Posts Tagged ‘Film’

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It’s been over a year since my last post so where better to start than this…

The other night, with my fiance sleeping soundly next to me on the couch,  my Art Carney fest was in full swing but by night 5 I had all but exhausted my resources and looked to IMDB for help. I saw this 1980 made for tv, 2 part-er(didn’t realize it was two parts when I started it at 5 am10170974_10152106129668246_1167509043_n though) starring the man himself along with Michael Beck(Swan from the fucking Warriors!), Telly Savalas(!) and Alex Karras. I remembered seeing this as a kid with my uncle, so that ensured it would not be cute. I was definitely in the mood for that late 70’s/early 80’s look, but was shocked how much I loved the acting, writing, locations/ cinematography(seriously!) and sprawling but tight story and direction. Even the music cues were great. My toes(visible in that pic) did tap!

1975205_10152106217228246_54832007_nHere’s where it gets rough…

Starting part two at sunrise (about 7 am) wasn’t the best thing for my next day but for the film…brilliant. I have always preferred watching films at night and things like this…especially things like this…as late as possible. Part two had some great casting surprises. John “James from Good Times” Amos(actually, I love him in that Kevin Costner, bicycle racing nightmare, “American Flyers”), Joe Pantoliano (I know everyone thinks “Ralp Sipheretto” but I think prick manager from “Eddie & the Cruisers”), and Ed Lauter. Even Jeffery Tambor and Richard Lynch are here.

10154321_10152108683658246_920412500633355229_n Besides, what 80’s fringe flic would be complete without the appearance of Will Sampson(trademark back of head pictured with Beck -left)?

 

 

1393977_10152106177208246_2038454132_nAnd, come on…Telly “Who Loves Ya Baby” Savalas??? What more do you want? Dude’s head alone, makes any picture 23-24 percent cooler. He’s like Yul Brynner with a whore house to run and two-bit gambling debts to collect(break thumbs).

 

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Still, it’s Beck and Art Carney that shine here(I can’t believe that sentence fragment was typed either!). I celebrate Carneys entire career. I’m not just talking the Honeymooners and his credible, Oscar performances (Harry & Tonto, Late Show and the incredible underrated Going In Style)…I love things like this and St. Helens as well as his cameos in The incredible Naked Face and The Muppets Take Manhattan.  He is a fucking KING!

As for this movie…anyone looking for a great slice of late 70’s grit in the for of a great cast climbing around Alcatraz state park should check this out. The sooner the better(but as LATE as possible)

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Born To Die
24″ x 36″
Acrylic, Pastel Stick, Paper, Headphone Wire & Nail on Canvas
2013

fra angelicostencil_graffiti_beansI have been doing nudes for the first time in a loooong time and it started in an almost Anime style and morphed into Stencil Graffiti territory. I am also finally incorporating my love of Early Renaissance religious/ gold-leaf halo type work(think Fra Angelico). I am alllllso using the films like Hardcore Life, American Friend, Boogie Nights and even 80’s trash like Angel as inspiration for the whole Fallen Angel/ Seedy nightlife feel…girls who made a few too many mistakes, late night dive bars, lost innocence, youth, etc… The soundtrack while painting was Lana Del Rey’s Born To Die/ Paradise double Lp. I even used a still from one of her videos in this and attached it 002with headphone wire with holes punched by a nail…both attached to the painting. I love the idea of everyday fallen angels and I am intrigued by the combination(sort-of) of very old, classical styles with the newer, 003more immediate street art that has been a passion of mine since I can remember(it might have been my earliest artistic influence and definitely the earliest things I ever drew. I remember doing tags in kindergarten, long before I cared about any traditional art. I love tying it all together. It is feeling pretty good for now.

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Going In Style 1979 

starring Art Carney, George Burns, Lee Strasberg and Charles Hallerhan. Directed by Martin Brest

Like the title says, they don’t make em’ like this anymore. I recently watched this movie (with fellow film geek, Dean Treadway) and was hooked within minutes. I confess a soft spot in my heart for Art Carney…and films shot in NYC in the late 70’s – early 80’s…and buddy/caper movies…annnnd comedy that doesn’t try to be funny. Let’s just say that I figured I would like this film. I had no idea that I would end up watching it 3 times in four days.

22503.1020.AThe basic idea(I am not imdb…there are no spoilers here) is three elderly best friends who live together feel, like most to the elderly in this country, like their lives have passed them by and that they are basically insignificant now. George Burns character has the idea to hold up a bank(worst case scenario, we going-in-style2get three years…free room and board and 36 social security checks waiting for us when we get out) and take hold of their destinies once again. I won’t give anymore detail beyond the robbery and this turning into a road movie. What needs to be said is the writing and performances as well as the warm, patient direction are incredible. The Going_In_Style_article_story_mainfilm is about friendship and loyalty without ever feeling “precious”. There is also a subtle wit in the performances of Art and George that make this movie hilarious to the right kind of eyes and ears. There is minimal slapstick but the robbery is great fun(Lee’s disguise breaks, forcing him to hold his gun in one hand and his Groucho Marx nose/glasses combo with the other). The trailer made this out to be a goofball comedy, but it is a deep and delicate character study that makes you a fourth member of the gang. Pour me a Sanka and sign me up for that.

