Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Can't. Get. Enough. Of. Tracey.

"Peace & Blessings"

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

'Salem's Lot' / Lance Kerwin

While on my Europe trip I had a craving to read some trashy fiction. I picked up Stephen King's 'Carrie' (read it in one sitting in the Amsterdam airport) and the small town vampire tale, ''Salem's Lot.' For Christmas my mom got me the 3 hour, Tobe Hooper directed, 1979 mini series based on the book which I had seen as a young child. I rewatched it the other night and only remembered fragments of the story and a few strong images that I still consider scary:

A young boy vampire coming to suck his older brother's blood

A female vampire getting burned by a makeshift crucifix

Barlow, the master vampire, scarier and uglier than Orlock in 'Nosferatu' (1922). I found the grotesque portrayal of vampires refreshing compared to the vampires we see today (Robert Pattinson).

While rewatching the film, I found myself clearly recalling the character Mark Petrie, a teenage boy who ends up banding together with the hero to fight the vampires and save the small town of 'Salem's Lot. Of the entire film, he made the strongest impression on me as a child. Maybe I identified with him because his is Mark and like me, he is obsessed with horror books, comics and memorabilia. But I think there was more to it than that. I was simply attracted to the actor Lance Kerwin who played Mark and wanted him to take his shirt off. In 'Salem's Lot' he possesses a strange mix of strength and vulnerability, at times both boyish and manly- the hero's partner and also the damsel in distress. In the book, the Mark Petrie character is much younger, but King uses words like effeminate, beautiful and fey to describe him. These qualities are all found in Kerwin who was 19 at the time Salem's Lot' was made. Not only is he attractive, but Kerwin gives the best and stand out performance in the film, a nuanced performance I'd call good by any standards. Too bad he only went on to do more TV work before becoming a pastor and creating the 'U-Turn for Christ' ranch on the island of Kauai (!). How absurd is that?

Mark Petrie (Lance Kerwin) in his room (note the horror stuff behind him)

Mark Petrie (Lance Kerwin) in Barlow's clutches after Barlow has killed his parents

Here are two promotional shots of Kerwin- where I got my wish (he took his shirt off)

Check out the trailer and Lance Kerwin in action:

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Hedi Slimane/VMAN/Oscar Nilsson short film

Happy Holidays from Hedi Slimane and VMAN featuring the 16 year old star of the Royal Danish Ballet, Oscar Nilsson.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

'Downloading Nancy'

My brother sent me the trailer for 'Downloading Nancy' because he thought it would be a film I'd want to check out. He was definitely right. 'Downloading Nancy' stars Maria Bello in an Independent Spirit Award nominated performance as Nancy, a numb, unhappy housewife that leaves her husband and seeks solace in the arms of another man. Sounds like a typical melodramatic storyline except for the fact that Nancy's idea of solace is only derived from suffering, physical pain, humiliation and ultimately death. Variety called the film a "forbidding and morbid piece of psycho-sadomasochism" with a "swimming-in-the-deep-end performance by Maria Bello that is the definition of fearless." Looks good. I can't wait for the dvd release!

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

WeSC/Bloody Beetroots headphones

WeSC (WeAreTheSuperlativeConspiracy) is a Swedish "Street-Fashion brand for Intellectual Slackers" formed in 1999. WESC collaborated with Dim Mak, EdBanger Records and The Bloody Beetroots on a line of headphones that are pretty cool. What is even more cool is that the company commissioned ten Czech designers and artists to create their own version of the headphones for the launch (see link):

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Osborne- "16th stage"

Hot Chip's 'Bugged Out Mix' has pretty much been playing non stop in my car and in my room for the past few weeks. The mix is split onto 2 discs, disc #1 being the 'bugged out' part (what Hot Chip has been spinning at clubs for the past few years) and disc #2 is a "playlist for a drunken house-party" dubbed 'bugged in.' Though both are awesome and diverse, I appreciate the variety and surprises of disc #2 (The Andrews Sisters!?) more. Plus, it features the amazing track "16th stage" by Osborne, a quiet, cinematic and moving song that I can't shake out of my head. I only know Osborne from the 'I Love Techno 2009' mix by Crookers that features his track "the count" which is also good.

