Saturday, February 27, 2010

Aldo Spring 2010 video / The Cramps- "human fly"

I'm o.k with Aldo ripping off Terry Richardson and Juergen Teller for Marc Jacobs in a recent Spring 2010 campaign. Hell, everyone is ripping off those two and at least Jessica Stam looks hot in the shots. But "I got 96 tears in 96 eyes" from seeing the short video/TV spot that uses an awful cover of "human fly" by The Cramps. Is nothing sacred?

Check out the video here:

Or skip it and just listen to the original track:

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Blondie for Converse

Like many bands before them, Blondie has teamed up with Converse and designed a collection of limited edition Chuck Taylors featuring animal prints, graffiti-style text and graphics from the band's iconic album covers. The shoes seem pretty cool and in line with the band's aesthetic:

I might get a pair to go with my limited edition Misfits Chuck Taylor style shoes by Vision Streetwear (pictured below):

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Levi's Cords by Opening Ceremony - short video

A short video was made to accompany Ryan Mcginley's shots for the launch of Levi's Cords by Opening Ceremony. It features an unknown version or remix of the awesome track "gothstar" by Pictureplane. The video itself is a little too pretty or cutesy for me but it has a few cool moments. See below:

Pictureplane's low-fi video for "gothstar":

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Monday, February 22, 2010

'Street Trash'

Frank Schnizer- "I don't need this. I already got trouble with my kids, my wife, my business, my secretary, the bums...the runaways, the roaches, prickly heat, and a homo dog. This just ain't my day."

The above snippet of dialogue is from the outrageous and offensive 'Street Trash' (1987), an opus of gore and bad taste. Catching this exploitation epic at February's Cinemacabre Movie Night put on by Rue Morgue at the Bloor cinema was the most fun I've had at the movies in a long time. The following laundry list of lewd acts and scenes only begins to describe the vile hilarity and sleazy insanity of 'Street Trash': melting and/or exploding hobos, a penis castration and subsequent game of 'monkey in the middle' played with the severed dick, the gang rape and murder of a drunken rich woman, a "homo dog" licking his obese owner's crotch and a cop finishing the job of violently beating up a hit man by jabbing his fingers down his own throat and vomiting on the man's unconscious body. My favourite scene aside from the classic toilet melt consists of a homeless black man attempting to shoplift mass amounts of food (melons and packages of chicken thighs!) in his pants from a supermarket. An old white woman snicthes on him, leading to a side splitting confrontation including these lines:
Burt- "Well, what you starin' at, bitch?"
Old Woman Shopper- "You're robbing the store, young man! And I'm telling the Manager."
Burt- "Yeah, you do that. Old wrinkled, honky motherfucker. Telling on me... Well, what she think this is, Junior High?"

The central story line of 'Street Trash' is pretty straight forward. An unscrupulous yet opportunistic liquor store owner discovers a box of bottles containing mysterious, 60 year-old booze called 'Viper' in his basement and begins selling the stuff to homeless veterans and vagabonds. Unfortunately for them, 'Viper' brings new meaning to the term "gut rot" as it causes everyone that drinks it to melt and/or explode, allowing for some exceptionally vibrant, neon tinged gore. The rapidly depleting hobo population and discoveries of electric coloured, acidic goo puddles sets the ridiculously inept police department on an investigation. From here the plot branches out all over the place, depicting various inane issues plaguing the demented denizens of the inner city.
Apart from all the splattering viscera, racism and sexism oozing from the script, 'Street Trash' also contains a somewhat confused but heartfelt social commentary on the treatment of veterans and the misconceptions surrounding 'combat-shock.' Surprisingly, what the film lacks in good performances, it more than makes up for with inspired cinematography, especially the Steadicam work.

Check out the trailer:

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010


'Frozen,' directed by Adam Green and starring Kevin Zegers, Shawn Ashmore and newcomer Emma Bell, is one the most intensely gut wrenching, well crafted and well acted horror/thrillers I have seen in a long time. After hearing reports of audience members fainting and throwing up at Sundance, I patiently waited for the film's theatrical run to begin. Unfortunately it only opened in a few random cinemas here but no bother, I was happy to be one of only 5 other people in the audience when I saw it this week.
Zegers and Ashmore play long time friends and Bell plays Zegers' girlfriend. The three of them go on a skiing trip and find themselves stranded on a chairlift, forced to make harrowing life-or-death choices to avoid freezing to death as the resort won't reopen for a week and no one knows they are stuck.
The first thing the film has going for it is that the characters are instantly likable and relatable. They are not the typical, cliched 2 dimensional horror/thriller cut outs that prove themselves so annoying or stupid that they deserve to die. You start caring about them from the beginning (it doesn't hurt that Zegers is hot). On top of that, the actors deliver excellent, realistic performances.
Director Adam Green exhibits true talent, slowly turning the screws of tension and suspense until you are at the edge of your seat. It is rare that I want to hide behind my hands during a film but this one had me ducking into my seat, trying to put distance between me and the horror on screen. Green also impresses by flipping between moments of restraint/subtlety (keeping violence offscreen, letting characters talk things through) and moments of terror (gore).
'Frozen' is brutal and unrelenting but rare for a horror/thriller, it is also smart and emotionally involving. Highly recommended- unlike Green's prevous slasher 'Hatchet' (2007) which should be avoided at all costs.

