Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Internet Nazis losing their anonymity

I heard that the Nazi pictured above has his lederhosen in a bunch because he's been publicly identified by pictures published of him in Charlottesville. Cameras are everywhere. You can't publicly proclaim your devotion to Hitler without somebody taking a picture of it. One person recognized a face in the torchlight march as belonging to an anti-Semite who kept showing up at Shia LaBeouf's "He Shall Not Divide Us" "art" project.

Of course, Donald Trump himself is calling for unity. Unity with Nazis. Which is perhaps part of the problem with LaBeouf's meaningless "He Shall Not Divide Us" thing. What's wrong with division?

One guy was disowned by his family.
Pete Tefft, another man photographed at the rally, also had his identity shared by the Twitter account, and his actions have led him to be disowned by his family. “I, along with all of his siblings and his entire family, wish to loudly repudiate my son’s vile, hateful and racist rhetoric and actions,” Tefft’s father, Pearce Tefft, wrote in a letter published online by “We do not know specifically where he learned these beliefs. He did not learn them at home,” the elder Tefft continued, adding: “I have shared my home and hearth with friends and acquaintances of every race, gender and creed. I have taught all of my children that all men and women are created equal. That we must love each other all the same.”
Imagine finding out your idiot son is a Nazi.

It's been suggested that the Nazis are cleverly getting people publicly identified as Nazis in order to burn their bridges behind them, alienate them from their friends and family and limit their job opportunities so that they can't quit Nazism. It might make perfect sense if you're a Nazi, but I don't know.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

All in the Family is why Trump is president

I was watching Norm MacDonald's podcast on YouTube--his interview with Martin Mull. Mull appeared on Normal Lear's Mary Hartman, Mart Hartman, [sic] Fernwood Tonight and America Tonight, so they got on the subject of All in the Family. MacDonald noted that Archie Bunker was objectively more likable than Meathead. He said he had racist relatives who liked the show. I knew racists who liked it, too.

It bothered me even as a kid how anti-working class the show was. Why were all the working class characters dumb racists? Why weren't Meathead and Gloria pro-union?

Meathead took a number of views that weren't exactly liberal. He opposed a group obviously based on the Jewish Defense League only on the grounds of non-violence, not because the JDL was openly racist. When a corporation mistakenly sent money to Edith, he and Gloria were anxious to return it.

This was what went wrong with the Democrats. They started seeing the working class as the enemy and went for corporate money. They became "social liberals" rather that actual liberals, not that they were ever all that socially liberal.

They got away with it for years. Workers still voted Democrat because the Republicans were always slightly worse. Trump showed how bad the Democrats had gotten by showing how little he had to offer working people to get their support.

Charles Schumer, meanwhile announced that "For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin."

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A couple more Shia LaBeouf arrest details

LaBeouf looking more intelligent than usual.

I know I'm running this into the ground, but I sat and listened to a full half hour of Shia LaBeouf shouting racist abuse at police on YouTube. He said some stuff that I didn't see reported before----he talked about shooting the cop in the forehead and said he would like to confront the police while armed with the assault rifle he has at home.

He thinks that a league is a measure of time. A league is about three miles, so even if it were a measure of time, it wouldn't be that long. One of the cops quips that his body cam footage will be on TMZ in about four hours.

A cop says that LaBeouf ran into the hotel lobby. He had yelled at the cops that they were too lazy to chase him. In the lobby, he hid behind a partition. A cop said, "He's not here," so LaBeouf moronically thought the coast was clear and stepped into view at which point he was arrested.

Maybe he was in character. He wasn't speaking in a normal accent and for some reason he kept claiming to be in the National Guard. He kept addressing the cops as "sir". 

I can understand someone being terribly upset at being arrested---not him, because he gets arrested all the time. You'd think he'd have learned by now to stay away from cops instead of asking them for cigarettes. He apologized for being disrespectful to authority which I don't think is a problem, but he said nothing about his abject racism.

Friday, August 11, 2017

White Lies, New Zealand, 2013

So what should you do if you're a Communist and you live in a capitalist country? If it's not going to change any time soon. Should you become a capitalist yourself? Would you have much choice? There were some surprisingly wealthy Communists in the United States. I knew a former Communist from LA. There were older Communists there who owned a lot of rental properties. It could be that Communist Party members lived modestly enough---working class lifestyles with perhaps middle class incomes---that they had more money to invest. Communists were like Calvinists.

And what do you do if you're black in a country dominated by white racists? In what was perhaps an analogous situation, there was a 1949 movie, Lost Boundaries. It begins in the 1920s. A light-skinned African-American doctor and his wife decide to pass for white. They move to a New England town where he opens an office. Passing for white means they have to cut themselves off from all their family and friends. They can't have obviously black relatives coming to the house for Thanksgiving. The movie is public domain. You can find it on YouTube and elsewhere.

There's a moment of suspense in the film. The wife becomes pregnant. If the baby doesn't look as white as they do, they'll be exposed.

It reminded me of the Soviet TV mini-series, Seventeen Moments of Spring, about Soviet agents spying on the Nazis during World War Two. There's a Soviet couple. The wife is pregnant. They're worried she'll cry out in Russian while giving birth and expose them.

And there was the movie White Lies, (New Zealand, 2013) in which a Maori midwife is hired to induce an abortion in a rich obnoxious woman whose husband is away and will be terribly, terribly upset with her when he gets back if he finds out about the baby. The woman has an extremely loyal older Maori woman servant. Some twists to the story. A pretty good movie. Available on Fandor.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Day the Clown Cried

I vaguely remember the Jerry Lewis Theaters. It was going to be a chain of movie theaters devoted to showing family films in the early '70's. I guess they were trying to get small investors---a proto-crowd source thing---and my mother may have momentarily considered it. I was about eight and thought it sounded great. I thought it meant we could produce our own movies and have them shown.

The business was doomed to failure in part because they didn't make family films in those days. The first movie they showed in one of those theaters was a western--I don't remember which one--in which John Wayne uses the term "son of a bitch".

Harry Shearer, one of the few people to have seen Jerry Lewis's Holocaust movie, The Day the Clown Cried, had theorized that he made the movie to be shown in his new theater chain. That didn't seem very likely. Pretty much any of his movies could have been shown there. Why do something radically different?

Shearer seems to have changed his view. He said somewhere more recently that he thought that Lewis was teaching at USC, he had his book immodestly titled The Total Filmmaker, the French revered him. He wanted to make a movie to reflect his newfound gravitas.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the movie didn't turn out well and it was locked away.

Lewis refused to talk about it for years. He finally answered a question somewhere. He said, no, you'll never see it because it was "bad, bad, bad". He thought it could have been great but he had failed because he didn't know why he was doing it.

