It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, sans The Tooth Fairy, that offer proof. /Film’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a new trailer for a provocative indie, a mini review, or an interview…
For all of the world’s fireplaces used to stack skateboard videos and DVDs, it’s increasingly strange how few, if any, feature films exist to directly reflect the ubiquity of the sport and lifestyle in pop culture. The new indie film, Machotaildrop, might be the only across-the-board example. Not only does it have a skateboarder named Walter (played by skater/actor Anthony Amedori) as its main character, the movie’s plush fantasy world serves as a metaphorical backdrop for a modern skater’s journey from passionate amateur to paid-and-jaded pro. After Walter is recruited to the hedonistic dream estate of a major skateboard corporation called Machotaildrop, he’s soon ordered by its shady overseer, The Baron, to tour the base of an outlaw skater gang called the Manwolfs. Herein lies a moral dilemma and awakening: help Machotaildrop establish its kooky skater theme park on the Manwolfs’ sacred turf and “fulfill the dream.” Or bail.
Machotaildrop is already stirring curiosity online for its attractive cinematography and for surreal imagery that evokes the prim-and-proper stylings of Wes Anderson, the offbeat humor of Spike Jonze, and the acid-tab abstraction of Alejandro Jodorowsky. Accessible to fans of those directors, Machotaildrop still glows with the esoteric yet stonerish attitude synonymous with a lot of skate culture. Veteran and current pro’s like Steve Olson (as a baker-skater) and Rick McCrank (as a snobbish, injured icon) get laughs in supporting roles and the plot lends itself to well-shot bouts of skate tricks. I interviewed writers/directors, Corey Adams and Adam Craig, about what they wanted to accomplish, their film’s themes, and all of the skater-and-cineaste history that inspired it. Trailer and images included after the jump.
Hunter Stephenson: We are seeing skate video culture assimilated into indie films more and more, as seen in the work of directors like Spike Jonze and Jody Hill. Do you agree? And what discussions did you and Alex have before making the film in regard to contributing to this cinematic/cultural bridge?
Corey Adams: Well the one discussion we kept having was that we didn’t want the film to look anything like a skateboard video, that all the skateboarding we shot in the film was done so in a way that it didn’t over glorify it. No wide angle lenses or handheld shots—except for some of the skateboard video elements, which we had no control over as it was all actual footage from the kid.
Alex Craig: Even though we both come from a skateboarding background, it was always our intention to approach this project cinematically as opposed to using skate video conventions. I think it would have been foolish to try and recreate a skate video vibe in the film mainly because it wasn’t appropriate to our idea but also because we could never do it justice. We wanted the film to stay in a farcical world.
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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, sans The Tooth Fairy, that offer proof. Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a new trailer for a provocative indie, a mini review, or this…
Variations on the utterance, “I wish there was something to do,” number in the hundreds to thousands daily in New York City. It’s a minor grumble that can be overheard even as many a boredom-stricken city dweller is in a bout of multi-tasking worthy of a wintery-layer-obsessed Inspector Gadget. These frequent sentiments both ignore and are at the source of the unbridled creativity occurring around them: somewhere in the city, people are launching unrelated search-and-destroys on boredom in new ways. In the case of a determined 20something actor and filmmaker named Zachary Oberzan, it was via a feature-length adaptation of First Blood…set entirely in a 220-square-foot Manhattan apartment and starring himself as roughly two dozen male and female characters. The resulting film—which cost $96, was made over seven months, and was edited by Oberzan in Final Cut Pro—is called Flooding with Love for the Kid.
In the role of iconic Vietnam vet John Rambo, Oberzan ostensibly fought the law and the law won. Which means Oberzan still won, because they are one in the same and so forth. In a superlative scene in Flooding, Oberzan is show on screen as six different armed men firing shotguns at Rambo in a display of deliberately amateur but charming effects. That the scene, like most of the film, is set deep in a Kentucky wilderness conveyed by makeshift twigs and grimy urban brick should be a lame or childish sight to the grown viewer. Instead, the scene is genuinely suspenseful, partially due to the claustrophobic restraints, and packs just enough Dogme-esque realism to earn a smile. Flooding is currently a subject of fun chatter in NYC, and has even been intensely praised by Rambo’s creator, First Blood author David Morrell.
Unlike Sylvester Stallone‘s 1982 classic actioner, Oberzan made use of Morrell’s original ending, in which Rambo and the relentless sheriff on the hunt for him both die. /Film chatted with Oberzan about the multiple meta meanings at the heart of Flooding‘s faithful conclusion and about many other aspects of his memorable, irony-free creation. A clip from the film and the interview after the jump…
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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, sans The Tooth Fairy, that offer proof. Weekend Weirdness cocks its disoriented head to examine such flicks, whether it’s a new trailer for a provocative indie, an interview, or a mini review.
In this installment: a look at the new DVD Know Your Mushrooms, a breezy doc on fungi, of the magic variety and otherwise, with music by The Flaming Lips; the latest news on The Human Centipede, the increasingly nefarious, pukey ass-to-mouth horror flick now officially on its way to the States; an NYC public access DVD from Beastie Boys‘ pal Ricky Powell; a Brooklyn premiere party, a Michael Cera music video, and more! Btw: The above family portrait, inspired by my number one film of 2009, Observe & Report, is the latest work in a series by artist and /Film fave Kirk Demarais. …Buy it so I can steal it and cruise to Mexico blasting Little River Band’s “Help Is On Its Way” in a raffle convertible.
