Saturday, April 30, 2005

Movie of the Week, Return to Oz


"Fairuza had a look that resonated with Judy Garland's. Out of the blue she could snap into what her character would be feeling at any moment." -Director Walter Murch on Fairuza Bulk

This week's movie of the week is, Return to Oz.

Dorothy, back in Kansas, can't stop thinking about Oz, and even believes that her friends have sent her a key. Auntie Em, worried for Dorothy's health, takes her to a famous doctor who works miracles with electricity. When Dorothy escapes from the treatment, she and a chicken named Billina find themselves in Oz. But when Dorothy tries to find her old friends in the Emerald City, she learns that they've all been transformed by the Nome King. And the evil witch Mombie wants Dorothy's head. It's up to Dorothy, Billina, and their new friends, the clockwork Tik-Tok (aka the royal army of Oz), Jack Pumpkinhead, and a Gump-thing to defeat Mombie and the Nome King and restore the rightful ruler of Oz to her throne.

Watch the trailer here:

Fun Trivia:
A gymnast stood upside-down (with legs bent) inside Tik-Tok's body to move the legs.

The Movie is based on the second and thrid Oz books: "The Land of Oz" and "Ozma of  Oz". Elements from the former include the introduction of Jack Pumpkinhead, the witch Mombi and her powder of life, the conquest of the Emerald City, the escape by flying sofa, and the search for Princess Ozma. From the latter comes the return of Dorathy, the talking chicken Billina, the wheelers, the discovery of Tick-Tock, a princess with interchangable heads, the intoduction of the Nome King, and the ornament room.

In order to include the ruby slippers as part of this film, Disney had to pay royalties to MGM, the studio which had produced The Wizard of Oz (1939). The ruby slippers did not appear in the original novel "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"; they were invented for the 1939 film to better take advantage of the newly developed Technicolor process. Interestingly enough, in "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," Dorothy wore a pair of magical silver shoes which were actually destroyed when she used them to return to Kansas. In the subsequent novel "Ozma of Oz," one of the books on which this film is based, Dorothy and her friends meet the Nome King who possesses a magical belt with properties similar to those of the silver shoes. Early drafts of the script for Return to Oz reflect this, with the Nome King possessing a magical ruby belt which had been created from the ruby slippers.

Fun Quotes:
Jack Pumpkinhead: If his brain's ran down, how can he talk?
Dorothy: It happens to people all the time, Jack.

Billina: Some place for a chicken coop! How big is this pond anyway?
Dorothy: I don't think it's a pond, Billina. When did you learn to talk anyway? I thought hens could only cluck and cackle.
Billina: Strange, ain't it? How's my grammar?

Ozma: Why did they bring you here, Dorothy?
Dorothy: Because I can't sleep, and I talk about a place that I've been to, but nobody believes that it exists.

Tik-Tok: I have always valued my lifelessness.

My Return to Oz Wallpaper:

Four outta four. I actually like this Oz movie better than the 1939 Judy Garland version, much creepier and prettier to look at.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Pin up of the Week, Anna Falchi. I love these pictures they make me think of old jungle girl pin-ups and Irish McCalla as Sheena. Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Okay despite my best efforts I'm excited about the new movie. Mr. Lucas I'm ready for my ass raping. Posted by Hello

A Post for Fanboys/girls Only

Like Kevin Smith? Like Shaun of the Dead's Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright? Like Star Wars?

Well if you do you should check out:

It's seven pages of hilarious.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Ethan Hawke is Alfred E. Newman in "What me Worry?". Or at least that's what it looks like. This might be the creepiest picture of anyone ever taken. Anyone still wonder why Uma Thurman divorced him? Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Another Pointless Waste of Time.

Stolen from Battlemaiden's blog another "chain-letter blog". Feel free to keep the chain going.

