The Morning Read (1.12.09)

01.12.09 9 years ago 4 Comments

Vertigo Films

Aaaaaand we’re back. Everyone’s talking about the Globes this morning…

… so let’s not.  Instead, let’s see what else is going on out there.  It’s actually one of the best morning reads I’ve had since HitFix went online, and there’s a lot to cover.

At Ain’t It Cool, Quint wrapped up his AMAD column last week, and now he’s got some very special guests coming in to contribute their own AMAD columns for him.  First up?  Edgar Wright, serious hardcore no-shit film nerd.  He’s watching three movies a day right now, and he decided to review “Virgin Witch”.  It’s really… quite remarkable:

“That said, the stream of sure to be Satanist perverts can hardly be accused of undressing the Michelle sisters with their eyes, as the ladies themselves strip off in every other scene. A drinking game that could prove fatal to your liver would involve taking a shot every time Ann Michelle takes her shirt off, takes her knickers off or has a shower with the curtain open. It’s every five minutes for the 85 minute duration. Pretty much the remainder of the film is made up of stripping, showering, Satanism and slavering extras.

This is where the film gets into its sleazy groove, coming off like a Benny Hill episode directed by David Lynch, with a legion of sinister dirty old men and women frothing at the mouth at our nubile leads. Albeit without the speeded up sexual harassment or comedy sound effects to accompany.”

Another great read is over at Patton Oswalt’s MySpace blog, where he wrote about his newly-realized love for all things Statham:

“Jason Statham has never been in a great movie.

He’s also never been in a boring one.

Statham’s profile, collectively, is a promise to you, the weary filmgoer. It’s a promise that says, ‘I promise that you will not FOR ONE SECOND be bored during one of my movies. You won’t learn shit about the human condition, or feel a collective connection with the brotherhood of man. But if you give me $10, I will fuck an explosion while a Slayer song plays.'”

It appears that Devin at CHUD is still Star Trekkin’.

Todd at Twitchfilm just posted the trailer for Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Bronson,” which just leapt onto the list of stuff I absolutely have to see at Sundance:

And if you check out Todd’s full article, you can also see the equally-cool teaser trailer for the movie.

The compelling and beautiful site The Art Of The Title has a great feature up right now on Tarsem’s “The Fall,” which may well have been the most striking opening title sequence of last year.  The feature includes an interview with Stefan G. Bucher, who designed the sequence.  Fantastic as always.

Roger Ebert, whose voice just keeps getting sharper and sharper, wrote a lovely piece about the private rituals he observes when he travels:

“I am often accompanied on my ritual visits, but just as often I go alone. Sometimes Chaz will say she’s going shopping, or visiting a friend, or just staying in the room and reading in bed. ‘Why don’t you go and touch your bases?’ she’ll ask me. I know she sympathizes. These secret visits are a way for me to measure the wheel of the years and my passage through life. It is not that I do not love my wife or my friends, and want to be with them. It is that sometimes on this amazing voyage through life we need to sit on the deck and regard the waves.

I first visited the Moscow Arms near Pembridge Square in 1970, when the room fee at the hotel now named the Blue Bells was £4 a night. I have never met anybody in that pub. I always sit in the same corner booth. There is a man who comes in every lunchtime, tattooed, bald, and wearing a motorcycle jacket. He is nearly 40 years older now, but he is still there, and it looks like it’s still the same jacket. Has he noticed me crossing his field of vision 50 or 75 times in his lifetime? Certainly not. But if he still comes at lunchtime every day, it is my duty to bear witness, because by now I have become the only person in the Moscow Arms who knows how long he has been doing this, or cares. I believe this includes him.”

Back when I was first publishing AICN Comics reviews on Ain’t It Cool, they were provided by a really decent guy named Andrew, who wrote under the “Grayhaven Reviews” name.  Haven’t heard from him in a while, until very recently when he e-mailed to tell me that he has a new blog, but that it’s very different.

Now, his seven-year-old son Liam reviews new comic books, and the kid’s a natural.  I love reading reviews written from the perspective of the exact reader that a comic book is supposed to appeal to in the first place.  I’ve got this one bookmarked now, and I’ll be heading back to check it out often.

Finally today, a piece by the great Dennis Cozzalio.  If you don’t read his blog, Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, you should.  It’s good stuff, consistently.

Today, the fine folks over at The House Next Door have republished an older article of his, and it’s a spectacular read about a subject that really pushes my buttons, the “guilty pleasure.”  I maintain there’s no such thing, that I don’t feel guilt for liking the films I like.  I think that’s a position I evolved to, though, and Cozzalio’s piece makes some really phenomenal points.  Be warned, this is an epic read, and I’ll leave you with a fat quote to chew on as you get on with your morning:

“Patchy details of Liszt’s life are intermingled with phantasmagorical musings on the roots of nationalistic evil-Wagner, Liszt’s chief rival, is depicted as a literally vampiric predator who claims Liszt’s daughter and whose Aryan musical ideals come lumbering to life in the form of a Hitlerian Norse god of a Frankenstein’s monster. When Russell tires of this theme, he flits off and indulges his predilection for treacle or otherwise clumsy sketches-Liszt’s romantic longings are cast anachronistically in the iconography of a silent Chaplin comedy, and the movie opens with an tryst interrupted by a jealous husband that devolves into pixilated parody of silent-era swashbuckling action. And then there’s the real showstopper, a one-of-a-kind sequence of grandiose sexual panic that encapsulates the movie’s recurrent phallic iconography-Liszt’s insatiable appetites and incumbent paranoia fuel a Busby Berkeley-inspired musical number beginning with our hero being engulfed in a massive vagina and culminating in his sprouting a nine-foot erection, which is promptly straddled and danced upon by a bevy of wild-eyed, high-stepping dance hall girls… just before it’s inserted into a guillotine.”

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