It seemed to have wrecked his career. If you look on, he was working constantly directing movies and TV episodes. He said he was thankful that he had the power to hide The Day the Clown Cried from the world, but it was eight years before he directed another movie, and then it was Hardly Working which was a disaster. He started filming and had to stop immediately because they guy who said he was providing the money for it didn't have any. They finally got it going again.

I only had couple of glimpses of Hardly Working. I drove past a drive-in theater and saw Jerry Lewis on the screen in yellowface working in a Japanese restaurant. Made Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's seem rather sensitive by comparison.

The second thing I saw of it was when I went to a friend's apartment. He had HBO. We turned on the TV and there was Jerry Lewis dressed a clown delivering mail for the Post Office. He was walking along looking depressed, just delivering the mail, but a large crowd was following him apparently thinking it was incredibly funny.

It was just awful. And to think that The Day the Clown Cried was even worse.

The movie was handed over the Library of Congress with the provision that it not be screened for ten years. However, since they never got to rights to the book, they won't be able to show it even after that, I suppose until the copyright on the book expires.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Is Ronan Farrow a ticking time bomb?

Ronan Farrow
Ronan Farrow argued on the Today Show that alcoholism is hereditary. He's right, of course. And since his maternal grandparents were stereotypical Irish drunkards, he'll likely become one himself.

On top of of that, Farrow and his mother keep hinting that his real father was Frank Sinatra, a well-known alcoholic.

He'd better hope that a predisposition to pedophilia isn't genetic. His uncle on his mother's side is in prison for child molestation and he keeps claiming--I think wrongly--that Woody Allen is a pedophile which would mean that Ronan has terrible, terrible genes from both sides.

Ronan should stop attacking his father. Whatever genes he got from Woody Allen are his only hope for a normal life.

We'll see how it goes, but I'd stay away from that guy.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Total Filmmaker by Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis's book, The Total Filmmaker, is available online. It's been out of print for years.

Jerry never graduated from high school. He was terribly hurt when he was held back a year in grade school. It was a great triumph for him when he became a professor at USC. His work was taken seriously by the French. The mix of intellectual and artistic achievement with deep seated feelings of inferiority probably led to the immodest title of this book which was a collection of lectures he gave in his class.

In John Baxter's biography of George Lucas, it was noted that Lewis's class was popular because it was hinted that he would get his students jobs in Hollywood. He would have friends from Hollywood sit in on his classes.

I read a little of the book years ago. They had a copy in the University library here. I don't think I got past the prologue.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Shia LaBeouf, Toronto Film Festival, Divorce

Think he'll win an award for his acting in this picture?
Shia LaBeouf's movie, Borg/McEnroe, will shamefully kick off the Toronto Film Festival this year. Will recidivist criminal LaBeouf even be allowed to enter Canada?

They were having trouble finding a distributor for the movie in North America, but it looks like they found one. A new distribution company called "Neon" will attempt to release the thing in 2018.

Marrying a violent racist wasn't such a good idea after all

Meanwhile, LaBeouf's "wife", Mia Goth, is ready to dump him.  According to Radar Online, one of her friends said that LaBeouf is "on this constant mission to cause drama and confrontation wherever he goes, which [Mia] finds tiresome and depressing. No matter how many times she asks him to chill, it’s the same old angry drunken story. She's fed up and seriously contemplating divorce."

They married in October, 2016.

Martin Shkreli comments on his conviction

“I’m one of the richest New Yorkers there is, and after today’s outcome it’s going to stay that way and, uh, it feels pretty good," Martin Shkreli told reporters.

He invited a reporter from the Daily News to his home and said he thought the odds of him receiving even a short prison sentence was 50%.

“If it’s a year, that’s four months at Club Fed. I’ll play basketball and tennis and X-Box, and be out on these streets in four months.”

Hopefully, the judge will take these comments into account when putting him away.

I wonder how freakish his Albanian and Croatian parents are. I wish they'd show pictures of any family or relatives he has, maybe going to back to their native land and finding all their weird-looking kin. He has two presumably weird-looking sisters and a brother who I assume is some sort of freak.

He went to Baruch "College", named after traitorous pro-Confederate Zionist Bernard M. Baruch. In May, some Baruch College boys were charged with third degree murder and plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter after killing a classmate for entertainment.

Shkreli is a Catholic and went to Sunday School as weird-looking child.

Psychologist on Shkreli

After his "testimony" before Congress, Shkreli tweeted: “Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government.”

From NBC News:
“For him to tweet that for the world to see – wow – that seems to suggest, you know the rules don’t apply to me,” Thomas Plante, Santa Clara University professor of psychology, said after watching the hearing today.

“I was having this image of a middle school teacher scolding a young student for acting like a jerk in class,” Plante said, explaining it is diagnose from afar but says Shkreli may have personality issues.

“When you see egotistical behavior or narcissistic behavior sort of on steroids, it can be absolutely breathtaking,” Plante said, explaining this type of behavior he is displaying is a growing trend in society.

“Unfortunately we live in a time and a place where it’s all about ‘me’ and not about ‘we,’ Plante said, explaining Shkreli’s attitudes may have been reinforced each time he climbed in his career and his behavior is unlikely to change since he is over 30.

“It’s probably pretty late in the game to expect personality change, but people do sort of have what we call ‘Come to Jesus moment’ where they say, ‘oh my goodness what have I done?’” Plante said.

Friday, August 4, 2017

It's so unfair. Just because he's different.

Martin Shkreli's been convicted of a couple of counts of securities fraud one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He can get up to 20 years for the first two and five years on the third.

I'm pleased but still a little disappointed. He was acquitted of five other charges. And I know I'll be disappointed when he's sentenced.

I'm afraid I'll start feeling sorry for him if he goes to prison for years.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Maybe the Fyre Festival wasn't so bad after all

The clean, wholesome Swedish town of Emmaboda.

What is WRONG with these people?

Four girls aged 15 to 17 reported being raped at a music festival in Sweden. Another eleven were sexually assaulted. This was at the Emmaboda Music Festival, which took place July 24-29.

There were also ten cases of drug dealing, 113 cases of drug possession and 251 cases of drug use.

A few weeks ago, the annual Bråvalla music festival cancelled their 2018 event after four girls were raped and more were sexually assaulted at this year's festival. There had also been four reported rapes at the 2016 festival.
A Swedish comedian suggested they do "man-free" music festivals and the idea has caught on.

Maybe the anti-porn Feminists were right, that pornography has turned Scandinavia into a freezing hell hole.

Sweden always seemed so perfect with it's social democracy, it's low poverty rate. They banned spanking children in the '70s and I assume they have same-sex marriage. I imagined that Swedish movies must be dramatically inert. How could they have any conflict?