I'm throwing in some completely unrelated shots of Kevin Zegers just for the sake of it:

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Song to the siren"

I watched a bootleg dvd of 'The Lovely Bones' the other day with a friend. Not that I was expecting much from the film, but I was especially disappointed with the selection of music. It is bad enough that "Alice" by the Cocteau Twins is featured in the film (and the trailer) but someone had the gall to include This Mortal Coil's version of "song to the siren" to sappy effect.
I can't remember when or where I first heard the track, but I do recall it taking my breath away. Dark, subtle and hauntingly beautiful, the song gave me chills and still does. At the risk of sounding sentimental, only a few songs have managed to burrow so deeply into my heart and I feel very protective of them and their use in film and TV. This Mortal Coil's "song to the siren" has no place in 'The Lovely Bones.' It has also been used in 'Lost Highway' (1997) and 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' (2003) but I feel it somehow fits the scenes in those films a little better. That being said, enough is enough. I firmly believe that once a song is used on a soundtrack it shouldn't be used again and some songs shouldn't be whored out on soundtracks in the first place.

"Song to the siren" was originally written and performed by Tim Buckley in 1970:

But I much prefer the version by This Mortal Coil released in 1983:


On the floating, shapeless oceans
I did all my best to smile
til your singing eyes and fingers
drew me loving into your eyes.

And you sang "Sail to me, sail to me;
Let me enfold you."

Here I am, here I am waiting to hold you.
Did I dream you dreamed about me?
Were you here when I was full sail?

Now my foolish boat is leaning, broken love lost on your rocks.
For you sang, "Touch me not, touch me not, come back tomorrow."
Oh my heart, oh my heart shies from the sorrow.
I'm as puzzled as a newborn child.
I'm as riddled as the tide.
Should I stand amid the breakers?
Or shall I lie with death my bride?

Hear me sing: "Swim to me, swim to me, let me enfold you."
"Here I am. Here I am, waiting to hold you."

Here it is being used in the trailer for 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' (2003):

and featured in a scene from 'Lost Highway' (1997):

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy (Anti) Valentine's Day

Me, a few years ago:

One of my all time favourite slasher films, the Canadian made 'My Bloody Valentine' (1981):

My favourite track off My Bloody Valentine's 1991 album 'Loveless':

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

R.I.P McQueen

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Depeche Mode- "hole to feed" (video)

I am a huge fan of Depeche Mode but their most recent album, 2009's 'Sounds of the Universe,' totally slipped through the cracks for me. I never end up playing it because it is boring. That being said, I stumbled across the weird video for "hole to feed" the other day and it really disturbed me (at least that is something). I can't stand the sight of people licking the tongues of other people or messy makeout sessions. Keep your tongues in your holes!
Check it out here because youtube took it down.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Christina Ricci for Donna Karan - 'Four Play' video

From 'The Ice Storm,' to 'Buffalo '66' to 'The Opposite of Sex,' Christina Ricci has delivered some of my favourite female performances in some of my favourite films. A few years ago a friend of mine was working for the Toronto Film Festival and I was helping him run errands. We had to drop off a package at the Intercontinental Hotel but accidentally went to the wrong room. Instead of some bored publicist opening the hotel room door, Christina Ricci did. It was one of the few times I have been star struck. Surprisingly, she was really sweet and down to earth which only increased my liking for her.
Connecting to my little run in, Ricci stars in the video advertisement for Donna Karan's Eldridge bag, 'Four Play.' She plays the Dreamer, the Expressionist, the Paramour and the Voyeur, four versions of the same woman who interact in a hotel room.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Xiu Xiu- "Dear God, I Hate Myself"

Xiu Xiu are set to release their new album 'Dear God, I Hate Myself' on the 22nd. I am really looking forward to it based on the single and video for it of new band member Angela Seo repeatedly sticking her fingers down her throat and forcing herself to throw up.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

'Greed & Generosity' - a short video

In 2007, my favorite chain smoking Romanian film professor assigned us a project where we each had to interpret a poem by Rumi and make a short video. Here is mine:

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