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The Black Hole Presents: Some Movies To Watch On Halloween

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ok, fine! For this holiday, the tradition is to list off your top 10 favorite horror movies and wait for the comments to practically rewrite your list as you go off and get plastered on pumpkin ale.

But that's dumb!

So, I'm not gonna do it!

Well, actually, I'm not gonna do it because I actually haven't seen enough diverse horror movies to make an interesting list. For me, it's basically have 28 Days Later... and Se7en fight it out for number one, and the rest is all random.


So, I thought I'd instead shoot off a bunch of films, one from each genre of horror, that could serve you well on this, the day where college coeds can dress up as sluts without anyone saying anything about it, and yes, I did take that line from Mean Girls.

Let's get started, shall we?

Slasher: Scream
You could really go anywhere with this genre, provided your choice was made before 1990. Sorry, but when it comes to slashers, original Freddy, Jason, and Michael just can't be beat. But, I'm going for something a bit more kooky than those guys. My choice for the slasher to watch on halloween is Scream. A perfect blend of clever wit and torrents of blood, this is one of those rare films that is legitimately funny, whilst being legitimately terrifying. Even after multiple viewings, that scene where Billy and Stu stab themselves still gets me.
Scariest Scene: The Mutilation Scene

Zombie: Land of the Dead
Boom! Didn't expect that, did ya? I don't really know why, but I really friggin' like Land of the Dead. In fact, I think I actually prefer it to the other Romero movies, and certainly to any other zombie movie out there. The dead are smart in this one, which makes the terror factor that much more significant, the gore is out of control, there are some surprisingly sad and touching moments, and it has the late, great Dennis Hopper hamming it up as a world class scumbag. What's not to like?
Scariest Scene: The Zombies Cross the River

Aside: It's a good thing I'm limiting myself to movies on this one, cuz you totally would've seen The Walking Dead up there if I wasn't.

Serial Killer: Se7en
There is a difference between slasher and serial killer. Slasher is just a bunch of people getting massacred in a short period of time. Serial killer horror takes on a more methodical approach, and is more of suspense genre than an all out horror genre. But, these are technicalities that I do not care about. Though films like The Silence of the Lambs and American Psycho make strong cases, the cream of the crop in this case is, of course, Se7en, David Fincher's twisted, horrifying police procedural about the hunt for the most sadistic killer this side of Jack the Ripper. Powerful stuff.
Scariest Scene: Sloth

End of the World: 28 Days Later...
Your welcome, Nick! I didn't put this in zombie horror for you. FOR YOU, I SAY!!! Actually, it was because this film is far more compelling doomsday scenario than it is straight up zombie. The best and scariest end of days films are the ones that seem possible, and 28 Days Later..., from its long, quiet shots of lifeless cities and interstates, to the tense scenes where the infected attack, certainly comes across as plausible.
Scariest Scene: A Deserted London

Sci-Fi: Alien
I mean, what else is there? Predator? No, I don't think so. Sure, Event Horizon is a fine choice, and I guess The Terminator could fall into this category, but for sheer, spine tingling terror in space, you can't do better than the granddaddy of sci-fi horror! May films since this one have attempted to emulate its atmosphere and style; all have failed.
Scariest Scene: Kane's Indigestion

Horror-Comedy: Fright Night
Scream could potentially find itself in this one, but I never repeat movies on lists like this. And Shaun of the Dead is chosen sooooooo often that it would just be boring and easy to go with that. So, I'm going with Fright Night. Any version will do, though I am thinking specifically of the newer one with Colin Farrell and The Doctor. Gallons of blood with buckets of laughs. Thank me later.
Scariest Scene: Jerry Eats An Apple

That's all for me right now. Did I miss a genre? Pick the wrong movie? Well? You all have an opinion. I expect responses in that little thing down there. I'll give you some candy!