But I read the introduction to a Swedish detective novel. It pointed out they have a high rate of rape, that the prime minster was murdered in the street and apparently the place is full of Nazis. Norway had that horrible mass murder at a summer camp.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Violent ex-convict with gun stalks movie set

On the set of Peanut Butter Falcon. I don't like his nipples.

He's a violent racist ex-convict with a long criminal history. Shia LaBeouf must be on probation for SOMETHING, and he's out on bail awaiting trial for obstruction, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness . He told police that "If I had my gun, I would blow your shit up!"

Even if it is for a movie, is it legal for him to be walking around with a gun?

Maybe he covered himself with tattoos so he wouldn't be asked to appear shirtless in anything. Even by tattoo standards those are ugly tattoos.

Grinning recidivist criminal on gun range.

Monday, July 31, 2017

HBO movie about Joe Paterno

Al Pacino as money grubbing Pennsylvania degenerate Joe Paterno.
HBO already did a pro-woman-killer Phil Spector movie. Now they're doing a pro-Joe Paterno movie again starring Al Pacino.

Paterno was the Republican multi-millionaire Bush supporter who was head football coach at Penn State for 45 years. He spent at least ten of those years aware that defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was molesting children in the locker room and did nothing about it.

Paterno explained in an interview that he didn't report Sandusky because he didn't know it was possible for a man to rape a boy. Asked if people reporting Sandusky's crimes to him should have been more graphic, Paterno replied, "And to be frank with you, I don't know that it would have done any good because I never heard of, of, rape and a man."

He was a devout Catholic. He must have had some awareness of the molestation scandals in the church. He knew that most of the victims were boys. What did he think they were talking about?

Look at articles about this movie in Variety. Scroll down to the comments and read simian football fans defend "JoePa", arguing that he had no legal obligation to report anything if he didn't feel like it.

Well, unless Paterno confessed his sins to a priest before he died, he's burning in hell right now.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Shkreli jury starts deliberating Monday

Shkreli didn't testify at his trial, but, if he had, this is what he'd look like being sworn in.

I knew a guy who went to a lawyer to get SSI while undergoing a lengthy medical treatment. The lawyer listened to him describe his situation. The first thing the lawyer told him was to practice looking sad.

Martin Shkreli was reportedly making faces throughout his trial. His lawyers MUST have told him to knock it off. Look in a mirror or practice with friends or family, but learn to maintain a neutral expression.

“...every single witness said there’s something wrong with Martin Shkreli,” his own lawyer told the jury.

I don't know why I'm complaining. The jury starts deliberating Monday and if looking like a jerk helps send him to prison, I'm all for it.

Shkreli, by the way, said on Facebook, "Trial's over tomorrow, bitches. Then if I'm acquitted, I get to fuck Lauren Duca." He was referring to a Teen Vogue contributor. He's been kicked off Twitter for harassing her there.

What I find striking is that he says "...if I'm acquitted". Like he doesn't have much confidence that he will be.

The worst prom dates of all

I don't have children. If I did, I'd probably let them do pretty much what they wanted. But I'd put my foot down if any of them tried to go to the prom with a cardboard cutout or with any other inanimate object.

Girls seem to go more for lifesize celebrity cutouts. Boys tend to take their computers or blow up dolls. One kid took a pineapple to the prom. How would that ease the shame or make it less awkward that you don't have a date? It seems like a pain in the ass. If you're alone, you can relax and have a perfectly pleasant evening. Why would you want to saddle yourself with some object you'd have to lug around all night? If you're intent on making a spectacle of yourself, there must be a less humiliating way.

I've said before that the girl who took a lifesize Justin Bieber cutout to the prom should have found a boy with low self-esteem who she could mold into her own possibly perverse image of the singer.

Beiber's pretty androgynous. His celebrity roast on Comedy Central consisted almost entirely of comedians calling him a Lesbian. The girl could have coaxed one of her girlfriends into dressing up like him. Going to the prom with a girl impersonating Justin Bieber would show that she was open to human interaction, not completely consumed by hopeless fantasy and that she was broad-minded, without a morbid fear of homosexuality or transvestism. And it would have still gotten her into the newspapers.

I see that a girl somewhere took a cardboard cutout of Bernie Sanders to the prom. She couldn't find an actual guy in his seventies to take her? She could probably have located a REAL socialist, maybe a Communist or a Trotskyite. Maybe an old Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee guy. His wife could come along as a chaperone.

I'm probably missing the point here somewhere.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Spielberg directed Poltergeist, says John Leonetti

Tobe Hooper's on the left, Spielberg pointing as they film the scene where the tree grabs the kid.

John Leonetti, now a director and cinematographer, worked as an assistant cameraman on Poltergeist (1982) and revealed on the Shock Waves podcast that it was Steven Spielberg who directed Poltergeist, not Tobe Hooper who got credit for it.

It's not surprising. Spielberg was producer on the movie and rumor at the time was that he directed it as well. At the very least, it was believed that he directed the director.

Hooper was "just glad to be there,” Leonetti said. “Steven developed the movie, and it was his to direct, except there was anticipation of a director’s strike, so he was ‘the producer’ but really he directed it in case there was going to be a strike and Tobe was cool with that. It wasn’t anything against Tobe. Every once in a while, he would actually leave the set and let Tobe do a few things just because. But really, Steven directed it…."

Rumor at the time was that there was a clause in the contract for E.T. that barred him from directing another movie until it was done.

Hooper was best known for Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and directed Eaten Alive, the TV movie Salem's Lot and Funhouse before being credited for Poltergeist.

Hollywood must have been aware that Spielberg really directed it because, in spite of Poltergeist being a huge hit, Hooper's career didn't really take off. IMDb shows he's directed several movies but has worked mostly in television.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Trump bans transexuals from the military

Elderly California Republican Bruce Jenner is reportedly unhappy.
Homosexuality had been legal in Turkey since 1858, but the country bans gays from the military. They demand real proof of homosexuality. Horrified teenagers who don't want to be drafted have to provide photos or video of themselves having sex with another man.

In the United States, I thought the combination of legalized same sex marriage and a ban on gays in the military was a good thing. If they ever tried to bring back the draft, every boy in America would go straight from his high school graduation to marry his best friend. Dodging the draft would be almost effortless.

The chickenhawk Obama robbed American youth of that chance for life.

Now Trump has just announced a ban on transexuals in the military. I can't see how that will do anyone any good.

