Monday, September 25, 2006

The curtain falls on another Drive In season...

The Tri Town is running for two more weekends before seasonal closure as is the Mendon Twin Drive In.
We went to see a triple feature at the Tri Town this weekend, The Wicker Man (bad), The Covenant (trite) and The Protector (incoherent but fun). The two horror films were inconsequential but Tony Jaa the Thai boxer has a future in kung fu movies.
Check out the links at the right to see whats playing this weekend.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Why stop at remaking "All the King's Men"?

Why not re-write the book as well, get rid of all that power and ethics stuff and make it into a straight action-adventure piece a'la "Tom Clancy's Op Center" or "The Poseidon Adventure"?
Okay, I'm being sarcastic.
By way of full disclosure, I haven't seen the new film yet, I will of course at some point (out of reverence and concern for Robert Penn Warren's original novel) but Sean Penn, Jude Law, Kate Winslet & Anthony Hopkins will have to go a ways to erase memories of the 1949 original.
I mean the cast is headlined by a Yankee and THREE Brits to cover the life and times of a southern demagogue, as my old co-worker the grouch would exclaim "What rubbish!"

I can see doing Huey Long as a fictional character, the late Kingfish lent himself to dramatic caricature but since "All the Kings Men" was done right the first time, why hash it out all over again?
John Dos Passos' "Number One" whuch is also a scherzo on the Life of Long has yet to be adapted, for that fact, Sinclair Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here" deals in a Huey Long's seizure of power in Washington DC....both are waiting in the wings for some enterprising producer to option.

Give some other scribblers a chance for Hollywood immortaility whydoncha?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mickey Hargitay is dead

Hungary's greatest bodybuilder-actor has slipped off for that big soundstage in the sky.
Serious psychotronic film fans will recall his starring role in "The Loves of Hercules" with his then wife the ever ripe Jayne Mansfield...a perfectly mediocre peplum vehicle (enlivened by a ludicrous looking mechanical prop dragon). He also starred as a superfit sadist in a near perfect horror-sex-exploitation film called "The Bloody Pit of Horror".
So long Mickey, you had class.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hollywoodland (2006)

Sterling comeback vehicle for Ben Affleck as George Reeves, television's first Superman and a famous alleged Hollywood suicide in 1959.
Adrien Brody as the sleazy PI hired by Reeves' mother to investigate basically turns in a gape-mouthed Sean Penn impersonation, it's nothing new and does no harm to his career either.
The film played to a nigh empty house last night in Lexington, but that is no great impediment to Oscar buzz, the only thematic issue in Hollywoodland is the lack of decisive resolution to the whole suicide versus murder debate over Reeves' untimely death.
I myself tend to land lightly on the murder-manslaughter side on things. The whole controversy will never be resolved though, all the principle witnesses and suspects are long dead and buried.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Sad news...

"Movies on a Menu", East Arlington's "DVD Coffeehouse" has closed it's doors for good. Eddie Shaw and Brad Chapman were kidn enough to host several Channel Zero video programs during their 18 months or so of operation and we are very grateful for their interest and patronage.
Channel Zero wishes them well in all their future endeavors.

Meanwhile, once again, CZ is homeless kids...homeless! We got no place to show our obscure TV shows and offbeat feature films.
Frankly we are beginning to wonder if the sun has set on repertory film & video screening in the Hub?
It has been a wild ten year run we've had with a lot of great films, but the next five years heralds the rise of a "down load culture" that means pretty much nigh everything will be a few clicks of the mouse away.
How can teensy Channel Zero compete with that?
Should we even try?
This doesn't mean Channel Zero is shutting down, hell no!
But it does mean we might wanna start concentrating on events like the Bad Poets Society.
Maybe we need to concentrate less on reviving other people's stuff and more on creating out own original material?
Still, I'd hate to miss out on many movie's we'd like to bring to the Hub.
But decent patient and worthwhile venues in the Cambridge-Somerville area have become as scarce as hen's teeth.
Any thoughts?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Final bad Poets Society Note

we had a certain cute couple at the show Sunday night who took time out to tell me that their first date was at our 2001 Bad Poets Society at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education (convened a mere four days after 9-11.
Well, you guessed it, they are engaged now and plan a 2007 wedding.
You just get everything with the Bad Poets Society, laughter, a good time, a little education about poesy AND true love!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Many thanks to the kind persons

who made the Bad Poets Society a stark reality on Sunday.
Stephannie Workman
Amanda Rotondo
Diane Statkus
Zoe Swenson
Gene Doucette (poetry captain)
Colin Buckley
Jimmy Tingle (our friendly neighborhood bartender and celebrity reader)
Joseph Zamparelli Jr our long suffering director.
As hard as it is to mine the poetry and get it down to a tight 39-42 item it is really you guys that bring this strange and mannered event to vibrant life.
Jon Haber and I are much in your collective debt.
Sunday night's program might not have been a big financial success, but it was a blockbuster in creative esthetic terms.
Quite frankly my ibggest worry going into "BPS '06" was that it was an irony-heavy event very much a creature of it's time which was the mid-1990's.
Like a good episode of "Friends" it was funny (or so we hoped) but would it still work in these fractious times?
The answer to that is a resounding like that doesn't permeate a room on the echo of shows done back in 1998.
So we are definitely going to do it again, hopefully in April (National Poetry Month, doncha' know...wait'll they get a load of US!)
Meanwhile we do have some marketing and publicity issues to resolve with respect to BPS, all suggestions are welcome.
Take care, the best has yet to come.