Peter Liversidge – Film for Balmorhea II

Backdrop video by Peter Liversidge for Balmorhea, performing at the Bozar Electronic Music Festival, Brussels on 28 October 2011

PA/PERVIEW Artbook Fair – Small Publishers Fair

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Peter Foolen Editions will be part of
PA/PER VIEW ARTBOOK FAIR, an additional programme of ONOMATOPEE during the DUTCH DESIGN WEEK 2011

PA/PER VIEW is a book fair showcasing independent art publishing in Europe, organized by MER. Paper Kunsthalle, Ghent. The fair is held annual at Wiels, Brussels, and occasionally on other locations, in 2010 the Fair was held in London. This year the fair is held in Eindhoven at Onomatopee on occasion of the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. Among participants are: Afterall, Gagarin, Galerie West, Mousse, Ditto Press, Espen Krukhaug, Casco, Fillip a.o.

Peter Foolen Editions will present a new publication by herman de vries and two new editions by Giovanni Dalessi. Also showing books and editions by Philip Lumai, Paul van Dijk, Dick Cassée, Hamish Fulton, JCJ Vanderheyden, Alan Charlton, Gijs Pape, Nono Reinhold, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Thomas A Clark a.o.

Opening drinks Friday 28 October 18:00-21:00
Saturday & Sunday 29 – 30 October 12:00-18:00
address: Onomatopee, Bleekweg, Schellens Fabriek, Entrance C, 5611 CT Eindhoven

Peter Foolen Editions will also participate at the
Conway Hall
Red Lion Square
London WC1R 4RL

Friday 11th and Saturday 12th November, 11:00-19:00

Peter Foolen Editions will present AFFINITY, a new publication by Simon Cutts, published by Coracle and Peter Foolen Editions
and the edition ON BLUE & THE MOUNTAINS OF HOLLAND by Thomas A Clark, published by The Flag Club and Peter Foolen Editions

herman de vries – fragments –

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

herman de vries
– fragments –

recent publication by Peter Foolen Editions, published in October 2011.
artist book with 25 photographs of natural fragments at actual size, collected in the nördlicher steigerwald, eschenau
60 pages, 16,5 x 21 cm
printed by Lecturis, Eindhoven and handstitched bound
Edition of 300 numbered copies and 17 copies with a special edition, signed and numbered

price € 25 / special edition sold out

For Paychecks And Work

Modern day "reinterpretations" of classic novels and films is nothing new. It seems that for every generation, there's a film version of some Shakespeare play, a Jane Austen novel, some new director's take on Robin Hood, and so on and so on. And usually, the theme is to tone down whatever subtext and subtlety the source material had and a up the AWESOME and the EXPLOSION factor. Such is the case with The Three Musketeers, the new, whizbang, hack and slash epic from schlock-meister Paul WS Anderson. The trailers would have you believe that this is a loud, over the top, exciting romp around renaissance period Europe, but there is one factor that should not be overlooked should you make the mistake of seeing this film. Brainless. The Three Musketeers, for all its spectacle (such as it is), is just a dumb as rocks, cliched as hell, boring action movie. Though there is something to be said about the "wink wink" nature that some of the people involved are taking, the fact remains that this 21st century update of Alexander Dumas' classic adventure novel is completely unnecessary and forgettable.

This is the last time we ever do Absinthe again, Aramis!

It's a period of conflict in Europe, with France in serious danger of being destroyed from all sides by... you know, that's actually not really made clear. To help combat these threats, the king employs musketeers, who are pretty much secret agents adept at death dealing and blowing shit up. James Bonds for the DaVinci crowd, if you will. When a plot to overthrow France from within, orchestrated by the devious Cardinal Richeliu, the sultry and deadly Milady, and the completely ridiculous Buckingham, is uncovered, the three musketeers in question, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, team up with the young D'Artagnan to stop it. This leads to a lot of of loud, uninteresting sword play, airship battles (???), and... more sword play.

The movie is an adaption of Dumas' work, and I use the word adaptation very loosely. To call this a faithful adaption is an affront to faithful adaptations the world over. The only thing the film borrows from Dumas' novel are the character names, and the setting. I don't remember anything in the novel about flying war galleys or the French king's fashion woes. The plot moves incredibly quickly, giving us almost no time to learn anything about the characters or develop any sort of tangible relationship with them. Even worse, what character development there is focuses on the wrong people. There is a whole twenty minute stretch where all we see is Richeliu, Milady, and Buckingham scheming, mixed in with some allegedly comedic scenes where the king just acts stupid, with not even a mention of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. That's right. In a movie called The Three Musketeers, the three musketeers are the least developed characters.


