Fantasia 2014: revenge spree killing edition

Two movies that encourage a genre festival audience to cheer whenever someone gets shot in the head.

In Order Of Disappearance: there is a level on which this movie operates as a blackly comedic metaphor for whatever “immigration problem” Norway thinks it has. I can’t parse it fully, but it’s intentional, and intentionally skewering — if you’re easily triggered by ethnic humour in the ”@#$% white people say” mode, the second act may not be for you. Stellan Skarsgård is lampshaded as the model immigrant, being a white, Danish-born small business owner providing an essential community service: he’s a snowplow driver* who seems to be exclusively contracted to clear a section of highway leading from Oslo to the ski resort town where he lives. In other words, the dude you’d never suspect of raising vigilante hell in socialist democratic welfare-state winter wonderland, unlike those Serbian mobsters or Japanese assassins or that one gangster who turned out to be Jewish, who knew.**

Pål Sverre Hagen (last seen as Thor Heyerdahl) plays opposite Skarsgård as the perpetually stressed-out, carrot-juice-chugging, frothingly xenophobic helicopter dad cocaine drug lord — it’s a great comedic villain turn, arguably the glue that holds the movie together. You walk out thinking that you’re likely to see more of this guy, in bigger and more international films.

Gun Woman: neo-exploitation in the Japanese/American bilingual retro homage mode. If you’re easily triggered by violence against women… you’d probably never consider watching anything in this entire class of movies, I guess. XD; (I watch them occasionally at this point, I think, just to remind myself that they exist — that this is a palette one has access to, so to speak.) Accepting the premise, the film has a few things going for it: 1) a magnetic lead actress and a skin-crawling villain, both of whom are naked for much of the running time; 2) an English-language framing story that’s… relatively… well-acted; 3) a truly great soundtrack, complete with Pat Benetar-esque theme song. Actually, if there’s one conclusion to be drawn from the Fantasia trailer reel and the films thus far themselves, it’s that the 80s keyboard/guitar OST is back with a vengeance, in a way it never was during the early-00s electroclash revival. Vaporwave mainstreaming itself via the vector of least resistance, perhaps.

* To a Montrealer, this prompted the question of why he didn’t have organized crime connections to call on in the first place; but maybe they do things differently in scenic Norway (like Fargo but with convenient fjords for body disposal).

** His boyfriend did, presumably.

Interesting location shoot tidbits for the Greater Toronto folks.


It did amuse me that the show was really, really obviously taking place in Canada, rather than the Baltimore-DC corridor as mooted. Re-watching The X-Files is like that too — I didn’t much notice as a teenager, but now it’s:

*establishing shot of Quantico*

"—but it’s British Columbia."

*time/location stamp says Iowa*

"—nope, this is British Columbia."

*Mulder and Scully tromp through forest purportedly in New Jersey”

"—this is literally the same acre of woods as last episode, and it’s still in British Columbia."

(Though, with repetition, that wet, green, eerily night-lit Pacific Northwest forest has become a dream-space all its own; a fey and liminal place. The first time I was out in downtown Chicago at night my brain told me with startling déjà-vu insistence that I was in Gotham, and no doubt if I stood on a mountain in New Zealand I would think I was in Middle-Earth. There are alien landscapes so familiar, one fancies one would recognize them by smell: that forest, Vasquez Rocks, the proverbial quarry in Wales.)

(Source: researchette, via existingcharactersdiehorribly)


Today’s Classic: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

1. By Pedro Américo (1893)

2. By Edouard Manet (1877)

3. By John Henry Fuseli (1785)

4. By James Northcote (1806)

5. By Sir Thomas Lawrence (1801)

6. By Eugene Delacroix (1821)

I had to scroll back up to make sure Lawrence’s wasn’t actually David Tennant.

(via king-in-yellow)

seasquared said: you'd be surprised how few search results return for "minimoonstar seasquared justine" XD

Haha I’ve just been burnt by experiences of searching for my own fic on my own Tumblr and getting back nothing orz||||

Also, oh man, Marcella Bella’s version renders me completely verklempt? It’s like at the end of the day, the Italians aren’t satisfied if it isn’t actual opera.




Justine & The Victorian Punks, “Still You”

Colette is a revered figure in New York avant-garde lore, if little-known outside of it.