Monday, September 11, 2006

BPS Reader Gene Doucette

(Also our Poetry Captain for 2006) blogs on the subject of last night's stellar event.
I'll post my own thoughts on BPS '06 tonight (hopefully).
Otheriwse it was a good show all around many thanks to Joe Z and all our readers.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Last Bad Poetry Entry...

Gene Doucette, a veteran BPS reader from the infamous CCAE "Carriage House Reading" on September 14th 2001, has been doing some blogging on our behalf in the lead up to this evening's Bad Poets Society.
Check out the link on the right.
Gene has consented to be our "Poetry Captain" for the 2006 bad Poets Society, an entirely honorary sinecure that we created back in the day in a fit of sheer hubris.
The rank resembles that of being President Pro Tempore of the US Senate, no real power attends on the position, but if the President, the Vice President and the Speaker of the House all turn up dead or inelligible, the Senate's Presiding Officer moves into the White House.
Anyway we calculate that the chances of that happening are one in five thousand in DC or in Somerville.
There is still time to get your tickets on line for the Bad Poets Society, use the link on the right to Jimmy Tingle's Off Broadway or else ring up the box office at 617-591-1616.
Otherwise lets have a good time tonight, after all this was five years in the making.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Local sources of bad poetry,

Alexandra Ellwood, an MIT graduate and a smart one by all accounts, has her own bad poetry page.

Meanwhile we are down to the last forty eight hours before the show, there are still leaflets to distribute and other tasks to be executed. Anyone who wants to reserve a ticket now can go here:

Or else call....
Jimmy Tingle's Off Broadway Theater
255 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144
Toll-Free Tickets: (866)811-4111
Box Office: (617)591-1616

Remember this is not an open-mike even, the venue is handicapped accessible and the joint even serves booze during intermission!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

An indescribable feeling...

up on the marquee of Jimmy Tingle's Off Broadway Theater in Davis Square, nestled amidst the bright blinking lights is "The Bad Poets Society" Sunday 9-10".
Meanwhile a feeling of nostalgia steals over me, the Bad Poets Society has come a long way since its origins at the now defunct Liberty Cafe in Central Square back in April of 1996.
In those days we were deeply enamored with the poetry of one Captain Jack Crawford, a puritanical frontiersman and contemporary of Wild Bill Hickock, George Armstrong Custer and Buffalo Bill Cody.
We will leave it up to you to see if Captain Jack's poesy still rates as "bad poetry".

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Good on line resource for the so-called poetry of Julia Moore

the self proclaimed "sweet singer of Michigan" can be found here:
Purists will recall Moore as the closest American approximation to a bad poet on the order of William McGonagall.
Like the Scottish "Illyricist Maximus" Moore had a thing for disasters and a massacres as well as a pronounced interest in prohibition politics.
Her "song" "Leave off the agony in style" is a sort of whining rebuke to the American woman of 1918 and remains a special favorite of ours.

Meanwhile reserve your tickets good and early for the Bad Poets Society, exploit the link and do it on line...or else call 617-591-1616.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I got a big welcome on Saturday at the Grolier Poetry Book Shop

(6 Plympton Street Cambridge Mass, just round' the corner from the Harvard Book Store on Mass Ave) they seemed duly intrigued by the idea of a Bad Poetry Reading.
Left off some flyers and talked the event up in grand style.
Anyway they do stock Kathryn and Ross Petras' seminal volume Very Bad Poetry which serves as an excellent introduction to the whole realm of substandard poesy.
The store also has website which is well worth checking out for all your good poetry needs as well.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Bad Poetry and Bad Poets

Our experience has been that a classically bad poem marries a trivial or dubious topic to an effective if superficially solemn technique. Generally speaking though, the most common example of bad poetry tend to revolve around a lofty subject hobbled by inept execution. James McIntyre (Canada's bizarre "cheese poet") would exemplify the former notion, while "all up" bad poets like William McGonagall and Julia Moore would be examples of the latter category.
Truly bad poets, the Edgar Guests, the William McGonagalls, the Amanda McKittrick Ros's have a curious consistency throughout their writing careers their first works are as reliably laughable as their last.
A classically bad poet in our experience, never grows or changes, their poesy remains a battered limping thing all the way.
So when it comes time to categorize this type of material it's important to note the difference between a bad poem that comes out of poor subject matter chosen by an otherwise able lyricist and material generated by a lifelong hack.
Both produce "bad" material by our light but descend to those depths by different means.

Friday, September 01, 2006

OT Star Trek Note...

this is interesting....

Can't see where they go with this, if it is done cheaply & badly it'll alienate the fan-base...if it is done wellit raises the question as to where do they stop?

Seamus Cooney!

Not a house hold name, but he does have a website that archives some excellent representative examples of bad poetry.

Serious aficionadoes will find, among others, Theophile Marzials' classic "A Tragedy" which for sheer Middle School goofiness has yet to be equaled.
Marzials was a strange one, even by the standards of the bad poetry genre. We discovered him in 1997 (I think) and "A Tragedy" was considered sufficiently stand-out to be Charles Laquidara's opening poem at the second annual Bad Poets Society that year.
The rest of Marzials' output though, is rather more weird than bad...lots of densely populated run on lyrics...sound effects and sundry pre-James Joyce blather.
We were sorely disappointed to discover "A Tragedy" was really something of an aberration in his otherwise steady and obscure output.
Marzials who wrote incessantly had nothing else that compared to the mirthful clitter-clatter of "A Tragedy".
The moral of course is, not all bad poetry is produced by Bad Poets.