Monday, 18 August 2008
The Director's Cu(n)t, Imaginary Easter Eggs and Nonexistent Hidden Goodies in DVDs. Mostly wishful thinking, though.
Se7en: Click on the big number seven (7) on the Main Menu and watch Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt's character) die the horrible death he deserves so much.
Thelma & Louise: Click on the ampersand (&) on the Extras Menu and watch Brad Pitt beg Ridley Scott on his knees for the part. To which Scott replies: "Ok, but please, PLEASE, do not ruin this film too."
12 Monkeys: Click on the big monkey (Monkey) hanging from the chain of little monkeys (monkeys) and watch Brad Pitt suggesting director Terry Gilliam alternative titles for the film, including "Twelve Angry Monkeys," "The Dirty Dozen of Monkeys," "Twelve Monkeys of Christmas," "Monkeys: Cheaper By the Dozen," "Monkeys Die Hard," "Fistful of Monkeys" and "For a Few Monkeys More." Terry Gilliam simply grabs his head and mutters "Oh, man, please, PLEASE, do not ruin this film TOO."
Burn After Reading: Though technically not an Easter Egg, but rather simply a part of the plot, skip the first half of this pathetic excuse of a film and watch Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt's character) being shot in the head and die. Very rewarding scene.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: Same as the above mentioned Burn After Reading, though -for some reason- the rest of the characters in the film seem to be unhappy about Jesse James' (Brad Pitt's character's) death. Weird. So bizarre.
Fight Club: Again, as in the previous two mentions, Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt's character) dies. Brilliant. In the Director's Commentary track, David Fincher declares this to be the most satisfying point of his career: "having been able to kill Brad Pitt, if only on film."
Fictional Brothers, Cousins, Nephews and Other Relatives of the Relatively Rich and Unfortunately Famous, funny names, runny phlegms, money games, and general silliness.
Armstrong "Arm" Pitt, Brad Pitt's half-brother. Has a tendency to sweat profusely and, subsequently, smells of onion bulbs.
Albert Marcus "A.M." Bush, George W. Bush's long-lost cousin. Enjoys attacking people and/or non-Western nations by surprise from concealed positions.
Anna Keynes, great-granddaughter of John Maynard Keynes, who -after having married Christopher Walken's second cousin George Khai-Walker- became Anna Keynes Khai-Walken. May the Force be with her.
Albert Robert "A.R." Caine, Sir Michael Caine's nephew, twice-removed. A.R. Caine is fairly enigmatic and mysterious. And into esoteric philosophical issues.
Simon Says, and the rest of us simply repeat what he says, like the mindless morons we are...
Hollywood taught us that teenage pregnancy can be a lot of fun. And that jocks that get schoolgirls pregnant are cute. [Juno]
Hollywood explained to us that rich people needn't believe in God, but poor fellas pretty much have to. [There Will Be Blood]
Hollywood demonstrated to us that if you want your film to be a blockbuster hit, you should make sure one of the lead actors dies for the film's release. [Dark Knight]
Hollywood showed us that -as long as you are a minor- you can accuse innocent men of rape and get away with it. Maybe even write a best-selling semi-autobiographical novel about it. [Atonement]
Hollywood revealed to us that it is perfectly acceptable to be a psychotic assassin as long as you are thorough and you follow a strict -yet somewhat dubious- code of conduct. Thoroughly. [No Country For Old Men]
Hollywood proved to us that the works of Gabriel García Márquez are as dull and insipid in book form as they are on the big screen. [Love in the Time of Cholera]
Only in Hollywood.
Deciphering the Secret Meanings of Songs, or perchance reading too much into it all. Lyrical analysis of sorts, in any case.
Try Not to Breathe (R.E.M.)
"I will try not to breathe,
I can hold my head still,
with my hands on my kness.
I need something to breathe.
I will try not to burden you,
I can hold this inside.
I will hold my breath
till all these shivers subside.
I will try not to worry you,
I have seen things that you will never see.
I shudder to breathe ."
