Monday, October 04, 2010


Some wonderful things happened. First, it was Nuit Blanche. Yes, it felt more like a street party for University kids towards the end of the night, but I experienced a few wonderful things:

1) Grindbox: Colin Geddes picked a wonderful bunch of trailers and other junk. Some I had seen and some I had never heard of. But one touched my heart. Orca!

I have fond memories of watching this film on TV as a wee lad in England whilst slumbering at my cousin Andrews.

2) Alice Guy-Blache - The first female director in the motion picture industry, and one of the first narrative fiction film directors ever, the short films playing in cinema 3 circa 1906-1907. Tableau in style, they proved one thing: dogs and sausages are still funny 100 years later. Wow, its crazy to think those films were 104 years old. They have a documentary about her at the NFB Mediatheque.

3) Polly - Voyeuristic, somewhat uncomfortable, beautiful and upsetting, I Cried For You, a video installation utilizing performance art in the form of crying, Polly was the only person I saw that actually cried. Sure most after there allotted 10 minutes shed a tear, but after 5 minutes, she was sobbing. It was a wonderfully strange experience for me as a viewer, and I'm sure for her as the performer. It moved many people watching, some who found it incredibly sad and disturbing. Which is strange, that despite the 'desensitization' of a culture, something as simple as a person crying, someone we don't know and have no connection too, can still evoke such a reaction. On the bad side, the cast of Jersey Shore seemed to be in the area, and during every performance, some drunk person stopped to perform performance art of their own on the massive TV screen, usually in the form of picking a gigantic nose.

4) Drum Party - There was a drum party at the AGO. The atmosphere was terrific. Moments like that make events like Nuit Blanche worthwhile. Yes, there were drunks later on in the evening, but having a communal environment like that with such a hive-mind kind of attitude is something all communities need.

I'm also trying to succeed in watching 31 horror movies over the course of October, one per day. I have a few rules. The first, which is making this difficult, is watching a film I haven't seen or don't remember seeing. The second, is that I can watch more than one in a day, so long as my count is 31 at the end of the month. So far, so good.

Rob Zombies Halloween 2 - This film reminded me a lot of House of 1000 Corpses, where its really just a mishmash of ideas with no real coherent narrative. Sure Zombie has some good ideas, and on occasion he achieves some semblance of cinematic marvel, but mostly its just a mess. Its trying to hard to be edgy and extreme, and instead, its pretty bad. Two rules he should learn. One is to stop casting his wife because she is an awful actor. The second he should stop with the cheeseball musical montages.

Don't Kill a Duckling - One of Fulci's first horror films from 1972, this is by far one of my favourites, with Zombie, City of the Living Dead and New York Ripper. Less atmospheric than The Beyond but far more coherent, its slightly disturbing because of the content, not just the bloody mayhem, which is restrained here compared to his later films.

Big Bad Wolf - Trevor bought me this in retaliation for getting him Happy Birthday to Me for his birthday. It was a bad film yes, but still surprisingly entertaining, mostly because it had a trashtalking werewolf and a good level of gore. Oh, and Clint Howard and David Naughton have cameos.

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