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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies that offer proof. Slashfilm’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a premiere for a provocative indie, a mini review, or…the Boosh!

“We were going to do [a tour of America],” Noel Fielding admitted to an enthused, sold-out crowd last weekend at the 92Y Tribeca in NYC. “But then my hat caught fire.” Fielding’s voice during the last bit softened into the feigned shyness typified by the London hipsters and rockstars The Mighty Boosh has expertly razzed through the aughts onward.

There was a waft of irony to their appearance in the city, since fans had come to the venue, not to see The Boosh perform, but to watch a new doc entitled Journey of the Childmen about their 2008/2009 tour in the UK. Tickets for two exclusive screenings actually sold out before it was announced online that The Boosh would be attending. Their presence resulted in a unique pop culture snapshot; here was a dedicated fanbase and two of the most original British comedians working today, all parties aware of the gap in mainstream crossover awareness outside the screening room. And in minutes, the former would be watching the latter perform to a 12,000 person arena many miles away.

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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies that offer proof. Slashfilm’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a premiere for a provocative indie, a mini review, or…GAH, bugs!

When I learned of Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, a documentary on the profitable Japanese subculture and love of insect collecting, my inner capitalist gave a high five to my slouching indie purist. A press release for the film highlighted a $57 rainbow beetle, the film’s website teased the recent $90,000 sale of a single specimen. Those nuts. I envisioned the film as an educational PBS special. Lots of well narrated close-ups on creepy-crawlies inside plastic containers, stacked high and labeled brightly, in bustling specialty shops. And the film begins like so.

At start, we see a young Japanese boy in a shop captivated by a “Kokasasu beetle!” and he shouts “Oh…I want it!” A hovering guardian suggests he’s likely short on cash. He counts his change, eventually settling on a beetle $10 cheaper. Later we see a group of young Japanese bug enthusiasts at home, referring to their hefty pet horn beetles as “kids” and dropping them into a “cage” to battle. Satisfied for a moment, they quickly stomp upstairs to examine more “kids,” and bypass the family dog. The dog looks bewildered. Outdated. But cute market-centric scenes like these make up only a small part of the film. Unexpectedly meditative and adorably hypnotic, Beetle Queen aspires to link the broad presence of bugs in Japanese culture from their role in popular video games to ancient religion; connecting fireflies to symbols of unrequited romance, dragonflies to symbols of the samurai.
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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies that offer proof. Slashfilm’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a premiere for a provocative indie, a mini review, or a look at a book on a filmmaker’s life.

Any self-respecting male should take a few moments each year to look to the life of Dennis Hopper for inspiration, and this doesn’t include watching the Hollywood renaissance man hold down his crazy button in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 or laughing in a haze at his hunt for candy in Thailand between ping pong bouts on Fishing with John. There are numerous reference books and movie history tomes available to familiarize and refresh on the actor and filmmaker’s invaluable contributions to film and counter culture. The latest is a coffee table book published by Rizzoli entitled Dennis Hopper & The New Hollywood that spans his acting career and allots a fair portion to his well-recognized black and white photography and personal art collection.

The timing of the release is ideal, seeing how last month Hopper was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in July his art work will be exhibited at the MoCA, marking the highly anticipated debut of new museum head Jeffrey Deitch. After the jump, I’ve included a few excerpts and cool page shots.

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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies that offer proof. Slashfilm’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a premiere for a provocative indie, a mini review of a film about a murderous nerd, or an interview.

Another week, another serial killer film. The British import, Tony, follows the fictional killer in its title—a Londoner who resembles a malnourished Milton from Office Space—across several days and several murders. It’s not uncommon for filmmakers to focus on a mass murderer to boldly address social undercurrents or the culture at large and newcomer Gerard Johnson is content to follow. In his interview with /Film, Johnson dismissed the horror genre altogether to describe Tony, preferring to call it a “social realist thriller” and referencing Alan Clarke, the late master of violent, blue collar English cinema (Scum, Made in Britain). But there aren’t many thrills in Tony.

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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies that offer proof. Slashfilm’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a premiere for a provocative indie, a mini review, or an interview straight outta Nilbog.

Since I last spoke with director Michael Stephenson for Slash, his documentary Best Worst Movie has continued to slime the world and gently ooze into the mainstream. Witnessing the steady expansion of buzz for the film—which sees Stephenson embrace his childhood role and cult status in the nonpareil B-movie of our generation, Troll 2, while seeking out his former cast mates—has been a lesson in DIY spirit and Drafthouse-lead modern geek networking.

The hard work of Stephenson, his wife Lindsay, and the doc’s main subject and muse, Troll 2 co-star George Hardy, paid off this month with a promising distribution deal. A new summer theatrical tour schedule has been announced, and a brand new Best Worst Movie trailer has been unveiled. Both are posted below. Weekend Weirdness decided it was a perfect, albeit busy, time to check in with Stephenson for an update. He was in the middle of pulling an all-night editing session on numerous, secret special features. Put on a goblin mask and a burlap sack. Stay away from the green icing. And read on.

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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies that offer proof. Slashfilm’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a SXSW premiere for a provocative indie, a mini review or an interview.

The new documentary, Dirty Pictures, opens with a shot of two old folks naturally sitting and chatting in good spirits. The man has a white beard, white hair, and is blessed with one of the longest eyebrow hairs I have ever friggin’ seen, white or otherwise. The man looks like a retired professor who has smoked many joints late at night at a chalkboard. Close. This is Dr. Alexander Shulgin, or Sasha for short, the chemist credited with discovering the mind-altering effects of MDMA or Ecstasy and lesser known psychoactive drugs numbering into the hundreds. Utterances like “I don’t like drugs that inhibit communication, like 2C-E…I mean MDE. …2-CI is good,” roll off his tongue like the drugs roll onto it. His wife, author Ann Shulgin, warmly backs him up with, “If you can’t make love on a drug, there’s something not quite right [with it].”

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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies that offer proof. Slashfilm’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a SXSW premiere for a provocative indie, a mini review or an interview. We just heard Robert Pattinson dies from being inside the WTC on 9/11 in his new classic Remember Me. Please email screengrabs.

Harmony Korine’s Trash Humpers has more in common with the irreverent filmmaker’s chicken-scratch collage book The Collected Fanzines than with his 2007 narrative Mister Lonely. Since it premiered unexpectedly at last year’s TIFF, speculation has persisted over whether or not Humpers contains anything resembling a traditional plot. The answer is a “no” complimented with beer-aided flatulence and the shattering of florescent light tubes. There is less plot and character development here than in the director’s experimental masterwork on fly-over-state human waste, Gummo. And stylistically, Humpers is less documentary-cum-social study and more like a nasty but minor freak-flag ode to “found” aesthetic; a film made to look like a VHS tape recorded by three giddy old people with destructive, and eventually murderous, tendencies.

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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies that offer proof. Slashfilm’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a New York premiere for a provocative indie, a mini review or an interview.

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