You know what’s an underrated animated/horror movie? Henry Selick’s Coraline. And you know who voiced a kitty in Coraline? Keith David, Childs from The Thing and Roddy Piper’s co-star in They Live and an all-around bad-ass. You are awesome, Keith David. In other news, you may have noticed a mighty hush lately across Pussy Goes Grrr. Long story short, we’re currently resting and preparing—sorting out writing projects and real-world obligations as our big end-of-year sprint across the finish line approaches.
December is going to be mind-blowing. In order for that to happen, though, November has to be kinda “meh.” You’ll see! It’ll be worth it! In the meantime, here’s a few cool links:
No good search terms this week, alas. We hope that next week brings a search term bounty, however, as befits Thanksgiving.
One of my favorite parts about the fun-but-forgettable Go, aside from the guts and raw energy of Sarah Polley, was this kitty. Look at it! It’s so cute and it’s terrifyingly telepathic! This is why you don’t pop tons of Ecstasy. Because that’s when cats start messing with you. In other news, the Internet has been happening for the past two weeks. Here’s the best of it:
- I love my minimal movie posters, and these Stanley Kubrick pictogram posters are both well-made and dryly funny. (Also, spoiler warning on Full Metal Jacket!)
- This Total Film article about inserting Doc Brown into every other time travel movie is pretty hilarious, and very British.
- Pajiba has a list of “The 50 Most Expensive Movies of All Time,” with their budgets and grosses listed, plus some fun/informative trivia.
- Badass Digest inducts Pauline Kael into its “Badass Hall of Fame,” which is a very appropriate place for her. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that Ms. Kael is a personal hero of mine, and the piece is thoughtfully written; give it a quick read!
- The two things I never get tired of, Black Swan and Rebecca Black’s memetastic “Friday,” have finally been combined into one horrifying/funny video. (Huge spoiler alert for Black Swan.)
- Few directors are as eloquent or congenial as David Cronenberg, and interviews with him are always a pleasure to read. This Q&A from Macleans.ca is no exception, as he dishes out yummy details about A Dangerous Method. (SO EXCITED!!)
- Jonathan Coe in The Guardian digs into the hazards of the literary adaptation, with special emphasis on Barney’s Version and John Huston’s The Dead.
- The YouTube channel MisterSharp has a series of hilarious pseudo-educational videos, including “The Bizarre World of the Bisexual,” which made me laugh out loud several times and is highly worth a view.
- For The New Yorker, Tad Friend talks about the comic genius of Anna Faris, a woman we love around these parts. (This is also probably the most praise you’ll ever hear for The House Bunny.)
We had some weeeeeird search terms! I like the rhyming and biological inaccuracy of “zit on my clit,” and of course I adore the utterly inexplicable “george w bush sex in bed.” I was kind of creeped out, not gonna lie, by “female dead hand,” but the best two were definitely “молчание ягнят,” which is Russian for Silence of the Lambs (yay international readers!) and “i dont know why they dont explodes.” I don’t know why either. Maybe someday we’ll all find out.
Inspired by today’s Kindertrauma Funhouse, the above picture comes from Roger Corman’s early black comedy A Bucket of Blood (1959), something of a companion piece to Little Shop of Horrors (1960). In it, Dick Miller plays Walter Paisley (a character he would play many more times), a busboy who wants to be a beatnik artist. He gets the chance when he accidentally stabs his landlady’s poor kitty, Frankie, and turns the corpse into a sculpture. What follows is Corman’s usual Faustian drama wrapped in dark humor, all filmed on recycled sets with a budget of pocket change. And yet another horror movie kitty bites the dust (or, I guess, bites the clay).
And now, to celebrate our lucky 13th Link Dump, I’ve got a ginormous parade of links that runs the gamut from depressing to hilarious to fascinating and back again. The Internet was pretty talkative this week, and now you get to reap the fruits of my copy-and-paste labor. Enjoy!
- As you’ve probably heard, actor/comedian extraordinaire Leslie Nielsen died last Sunday at age 84. The Internet is full of remembrances; here are a few from Paracinema, My Life, at 24 Frames Per Second, True Classics, and Roger Ebert. Also, here are my own Twitter-bound reminiscences.