Listen to "16th stage" here:

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

'A Single Man'

Tom Ford's directorial debut 'A Single Man' opened in limited release on Friday and I enthusiastically attended a screening that night. Unfortunately I wasn't blown away or nearly as impressed with the film as many critics seem to be.
'A Single Man' tracks a day in the life of George Falconer (Colin Firth), a semi-closeted British college professor living in Southern California in the 1960s as he contemplates suicide. Structurally, the film flips back and forth between the present (where Falconer interacts with his students, neighbours, strangers and friends, specifically Julianne Moore) and his memories.
The film is beautifully shot and the art direction and wardrobe styling warrant the praise they are receiving. However, these elements are also the film's Achilles heels. Everything is so glossy and stylized that the film looks and feels like a fashion spread or advertisement and these elements detract from the emotional weight of the story. All the extras look like models and I found myself disengaging with the characters and their problems because my attention was being drawn to clothing or set pieces. In addition to the almost overwhelming stylization, special effects including super slow motion, heightened colour saturation and fades are employed with the intent to put us in Falconer's mind. Instead, though things look and sound great, it is distracting and as a result, the style of the film takes over its substance. Subtlety isn't what Ford is going for and his visual metaphors are also a little heavy handed.
Though Firth's performance is garnering all the accolades, I think the best thing about the movie is Julianne Moore's portrayal of the drunken, pathetic and fabulous Charley. She is luminous and vulnerable and funny and I wish her character had more screen time.
I appreciate that 'A Single Man' isn't your typical gay themed movie but at the same time, critics should ease up on heralding it as some kind of masterpiece.
Check out the trailer:

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Lindsay Lohan for Muse Magazine

Everyone watched Lindsay Lohan squander her talent and spiral out of control. She can't land acting jobs any more so why not do hot spreads like this one for Muse Magazine? I actually think she has star quality and can act. She just needs to pull it together and pick an edgy, indie role. And maybe she will after doing more shoots like this.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dan Felton in short video 'Night Flight'

I am a huge fan of model Dan Felton. He has awesome features and a hot, tattooed look. However, it would be nice to see him in a spread where he isn't smoking or wearing leather + denim, just for variety. I always wondered if his presence would translate to moving images or if he would make a good actor. Though brief and dialogue free (both probably a good thing) I think Felton shines in the short video 'Night Flight' by Bell Soto. I wish I could cast him in one of my short films.

Check out the vid here:
(but only watch it until about 3:30 because it gets stupid. I would have been totally fine just watching Felton in the bath. Ha, ha).

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Portishead - "chase the tear"

Portishead, my favorite band, have released a new track called "chase the tear" and an accompanying performance vid for Amnesty International. It's now available as an exclusive download single with all earnings going towards Amnesty's human rights work. Unfortunately, both the song and video are kind of boring but at least you would be supporting a good cause if you purchased the single. Check it out:

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"(Don't fear) the reaper"

(please ignore the stupid images paired with the song. Unfortunately I couldn't find a video of the song that is not a live performance).

I first heard Blue Oyster Cult's now classic "(don't fear) the reaper" while watching John Carpenter's 'Halloween' (1978) where it is featured on the soundtrack. The song's old school creepiness and strangely affecting lyrics struck a chord with me and I thought it fit perfectly in the film.

"(Don't fear) the reaper" - Lyrics

All our times have come
Here but now they're gone
Seasons don't fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain..we can be like they are
Come on baby...don't fear the reaper
Baby take my hand...don't fear the reaper
We'll be able to fly...don't fear the reaper
Baby I'm your man...

Valentine is done
Here but now they're gone
Romeo and Juliet
Are together in eternity...Romeo and Juliet
40,000 men and women everyday...Like Romeo and Juliet
40,000 men and women everyday...Redefine happiness
Another 40,000 coming everyday...We can be like they are
Come on baby...don't fear the reaper
Baby take my hand...don't fear the reaper
We'll be able to fly...don't fear the reaper
Baby I'm your man...