If anything remotely salvages the movie, it's some of the performances. Matthew Macfayden, Ray Stevenson, and Luke Evans all display winning chemistry and real personality as Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. They are so good together that you just wish you could watch of movie consisting only of them bickering with each other, because that would be sooooooo much better than what you got here.

Orlando Bloom and Christoph Waltz also do fine work here but for different reasons. While Macfayden, Stevenson, and Evans are playing it straight, Bloom and Waltz go the complete opposite direction and ham this shit up! They are absurd in this movie, especially Bloom, who delivers his lines as if he's doing the most over the top parody of Shakespeare since... I don't know. They clearly realized how stupid this movie is, and decided to just have fun with it. And more power to them, because that was what was needed for this!

Just look at how dashed clever I'm being!

Logan Lerman as D'Artagnan, on the other hand, is unfathomably awful!! I know for a fact that Lerman can do excellent work, so to see him squander this character with painful attempts at smarminess and gravity is just disconcerting, especially when you realize that the character of D'Artagnan is actually one of the better written characters.

Ditto for Milla Jovovich, who just does her usual thing. That is to say, relying on her beauty to get by and not really attempting anything resembling drama. Now this particular critic is one who doesn't really think to highly of Mrs. Jovovich's looks, so I really hated her in this!

Mads Mikkelson replays Le Chiffre again... and that's about it. Some people do well here, and their effort is apparent. Others do terribly. An all around mixed bag!

I don't really know what to say here. There is just so much wrong with this movie, and all those bad things become so much more apparent when you realize that there are some good ideas here. Instead of the traditional soldiers that other adaptations have painted them as, this version displays the musketeers as more of a black ops team, sneaking into a fortress, quietly and ruthlessly taking out the opposition as they go. And it's awesome! Unfortunately, this is only seen in the first 10 minutes of the flick. After that, it's back to just swinging swords around and blowing shit up! That would be fine, but the sword play is really dull. I commend the actors for doing all their own fighting and all, but it's just not exciting. It's just the four of them hopping around, dicing away at hordes of clueless, witless henchmen. And it's all completely bloodless, despite the fact that there are clear shots of stabbing and throat slicing and the like. I get that the movie is going for cartoony, but it toes the line a little too much.

Also, what the hell is with the captions that introduce everyone? That is just dumb!

Another thing that the flick royally screws up is a sense of the period. Ok, yes, I know it's not supposed to be realistic at all. There weren't any zeppelins of death 17th century France, but there weren't Americans either. The accents are all over the place here, with some doing British, some doing German, and some doing good old fashioned Yankee. And there's the dialogue, which is a laughable combo of 17th century prose with some elements of 21st century slang, as when someone utters the words "took a dump" in the same scene as some powerful monologue about bravery and love.

But the main problem is that The Three Musketeers didn't make me happy, nor did it make me angry. I didn't have fun, but I didn't have a bad experience either. I didn't feel anything about this movie. It elicited zero emotion out of me, and that, loyal readers, is the worst kind of movie, in my opinion. This is not the worst adaption of Dumas' book. The crown goes to the god-awful The Musketeer from a couple years back, but this one is close. The Three Musketeers has good ideas, and almost sees them through, but it is ultimately squandered by multiple bad decisions from everyone involved. I can't in good consciousness recommend this piece of crap to anyone. Stick to the book!

Peter Liversidge – Film for Balmorhea

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Peter Liversidge has collaborated with the band Balmorhea on a film for the backdrop on their European tour which starts on 28th October at Bozar, Brussels and ends at Paradiso, Amsterdam on November 15th.
Having included the minimalist instrumental ensemble, Balmorhea (from Austin, Texas) in proposals for his own shows, Peter Liversidge will now take his place in theirs and an especially made video work will accompany Balmorhea’s EU tour in support of their recent release, Live at Sint-Elisabethkerk.

