Saturday, April 30, 2005

Note to self:

Remember Orson Welles's War of the Worlds when Steven Spielberg's version comes out.

Odds on someone connecting this (besides me): 2 to 1
Odds on someone (besides me) connecting this to Welles's (almost) last directorial assignment for Spielberg on Amazing Stories: 24 to 1.

Okay, it gets worse

So I just got back from a four hour breakfast, which also turned into Lunch. Now that I can plug my computer back in on=line, I'd like to share Q's idea for his final soliloquy:

Look, Janie, I love you. And you need
to know some things about me. I'm a winged
serpent. I'm not the Goth rock star I painted
myself to be, and those weren't well done
fingernails, those were my claws.
And I'm not a high powered executive at Sears
and Roebuck, I just clean up the place at
night, and eat the occasional shoplifter. And I
didn't fight in the gulf war. I just snacked
on the dessicated corpses of both the Iraqi and
American dead. But I was hungry.
I was really, really hungry.
And yes, every once in a while I fly around
and kill and eat people, but I have to every
twenty one years, or I'll die.
And yes, relgious fanatics have sacrificed
babies and virgins to me, all of what your
friends said is true. I'm a 3000 year old
serpent monster, but I'm also
a mandragon, asking a girl to the prom.
I've never gone to a prom, they didn't have
proms 3000 years ago. And whereever I've
lived, I've been regarded as a freak,
and a winged serpent. But since you're
blind and all, I thought maybe you,
you, you might understand me. I promise
I won't ever eat you or anyone else you're
close to,but Janie, can I have this dance?

I changed this to:

You want to grab some coffee?
At least I got paid in advance

Friday, April 29, 2005

Since I've had a couple of drinks

I'm going to be a little more honest about my relation with Q, especially since a quick googling of my name came up blank in regards to this place. He's a cool dude and all, but half the reason why we're friends is because he's having me write a script for his comeback. I've already been paid five hundred dollars, and my brakes needed looking at, and this may get me in the WGA if his connections at Xenon are as strong as he says they are. We get together for breakfasts on Saturdays and Monday and Thursday nights for dinner. As long as he keeps picking up the bills, look, I know its vaguely whorish, but I can now honestly call myself a paid screenwriter.

His premise is that it's a relationship comedy about a Aztec God who joins up with a blind dating service and the wacky hijinks that ensue. When I told him my forte was writing Distaster films (I don't think I'd want to make movies if it wasn't for the run of mid to late 70's Universal disaster movies like Earthquake and The Hidenberg... when I moved out here I was forcibly removed from Universal Studios because I jumped off the tram on the Earthquake set. I stole some of the faux garbage though, which I've recently had bronzed with the last of my Q money) he said "that's perfect." Unfortunately he keeps asking me to tailor the female lead to Sandra Bullock, and I keep telluing him he'd be lucky to get Penelope Ann Miller. And where I favor a more abusrdist approach to the jokes, he keeps inserting humor that involves homosexuality. At one point he thought it'd be funny if the character he says he can get Richard Roundtree to play ends up buggering his character. I keep telling him man on serpent rape isn't funny, but he won't listen.


Living in Hollywood as I do, I've struck up some strange friendships. Who knew that one of my best friends in Hollywood would turn out be Q: The Winged Serpent? Fortunately Quetzalcoatl, who goes by Q, invested his earnings from the film and is now running a real estate business in Redondo. Q lent me his copy of Rebels on the Backlot, a book that is fun to read but makes Down and Dirty Pictures look like Easy Riders, Raging Bulls to Rebel's Dirty Pictures . Or, that is to say, it makes Down look like Slap Shot to Rebel's Vasectomy: A Delicate Matter.

I was reading about Fight Club, and I had a thought about the film I hadn't considered before. What if the narrator's real name is Tyler Durden? I don't know if it works, I haven't watched the film in that frame of mind, but it definitely makes sense without having watched it again. The idea of someone afraid of being who they really are. As if I needed an excuse to watch Fight Club again.


Is seeing Sandra Oh in a Wine bar ironic?