1. What is your name? -Becca
2. What color underwear are you wearing now? -Black
3. What are you listening to right now? -At this exact moment? TV, otherwise my latest
I-Tunes mix has been in heavy rotation.
4. What are the last 2 digits of your phone number? -I could tell you but I'd have to kill you.
5. What was the last thing you ate? -Chocolate pudding and a bottle of water. Mmm healthy.
6. If you were a crayon what color would you be? -Indigo
7. How is the weather right now? -Cloudy and raining on and off.
8. Who was the last person talked to on the phone? -Flora lee. She's housebound so she calls me at work with lists of books, I read her the backs and send them to her if she's interested. It's fun. Killed an hour of work-time today at the very least. She likes the sordid mystery romance novels. Like I said it's fun.
9. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex?- Their eyes. I seem to like boys with dark hair and blue eyes.
10. Favorite Food?- Fried potatoes and peppers.
11. Favorite Drink?- Vailla Coke
12. Favorite Alcoholic drink?- vodka and orange juice
13. Favorite place to shop?- Okay I admit it, Hot Topic. They may be co-opting my childhood but they have such cool stuff!
14. Hair Color?-Naturally? Brown. It changes.
15. Eye Color? -Boring brown.
16. Do you wear contacts? - Nope just my glasses.
17. Top or bottom? -Depends...
18. Favorite Month? -October, I love it when the leaves start to turn.
19. Favorite Fast Food? -Portillos
20. Last Movie you Watched? -Koyaanisqatsi
21. Favorite Day of the Year?- Halloween. I wish everyday was Halloween, just like Al Jorgensen.
22. Are you too shy to ask someone out?-Depends...
23. Summer or Winter? -Fall
24. Hugs or Kisses? -Kisses
25. Chocolate or vanilla? -Chocolate vanilla swirl.
26. What books are you reading? -Jane Eyre, Strangehaven vol. 2
27. What's on your mouse pad? -A painting of outer space.
28. Favorite Board Game? -Scene-it!
29. What did you do last night? -Watched Nanny 9-11 and drew on the computer.
30. Who inspires you? -Norman Lindsey, Bettie Page, Marquis DeSade, Dita Von Teese, Brian Eno, Kenneth Anger, Russ Meyer, Ub Iwerks, Peter S. Beagle, N.C. Wyeth, Chairman Kaga, Bridget Jones, Alla Nazimova...oh too many to name.
31. Butter, Plain, or salted popcorn?-Plain
38. Favorite Flower? -Snapdragons
39.First thing you say when you wake up in the A.M?-Fuck! 4:50? Do I really have to get up this early?
40. Do you still talk to your best friend from middle school?-No, she's probably off flying private planes for umpires. You had to know her.
41. What's on your desk?- At home? Computer. At work? Computer, paperwork, Harry Potter figure, Invader Zim poster, picture of Ben Browder.
42. Rock Concert or Symphony? -Rock concert.
43. Play or Opera? -Opera. Bah humbug on plays! I hate the theater.
44. Have you ever fired a gun?-no
45. Do you like to travel by plane?-no
46. Right-handed or Left-handed? -Right-handed, you know the correct hand.
47. Smooth or Chunky Peanut Butter? -Chunky
48. How many pillows do you sleep with? -Four
49. City and State you were born in? -Maywood, Illinois
50. Ever hitchhiked?-Just til the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

Tee hee, that was fun.

Monday, April 25, 2005

My Blog is Getting all Blinged Up

Yes I am so ashamed I just used the "word" bling, isn't "bling" over yet? I can only assume since I saw a commercial on TV last night for a mail order "bling" kit (a box of gem stickers that are intended for use on your cell phone, lap top, etc..).

In anycase feeling computer confident after putting up the Weather Pixie I decided to play around a bit with the sidebar of this blog and added some what I'm listening to and watching lists. I will keep them updated as we go along. Feel free to comment and or tell me what you're listening to or recommend anywhere on the blog.


Sunday, April 24, 2005

Pointless Waste of Time

I am apparently bored enough to answer fellow blogger "chain letter" like posts. You'd probably be better off to skip this post and get on with your life.

Okay, I warned you. So if you are still with us here are the rules:

If you'd shag them put the name in bold.
If you'd shag them after a few drinks put the name in italics.
If you wouldn't shag or don't know who they are, leave as is.
Add one of your own to the end.

