Friday, December 31, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Get Your War On has resurfaced.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
For those craving more metallic flavours, on February 7th, Motorhead return to the Vogue, and on February 13th, Cradle of Filth return to the Commodore! Ooh, the decadence...
Swans February 25th at the Rickshaw!
Somewhere sooner than that, I think, the Creaking Planks are having an anniversary gig, maybe with the participation of the Minimalist Jug Band and Petunia... more on that later! (I think it's separate from their January 1st gig at the Railway, but I might be wrong...).
...now I wonder if this new book will include Chris' old movie review columns from Forced Exposure...? Oh, by the way, his movie about heroin addicts as vampires is also worth a look...
Friday, December 17, 2010
I have nothing in particular to say about him, but for whatever its worth, my favourite Captain Beefheart songs are the early pop-blues stuff on Safe as Milk, andthe slow progression into the longer, jammier structures found on Mirror Man. I wore out Trout Mask Replica a long time ago and have set it aside for some future date; mostly these days when I spin Beefheart, it's Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller), or what original Bat Chain Puller demos can be found (there are some on an excellent comp called Dust Sucker that I highly recommend); or sometimes Doc at the Radar Station or Ice Cream for Crow. For some reason, the song of his that most gets stuck in my head is "I'm Gonna Booglerize You, Baby" off The Spotlight Kid. A unique human being, a major force in the world of music; my respects.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
*Or, I suppose, the solo variant, No Fun Alone on Drugs, which has even more bathos to it, no?
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Tonight, I finally got around to Inception.
A few thoughts: given the success of the movie, there clearly is demand for cinema-as-mindfuck experiences, so I can't quarrel with the film's complexity on the level of marketing; if the only question that matters is, will it sell?, clearly the answer is yes. Still, I was prone to wonder on more than one occasion if the complexity of the narrative - with its various sublevels of dreams, populated by "projections" of the subconscious of the dreamer - served more to obfuscate than enlighten; does Nolan want us to go away thinking about and discussing his film, or is he simply aware that the more impenetrable it is, the more times you'll have to watch it to figure out what's going on? There used to be an old t-shirt slogan that read, "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit;" I am not convinced that it does not apply in the case of Inception.
Secondly, so much is attempted by the film, narratively - deftly shifting between different "dream levels," where a host of characters are fighting multiple battles, or undergoing multiple crises, simultaneously - that the sheer density results in a feeling of rather incongruous tedium. One senses you're supposed to be sitting on the edge of your seat, but I was slouched back on the sofa, feeling numb. It was almost like watching the chase scenes in Spielberg's Minority Report, which are boring precisely because Spielberg never manages to make either the characters or the narrative significant to us; it's just another movie with footage of Tom Cruise being chased, yet more sound and fury signifying nothing. The only difference is, with Nolan's film, you have to work a whole lot harder to hold all the narrative threads together, while caring not a smidgen more... Add to this a related complaint, too, about the ridiculous amount of gunfire in the film - I personally have never even SEEN a gun in a dream, that I recall - and a brief whine about the excesses of contemporary special-effects cinema (it appears that anything is now possible in cinema, but that doesn't mean it's interesting) and you begin to get a sense of my boredom.
Thirdly, it was interesting that almost everything I did kind of like about Inception reminded me of William Gibson's Neuromancer. It would be probably be interesting to sketch out the parallels. More work than I intend to do, but I wonder if anyone else has gone there? (edit: yep). It comes closer to plagiarising Gibson than any other film I'm aware of.
All that said, I actually enjoyed Inception more than anything Nolan has done since Memento. There does seem to be some deeper meaning gotten at in the final sequences; while I still find the film noisy, cluttered, and excessive, I am almost prepared to believe that it is sincerely intended to be "about" something - that it has actual, useful CONTENT, in the suggestion at the end, say, that the film is about the fragility of human experience, with the rather nice image of "building a house on a cliff." Those who want to find things to think about in Inception - who are less skeptical than I that it's worth the effort - might find it a fertile starting point for something, and I must not begrudge them.
