WRITING


Timecrimes (2007)

How far could you go back in time and not affect events in your life? Not far according to Nacho Vigalondo’s clever time travel film Timecrimes. Hector (Karra Elejalde) travels back in time only long enough to observe himself on a casual afternoon. But the chain of events that leads to his trying to fix simple mistakes causes major mishaps. This is a low budget film with a sense of urgency created by Vigalondo’s tight shooting style. It’s a clever script with the tone of a dark comedy. The small world of Hector’s afternoon removes the need for excessive special effects and long explanations. If the plot was entirely dissected, the story might not entirely make sense, but that can almost be said about any time travel film. Hector’s desperation to put things right creates the plausible doubt needed to enjoy a time travel film.

 


Primer (2004)

Primer’s plot also involves protagonists traveling backwards to fix problems set in motion during experiments with time travel. Abe (David Sulivan) and Aaron (Shane Carruth) discover a way to turn back the clock while studying gravity. Abe builds a prototype of a machine that enables them to go back and play the stock market. Primer is best enjoyed if you just let it be. It’s a brilliant movie that’s occasionally too smart for it’s own good. Too much time spent contemplating the minutia of the story ruins the fun. The film is a real triumph if you consider it was made for around $7000. It’s a low budget home run with an obligatory cult following.

Time Travel posted July 3, 2013 in: Writing | Comments (0)

Giuda: Racey Roller: LP
This record is designed to resemble a long lost glam gem right down to the phony wear marks on the cover. It’s a dead-solid LP of Glitterbest-style anthems mixed with a bit of pub rock attitude. The album loaded with jovial choruses and shameless hand clapping interludes. “Number 10” has hands slapping in the best tradition of The Bay City Rollers’ “Saturday Night.”  That’s right, I mentioned The Bay City Rollers. Don’t pretend you’re too cool to like “Saturday Night.” The upbeat antics of T. Rex and Mud are evoked in the band’s ability to construct a compulsively catchy chorus. “Coming Back to You” utilizes a style of back and forth vocals that exemplifies the simple fun in writing rock lyrics. The songs on this album sound and feel as if they could have been classics during a time when rock was just about to turn into punk. Fans of Killed By Glam and Glitterbest should take note of this band. They may not bring back wide suspenders, but you might think about it.

Giuda posted June 16, 2013 in: Writing | Comments (0)

Cancer really sucks.
My desire to get back to regular writing has been thwarted once again by complications relating to cancer. It seems I’m going to have an operation a week from Monday that’s going to put me out of commission for a while longer. Afterwards, there may or may not be more chemotherapy. What a depressing year. However I have been proactive with my mental health recently. I’m seeing a therapist and have an appointment with a psychologist. I have also joined a writing program for cancer patients. So I hope to stop placing these random posts about how depressed I am every couple of months and start putting up some reviews and happier things.
Not much else is going on, although I have a slew of new records to write about and I’ve been hitting the Netflix list recently for some of the gems buried there. I did the Razorcake rotation this month.
That’s about it. Just trying to stay positive and keep my head moving in the right direction. I’ve been doing some writing exercises just to keep up with writing. I’m going to post some new stuff including a few stories I’m working on as a means of getting my act together, so take a look in the ensuing days. BA

Cancer posted in: Writing | Comments (0)

Tales V posted November 23, 2012 in: Writing | Comments (0)

Tales III posted November 21, 2012 in: Writing | Comments (0)

Tales of Black Friday II posted November 19, 2012 in: Writing | Comments (0)

I haven’t been writing very much lately. There is an editor looking at a draft of my latest project, The League. I am hoping to get it back soon and start some rewrites. I have been feeling a bit nervous about it, but more hopeful as I research publishers and whatnot. Still, I go into a weird hibernation during these times. I should be doing some short stories or something.

Instead,  I am up at 7:30 in the morning watching Slumber Party Massacre in a small window in the corner of the screen because it is about to go off the Netflix instant cue.


Slumber Party Massacre (1982)
The DVD seems hard to get a hold of, at least, I don’t feel any need to own it. I have been interested to see it since I read Rubyfruit Jungle. Rita Mae Brown evidently wrote this as a spoof, but the studios shot it as a straight slasher film. I’d like to know more about that. I feel an academic paper coming on. So far, the main character, Trish, seems to be regularly frightened by people who are not the killer. I hope she is later scared by a cat.