Born in Tunisia and raised in France, she has worked variously as a musician, film-maker, photographer, painter and performance artist over the past forty-odd years, but her most radical and notorious practice has been that of turning her own life into art, following a strange fictional narrative of her own making and assuming a number of different identities and personas. This process began in 1978 when Colette declared herself dead, held her funeral at the Mudd Club, and then resurrected herself as Justine.

Justine hooked up with Peter Gordon and his Love of Life Orchestra – who were discovered by a new generation when James Murphy and Pat Mahoney’s included two of their tracks on their 2007 FabricLive mix – and set about recording new music, which they presciently christened “disco-punk”, under the name Justine and the Victorian Punks. Two tracks, ‘Beautiful Dreamer’ and ‘Still You’, were recorded with engineer Jay Burnett (who later worked on Bambaataa’s ‘Planet Rock’) at Electric Lady Studios and released via Justine’s own Colette Is Dead Co. Ltd private press. Original copies are virtually impossible to get hold of.

‘Beautiful Dreamer’, conceived as the soundtrack for an installation piece of the same name, places Gordon’s saxophone centre stage, with Justine’s lullaby-like vocal bolstered by a mid-tempo disco beat and choral backing from Shelley Hirsch.  ‘Still You’ is a charming, killer-basslined cover of Lucio Battisti’s ‘Ancora Tu’, with Justine and Gordon exchanging spoken-word vocals.

from Factmag

Justine’s voice is incredibly sexy, a little slurred, a little babying, a lot flirtatious and just oozing out with sex appeal when she chuckles as she says, “Oh, well, it brings back memories.” This is almost heartbreaking intimate, like you’ve taken a time machine back to the best worst romance of your youth and you’re watching yourself do it all over again. Justine takes you to just that place, her hand on the crook of your arm, murmuring, “But to leave you is impossible, to leave you is just not possible. It’s still you, still you.” 

     0. (Couldn’t post this the other very-late-night as home wireless is farked)

  1. Neurons misfiring such that for a dizzying minute I contemplated a Sherlock-like updating of The Alexandria Quartet (which, gawd, wasn’t even published that long ago) in which everyone is in an arty band except Clea who does video installations or smth
  2. Are Italo Disco and its descendents PROVEN to be the best genre ever?  I have been listening to Please (which, hmm, this version of “Suburbia” is kind of inferior) and the Love Comes Quickly 12” over and over (“That’s My Impression” being one of TNeil’s very few “disco punk” vox not to say only) so this week the answer is yes
  3. List, if lists must be made, of songs which are extended grooves over which an attractive-sounding girl speaks conversationally:
  1. Pizzicato Five, “This Year’s Model” (variation: interview format)
  2. Ricardo Villalobos, “Andruic & Japan” (variation: 2 many pillz)
  3. Serge Gainsbourg, “En Melody” (variation: hysterical Birkin laugh)
  4. ???

4. Also check out Mina’s version!

Metafilter just did a post rounding up some versions of “Ancora Tu”, which means I get to reblog this post, this time with minimoonstar's commentary. I still love Justine's the best, followed by the Battisti original, and then Marcella Bella’s (which uncovers in all of us the pining Italian lover that’s at the heart of the song), but Roisin Murphy’s newest is no small feat of matter-of-fact, ruthless, stunning romance.

Wow this post? How long ago was this post??? Cathy how do you find old things on Tumblr you are wizard????



There is a deep meaning to this

Reblogged by tumblr.viewer

Is this the full set, now? XD

(Source: ratak-monodosico, via king-in-yellow)





Here is the link to the City Lab article and the link to the actual website, Turn On Detroit’s Water.
h/t to amomenttothink for retweeting this.


did this today. you can let them know how much you can afford to help, any amount. pass it on.

i can only afford to pitch in a very very little but it still let me sign up so!

I’m not sure this would work for potential donors outside the US, but signal boost for the moment.





Here is the link to the City Lab article and the link to the actual website, Turn On Detroit’s Water.

h/t to amomenttothink for retweeting this.


did this today. you can let them know how much you can afford to help, any amount. pass it on.

i can only afford to pitch in a very very little but it still let me sign up so!

I’m not sure this would work for potential donors outside the US, but signal boost for the moment.

