Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Oh Massachusetts, how I love you. When the klaxons go off and shit is going down you never ever flinch. The Earth may open beneath our feet, a river of fire may rise to consume us all, furies will scream down from the Heavens Above, but you will abide by your duty unto The Last. From The Bronx to The Pacific, they heap scorn on us, but you don't give a rat's ass what anyone thinks of the Commonwealth, not in Good Times Nor in Catastrophe. Not once in this last endless testing week did anyone self recriminate or second guess or chicken out and when the bombs went off the citizenry of this Commonwealth literally rode to the Sound of the Guns En Masse. You are Proud and Vain Massachusetts, but you will go down fighting long long after everyone else has quit. Massachusetts, you are indomitable. The Other Forty Nine have "lifestyles" and "Attitudes", But Massachusetts has Principles,oft mocked for them, now for a little while will deserved credit be reaped. Inscrutable Providence has tested us and we were not found lacking....I know that reads awfully bombastic but that is how I feel. When it is my turn, bury me anywhere, from the Berkshires to Provincetown, bury me beneath a toxic waste site in Brockton if it comes to that, but Bury Me in the Commonwealth...The Home of the Brave.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Seventy Five Years Ago Today (or so) Action Comics #1 starring Superman was published at once establishing a whole new publishing industry the American Comics and putting super heroes on the metaphoric map in one swell foop. I freely admit I've always been a "Superman Person", he is the promised of swift incorruptible retribution for wrongdoing, his origin is simple which makes him the perfect adventure character, infinitely malleable and yet somehow "mystically the same" to borrow a phrase from Orwell. Ah but in the midst of triumph there is always the savage thread of catastrophe, Superman's creator's Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster got cheated out of their copyright and pretty much ended up penniless while their character went on rack up a quarter of a billion dollars in profits over a generation or so. Defrauding Siegel and Shuster pretty much set a ruthless exploitive benchmark for the comic book industry that persists and overshadows all and sundry to this day. Ah but Kal El, he is a game changer he took four or five disparate tropes and fused them all into something new and different, would to God I had even one creative notion half so bold and pure. Happy Seventy Fifth Big Guy!
Thursday, April 11, 2013
But I wish her lawsuit against the City of Cambridge all the best. Soto runs a film series even smaller and more obscure than Channel Zero (IF that is possible) and she seeks to overturn a dubious city statute seeking to prevent the leafleting of automobiles. As a co-curator of Channel Zero with eighteen years of leafleting behind me, I can well attest to the endless difficulties when it comes to "getting the word out" about a small screening in a town with a chilly snobbish attitude towards fringe artistic events. The main and most heartbreaking battle is always about putting meat in the seats, any tiny advantage however ludicrous is not to be overlooked. And please spare me the windy diatribes about "protecting private property"...where the hell is all this love for the sanctity of My Car when it gets festooned with home cleaner adverts and gym leaflets at the Alewife Station MBTA Garage every week??
Sunday, April 07, 2013
I make fun of the Brattle Theater, but any local movie house that is willing to project The Giant Claw (1957) on the biii-ig screen deserves respect. And it's on a double bill with Ray Harryhausen's "Earth Versus The Flying Saucers" (which was remade in 1996 as "The Truth About Cats and Dogs") all justified because the director of both films, Fred Sears was a local boy.
Thursday, April 04, 2013
What does the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square and Channel Zero both have in common? A thing for amazon crimefighters apparently. This weekend, in a bid for "psychotronic street cred" The Brattle Theatre actually screening "Wonder Woman" the nigh forgotten super heroine TV pilot from 1974 starring Cathy Lee Crosby as the DC comics super hero. Details may be seen hyar. Let the record show that back when our feckless little film & video series was an irreverent adolescent hanging around the Liberty Cafe in Central Square in the era of VHS, we screened some "Wonder Woman" material as well...of course Channel Zero dug down deep and came up with the infamous 1967 Ellie Wood Walker Wonder Woman TV pilot (in reality a seven minute promo reel)that quite literally has to be seen to be believed. So the Brattle is only now catching up to ideas we had seventeen years ago deploying content we ourselves likely turned down in our quest to reach the absolute pinnacle of worthwhile obscurity. Ah but that is snarkage, I actually hope the Brattle does well with this one, maybe it'll spark a trend towards reviving some other TV-movie titles from the era "The Love War", "The Pueblo Incident" or maybe even infamous "Iron Man" ripoff "Exoman". :D Or you could just wait for Channel Zero to get around to them... :D KIDDING KIDDING KIDDING, I KID BECAUSE I LOVE! Anyway I never begrudge when one of the major venues starts working our side of the street, after all they've got the marketing muscle to make a bigger splash with an obscure title...I just like to tease em' a little thass all.
Roger Ebert is dead. I'll miss him. What I always liked about him was he was a sort of "passionate analyst" of the movies, he could generate credible reasons to champion the directing career of everyone from John Waters to John Ford. He could stand his ground and rarely if ever changed his mind about his own opinions today's punditariat scrounging their last meager pittance from the dino-media, could learn a thing or two from Ebert. His was an important voice, he deserved that Pulitzer believe me. What I won't miss is the self serving wails of self pity arising from his surviving film critic brethren all of whom will insist that film criticism is dead, because the paying opportunities therein have vanished along with Newsweek Magazine, The Boston Phoenix and the Saturday Evening Post. This is akin to a gaggle of philosophers insisting that "philosophy is dead" because no one is willing to pay philosophers for their big thoughts. People need to get a grip quite frankly. Ah but Roger Ebert as a young man he did inspire me, anyone with a high opinion of "Inframan", "Massacre at Central High" and the capacity to write a screenplay as demented as "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" is an official Demigod of the Channel Zero Pantheon.