Tuesday, May 21, 2013

It's My Job!

I'm surprised how often episodes of Madmen have plot details that eerily echo aspects of my own life.  I'm certainly feeling Ken Cosgrove's "Its my job" dance as well as Don's obsessive thought patterns. A little context for those who haven't seen this episode-both Don and Ken (and a number of their co-workers) have been given amphetamine "vitamin" shots by a Dr. Feelgood that one of the new partners brought in to the office to assist them in working overtime on a new campaign.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tomorrow Is A Long Time- Four Versions

Dylan wrote it, Elvis and Odetta owned it, and Nick Drake did it too.  The only youtube version of the original I could find has stills from the Walking Dead, which is regrettable, but what can you do?  Times are tough. Lastly you've got Dylan returning the favor by covering Elvis.

If today was not an endless highway, 
If tonight was not a crooked trail, 
If tomorrow wasn't such a long time, 
Then lonesome would mean nothing to me at all. 
Yes, and only if my own true love was waitin', 
Yes, and if I could hear her heart a-softly poundin', 
Only if she was lyin' by me, 
Then I'd lie in my bed once again. 

I can't see my reflection in the waters, 
I can't speak the sounds that show no pain, 
I can't hear the echo of my footsteps, 
I can't remember the sound of my own name. 
Yes, and only if my own true love was waitin', 
Yes, and if I could hear her heart a-softly poundin', 
Only if she was lyin' by me, 
Then I'd lie in my bed once again. 

There's beauty in the silver, singin' river, 
There's beauty in the sunrise in the sky, 
But none of these and nothing else can touch the beauty 
That I remember in my true love's eyes. 
Yes, and only if my own true love was waitin', 
Yes, and if I could hear her heart a-softly poundin', 
Only if she was lyin' by me, 
Then I'd lie in my bed once again.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I Love Disaster And I Love What Comes After!

Tough Guys Don't Dance, is a truly terrible film written and directed by your boy Norman Mailer.  I mean it gets goddamn gold stars for lousiness.  It might, conceivably, be fun to watch with several severely inebriated friends, but watching this travesty by oneself, which is how I braved it, is truly unbearable.  In fact I didn't make it to the awful conclusion, so don't tell me how it ends! So why, you ask, did I watch it ? Oh I suppose some combination of morbid curiosity and wanting to see another film with Isabella Rossellini in her prime.  

Still even unpleasant things sometimes seem to happen for a reason. And I got to say that the infamous "Oh man, Oh God" scene has come in handy this week as the only appropriate and amusing response to what has been a real shit storm of bad luck, bad breaks and deteriorating relationships in my own terrible movie. Wish I could blame that stinker on ol' Norm- somewhere near me someone should be swinging a camera around wildly to symbolize how my world is reeling off balance. So here's the scene I'm referring to, followed by Norman reading the test audience comment cards on the film, and talking about his insistence that it remain in the film. Watch this turkey at your own risk!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

This May Only Be A Dream

Click>Drugstore Cowboy OST
Drugstore Cowboy, released in the fall of 1989, was the first film that really cast a spell on me, making me realize just how much the medium could effect me, it's one of those films where you feel like you are still in the world depicted after you leave theatre, it has that kind of magic. And it has remained a favorite of mine, one that I can re-watch endlessly and always enjoy and find new details in- like Diane shoplifting a paperback of Love Story in the pharmacy in the beginning which we later see her reading in other scenes.  Music plays an important role in the film both the diegetic pop tunes and the atmospheric score by Elliot Goldenthal, creating a mood that lulls you into the opiatic dreamworld that the film's main characters occupy.

Everything in the movie works perfectly; beautifully shot in Portland Oregon by DP Robert Yeoman (an unusual, for film, color palette of greens and browns), with a tightly rendered script that is based on  James Fogle's autobiographical novel, the film is perfectly cast, with Matt Dillon playing the defining role of his career, and a great and varied supporting cast - especially Max Perlich, James Remar and William Burroughs.

The film has had such an effect on me that I still find myself quoting from it, lines like- "there's nothing more life affirming than getting the shit kicked out of you", "yes I'm alone what you think i brought my rat faced granny along with me to hold my hand", "hell you know how whimsical women are she found another guy to chase and off she went", "you guys been reading too much Mickey Spillane or something" or even "why do you want to do that goddamned speed, you know how ringy it makes you".  I love the scene where Diane tries to seduce Bob by dancing to Jackie De Shannon's "Put A Little Love in Your Heart" and he, wired on speed, reacts tight jawed with alarm and uncomfortableness. And I still to this day think twice about putting a hat on a bed due to Bob's superstition.

The soundtrack appears to be out of print which is why I am posting it here. The special edition DVD released by Artisan in 1999 is surprisingly nice for a DVD from the late 90's, a decent transfer, with a lively commentary from Gus Van Sant and Matt Dillon and a making of documentary.  Still I hope that Criterion eventually gets their hands on the film, they have been knocking things out of the park of late with their recent editions of Badlands and Repo Man. Some favorite clips follow, and the admittedly odd trailer, not sure what's up with the background music in that, its not in the film. Click underneath the main photo on top to download zip file of the soundtrack and watch out for the TV babies.  Enjoy!