Heppy News Year! (well thats how my mum says it)..And according to my horoscopes this will be my best year in 10 years because Jupiter is in the way of Saturn blocking out the view of Pluto rising between the Sun and the moon and arrr, fuckit...Anyway hopefully they represent something good since 2006 was officially a grande annulus horribulus for this blogger... So I kicked off 2007 with a 20km round-trip hike that has left me awed and sore..As you can see the loverly beach I ended up at was called Sealer's Cove down a Wilsons Promontory, one of the most spectacular spots on this here lucky-Cunt called Australia. And it was all WORTH IT. This was one of the first decent hikes I been on for nearly 14 years. The last was in the early 90's, climbing Mt. Warning in Northern NSW, and before that, I went on a hike to the Dead Sea in Yeretz Yisrool on my birthday , to be treated to 'Biblical' views of some desert and Masada, coupled with soldiers graduating and F16's buzzing the joint. It was pretty kewl...
But back to the bizniss of this Blog, which is me talking shit about shit I like. 2006 was a Pathetic year for anything 'new'. No interesting music, a smattering of films and book. So I'll start:
BEST FILMS : a few goodies actually: 1. MIAMI VICE – coulda been better, and really it was just an episode of the TV series with a bigger budget, more explosions, blood and swearing, but boy was this film one of the nicest to look at this year, if anything else (and aint cinemah supposed to be a 'visual' medium?)
2. CLIMATES – Turkish arthouse film, also done on the HiDef digital. Like all decent arthouse films, the story of a love-affair breakdown, done with slow shots, landscapes and a pretty rough and ridiculous sex scene. It also looked really nice and moderne just the way I like to see movies.
3. THE PASSENGER – Antonioni's 'lost' movie got a cinema release before getting the 'budget' DVD release. Jack Nicholson goes for an identity swap in an Arabian desert while getting to bonk Maria Schneider and then have something 'mysterious' happen.
4. THE RED DESERT – yeah so I been on a bit of an Antonioni trip this year, watching the Passenger, La Notte and L'Eclisse, this baby got a semi-decent DVD release here in R4/Australia. LURVELY and surreal movie and Antonioni's first in colour, so he's made everything pretentiously perfect and lurid and composed, but fuck, thats alright with me. But the RED DESERT is foremost seminal , esp. on the like of Tarkovsky, and sheeit, even the Turkish guy who made CLIMATES.
5.SUCCUBUS - I also been on a bit of a Jess Franco trip. Yeah, that crazy Spanish guy who is compared to Ed Wood Jr, and made really bad pornos, but his late 60s/early 70s stuff is really, really good – shit I'd say 'great'. Geared specifically for the 'counter culture, Swinging 60s crowd', Franco's drug-fried kinky mod-sex sagas make little sense, over-use the zoom-in, but generally have great soundtracks, sexy-chicks, confused vampires and sex- demons and shots of exotic locales. If you have at least 3 seconds of time for say David Lynch, you'll have plenty for Franco. SUCCUBUS involved some woman who does a live S&M show, some guy who wants to bonk her, trippy soft-focus nude frolics and people namedropping Stockhausen and the Rolling Stones. I mean what's NOT to like?
6. THE PARTY GIRL – got this off a torrent. Nick Ray does it again. Hard-boiled story of a stripper and her links to the mob. Shot in Scope, it's as colourful and gay as a musical is supposed to be, even the bits where a mob psycho pistol smashes a guy in the face! Yep.
7. MATCH POINT – Voody Ellen does a good one. In fact he does a Chabrol film but with Scarlett Johansen's ass in it. This will prolly be the last decent film Ms. J does before she becomes the new Melanie Griffith or something.
8. THE RED QUEEN KILLS 7 TIMES – you know what, I can't get enough of these crazy European psychological ghost/vampire films. From the hot Euro babes, to the crazy stories of infidelities to the wonky mythologies of hauntings and vampires, to the classy Modish locations and decadence. Yep it's all so early 70s exploitation, grindhouse vernacular cinema and while some may pass these films off as camp and trash, well there seem to be heaps more going on (thematically, visually) than yr general arty-farty flick and they're FUN to watch to boot, well at least better than drunken fathers and gay cowboys – thats for sure!
9. THE DUST DEVIL – I had reservations about this flick and the guy who made it – uber goth-geek Richard Stanley – who made one of the worst, most rubbishy films I've ever seen (but a cult with heroin addicts and fans of industrial music like Ministry)HARDWARE..I read an interesting article with Stanley in a book a few years ago and he was crapping on about Leone and Tarkovsky, and how DUST DEVIL was him trying to be like that..Well sorta...More Leone than Tarkovsky, the film is really 90s pulp-kitsch, but it had enough moments to keep me in there, and the fact that it was a genre film that was creating it's own mythology made it a moire than interesting experience. I guess the fact that this was an el-cheapo release with 5 discs of doccos and interviews of varying quality prolly touched my inner schnorrer more than some other grander aesthetic thing, but in the end I enjoyed the sucker more than say the Departed....
10. MARY – Abel Ferrara is still one of the best directors in America, and seem to be the only director who knows how to get a performance out of Matthew Modine. MARY made PASSION OF THE CHRIST look like the bloated, gory, self-important and ultimately stooooopid film that it was. Unlike Gibson's chest-beating Fulci movie, Ferrara actually gets religion and its inherent paradoxes, without actually having to preach it.
11. A SCANNER DARKLY – just. Not a great film, but still the most 'literal' and true PKD adaptation.. He coulda done just as good a job without the bullshit Macintosh animation crap.
Hmmmm....I really liked James Lee Burkes' TO THE BRIGHT & SHINING SUN, Jonathan Lethem's AMNESIA MOON, Burroughs NOVA EXPRESS & Artuads WATCH FIENDS & RACK SCREAMS..
...non-fictionally I dug FX Feeney's MICHAEL MANN coffee tabler, Legs McNeil's THE OTHER HOLLYWOOD, and Mikel J Koven's LA DOLCE MORTE about the giallo genre.. the very worst book I read was Bret Easton Ellis' LUNAR PARK. What a piece of shit.