1. Stephen Dorff
2. Wesley Snipes--maybe as Blade.
3. Denzel Washington-- Denzel seems like a real prick.
4. Samuel L Jackson
5. Hayden Christensen--Eww, not after Episode 2. Or really before that. Icky.
6. Ian Somerhalder-- What's an Ian Somerhalder?
7. James Van Der Beek-- Dude you've gotta be kiding me Dawson made this list?
8. Ashton Kutcher
9. Sean William Scott-- Gossip from friends whove met him, Sean is gayer than a three dollar bill. Somehow that makes that dance off scene in American Pie 3 alot more interesting.
10. The Rock-- Who could resist The Rock? I could say something very dirty right now but will hold back.
11. Brendan Fraser-- Funny and cute, the whole package.
12. Oded Fehr
13. John Hannah
14. Hugh Grant
15. Colin Firth-- I am addicted to Firth. In fact as I write this I'm 4 hours into my umpteenth viewing of Pride and Prejudice. I never get sick of him in the wet shirt. Who could?
16. Liam Neeson-- The rumors of size have me curious. I mean look at his hands!
17. Daniel Day-Lewis
18. Leonardo DiCaprio
19. Billy Zane
20. Harry Connick Jr
21. Sean Astin
22. Dominic Monaghan
23. Karl Urban
24. Vin Diesel---isn't he gay? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
25. Paul Walker-- The only people I know who think he's cute are gay.
26. Joshua Jackson-- Come on! Now Payce? Seriously people Dawson's Creek sucks! Get over it.
27. James Marsden--Boring!
28. Shawn Ashmore
29. Hugh Jackman
30. Will Kemp
31. David Wenham
32. Viggo Mortensen
33. Elijah Wood
34. Tobey Maguire--Ick.
35. James Franco--Double Ick.
36. Alfred Molina--He may not be cute but at least he's a man.
37. Harrison Ford
38. Sean Connery
39. Shane West
40. Stuart Townsend
41. Richard Roxburgh--Really? There are girls out there who like Richard "Moulin Rouge" Roxberg?
42. Ewan McGregor
43. Jonathan Rhys Meyers
44. Christian Bale
45. Jared Leto--Eww, he looks like a little girl.
46. Colin Farell--Eww, I think he eats little girls.
47. Ben Affleck
48. Josh Hartnett
49. Bruce Willis
50. Billy Bob Thornton--Not for any amount of money. In fact Imake a point to always carry a Benjamin Desraeli picture on me just in case I need to scare the guy off.
51. Dennis Quaid
52. Jake Gyllenhaal
53. Patrick Swayze
54. Keanu Reeves
55. Gary Oldman
56. Tim Roth
57. Steve Buscemi
58. Michael Madsen
59. Rick Yune
60. Pierce Brosnan
61. Robert Carlyle
62. Jonny Lee Miller-- Just another little girl.
63. Jude Law--I'm sick to death of Jude Law. He's so boring!
64. Matt Damon
65. Clive Owen--But only in Sin City. Maybe it was the black and white and the converse tennies.
66. Ryan Phillippe
67. Benicio Del Toro
68. Johnny Depp
69. Orlando Bloom
70. Sean Bean
71. Eric Bana- Especially in Chopper. He has the cutest ears.
72. Brad Pitt
73. George Clooney
74. Mark Wahlberg
75. Jason Statham
76. Edward Norton
77. Ben Stiller
78. Owen Wilson
79. Vince Vaughn
80. Joaquin Phoenix
81. Russell Crowe-- Russell Crowe the actor? or Russell Crowe the bar singer?
82. Billy Boyd
83. Paul Bettany
84. Heath Ledger
85. Mel Gibson-- Mel Gibson died for your sins you know.
86. Jason Isaacs-- It's the eyes, they are so blue.
87. Alan Rickman
88. Kevin Costner--Do you suppose he really has gills? Um sorry. Bad Waterworld joke.
89. Christian Slater -- Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
90. Antonio Banderas
91. Tom Cruise-- Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
92. Ving Rhames
93. John Cusack
94. John Malkovich-- Eww he looks like he's dead.
95. Charlie Sheen
96. Kiefer Sutherland
97. Emilio Estevez
98. Rob Lowe
99. Matt Dillon
100. Kevin Bacon-- Thanks but no thanks. I've seen Kevin's bacon and I'm not impressed.
101. Adam Brody
102. Andy Serkis
103. Alan Cumming
104. Josh Groban-- Ha! Icky, Ewwwwwwwwwwww! I think it's boys that raise him up. Get it?
105. Sean Biggerstaff
106. Zack Braff
107. Harry Sinclair
108. Gerard Butler-- Ever since I saw Timeline, and now he's The Phantom. It's enough to make a girl wanna swoon.
109. Marton Csokas
110. Jeremy Sumpter
111. Sean Patrick Flanery
112. Cillian Murphy-- Speaking of boys who look like girls...
113. Hugh Dancy
114. Ioan Gruffudd
115. Mads Mikkelsen
116. Gael Garcia Bernal-- I wish he would just disappear. I'm so sick of hearing about The Motorcycle Diaries.
116. Enrique Murciano
117. Jamie Bamber
118. Chris Evans
119. Joe Perry
120. Billy Crudup
121. Josh Holloway
122. Michael Vartan
123. James Marsters-- I fucking HATE Spike! He's butt fucking ugly.
124. David Anders
125. Matthew Fox
126. Aaron Standford
127. Nicholas Gonzalez
128. James McAvoy
129. Diego Luna
131. Thomas Jefferson--Really? The Thomas Jefferson? Wow who gets a crush on Thomas Jefferson?
132. Boyd Holbrook
133. Brandon Flowers
134. Michael Pitt
135. William Peterson
136. Daniel Radcliffe-- He's so cute, but it's so wrong.