Second question, Rhetorical:

Is posing something aggrandizing as a question more or less aggrandizing than simply stating it?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I like this sentence

"Silkk the shocker could not be reached for comment."

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

My Fuzzy navel-time, sweet fuzzy navel-time.

Sam Fuller was born in 1912. He died in 1997. And he led a life to be proud of. Growing up, he worked selling newspapers, and graduated to the copy room. He moved up to cover stories, and got addicted to the buzz of the newsroom, and cigars. He covered murders, he covered executions, he covered robberies. He knew the underworld. He was a reporter first and foremost, and that sensibility carried through in all of his work. When America became involved in the Second World War, Fuller had to go, even though he was 30. He knew it was the story of a lifetime. He knew it was the story. In an already eventful life, his war experiences were the defining ones. To witness The Big Red One, one could almost think the war had just ended as it's remembrances are so fresh and vital. This is why Fuller is the filmmaker who captures war better than anyone else has before or since.

My grandfather, Leonard Kullman, was also a journalist. He went to Stanford University, and studied Journalism. He too heard the call of war and saw that it would be the place to get his big story. To make his name. He was also in his thirties. He left his wife Elsa pregnant, and went off to seek his fate. Kullman was also Jewish (though I don't think Sam was). What separates Sam from Leonard is a bullet.

My mother Ellen never met her father, and was raised by my grandmother, who came from Denmark and had no other family here, and by Leonard's mother. There have been some comments from my mom to suggest she left Denmark under some controversy. (parenthetical paragraph: Sufficed to say we Houxes have never had much contact with her side of the family, and with my father's father an army man [who married a Japanese woman after my grandmother died before I was born], the Houx family that I know of is remarkably small, with only an aunt and her children as my extended family.) My Grandmother also had my mother when she was 40. A household of old women. A household of widowed women. Without knowing his presence, my grandfather's ghost has long been hovering over my mother. The older I get, and the more I understand human psychology, it's not hard to see how much emotional damage, and how much longing my mother had for her father.

And so I return to Fuller, and not just because I am to write about The Big Red One this week. I have been a devotee of Fuller's ever since I discovered his work through an eventful college screening of Shock Corridor. This though is less poetic: I was dating a girl who like smoking pot (not the first or last), and as a not so experienced pot smoker, to lubricate my evening with her we smoked something that might be labeled the Chronic. It caused my vision to strobe, me to throw up and pretty much go insane, floating in that cloud of euphoria and panic and tapped memories that would become more familiar with later less pungent use. The next day I was still high and could barely function so I watched the films I had rented, Goldeneye, and Shock Corridor. Though in subsequent viewings the metaphorical content of Shock Corridor was more prevalent, and though I got that aspect of the film on first viewing, the film seemed to tap into my subconscious and suggest that I too was going insane. I felt like the film understood my insanity. This is, of course, the exact sort of lame bonding experience story one expects 19 year olds who get high simply so can they get laid to tell, but it's my story nonetheless.

After that it was on to Pickup on South Street, The Naked Kiss, Underworld USA, and The Big Red One. That was pretty much all that was available of his at the time, but persistence and time working at a video store - mixed with an awareness of grey market bootleggers - lead me to see all but one of Fuller's films. Many are masterpieces: Fixed Bayonets, Merrill's Marauders, the one's listed above, while Forty Guns is a camp classic of its kind (though modest, I must admit modest); if I make a list of my top directors, it's long been these five: Jean Renoir, Howard Hawks, Fuller, Jean Pierre Melville and Akira Kurosawa. As for that last film, mind you, it's not that I can't find it (though I did some TV Guide Scanning for months to find some of the titles), heck I even started watching it one day. The final film I haven't seen is his first film, I Shot Jesse James. But Sam Fuller is dead, and I now own it and I hold on to it as a good luck charm. Whenever I hit a low that I'll need some help out of, I've reserved it as my payoff. Or perhaps when I hit some high, I achieve something in my life of great import, I will watch it. Until then it's locked in my cinematic wine cellar.

