Labor Day…and I am laboring…Who knows? Maybe my business partner at Succulence, Frauke, is laboring. She is due any day now! My mom might have been laboring 41 years ago around this weekend, as my birthday is in a couple days. Damn, did I say 41? Tick. Tock.
Did you make it to any of the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema? We had an amazing couple screenings on Friday night out back in Succulence. It was really fun. Everyone was bundled up, but it wasn’t too cold. There was standing room only as we watched 6 really well made short films. My favorite was called MY FATHER’S HOPES and chronicled the life of a man who had been an artist, then put away his brushes and artistic desires for many years as he raised his family without a word of regret. Then, many years later, after the death of his wife, he rediscovered his passion and lived an entire second life, full of bohemian rhapsody and hedonistic passion for life. It was a hopeful film, and gave me a warm feeling about aging, and about all the possibilities and paths that will always remain open so long as we remain open to them. Thank you again, Anne and Leslie, for putting on this tremendous festival year in and year out.
It was so much fun to be partying over at Four Star Video that we decided to have another party and invite you all! Inspired by some incredible photographs that Andrew took of the staff of Four Star, we decided to share them with you! To give them the proper respect they deserve (and to indulge ourselves with a chaotic party during a busy time of the week) we decided to have a full wine and cheese opening on Saturday night, September 18th, at 8pm. The photographs will be arranged in the New Release room, and we will encourage you to hang out, discuss the art, imbibe the comestibles and enjoy the ambiance. Rachel Whiteside will be showing her brilliant photography as well, and perhaps Shila will be showing some art, too. All of the staff are invited to share their art, so be sure to encourage them (Jeff? Chris?) to show their stuff when you are in the store this week . There is even a rumor that my feature film, HUMANS BEING, will be played in the store during the party. I will update you as to who will be showing work in next weeks blog post, and you can also go to the Four Star Video facebook page to see the event page that we will post a bit later in the week, which should have more specific info as well.
Our hope is to have more and more of these types of events as we recognize the value of our store as a community space, as a zone for cinematic discussion, and a safe place to rent dangerous movies. Speaking of movies, we got lots of them this week, including Season Six of THE OFFICE (USA), a whole host of older films just released on Blu-Ray, and a nice batch of kids films. There are also some good foreign films (JOHN RABE, THE SQUARE) and some good old-fashioned Hollywood standbys (SOLITARY MAN, KILLERS).
I will be away on tour with my band this week, and the store will be in the very capable hands of the amazing staff, all of whom have been here for 3 years or more, except Rachel whose 3 year anniversary is coming up soon. How rare is that for a retail establishment? We must always notice when we are in the midst of a special moment, because who knows how long it can last? Find a special moment, examine every inch of it. Make it last.
Alrighty, that’s all folks, hope to see you at the store.
Love and Kisses,
P.S. I mention below that SOLITARY MAN led me on a funny little Youtube journey this morning. Eventually I ended up watching and listening to some Johnny Cash videos that were just amazing…I wasn’t a Johnny Cash fan somehow until he died; that morning I listened to this U2 song with tears streaming down my eyes and finally understood his brilliance. Stumbling back upon him this morning, I enjoyed these covers he did later in his life and again reflected on his powerful voice. Somehow, through his voice and interpretation, the message in these songs is more powerful than in the originals. This song, "I See a Darkenss", was written by Will Oldham (also a terrific actor), who also sings back up. And this one, "Hurt", is a 9 Inch Nails song, made so much more utterly poignant by Cash’s performance.
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CAMP ROCK 2: THE FINAL JAM.
Demi Lovato/Joe Jonas/Other boys named Jonas.
Directed by Paul Hoen.
* Disney family jam with the Brother Jonas and a bunch of Disney kids trying to break out. Probably fun viewing for your preteen rock star!
THE EXPLODING GIRL.
Directed by Bradley Rust Gray.
* A young woman on break from college (Kazan from REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, ME AND ORSON WELLES, I HATE VALENTINE’S DAY, IT’S COMPLICATED) is dealing with her life, which involves managing her epilepsy, a challenging house guest and a new boyfriend. The director, who is married to So Yong Kim, was a producer and writer on her feature films TREELESS MOUNTAIN and IN BETWEEN DAYS. Seems like a power couple to me.
Steve Buscemi/Ulrich Tukur.
Directed by Florian Gallenberger.
* Based on the real life John Rabe’s diaries, this film tells the story of the German businessman who saved over 200,000 Chinese people during the Nanjing massacre in 1937-38.
KEVIN POLLACK: THE LITTLES SUSPECT.
* San Francisco native Pollack delivers his unique brand of comedy complete with excellent impressions.
Ashton Kutcher/Katherine Heigl/Tom Selleck/Catherine O’Hara.
Directed by Robert Luketic.