As it can undoubtedly be inferred from the excerpt above, the aforementioned song from R.E.M.'s Automatic for the People clearly has a narrative structure. The song depicts a sufferer of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, who -in an unnamed location- has a heavily-seasoned dinner (possibly, yet not certainly, a hot Indian Curry), as a result of which he/she is afflicted by a particularly violent attack of diarrhoea. The narrator of the song has obviously not dined alone and, thus, the song is addressed to his/her date, from the latrine over which the narrator is currently squatting. As the song goes: "I will try not to breathe, / I can hold my head still, with my hands on my knees (...)." Our diarrhoeic hero even attempts to halt his watery excretions at a certain point in the narrative, whilst getting the world-famous vindaloo-sweats: "I will try not to burden you, / I can hold this inside. I will hold my breath / till all these shivers subside."
The protagonist of the song looks down into the septic pit under his feet and, looking into the abyss, the abyss stares back at him: "I will try not to worry you, / I have seen things that you will never see." Even the title of the song -Try Not to Breathe- refers to the pungent stench of the only partially digested turmeric-infused, cardamon-imbued, chilli-riddled amalgam of meat and rice. "I shudder to breathe," he/she affirms, as the song approaches its almost dysenteric end.
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
And say 'No!' to peanut butter, too, for reasons that will become apparent after having read this entry.
Recently, whilst watching Last Tango in Paris (1973, original title: Ultimo Tango a Parigi), I came to a threefold realisation. A mental triptych of revelation, to put it in pompous words.
Firstly, I realised that no-one has ever seen the whole movie since its first Film Festival Run and original release. Because of the word-of-mouth nature of the film's success, audiences simply went into the cinema to watch the one memorable scene (involving sodomy and butter, a tantalising mélange) and swiftly walked out, assuming the rest of the film to be merely an anthology of bland trailers advertising pointless European films starring the late Marlon Brando. Nowadays, all modern audiences get to see of it is its infamous sex scene in mind-numbing, time-filling shows with names such as The Greatest Movie Scenes of All Time, Hollywoody: The 100 Best Sex Scenes of the 20th Century, and/or The Censor's Wet-Dream: Dirty Shoots and Filthy Shots. Thus, I have been the first individual to watch the whole damn thing since the early 70s. And, trust me, it's overrated.
Secondly, I understood why Bernardo Bertolucci's previous pitches of the film with Hollywood producers had failed so miserably, the reason being the film's earlier -tentative, so to speak- titles: Last Waltz in Berlin (confusing), Penultimate Mambo in Reykjavík (confused), Antepenultimate Morris Dance in Caracas (confusing and confused), and Fourth from Last Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina (a bit dull, really), to mention but a few. All of them lacked the exquisite punch of the final version.
Finally, as I learnt from a DVD sub-menu unimaginatively entitled "Deleted Scenes," Marlon Brando (being the Method Actor he was) envisaged his character preferring peanut butter, rather than plain butter. See, Method Actors don't act, they do, actually do whatever is written in the script. I know, I know, technically they aren't even actors, but there's enough material there for a different blog entry. In any case, when the time came to shoot the scene for the first time, Marlon Brando lubricated himself and Maria Schneider with peanut butter, failing to realise it was of the Crunchy kind. Due to its nutty chunks, this type of peanut butter if favoured by children all around the world, but -for obvious reasons- it is not the most popular of sexual lubricants in today's worldwide market. You could almost see -or, perhaps, imagine- little tears in the corners of Maria Schneider's eyes, yet -being the professional she was- she waited for Bernardo Bertolucci to cry "Cut!"
"Ouch," she can be heard saying in the background.
I thoroughly recommend the Director's Cut DVD version of the film, full of Easter Eggs, Peanut Butter, Pointless Trivia, and nonsensical documentaries that were created at the very last minute, so they'd be able to justify the unduly steep price.
Tuesday, 25 March 2008
It seems an avid reader of this blog has found an image of Cheesus Christ (a.k.a. Cheeses Christ, God Jr., C.C.) in a chunk of cheap cheddar (alliteration not intended). C.C. -not to be confused with his homonymous c.c. (carbon copy), cc (cubic centimetre), C.C. (Closed-Captioned), and CC (Cape Cod)- seems to have appeared in the most unlikely places within the last month, including a Canadian production of Monty Python's Spamalot, the bottom of a bottle of Smirnoff Vodka, an unaired episode of The Simpsons, and the sheets on Tracey Emin's bed.
He is expected to make an appearance next Monday at the McDonald's in Waterloo Station, London, UK, sometime between 10am and 6pm.