The directions tell you to copy and paste this into your own blog to continue the chain. Hmmm, if Thomas Jefferson has already made the list how long til we see Henry Kissenger. You know, power is apparently the ultimate aphrodesiac.

until next time, if you decide to read on after this post.

Someone should do a list like this of girls, it would be alot more fun!

Weather Pixie

New blog feature, Weather Pixie!

Merna I have worshiped yours from a far for too long. So tonight I finally gave in and got one of my own. Sorry I ripped you off but how could I resist the pixie?

So now everyone who reads the blog will know the weather in the hustling, bustling, of DeKalb. That's like so handy.


An early sculpture piece. Does anyone else look at this and think Star Wars? Could this be just another thing George Lucas ripped off for his movies? Or do I have an overactive imagination? Posted by Hello

Some collage pieces. Posted by Hello


I just read that Eduardo Paolozzi a founder of Britain's Pop Art movement just died. He was 81 so I figure it was probably natural causes. I'm not overly familiar with his work but had seen a few pieces in the past I garnered some appreciation of. He was an artist who worked in a variety of mediums including painting collage and sculpture. It's his sculpture I had seen in the past, it's kinda wild.

In any case I thought I'd post a couple things by Sir Edward in tribute.


Saturday, April 23, 2005

Movie of the Week, The Seven Samurai


“Japanese films all tend to be rather bland in flavor, like green tea over rice, I think we ought to have richer foods, and richer films. So I thought I would make this kind of film entertaining enough to eat.”- Akira Kurasowa

This week's movie of the week is, The Seven Samurai.

A veteran samurai, who has fallen on hard times, answers a village's request for protection from bandits. He gathers 6 other samurai to help him, they teach the townspeople how to defend themselves, and they supply the samurai with three small meals a day. The film culminates in a giant battle when 40 bandits attack the village.

Watch the trailer here:

Fun Trivia:
Often credited to be the first modern action movie. Many now commonly used cinematographic and plot elements - such as slow motion for dramatic flair and the reluctant hero to name a couple - are seen for perhaps the first time. Other movies may have used them separately before, but Kurosawa brought them all together.

According to a Japanese film scholar, one of the things that inspired this film was an account the director read about a actual village who hired samurai to protect them.

Kurosawa's original idea for the movie he was to make was a film about a day in the life of a samurai, beginning with him rising from his bed and ending with him making some mistake that required him to kill himself to save face. Despite a good deal of  research, he did not feel he had enough solid factual information to make the movie, but came across the above-mentioned anecdote about a village hiring samurai to protect them and decided to use that idea. Kurosawa wrote a complete dossier for each character with a speaking role. In it was details about what they wore, their favorite foods, their past history, their speaking habits, and every other detail he could think of about them. No other Japanese director had ever done this.

Spoiler: The only three samurai survivors, Shichiroji, Katsushiro and Kambei, were the first three title character actors to die in real life: Daisuke Kato; (Shichiroji) died in 1975, Isao Kimura (Katsushiro) died in 1981 and Takashi Shimura (Kambei) died in 1982.

When the samurai are giving battle advice to the peasants, who sit around them forming a circle, the camera does a rather wide circle shot of them. You can see the camera track for the shot in most of scene behind the sitting peasants.

Fun Quotes:
Gorobei Katayama: You're Good.
Heihachi Hayashida: Yeah, yeah. But I'm better at killing enemies.
Gorobei Katayama: Killed many?
Heihachi Hayashida: Well - It's impossible to kill 'em all, so I ususally run away.
Gorobei Katayama: A splendid principle!
Heihachi Hayashida: Thank you.

My seven samurai wallpaper:

Four outta four a true classic.