Your Sunday Funny #24

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Gijs Pape / Teun Kuipers – Vorm # 2

Friday, October 21, 2011

Gijs Pape / Teun Kuipers
Vorm # 2

21 – 30 October 2011
at the weekend 12.00 – 18.00 hrs and on appointment

Kunsthuis Verse Vis
Minrebroederstraat 8
3512 GT Utrecht

Trailer Trash (Sort Of): Piranha 3DD

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's time to root through some... well not really.

So, this is just a clip taken from some dude who was recording the Spike Scream Awards on his Tivo, or something.

Anyway, it's the world premiere of the teaser for Piranha 3DD, the sequel to the surprisingly well received  Piranha 3D. This one sees the ravenous little buggers leaving the lake and attacking a water park.

Ok then...

According to this trailer, there will be more blood, more boobs, and... more Ving Rhames?

Hold on, didn't he die in the last one?

Nope, he just got his legs gnawed off. So, how does he remedy this?

Shotguns for legs.

Also, is that David Hasselhoff?

'checks IMDB'


Ok, this movie has my attention.

Hypocrisy For the Win!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A few weeks ago, on the LAMBcast, I stated that I would rather see a political thriller than a family drama. This was the direct result of two movies being brought up, The Descendants and The Ides of March, both of which star George Clooney. I don't know much of anything about The Descendants, but The Ides of March has been high on watch list ever since the trailer was released. A smart, thought out, tense political procedural is something that we don't get enough of these days, and is something that is pretty damn relevant as the country starts to go politician crazy!

By the way, Michelle Bachman is nuts!

The Ides of March boasts a killer cast doing excellent work, a strong script based on an excellent play, with a solid director at the helm. And yet... I didn't really like it. I don't really know what happened. Maybe it went way over my head and I need to see it again, but whatever it was, I walked out of the theatre feeling a profound disconnect to the events on screen. I wonder if all politicians are like this, cuz if they are, I'm glad I'm not getting into the business.

Hey girl, do you like politics?

It's March, and the Democratic primaries crucial to deciding the eventual presidential nominee are in full swing. Currently on the board is Ohio, where Pennsylvania Governor Mike Morris is competing against Arkansas Senator Ted Pullman. Heading up Morris' campaign is Stephen Meyers, a young, but brilliant media mind, who is loved on for the team he plays for, and feared for the team he opposes. As the primary nears, Meyers receives a call from the campaign manager of the opposing team, who wants him to jump ship and come work for them. This sets off a firestorm of escalating events as loyalty is tested, trust broken, and scandal revealed, and soon, the fate of Meyers, Morris, and everyone else, is called into question.

The Ides of March is well thought out, and moves at a good clip. It's just that there doesn't seem to be any feel for the stakes. The first twenty odd minutes of the movie consist of Meyers and others talking about how Morris is THE man, the person who will lead the country back into the glory that it once basked in. That's all well and good, but we never really see the Morris they are talking about. All we see is a politician who makes impassioned speeches, which doesn't do enough to set him apart from his opponent. The film does pick up in the final act, when the shit hits the fan, and the running theme of hypocrisy really comes into play. The final ten minutes, which sees people forging ahead, having betrayed everything they valued, is really compelling. The rest of the movie, sadly, is not.

The actors, on the other hand, are aces!

Ryan Gosling follows up his brilliant work in Drive with an equally great, though supremely different, performance. Where Driver was cold, calculating, and quiet, Gosling's Meyers is smarmy, charming, and quite the little sleaze. The naivety of the character is the quality that ends up fucking everything up for everyone, and Gosling's does very well with that. It's not his most memorable performance, but it can in no way be viewed as a bad one.

Silver Fox For Office

George Clooney does well as the headstrong and stubborn Morris. There's clear shades of Obama in here, though I'd like to think that Obama didn't do the thing that... well, anyway. Phillip Seymour Hoffman turns in another strong, understated performance as Paul Zara, Morris' campaign manager and Meyer's boss. Evan Rachel Wood and Marisa Tomei do well as an intern that Meyer's romances and a reporter with a big story, respectively.

Director George Clooney (yes, it's one of those movies) does what he can, but that's not much. The direction of this movie is fairly stilted, with no real pizzaz or style to speak of. The movie plods along, waiting to get to the big reveal, only after of which it produces a pulse. The first forty-five minutes of this thing could have easily been condensed into twenty, and the film would be much stronger because of it.