"And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, [so] be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour. Therefore the centurion took thought, and said unto himself, Dude, that Cheesus Christ kid sure speaks funny, don't you think?" Matthew 8:13
Friday, 21 March 2008
World-famous blog spitonit salutes Greg McCool, funkiest man this side of the Himalayas.
And here are some greg-licious factoids for all the fans!
Greg -better known as el Gregorino in the sweet, generous lands of Andalucía, Spain- fought in three World Wars, the third of which has remained a state secret for the past two decades. Greg has the body mass of twelve castrated marmots or, alternatively, eleven non-emasculated ones. Greg likes Pepsi-Cola, yet prefers Coke. But he's not fuzzy, really. Greg is so cool that -if he ever shared a stage with Liam Gallagher- he would make Liam lose all confidence, resulting in poor ol' Liam having less stage presence than the microphone stand behind which he would try to hide. Greg works out a lot, not because he needs it, but because he can. Because he wants to. Greg likes his beer cold and his women hot. Greg once met Salman Rushdie and said "I think literature is for imbeciles." Salman Rushdie agreed and courteously bid him farewell. Two hours later, Salman Rushdie was found in the gents' toilet, crying his heart out. Greg does not cry. Greg is so powerful that he could kill us all in the blink of an eye, but -for some reason known only to him- he doesn't. He once said to me "I like to watch you all running around in circles thinking there is hope." He then laughed, and I was scared. Honestly. Greg is omnipotent, but he is not showy. Daniel Day Lewis keeps calling Greg every morning, because he wants to be his friend. Greg is having none of it. Greg is believed to have written all of the Arctic Monkeys' songs, but refused to have his name included in their albums, stating "They're crap, man! Long live T-Rex...!" Greg officially changed his last name to McCool, after it became painfully obvious that he was the grooviest man in the world. Greg has a glass eye (the left one), six toes on one foot (the right one), and cannot pronounce the name Foucault correctly. Though he has never much cared for the French, anyway. All of Lou Reed's drug stories are based around anecdotes that Greg told him from his days at university. Lou Reed is actually a lactose intolerant, teetotal virgin with a wheat allergy and a spotty chin.
Gregorino, spitonit salutes you.
Turnstiles, Reptiles and a Handful of Knock-Knock Jokes... Ok, I may have lied ever so slightly. But there are reptiles involved.
x: Did you know that...?
y: Lizards and human stomachs speak the same language.
x: Does that mean that if you lie there with a lizard taking an afternoon nap on your tummy, it will attempt to start a conversation with the lizard?
y: Yes. However, the lizard is most likely to attempt to convince your stomach to die.
x: But, why? Lizards seem so nice...
y: A lizard's niceness is merely a sort of camouflage, a visual deception, or dermic mirage. In reality, lizards are cold-blooded killers, more cunning and intellectually developed than dolphins, as evidenced by the fact that they would never allow themselves to be forced to perform silly tricks with inflatable plastic balls in Miami, Florida.
x: Why would lizards try to hurt me, though?
y: Lizards, very much like their human counterparts (also known as the Bush Administration), have one and only one goal: World Domination and the Destruction of All that is Holy to Anyone Else but Themselves.
x: But that would be two goals, not one.
y: Shut up, you idiot.
Monday, 28 January 2008
Artists! Tonight! Sell-outs! Because selling is normally much cheaper than buying...
Salman Rushdie's Salmon [with a pinch of turmeric]
Marjorie Perloff's Margarine [I can't believe it's not Art!]
Gordon Brown's Brown Sauce [contains Monosodium Glutamate]
Gordon Brown's Gordons Gin [Slogan: His spirit always fails him]
Cormac McCarthy's Big Mac [Limited Edition]
Thomas Pynchon's Punch [Non-Alcoholic]
Wednesday, 16 January 2008
Nepotism in Hollywood, a long-standing tradition of favouritism for the untalented and the inept...
The Coppola family, what's that all about?