Friday, April 22, 2005

More photoshop fun with Aria. I'm not sure how real the tattoos look but I added all of them. It was fun.  Posted by Hello

I end up bitching about my boss anyways.

My life over the last few weeks has been hell and seemed to reach it's absolute peak after I spent the morning puking (Is there anything worse in the world than throwing up?). In anycase my working far too much over the last couple of weeks has prevented me from updating this blog on a more regular basis. (Well I could have updated more often but I don't think anyone out there wants repeated bitching about my boss.) Now that everything seems to be going back to normal I will do my best to post something at least every other day.

In anycase here is a brief rundown of the last two weeks.

Inventory is coming.

My manager decides there is no reason she needs to tell me about the three people who just handed their two week notices.

Inventory is coming. Fuck do I have to put in a 12 hour day again?

Aaron and I start reading Jane Eyre. That Rochester is up to something.

Only two more weeks til hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy comes out. Cool.

Inventory is still coming, I sure am glad my manger is going to San Diego for a week long meeting.

Work. Work. Work.

Got a new snowboarding video game. I love snowboarding games.

Hey this work is running pretty smooth without my boss around. I suppose that's just typical.

My boss comes back and decides there is no need to communicate with me about anything and I am forced to listen to her tell one of the supervisors she likes all about her trip, show him the shells she collected on the beach, and give him the signed copy of a Bone comic she got at the meeting. Jeff Smith drew a little Ted the leaf bug. Cute! But the whole day makes me feel like a middle child vying for the attention of their parent.

Aaron an I go to see Grapes of Wrath playing at the NIU drama center. Oh it rains on the stage. Am I supposed to be impressed or something? Highlight of the evening getting to walk through the NIU Anthropology museum. They have an 8 foot stuffed bear it's so cool.

Inventory day, it begins at 11:00am and ends at 4:00am. Inventory goes very smoothly. My boss avoids me the whole night and as though she feels she needs to one up me (for what I don't know) and works 24 hours straight. She's fucking crazy and screws up my nice and clean back room. Needless to say I was so pissed.

Oh my god Rochester does love Jane only they can't... I'm so sad. Rochester is so dreamy. Naughty thoughts about threeway with Darcy and Rochester ensue. I'm such a fucking nerd.

Lots more work only it's not as overwhelming since the big night is over. I'm so fucking tired though and totally emotionally wrecked.

My manager finally tells me about all the people who've quit. Good thing she was so on top of communicating such an important thing to me.

Four hours of King of the Hill with Aaron.

I wake up sick and think I'm going to die. I eventually in the words of Men at Work, chunder. Or in the words of my last boss, the mad Australian, do the vertical rainbow. Cute.

I take the day off sick and eventually write this incredibly long message.

The Black Eyed Peas suck.

Until next time,

Oh and just who the fuck is Gina Wangbanger?

and Merna have you heard anything about that job promotion? I have my fingers crossed.

Pin up of the week, the very sexy Lil' Kim who can take me to the candy shop whenever she wants. Okay, okay wrong song but it's close enough isn't it?  Posted by Hello

Monday, April 18, 2005

Movie of the week, 1776!


"I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace; that two are called a law firm, and that three or more become a Congress!"- John Adams

This week's movie of the week is 1776.

The film version of the Broadway musical comedy of the same name. In the days leading up to July 4, 1776, Continental Congressmen John Adams and Benjamin Franklin coerce Thomas Jefferson into writing the Declaration of Independence as a delaying tactic as they try to persuade the American colonies to support a resolution on independence. As George Washington sends depressing messages describing one military disaster after another, the businessmen, landowners and slave holders in Congress all stand in the way of the Declaration, and a single "nay" vote will forever end the question of independence. Large portions of spoken and sung dialog are taken directly from the letters and memoirs of the actual participants.

Fun Trivia:
William Daniels, who plays John Adams, also played John Quincy Adams (John Adams' son) in the mini series "The Adams Chronicles" (1976) (mini), Samuel Adams (John Adams' cousin) in the TV movie The Bastard (1978) (TV) and John Adams again in the TV movie "The Rebels" (1979) (mini). He was also the voice of Kit on Knightrider. Cool!

President Richard Nixon was given a private screening of the movie before its  
release by his friend Jack L. Warner, the producer. The song "Cool, Considerate Men" offended Nixon, so Warner removed it at his request. The song was restored on the Deluxe Widescreen Presentation Laserdisc (and was included on the DVD).