Love of two is one
Here but now they're gone
Came the last night of sadness
And it was clear she couldn't go on
Then the door was open and the wind appeared
The candles blew then disappeared
The curtains flew then he appeared...saying don't be afraid
Come on baby...and she had no fear
And she ran to him...then they started to fly
They looked backward and said goodbye...she had become like they are
She had taken his hand...she had become like they are
Come on baby...don't fear the reaper

When Rob Zombie remade 'Halloween' almost 30 years later, he cleverly included the song by having one of the characters listen to it through headphones just before she is killed by Michael Myers. The track has also been featured in a slew of other films including 2009's 'Zombieland,' 'Otis' (2008), 'Hustler White' (1996) and tons of TV shows- "My Name is Earl," "Prison Break," "Supernatural," "Malcolm in the Middle," "Six Feet Under," "The Simpsons," and "That '70's Show." I gladly haven't seen any of the episodes where it is featured. I worry whether the song is being used properly. An example of it being used to good effect is in the opening sequence to 'The Stand' (1994), a TV miniseries based on the Stephen King book (see blow):

Now Van She has done an awesome cover of the song, completely reworking it. It has been on repeat in my room for the past few days. (Download below):

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Massive Attack - Heligoland

Massive Attack have revealed that their forthcoming new album, featuring guest vocals from Damon Albarn and Elbow's Guy Garvey, will be released on February 8 and named 'Heligoland.' I'm really liking the cover art (pictured above) and if the album is as good as "splitting the atom" ( I am really excited. Unfortunately I wasn't able to work my trip around seeing them live in Europe but I was lucky to see them in Toronto at The Carlu in 06.

The tracklisting for 'Heligoland':

'Pray For Rain'
'Splitting The Atom'
'Girl I Love You'
'Flat Of The Blade'
'Paradise Circus'
'Rush Minute'
'Saturday Come Slow'
'Atlas Air'

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

My trip to Auschwitz and Birkenau

Though not Jewish myself, the Holocaust has always been something that fascinated me. While in Europe I made sure to include a trip to Auschwitz and Birkenau (where a friend of mine and I almost got stranded at night).
Here are some photos:

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Miss Piggy covers Peaches' "fuck the pain away"


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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bjork feat. Antony Hegarty- dull flame of desire

I don't know how it slipped through the cracks but I only recently saw the video for "dull flame of desire" by Bjork featuring Antony Hegarty. It is simple and very pretty.

Check it out:

But, I actually like the gender specified Modeselektor remixes better than the original version of the song:

Bjork feat Antony Hegarty- dull flame of desire (Modeselektor remix for the boys):

Bjork feat Antony Hegarty- dull flame of desire (Modeselektor remix for the girls):

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Major Lazer- "Keep It Goin' Louder" ft. Nina Sky & Ricky Blaze

I wrote about my excitement regarding Major Lazer's album 'Guns don't kill people, lazers do' when it first come out. Though I haven't been listening to it much recently, I was playing it a lot for a while and asking myself why they weren't completely breaking into the mainstream.
Here is the answer (the awesome and disturbing "windowlicker" like video for their new single "Keep It Goin' Louder" ft. Nina Sky & Ricky Blaze):

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Trick 'r Treat

I rented 'Trick 'r Treat' (2008) the other night and cannot figure out why the film didn't get a proper theatrical release or distribution deal. It is the funnest horror movie to come along in ages, simply reveling in Halloween lore and atmospherics. It is also very clever with the way it plays with audience expectations. I highly recommend it for any fan of Halloween- the most important holiday in my opinion.
'Trick 'r Treat' isn't a deep, social message carrying film. Instead, it has more in common with some horror movies from the 80s where the goal was to excite and entertain as opposed to beating you in the face with gross out, torture porn imagery like so many recent horror films. At times it is a bit gory and a little bit scary but mostly the film is a just a fun celebration of Halloween and all that the holiday entails.
Structurally, the film tracks four interwoven tales occurring in the same small town on Halloween night. The main thread that unites the anthology is the oddly cute and creepy burlap pumpkin mask wearing character Sam (as seen on the poster). My favourite of the four stories is one that follows a group of young pranksters that go too far when tormenting a girl and pay a fatal price related to a local urban legend about a school bus massacre.
Check out the trailer below and rent it next Halloween. I know I will:

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Frey Mudd

I have been saying for a while now how sick I am of "punk"/grunge/greaser styled editorials and models. When Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert and Rihanna are incorporating these styles into their mass produced looks, it is time to switch things up and move on. Where do we go from here? I don't know. I just think we need a blast (not a breath) of fresh air. If I see one more shot of an angry male model glaring into the camera while smoking a cigarette and wearing a leather jacket I am going to rip up the magazine.
Enter the strange beauty of Frey Mudd, reminiscent of a young Bowie and like Bowie, seemingly from another planet.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cannibal Holocaust

Before 'The Blair Witch Project' (1999) (which I love) and 'Paranormal Activity' (2009) (which I have yet to see), there was 'Cannibal Holocaust' (1980), a gory, controversial film that was on my 'to-see' list for years. While searching for something to watch at a friend's house during my Europe trip, I happily came across a 2 disc special edition and watched it on my own one morning. Man, was I impressed.

Notorious for being graphically violent, sexually explicit (including numerous rape scenes)and PETA's worst nightmare (a real live muskrat, turtle, snake, tarantula, pig and monkey are all slaughtered on camera), 'Cannibal Holocaust' tells the story of a rescue team sent deep into the Amazon jungle after four documentary filmmakers fail to return. The filmmakers are not found, but as in 'The Blair Witch Project,' their film canisters are recovered.
Structurally, the film is complex and sometimes unravels a little too much. Two timelines are followed throughout the film, one that depicts the rescue team's trip into the jungle to determine the fate of the documentarians, and the other involves the subsequent analysis of the recovered footage made by the missing filmmakers. The majority of 'Cannibal Holocaust' is composed of the recovered film's content, which functions similarly to a flashback and grows increasingly disturbing as the film progresses. Though the plot is a bit all over the place, this form provides director Ruggero Deodato with the opportunity for social commentary that elevates 'Cannibal Holocaust' above mere exploitation. Without spoiling the ending, the film is undercut with the dark message that modern, "civilized" humans are as barbaric and savage as how we view uneducated, "primitive" tribes. In the end, we are no different and not as far removed from animalistic instincts as we would like to think.
'Cannibal Holocaust' is powerful and strange and also includes an awesome soundtrack composed by Riz Ortolani that is at times ironic, weirdly beautiful and reminiscent of what Goblin was doing for Dario Argento's films.
Check out a clip of the eerie main theme:

I think the film is important for the themes it explores and because it's plot structure and cinema verite style have proven to be so influential to horror cinema- especially for 'The Blair Witch Project,' even though directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez have denied it. Even the marketing scheme behind 'Cannibal Holocaust' was innovative and seems to have inspired the marketing of 'Blair Witch.' Deodato had his actors sign contracts with him and the producers ensuring that they would not appear in any type of media, motion pictures, or commercials for one year after the film's release in order to promote the idea that the film was truly the recovered footage of missing documentarians. Similarly, almost 20 years later, Artisan Entertainment and Haxan films plastered the streets of Sundance with 'Missing' posters bearing the faces of actors Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael C. Williams, purporting that 'The Blair Witch Project' was real. Humorously, the contract Deodato had his actors sign regarding 'Cannibal Holocaust' came back to bite him in the ass when the film was confiscated ten days after its premiere in Milan and Deodato was arrested. The courts believed not only that the four actors portraying the missing film crew were killed for the camera, but that the actress in the impalement scene was actually skewered in such a manner. Deodato claimed that he had not killed the group but of course questions arose as to why the actors were in no other media if they were alive and the deal had to be exposed.

Check out the trailer and go rent it:

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Egon Schiele

I have finally arrived back at home after a month and a half of traveling through Europe and attending film festivals with my short film, 'After.'

