THE KILLOUGH CHRONICLES | REVIEW
by James Killough
There is nothing inherently wrong with A Better Life, the new film by writer-director Chris Weitz, also known in some industry circles as the Man Who Killed New Line Cinema, although I suspect he just delivered the coup de grace with his underperforming Golden Compass. He got right back in the Hollywood crap saddle with New Moon, which I don’t think I’ve seen, or maybe I have but I was thirty-five thousand feet over Greenland in a Xanax cloud, and my attention was derailed by why I am more attracted to Kristen Stewart than I am to Taylor Lautner.
If my shrink were playing a game of association with me and said, “Taylor Lautner,” I would instantly reply “guinea pig.” I think it’s his nose.
I know, I should have put a pic of Taylor Bloody Lautner with his shirt off here. But I can't bring myself to do it. So I'm putting in Mexican actor Gabriel Garcia Bernal and asking, What's up, man? Where have you gone? We love you.
A Better Life isn’t just about immigrants from Central America, both Salvadorans and Mexicans, it’s about Los Angeles, the real city, not the West Side/Hollywood bubble that is most often portrayed in film and on TV. Continue reading
THE KILLOUGH CHRONICLES
by James Killough
This is a NSFRF post, or Not Safe For Religious Folk. If you love your God, and particularly love him in Mass with a tasty wafer and a wine chaser, read no further.
I will spare you more kindly than the auto da fé treated heretics like me only a relatively few generations ago. The Church’s torture racks, her burning stakes, her sticks and stones did indeed break our bones, but these words won’t actually harm you.
"Dear God, what if they find out I'm a fraud?"
This riff is inspired by a discussion the other day in the comment section of my Sarah Palin post. I sort of feel that I am coming off as being anti-American and blinkeredly pro-European in these posts, but that isn’t the case. Despite growing up in Europe and the years I have spent living in various countries there as an adult, I have as many issues with them as I do with us. It’s just I’m not a European citizen; as a Ghey, I can say whatever I want about homos, but I can’t about blacks because I’m not black. Europeans are also far more self-aware and critical of themselves, sometimes too much. Americans think they’re the shit, and anyone who doesn’t agree can leave. So they need to be taken down a peg or two, have the tires of our Sarah Palin Bus Tour deflated every once in a while.
Crowds surge. Cameras flash. We rush to seats. So many mill about. See friends. Wave. Wait. Waiting. Clear the aisles! Quiet! Five. Four. Three. Two. Ryan Seacrest.
I thought I was about to disappoint you once again by writing about live performances rather than the television shows that, together, we have come to love but I then happily realized that I’m not! Even though I may have been watching the live performance from an excellent seat at Nokia Theater/L.A. Live, you were watching it at the same time on the nation’s most beloved reality competition. Yes, it’s the American Idol finale!
Gaga ran into the Chinese beaded curtain on the way in and kept it.
Okay, I know, Chip McKinney, gay polo leader. You are going to say, “I was there, too! And I was actually sitting two rows in front of you, which technically makes my seat better.” But, for the sake of argument, let’s say the rest of you were watching the show from the comfort of your living room or kitchen or dungeon or whatever you’re into. And thanks for your (imagined) two cents, Chip.
BAKER STREET | REVIEWS
by Eric J Baker
If Alexander McQueen transcended fashion in life, he hasn’t let death stop him from transcending art.
I’ve just returned from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York having experienced the late Mr. McQueen’s retrospective, Savage Beauty, as well as the longest waiting line I’ve seen there since Leonardo’s drawings about 10 years ago. Like civilization itself, exhibit attendees had to begin in Mesopotamia, home to The Back of the Line. If you haven’t been to the Met, the Mesopotamian collection is almost driving distance from the special exhibit hall. Fortunately, I’m made from heartier stock than the Babylonians, so I didn’t collapse.
Dungeon couture from McQueen triggers a few flashbacks...
Sure, the wait was an hour. Of course the guards were surly and the crowds pushy. Nevertheless, Savage Beauty was a stunning, surreal Hell that I’d be comfortable with as my final destination.
By the way, this hell’s demons came in the form of photograph NAZIs who weren’t impressed with my credentials as a Pure Film Creative contributor. I even dropped James Tuttle’s name, but still they treated me like they were Joan Crawford and I had been using wire hangers. If only the folks in the cafeteria downstairs were as passionate about their jobs, I could retire my “Is this the best they can do for food at one of the world’s greatest art museums?” speech. Continue reading
by Eric J Baker
Congratulations. You survived the apocalypse.
I guess Jesus doesn’t read Pure Film Creative (despite the “topless Magdalene” tag last week), because he passed right over me when flinging souls into Hell like I wasn’t even there! However, as surprised – and slightly miffed – as I am to have been spared, it wasn’t the oddest event of my week.
That distinction belongs to Thursday night, when I found myself standing about 18 inches from Weird Al Yankovic, an entertainer about whom I had hitherto no opinion and never expected to see live from that or any distance. Such are the sudden twists and turns of life.
The venue was the State Theater, a renovated vaudeville palace in central Jersey, where I once fell asleep during the 25th anniversary showing of 2001: a Space Odyssey, despite it having been introduced by somebody. He didn’t climb into the audience and sing to the woman next to me, like Weird Al did on Thursday, hence becoming forgettable.
A new tradition: Every generation now has the plain Italo-American chick who morphs herself into an un-nuanced, overdressed, workaholic performer who champions homosexuals and habitually pisses all over the Catholic church.
As Weird Al played his set, I noticed many of the artists he parodies are dead: Jim Morrison, Michael Jackson, Coolio, Kurt Kobain. Oops. Sorry, Coolio. Not content to milk past glory, Al also mimicked Lady Gaga’s Poker Face with his version called Polka Face.
Weird Al or Lady Gaga. Which one is the bigger fake?
I have to admit, I briefly joined my nieces, Savannah (7) and Uma (5.5), as a fan of Lady Gaga after Bad Romance was released last year. I thought it was stompin’ good fun, not to mention that it kept me company whenever I thought about my love life. But she has lost me with this:
In a nutshell, it’s a very expensive sophomore art school project. She is trying too hard and the results of her efforts fall short of her earlier video work. And, yes, that last sentence was rewritten several times; Galliano has homos worldwide stopping themselves before they go too far with what they really think.
Even though my nieces are Episcopalian Hindus — also known in the more rarified circles of Tribeca as ‘Piscadoos’ — at the risk of sounding like an avuncular prig, I’m not sure I want them to see filmed reenactments of the Black Goddess Kali giving birth to the cosmos as might be interpreted by H.R. Giger. I can just imagine explaining this video to them.
“Uncle James, what is Lady Gaga doing with her cooch-cooch?”
“She’s letting her vagina enjoy a David Cronenberg moment, darling. And stop calling it cooch-cooch, you’re making it sound like a region in West Bengal.”
“What do you mean what you just said she’s doing with her vagina, then?”
“We’ll talk about it when you’re old enough to watch twisted R-rated psycho-dramas funded by the Canadian government. How about we watch something appropriate, like The Tudors?”
They love The Tudors.