The song "The Egg" was written very late into the writing process for the Broadway show. So late, in fact, that promotional material had already been printed and it was upon seeing a poster depicting an eaglet coming out of a British eggshell and holding an American flag that Sherman Edwards came up with the song.

A Musical scene from the film...Piddle, Twiddle, and Resolve (uncut)

Fun Quotes:
John Dickinson: Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Lee, Mr. Hopkins, Dr. Franklin, why have you joined this... incendiary little man, this BOSTON radical? This demagogue, this MADMAN?
John Adams: Are you calling me a madman, you, you... you FRIBBLE!
Dr. Benjamin Franklin: Easy John.
John Adams: You cool, considerate men. You hang to the rear on every issue so that if we should go under, you'll still remain afloat!
John Dickinson: Are you calling me a coward?
John Adams: Yes... coward!
John Dickinson: Madman!
John Adams: Landlord!
John Dickinson: LAWYER! [a brawl breaks out]

Abigail: I never asked for much, after all, I am Mrs. John Adams. That's quite enough for one lifetime.
John Adams: Is it, Abby?
Abigail: Well think of it, John, to be married to the man who is always the first in line to be

John Adams: I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace; that two are called a law firm, and that three or more become a Congress!

Dr. Benjamin Franklin: Don't worry, John, the history books will clean it up.
John Adams: Hmm... Well, I'll never appear in the history books anyway. Only you. Franklin did this, and Franklin did that, and Franklin did some other damn thing. Franklin smote the ground and out sprang George Washington - fully grown and on his horse. Franklin then electrified him with his miraculous lightning rod and the three of them, Franklin, Washington and the horse, conducted the entire revolution all by themselves.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin: [pondering] I like it.

It sounds like an abomination but it's great. Four outta four.

and as a bonus, Sesame Street offers us a scene from 1776- with Grover helping Thomas Jefferson (Don Music) write the Declaration of Independence.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Movie of the week, Phantom of the Paradise.


An Invitation...
How exciting these satanic '70s. This magical time when reality and fantasy are so cleverly disguised by the media masters. Full color shoot outs nightly on all channels. In the movies. In the news. Fact or fiction? Check your local TV listings if you're left confused.

Here at The Paradise we offer you a special blend off ends and fact. Atrocity and art. Music and murder twice nightly. And is the horror you witness mere theatrics, or is it real? The only way to be to participate.

At The Paradise our performers are contracted to entertain you at any cost! And entertain you they will. Trust me... SWAN

This week's movie of the week is, The Phantom of the Paradise.

Describing Brian De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise as an update of the classic Phantom of the Opera doesn't do justice to this demented movie. While De Palma's Hitchcock homages have sometimes led him into dead ends, this rock & roll remake
seems to have liberated De Palma's imagination, and the result is weird and funny, with the scruffy underground spirit of the director's early pictures. The Phantom is one Winslow Leach (William Finley), a nerdy songwriter whose "pop cantata" on the subject of Faust is stolen by a freakish, Phil Spector-like rock impresario called  Swan (Paul Williams). After getting his head caught in a vinyl-LP compressor, Leach is transformed into a masked creature, haunting Swan's music palace, the Paradise. De Palma proves how nimbly he can establish narrative rhythm: the story moves like a cannon shot, and the musical numbers (especially in the Alice Cooper-like Paradise sequences) are brilliantly cut. The movie seems to predict the Studio 54 scene, MTV, and punk rock--the last, especially, in the figure of Beef, a screeching singer played by the unhinged Gerrit Graham. The songs were written by Paul Williams, that diminutive '70s music icon (he cowrote the Barbra Streisand wet noodle "Evergreen"), and his performance is a reminder of his peculiar, self-spoofing presence: at one point, the preening Swan announces, "You know how I abhor perfection in anyone but myself." Comedy, musical, horror film, '70s artifact--this movie isn't quite definable, and that's what's wonderful about it. --Robert Horton

Watch Beef Sing (sorry the sound isn't great)

Fun trivia:
Sissy Spacek is credited as "set dresser" for this film. As she was already an established actor when this film was made, one can assume that she took the job to assist her boyfriend, Jack Fisk, who was the film's production designer.