There's been some reporting on draft dodging Republican Bruce Jenner's reaction, but not a word about Chelsea Manning.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Wonder Woman co-opted

Linda Ford writing on Feminism being co-opted on

She begins:

I am a retired history professor and historian of women, a socialist, and a radical feminist.  I know what feminism is, and I know it’s being co-opted.  What is feminism?  How is it defined?  Feminism is the belief in equality for women.  But feminism is being used now for unrelated, or even opposite causes, like war, transgender bathrooms, anti-Russia hysteria and political opportunism.

And, on the subject of Wonder Woman:

In a way, Wonder Woman also represents the contradictions of radical, egalitarian feminism.  Her creator, William Moulton Marston, wanted to show female superiority, and so placed her origins in all-female Amazon society.  I’ve—as a feminist—always loved the idea of Amazon society, whether as historical reality (there is evidence) or Greek and Roman myth.  In both cases, Amazon society is a women-run matriarchy, led by strong, capable women warriors, warriors who did go to war for more than self-defense, although they apparently were always up against stronger armies.  Marston’s superior Amazon society was also, although featuring women warriors, a peace-loving society.
Hence Wonder Woman was tasked to bring her superpowers to the service of a peaceful world:  she would save the world from violence and evil.  She was also a female superhero, personifying Anthony and Paul’s feminism whose “ideal is strength,” as did the Amazons of history and myth.

So now we have Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, the movie, and again, feminism is co-opted, this time in the service of what Glen Ford of black agenda report calls the War Party.  The New York Times’ review of “Wonder Woman” said the movie highlights Wonder Woman’s “sacred duty to bring peace to the world,” although admitting it took a lot of killing to do it.  There is, therefore, this Orwellian “war is peace” aspect to the film.  The Wonder Woman I knew and loved was never this bloodthirsty, seeming to revel in the violence and the fight.  She was always the strong character—female superhero!—she did not, as goddess and superhero, have an equal and/or romantic relationship with Captain Steve Trevor, always portrayed as weak and in need of rescue.  I also had a problem with the actress Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, a woman, in real life, very much in the service of Israeli aggressive military might, even when that might was turned against the children of Gaza in 2014.  Wonder Woman here, as Jonathan Cook recently wrote in an excellent piece on Mondoweiss, is disguised as someone practicing “humanitarian intervention,” à la neo-liberal imperialists like Hillary Clinton.  Wonder Woman, in this movie, is promoting aggressive western military domination.  Amazonian feminism, women warriors ruling their own world, or a superhero woman saving the world without bringing more violence to it, is co-opted.

Monday, July 24, 2017

14-year-old Balloon Boy is now pro-Trump

Poor Balloon Boy. Poor, sweet innocent little Balloon Boy. He's now 14 and pro-Trump, although you can't tell the depth of his political commitment. He probably feels some guilt over sending both his parents to jail. His idiot father still denies it was a hoax--he says he only pled guilty so his wife wouldn't be deported.

As you may recall, eight years ago, Richard Heene "accidentally" released a large, homemade helium balloon, then called 911 because they thought his six-year-old son, Falcon, might be in it.

Police and National Guard helicopters chased the balloon for a couple of hours. It was covered live on TV. The thing finally landed, but there was no Balloon Boy. Horrified police though he might have fallen out.

But, no, thank God---the little fellow was hiding in the attic the whole time.

The family appeared on TV a few times. Falcon threw up into a waste basket during one interview. The day before, his parents repeated a question to him that Wolf Blitzer asked. Why didn't he come out of the attic when he heard people looking for him?

"You guys said we did it for a show," Falcon said.

His father was trying to get a reality show about his storm chasing and amateur science crap. He made the fatal error of entering into a criminal conspiracy with a kindergartener.

Balloon Boy's father got 90 days in jail and his mother 20 days.

The family had already appeared on the show Wife Swap. One clip showed his father either in an incoherent rage or thinking he was being terribly funny or both:

My God, he's an idiot.

So, anyway, Balloon Boy and his brothers have some sort of heavy metal band now called "The Heene Boyz". Here's their tune about the Balloon Boy hoax:

And here (despite their mother being an immigrant with a criminal record) is their pro-Trump song:

Boy Missing, aka Secuestro, 2016

I won't give anything away, but a Spanish kid is found by a passing motorist staggering down a country road with blood on his face. The cops investigate. He's deaf. His mother, a prominent lawyer, translates sign language for the police. The kid says he was kidnapped as he went to enter his big exclusive private school. He describes the guy who did it and identifies him from a photo.

The mother is alarmed that police can't arrest the guy. She thinks for pretty good reason that he's a danger to her son, so she goes to her former boyfriend who also happens to be the kid's father and pays him to do something about it. But things go from bad to worse for a variety of reasons.

Other than the cops and the maid who gets hit over the head (that's a teaser, not a spoiler) the suspected kidnapper who is involved with the dog fighting ring was the most innocent one in the movie.

Generally, when there's a child involved, you know nothing's going to happen to him, but with the Spaniards, who knows.

Thought the ending was a bit much. But what do I know.

Actress playing the mother seemed a little old. I wondered how they filmed the dog fighting scene. 

It surprised me was how popular Chryslers are in Spain. It was a Citroen that broke down at a crucial moment. Public restrooms in Spain provide much more privacy than ours and they have an inquisitorial judicial system which is different.

Available for instant viewing on Netflix.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Camp Hollywood (2004)

When I see movies or news reports about people going to Hollywood hoping to make it in the movie industry, I'm always amazed if any succeed to any degree. There was a thing on some TV news magazine following a woman and her son she was trying to get into the movies. It ended with the kid on the set of either a Village of the Damned remake or something that may as well have been a Village of the Damned remake. The boy's estranged father put an end to it. He disapproved of his child being rich and famous and got a judge to order than he remain poor and unemployed.

Camp Hollywood is a documentary made by Canadian comedian Steve Markle about the Highland Gardens Hotel, a run down hotel that looks more like what you'd think of as a motel, where actors go as they wait for success. Canadians tend to flock there.

There's a Canadian alcoholic former high school drama teacher. He came to Hollywood after being fired for mooning his class. There's a Canadian former model, a Canadian TV star who wants to be an American TV star. The filmmaker himself is trying to become an American comedian. There are also a few successful actors including a couple who've lived there for 25 years, living wisely within their means among the young people.

Everyone there is good-looking. One Canadian guy seemed cartoonishly good-looking. He was good-looking in a way that didn't seem quite right somehow. Most are unemployed. But, amazingly, a few make it. They get hired for TV series.

When you're trying to be an actor, you have to be free to go to auditions and to perform the occasional gig. This means you can't do anything else. If you work, it has to be at a bad job you can freely take time off from. You can't go to college. So the actors mostly hang around slowly going broke.

