Sunday, October 12, 2014

Art And Craft (2014)

"Take Me to the Movies!!" barked the Jungle Girl from the safety of a vine outside my kitchen window. "And why should I do that Oh Princess of the Treetops?" japed I. "Because I can summon Pteradactyls, Tigers and the General Counsel's Office of the Department of Fisheries!" needled the Blonde Vine Swinger. And so we went to the movies, that is the problem with Jungle Girls, they are Perpetually on the Bum. *** Mark Landis has a psychosis...he produces painstaking copies of museum quality artwork (sometimes by very transparent means) and then donates them gratis to all sorts of museums and galleries thru out the Southwest. Because he has never accepted so much as a penny for his rampant compulsive fakery, Landis has never yet been indicted for fraud despite the fact that he routinely makes his donations under an alias (at one point he impersonates a Jesuit!) and is saddled with a spectrumy personality that makes PeeWee Herman look like the Godfather of Soul. Per this exhaustive documentary, Landis lives in a cluttered condo spending his days faking everything from religious icons to Dr. Seuss drawings. And to me, as a thwarted artist of some vintage it is an ineffably sad story, because Landis has genuine talent, he is part of that mystical minority of art lover who can gaze at a masterpiece and really get something out of it. Alas though, his talent is completely dominated and ultimately nullified by his copy-and-donate psychosis, indeed it seems clear to me that he cannot express his deepest artistic impulses any other way. You see this sometime in the farthest corners of what is "geek culture" extremely able costume designers or talented writers of fan fiction who are content to simply replicate with exactitude other people's fantasies. In Landis' case talent that could bring him gallery shows or a respectable position in an advertising agency or a king hell head start on an outlaw artist instead making donations of fraudulent art simply to feel the love. That in turn ties into the perpetual credulity of museums they wanna believe badly amidst all the commerce that attends on the art world in the essential goodness of the gratis donation. So in a way, whenever Landis pulls off this scam two compulsions are being satisfied.

Monday, October 06, 2014

"Left Behind" (2014)

There is a strange circularity to the Affairs of Men. Consider Nick Cage and Ben Affleck, a scant ten years ago Cage was still at the top of his game commanding twenty million dollar paydays...Ben Affleck was mired in junk like "Pearl Harbor" and "Gigli"...his career well on it's way to becoming a punchline. Now today, the exact reverse, Cage is reduced to doing Xian Revenge Porn (Xian Revenge Porn that is a REMAKE of a Kirk Cameron Baptist Revenge Fantasy) while Affleck opens in the biggest movie of the Fall ("Gone Girl") when he isn't cavorting on some soundstage as Batman. What happened? Who knows? This sort of shit happens all the time in Hollywood...It is just sad to see an actor with Cage's props corrupting his talent in such a seedy boring vehicle...Is he that desperate for the money? "Left Behind" isn't a good movie, it's cheap looking and rigid Xian post apocalyptic fantasy that mostly plays out as an airline disaster movie....Cage looks thoroughly humiliated in all his scenes. The actress playing his daughter (the inevitable Kiwi Cassi Thomson) has some chops though, she might have a career going forward but her agent needs to be waaaa-ay more discerning her projects...The kid is twenty one, her career can still be saved. The rest of the cast are well meaning nonentities likely attached to the film for reasons of religious sentiment. I have one question about The Rapture (the sudden disappearance of "The Saved" prior to the arrival of the Anti Christ)...babies all disappear (cuz they are innocent I guess) but their mom's many of whom, fed them, clothed them, protected them, sacrificed for them....they stay behind to get eaten by the UN Security Council or Chicago Community Activists or something? In a word...misogyny.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Joan Rivers: An Autopsy

Let the record show that in the end, Joan Rivers lived and died a convinced and committed Monarchist. In that she fervently believed in the Ascendancy of Taste, Style, Olde Fashioned Glamor and Charisma as exuded by an Elite Aristocracy of Hollywood Notables...and very likely in her heart of hearts she believed in the semi divinity of Ron & Nancy Reagan. A comedian though, can never be a convinced Monarchist, they run the risk of becoming mere Court Jesters. Joan's solution to this was simple and elegant she cloaked her Royalist Pretensions completely by becoming The Comedienne Who Never Apologizes for Her Caustic One Liners. This was sheer brilliance, reaped all sorts of some undeserved street cred from her fellow comedians (a famously undiscerning lot)and made her millions. Of course, I have to note....that the mental institutions of this country are full of people who never ever apologize for their behavior. Just sayin'. Joan had a similar move with her pro-gay rhetoric that won her a profitable constituency and very successfully cloaked her otherwise conventional wingnut politics. And so there she lies, Joan Rivers, Glamor Worshipper and GOP Camp Follower...uncloseted at last. Well now maybe her Daughter Melissa can escape Sidekick Status & stop going to those terrible 3rd rate plastic surgeons her mother foisted on her....poor girl is starting to look like she was carved from low grade wood. And no I'm not apologizing for that one. Toodles!