Fantasia 2014: adapted anime/manga edition (part 1)

Kite: our action is removed to an unnamed dystopian future probably Southern Hemisphere country (the only American accents are India Eisley, who AFAIK is white but whose Sawa doesn’t seem to be; and Samuel L. Jackson, who is probably in this movie because he told his agent to make sure he was in the live-action remake of Kite). As expected, it’s not any more sensible than the original, and the rating’s been toned down. Still a slick, stylized good-time-if-you-like-that-sort-of-thing — Eisley is pretty much auditioning for the young Black Widow prequel here — but non-essential in a post-Sucker Punch, post-Kick Ass, i.e. post-Kite's-progeny world. Also, I hear Luc Besson's still making movies.

The Mole’s Song: Miike Takashi screwball yakuza comedy. Well; he can direct these in his sleep by now, one imagines, but that doesn’t mean the ride isn’t hilarimazing. And anyway, how do you decide what part of a director’s opus is essential viewing when he has 80-90 feature film credits (depending on how you classify the TV/VOD stuff)? I can appreciate the artistry in eg. Hara-Kiri, but let’s be real — that shiz is grimly unrewarding from minute one, and a grimly unrewarding slog once you realize what the plot is going to be. Give me manly yakuza cyborg panty jokes over prestige any day.



This movie got a thumbs up from Bisexual Resource Center. It looks like it’s only playing at independent theaters, so keep an eye out!

I just want to add that this movie has been made by a cis man who seems to have put his own ‘aesthetic’ taste into the making of the sex scene

He also behaved pretty badly towards his young female actresses

He also got A LOT of criticism from the creator of the original comic (who is lesbian herself) and other sources

So, if I may suggest something - there might be people out there (me) who wouldn’t feel comfortable supporting this director (even though, of course, high viewing rates of any queer film might be a nudge in the right direction for the whole industry). The fact remains, this movie has been made by a heterosexual man who put A LOT more emphasis into the sex scene than necessary, AND the production of this movie about queer women did not actually involve a single actual queer woman as far as we know about - no advisors and no out production members with significant say in the presentation of the characters or relationship, at least.

If you still want to consume this story in any way, might I suggest you buy the graphic novel?

I am still waffling back and forth on watching this (it’s now on Canadian Netflix), but one unfortunate tell I’ve spotted is that the sex scene has been snipped out and uploaded to online pr0n sites — I’ve never seen that happen with an art movie before, not even Nymphomaniac.

(via ajora)

Fantasia 2014: back to 1989 edition

White Bird In A Blizzard: diagetic music too on the nose, blazers cut all wrong in the shoulder. I suppose this is what one has to look forward to for the next decade and change (how do Boomers and Gen X live with this?) The film isn’t unenjoyable, but doesn’t land as intended — as a mystery, the audience cottons on too early; as a thriller, there’s no catharsis; as YA, Shailene Woodley’s blissfully self-centred protagonist never changes and barely learns that she has feelings beyond ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (in itself more stereotypically Millennial than Gen X: she’s no slacker in career or sex). Eva Green is a caricature of an unhappy martini-soaked housewife, which feels wrong-era in the opposite direction (wasn’t Have It All in full swing by ‘89?). The unreliable viewpoint might have worked better in the original text, but the script clunks along with howlers like “and in an instant my virginity disappeared… just like my mother!” Yes, just like that, one supposes.

Cold In July: that rare beast, an unpredictable genre movie — rather, like Almodóvar’s Bad Education, it no longer has the same genre plot at the end as it did at the beginning, nor indeed by the middle. It is the kind of indie flick where characters work at a video rental store, a key scene takes place during a drive-in screening of Night of the Living Dead, and there are lovingly held shots of VHS tapes going in and out of a working VHS player. It is also the kind of movie where Michael C. Hall wears a mullet/’stache combo and Don Johnson plays a cowboy with three first names (I’m pretty sure he introduces himself as “Jim-Bob Luke”). The soundtrack is all-synth and excellent at evoking whatever filmmaker you think of when you think “gritty 80s thriller with an all-synth soundtrack.” A great deal of fun, though this relies on the Texan With Guns(tm) protagonists being quite squishy fellas at heart; if anyone were a gleeful psycho it would be a very hard story to take.

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Themed by: Hunson