There's a director called Monty who shows up with a cast and one-man crew filming a silent film at the hotel without permission. He's incredibly obnoxious. The cast and crew were working for free.

"It's amazing what actors will put up with to add a credit to their resume," Markle says.

"Go fuck yourself," the DP says as he walks off with his camera.

They had to stop filming. It started raining and the desk clerk came out and told them to stop because the hotel could be liable if someone slipped and fell.

Made me wonder about workman's comp for cast and crew who work on movies for free. I looked it up. It turns out that organizations commonly provide workman's comp for volunteers and it's not expensive.

I looked up the obnoxious director on line. His name is Alex Monty Canawati. He got money to finish his movie called Return to Babylon. The estimated budget was $2 million. Jennifer Tilly and Tippi Hedren appear in it. They publicized it with rumors that the movie was haunted the ghosts of silent movie stars.

Camp Hollywood is available on Fandor.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Small town violence

There was Bad Day at Black Rock, of course, pretty much a wide screen Technicolor film noir set in a tiny Nevada town. Seem like small towns have an untapped action movie potential. They often have higher murder rates than cities. In cities, you're more apt to be killed by someone who is robbing or raping you, or you might be murdered at random. In small towns, you're more likely to killed by someone you know who thinks you've insulted them in some way.

I worked with a couple of small town dwellers. One had been a witness in a murder case--one of his friends killed a man because he took a completely innocent snapshot of his sister. He and his stepfather are still in prison. The other knew an alcoholic 19-year-old who tried to murder his mother's boyfriend for being his mother's boyfriend. The man suffered a serious head injury and brain damage, but survived.

They tend to have more guns in small towns, everyone knows each other to some degree. A lot of towns have the same number of people as fairly typical high school----a high school where everyone has a couple of guns and will kill you if you offend them in any way. Might be able to remake a samurai movie in that setting.

The was the story of Ken McElroy who terrorized the tiny town of Skidmore, Missouri. It's surprising it took the townsfolk so long to finally shoot him. After he was dead, his widow filed a lawsuit against them so they burned her house down. Seems strange that people willing to burn down a person's house would have been so cowed for so long by a guy they could easily pick off with a rifle.

My mother's entire extended family came from a small town, but they're all gone from there now. The younger ones moved away and the older ones have died off. In that town, two brothers (unrelated to me as far as I know) got into an argument about something so one murdered the other with a homemade sword.

An elderly local minister thought that his church and the several businesses he owned were an independent country and that he wasn't required to pay taxes. I can understand some idiot thinking that his property SHOULD be an independent country and that he shouldn't have to pay taxes, but I can't imagine even the stupidest person thinking they could successfully argue this in court. He and his wife tried. They're both in prison.

I walked into a little restaurant there. They had a wall plastered with right wing Tea Party stuff, much of it explicitly racist.

Forty-five years ago, I was there walking around with my brother and our cousin. There was a rowboat sitting next to the river. For some reason, my brother desperately wanted to take the boat out onto the river. My cousin refused not because doing so would be theft, but because the guy who owned it was from a family known for physical violence.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

John McCain

John McCain voted against the Affordable Care Act, and wants to repeal it. He doesn't care if the rest of us live or die.

I have no idea what alleged liberals see in this scumbag. The "liberals" at MSNBC are outraged at attempts to repeal of Obamacare. Republicans delayed the vote on it until McCain returned from surgery, but Rachel Maddow, et al., continue to gush over him.

He's lied for years about being tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Even American prisoners who were there say it didn't happen.

McCain had to claim he was tortured because he was a traitor. His nickname was "Songbird" because he went in singing, telling the Vietnamese whatever they wanted to know.

The Vietnamese explained how they got him to talk. They knew who he was---they knew his father was an admiral and that his grandfather had a ship named after him. They knew he was used to getting special treatment. So they put him in a private room in a military hospital, they brought in Soviet doctors to treat him, and they had Vietnamese officers come to meet him, as if they were thrilled to finally get to meet John McCain. Like most morons, he was easily manipulated.

It's okay with me. McCain helped the Vietnamese improve their air defenses.

A Spanish psychiatrist examined McCain in Vietnam and diagnosed him as a psychopath.

When he was running for president, McCain told reporters, "I hate the gooks. I'll hate them as long as I live."

Which may not be much longer. It turns out he has brain cancer.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Doris Payne arrested again

86-year-old Doris Payne got arrested for shoplifting $86.22 worth of merchandise from a Wal-Mart in suburban Atlanta.

She was the professional jewel thief featured in the documentary The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne, more shoplifter than cat burglar, who had to overcome racism to succeed in this challenging field.

She didn't mention ever having a job and I can't imagine she was paying into Social Security all those years.

Her lawyer told local reporters, "This is a sharp contrast to all the cases in the past. We're not talking about high-end jewellery. We're talking about what an 86-year-old woman needs to survive on a day-to-day basis, food supplies and medical supplies."

She was wearing an electronic ankle monitor from a previous arrest.

I wonder if she's getting royalties from the movie. Because they mention it every time she's arrested. She's giving it some pretty good publicity.

I knew a middle aged homeless guy who resorted to shoplifting once. I don't think he ever did it before, but even he knew not to steal from a big store like Wal-Mart. They have so much security. In the documentary, Payne was awaiting trial for stealing jewelry from a department store. She discovered she couldn't get away with it anymore with security cameras everywhere.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Death of a Salesman

I don't believe in any American Dream. I believe in the Communist Dream. You have a guaranteed home, a guaranteed job, free education, free medical care. Money isn't the focus of your life. You look forward to retirement, you don't wonder how you're going to survive when you can no longer work.

I watched Death of a Salesman, the Dustin Hoffman version, made for TV in 1985.

It's hard to judge a play when you're used to movies. The performances can seem overwrought. It might be interesting to see a naturalistic version.

Were salesmen always this pitiful or was it something this play started? There was Glengary Glen Ross and the recurring character, Gil, on The Simpsons. There's Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo. There was an episode of The Streets of San Francisco and at least one episode of The Twilight Zone. I've known salesmen and it seems like a nice job. I wouldn't mind seeing something pro-salesman for a change.

Available on Fandor

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Martin Landau, George Romero, RIP

Patton Oswalt tweeted: "When George A. Romero was 19 he worked as a pageboy on NORTH BY NORTHWEST, Martin Landau's 2nd film"

Martin Landau had a wildly varied career. He won an Oscar for Ed Wood and was also in The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island. I first saw him on Mission Impossible and Space 1999. When I was 12, I drew a science fiction comic book and tried to make the hero look like him (I couldn't draw).  He died Saturday at age 89.