But to tie this whole thing into a neat little bow, as I've essayed earlier, Fuller's life parallels my grandfather's. I put no real sense of meaning into this - I don't think I'm psychologically drawn to Fuller's work because of that tenuous connection, but I've noticed that it's there. And this lvoe of Fuller has little to do with my mother, she was never as into movies as I was, and I normally made her watch films more than vice versa (to wit I helped her devise a syllabus for a film class she taught that was heavy on the Hawks), and I don't think I've ever shown her a Fuller film. I would think Fuller's work would bear heavier on her, and yet I have no idea if she's been exposed to it. My appreciation of Fuller can be read as simply that; he's long been regaled as a cinematic good to great (though not as highly canonized as I have, but then one's favorites are rarely the "best"), and he's the sort of director I think young turks such as myself, who wish to make movies, have to love. I suggest this whole thought process as an interesting factoid of my life. Though if I was a character in a story, its relevance would surely be teased out. I think that's because that sort of analysis works better on movies than people.

The Site I write for got plugged in a trailer for a movie I didn't care for...

Hey, I'm happy for fellow staffer Dawn Taylor. I just wish I thought the film was worth a shit.

Crunk for Jesus?

God: What's going down, my (expletive deleted)?
Damon: Not much. I called you back last night and got the machine?
God: Yeah, I went with the boys for some drinks.
Damon: Jesus didn't do his water for wine bit?
God: He can't turn my sprite into a Jack and Coke, if that's what you mean. Jesus got really drunk and started Karaoeking. Is that a word?
Damon: It is now.
God: Yeah, he was doing some Usher. Moses still thinks it's funny to do a Lil' John impression.
Damon: Yeah? Yeah?
God: Yeah.
Damon: Yeah.
God: We could do a stand up routine you and me, we could across the globe. I swear people would laugh.
Damon: So how you doing?
God: Same old, same old. That picture of Cuthbert, it's fake.
Damon: Damnit.
God: Thanks for E-ing it to me though.
Damon: No problem.
God: No I mean seriously, my spam filter is bad enough as is. Why would I want to break rocks with my cock? Why would I want cum guzzling whores who'll do anything? I'm God. If it was me specific spam, maybe, but this just sucks. My ironic appreciation of it... is over.
Damon: Aight, well, you're the expert, so I just wanted some help.
God: No, I know. Next time just link a God, would you?
Damon: Fair enough.
God: I gotta run, Lot just called.
Damon: Later.
God: Peace, and I'm out.

Monday, April 25, 2005

The dirtiest thing I will put on this here blog

Dunno Posted by Hello I can't tell if this is faked or not. Strobe lights, and blown speakers. Fireworks and hurricanes. I'm not here. This isn't happening.

God read ROTS, and ROTS don't plotz

God: What it is my main man?
Damon: Just working.
God: You want me to call back?
Damon: Nah, I'm cool for a bit.
God: I read the Revenge of the Sith screenplay this weekend.
Damon: I'm sorry.
God: Yeah. Jesus Bit-Torrented it for me. Like, I know stuff is illegal, and all, but whatever, I'm God. I could materialize it if I wanted. But he printed it out on the laser printer, and it was sitting there, so I couldn't help it, if I wanted to.
Damon: You couldn't help it, even if you could?
God: Michael Jackson reference, NICE.
Damon: NICE.
God: Why the fuck do still care about this stuff, Damon. I don't get it. It's shit, man, let it go.
Damon: Fair enough. I just, I guess it's the whole "He got to make the movies he wanted to make with no interference and yet he ruined it with his indifference" factor, which is tied into the whole "there are people who will love these movies regardless of their quality" factor, which isn't a real complaint, but it irks me nonetheless - I guess because there was something to love in there originally, and to have no taste, I find... I hate saying offensive, but perhaps aesthetically offensive. But realistically this is as close as cinema has come to creating it's own mythology, and he's ruined it. Maybe I'll feel better when the original cuts hit DVD, if ever.
God: You've been beating this drum longer than a Jon Bonham solo.
Damon: I guess it's the geek factor, it's the movie EVERYBODY can talk about because all film people and most regular people have opinions on it. . You can't have prolonged conversations about 2046, or Destry Rides Again for that matter. Or even Roadhouse.
God: "I used to fuck guys like you in prison"
Damon: Thanks?
God: So when are you seeing it?
Damon: Some coworkers want to go, so I guess opening day. Otherwise, I think I'll wait for DVD.
God: Really?
Damon: Yeah. I'm not going to bend I don't think.
God: Fair enough.
Damon: Call me tonight, I should be home later.
God: Cool. PEACE!
Damon: Peace out, G.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Well, I talked about it so much

