Today is the day to watch Alien and Aliens. This may not be an original idea but I am realizing that it’s less a monster movie than I remembered (I think I was ten the first time I saw it) and more of a statement about workers getting royally screwed by the indifferent “man.” I do recall this theme is more overt in the sequels but those are set for later this aft. I am gathering that the orig. is just one really shitty office space, down to the cold coffee cups and fluorescent lights. Then again, I am on a lot of Benadryl.
I’m going to have to teach myself how to confidently read film theory, essays and reviews this summer for book research. And how to make coffee with an electric percolator. I’m intimidated by both but especially all the Sarris, Kael, Hoberman, Ebert, Truffaut on my shelf now. There’s Greil Marcus on Elvis and Dylan there too. I might just take it all downstairs and trade it in for a microphone.
Watching Straight to Hell. Crap old VHS copy. I need to locate the tracking button on my player for the first time since the Reagan era. I always had a problem with this movie and it’s because I loved Repo Man so much that it’s just jarring to see Archie and Light, J. Frank Parnell and Duke in different roles. That’s really it. That and the fact that it’s terrible, but looks like it was a lot of fun to make. I’ve never seen Walker. That’s next. In my Netflix queue. There are a lot of stylistic debts that Guy Ritchie and Quentin owe to this film. I wonder if they will admit it. It’s like they took this model and improved it (by a lot). Courtney is great though. She seems to get that as a movie, it’s utter chaos and easy to steal. It’s hard to follow something flawless like Repo Man and I think Cox is smart to not even try… to go in the opposite direction and like… flaw-out. Make a real mess. They call these movies “acid westerns” a la El Topo I guess, but I’m only drinking a Diet Coke. Another thought: Sy Richardson remains underused. Is he still around. Where the fuck is Sy Richardson?
I must remind myself that investing in Criterion Collections is not the same as investing in art. It depreciates every time I hit pause. Still I will leave this book job with a pretty impressive collection… hopefully one I won’t be carting off to Disco-Rama to re-sell. I’m too old to buy them again down the road at this point.
It’s been… well forever since I posted here, but I keep telling myself to try to get into it, especially now that I’ve established a good research clip for the new book, which is called LOUD PICTURES. The subtitle will probably be futzed with but it’s essentially a history of rock and roll cinema, from the 50s (The Girl Can’t Help It) up to the present. I will save the stuff that belongs in the book for the book but as I go I may throw some extra observations, teasers about who I just interviewed or perhaps the “My Rhythm Box” sequence from Liquid Sky over and over again up here in this very space. I have started with the 1980s, early to mid, because that’s what I feel most confident writing about… a kind of cinema of dystopia when they start to realize the 60s are not coming back, but there will be plenty of zombies, mutants and technology gone bad (and excellent soundtracks). Rock stars become movie stars during this period and vice verse (why is it if you are big enough to be a rock star, you want to be a movie star and and if you are a big enough movie star, you are almost obliged to start a shit band). I am writing my notes in yellow Mead Cambridge notebooks. They cost about five dollars each and I expect to fill 25 of them longhand. I’m also writing in a word file, 14 point Century font, double space. Really it’s been about three years since I started a book. POSEUR, my memoir was written on spec 5 years ago and Twee, my last release had its inception (in Cambridge notebooks) circa 2012. Girls and New Girl had just started and were all the rage like General Public used to say. Anyway, watch this space, please. And happy 90s birthday to Yogi Berra.
PS. When I have more information about the book’s release I will share of course. I know it will likely be some time in ’16 from Dey Street/Harper which published Twee. Same editor, same house, different book…. about the marriage of movies and popular music. It’s the part I was born to play.