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Plastic Bag

8 Nov

As an environmentalist and an avid fan of Werner Herzog, this short film is like cinematic crack. Werner Herzog needs to narrate everything. How about the re-release of The Private Life of Plants? (No offense, David Attenborough)

Ricky Fitts, eat your heart out!

Big Fan vs. Buffalo 66

21 Apr

All I know is the world of response papers and data analysis. This has seeped into my personal life. Here is a comparison of two films: Big Fan and Buffalo 66.

Patton Oswalt in Big Fan

Big Fan (2009)

Oswalt plays 37-year old “Paul from Staten Island,” one of the biggest NY Giant fans in town, but also maybe one of the most broke. He works at a parking garage payment booth and lives with his mother who nags him about getting a job and family, things that “normal people” have. He loves to tailgate at the home Giants games, but unfortunately canonly afford to watch the games on TV in the parking lot with his best (only?) friend, Sal (Kevin Corrigan). He especially idolizes Quantrell Bishop, the Giants’ star quarterback. He gets his kicks from calling a local radio show and ragging out his arch-nemesis-of-the-radio-waves, Philadelphia Phil (Michael Rappaport, hell yeah!). Long story short, said idol QB Bishop kicks the shit out of Paul in a nightclub and as a result he is comatose for three days. When he comes back-to, he is surrounded by reporters, detectives, and his own attorney brother who all want him to press charges. Paul just wants the Giants to do well, and he knows if Bishop is convicted, he won’t be able to play. This is Paul’s struggle.

Buffalo 66 (1998)

Gallo and Ricci

Billy Brown was brought up by a neurotic and selfish family. His mother (Anjelica Huston) is an avid Buffalo Bills fan and thinks about little else. His father (Ben Gazzara) is, well, a weird asshole? Billy gets out of jail and has to reconstruct the glamorous lifestyle he has been lying to his parents about since his incarceration. Enter Layla (Christina Ricci). Kidnapped and forced to play into the charade as Billy’s doting wife, “Wendy Balsam,” Ricci goes along with the whole thing. An odd family reunion ensues, and we get a taste of just how weird Billy’s life must have always been. We wonder, how did he get into jail in the first place? Well, ironically enough, it’s because of the Bills, baby. Billy Brown made a bet for the Bills to win the Superbowl, and surprise surprise, they don’t win. He doesn’t have the cash to pay for the bet, so he takes the wrap for someone else’s crime (we never know what this crime is). This is in exchange for the bookie (Mickey Rourke) to not break his legs. Billy never forgets the losing game, and blames the Bill’s (quarterback?) Scott Woods. He goes to Woods’ strip club to blow his brains out.

So we have NFL football teams and their failures as big blows to the protagonists of these films. Both Paul and Billy have families that seemingly do not understand them. One key difference here is that Paul doesn’t pretend to be something he’s not, and expects his family to take him at face value. Billy, on the other hand, hides his incarceration from his family, replacing the truth with a string of lies about his successful government job and loving wife. Both Paul and Billy plan the violent demise of a nemesis, but neither actually goes through with it. And both have encounters with their (former or current) football hero. Each of them has a loser best friend, and guess what, they are played by the same actor (Kevin Corrigan)!!! I think I have a new favorite actor by the way, and it is he. He isn’t even credited in Buffalo 66 by the way. He was also in Zebrahead and True Romance along with Michael Rappaport, oh the connections!
Both of these films are darkly funny, but Buffalo 66 is definitely darker. I think Big Fan is trying to be a more mainstream version of Buffalo 66, but I don’t think the mainstream public got the memo, because I don’t think Big Fan did very well in theaters. Either way, I think most people would like Big Fan, if only nominally, and it’s nice to see a new movie every now and again. I won’t be going out to buy it anytime soon, but it is good to know that not everything hitting theaters these days is a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Aniston.

Update: Coincidentally enough, I checked out the Rotten Tomatoes webpage and saw that they are currently accepting submissions for Homage or Stealing: You Make the Call, a segment sometimes featured on the show. I submitted another video for consideration, check it out on their page! Here’s hoping they use it!

Silencio. (Ponderings on David Lynch)

13 Apr

That is the final word of David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. No hay banda. No hay orquesta. Silencio.

I sure love Agent Dale Cooper. Watch out for Mr. Lynch in this clip as well (at 00:36).

I will conclude with a list of some of my favorite films from my collection. A second installment will follow in a later entry. They are not listed in any particular order because their preference is so fluid in my mind. Please do check them out some day. Most of them are available at (insert university/academic institution here)’s library video collection. Expect a review of Antichrist by Lars von Trier in the near future. And if you have seen it, explain that shit to me! Is it intentionally misogynistic? Does the changed ending cheapen the meaning behind the original concept? So many questions! And if you have not seen it, you probably shouldn’t, haha.

1. Adaptationdir. Spike Jonze– The only Nicholas Cage portrayal I enjoy. Meryl Streep does drugs with a toothless Chris Cooper. All around lovely and witty. Favorite line: Chris Cooper (to Meryl Streep) You’re shinier than any ant, darlin’.

2. Amores Perrosdir. Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu. I love the whole multiple stories coming together thing. Soundtrack is awesome.

3. Blue Velvetdir. David Lynch. Kyle McLaughlin is clownin’, but Laura Dern still loves him anyway. Isabella Rossalini is nuts, unlike her current Green Porno project with the Sundance Channel, which is totally sane.

4. Buffalo 66dir. Vincent Gallo. I don’t know what to think of Vincent Gallo, or his gigolo ways. But I love this film so much. Angelica Huston is an awesomely selfish Buffalo Bills fan, and Christina Ricci is appropriately plump. If made to pick a favorite NFL team, it would be the Buffalo Bills strictly because of this film.

5. Clockwork Orangedir. Stanley Kubrick. It is disturbing, yet funny. It has a message and its own language, my little droogies.

6. Dancer in the Darkdir. Lars von Trier. It is heart-wrenching. Maybe moreso becaus the main character is Bjork. I was her character, Selma, from this film last year for Halloween. I can’t say much more about it. There are musical numbers, but that’s ok. 🙂

7. Gummodir./writ. Harmony Korrine. Because I openly love this movie, people seem to want to suggest horrific, disturbing movies to me. Many can’t stomach this film. It has been, and may always be, one of my favorite films of all time. Key words: Xenia, OH; culture of poverty, black gay Jewish little person; downs syndrome prostitution.

8. The Royal Tenenbaums dir. Wes Anderson. I still haven’t seen Mr. Anderson’s new film, Fantastic Mr. Fox, but as a general rule all of his films are winners. This one is my favorite because it was my first one of his. I love Royal Tenebaum’s “adopted daughter Margot,” another Halloween costume inspiration. I love dry humor. All around fantastic.

9. Happiness- dir. Todd Solondz. Another film that is hard to stomach. It deals with pedophilia and obsession. Phillip Seymour Hoffman at his mouth-breathingest. Last line of the movie (from the mouth of a child) “I came.”

10. Me and You and Everyone We Knowdir./writ. Miranda July. I want to meet Miranda July. Judging from her writing I think she is probably like her character in this movie. The characters are all lovable, even the guy who writes and posts sex notes to high school girls in his apartment window. I love that Cody Chestnutt is referenced. This is a great movie. You want to see it. Back and Forth, forever.


19 Mar

I have had a really bad past couple of days. Maybe you have felt the same way lately. Maybe this will cheer you up like it did for me, if you have the same nostaglia for Beetlejuice and love for Catherine O’Hara as I do.

That is all.