Yes!!! It just happened. Cat scare. Not kidding. Right as I am writing this. It doesn’t get any better than that. Catacting- Slumber Party Massacre.

Here’s a great dialogue exchange:

Character 1- “Let’s go by and scare the girls.”
Character 2- “But we’re not invited.”

Needless to say, Rubyfruit Jungle has a little depth to it. My dream as a writer would include having a serious novel published and a grossly misinterpreted screenplay turned into a movie. I’m almost sure it wasn’t Ms. Brown’s intention, but I think it’s sorta cool.

Mr. Frost (1990)
Jeff Goldblum as the devil? Yes, it’s a stretch, but interesting. This is one of those movies that asks a lot of vague philosophical questions and never answers them.  But you can’t look too hard for answers in a pseudo-horror film where the devil gets arrested and goes in for a psychological evaluation. Goldblum has a few good moments in this. This movie never made it to DVD, but it’s worth a look unless you find Goldblum irritating. I don’t.

Starcrash (1979)
How bad does this Corman flick want to be Star Wars? Pretty badly. The special effects fail miserably in this film, but create some interesting visuals. I watched this with Joao with the sound off. It’s a good one to listen to records to.

And if you are listening to records, here are some new slabs I’ve been into:


The Barreracudas- Nocturnal Missions
Really great power pop album.


The Dicks- Kill from the Heart
Long awaited re-ish of a long out of print Dicks record out on Alternative Tentacles. The download includes the essential Hate the Police 7″.

Lightnin’ Sam Hopkins- s/t
If you think you’ve heard Lightnin’ Sam before, then here he is again. I never come across a dull album. Arhoolie have released some reasonably priced blues re-issues on record with downloads. I also got the recent Earl Hooker re release. I’ve come across a record review website I am planning to submit reviews to. I am working on a review of this one to submit.

Midnite Snaxxx
The Bobbyteens are a favorite of mine. I’m working on a review of this for Razorcake.

 

Bobbyteens- Back in the Saddle
The BT’s discography on cassette is a no brainer. Burger Records has this on sale for $6. No-brainer.

No-Slumber Party posted July 31, 2012 in: Writing | Comments (0)

I sometimes realize that weeks go by and I don’t write anything here. The website was down for about a week anyway, but in the last month, I have had a few nice things happen. Number one is, after so much hassle with denied credits and correspondence classes, I finally got my degree from the University of Arizona. Now if anyone says I’m a shitty writer, just refer them to this piece of paper: undeniable proof that I am a genius.

I watched Dead and Buried (1981) this month. I don’t recall ever hearing much about this movie, but I was really into it. It made the British Video Nasties list in the 80s. It wasn’t hella gory, but I thought it was the best kind of creepy and, besides having some pretty glaring holes in the plot, fairly unique. Sheriff Dan Gillis (James Farentino) is a small town sheriff investigating a series of murders. From the beginning, you get an idea of who is doing the killing, but not why. While the film does not make use of monsters, there is a solid H.P. Lovecraft feel to the story. The movie also makes good use of camera equipment tools for terror. The things going on in the film could probably not go on for long without somebody noticing, but if you turn your logic center off it has some brutal scares. People often equate 80s horror with slasher films or cheesy low-budget fare. Overlooked are some of these films that capture an eerie tone in the vein of the better Italian horror films. You can also look for a pre-Krueger Robert Englund in the mob.

If you want to give your CD collection a boost, this book about the birth of the rock ‘n’ roll sound in the late forties and early fifties. I say CD collection because to look for vinyl records of these often obscure musicians can be an expensive task. This is a collection of stories about the tragedies and triumphs of the people who brought the sound around while Elvis was still driving a truck. Tosches has a good sense of humor and a clear reverence for the subject matter. He’s also not afraid to print the legend once in a while. I’m not the most educated musicologist, but I’m apt to pick up random albums with guys holding a saxaphone on the cover. This book takes you down the path efficiently. Really essential reading.

And for no reason, here’s a picture of a duck I saw. This is Brooklyn after all. Seeing a duck was like watching Wild Kingdom to me.

I have also finished a draft of what I hope will be my next published novel, The League. Finishing is a good feeling, but also has brought on a new level of neurosis as I prepare to send it around and be regularly rejected. But I am really happy with what I have now. Hopefully, I will find a publisher that will help me get behind it.

Graduation!!! posted June 10, 2012 in: Writing | Comments (0)

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