Back in 1986, when "Blue Velvet" was first screened for the Chicago
press, someone, I think it was Dave Kehr of the Tribune, muttered with rueful satisfaction as Dennis
Hopper first came on the screen: "Who
Who else, indeed, could have barked out to a
cowering Isabella Rossellini, "Where's my fucking bourbon?" and then, gas mask
in hand, regressed to horrifyingly hilarious Oedipal infantilism?
Relatively speaking, at any rate. He's out on bail pending a possible trial.
I don't like the sound of that, since these "trials" often end with sentences
of flogging, imprisonment, and death. But he looks
pretty free in this new photo. Let's hope for the best.
Let's not get our hopes up, but it looks like Jafar Panahi, the
great Iranian director imprisoned in Tehran
on bogus charges since March 1, might be released -- on bail, at least. This
in Agence France-Presse says that
a hearing will take place on Saturday.
Which is good news, because things were looking pretty bad for a while.
It won't be up for the Palmes d'Or - but who needs that after
winning the 2009 Boston 48 Hour Film Festival Best Picture prize? However local film studio Glasseye Productions "Conversion" did make an
appearance this afternoon as part of Le Marche du Film in this year's Cannes
Not only did "Conversion" win the 48 Hour Best Picture Award, by
the way, but it also won Best Director, Cinematography, Script and Ensemble
Acting, the latter no doubt due to the thespian talents of cast members Kevin
Banks, Associate Design Director here at the "Phoenix," and former "Phoenix" staff writer Sara Faith Alterman.
Celebrity watchers at the Cannes Film Festival opening got a
little anxious because jury member Kate Beckinsale arrived a little late due to
the Icelandic volcano ash cloud. Not
so much concern for the non-appearance of honorary jury member, filmmaker Jafar
Panahi, held up by the bars of Evin prison in Tehran since last March 1 for the
crime of asserting basic human rights in a paranoid, intolerant theocratic
I thought I was getting a little weird when I confessed that
I found Ingrid Bergman kind of sexy as a nun in "The Bells of St. Mary's" swinging
a baseball bat. But that pales before the complex fetishism underlying this
inquiry in Craig's List pointed out to me by YH:
"I am looking for a role-playing partner to do email or instant
message-based sessions revolving around various situations similar to those in
the Disney classic ‘Honey I Shrunk The Kids
On being on the National Guard's ass, remakes, "The Big Country," and the Irish.
(For those of you just joining us, I interviewed Romero about his upcoming zombie film, "Survival of the Dead." This is Part 3; click here for Part 1 and Part 2.)
PK: So you do have more Dead movies in the works?
GR: If it happens.
In which he ponders the meaning of the "zombie walk," why vampires no longer inspire, and other over-analysis.
(For those of you just joining us, I interviewed Romero about his upcoming zombie film, "Survival of the Dead." This is Part 2; click here for Part 1 and Part 3.)
PK: One of the best vampire movies that I've seen, probably
among the top ten, is "Martin" (1977).
Do a search for the keyword "zombie"
on the IMDB and you'll come up with 1,149 titles. Of those some 1,080 have been
or will be released since 1968, which
was the year George Romero unleashed on the world "Night of the Living Dead."
Romero himself has contributed his share of these films, all
springing from his original, much imitated premise: a plague that reduces its
victims to shambling, brain-dead corpses whose only instinct is to eat human
flesh and thus create more victims.
On baby corpses, redundant volunteering, mammograms, and
PK: Your next film [an adaptation of Laura Lippman's crime
novel "Every Secret Thing"]
is a departure. It's about eleven-year-old killers.
NH: Yeah these two girls that kidnap a baby. It's
psychologically complicated. Which is why I like it.
True, "Nightmare on Elm Street" was number one at the box
office last weekend, taking in $32.2 million, confirming once again that the
vast majority of film goers don't give a shit about the quality of the
"entertainment" they chuck out ten or more bucks to consume. On the other hand,
however, in the battle of limited release films, Nicole Holofcener's "Please
Give," one of the best movies of the year
so far by one of our best filmmakers, grossed a per screen average nearly
double that of "The Human Centipede," which if not the worst film of the year
is probably the most disgusting, (I haven't seen it, but it would be
hard-pressed to outstink "Furry
Vengeance," which I
have had the dubious pleasure of enduring).