George Romero worked in advertising in Pittsburgh when he and his friends chipped in several thousand dollars each and made Night of the Living Dead. It was made at a time when horror movies were considered a genre for children. Roger Ebert first saw the movie at a matinee full of children and was morally outraged. Romero died of lung cancer at age 77.

Aaron Carter arrested

Aaron Carter looks awful. He's only 29. No one looks good in a mugshot and that giant tattoo on his neck isn't helping. But good lord. Moisturizer sure wouldn't hurt anything.

He was arrested for drunk driving not long after being arrested for public drunkeness.

I truly don't understand why so many people get tattoos, especially in show business. Who on earth finds a giant neck tattoo attractive?

Shia LaBeouf could take a page out of his book. He didn't run from the cops, didn't shout racial abuse at them. As far as anyone knows, he did nothing that would cause police to release videotapes of him to the press.

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Comes to Eden

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Comes to Eden is a 2013 documentary about events on a barely inhabited island in the Galopagos. Seven adults and two children settled there separately in three households in the late '20's and early '30's. 

The first were eccentric doctor Frederich Ritter and his girlfriend, Dora Strauch, who left Germany together. They were married, but not to each other. They wanted to escape civilization and surprisingly didn't die the first week. They managed to build a house and plant vegetables. Ritter was a Nietzschean and wanted to write about philosophy. 

They sent letters back to family in Germany and stories about them were published in the newspapers. 

A German family, a husband, his pregnant wife and 12-year-old son, decided to do the same thing. They arrived on the island to the annoyance of the Ritter and Strauch, who showed them some caves far from their own encampment where they could settle. 

Then came an alleged countess with two gigolos she claimed were an architect and engineer who were going to build a hotel for tourists. Her "engineer" washed her feet in the family's drinking water then sat down in one of their chairs and demanded they serve her tea.

It seems like a miserable life at best. Three households, seven adults. Completely isolated. And they all hate each other. What do you think will happen?

They were visited by a millionaire and his crew on a ship supposedly sailing around doing scientific research. I assume they shot the film and photographs used in the documentary. Actors read from books and letters written by the people involved and there are interviews with their descendants who still live on the islands.

Two disappeared without a trace, one disappeared but was found dead and one died but it's not clear what killed him exactly. And the survivors wrote books implicating each other.

Available for instant viewing on Netflix.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Beginning, the making of Star Wars, the Phantom Menace.

Meet the Fockers cost $80 million to produce. Zoolander 2 was $55 million. Don't ask me where the money went.

George Lucas made Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menace for a modest $115 million (although that was 1999 dollars). Lucas got way more for his money. Look at the crap they're making now, spending half a billion dollars to produce.

I don't think I've seen the movie unless it was a Riftrax version, but I watched a documentary on the making of The Phantom Menace. It was called The Beginning, available here on You Tube. 

It was painful to watch Jake Lloyd sign his childhood away. They show him writing his name in cursive at the bottom of the contact. The movie wrecked his life. 

Jake had less experience that the other child actor they auditioned, he didn't do as well in the audition and the other kid looked more like a child version of Mark Hamill. I always thought Jake looked like a young George Lucas and I assumed that was why Lucas hired him. 

The script didn't make it easy on the kid. In the audition, he had to ask Natalie Portman if she was a space angel then explain how he heard the space sailors talking about space angels. Portman later said that the movie gave her a reputation for being a lousy actor. The fact is that she can't act unless she's working with a director who's really good at directing non-actors. 

Having a bloodthirsty Zionist like Portman in the movie was probably a good idea. It could deflect criticism for the profoundly offensive money-grubbing anti-Semitic stereotype alien. It was computer generated and watching them in the documentary doing to the CGI and talking about how the thing was going to act, they HAD to have known what the problem was. 

And there was Jar Jar Binks, of course.

I've never liked critics who think they're being clever as they attack child actors. (I haven't attacked any child actors on this blog, have I? I find myself attacking everyone else.) Jake Lloyd was fine. Try to imagine a young Roddy McDowell or Mickey Rooney at the same age in the same role. Would they have done better?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

This is the last Shia LaBeouf thing

Long ago, I read an article on the website of a skeptic's magazine. It was about The Exorcist. The book and movie were based loosely on a real case that happened in Maryland in the '40s or '50s. There had been a documentary about the actual case that was shown on some cable network and the article I read debunked the inaccuracies in that film.

It was a 14-year-old boy who was supposedly possessed. His mother and grandmother were running around trying to get him an exorcism. His father had nothing to do with it. He'd come home and read the paper while his wife and mother-in-law went from church to church. They were Lutherans and the kid already had a few exorcisms before they went to the Catholics.

The reporter talked to some of the kid's friends from those days. They mentioned that the beds they had back then had springs and a thin matress and were on wheels. They were so light you couldn't turn over without the bed moving two feet. That's why the bed was moving around by itself. A popular passtime for young people in those days was spitting through your teeth and they were surprisingly accurate. The one surviving priest who took part in the exorcism said the kid spoke  in Latin, but they thought he was imitating them like a brat. He said that scratches mysteriously appeared on his stomach, but they weren't watching him and did nothing to determine if he was doing it to himself.

None of the kid's friends thought he was possessed. They just thought he was a jerk.

And that's how it is with Shia LaBeouf. He's not mentally ill or struggling with alcoholism. Nothing he's done requires a psychiatric explanation. Not basing every action on a lucid comprehension of self-interest is not mental illness. There's no sign that he has any political opinions beyond his dislike for Trump, so his turning to racism so quickly to attack a bunch of Southern cops isn't terribly surprising. He's just a jerk.

He's blames his actions on alcoholism, but he also says he has no drive to drink. His publicist said that he doesn't need to get treatment immediately because he just won't drink until he finishes the movie. He's not addicted to alcohol and even if he were, that wouldn't explain the racism.

To quote, LaBeouf is "the absolute embodiment of a rich straight white guy who thinks he deserves everything and must also be a genius for getting it. And because he doesn't remember actually doing anything smart, it must be that everything he does is smart."

He has no education. He hasn't said or done anything that requires any brains.

He has lots of money. He'll be fine whatever happens. But I'd like to be rid of him and Daniel Clowes whose work he stole, who he continued to attack for months, should be rid of him, too.

Shia LaBeouf, another plagiarized apology

Shia has apologized. No word yet if his statement was plagiarized. We'll see if he does it in skywriting. He clearly didn't write it in any case.

I couldn't stand him after the plagiarism thing. He's just an asshole. He kept it up for months, tweeting plagiarized apologies thinking he was extremely clever the whole time.

I don't care that he was drunkenly berating the police. But the racism---insisting that he was being persecuted for being white. Zsa Zsa Gabor made a much more credible claim that cops went after her because she was a celebrity. The guy who played Eddie Munster said the same thing when he was arrested for something and may well have been right.