According to William Finley, the record press in which his Winslow character was disfigured was a real pressing plant (it was an injection-molding press at an Ideal Toy Co. plant). He was worried about whether the machine would be safe, and the crew assured that it was. The press was fitted with foam pads (which resemble the casting molds in the press), and there were chocks put in the center to stop it from closing completely. Unfortunately, the machine was powerful enough to crush the chocks that it gradually kept closing. It was Finley's speed and timing that saved him from truly being hurt, as he got his head out just in time. Incidentally, his scream in the scene was real.


Gerrit Graham has talked about the infamous "musical chairs" casting, where William Finley almost wound up with no part to play. The studio considered casting Paul Williams as Winslow, Graham as Swan and Peter Boyle as Beef. Williams turned down the role of Winslow not only because he didn't feel physically fit or menacing for the role, but he didn't want to use the role of Winslow as a message against the recording industry. Somehow, Boyle was unavailable, Graham took the Beef role, and Finley ultimately took the Winslow role. In fact, director Brian De Palma actually wrote the part with his colleague Finley in mind. William Finley said in a recent interview that Jon Voight was at one time considered for the role of Swan.

The single-edit, "time bomb in the car trunk" sequence is an homage to Orson Welles' famous opening for Touch of Evil (1958).

Winslow Sings Faust:

Fun quotes:
Beef: Can't you feel the vibes in your own house, man? Bad, sport, real bad. The karma in here is so thick, you need an aqualung to breathe.

Swan: [holding a contract] It's all here. Read it carefully, then sign at the bottom in blood. Messy, I know, but it's the only way to bind. Tradition. Ink isn't worth anything to me, Winslow.

Beef: You trying to tell me you didn't hear that shriek? That was something trying to get out of its premature grave, and I don't want to be here when it does.

My Phantom of the Paradise Wallpaper:

Four outta four, anyone who loves Rocky Horror will love this movie.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Here is a Dita Von Teese I photoshoped. It was my first photoshop project, not bad since I had no idea what I was doing. Posted by Hello

Monday, April 04, 2005

Movie of the Week, The Last Unicorn.


"I have forgotten that men cannot see Unicorns. If men no longer know what they're looking at, there may be other unicorns in the world yet, unknown. I'm glad of it."

This weeks movie of the week is The Last Unicorn.

The last unicorn in the world goes on a quest to discover what has happened to all the others of her kind. Along the way she meets a variety of interesting characters including the rather inept Schmendrick the Magician, a sensible middle-aged woman named Molly Grue, and the evil King Haggard. The story is part fantasy, part allegory about fairy tales, and part tale about life itself. Based on the novel of the same name by Peter S. Beagle.

Fun Facts:
Christopher Lee (who supplied the voice of King Haggard) showed up for the recording sessions armed with his own copy of the book, with several places marked to indicate things that must not, in his opinion, be omitted.

The soundtrack was one of the best selling albums of 1983 in Germany.

Watch the "Walking Man's Road" Scene:

The riddle that befuddles Rook - "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" - is the famous unanswered riddle asked by The Mad Hatter in Alice In Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.

This was Rankin and Bass's last animated film (who also made Rudolph the Red Noised Reindeer, a trillion other Christmas specials & The Hobbit). Unfortunately by this point their movies were not successful enough to keep their studio open, they were forced to close that part of the company and let go of these animators. The  
animators wanting to stay together eventually ended up founding the famous Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli (Studio Ghibli is best known for animating films like Laputa, Nausica: Valley of the Winds, and most recently Spirited Away).

Fun Quotes:
Schmendrick the Magician: We are not always what we seem, and hardly ever what we dream.

King Haggard : You are losing my interest and that is very dangerous. In a moment I will have forgotten you quite entirely, and will never be able to remember just what I did with you. What I forget not only ceases to exist, but never really existed in the first place.

The Skeleton: When I was alive, I believed - as you do - that time was at least as real and solid as myself, and probably more so. I said "one o'clock" as though I could see it, and "Monday" as if I could find it on the map.  Like everyone else I lived in a house bricked up with seconds and minutes and New Year's Days, and I never went outside because there was no other door. Now I know that I could have walked through the walls.

Schmendrick the magician: There are no happy endings because nothing ever ends.

Great movie, heart breaking. Four outta four check it out.

P.S. Tolkien fans should most defiantly check out this book. It's not the girly trip it seems to be, but a great love letter to epic fantasy.

My Last Unicorn Wallpaper:

Pin up of the week, Aria Giovanni. I never get tired of looking at her. And no she does not have heart shaped nipples I just had some fun with photoshop. It's my take on Alice in Wonderland's Queen of Hearts.  Posted by Hello

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