...Plus it's always nice to see Pete Postlethwaite in a film, even if he's badly underused...
However, for anyone who cares, I'd like to recommend a much, much better movie in which people enter other people's dreams - a rather delightful, archetypally-rich gem from the 1980's called Dreamscape, which I only discovered this year, picking it up on DVD simply because Max von Sydow was in it. (I'll watch anything Max appears in - hence Minority Report, by the way). It begins with an astonishing nuclear holocaust nightmare sequence that will resonate for anyone who grew up during the Cold War; it's very effective and politically rather bold, for a movie that is aimed at a relatively young audience:
The story involves a US President (Eddie Albert) who is plagued with nightmares of nuclear war. Dennis Quaid is an arrogant, cocky, morally naive but fundamentally virtuous young psychic, wasting his talents on picking winners at the track, who is brought in to help enter the President's dreams. Max von Sydow is the mostly benevolent scientist/ father figure who guides him. Christopher Plummer is the Deep Government spook who is horrified what peace will do to his business; David Patrick Kelly ("Warriors... come out to playyy-ayyy") is a rival psychic that Plummer is grooming for his own purposes. Kate Capshaw, the only wasted performance in the film, is a non-credible love interest. While the film does have an innocent cheesiness to it - a friend aptly described it as the sort of dreck he would have loved when he was 11 - it also has interesting ideas, which it is humble and engaging in presenting, as opposed to the noisy arrogance of Inception; if you can get over the naivete of having an anti-war American president (during the Reagan years, no less!), its politically quite acceptable, and I've no doubt that a Jungian with an interest in dreams (and hero's journey stories) could find much to say about the relationships between the various father figures and sons, in the film - Plummer and Kelly versus von Sydow and Quaid (tho' I won't attempt to further fake that perspective myself). And most significantly for a fan such as myself, Max von Sydow gives one of his most charming performances, from a period where he must have felt great delight at where his career was. Some of his monologues resonate directly against those about dreams in Tavernier's La Mort en Direct (aka Death Watch, the mutilated, shortened English language version), another under-seen gem of the 1980's (also featuring Harvey Keitel, Romy Schneider, and Harry Dean Stanton!). These are idea-rich science fiction films that I respect and love; Inception, while not without a few interesting aspects, is mostly just a noisy piece of commerce.
Mom didn't like it, either.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Shocking to say it, but while I am considering actually seeing a few shows in the city this weekend, I'm not sure the LGA will be one of them. Neither, I suspect, will be Chris Walter's booklaunch for Sins of the Poor at Funky Winker Beans, featuring Alcoholic White Trash and Aging Youth Gang (comprised of former members of Curious George and the Spores and... and, hm, also including Nick from Little Guitar Army. I guess he's going to have a busy night)! Good bands, and I've long been a supporter of Chris, but if I am lucky enough to be seeing live music in Vancouver on Saturday, I think it'll be the metal show at the Rickshaw,
featuring Fallen Decade, My New Enemy, Until Dawn, Theocide - who are pictured to the right, giving a very energetic and entertaining performance at one of the Maple Ridge church venues that rents out to live shows - and Without Mercy, whose CD I've been enjoying, but have never seen live. Like Arch Enemy, they're one of those metal bands whose singer - buffalo-throated and fierce - you would NEVER guess from the music is in fact female. I will be studying Ms. Alxs' larynx from the pit, trying to spy abnormalities that might make it possible for a woman to sound so goddamn tough. It must be at least LARGER than your average female's... I do not know how she does what she does without her throat exploding in a spray of blood.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Having returned to work, for the time being, means that I will be blogging less during the next few weeks. Various writing projects are in the works, but none for this site. I might try to stick up a Little Guitar Army poster for their gig this weekend... that's all I can think to do...
