Category Archives: Movies

Full metal jacket, update

Sergeant: “Texas?! There are only two types from Texas, boy, steers and queers. Which are you?”

Private Joker: “Queer.”

Sergeant: “All right then.”

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper story:

Piper's finest film

Piper’s finest film

Professional wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy piper came to my high school to speak to my world problems class. He gave a long blustering right wing tirade.

He was there to talk about his expertise vis-a-vis violence in society. He did not come in his work clothes but dressed in jeans and a dress-shirt. On the wall was a signed photo of the teacher’s hero: Ronald Reagan.

He did bring his rasslin’ bluster, somewhat toned down, as he launched into a tirade about how society was too lenient on youth and other crimes. As he worked himself into a boil he finally reached his crescendo with a statement that people should be beaten and shot for petty crimes and hijinks. The room laughed at him. He was taken aback and growled, “You laugh because none of you have ever been shot!” And the laughter exploded. You could barely hear him protest, “If any of you had ever been shot you wouldn’t be laughing.” He had the room rolling in the aisles.

In the center of the room, laughing, was a guy in a leg cast. He had been shot.

After Piper left, the teacher, a friend of Piper, gave a long blustering speech about how we were mean to Rowdy Roddy Piper.

 

I know what you’re saying. Roddy Piper died today. This is a terrible memorial. But I enjoyed the film They Live; just not as much as Hell Comes to Frogtown.

 

Brother Theodore knows noses

Noses are troublesome, as Brother Theodore knows so well.

 

Podcast episode 2: Robot Pancakes with Gustav Hasford

DRRevPodThis second episode of the David Raffin podcast is both delightful and delicious. It’s about pancakes and war. And it has robots in it. And Stanley Kubrick. Yes, all that in a 10 minute package. For free. Almost like it was made by a robot. For robots.

And it was.

Hasford.jpg

“Hasford” by Unknown – en:Image:Hasford.jpg. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

 

This episode also offers a story about Gustav Hasford, author of the novel The Short-Timers, which became the Stanley Kubrick film Full Metal Jacket.

If you want to know more about Gustav Hasford, you can track down some of his books. Perhaps visit
http://gustavhasford.blogspot.com

Which is maintained in his memory.

“The praise I seek from my readers is that they finish my books. After being alternately damned and praised for equally invalid reasons, I am content to trade fame for accuracy of interpretation. Fame, for a writer, is like being a dancing bear with a little hat on your head.”
– Gustav Hasford

Somewhere I have photocopies of his work as a young college student, copied from yellowing newsprint.

 

True story, disbelief suspension failure

Once I was at a theater as a zombie movie was letting out and I overheard a serious looking man in a suit say to his partner while exiting, “Highly improbable.”
Everyone’s a critic.

John Cleese’s favorite John Cleese joke

John Cleese says the best joke he ever wrote was inadvertently cut out of the film Life of Brian due to “camera angles.”
In the film Cleese’s character says, “There are two things you have to know about the meaning of life. The first is that people are not wearing enough hats. The second is that there are several paths to enlightenment but they all involve a lot of work, time, and concentration. Unfortunately people get bogged down by things that don’t really matter and concentrate on them above all else.”
At this point one of the listeners says, “Wait… What was that thing again about the hats?”

Movies for the seeing impaired

Jodi: Sometimes your facial expressions don’t match the situation. At all.
Me: Oh, no, they are always correct expressions. We are just out-of-sync.
***
Seeing a movie at the Capitol theater a week or so ago. The movie starts. WB logo comes on screen. A woman’s voice says, “LOGO, CENTER SCREEN.” It is a strange choice, I think, esthetically. The voice reads the text appearing on screen. “In space, survival is impossible.”
The voice starts to describe the action on screen. People float in space. One dances to music. One is frustrated. I am pleased the voice will be explaining facial expressions as we go.