But when it finds that pulse, it really finds it! Like I said, the last act is really good, painting a compelling picture of politics at its most sociopathic. The drive to win causes these people to turn their backs on everything they stand for, and to see them continue the masquerade in front of the gullible public is a truly sinister tableau. It's nice to see a political thriller treat politics like a game, brutal and unfair, because it's an aspect we never see. This comes shining through in the final act, and almost make the film worth seeing. But, the first two acts are just not up to the level of the last, and drag the movie down significantly. See the movie for the ending and the strong performances. Just be prepared for the slog to get there.

Your Sunday Funny #23

Sunday, October 16, 2011

JCJ Vanderheyden – Borzo, Modern & Contemporary Art

Saturday, October 15, 2011

JCJ Vanderheyden
Zien, kijken en Waarnemen

15 October – 5 November 2011

Borzo Modern & Contemporary Art
Keizersgracht 516
1017 EJ Amsterdam

image © Borzo, JCJ Vanderheyden – Horizonte Oltramarino, 2008, 170 x 160 cm

herman de vries – werke aus der wirklichkeit

Friday, October 14, 2011

herman de vries
werke aus der wirklichkeit

erdausreibungen, pflanzenreihungen und installationen

14 October – 26 November 2011

Holger Priess * Galerie
Admiralitätstrasse 71
20459 Hamburg

Elke Dröscher – Kunstraum Falkenstein
Grotiusweg 79
22587 Hamburg

images © Holger Priess* Galerie, herman de vries – die steine, (top 3 photographs)

Ingleby Gallery at Frieze Art Fair 2011

Ingleby Gallery at Frieze Art Fair 2011, London

13 – 16 October 2011

Ingleby Gallery
stand G20
David Austen, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Tommy Grace, Iran do Espírito Santo, Richard Forster, Callum Innes, Peter Liversidge, Katie Paterson & Francesca Woodman

image © Ingleby Gallery; Peter Liversidge – Proposal for Frieze 2011

Product of the Judicial System

In retrospect, I must say that I'm pretty happy with the way my parents raised me. You know, decent morals, polite manners, don't drink and drive, and don't put your sexual organs into volatile and potentially harmful electrical sockets. I don't about that last one; I think I might have just picked that one up myself. Anyway, I am quite pleased with all the life lessons my parents imparted on me, because, by following them, the chances of me going to prison for any legitimate reason (being part of protests and the like doesn't count) are somewhat slim. I mean, I've seen some movies, read some stories, and seen the odd episode of Oz, so I do have a pretty heavy desire to not get incarcerated in one the fine, fine correctional facilities that dot our country. As an addendum to this, I really like that I live in America, and not Britain, because if I am sent to prison in my home country, then my living situation will be decidedly more attractive. Cuz if Bronson is to be believed, then British prisons suck big fat ones! Yes, this film by virtuoso Nicolas Winding Refn is dark, disturbing, incredibly violent, and practically asking for controversy. It's also, at times, hilarious, quirky, and absolutely insane.
Ummm... I don't know really know how this review will pan out, cuz I don't really know what to say.
Well, let's give it a shot.

My mustache has punched more people than you ever will!

Bronson tells the story of Charles Bronson. No, I'm not talking about the actor with a death wish you took part in a great escape, I'm talking about Britain's most violent prisoner. 34 years behind bars, and counting, 30 of those in solitary, and counting. Bit of a crazy person, if you ask me. His exploits in the joint make up the whole of the movie, which is split up between Bronson's time in prison, and a fourth wall breaking exchange between him and an audience in which he puts on ridiculous make up, plays a woman, and acts generally batshit. Somewhere along the line, he starts making a name for himself as a bare knuckled boxer. Crazy stuff happens.

And that's about all that can be said. Sorry, but I'm still kind of at a loss as to what actually happened in this movie. It's a film that's more interested in examining and deconstructing the psyche of a psychopath than any sort of plot progression. And you know what? Fine by me; we don't get enough movies like that. And the movie does a great job of exploring Bronson, and all the multiple kinds of fucked up he is! He's like every iconic screen psychopath, from Alex DeLarge to The Joker, except he's real, which makes it infinitely more intimidating.

