July 18, 2016

Ghostbusters (2016): I Really Liked It


Ghostbusters (2016) is a movie whose mere existence has made a lot of people angry.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’m going to discuss the movie.

Ghostbusters is a brilliant film. In order to discuss why, I’m going to talk about the film in a way that might spoil some things. I’m also going to try to keep this pretty succinct, so I’m going to gloss over stuff, and use pretty non-academic language (and contractions). As a small taste, lemme just tell you that this movie is not about busting ghosts. But its hugely feminist bent is not what made me like the movie. That it was a good movie, in which the comedy was well timed, the visuals were on point, and the acting/script/cast etc were firing on all pistons, is what made me like it. Granted, that there was a deeper meaning tied in there didn't hurt...


December 20, 2015

Tempting Fate: the Western, The Vampire, and the Monstrous-Femininte in A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)



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 Not too long ago, I started Grad School.  Eek.  At the request of a few buddies, and considering the fact that this is also sort of a movies blog, I now present a paper I wrote now some time ago.  Notes and citations are near the bottom.
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http://ww2.kqed.org/pop/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2015/04/a-girl-walks-home.jpg
 


The history of Iranian cinema is a long and torrid affair, much like that of American cinema, as Hamid Dabashi’s “Close Up: Iranian Cinema Past Present and Future” (2001) at times heartbreakingly describes. But despite the government’s frequent and unrelenting attempts at stifling creativity deemed irreputable or in any way damaging to the state (Dabashi, 32; Tait; Rostami-Povey, 6-7; Wright), there has always been, if not a strong, then a strong-willed underground scene (Dabashi, 33-75), and in recent years Iran has enjoyed more relaxed regulations (Dabashi, 253; Ghazi; Issa; Wright). Iranian American director Ana Lily Amirpour’s film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), exists as an extension of this constantly reinventing cinematic history by offering a film which, like many classic underground Iranian films (Dabashi, 28), presents an engaging film which nonetheless succeeds in questioning authority. By merging the genre of the western and the vampire film, as well as employing a variety of inversions of the male gaze, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night critiques and denounces patriarchal ideology as well as discusses how westernization has reshaped Iranian culture.  

September 17, 2015

Life is a Masquerade: Exploring the Unmasking of Gender Conformity and Fostering of Acceptance of the Trans* Community Through the Exploitation of Scopophilic Pleasure in Queens at Heart (1967)

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 Not too long ago, I started Grad School.  Eek.  At the request of a few buddies, and considering the fact that this is also sort of a movies blog, I now present a paper I wrote now some time ago.  Notes and citations are near the bottom. 
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Side note:
1)     The usage of “trans* individuals” and gender neutral pronouns will be employed to discuss the four interviewees in Queens at Heart (1967).  This will be done because, while they do discuss that they are anticipating and saving up for a sex-change operation, and host Jay Martin refers to them as “men,” the interviewees never refer to their own gender, and it would be unavoidably anachronistic to make any assumption in regards the gender pronoun that they would prefer (Killermann 2012).
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Life is a Masquerade:
Exploring the Unmasking of Gender Conformity and
Fostering of Acceptance of the Trans* Community Through
the Exploitation of Scopophilic Pleasure in Queens at Heart (1967)