One of the highlights of my trip was visiting the Leopold Museum in Vienna and being introduced to the work of Egon Schiele. I wasn't familiar with him until stepping into the exhibit and I was blown away. The grotesque eroticism of his paintings and the intense fury and torment with which they seem to have been rendered had me gasping. Though his landscape paintings and nudes of women are beautiful, his disturbing self portraits and studies of nude males are what really struck a chord with me.

Check out some of his strong images below.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gaspar Noe's 'Enter the Void'

I was very excited for the world premiere (the version showed at Cannes was a work-in-progress) of Gaspar Noe's 'Enter the Void' at the Toronto International Film Festival this past Sat. Unfortunately, the best thing and one of the only good things about the film is the opening credits sequence. Coming from someone who loves 'Irreversible,' I found 'Enter the Void' desperate, amateur, silly, frustratingly repetitive, and like the director himself, bloated, heavy handed, pompous and self indulgent.
I am so disappointed I don't even want to invest the energy in writing a full review so please refer to this one: (the writer shares my sentiment and view point).

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rob Zombie should be slashed for making 'Halloween II'

I was all excited for the advance screening of Rob Zombie's 'Halloween II' tonight but walked out of the theatre wanting to slash Mr. Zombie for creating such a meaningless, pointless mess. Did a real zombie partially devour Rob's brain since he made the last one?
Featuring plot holes you could bury corpses in, incoherent story points and central characters you hope will get murdered, the film isn't bad- it is a disaster. I am a huge fan of his remake of the original 'Halloween' which makes this even more of a let down.
Side note: In no way is this film "the final chapter" as proclaimed in versions of the poster and trailer. The ending leaves the door wide open for the continuation of the franchise and that is a truly scary thought.

The only good thing about the movie is the remixed version of the original John Carpenter theme (featured in the trailer)- and it isn't even used in the movie!

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Monday, August 17, 2009

T.S. Eliot's 'The Hollow Men'

A friend of mine lent me a book of T.S. Eliot's poetry last week. He said it would be up my alley and he was right. Of everything I have read so far, I like the beautifully worded and evocative poem about death, 'The Hollow Men,' the most.

I thought the famous last stanza would be deserving enough of a blog post (and very well fitting for this blog)

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Snippets of Me

Just came across this. Check me out around the 3:00 min mark getting yelled at by Kim Cattrall in the Disney movie 'Ice Princess.' It was a fun experience. I also got to push the lead actress, Michelle Trachtenberg, into a bucket of ice during a party scene but you can't really see my face clearly.

And check me out rocking out at the beginning (until about 10 secs) of this music video for "candy coated' by Dearly Beloved:

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Gaspar Noe in Purple Fashion Magazine #11

While keeping an eye out for issue #8 of Purple Fashion Magazine for my very good friend Nicolas (check out his blog: I came across a revealing interview with Gaspar Noe in issue #11.
While the article features various stills from his films, it opens with a striking photo of Gaspar standing naked in the shower, cropped just above his dick. Taken by Terry Richardson, this photo sets the tone for the rest of the article and interview.

Here are the highlights:

- Noe lists Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey' as one of his major influences but states he could never make a film that requires as much meticulousness and hard work because he likes to party too much. Apparently while shooting the upcoming 'Enter the Void' in Tokyo, Noe didn't get more than 3 hours of sleep a night due to partying and says, "if I don't party a little bit I'll get ovarian cancer." Hmmm...maybe all my stressing and work ethic while making a film is a little skewed.
- Noe says that when he was 16, he fucked a blow up doll so much and so hard it exploded and since then has sworn off masturbation. Interviewer Olympia Le-Tan finds this hard to believe and Noe retracts this statement. Instead, he says he only jerks off a little bit in the morning to help himself get up (pun intended I guess) but never allows himself to cum.
- When asked why the female characters in all of his films are either ugly and mean or miserable victims Noe weirdly and vaguely responds that they always wear a ponytail. Ha!
- Noe clears up the ambiguity of the conclusion of 'I Stand Alone.' According to him, the father and daughter proceed to have sex.
- Noe confesses to having dreamt about fucking Diane Keaton!

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