More tapes have been released of LaBeouf telling a black cop he was going "straight to hell" because "a black man arrested me for being white", and telling a white cop that his wife watched pornography with African-American actors and had a preference for black men.

Look at how mad people got when Mel Gibson was arrested for drunk driving. He cheerfully addressed a lady officer as "sugar tits". I don't even know what that means. It certainly sounds objectionable. He told a Jewish cop that Jews started all the wars in history, which was a bit of hyperbole, but Israel was in the process of slaughtering thousands of defenseless men, women and children in Lebanon at the time. Israel has plainly been the aggressor in war after war.

I feel sorry for the poor devils making that movie, Peanut Butter Falcon. But what did they think would happen when they hired that idiot?  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Shia LaBeouf again

You know what would be a good idea? Get an unstable alcoholic star who won't be able to restrain himself and act like a decent person, film in a politically conservative region where cops won't put up with his crap, where he'll almost certainly end up in jail or on a chain gang and, when the inevitable happens and your production is ruined, collect a big insurance pay off.

I'm not sure there would be any point in this unless the insurance company would pay more than the amount invested to make the movie.

The producers of Peanut Butter Falcon should think about how they'll finish the movie if Shia LaBeouf is taken away. He plays a criminal who helps a young man with Down syndrome reach some sort of training camp to become a professional wrestler. They could have Shia taken away by police or drown in the river and have another character step in to complete the task.

This happened years ago to Larry Cohen. Bette Davis walked off the set of The Wicked Stepmother (1989) either due to problems with the script and how she was photographed or because of ill health.  He had to scramble to rewrite the script. I thought the result was okay.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

"If I had my gun, I'd blow your shit up." --Shia LaBeouf

Man. If Shia LaBeouf really does own a gun, he should get rid of it until he gets his alcoholism and criminality under control.

This was hard to transcribe. I'm sure I got some of it wrong. But here, judge for yourself:

During the ride to jail, Shia explains to the officer:

" your fucking bitch to the end of your days, bitch. And you live that legacy. That's what you signed up for, bitch [unintelligible] whore. If I had my gun I'd blow your shit up. You're a bitch though. So you got your shit you do nothin'. [unitelligible over cop sighing.] Fuckin' bitch. Coward. Fuck you and your legacy. You got a kid? Hope so. Hope so so you can know what the fuck no so is goin'. You're a biiiiiitch. For leagues. Not for years. A bitch for leagues. You're a pirate bitch. Bitch. 

"And you put your own kind in the fuckin' pen for nothing. YOU PUT A WHITE MAN IN THE PEN FOR WHAT, YOU FUCKIN' BITCH. FOR ASKIN' FOR ASKIN' FOR A BLACK MAN FOR A CIGARETTE? ...

"I pay my taxes, you dumb bitch. You're about to meet my lawyer and you made this trip for nothing. And you feel like a stupid slimey whore. Enjoy your life. That's your legacy, you fucking coward."

I don't know what he meant when said the cop was putting his "own kind" in prison. If the cop was white, it was racist. If the cop was black, I guess Shia assumed they shared an antipathy for Trump. In either case, I can't see the cop regarding Shia as one of his "kind". I don't know how they'll put a positive spin on referring to himself as a white man.

His version of events in the videos seems to be that he innocently asked a cop for a cigarette and the officer arrested him for no reason. He points out that cameras are everywhere suggesting they'll prove he did nothing wrong.

It has been pointed out that the police report says that LaBeouf was using obscene language in front of women and children present. It happened at 4:00 AM. What were children doing there?

This would have ended Sonny Tuft's career. I'd probably feel some sympathy for him if it weren't for the plagiarism.

And remember all those plagiarized fake apologies? They'll make it impossible for him to apologize convincingly for this.

And They Call it Summer (Italy, 2012)

An Italian anesthesiologist adores his wife to the point that he can't bring himself to sully her with sex. He satisfies himself with swingers, hires prostitutes, and goes to sex parties, but won't touch his wife. Concerned about her needs, he encourages her ex-boyfriends to sleep with her.

For all I know, this could be a common problem with married couples. I don't know what people do.

The movie won some awards at the Rome Film Festival, but critics couldn't stand it. It was universally panned.

One critic felt that the first shot of the wife being a close-up of her genitalia was the first of many "missteps".

I watched it without thinking much about it. I don't know what that tells you. I didn't hate it. It was kind of interesting visually. There wasn't much dialog or interaction between husband and wife or much character development of any kind.

I watched it on Netflix. There are a couple of other Roku channels where you can see it for free.

I'm always curious about movies that everybody hates, but this is the one of the few I could actually sit through.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Send only non-crime-related texts

There was a made-for-video movie called Wicked Blood starring Little Miss Sunshine herself, Abigail Breslin, as a teenager coping with her family's methamphetamine business.

One thing you learned from that movie was, don't announce your crimes via text message. In this case, associates of the criminals you're outsmarting might see them and decide to murder you.

It's a lesson idiot frat-boys at Penn State are only now learning. When a pledge they were hazing died, they decided to conspire by text rather than simply speak to each other.

One texted, "drink hazing can send me to jail," and "I don't want to go to jail for this"

"He looked fucking dead" texted an intelligent-sounding young man. "I think we are fucked."

"I think after this we could be kicked off," one said missing the bigger picture.

"Make sure the pledges clean the basement and get rid of any evidence of alcohol."

"Make sure the pledges keep quiet about last night and this situation."

Prosecutors say one of them did an internet search for "How would 9 drinks in an hour affect a 200 pound guy."

All this is used against them in court. They're charged with manslaughter among other things.

The other lessons from this, of course, are don't haze people and if someone is hurt, call 911 immediately especially if they look "fucking dead".

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Shia LaBeouf arrested once again

I had a friend in high school who later became a homeless mentally ill drug-addicted anarchist who supported himself though criminal activity. He was a convicted felon, has been in prison twice. After he stabbed and slightly injured a man, I was relieved to hear that his public defender, the prosecutor and judge all agreed that he was legally insane. He's now in the state hospital.

But even HE has been arrested fewer times than aging recidivist criminal Shia LaBeouf. LeBeouf has now been arrested for obstruction and disorderly conduct in Georgia after someone wouldn't give him a cigarette.

According to the cops:

“When LaBeouf wasn’t given a cigarette, he became disorderly, using profanities and vulgar language in front of the women and children present. He was told to leave the area and refused, becoming aggressive toward the officer.

“When the officer attempted to place LaBeouf under arrest, LaBeouf ran to a nearby hotel. LaBeouf was arrested in the hotel lobby, where his disorderly behavior continued.”