Ok, after George Bush was president of the U.S.A., people may have wondered whether his son might be able to perform an acceptable role wearing his same shoes. The answer is: obviously not. If Daddy was a fool, what made anyone think that Sonny would be any better? It is clearly not a family of geniuses, the way some might regard the Bach family. A similar theory can apply to the Coppola family, I believe. Francis Ford Coppola, I take my hat for you. The Godfather Trilogy, The Conversation and Apocalypse Now are all very compelling pieces of audio-visual story-telling. No complaints there. Now, Sofia and Roman: either stop making films or grow some personality. What you are doing makes the word bland mitself seem fairly insipid. Virgin Suicides was the film equivalent of toothless dog, whilst Lost In Translation was amazingly overhyped for an incredible underachievement. CQ was simply bad. Nicholas Cage? Well, at least he had the decency to show some shame and change his family name into the "Cage" stage moniker. I respect that, even if his filmography does include some very dubious titles. Marc Coppola, on the other hand, probably thinks that he must be able to act, since everyone else at home is doing it... Shameless. What about Jason Schwartzman, I hear you ask. Well, let's put it bluntly: he's a drummer. He is but a drummer.
An afterthought: And Christopher Coppola... well, no-one's heard of him, even though he has been directing for a while. Is that not a hint? Maybe he should take up gardening, or open a Petrol Station somewhere in Iowa.
The Paltrows? What the fuck?!?!?
When did the Paltrow family become such a big deal in Hollywood? Gwyneth is adorable, I admit, and she has won an Oscar. But what is an Oscar these days but a much devalued figurine one can buy on Ebay? The Academy Awards are being bought and sold in the meat market, and no-one seems to care anymore. After all, David Lynch has never won one, and he is one the most important directors of the last twenty years. Same thing with Fritz Lang and Stanley Kubrick. Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa, Federico Fellini, Robert Altman and Michelangelo Antonioni only got Honorary Awards (the Academy's piss-poor excuse for a consolation prize, the equivalent of an unsigned note that reads: We're sorry, we really fucked up, didn't we?) Yet, Gwyneth wins an Oscar and gets to shove her little brother into the Industry. Jake (the brother) directed the appalling -yet accurately named- The Good Night, which sent more than one theatre full of people to sleep. Why? Good Lord, why are we being punished? Gwyneth and Jake's parents were both in the Film Industry, their mother an actress, their father a director, but neither produced anything of special relevance. So, I ask again, why? Why?
An afterthought: The Coldplay connection makes me want to puke into a pint glass and drink it slowly, savouring every single moment.
Spelling S - P - E - L - L - I - N - G
Aaron Spelling, clearly a man with a vision, regardless of whether we find that vision horrific and a distortion of everything that is good on Earth, has a daughter named Victoria "Tori" Spelling who -sorry about what I am about to say, but it is definitely true- is neither attractive to the eye nor a good actress. How -then- has she managed to appear so often on the TV screen, creating -as it were- a new form of visual pollution so strong and damaging that makes the Greenhouse Effect seem pitiable? Read this paragraph again and you should have little difficulty in finding the answer that question. Honestly, sometimes I wonder.
An afterthought: It is not that Tori is not very attractive. I believe it is the exact opposite: she is very unattractive. Surgery, anyone?
More Unconfirmed Gossip and Made-Up News, for the paranoid, the dellusional and those with too much time on their hands...
Unconfirmed reports relating the richest two-headed monster in Hollywood have leaked this week. Apparently, Brangelina Jolitt got a new baby this week on Amazon, but had to return it a few days later, as it took the Postal Service over a week to deliver the package. It would seem that the biological parents forgot to make breathing holes on the parcel, which resulted in the suffocation and subsequent death of the lovely, lovely baby. Furthermore, the postal delay made the remains unusable, as it was smelling pretty bad by the time Brangelina got it.
The baby, according to some analysts, one in a limited edition of seven, was a collector's item, and would have helped Brangelina come closer to "having one from each country in the world," which is the goal he/she/it? has set him/her/itself? for this brand new 2008 as a New Year's Resolution, said an unnamed and possibly unreliable source.
As the voice in the street has it, Brangelina would have found this new addition to the now legendary Hollywood collection by typing in the words baby, third-world, and bargain into a popular online auction and shopping website. Brangelina was assured by the seller that the product in question was in mint condition, yet Brangelina's lawyers insist the baby in question broke the terms and conditions of the contract by dying.
Lovely, lovely Hollywood.
Wednesday, 9 January 2008
More Ideas for Books, that will find their end in the bonfire...