* Spencer Aimes (Kutcher) is a super spy, in the vein of Bond, but perhaps more lethal...However, he trades that lifestyle in when he meets Jen (Heigl) on vacation. Soon they are living a domestic life of marital bliss. But wait! A few years later, they are thrust back into the swashbuckling life when they discover they are the objects of hitmen who have been tracking them for a few years. Who could they be? The neighbors? The paper boy? The mailman? Shoot em all, let god sort it out.
KUNG FU MASTER.
Directed by Gangliang Fang and Ping Jiang.
THE LOSS OF A TEARDROP DIAMOND.
Bryce Dallas Howard/Chris Evans.
Directed by Jodie Markell.
Written by Tennessee Williams.
* Not sure how this film is acted or directed, but Williams screenplay if certain to be full of smoldering brilliance. The story is of Fisher Willow, a wealthy daughter of a Memphis plantation owner who is snotty and obnoxious, not the sweet southern belle her family wishes she was. Her love for Jimmy, a man who was born into no means, causes an uproar that she is willing to weather, until the loss of a priceless diamond causes questions that are challenging to answer. Set in the 1920’s.
Will Forte/Ryan Phillippe/Kristen Wiig/Val Kilmer/Powers Boothe.
Directed by Jorma Taccone
* This originated as a SNL skit about a super spy and his arch nemesis Dieter Von Cunth (Kilmer). There is no truth to the rumor that Owen Wilson is contractually obliged to star in all movies of this sort.
Ryan Carnes/Sandrine Holt/Jean Marchand.
Directed by Paolo Barzman.
* I am not trying to be argumentative, but I am getting kinda bored with all these comic book movies…I am sure this one is fun and all, but…wasn’t there another film of this same name starring Billy Zane not too long ago? Anyway, here it is. Someone tell me how it is.
David Robers/Claire van der Boom.
Directed by Nash Edgerton.
* Chris watched this film and told me to get it. It’s an Australian puzzle about a man who gets a bag of cash and then watches his life come completely undone in the ensuing madness. Murder, revenge, backstabbing, twists and turns are all employed as the mystery deepens and the truth becomes vaguer and vaguer.
Michael Douglas/Jesse Eisenberg/Susan Sarandon/Danny DeVito/Jenna Fischer/Mary-Louise Parker.
Directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levien.
* This star-studded dramedy is about a New York businessman (Douglas) who watches his life fall apart as he makes one after another poor business decision and seems to self-destruct his family and emotional life as well. It is only after he hits the bottom that he can begin to rebuild knowing that now he has nothing to lose. I think the title of this film led me on the whole Youtube adventure that I’ve been on all morning. I watched this Neil Diamond song of the same title, which led me to some Johnny Cash videos which has really flavored my day. Youtube is such a bizarre adventure. You really never know where it will lead you; which seems to be how Douglas’s character in this film leads his life.
WONDERS OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM. ****BD****
Space/The Final Frontier.
* This space series examines our solar system and compares and contrasts it with human life on earth. I haven’t seen it, but considering the usual BBC treatment of anything nature oriented, I imagine it is beautiful to watch.
THE OFFICE: SEASON 6.
Steve Carell/John Krasinski/Rainn Wilson/Jenna Fischer/Craig Robinson.
* Were you waiting for long for this? I was. I finally watched disc one last night and was relieved to laugh quite hard (see the side-splitting opening sequence to episode 3…). The characters in this show are very rich even though the humor tends toward the low-brow. I know there are many debates regarding the US versus the British version of this show, but the British version simply lasted two brilliant seasons and the US version really shouldn’t be compared to it anymore. It has a life of its own, and a different flavor and different arc, and frankly it is funny as hell. I think just about anyone who works at any job has had many cringe-worthy moments that are pretty accurately chronicled in this show.
GOOSEBUMPS: THE BLOB THAT ATE EVERYONE.
GOOSEBUMPS: GO EAT WORMS.
MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE: ROAD RALLY.
SHAUN THE SHEEP: PARTY ANIMALS.
THE VERY BRAVE WITCH AND MORE HALLOWEEN STORIES.
............// NEW ON BLU //............
A SCANNER DARKLY.
* 2006 Linklater animated film about an undercover cop addicted to a powerful drug.
* Visually stunning 1956 Sci-fi flick.
IN COLD BLOOD.
* 1967 Oscar nominated film adaptation of Truman Capote’s gritty novel.
* Tim Burton’s 1996 gory comedy about a Martian take over of planet earth.
* Number two in the MATRIX trilogy, released in 2003.
* I keep meaning to see this 2007 fantasy film that features a cross-dressing performance by Robert De Niro.
* See me….Feel me…Touch me…Heal me! Damn, this rock opera is so weird and amazing and beautiful! This 1975 Ken Russell film features tons of great actors (Ann-Margret, Jack Nicholson, Oliver Reed), and incredible musicians (all of The Who, Elton John, Eric Clapton) and a mind-bending turn as The Acid Queen by Tina Turner. Just watch this clip to get excited about this film.
............// REPLACEMENT DISCS//............
THE SHIELD: SEASON SIX.