 http://www.outfest.org/legacy/images/queens_at_heart.jpg

            Little production information remains about the short 1960’s documentary Queens at Heart, and what is accessible only raises more questions. Information on the company named in the Queens at Heart credits, Southeastern Pictures Company, is monolithic compared to that of the film’s host, Jay Martin, of which there is practically none (OpenCorporates 2014, OutFest 2009, Queensatheart.Blogspot.com 2013).  Likely released in 1967, its name appearing as an additional feature for another Southeastern Pictures Company film, She-Man: A Story of Fixation (1976) (Fullmoonstreaming.com 2014), the relative lack of information about not only the host and the trans* individuals interviewed in the film, but information regarding its production, is not surprising given the political environment in which this film was released.  Until the landmark Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court Case in 2003, homosexual acts, deemed “sodomy,” were illegal in many states (Painter 2008).  Until the 70’s, there was only one state which didn’t actively restrict homosexual acts, Illinois, which was the first to remove the ban in 1962 (Painter 2008).  Filmed in this pre-Stonewall-riot environment, where public knowledge of homosexual acts could provide grounds for imprisonment or the citation of hefty fines, as well as provide illegal but socially sanctioned acts of hate-encouraged violence, keeping anonymous the names and identities of the trans* individuals would conceivably have been paramount to their being involved in its production.
           Archival restorations by The Outfest Legacy Project have provided an opportunity to hear the stories of these trans* individuals first hand (OutFest 2009).  The film itself provides for analysis an early attempt to promote understanding and acceptance of this subjugated cross section of humanity. Through a formal analysis of the film, combined with a discussion of the relationship between both male and female scopophilia and film, Queens at Heart ironically succeeds in exposing and thereby promoting tolerance and acceptance of trans* people in the United States.


May 9, 2015

We Don’t Put Out: Objectification, Panopticism, and Collaboration in Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (1981)

Not too long ago, I started Grad School.  Eek.  At the request of a few buddies, and considering the fact that this is also sort of a movies blog, I now present a paper I wrote not too long ago.  Notes and citations are near the bottom. 

We Don’t Put Out:
Objectification, Panopticism, and Collaboration in
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (1981)

http://glasstire.com/wp-content/themes/glasstire/library/extensions/tim-thumb/timthumb.php?src=http://glasstire.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/video-circus3.jpg&w=620&h=320&q=100


By the late 1970’s, in an unexpected but beautifully orchestrated turn of events, certain members of the punk rock community began to realize that punk had turned into its masturbatory, self-righteous, self-aggrandizing heavy metal forbearers.  Punk now mirrored the commercial, decadent, and youth-centered music from the 60’s they heavily despised.  It was as though they had woken up and recognized they now embodied the easily critiqued image of the punk rock poseur, donning an anarchy symbol as a veiled attempt at rebelling against their inevitable transformation into their parents.  With Crass’ 1978 song “Punk is Dead” ringing in their ears, punk rock musicians began branching off, forming a variety of new genres, including new wave, post-punk, and hardcore.
With new wave taking hold primarily in the inner cities, and post-punk primarily propagating in the UK, hardcore flourished in the American suburbs, its stripped-down, no-nonsense approach to music speaking directly to the disenfranchised suburban sensibility.  With this veritable rebirth of punk came austere, socially and politically minded lyrics; the sincere, forthright rage and intensity with which they sang about battling oppression of any kind being mirrored by their wild and abrasive, but simple, instrumentalization.
During this transitional period, Lou Adler, record producer, director of Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke (1978), and producer of the cult hit Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), teamed up with academy award winning screen writer Nancy Dowd to create the film Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1981).  One of the first roles for both Diane Lane and Laura Dern, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains follows the exploits of an all-girl band, Lane’s character being the oldest at fifteen, as they carve out a space for themselves both under the ominous, repressive shadow of the burnt out, aging heavy metal bands, and along side the unwelcoming, already-insular, equally and ironically oppressive hardcore punk scene. Through an understanding of Laura Mulvey’s theory of the male gaze, Michel Foucault’s theory of panopticism, and Coleman and Rippin’s theory on collaboration, a formal analysis of Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains shows that it suggests that women cannot simply wait for men to remove the shackles of the patriarchy; that by recognizing, critiquing, and rejecting established systems of masculinized oppression, specifically that of objectification, as well as ending the practice of self-policing on behalf of the patriarchy, women will be able to make significant strides by collaborating with each other working towards ending their own subjugation.

November 6, 2014

For Keeps' First Show!

My new band, For Keeps, is playing its first show tonight! 

If you're a Denver kid, c'mon out!