Tom Hardy lights the screen on fire as Mr. Bronson. It really is remarkable performance, deftly mixing elements of comedy, menace, absurdity, and just pure, unbridled craziness into an exceptionally convincing performance. He declares that prison was "madness at its very best," and you believe him, goddammit! Here's a guy who's been on steady upward streak, enjoying scene stealing performances in the likes of Inception, RocknRolla, and Layer Cake, and this one tops them all. It's a perfect portrayal of pure, unfeeling, violence, and it is compelling as all holy hell.

And that's about it. There's really no one left to talk about. Every other character is really just there for Bronson to project on, beat the crap out of, or intimidate in some other, less bloody, way. They all do fine jobs, easily handling the ridiculousness of what they are called on to do with winning conviction. But, this is Hardy show, and he soars!


Nicolas Winding Refn is a talented man, though I feel as if he's still honing his craft here, whereas he perfected it in Drive. Ok, yes, I know! Bronson and Drive are two completely different films, and I am aware that my opinion would probably differ if I saw this when it came out as opposed to seeing it now, two years after the fact. That's not to say that he does a bad job. Not at all. I just thought Drive was better directed and... ok, we're getting into semantics here. I'll stop!

One thing that I've noticed, and love, about Winding Refn is his ability to take a certain director's style or specific genre of film, and put his own spin on it to make it seem completely new. With Drive, he took the badass, one man against a whole bunch of bad dudes, genre, populated by the likes of Bullit, and Dirty Harry, and combined it with car movies in the vein of Vanishing Point, and covered it all in a neon drenched, Miami Vice inspired, mindset. His work in Bronson isn't as complicated to describe. Here, he takes many a cue from one director, more specifically, one film by said director. Said director is Stanley Kubrick, and said film is A Clockwork Orange. 

I'm probably going to make some major mistakes in the comparisons here. It's been years since I last saw Clockwork. Work with me here.

The whole idea of a, crazy violent, quite possibly mentally unstable man being "cured" by the rules and laws of the society in which he resides is basically the whole story of Clockwork, and it's more or less the story here. (The difference is that Clockwork then spent on how said "cure" would backfire on the "patient", while Bronson is more about how the "cure" just doesn't even work at all.) And it doesn't stop there. There's a certain quirk about the whole picture that brings out a biting but dark humor. Bronson is a pretty funny movie, much in the same way Clockwork was funny, from the way scenes are framed and cut, to how Bronson himself acts. I don't know about you, but seeing the walk that Hardy applied the character had me in stitches!

Do I love Bronson to death? Do I think it's as good as Drive? No, I don't. For now I will view it as a very good piece of madness with a sensational performance from Tom Hardy. I need to see it again. That much is certain. There was too much weird going on in this movie for to grasp fully what it was about. Thank the maker for watch instantly. Whoever came up with that business venture deserves some pie. Really good pie!

Peter Foolen Editions – PA/PER VIEW / ONOMATOPEE

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

In Other News: Drive Stupidity & Chigurh's New Gig

So, interesting stuff has been happening in the world of movies over the last few days, but there was one little tidbit of news that caught my eye.

FilmDistrict is being sued over Drive. Why? Because the trailer was misleading?

No really! Someone is suing the studio because they went into Drive expecting something totally different from what it is, claiming that the film was being advertised as "very similar to the Fast and Furious, or similar, series of movies, according to an article over at Yahoo! Movies.  The person who brought forth the lawsuit, Sarah Deming of Michigan, states that "Drive bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film... having very little driving in the motion picture," the suit continues. "Drive was a motion picture that substantially contained extreme, gratuitous, defamatory, dehumanizing racism directed against members of the Jewish faith, and thereby promoted violence against members of the Jewish faith."

So much is "wrong" with this scene, but anit-semitism ain't it!

So, she's not pissed off because the trailer didn't really hint at the level of extreme violence in the picture, or that most of the screen time was devoted to Gosling's budding romance with Carey Mulligan. No, this woman is pissed off because the bad guys in the movie were Jewish, and since we can't have that, she accuses Nicolas Winding Refn of being a Nazi. 