Silence and the Existencial Vaccum: A Reflection on the Life and Works of John Cage, roughly 433 pages long, no text whatsoever on its body. To be sent to every Public Library and Hospital in North America. They really need to learn to keep quiet.
Mr. Bush or: How I Learned to Stop Caring and Love the Bomb, a colouring book for children packed with G.W. Bush's drawings of faraway lands being maimed, foreign cultures micturated on, friendly peasants mutilated, their mother, wives and daughters raped, and bombs being dropped randomly around the world. In other words: the American Dream.
"Mom, what does apostasy mean?" and Another 99 Ways to get a Fatwa, a pop-up book created for educational purposes. The remaining paths to atheistic martyrdom including common mistakes such as Freedom of Speech, Independence of Thought, Naughty Jokes and Being Too Politically Correct for your Own Sake.
Why Did They Have to Die?, a extensive study on the unfair nature of life, raised by the deaths of Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac, which came as a complete surprise to the International Community. The fact that they both hanged around gang members and criminals, looked pretty thuggish themselves and had a fondness for firearms should not be overstated. It could perhaps be kept as an interesting footnote, or a peculiar anecdote.
PS: I am still waiting for all of you Executive Producers to contact me, so you can give me several wads of large notes with the faces of presidents in exchange for the rights to make this blog into a film. Call me. Now.
Ladies and Laddies, we are floating in space...
Well, not really. No, I admit it. As far as the Editorial Department of the blog knows, there are no plans for future Invasions of Planet Earth by Creatures from Outer Space until after Easter 2009. And we are not actually floating in Space either. Although the Earth is floating in space, and -since we are all on it- I suppose that to some extent we, in fact, are floating in Space.
So I retract that retraction. The second one, that is.
I am glad we clarified that. Kind of.
Well, that seems to me to be enough blog material for today. Tomorrow: Gardening!
A Rosé by Any Other Name is still nothing compared to a good Cabernet-Sauvignon
Apparently, William Carlos Williams, Ford Madox Ford, Jerome K. Jerome, Thomas T. Thomas, Humbert Humbert, Major Major Major Major, Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, Doug E. Doug, Bond James Bond, the founding members of Duran Duran and The The, and the rest of the Slightly Anagrammatic League for the Affiliation of Men of Intellect -also known by its acronymic moniker, S.A.L.A.M.I.- has denied posthumous membership to the Right Reverend John Johns [Doctor of Divinity and Doctor of Laws], Fourth Episcopal Bishop of Virginia, U.S.A.
The reason for this nominal apartheid was made clear by a spokesman for S.A.L.A.M.I., who is quoted as stating that "he [Rd. John Johns] didn't have a middle name, nor a double-barrelled surname, man (...) so he was unsuitable for our group. His name looks like two slices of white, bleached, branless bread (...) a sandwich with no S.A.L.A.M.I., if you will. It looks just like a threesome without a Lucky Pierre in the middle, a tricycle with a flat tyre... d'you know what I mean?"
No, sir, we do not know what you mean. But, in any case, thank you for saying it.
Reverend Johns's last words, uttered on his deathbed ("guide me-wash me-clothe me, help me under the shadow of Thy wings") have been interpreted by many a Man of Scholarly Pursuits as substantial proof that he was -or, at least, had at some point been- best friends with a fashion-conscious Dragon. This, of course, is the only way in which we can explain such a random statement at the 11th Hour, as well as his interest in the paranormal.
The name of the Dragon itself remains a mystery. Although I like to think its name was either Eugene or Lucretia. But that's just me.
Friday, 4 January 2008
Some Wise Words of Advice on ways to tell whether your tickets are genuine or counterfeit:
1- Open your stupid eyes.
2- Put on your stupid glasses.
3a- Have the tickets been coloured in with crayons?
3b- If so, they are likely to be fake.
4a- Did you pay under £40 for each ticket?
4b- If so, they are very likely to be fake.
5a- Does the font on the tickets look like someone's handwriting?
5b- If so, it is quite likely to be someone's handwriting.
5c- If so, they are incredibly likely to be fake.
5d- If so, it is extremely likely that you are a moron and have simply failed to realise it, a situation that is not entirely uncommon amongst morons. For further reference, look up the word "moron" in a dictionary.