Also, Grad school is super time consuming, so sorry for posting like nothing recently!  I'll have more time ... in either the summer or 2017! hahaaaa... yeah.

Here's the flier!

January 6, 2014

सølγ שаябlɛş Mixtape #1: Billy Goat Latin C90


Many moons ago a wonderful rarities website featured a collection of wonderful mixtapes. Well the gov'ment sat down and decided to shut this website down, because they jus don't understand.

That blog was called:
सølγ שаябlɛş

I'm going to feature their mixtapes so other people will be able to experience these wonderful mixtapes.

January 3, 2014

Projections: Seeing Tobe Hooper's Lifeforce Through The Stereoscopic Lenses of Jung's Psychoanalytic Dialectic and Feminist Discourse


This last year I started Grad School.  Eek.  At the request of a few buddies, and considering the fact that this is also sort of a movies blog, here is the paper I turned in for a class that had nothing to do with just about anything I wrote about.  I got an A somehow.   Notes and citations are near the bottom.
Projections:
Seeing Tobe Hooper's Lifeforce Through The Stereoscopic Lenses of Jung's Psychoanalytic Dialectic and Feminist Discourse

           “If I had to live my life again, I'd do everything the same, except that I wouldn't see The Magus,” Woody Allen once quipped1, referring to the 1968 film adaptation of John Fowles’ 1966 book of the same title. This film remained the pinnacle of terrible film adaptations until 1985, when author Colin Wilson allegedly contacted John Fowles, congratulating The Magus on losing its title to an adaptation of one of Wilson’s books, The Space Vampires.  That film was Lifeforce (1985).

December 12, 2013

Wind Does featuring Teeth Eaters - Second Second


My noise project just released a new collaborative album.  It's sort of a huge post-rock-ish vision quest.  There is a video to accompany the first recording.  I hope you like it.


November 11, 2013

SLM Mixtape #61: The Miranda Mix




My buddy Miranda is super cool.
So I made her an enormous Mix Tape.
Which ended up being put onto like 23 CDs.
Because "tapes" don't make sense to me.
This is that mix.
I submit it for your usage during the rest of November and the first half of December.
At the end of the year there will be an extra special mix.

October 14, 2013

SLM Mixtape #60: Near Occult



Wow! You kids love the metal mixes.

Originally I was going to post two "Best Of's" as the last 2 of the 3 metal mixes I had planned.
But this site can tell that I've uploaded 2+ tracks by a band even if I change the names or cut a few seconds off.

So here is the 2nd & 3rd METAL mixes in one, which aren't "best-of's," since I missed last week.
I've been out of the game long enough, I have a hard time telling whether or not it's all even metal. Some of it is ultra rare though.


Tracklist:
Those Who Fight Further - THE BLACK MAGES
Below The Belt - Bodine
Let Them Burn - Kataklysm
Seven Gates of Hell - Sigh
Night.Light - The Axe That Chopped The Cherry Tree
All We Are - Warlock
Boris The Spider - Arjen Lucassen
Untied/Culling Essence From The Void - In The Company Of Serpents
Klatter 1 - Boris with Merzbow
See Who I Am - Within Temptation
Before The War - Suffocate
Boken Heart Container (Octorock my body) - I Shot The Duck Hunt Dog
Hand In Hand - Dark Moor
Ride With The Sun - Fairyland
Chosen Orb - Kitezh
Part Three - Trees
Unquestionable Presence - Atheist
Troll, Død Og Trolldom - Kampfar
Bring Forth Ye Shadow - Theatre Of Tragedy
Fear (Wasn't In The Design) - Rakoth
Evil - Heavenly
25 Hours - C.A.D. (Children Of The Anachronistic Dynasty)
Best Of Friends - Anthony
Babylon Fell - Apollyon Sun

September 23, 2013

SLM Mixtape #59: Metal Heart


People really seemed to like that metal mix, so I've got 3 more for you kids, this being the first of the 3.

