Friday, 30 December 2016

HIT BY A TRUCK






















It looks like murder, but it's actually (sort of) self defence. Isaac Hayes plays bounty hunter and Magnum toting bad ass Truck Turner in the meandering, wish fulfillment fantasy film of the same name. I don't wish to speak ill of the dead, but couldn't that pimp have found a better outfit to wear when trying to kill a man? I can't help but think if he'd have selected his clothes with more care the outcome might have been different.

Friday, 23 December 2016

BAD MEANING GOOD





















The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, d. John Huston (1972)

Huston's scuzzy revisionist western fantasy has a lot going for it (until the disappointing third act, that is) but the stand out is an off the chain Stacy Keach as Bad Bob - 'The original Bad Bob. The mean one. The albino one' - a black clad force of evil who rides into town, shoots off a man's toes, kills a horse and demands it cooked ('How do you want your horse?' 'BLUE') then drinks a pot of coffee straight from the fire. He has come to kill the less than venerable Judge and says 'It is my intention to rid the ground of your shadow, and take my pleasure upon this town'. Before he can make good on his threat, however, he is dispatched from behind by a high velocity rifle. Ow.

Keach is only in it for four minutes, but he uses every second. Best cameo ever.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

OH, STACY


































Stacy Keach is one of my favourite actors. The 1970s was an incredible time for US cinema, and Keach was the go to actor for oddballs, misfits, charismatic dropouts and dreamers / losers. Unconventionally handsome, extremely natural, good at accents, powerful when pushed and really, really funny, his gradual move into TV and (often villainous) supporting film roles in the 1980s was symptomatic of the sad end of an unsurpassed era of Hollywood brilliance.  

Saturday, 17 December 2016

WATCH - ENJOY - KICK STUFF


























BLACK SAMURAI, d. Al Adamson (1977)


Al Adamson wasn't a very good film maker, but he was prolific and consistent. Black Samurai is a work of almost unlimited imagination, completely unhampered by constraints of budget and aptitude. In it, secret service bad ass Jim Kelly uses a jet pack to fly to a mysterious island where a black magic cult are holding his beautiful Chinese girlfriend against her will. He fights snakes, midgets and one inch punches a vulture to death. It's an excellent way to spend ninety minutes, and no-one was safe from me in the house afterwards, so intent was I on kung fu-ing everything in my path.

Incidentally, why don't more adults act out scenes from films after seeing them? It seems a suppression of a natural urge. First time I saw Zulu, my brother and I took all the cushions off the sofa and used them to recreate the redoubt at Rourkes Drift; Christmas showings of Bond films were immediately followed by lengthy re-enactments of the best bits, sometimes using toy cars, often just mime. If this blog has one message, let it be this: if it stimulates your imagination, exercise your right to act it out, age be damned.  

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

SHE'S IN FASHION AND IT'S LOOKING GOOD


















THE NEON DEMON, d. Nicolas Winding Refn (2016)

A beautiful, sometimes baffling examination of the alchemy of human attractiveness, and the witchcraft needed to sustain it. 

Three claims made by Nicolas Winding Refn that may or may not be true:

1. He makes his films in chronological order, so that the story and characters can evolve in something approaching real time. 

2. He suffers from a visual impairment which means that he can't see half-tones, which is why his colour palettes are always so emphatic. 

3. If during the evolution of the film he sees a cliche approaching, he takes a sharp left away from it.

Along with Dr. Strange, this is my film of the year.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

ENDLESS SUMMER





The internet is amazing, isn't it? You think of something, become a little obsessed with it, Google it and then find that it's a real thing, and that it's been on YouTube since February 1st, 2013. You don't get that in your poxy real life libraries. 

Here's Ms Summer again, properly adjusted to provide the perfect soundtrack for tumbling into a black hole, forever. Loop it; live it, let it become your life.

Thanks to Fearlono for providing the clues.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

FALLING FREE



I have lots of records, and lots of favourite records. My favourite FAVOURITE record is 'I Feel Love' by Donna Summer. I could listen to it forever. It's my 'crossing the event horizon and passing beyond relativity into the shapeless, formless, timeless infinite unknown' record.

I've chosen this 'live' appearance because it's astonishing to consider that real people are playing this music, with human hands and minds. A work of evolutionary importance. 

Thursday, 1 December 2016

2016 FILM DIARY, PART ELEVEN




















From The Gamma People

01.11.16 - 30.11.16

Absolution, d. Anthony Page (1978)
Bloody Kids, d. Stephen Frears (1979)
Hand In Glove, d. Jon Coley (1976)
Fifth Minute, d. Jon Coley (1976)
Feline Incarnate, d. Jon Coley (1976)
Britannia Hospital, d. Lindsay Anderson (1982)
Marnie, d. Alfred Hitchcock (1964)
Family Plot, d. Alfred Hitchcock (1976)
Breaking Point, d. Bob Clark (1976)
Sucker Punch, d. Zack Snyder (2011)
Green Room, d. Jeremy Saulnier (2015)
Helldrivers, d. Cy Endfield (1957)
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! d. Russ Meyer (1965)
Angels' Wild Women, d. Al Adamson (1972)
Ouja: Origin of Evil, d. Mike Flanagan (2016)
Cure, d. Jon Coley (1977)
Stunt Sequences, d. Jon Coley (1977)
Arcade, d. Tony Sinden (1970)
Ambition, d. Tomek Baginski (2014) 
LSD-25, d. Dr. David W. Parker (1967)
For the Love of Spock, d. Adam Nimoy (2016)
Assault on Precinct 13, d. John Carpenter (1976)
The Year 01, d. Jacques Doillon, Alain Resnais & Jean Rouch (1973)
Happy End, d. Arnaud Larrieu & Jean-Marie Larrieu (2009)
The Salvation, d. Kristian Levring (2014)
Seizure, d. Oliver Stone (1974)
Schizo, d. Pete Walker (1976)
Man on Platform One, d. Jon Coley (1983)
Shadowman, d. Jon Coley (1994)
The Guest, d. Adam Wingard (2014)
Hell and High Water, d. Samuel Fuller (1954)
Excalibur, d. John Boorman (1981)
Valkyrie, d. Bryan Singer (2008)
The Hospital Nurse, d. Francis Searle (1941)
Elizabethan Express, d. Tony Thompson (1954)
Terminus, d. John Schlesinger (1961)
Pagan Island, d. Barry Mahon (1961)
The Gamma People, d. John Gilling (1956)
Watchmen, d. Zack Snyder (2009)
Loot, d. Silvio Narizzano (1970)
The Duellists, d. Ridley Scott (1977)
The Tingler, d. William Castle (1959)
The Night Walker, d. William Castle (1964)
The Las Vegas Story, d. Robert Stevenson (1952)
Underwater!, d.John Sturges (1955)
Ben Hur, d. Timur Bekmambetov (2016)
Landscape from a Dream, d. Tristram Powell (1978)
It Might Be You, d. Michael S. Gordon (1946)
Stalker, d. Andrei Tarkovsky (1979)

Exterminators from the Year 3000, d. Giuliano Carnimeo 

Thursday, 24 November 2016

THE FUTURE, 1972
























The future as depicted in a 1972 West German tv series called Alpha, Alpha: a mix of James Bond and the X Files, with lots of leather coats.

Friday, 18 November 2016

INBETWEENERS



























Yet more abstracts, transitions and vacated frames from the golden age of cartoons, specifically Hanna Barbera's wonderful Wacky Races.