Oh, and Fake Jazzers will want to note that Ahna's album is in stores, but I haven't heard it, myself... and I don't really know if any Fake Jazzers still follow this blog...
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Vancouver's hairiest band, Bison BC, make another foray into the Biltmore on December 10th - the first gig there since a bandmember's injury, a few months ago, caused a cancellation to a show that I gather was sold out (lots of tickets still available for this one, I'm told). I have no idea if the Skinny website, which has mutated considerably, is still hosting my old Bison articles anywhere; portions of a couple of my conversations with the band, about Quiet Earth and Dark Ages, were edited together for Germany's Ox Fanzine a few months ago, but since the "complete piece" has never run in English, I've posted it on the Big Takeover website. Why the heck not - give the boys some more exposure worldwide. Listened to Dark Ages today on the train, actually. It's such a serious, moody, heavy and bleak album that I confess, while respecting it, that I seldom spin it, finding it actually a bit of a bummer; but there are some amazing songs on it no less (I'm particularly partial to the first two cuts, "Stressed Elephant" and "Fear Cave"). I think I'll only be able to see one final show before 2011, and I think this is going to be the one.
Unless it's a metal or a punk show in Maple Ridge... there was a very interesting one just last night...
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
That's when my alarm goes off. Which has nothing on last night, where my alarm went off as I was embracing a naked woman in a parking lot - she had just taken off all her clothes, prior to entering the compound of some cult I'd just left, and somehow I'd convinced her - naked and far too beautiful for one such as myself - to embrace me. My fingers were grazing the crack of her ass and I was wondering if I was going to have dream sex, when the goddamn clock commenced beeping...
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
The other woman I sent a message to was a young local woman who I thought I could have some entertaining online banter with, despite our obvious age differences - except I discovered on clicking "send" that she had filters in place blocking people older than a certain age. (Wouldn't it have been nice to have been told that before spending fifteen minutes composing a witty message?). I also checked on a few messages I sent last night, while online: two were read, and ignored; one was the classic "unread deleted;" and one remains unread, after 24 hours have passed.
I remain dateless. Maybe I should get cable?
Swans on February 25th, mind you... (wasn't Jim Sclavunos of Grinderman a Swan, once?*).
*Edited to add: not according to Wikipedia, he wasn't, but he WAS a member of early Lydia Lunch project 8 Eyed Spy, maybe even Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, as well as playing with Sonic Youth, The Cramps, and many other bands that matter. The project he leads, The Vanity Set, has a website here; article by Jim on Greek rebetiko music here. Hi, Jim!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
- There are repeated jokes about the Dennis Dun character's sexuality which seem to contribute on some unclear level to the thematic development of the film. Somewhat femme and bitchy in his manner, he dresses in a very flamboyant shirt in one scene, and sports gold chains; this has apparently given him a reputation that he gets kidded about, of being gay. He says at one point that he has a date with a fellow student, and Jameson Parker joshingly replies, "What's his name?" (or something like that). A similar joke occurs later, and then again, when he is trapped in a closet. He actually comments upon it - that he's in the closet - as if it's supposed to be significant, which it wouldn't be, unless you've been paying attention to the idea that he gets kidded about being gay. But what does any of this have to do with the reappearance of Satan on earth? Why is it even in the movie, if it's irrelevant?
- The most striking acts of violence in the film involve the penetration of the male body (the Alice Cooper bike impalement is particularly memorable).
- There is a female-female attack that gets mistaken for a lesbian come-on. There are also various scenes where men must struggle to avoid a sort of "kiss" - the mouth-to-mouth projectile of fluid that is the conduit of evil in the film; the most protracted struggles involve men avoiding the "kiss" of other men, lest they be contaminated.
- The changes that the female body undergoes in pregnancy are given horrific treatment, suggesting a primal fear of the female, almost on the level of Cronenberg's The Brood. The main possessed character - the chosen conduit of evil - swells as if pregnant, during her possession, though no literal birth occurs and the need for her to "appear" pregnant is otherwise unexplained - it is seemingly meant to resonate subtextually, not textually. Indeed, most of the female characters, with the exception of Lisa Blount (RIP), become possessed and have the most active role in bringing Satan into the world; both Satan's host and the "guardians" are female, which spells "women issues" to me...