He was released on $7,000 bail.

LaBeouf is in Georgia filming something called The Peanut Butter Falcon, which sounds real good.

I hope his contract has a morals clause. How did the producers of the movie not know this would happen?

Middle-aged California alcoholic Shia LaBeouf on set of Peanut Butter Falcon.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Last Tango in Paris, All in the Family

Mercifully, this is the most we see of Marlon Brando.
By the way, I mentioned seeing Last Tango in Paris. I'll tell you what surprised me.

Long ago, there was an episode of All in the Family. Archie Bunker sits in a bar and says he went to see Last Tango in Paris because he assumed it was a dance movie. He adds that he saw parts of Marlon Brando he never wanted to see.

So when the movie played at the university, I went to see it and braced myself to see naked, flabby middle-aged Marlon Brando. But there was only "implied nudity" as far he was concerned, although I was pretty bored and my mind may have drifted at crucial moments.

Why do they make inaccurate jokes like this? Couldn't Archie Bunker have had an amusing reaction to the movie without misrepresenting it?

I watched it again just to be sure I was stating it accurately here. There was no naked Marlon Brando. He was 48 and playing 45. In one scene he wears a t-shirt and what look like executive-length boxer shorts.

Maria Schneider who played the girl thinks the film comes across as kitsch today, and she has a point. She remained friends with Brando. Even he felt manipulated by Bertolucci. She complained that Brando and Bertolucci made a fortune while she was paid only $2,500, even though Bertolucci was a Communist.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The trouble with streaming video

I heard or read an interview somewhere with Dan Fante, the son of John Fante. He said that there were a lot of books that he and his father would start reading then put down when it was clear they either weren't that good or just weren't for them. Made me feel better about all the books I tried to read and got nowhere with.

But it's bad when you can't even make yourself watch the movie.

I keep looking at these Roku channels. If you watch a movie for the first time, it says "Play". If you already watched some of it and stopped, it says, "Resume playing".

I keep finding movies that say "Resume playing" and I have no memory of them until I start watching them again and I think, Oh, no wonder I turned it off!

This is the horror of streaming video. When you paid a dollar or two and brought home a videotape, you felt you had to watch at least a good part of it. Back when there were only three or four channels on TV, you sat through all kinds of crap you'd have never watched otherwise.

I remember the days before VCRs became affordable. The university would use the more comfortable classrooms as theaters on the weekend and show movies in 16mm. They were cheap. When I was in high school, I would go to two or three movies each night on Friday and Saturday and one or two on Sunday. I watched movies I otherwise would have never seen, and quite a few that, if I saw them on streaming video, I would have watched a minute or two of before turning them off.

A film student was doing his thesis on the westerns of Budd Boetticher so they showed one of those every Sunday for a while.

I sat next to some giggling Asian foreign students watching Last Tango In Paris. I watched a post-Roger Moore James Bond movie next to a large group of frat boys who took up a couple of rows of seats. One of them kept shouting "All right, James!" in a terrible English accent.

"Shut up! Shut up!" his date kept whispering.

A sword fighting enthusiast stood in line to see The Duelists and talked me into seeing it. I went to see Sanjuro with a large number of Japanese foreign students in the audience and was surprised at how funny they thought some of the jokes were.

I've only walked out of a couple of movies in my life. In the old days, they would show these incredibly boring documentaries to clear out movie theaters between shows. That never worked with me because I felt strangely obliged to watch to the bitter end.

It's all changed. There's too much choice. They've made it too easy for me.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Heavy Metal Parking Lot (1986)

A 16 minute documentary by John Heyn and Jeffrey Krulik, available on Fandor or buy it here.

Guys with a camcorder speak to admirers of Judas Priest in the parking lot at the Capital Centre where they're performing in Margo, Maryland, in 1986. Filmed on what must have been VHS or Video 8. The image was probably sharper thirty years ago and the color more life-like. 

A lot of shirtless young men. A twenty-year-old unwisely makes out with his girlfriend who says she's thirteen. I hope she was kidding.

They speak to a 21-year-old who reminded me vaguely of Matthew McConaughey in Dazed & Confused. He has a beard and chest hair, one of the few males with fully developed secondary sexual characteristics. They ask if he feels old being there. 

They all have American cars. 

At no time in my life would I have wanted to be among them, but watching it thirty years after the fact, I'm glad the kids were happy.

One young fellow pictured above in sort of a Zebra striped sleeveless jumpsuit opines:


He elaborates: "Heavy metal rules; all that punk shit sucks. It doesn't belong in this world. It belongs on fucking Mars, man. What the hell is punk shit?" He adds, "Madonna can go to hell as far as I'm concerned."

A group of young people got backstage passes. A friend of theirs, a Judas Priest fan, died in a car accident and his mother wrote to the band and they sent the passes.

They would have really annoyed me at the time, but now, thirty years later, they seem so harmless. It makes me think I should be more tolerant of the young.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Billy McFarland: a couple more details

Did he really think he could do all this without getting arrested?

Billy McFarland's parents reportedly sat in the back of the courtroom "looking anguished" as their big flabby baby was arraigned on wire fraud charges. His father "cradled his head in his hands" at one point, but they both beat it out of there once it was over.

He plans to move out of his $21,575-a-month apartment and in with his wealthy parents in New Jersey.

He was carrying $5,000 in cash when he was arrested, yet he had a public defender. He claims he can't afford to pay his lawyers. The public defender said he was paying off his $110,000 Maserati and that it didn't count as an asset. She said he wasn't a flight risk because he was penniless and the feds took his passport. She asked that he be released without bail. She told McFarland to say nothing and swatted his hand away when he tried to write something on a notepad.

The prosecutor, citing McFarland's lavish lifestyle and "industrial losses of tens of millions of dollars", wanted bail set at half a million dollars. It ended up being set at $300,000.

And he was immediately bailed out, so I guess he wasn't penniless after all.

What an honor! Public defender Sabrina Schoff gets to represent McFarland.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Billy McFarland's out on bail

Billy McFarland addressing Fyre "Festival" attendees.

Apparently Billy spent the night in jail, appeared before a judge on Saturday and was released on $300,000 bail.

Cops say he had $5,000 in cash on him when he was arrested.

His lawyers didn't show up. He was represented by a public defender.

He reportedly moved out of his $21,750-a-month penthouse apartment and has gone to his parents' house in New Jersey.

No word on his $110,000 Maserati.

"It is clear that he did not understand the gravity and the severity of the charges until now," Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristy Greenberg told reporters.

His partner, Ja Rule, served several years in prison on various charges and can tell him all about it.

Are there any countries people in his situation flee to these days? It sure wouldn't hurt anything if he panicked and made a run for it.