Ok, bit extreme, but still. How dumb is this. You don't like the movie because its trailer didn't do a great job of representing what it actually was? Oh, boo hoo! Do you know how many times I've been to a movie where my expectations proved to be totally off? Many times, but you don't see me suing people over it. 

People, man. People. 

On a happier, less fiery note, Javier Bardem has confirmed that he is playing the villain in Bond 23, which is currently in pre-production after months of doubt of whether or not it would ever be made. 

Now, this makes me happy. I mean, Ralph Finnes is already in as a villain, and with the inclusion of Bardem... well, think about it. Arguably the two most iconic villains from the last ten years are going to be villains together in the same movie. 


I might be able to die happy now. 

Trailer Trash: The Avengers

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


It's the first trailer for the superhero epic, The Avengers! Everything Marvel has done for the past 5 or so years (excluding X-Men), has been building up to this, and, if this trailer is anything to go, it's gonna be spectacular!

For a teaser trailer, this one is pretty great. Really epic, while adequately setting up the conflict. Let me tell ya, Loki looks so much more badass here than he did in Thor.

Man, I can't wait!

Peter Foolen – design for a Wind-tower stamp

Peter Foolen – design for a Wind-tower stamp, 2011
for Alec Finlay

Small Publishers Fair 2011 – London

Monday, October 10, 2011

Peter Liversidge – Post from Helsinki

Post of Peter Liversidge from Helsinki, received 10 October 2011

Assessing My Game Plan...

Friday, October 7, 2011

I should probably see some bad movies, shouldn't I?

I mean, the last four movies I saw in theaters, Contagion, Drive, Moneyball, and 50/50, all earned ECSTASYs from me. Two of them even got the ON A WHOLE NEW LEVEL moniker.

Ok, bad movies, bad movies. What's coming out this weekend?

"checks IMDB"

Oh, Real Steel. Ok, we're good!

Cancer Is Funny!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Except it's not, and if you think it is then you probably have some serious social skills that need to be addressed now! Films dealing with cancer are rarely ever seen as a comedy, because a topic such as cancer is so humorless. Films that deal with this subject go for the heartstrings with all guns blazing, hoping to pull at least one tear out of you. Many fall into ruin by being too sentimental and inspirational, and end up feeling like a Lifetime movie. Others over come the obstacles and become pointed looks at humanity, love, and some such. But these movies are never funny. There has never been a cancer comedy that treated cancer like a real, scary thing, that is until 50/50 rolled around. Touted as Terms of Endearment for the Apatow crowd, 50/50 looks like a traditional stoner comedy that just happens to deal with someone getting cancer. But it's not. It's not even close to that. 50/50 is one of the best portrayals of coping with cancer that I've ever seen, with a healthy amount of genuine humor and heart. This is one you shouldn't miss.

(Sear)iously good!

Adam is what you'd call a stand-up guy. He doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, is polite, respectful, and abides by the rules. He works for a public radio station, not because of lack of options, but because he really likes the work, and dreams of the days when people had only the radio to be entertained. He's a relatively healthy relationship with an attractive artist, Rachael, and is best friends with Kyle, a co-worker at the station. And then Adam finds out that he has cancer, and very rare, very scary type of cancer at that. Thus begins the stages of coping, as Adam does his best to take matters into his own hands and makes sure the cancer doesn't bring him down. But, the toll of chemo, strained relationships, helplessness, and the possibility of his own, impending death start to weigh down on Adam. He's doing everything he can to beat this thing, but it looks like it's beating him right back.

Sound like a comedy to you? Didn't think so. And it's not. Not really. 50/50 is based off of the experiences of Will Reiser, who wrote the screenplay, and went through largely the same thing. The story pulses with his credibility, and the film feels all the more genuine because of it. Don't get me wrong, there are some really funny moments, but they are heavily outnumbered by the top notch dramatic stuff.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Man, that guy! I've praised him to high heaven before, and I'm just gonna keep on doing it, cuz the man just will not mess up! He's been good in things, great in most, but I think this just might be his best performance. Gordon-Levitt has that admirable quality to take any role and give a certain jazz to make it stand out, and he is on fire here. As Adam he deftly and effortlessly hops between all the stages of grief, running the gamut from hopeful optimism, to blind fury, to mind numbing depression. And he excels at every! Single! One! He is just so fucking perfect in this movie that I can't even believe that he wasn't the casting director's first choice. Oscar consideration is more than deserved.