- The only clear couple in the film, Jameson Parker and Lisa Blount, have a troubled dialogue about sexuality, with her having obvious trust issues. This ultimately forms one of the strongest narrative threads of the film - he is watching her, attracted, from the beginning of the film, and the resolution of the drama will entirely hinge on their relationship. Troubled heterosexuality is most definitely evident and significant to whatever the film is "about."
- In the final scenes - as Satan is trying to pull the anti-God through the mirror - in order to fulfill her role as a female, and rescue Parker from the evil-transmitting "kiss" of a black man, Blount has to sacrifice herself. This involves a plunge into the mirror, where she remains trapped. This leads to a very strange final scene - of a shirtless, sweaty ("beefcake-y") Jameson awakening from a nightmare to confront his own image in a mirror, which he reaches out for, as if his loved one might be in it; on the literal level, she actually IS trapped in the mirror, but there is a resonance to this image that goes well beyond the literal - of a man seeking his lover, or the truth of himself, in his "mirror image." It puts me in mind of similar motifs in Fassbinder's films of Querelle and Despair, both with (text-level) queer themes, in which men become obsessed with other men as "mirror images." In the final moments of the film, Parker is left alone with his mirror image, his hand about to "touch" his reflection's - almost as if he is "two men alone," one of whom - the one in the mirror - has a secretly female aspect.
- Alternately, we could say that in order for him to be "saved" as a man, he has to supress the female in him, which is what he is actually reaching out for - some lost aspect of his identity, his feminine side, demonized and "trapped," just as Satan has been trapped...
None of this really adds up, however, and it sure doesn't connect to all the talk of Tachyons, quantum physics and Christian secret societies, at least in any way that I can tease out now. I can only dig deep enough to find myself irritated by what I've found.
One thing I can say for sure: whether its queer or not, Prince of Darkness sure is one strange movie.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
(Already the malls of Maple Ridge are getting crowded...).
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
The other nice thing about spaghetti westerns is that it's a very cheap subgenre to plunge into. I picked up, for instance, a 20-movie DVD collection at a local Zellers, to find that about six of the movies on the set are presented in widescreen versions; they look like VHS transfers, and may be slightly cut, but they're still a lot better than I expected, given that the set cost $6.99. There's another box set by Mill Creek Entertainment with 44 Spaghetti Westerns packaged together, apparently including the film that Straight To Hell owes most to, Django Kill, and a Klaus Kinski film that I've read praised, And God Said to Cain. Most of them are doubtlessly pan and scan and a few are probably completely unwatchable, but if the same ratio of keepers-to-clunkers obtains, there's probably some great cinema-watchin' to be had here. (One note: read the Amazon reviews with caution, they've taken to tacking on reviews from OTHER box sets with completely different films). Zellers doesn't stock it, alas, nor London Drugs... maybe I could strike a deal with the devil and go shopping at the Coquitlam Walmart?
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
It was also very pleasing to hear people laughing at Straight To Hell Returns... Thanks to Tom for programming that one, too!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Yes, folks, it's a reminder to not miss one of the coolest movie double bills this city has seen, this weekend at the Vancity Theatre: Dennis Hopper's 1980 shot-in-Vancouver independent feature Out of the Blue and Alex Cox's Straight To Hell Returns (which I interview the director about below). Friday night's screening of the Hopper film will be introduced by Tony Bardach of the Little Guitar Army and the Pointed Sticks (who famously appear in the film, as discussed in my big interview with the band, here). There will be various treats and surprises, including door prizes. After Out of the Blue, also on Friday, I'll be introducing Straight To Hell Returns, again with a few treats and surprises. Those who can't be there on Friday are next best advised to come on Saturday, when a host of people involved in Out of the Blue will attend and share their recollections (meaning the second film will get off to a later start). For those who can't make either night, there'll be another screening of both films on Sunday! Arrive early (6:30pm?) for good seats, this could prove to be a popular event...!