If you have no other means, watch it here:

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Yasagure anego den: sôkatsu rinchi (Female Yakuza Tale)         1973
 Teruo Ishii  

You can’t beat some female Yakuza who infiltrates a ring of prostitutesfemale-yakuza-tale-inquisition-and-torture that smuggle drugs in their vaginas…unless you tell me that she will never keep her kimono on when she fights and that it will almost always involve rain, tons of blood or other naked hookers. The fight scenes are really well stages, with lots of interesting, bloody kills and the story itself is actually pretty well written(esp for this kind of flic). It’s a fun, great looking film. Seriously, the cinematography in this is soooo fucking good and the story moves along so well that it almost doesn’t have to be filled with gore and smut…that’s just a bonus. She does battle with so many people in so many great locations and situations that this would stand up on it’s own as a great Yakuza/Samurai flic…but once again…out come the breasts.

The other great thing is that this is just one in a collection of “Pinky Violence” films, many of which star the incredible Reiko Ike(seen here) and are directed by either Noribumi Suzuki or Teuro Ishii. They all deal with women fighting back against male oppression…but in a sexy, fun, ultra-violent, hyper-sexual way. Check out some of the others as well(Sex and Fury, Girl Boss Revenge, Lynch Law Classroom and Killing Melody are great ones to start with).

Not much else needs to be said on this one. It’s not hard to find (even fucking Netflix has it and you can torrent it), so maybe grab some cheese doodles and put your feet up…you might catch yourself having a tug you never saw yourself having. Forget Mr. Miyagi’s Tommin’ ass, this one takes no shit from Cobra Kai!

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I am not gonna say that Sergio Leone’s “the Good, the Bad & the Ugly” is the greatest western ever, butgood1 as someone who loves both traditional “black hat vs. white hat”, John Ford/ John Wayne type Westerns as well as every grade of Spaghetti Westerns(and believe me, they REEEEEALLY vary), I can say that this is my favorite. I just finished watching it(rainy afternoon…best way to go) for what I think is probably the 10th or 11th time since I first saw it as a kid, and I fell deeper, yet again, for this film.

It is perfect to me in every way. While it may be long-ish(3 hours), there is not a wasted frame. There are long, tension building scenes that give way to frenetic bursts of amazingly creative action…which lead to scenes containing the most overlooked element of this, possibly the most well known Spaghetti Western ever; hilarity. The humor in this movie is so perfect. Some westerns try(and I stress TRY) to be funny, but Eli Wallach’s crazy Tuco is always on and Clint’s straight, sarcastic barbs are so sharp…just perfect. There is a scene where Clint and Eli are in a stolen Confederate wagon, in stolen Confederate uniforms when Eli spots a brigade of soldiers on horseback approaching on the horizon. He tells Clint to show his uniform off and starts yelling “Hooooray for the Confederacy!” “Up with…what’s our General’s name?” – Clint answers “Lee” – Eli continues “Up with General

good-bad-uglyLEEEE! God is on our side because he hates Yankees!”  As the soldiers get closer in their cloud of dust, Clint notices something about the soldiers off screen. He then corrects Eli…”God isn’t on OUR side because he doesn’t like IDIOTS.” Then we finally see that the soldiers uniforms just appeared to be Confederate grey, but were in fact Yankee blues covered in dust…Cut to the next scene and Clint and Eli are marching as prisoners of war. Hilarious.

Also, this is one of my favorite kills ever. It’s so absurd. Guy seeks revenge on the man who took his arm, finds him in tub and commences the cliched pre-revenge-kill long-winded speech…watch what happens.  Also, amazing post kill line.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTcBgs2huRo

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This film is also interesting from a story-telling standpoint because you have three main characters that you focus on separately or in different combinations for long stretches of the film. This being the third of the series, there is a huge focus on Eli Wallach’s Tuco, but Clint fills on the holes with just the right notes like Miles on the horn…and then there’s one of my hero’s…

Lee…………………………………… Van…………………………………… Fucking…………………………………….. Cleef !!!

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His character is “the Bad” alright. He is pure evil, ruthless and cold. Willing to do anything for money while seeming to take great pleasure in torturing and screwing people over. Eli is “the Ugly” in man, a volatile, turncoat who flies of the handle to extreme fits of rage and almost mania. “The Good” is Clint, although he is not REEEEEALLY good, he just seems to have honor, and in Leone’s world, that’s head and shoulders above the rest.

The cinematography and score is second to none. Morricone’s Main theme and Ecstacy of Gold(cemetery background music) are incredible and iconic.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG1fmfZGuWw Some of the most interesting action sequences, like Eli pushing his captor(who is chained to him) off a moving train to smash his head repeatedly on a stone, only to realize that he has no key. What does he do…drags his body up on to the railroad tracks, puts him on the tracks, drapes the chain over the rail and waits on the side for a train to come. When it does, not only does the plan work, but Leone has a camera mounted under the locomotive to capture the body getting crushed and dragged along with the train….amazing. This is 1968! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gXlwiME5tI Check this out if you haven’t already, and if you have, check it again.