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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, sans The Tooth Fairy, that offer proof. Weekend Weirdness cocks its disoriented head to examine such flicks, whether it’s a new trailer for a provocative indie or an interview. In this installment: An exclusive trailer for TV Carnage‘s Let’s Work it Out and a chat with its ski-masked creator, Pinky; an equally cool chat about movies and Hollywood with The Arab Parrot, one of our favorite people and photographers out there capturing bleary eyed L.A. and N.Y.C. culture.
In college, it was unwritten law that a house party wasn’t worthy of House Party unless you woke up and stumbled past a TV turned upside down in a puddle of fluids as it resiliently played a TV Carnage DVD. Such DVDs were the new late night color test for stupid-smart wasteoids, an aughts cult sensation that arrived in the shape of legit packaging and artwork with names like Casual Fridays and A Sore For Sighted Eyes. All anyone knew, or cared to know, was that the DVDs were the obsessive, homemade works of a guy named Pinky; a person who didn’t seem to grasp “copyright” while composing and editing hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of bad TV/VHS into hilarious masterworks of sublimation.
As TV Carnage’s popularity grew, the signature ski mask of Pinky was lifted. An online search today will inform that Pinky is Derrick Beckles, the filmmaker and actor whom /Film readers might recognize from Truth Campaign commercials. One of the founders, alongside Gavin McInnes, of the irreverent Brooklyn site, Street Boners and TV Carnage, Beckles recently directed a music video for the song, “No You Don’t” by the band Islands. It just so happens to star TV Carnage mega-hearter Michael Cera. With his latest DVD, Let’s Work It Out, due mid-January, TV Carnage is going full-cardio. Imagine the neon sweat from ’80s work-out videos by celebs ranging from John Travolta to O.J. Murderer blasted into a hall of mirrors, sucked into a syringe, and then stabbed into your brain’s abdomen. Beckles chatted with /Film and exclusively gave us the first trailer. It’s all splattered below for your weekend enjoyment.
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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, sans New Moon, that offer proof. Weekend Weirdness cocks its disoriented, nappy head to examine such flicks, whether it’s a new trailer for a provocative indie, a review, or news of an excavated cult classic. The works discussed herein tend to make cinema a little more interesting, and in the best and worst cases do the same for life. In this installment: Final Flesh is a real life Videodrome with porn actors from the co-creator of Wonder Showzen; Dirty is the forthcoming, surprisingly solid doc on the late Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard; [adult swim]‘s Aqua Teen Hunger Force plops out a spicy Meatwad of a Xmas album, and more, G. The “G” is courtesy Nic Cage’s bad lieutenant.
Nearly a decade after he worked as a writer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien, the career of Vernon Chatman continues its fascinating flush-parade down and around comedy’s perverse bowels. With a new film, Final Flesh, he subverts the acting prowess of real life porno D-listers to match the success of his respected twists on tween teevee (MTV’s Wonder Showzen) and low-rent, fantasy animation (Xavier: Renegade Angel). The irony is that even though the DVD for Final Flesh arrived at my door with a tie-in golden condom packet filled with antibacterial lotion, Chatman ostensibly kept his hands clean of the filth. Flesh is what resulted after he commissioned four online companies that produce adult movies from scripts submitted by paying customers. Instead of sending the companies various scenarios too obscene for Roller Girl, Chatman’s screenplays mostly ditch sex in favor of a murky end days subplot complete with an Atomic Bomb.
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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, sans New Moon, that offer proof. Weekend Weirdness cocks its disoriented, nappy head to examine such flicks, whether in the form of a new trailer for a provocative indie, a review, or news of an excavated cult classic. The works discussed herein tend to make cinema a little more interesting, and in the best and worst cases do the same for life. In this installment: a doc on Norwegian black metal; a doc on the first Asian member of the Black Panthers; a forgotten Dennis Hopper outlaw flick from Down Under; and a dumb-catchy rap song from the Sudan about movies, birds and popcorn.
With the possible exception of Forever21-styled country music a la Taylor Swift, no other music genre is as stigmatized and sensationalized by acts of church burning and murda as Norwegian black metal. The documentary, Until the Light Takes Us, is a dedicated and almost clinical look at how Norway’s black metal scene was permanently transformed—and magnified—in the early ’90s by what are now infamous acts of violence and rebellion.
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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, sans New Moon, that offer proof. Weekend Weirdness takes a look at such films, whether it’s via a new trailer for a provocative indie, a mini-review, or news of an excavated cult classic. The works discussed herein tend to make cinema a little more interesting, and in the best cases do the same for life or at least a blown weekend.
The year, 2009, delivered a number of knockout documentaries that were better made and more meditative than their premises let on. For over a year, The Rock-afire Explosion has popped-and-fizzled on my radar, until a screener finally arrived in the mail last week underneath a hate letter from my ex, Sallie Mae. Pop Candy’s Whitney Matheson—a cool guest on the /Filmcast—also received one, a screener that is, and she promptly called Rock-afire the best film of the year for a documentary or otherwise. I wouldn’t go that far, but Rock-afire Explosion makes for true-life entertainment every bit as tasty as a slice and a cold beer to a divorced, thankless, balding dad tolerating a Showbiz Pizza in the late ’80s. In other words, this isn’t some Chuck E. Cheese shit.
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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are all thankful for movies, new and old, that offer proof. After the jump, we’ll examine trailers stuffed with images and ideas so nuts they could make a turkey turn crimson. For example, one for the new independent film, Black Devil Doll, about a murderous black power enthusiast who is deep-fried in prison, only to return by way of Quija Board in the shape of an anthropomorphic, horny dummy. I’ve seen the film. It exists and belongs behind bars. Also discussed are Gone With the Pope (horribly awesome trailer of oh nine?), the new in-flight, creature feature Altitude, and Hausu, the wacky Japanese cat-horror classic being blessed by Janus Film/Criterion.
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