Andrzej Wajda: Three War Films

Blood, sweat and teardrops, though not so much with the teardrops or blood. Or sweat, really.

Getting through the Primer commentaries. So good. Such a good little movie. Otherwise, today was mostly kept at home and that's what I needed. I've been out most nights this week. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and last night. Guh. I should get home at a reasonable hour tomorrow, so that's nice. And I should be getting The Big Red One The Restoration cut Wednesday/Thursday. Good week.

John Patterson, please go and fuck yourself,12830,1468309,00.html

This is one of the most wrongheaded thought processes on film preservations that could be reckoned. Yes, the director's cut is an abused privledge, and I don't have to point any farther than The Animal UE or The New Guy DC to make my point. But, Patterson please, what crack pipe must you have hit to not want to see a director's vision restored when it was obviously tinkered with by studio heads? Unless, as seems obvious, you have no idea what you're talking about.

You can't suggest there should be a pick and choose method for what gets restored, and you certainly shouldn't be talking out of your ass about a film that has long been rumored to have four hours and was chopped in half. Please, please, for the love of god, don't open your mouth on this subject again. The world is already filled with too many people talking loud and not saying anything. You deserve a spanking.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

"The monologue is his preferred mode of communication"

Isn't that a line from David Cronenberg's Videodrome? Isn't that the way of the world now? It seems all my friends have blogs of one form or another. A nation of voyeuristic narcissists we've become (Yoda speak, I apologize). When will the president have a blog? What president will have had a blog at one point and abandoned it? Will it get unearthed and we'll find that the future would be president wrote about wanting to fuck Britney Spears or how he ran into Welsey Snipes and smoked a bowl with him? Hopefully an asteroid will hit before that happens.

What's shakin', God

God: Hey, what's up, Damon?
Me: Not much, just watching this Wadja set.
God: My favorite is Ashes and Diamonds.
Me: Really, I'm more a Kanal man myself.
God: I get more shout outs in A&D.
Me: That you do.
God: Hey good work on that thing.
Me: Thanks. You mean (explitive deleted)
God: Yep. There was some funny shit on that.
Me: Thanks.
God: You see they're making a Land of the Lost movie?
Me: Yeah, what the fuck is up with that?
God: I'm really rethinking the whole "free will" stuff.
Me: Fair enough.
God: I mean seriously. Why don't they just redo Lidsville while they're at it.
Me: You see that trailer for Bewitched?
God: I KNOW. Jesus.
Me: It sucks.
God: No I meant my son, his cell went off... You wanna hear something lame?
Me: Sure.
God: His cell phone sound is the theme song to Facts of Life.
God: I know.
Me: I think I saw every episode of that.
God: How you been?
Me: Fine. I bought the box set of Friday the 13th yesterday and I don't know why.
God: Yeah, that's sort of silly. I mean the only good one in the set is four.
Me: I just, there wasn't anything else I was jumping at.
God: Well, you got Primer this week, right?
Me: Of course.
God: I've seen that like, well, I've seen it an infinite number of times now. What a clever little film. I wish they could goose the soundtracka bit though.
Me: It was a miracle they could do that for seven grand.
God: No, a miracle is that Joel Schumacher got work after Batman and Robin.
Me: It made money.
Me: I'm just saying.
God: I was talking real miracles.
Me: What?
God: Yeah, Jesus was a big fan of D.C. Cab, so I hooked it up.
Me: So what are you up to today?
God: Just watching some sports.
Me: I've got finish up this review, and then... I dunno, Primer maybe. I've got a party to go to, but it's been a long week.
God: Sounds like a plan.
Me: Yeah, I'm feeling like a homebody tonight.
God: You might get laid...
Me: There is that.
God: You should get a haircut.
Me: I know I'm so shaggy.
God: Well, I'll leave you to it.
Me: Thanks.
God: Peace.
Me: Later.