Monday, November 08, 2010
Saturday, November 06, 2010
I did not understand what I was reading, at the time. I was, perhaps, 11 or 12. I understood that the doctor had given Howard some sort of drug, but I had no idea what. I asked my father, and he was able to identify - from seeing him on TV - the doctor as being one Timothy Leary. My father, never a drug user, then had to explain to me about LSD; I believe it was the first time I had heard of that drug - or of Leary.
Thursday, November 04, 2010
Imagine my surprise, then, to see, on what passes for a Maple Ridge gig poster, that one of the selfsame bands - not actually represented by the dude who emailed me, but who cares? - is actually PLAYING IN MAPLE RIDGE TOMORROW! (Or, to get technical, today, since it's after midnight - the gig is on Friday the 5th). They look to be pretty good, too - they're called Unleash the Archers, and you can access Youtube audio clips here (I selected their tune "Black Goat of the Woods" as the portal). While I tend more towards blackened, brutal, and/or technical death metal these days than the more melodic variety they seem to be into, the fact that I'll be able to SEE a death metal show without even having to catch a fucking BUS is delightful to me, and I have no doubt that in a live context, these songs will transform themselves from "pretty good" to "fucking awesome," as seems to happen. Also on the lineup are Without Mercy, Remove the Doubt, and Prophet Fulfilled. One of the guys from the very interesting, youthful local metal band Paradosis has been telling me I need to see Without Mercy, so I'm pretty happy about that.
I'm goin' to a metal gig at the Vineyard! Woo!
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Just so you know, the reunited 64 Funnycars will be playing a gig on Saturday, November 6 at the Railway Club. We had a great time playing a couple of short sets this past summer, but this gig is the real deal -- we'll be doing a full set this time around featuring more of those classics you've been trying to forget for 20 years...
Also playing are a bunch of our friends: a rare Vancouver appearance by Budokan (featuring Andrew Molloy and Graham Watson, ex-Bum) as well as Wilderness Years, a great Vancouver band, and the debut of Friday Night All-Stars (with Eric Lowe of the Funnycars on drums).
Should be a fun night and hope to see you there!
Websites if you're curious:
http://www.myspace.com/prettyvanillagroup (Friday Night All-Stars)
Saturday, October 30, 2010
This Sunday - Hallowe'en - a new, digitally retouched cut of Straight To Hell, dubbed Straight To Hell Returns, debuts in San Francisco. Cox will be present. I hereby pat myself on the back and smile. There is order in the universe, after all, and I have correctly perceived it. And now if all goes according to my wishes, thanks to the legwork of Quentin Tarantino, Miike Takashi, and other postmodern hipster filmmakers who delight in playing with the codes of cinema past, Straight To Hell Returns will be "discovered" as the fine entertainment it always has been and Cox will be heralded as an ahead-of-his-time genius.
Alex: Heh heh heh. It's better!
Allan: Well, there's more of Karl being tortured, so - yes!
Alex: There's quite a bit more of that - also Elvis Costello being tortured.
Allan: Did you have to get Zander Schloss' permission, to include more of the Karl-torture?
Alex: I don't think so, because I think the thing is, when they signed on, everybody who was involved agreed to make the movie, so whether the movie was 87 minutes long or 91 minutes long isn't relevant.
Allan: He always seemed so unhappy about being tortured and abused to such an extent.
Alex: I think so, but the thing is, because he agreed to do it - it's a bit like if you buy a car; you may be unhappy with it, but if it's still running, then... you're stuck with it, you know?
Allan: I've been trying to figure out the smaller things that have been added. Miguel's clogs, the torture scenes, the digital skeleton - that's all quite obvious. But it looked to me that you may have added some digital flies. Is that true?