Seth Rogen is also in fine form as Kyle, Adam's good hearted friend. Most of the comedy in the film comes from him, and Rogen does his trademark, doofy, horndog rambling as well as he's ever done it. It's a far more layered performance than we are used to from Rogen though; there's a lot more emotion behind what he's doing. A lot of this no doubt comes from the fact that he is playing, essentially, himself, as he played, more or less, the same role when Reiser was diagnosed in real life. It's a personal role for Rogen, and it shows. You can tell what he's doing means a lot to him, and he doesn't want to mess up.

Is the couch comfortable enough?

Anna Kendrick does excellent work as Adam's inexperienced therapist, Angelica Huston is superb as Adam's overbearing, but loving mother, and Philip Baker Hall and Matt Frewer do fine jobs as two cancer patients who Adam befriends.

If there's anyone to harp on, it's Bryce Dallas Howard as Rachael, but whatever short comings she displays are more a product of an underwritten character than her abilities as an actress. Rachael just acts like a stuck up bitch for most of the movie, and you get the sense that there was some resentment on Reiser's part when he wrote the character. Howard doesn't do a bad job. Not at all. She's just not given as much to work with, so she the first one to be forgotten.

An all around excellent job from everyone here, but Gordon-Levitt is on a whole 'nother level from them. Let's hope that people respond as favorably to this performance as I have to rest of his body of work, because it's probably the best thing he's ever done, and I know he can do better!

Jonathan Levine of The Wackness takes the reins here, and does a nice job of balancing the humor with the drama. Like I said before, 50/50 is much more of a drama then it is a comedy, but what comedy there is is really good. Whenever Gordon-Levitt and Rogen are bantering, it's hilarious, and Baker Hall is hoot in every scene he's in. But, I wasn't laughing uproariously through out the thing. I don't know why. Maybe Rogen toned it down due to the personal nature of the film. Maybe some facet of my subconscious stopped me from laughing due to the serious nature of the premise. Maybe I'm getting tired of Rogen's brand of humor. Either way, I found the serious aspects of the film to be far more compelling and moving than the funny ones.

Cuz, let's be real. Cancer isn't funny! 50/50 does the right thing in finding the humor in the situation rather than create humor by making fun of the situation. Being billed as a stoner comedy, it could easily fallen into that trap, but it didn't. Instead, it kept a level head and treated the cancer like it should be treated, as a scary, life threatening thing. There are some really great dramatic moments throughout the film, especially near the end, when Adam's situation looks really dire. And it's good, meaningful, moving drama. There's no attempt to conjure up inspiration or any sort of lame message. The film just sets outs to portray real people, dealing with a real problem, and it nails it. Absolutely nails it! Even things that could have been played just for comedy or been taken in a cliched direction, like Adam's budding relationship with his therapist, are handled thoughtfully and realistically. Even Adam's dynamic with his overbearing mother, something that could have sunk the whole movie, plays out in ways you wouldn't expect.

Man, I don't really know what to say. This movie is great. I really did not expect to respond this favorably to it. I went in, expecting a funny film with nice dramatic touches, but what I got was the opposite, a very well done dramatic film with welcome comedic touches. Bolstered by superb performances from the supporting cast, a "better than 98% of everything else out there right now" performance from JoGo, and a no bullshit approach to the cancer thing that is a direct product of Reiser and Rogen's attachment to the story, and 50/50 is not only a great comedy, but a great movie in general. One of the year's best, bar none!


The Duel

Monday, October 3, 2011


Hamish Fulton – Mercantour, 2011 II

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hamish Fulton – Mercantour, 2011

10 September – 8 October 2011

7, rue Saint-Claude
75003 Paris

photographs PF, Galerie Torri, Paris, 30.9.2011

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