They're metal bands covering metal bands (mostly).
It's short and sweet.

Tracklist:
All My Loving - Helloween
Over The Hills And Far Away - Nightwish
Aces High - Children Of Bodom
Number Of The Beast - Iced Earth
Burn In Hell - Dimmu Borgir
Strong & Smart - In Flames
Lay All Your Love On Me - Helloween
Repent - Children Of Bodom
Who Wants To Live Forever? - After Forever
Metal Heart - Dimmu Borgir

September 9, 2013

SLM Mixtape #58: Origin of Extension


 

Tracklist:
Juliette - Hollerado
Don't Want To Talk - The Martial Arts
Outgoing Message - Corin Tucker Band
Back To The Web - Elf Power
Take My Flesh - Monofog
Let's Fall In Love - Mother Mother
Sinking Boats - Thinking Fellers Union Local 282
You Come In Burned - The Dandy Warhols

August 26, 2013

SLM Mixtape #56: Chrome Star



Tracklist:
Spraypaint - Black Moth Super Rainbow
I Want You - Birds and Batteries
The Beat - C2C
Brief and Bright - Whitey
Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It - Stars
Pompeii - Bastille
Fair Warning - Penguin Prison
Hang Out - Drop Out Orchestra

August 19, 2013

SLM Mixtape #55: Unbaised Obliteration


I made this for two fellas I know.

There are a lot of different types of Metal in this mix.

Not every genre is present.

Neither is your favorite Metal Band.

I'm super sorry about that.
To make up for that,
and for my extended absence,

I've made the mix hecka long.

I also promise to never make another "all metal" mix again.


P.S. Mixtape Monday is back!

July 17, 2013

Retroview: Tuff Fest I: Looking Back

A Retroview Review.  the last one actually.

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Luke here, back with a new limited series where I talk about like 60 movies over the next 60 days. Click here for an explanation. Read on for the quick and dirty review!


Well That wraps it up. Yesterday's post was the final of the series. I hope you enjoyed the quick and dirty write ups of some movies I saw basically a quarter of a year ago haha. Do I have a favorite movie? No. I think that would be the hardest thing to pick, because I saw so many amazing movies, movies that were all amazing for incredibly different reasons. I think if you read through, you'll be able to tell which ones I enjoyed most. Did I get burnt out watching almost 60 movies in 10 days? Hell no, I wish life wouldn't keep getting in the way so I could do it all the time. Will I do it again? You better believe it. Tuff Fest II feels like it's just around the corner...

-Luke Hunter James-Erickson
To see all the movies written about so far, click here: Tuff Fest I
Again, for an explanation, click here: Introduction to Tuff Fest I
To suggest movies I should schedule for Get Tuff Fest II, e-mail me: TheeLuke@gmail.com

July 16, 2013

Retroview: Tuff Fest I: Wrap-Up Mega-Post 3

A Retroview Review. 
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Luke here, back with a new limited series where I talk about like 60 movies over the next 60 days. Click here for an explanation. Read on for the quick and dirty review!


Okay, so, like 4-5 months late, here is the last of the last two wrap ups for Tuff Fest I:

Red State
Kevin Smith never claimed to be a great film maker, and he has definitely lived up to that expectation. That said, he has made some good movies. His movies generally portray that he knows what he wants to say, but the end results generally come off a little muddled, trite, or cliche. Red State has a simple message, which serves Smith well, because it shines through crystal clear: religious fanatics don't always live in a foreign country. The world Smith presents to us feels real enough to touch, aided by spectacular performances by just about every cast member. It's a brutal, disturbing film, with one heck of an ending. I can't say the message isn't ham-handedly hammered home, but it's evident that this was Smith's intention, so I find myself unable to fault him. Maybe best described as a tonal piece.

More short reviews after the break!

