Monday, June 16, 2014

run don't walk

First: RUN, don't walk to see Jodorowsky's Dune at the Tower. What an inspiring movie! He is the most positive guy in the world. Makes me feel sad I hated his new movie enough to walk out, but mostly it was because of the horribly cheap way the hi-def video (or whatever the hell he shot it on) looked.

Specifically, it inspired me to watch an actual movie on Netflix streaming, instead of horribly crap TV and I picked Assault on Precinct 13. That idea was planted by the fact that Jodorowsky was going to have one of Carpenter's special effects guys work on Dune. I realized once it started that I had seen it before, but it is awesome. It has such a slow build up to a quick, exciting resolution, and a lot of Douglas Sirk, noir-y lighting. I realized there is a pattern to some of my favorite directors (and musicians, if you count R. Kelly), in that the kitsch of the art can fool people about the fact that the artist is in on at least some of it. Does that make sense? It's true for De Palma, too.

I mean, obviously the part of Assault where the convicts play "one potato, two potato" to choose which has to make a dangerous escape is tongue-in-cheek. I think in his movies, sometimes you are laughing at Carpenter, and sometimes with him.

The extended sequence of the thugs shooting out the windows of the building also reaches enjoyable absurdity.

I also saw a show that was the first non-rap show to make me so stoked in a while. It was Mt. Eerie at WR. I had never seen him perform but what a guy. The part that got me so in the zone besides how the music sounds was the rapt crowd who seemed to want his low-key performance to go on forever and who kept their phones in their pockets. SM didn't want to hear about it because he thought it was a Pregnant show (as did I) and didn't go. I just went to hang with friends so Mt. Eerie was a wonderful treat.

Wow, right after I wrote this I saw this thing on Pitchfork with a teen Phil Elverum (Mr. Eerie guy) on MTV talking about Nirvana. What a cool coincidence because I had no idea who he was before Saturday. This clip illustrates what a disorienting experience it was to be "alternative" or "progressive" (terms that were used with a straight face at my high school) and then have this shit go mainstream at the speed of light. Let me clarify, I was by no means cool - I was a chubby dork who wore a Morrissey or Cure tshirt EVERY SINGLE DAY and was rejected by the goths - but I had built my identity around something that got appropriated for Calvin Klein ads. It's disturbing to me that cultural figures like Courtney Love get venerated because kids these days are getting it all wrong.

Which is a good segue into the new show "Champagne" at Verge, curated by a 23 year old skater/rapper dude (who is a great guy) and the strong feelings it provoked in me. Strong negative feelings until I got a new perspective by realizing that the strong feelings themselves are interesting, to me at least. You may not be interested in my navel gazing.

These kids are appropriating 90s icons through the filter of growing up on the internet. I don't share the humor or willful naivete. But it's at least interesting that they feel a connection to this time and are getting it wrong probably in the same way we got the 70s wrong when we were kids. But then again, even though I liked some classic rock because of my dad I was generally only interested in current culture at that age. And the endless churning/blendering of culture that goes on now is mind-numbing and exhausting. Instant nostalgia sucks.

2 comments:

Cody S. said...

I didn't expect to, but I actually really liked his new one. You're spot on with the weird HD/digital look it had. That was not great. But I thought it was funny and weird but not so weird it didn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't seen Mr. Eerrie before but really loved his voice with that nylon string guitar.

I love that one of the bros in the first group in the video thinks Helmet is from Seattle.

Feeling old moment: I think of myself as being about the same age as Phil E. but I was done with college when that clip was shot where he's an early teen. Yikes.

Jed