Look out, I’m about to spew words about recent things I’ve consumed.
Death Race 2000: Pretty goddamn brilliant. Proto-Starship Troopers-style sci-fi exploitation with a nice satirical bite. There’s a lot of Roger Corman productions on Netflix these days and I’m eating em up. The Big Bird Cage was another good one, also Switchblade Sisters. I love exploitation’s total embrace of excess and feeling: it’s horror, sex and violence congealed and lobbed right at your face. Which doesn’t always make it palatable, but at least it doesn’t pull any punches.
Gone: I saw this with a friend who has a thing for Amanda Seyfried. Afterwards I totally got it, because Seyfried turned in a great peformance. She was crafty, intense and unreadable. The movie kept me entertained. Low expectations are always a good thing. I loved Amanda Seyfried’s blue car.
We Need to Talk About Kevin: What a weird-ass movie. In fact it was best in its most weird and abstract moments. The problem was it was so fucking looong. I loved the fact that it was a movie about a school massacre where we won’t supposed to give a shit about the victims, it was all about the mom. It was a maternal horror story, but the horror stuff, especially toward the end, wasn’t punchy enough, it dragged and groaned. The brutal office party scene sticks with me, as does the opening sequence.
The Hunger Games: Clearly readable, an achievement that one shouldn’t gloss over (even though I just did). I’m sure a million amateur pundits have weighed in on this already, but it’s truly a testament to how far we’ve come as a nation that an exploitation story about teenagers killing one another (and not having sex, of course) is one of our most popular stories among kids and adults. The romance was weak, as was the fact that they changed the rules halfway in. On the fence as to whether I’ll read the next two.
Champion, Photographs by Walter Kundzicz: I haven’t said much about my trip to New York a couple weekends ago, but geez, it was kinda brilliant and I kinda kicked some ass. I sold copies of Backwoods at the Rainbow Book Fair, and my table happened to face that of photographer Reed Massengill. After I got over my jealousy of how many books he was selling we had an enjoyable time in one another’s company. He has several books of photography and they’re pretty brilliant, erotic and human. But before the day was over I traded him one of my collages for this book of photographs, which he edited. It’s fantastic not only for the brilliant Kodachrome colors and hot dudes. Kundzicz has a sense of humor and poses his dopey muscle men with all kinds of esoteric fetish objects: football helmets, pitchforks, dish racks, eye patches, binoculars, telephones…the list is endless. It’s absolutely hilarious and unique.
Shirtlifter by Steve MacIsaac: I picked up several issues of this comic when I was Chicago some time ago and I’ve been meaning to write about it since. Anybody who enjoys stories of modern gay white men (re: Weekend) would do themselves a service to check these comics out, which are unflinchingly honest and crisply told. Lots of sex, though whether it’s erotic or not is sort of up for grabs. I’m more a fan of the strong, melancholy narration.