Friday, February 19, 2010

Thoughts on Salo

When I was a teenager in the early 90's this film was difficult to see. It was banned most everywhere or simply not available. Somehow my friends and I got a hold of some clips or maybe the whole film, I don't remember. What I do remember is that they were of the torture scenes and they disturbed me to the point that I stayed away from this movie... Until now. Now, not only do I not find it disturbing, I find it beautiful: An absolutely insightful and unaffected observation of depravity, perversion and the limits of power (there are none). There seems to be an intentional lack of close-ups and the exquisite framed wide angle takes are nothing short of astonishing.

The scene depicted on the cover of the DVD above is one of the most demented I have ever come across- it is truly outstanding in its emotional repugnance. It concerns a young girl grieving for her dead mother forced to eat the shit of the man responsible for her death.

For those not familiar, the story is about Fascists in 1940's Italy abducting, humiliating, abusing, and probably killing eighteen young men and women. It was the last film by Italian master Pier Pasolini- made in 1976, the year he was murdered by a young prostitute. There is some proof that the rent boy that killed him was paid by right wing groups wanting to silence his long standing leftist views. Nevertheless, Salo or The 120 Days of Sodom is a pinnacle in cinematic achievement and is widely considered one of the most important films ever created. As difficult as the subject matter may be for some, I think any intellectually sane adult will enjoy this film.

"Mange, Mange!!!"

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thoughts on a Phenomenon, A Negative Perspective: Avatar

I saw it. I bowed down to the hype and went and saw the almighty Avatar in 3D IMAX. I know I am supposed to like this movie. Well, the first hour was great, the 3D effects were super trippy and the film contained the only convincing CGI I have ever seen. Up until now I have found CGI, for the most part, laughable. Once I got used to it and then the hardcore corniness kicked in- I found the experience almost unbearable. I know Cameron is making a film to appeal to the lowest common denominator- but some of that dialogue was inexcusably bad. Sure, dumb it down for the masses- but not that far down! The repeated love affirmation “I see you” being an example. I’m guessing he had to use terms a simpleton would use because he was already counting his dollars, as knew he would eventually have to dub the movie in every real language out there.

Another complaint: Even though the supposed bad guys in the movie were American military and mercenaries- I still thought they managed to glorify imperialist violence with all the “kick-ass” bravado and the subtle inspirational music during the attack on the big tree. I’m imagine most dumb kids and meatheads in the audience were thinking “yeah, burn that hippie tree down and kill those Blue Man Group cat kooks.”

Also, I can’t help but wonder if people truly enjoyed the barrage of quantum psycho-babble that infected the movie like a Pandora spirit-virus. I admit that Sigourney Weavers little speech to Giovanni Ribisi about the network of energy being alive was mildly interesting- especially when found in a blockbuster. But were people really feeling the Na’vi’s cross-legged arm to arm spiritual rejuvenation dance? I found it silly. Did you not?

To a certain degree, I did enjoy exploring the Na’vi world and, of course, the psychedelic colors of the forest and dragons were amazing to look at. But as the minutes wore on and the film became yet another hour long good vs. evil battle sequence… I had had enough. Been there, done that, don’t need to see it again. The nail in the coffin of me basically disliking the film was the god-awful emo forest spirit song playing as the credits rolled. Did they still have to try and shove the quasi new age ideology down our throats even after the movie was over??????? I think not. I found it offensive.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Excepter - Stretch (J.G Thirlwell Mix)

Mind bogglingly amazing heavy track! Gotta be one of the best in years. The Foetus master returns remixing a NYC noise band. This is truly futuristic music. The power of the tune gets somewhat lost in the compressed MP3 format but it's still worth sharing.
Play loud, or better yet buy the record. Ripped from my vinyl collection.

Excepter - Stretch (J.G Thirwell Mix)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Universal Horizons music video

Tim Hicks, director of the psychological horror masterpiece, The Aphrikan has created a music video for our song Universal Horizons by Pacific Horizons.