July 9, 2013

Retroview: Tuff Fest I: Wrap-Up Mega-Post 2

A Retroview Review. 
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Luke here, back with a new limited series where I talk about like 60 movies over the next 60 days. Click here for an explanation. Read on for the quick and dirty review!


Okay, so, like 4-5 months late, here is the first of the last two wrap ups for Tuff Fest I: 

House II
Everything that can possibly happen in a movie happens in House II. And all in 90 minutes. It's a sequel that is so loosely related to it's original that basically it's only connection is that it calls itself a sequel to House (not House, or House, or House, or House though). But that doesn't matter at all, much in the same way that Troll 2 doesn't need to be related to a movie called Troll, because it's so bad ass that it transcends any predecessors. Cowboys, John Ratzenberger, Zombies, Mayans, Dinosaurs, Halloween, Bill Maher, 80's pop stars, dance parties, dinner parties, virgin sacrifices, ex-lovers ... the list goes on and on. The Best thing about this movie and that it doesn't feel as though it's dragging on, or that it's trying to accomplish too much. Some how they managed to get everything "movie" into 90 minutes, which is the most "movie" time for a movie to be. Just see it. Seriously. This is the only one during Tuff Fest that I'd seen before, and it was well worth it.

More reviews below the cut! 

July 2, 2013

Retroview: Tuff Fest I: Wrap-Up Mega-Post 1

A Retroview Review. 
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Luke here, back with a new limited series where I talk about like 60 movies over the next 60 days. Click here for an explanation. Read on for the quick and dirty review!


The Secret of NIMH - If you saw it as a child, feel reassured that it is still as adorable and chillingly terrifying as you remember it. I was not lucky enough to have known what I was in for. It's like the Rescuers meets H.P. Lovecraft. Okay, not that crazy, but still dark.

Cronos - I was surprised that it wasn't set during the Spanish Civil War, as many of Del Toro's other movies are, but it's a better tale set in the modern era. Del Toro's movies generally concern mortals coming in contact with the other side. Cronos follows suit, looking deep into the heart of man (or maybe just this one man) when he is given something even he already knows well enough not to call a gift. It's as twisted and inventive as Del Toro's other movies, but on a slightly smaller scale, which feels natural and inviting.

Many more after the break!

June 25, 2013

Retroview: Tuff Fest I: Movie 23: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

A Retroview Review. 
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Luke here, back with a new limited series where I talk about like 60 movies over the next 60 days. Click here for an explanation. Read on for the quick and dirty review!


Just as the remake is coming out, I find it more pertinent than ever to point out that this movie, the original, which came out barely 2 years ago, is an astonishing accomplishment in filmmaking, and that no matter how good the American remake might turn out to be, it's still important to ask ourselves if the remake is actually something that needed to be done. Having seen what an American director can do to a remake of a popular Swedish movie (I'm referring to the scar on cinematic history known as Let Me In, a travesty of a movie), I'm not very excited to see TGwtDT(2011), despite how admittedly awesome the trailer is. Will I still see it? Yeah, I think I will, but I'm just saying I'm not getting to excited about it.
Niels Arden Oplev's 2009 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a triumph. The characters are rich and enticing, each with complex but believable histories. For the audience, the joy of watching the meticulous unveiling of the mystery that the plot revolves around, the thing that links our characters, almost pales in comparison to the excitement that comes with learning more about the characters themselves. Watching them interact, learning more about their lives with genuine interest was more engrossing than watching any simple murder mystery. It was repulsive at times (not gorey, just uncomfortable), which didn't repel me, but, rather, drew me in further. An amazing, moving, movie. I DARE any director to have the same effect with the same characters and story, but without Oplev's hand and the powerhouses that were Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist. Double Dog Dare.


-Luke Hunter James-Erickson
To see all the movies written about so far, click here: Tuff Fest I
Again, for an explanation, click here: Introduction to Tuff Fest I
To suggest movies I should schedule for Get Tuff Fest II, e-mail me: TheeLuke@gmail.com