Alex: Yes, there are digital flies. There are a lot of - you know, the flames and stuff coming out of the guns, and dust hitting the walls and stuff - a lot of it is digitally enhanced. But the skeletons, though - the skeletons in the car are digital skeletons, but the skeleton of the wolf and the skeleton of George are actually animated, in the old-fashioned way. They're model skeletons, like Ray Harryhausen.
Allan: And you did those especially for the new cut.
Alex: Yes! They were done by a guy named Webster Colcord, who specializes in skeletons - he has a whole web presence devoted to skulls and skeletons and flying skulls and all this stuff. (Not sure which site Alex is referring to, but here's Colcord's blog, showing varied bits of art and animation). He did the two animated skeletons with Ray Harryhausen's Jason and the Argonauts as his inspiration. Ray Harryhausen's like, 90 years old now - they had a party for him in London at the BFI...
Allan: Were you there?
Alex: No, I wasn't invited - I'm not really a special effects-y person, but do you know Phil Tippett? He's a CGI/ special effects/ monster guy from Berkeley, in California. He went, and he said a whole bunch of Harryhausen's surviving colleagues were there or sent messages, and Spielberg and Lucas recorded tributes to him and stuff, so it was pretty cool.
Allan: Wouldn't it have been cheaper and easier to go for CGI instead of stop motion? Did you deliberately choose stop motion?
Alex: Yeah, because I think what it is - the Collateral Image guys who did all the blood spurting and bullet hits and stuff - it's more interesting if people get to do stuff outside the norm. A lot of the work that special effects people do is to "try and make it look as realistic as possible" - to try and make that cat hairball rolling across the carpet look as realistic as possible, which isn't necessarily as much fun as doing some stop motion animation, or doing something that's really gross and over the top and would normally be rejected. It's fun to - you know, "step outside the box" is the corny way of saying it.
Allan: It's fun to see in the film. It looked like you darkened some of the blood spatter, too, when George shoots one of the Pogues.
Alex: That's enormously more, now. What happened was, there was a little squib on him and blood flew out and hit the lens, so what the Collateral Image guys did was, they enormously exagerrated that. It's huge - like the liver section of the supermarket exploded (laughs).
Allan: Where did the decision to recut and re-release the film come from?
Alex: I watched the old DVD, and I was thinking, "Ohh, I wish that we had, back in 1986, the digital technologies that we have today, in order to amp this up and make it much crazier." And then I thought - "but wait, we DO have the digital technologies that are available today!" And the very good fortune was that the archive at UCLA had manage to preserve, somehow, the interpositive of the original version of Straight To Hell, so we could go back to something that was as near to the negative as you could get, without being the negative, and do our HD transfer from that. So there was incredible high quality, which didn't exist previously. Previously, the best editions of the film have been either the 35mm version or the digibeta tape. And now we have the HD transfer and this new colour scheme by the cinematographer, so it's all kinda - better!
Allan: It looks great, it looks wonderful. Did the passing of Joe Strummer and Dennis Hopper have anything to do with the decision to re-release it? I mean - I think it's Joe's best film role. I like him in Mystery Train, but he really gets to have some fun in Straight to Hell...
Alex: I agree. I think he's very good in it. Your eye is really drawn to him, in the film - I think of the acting jobs I saw him do, this is the best. So I suppose it is a bit of a tribute to Joe and Dennis and all the other unfortunate Straight To Hell people who are no longer with us.
Allan: Do you have any Joe Strummer anecdotes that you haven't told before? I've read X Films, so I know some of your stories (which range from Strummer's involvement on the soundtrack to Cox's previous film, Sid and Nancy, to his scoring and acting in Cox's next film, Walker)... is there anything from the last years of his life that you haven't told?