Friday, April 22, 2005

And then twenty minutes later

Me: (weak) Yes?
God: Face? Benedict? Dirk Benedict played Face on the A-Team.
Me: So?
God: That was fucking clever. Give it up, Damon.
Me: I had just gotten back to sleep, G.
God: Fine.

God is a right fucker

5:30 am, my phone rings.

Me: (weak) Hello?
God:Oh my me, can you believe who they chose for the new pope?
Me: What time is it? It's still dark out.
God: Time is meaningless, Damon.
Me: You know I got to be late last night, G, it's (looks at clock) Five thirty in the morning.
God: So?
Me: Why didn't you call me at work, or at least wait until my alarm went off.
God: How do you know I didn't have something important to tell you. I am God, you know.
Me: I know, but you know I had two beers before I went to sleep.
God: Two?
Me: Three?
God: I'm not your mom, Damon... well I am in that God is everything and everywhere sense.
Me: Okay, so I had fifteen beers last night and six tequilla shooters... spread out over six hours, mind you.
God: And I saw you hitting on that girl too, she ain't even hot.
Me: And who's fault is that?
God: Touche.
Me: Look, I don't really care about Benedict.
God: Me either. FACE, Benedict.
Me: ...
God: All right I'll call you later.
Me: Thanks.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

This will say a lot about you

Some have said the Brain Bug from Starship troopers resembles a Vagina, others an Anus. Arguably it's a combination of both. Which you pick first.... says something. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The name of this Blog is Talking Heads

Well, close. Since I was 18 (eleven years... damn, maybe even longer), I named my would-be film company Erratic Productions (the slogan: Making inconsistancy the mark of quality), with a little graphic of an erratic heartbeat and usually the letters of erratic randomly capitilzed.

Mo Wadja, Mo Problems, Mo Better Blues

Working on the Wadja war trilogy for the DVD Journal. It's so much easier to write about crap, you shit out 500 words and that's that. Here you struggle to sound as interesting and smart as the material. Played poker tonight, playing poker tomorrow, got a party on Saturday night, have one out of the three discs watched, about 700 of 2000-3000 words written, and that's before edits and re-edits (which generally involves me going on my porch to read through what I wrote, pen in one hand and usually a cigar in the other). I guess if I think about it, this means I will be working on this much of Thursday evening and pretty much all of Friday night, and I'll have to leave the party as an option if it comes to that. I also have at least six errands to run between now and the Sunday due date, all of which have been medium to high priorities for a while, but couldn't be taken care of until today. Maybe I'll throw on KANAL in a moment and try and be productive. A month ago, I seemed to have all the time in the world, but my calendar is now filled with activity. Having read a couple blogs, I know that bitching about life is about as interesting as talking about cats, but oh well. I'm sure I'll be more clever tomorrow. At least Izo showed up on my doorstop when I got home from work.

I think the big thing I'm complaining about is that I'd like to sit back, crack a beer and watch The Driver, which has become a big favorite of mine of late, something I've wanted to watch twice within the course of three months (way rare these days, when I watch more and more films once and either sell or file away). I may have time for that next week, or on Sunday, but then I look at the stack on the top of my TV, and think about how I was trying to buy both Primer and Kagemusha today, even though I still haven't made time for the Criterion versions of My Own Private Idaho, The River, or Velvet Goldmine. Or, for that matter, the copy of Greenfish I got from a friend almost two years ago and is still on the top of my TV. That's though the way I roll, I guess.

But, as I always say, having too much time and not enough time on your hands is the exact same thing. I just wish I didn't need around eight hours of sleep a night.

For Scott S.

This makes me think of a lot of things Posted by Hello

Considering how much writing I do already...

The smart thing to do is, of course, start a fucking blog. Oh well.