outsiders within their own minority and talked about how he feels that people are trying too hard to be weird now, that it should be something that naturally comes from inside yourself. I asked if he had a favorite sleazy place to go in Los Angeles, and he said that now that the Spotlight had closed, he did not.

 

I, of course, asked him to program at the New Beverly, and he told me to send him the information through Atomic Books in Baltimore – but did mention that he loved the theater. Wouldn’t you LOVE to see what he would choose to program? We played Pink Flamingos at midnight at the Bev for countless years, so it would be a fitting place for a Waters festival. And if we show Pink Flamingos again, I think this time I will be able to laugh and cheer along.