The film stops cold. The blackness of space is replaced with the blackness of nothing. Two completely different blacknesses.
Someone says, “They are fixing the sound. It was playing the soundtrack for the visually impaired headsets.”
The film begins again at the beginning.

I watch the film regretting what could have been. As the film passed the previous stopping point I am left to wonder what the narrator would say. Probably information to enrich my moviegoing experience. In space narration is possible, but optional and limited.

***
By the way, I prefer the version of Charles Chaplin’s “Gold Rush” that he re-released after sound came in. Chaplin narrates the silent film all the way through. Critics revile this version. I love it.

The Spectacle of Modernity & Mimes

AKA: The Disquieting.
A few years old but never before released. Read just after the writing at a small gathering on Halloween. This story will be in my upcoming book of shorts “Tragic Stories Disguised as Jokes.”

 

Quote

Hats off to Michael O’Donoghue

Michael O’Donoghue semi-famously said:

Making people laugh is the lowest form of humor.

He also said:

A kangaroo walks into a bar. He tells the bartender, “Blood is the lipstick of all wounds.”
The bartender does not know how he said this, or why.

 

Movie Review: Aaltra

If your complaint up to this point has been “not enough movies about disagreeable men in wheelchairs” and/or “not enough non-Russian films about tractors” then I direct you to the Belgian film AALTRA. It also features Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki (Leningrad Cowboys) in an acting role.

Rubber

I cannot recommend to you highly enough the film Rubber. The world does not have enough metafictional absurdist films about tyres.  Not nearly enough.

Rubber is a film about a tyre named Robert who rolls around making things explode while an audience watches. I need tell you no more of this story. That should be enough to pique your interest. If it isn’t, then this is not the film for you.

“Non-human electoral candidates”

Our old friend Wikipedia provides a page listing non-human electoral candidates, including Pigasus who was a candidate for president of the United States in 1968.

Pigasus and the Yippies were charged with disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, and bringing a pig to Chicago. At the trial, defense counsel William Kunstler accused the Democratic Party of doing exactly the same thing.

The trial transcript provides this exchange between Kunstler and folk singer Phil Ochs.

MR. KUNSTLER: Did you have any role yourself in that?
THE WITNESS: Yes, I helped select the pig, and I paid for him.
MR. KUNSTLER: Now, did you find a pig at once when you went out?
THE WITNESS: No, it was very difficult. We stopped at several farms and asked where the pigs were.
MR. KUNSTLER: None of the farmers referred you to the police station, did they?
THE WITNESS: No.
MR. FORAN: Objection.
THE COURT: I sustain the objection…
MR. KUNSTLER: Would you state what, if anything, happened to the pig?
THE WITNESS: The pig was arrested with seven people.
MR. KUNSTLER: When did that take place?
THE WITNESS: This took place on the morning of August 23, at the Civic Center underneath the Picasso sculpture.
MR. KUNSTLER: Who were those seven people?
THE WITNESS: Jerry Rubin. Stew Albert, Wolfe Lowenthal, myself is four; I am not sure of the names of the other three.
MR. KUNSTLER: What were you doing when you were arrested?
THE WITNESS: We were arrested announcing the pig’s candidacy for President.
MR. KUNSTLER: Did Jerry Rubin speak?
THE WITNESS: Yes, Jerry Rubin was reading a prepared speech for the pig—the opening sentence was something like, “I, Pigasus, hereby announce my candidacy for the Presidency of the United States.” He was interrupted in his talk by the police who arrested us…
MR. KUNSTLER: Do you remember what you were charged with?
THE WITNESS: I believe the original charge mentioned was something about an old Chicago law about bringing livestock into the city, or disturbing the peace, or disorderly conduct, and when it came time for the trial, I believe the charge was disorderly conduct.
MR. KUNSTLER: Were you informed by a police officer that the pig had squealed on you?
THE WITNESS: Yes.

   

[The genesis of this post being a link
from Sara Lachman greatfully acnowledged.]