Posts Tagged ‘fame’

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I haven’t seen it, but there you go.

APTOPIX Las Vegas Shooting

Why the Vegas Shooter Did It

 

Tom Petty’s Greatest Quotes

Posted: October 3, 2017 in -
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Tom Petty’s best quotes on fame, greed and the state of rock ‘n’ roll

 

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This contained mind-mash pits an opportunist against nature, as celebrity obsession enters the realm of disease collecting.  Meaning: fans buy diseases so that they can better imitate and commune with their celebrity idols.  By willingly infecting themselves in order to better worship their idols, fandom has created a new commodity to exploit.  Beyond simple exploitation, the competition to obtain celebrity viruses and to sell them on the black market is fierce and criminal.

Such is Brandon Cronenberg’s directorial debut, a small noirish thriller of blood, disease and the underworld.  People who are inclined to appreciate David Cronenberg’s films will probably respond well to the movie.  The story’s Cosmopolis vibe addresses capitalist ruthlessness and the depravity associated with marketing the world to the highest bidders.  With cultural criticism (assault?) rivaling films like Idiocracy and God Bless America, here we have a very subtle, tempered version of business as usual in an unusual racket.

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The market for satire, criticism and any kind of thought whatsoever is pretty small.  DVD reviews of Antiviral made clear that a lot of people didn’t get the movie, or care to.   I thought the film was well done and thought provoking, a lot more so than Contagion anyway.  Caleb Landry Jones is a fantastic actor, and he pushes it to the edge here.  The film carried a dark, creepy sensibility even in glaringly sterile white rooms.

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The arts are a strange affair, and one of my all-time favorite films, To Die For, is by the same director as my absolute least favorite film (Gerry).  I’ve complained previously about the latter, and Damon still owes me for my wasted time.  But Gus Van Sant was a living legend in 1995, when he pulled off the most gut curdling satire of media whoredom I had ever seen.

Spoilers

 

 

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Finally got around to seeing Velvet Goldmine (1998), which I had always considered watching, but what a disaster this thing is.  We’ve got Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale and a Bowie-esque homage to 70s glam rock.  Can’t miss, right?

Whew.  This is a brutally bad edit, a script so disjointed and mangled as to be barely recognizable as a movie.  It’s self-indulgent, gay soft core to the point of annihilation.  I am sort of shocked this thing got made as is.

The cinematography, mind you, is outstanding.  What a job on the visuals, but this story just doesn’t work.  Nor does much of the music.  Ewan McGregor has one good performance near the end, and how I wished the whole film could have been more like that, and less of the gay directorial fantasizing.

The straight version of this tale is Stardust (1974), with a tight, impressive script by Ray Connolly.  Definitely a few amplifiers stacked above this thing.

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Other rock and roll odysseys I want to recommend…

The Doors

This is Spinal Tap

Sid and Nancy

 

Pink Floyd’s the Wall

 

Across the Universe

 

Heavy Metal

Rock Star

Hedwig & the Angry Inch

American Pop

The Commitments

Rocky Horror Picture Show

 

Woodstock

Heather Duke – Heather McNamara – Heather Chandler – Veronica Sawyer

by Joe Giambrone

Some films make a bold frontal assault on society, and Heathers is clearly one of them.  As J.D. (Christian Slater) makes his final pitch in favor of blowing up the school with everyone inside of it, he remarks, “People will look at the ashes of Westerburg and say, ‘Now there’s a school that self-destructed, not because society didn’t care, but because the school was society!’”

Such is the backdrop to the story of clashing social types as represented through an Ohio high school population in the 80’s.  Characters stand in for various mindsets and views in conflict.  The teenagers vie for popularity, fame and fortune.  Selfish ends are weighed against the school as a whole, and peoples’ inherent worths are ranked according to criteria such as if they were cheerleaders or not.  The theme deals with self-destruction and suicide, and the tendency for self-interested myopic individuals to create a hostile atmosphere, to profit at the expense of the weak or less popular.

Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) is the character torn between both worlds, the popular clique vs. the humble dweebs who languish in obscurity.  Although she isn’t one of the infamous Heathers, Veronica is allowed into their group by the decree of the head Heather, the uber-bitchy blonde bombshell Heather Chandler (Kim Walker).

With Heather Chandler’s coaching, Veronica has abandoned her childhood friends in favor of going off to college fraternity parties and being at the center of the school’s malicious activities.

Then the bodies start piling up.  When Veronica falls in with J.D., her partner in crime, people start dying.  By hiding the murders and presenting the scenes as suicides, the two young outlaws try to justify their actions vis a vis improving the school – improving the world by eliminating vile people.  This is, of course, the provocative and highly charged center of the film.  Veronica is torn between the reality of horrible people getting away with running the school for their own benefits, versus a self-styled revolution of destroying them covertly with J.D.’s dirty tricks.

Sucked deeper into the machinations of J.D., who has access to demolition explosives, Veronica finally realizes that her heart has led her head astray.  Vowing to turn the situation around, her stance is heroic vs. J.D.’s self-destructive psychosis.

Lines from Veronica suggest a middle ground, a law and order style solution to the problem of social conflict.  She appoints herself the “new sheriff” in a bid to take Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty) back down a notch, and to lift up Martha Dunnstock who had been led astray during the course of events.  Veronica’s character suggests a political compromise to the strife.  Heathers is a black comedy with socio-political implications in the vein of God Bless America and Idiocracy.

Heathers on Netflix.