- Here are two awesome LGBTQ lists: one of comic book characters and one of 2010 books.
- Empire has a fun time-waster: a poster quiz featuring individual letters from movie posters. I got 16/46, including Showgirls. (Who could forget that typography?) What score can you get?
- Over at Splitsider, former Simpsons writer/producer (and Mission Hill co-creator) has been writing about the Simpsons writing process; most recently, he’s done a detailed look at the evolution of “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song.”
- The Criterion Collection! Female filmmakers!
- Leo McCarey’s hard-to-find My Son John (1952) is on Netflix Instant! Let’s all go watch it, quick! [Thanks to the Self-Styled Siren for the tip-off.]
- Artforum has 2010 Top 10 movie lists from John Waters and Mark Webber. The latter’s list is mostly avant-garde, while Waters’ is predictably wild and eclectic. Alas, out of all 20, I’ve only seen Dogtooth and Life During Wartime. Better get watching! (And more: Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw’s best of 2010.)
- From a Vanity Fair interview: Johnny Depp on his characters’ sexualities and his desire to play Hamlet.
- Terence Malick’s making a movie immediately after The Tree of Life!! Has anyone checked to make sure this is the same Malick we’re talking about? His new project (potentially titled The Burial) will – according to the TheWrap.com article linked above – feature Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem.
- Hey, it’s that time again! Censorship Time! Thanks to the Catholic League and Speaker of the House John Boehner, a David Wojnarowicz video piece has been removed from an exhibit in the National Portrait Gallery. Don’t you just love the abuse of political power to supplant the artistic expression of a man who’s been dead since 1992? JESUS. (Literally – the piece was about Jesus.) [GLAAD has another article about the censorship.]
- As a pick-me-up, how about some terrible but still funny typography jokes?
- Matt Mazur of PopMatters wrote a long, in-depth essay on one of my favorite movies, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. I love it when people do that.
- Speaking of long, in-depth essays on movies I love, Ed Howard at Only the Cinema has one on Edward Dmytryk’s disturbing, underrated film noir The Sniper! “Stop me. Find me and stop me. I’m going to do it again.” Arthur Franz is terrifying.
- We all love Criterion’s gorgeous DVD cover designs, but some genius decided to make fake Criterion-style covers for movies like The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) and Bio-Dome (1996). Delightful.
- This just in! Sarah Dopp wants to make a marketplace for genderplayful clothing! It’s a super-cool idea, and you should totally show your support! Yeah!
We’re running tragically low on funny/weird search terms because of how WordPress has reformatted their system, but I still have some porntastic treats for you. For example, “the horny lady in the caravan” is a pretty enigmatic search, as is the horrendously spelled “sex pusy bleak girlls.” One of those four words is not like the others. (It’s “bleak.”) Someone sought out “xander berkeley + sexuality,” which I applaud. (Berkeley, for what it’s worth, is an underappreciated character actor in films, TV, and animation; he played insensitive husbands in two of my favorite films of the ’90s, Candyman and [Safe].) And finally, we had that old classic, “pussy om nom nom.” And a merry pussy om nom nom to you too, dear reader!
[Note from Ashley: Andreas is no longer allowed to pick the pictures for the link dumps. He picks too many disturbing pictures of kitties and it upsets me greatly.]
I’m currently swamped with schoolwork, publication editing, comics, and virtually no sleep, so alas, I haven’t been able to do much writing today. However, for your viewing pleasure, here’s a cavalcade of movie posters from Weimar Germany. Specifically, they’re rooted in the horror-friendly style of German Expressionism – a movement that, throughout the 1920s, produced some of the best and earliest horror masterpieces. I’ll be back this weekend with reviews of The Fog, Perfect Blue, and more. Enjoy!
It’s fascinating how the extreme, angular stylization of these films carries over to their poster art. These are well-designed posters that complement the films they were made for, with the composition and typography integrated to make terrifying images. Look at the predatory, vampiric Mephistopheles in the poster for Murnau’s Faust, or Dr. Mabuse’s glowing yellow eyes. Or, maybe best of all, the pestilent creature representing Nosferatu‘s titular monster. They all expressively hint at the horrifying events to come.