Alex: No, I only saw him one time in the last few years before he died, and that was at Cannes, when we went up the red carpet, and I'm thinking, like, "Whoaaaa!" - y'know - "there are all the photographers! They'll take our picture!" And he says, "When they see who we are, they'll turn away." And I'm going "No, man, no - this is Cannes, we just got out of a big limo, it'll be okay." And we got to the top and the photographers all clock us. They all turn away. So rude! Not only do they not want to take our photograph, they don't even want to look at us. (Laughing).
Allan: It's heartbreaking - it reminds me of the footage in Dick Rude's documentary about Joe (also used in Julien Temple's film), where he's passing out flyers in the streets of New York, saying "Come see me, I used to be in a band called the Clash..."
Alex: Yes, but it's interesting - he had all of that, he had this enormous success and fame and celebrity and great, wonderful transcendent admiration by all. And then everybody hated him, because he broke up the Clash, y'know, and then he had these other careers, as an actor and a movie composer, and he had these other bands - the Mescaleros, but he also had that band that Zander was in, the Latino Rockabillies (aka The Latino Rockabilly War, Joe's backing band on Earthquake Weather, also appearing on the Permanent Record soundtrack - check out "Trash City" if you don't know it).
Allan: Did you ever see them perform?
Alex: I did, I saw them perform several times, because they did a tour of England. I saw them in Poole and - really horrible cities, very unpleasant minor English cities. But they were a great band.
Allan: I never saw them, I saw the Mescaleros twice in Japan, but never them...
Alex: And I saw the Mescaleros once, they played with The Who - as, like, the warm-up band for The Who.
Allan: Oh, yes. I remember hearing about that concert. And then Roger Daltrey appeared on Global a-Go-Go... You didn't use the Commando cigarettes commercial that you shot with Dick and Joe, in the new version.
Alex: Where is that, that's the thing - I don't know where that cigarette commercial is. I know we did a thing where Dick just walked into frame, in his, y'know, beach outfit, and said, "Hi, I'm Dick Rude - I'd like you to meet the McMahons." But it was too arch, it was too outside the movie. So maybe the cigarette commercial... I don't remember the cigarette commercial very well, so maybe we didn't do a very good job, or maybe it was just something Dick and Joe did, and I never even saw it. I don't know. It's not in the interpositive - had it been in the IP we would have seen it, we would have evaluated it, and then we would have looked for audio to go with it.
Allan: And then the red car training scene -
Alex: The red car training scene was never shot. It was our intention, but we bit off a bit more than we could chew in the first couple of days, and we had the little driving school right outside the hotel, and the Rambler, where we could have done our little car chase with the police - but we didn't have time.
Allan: If you could help me, I want to try to track down the different film references. There's Django Kill (which Cox - a spaghetti western expert and author of a recent book on the form - talks about here; if you don't know this film, hearing Cox talk about it will make you want to see it!). There's the Point Blank shooting-into-the-bed; there's the For A Few Dollars More title sequence. There's the Cool Hand Luke homage when Jennifer washes the motorcycle. The car crash owes something to Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry. Is the branding-seen-through-binoculars a nod to Salo: The 120 Days of Sodom?
Allan: (flabbergasted): You haven't seen Salo: The 120 Days of Sodom?
Alex: I should, I should see it.
Allan: Oh, my lord! I've ALWAYS assumed you were paying homage to it! The climax of that film - the big torture scene - has someone being branded, as seen through binoculars (see 1:55 of the recent Criterion DVD; by the way, if someone could contact Tom Richmond, I am now desperate to know if he's the man responsible. It cannot be mere coincidence, could it? How many brandings-seen- through-binoculars are there in cinema history?).
Alex: The thing is - I can't watch that! I couldn't watch Secretary, you know, because it's about this girl delicate-self-cutting. I can deal with guys getting shot, but that's about it - anything else, I'm very squeamish about.
Allan: Wow! ...and yet you make such bloody films!Alex: Ah, but it's only guys getting shot. It's a whole bunch of machos getting shot. That's all right. That's great - that's like The Wild Bunch. Everybody likes The Wild Bunch.