Jul 042023

As with the DID post, I was hoarding these in a custom MySQL database with some formatting and delusions about keeping images along with the Amazon links with my kickback URL. I can still do that, but keeping it outside of WordPress seems stupid at this point since I have a bunch of other data here. And given the death of my father this year, it’s clear that if you want things to be remembered and accessible, you need to make that easy and in one place. How’s that for old man morbid…but realistic?

So here’s my DIM list as it was in the early 2000s. As with the music, I don’t think I’d change it. I just might add / comment. Which means it’s a pretty good list. There are only 7 because I included the X-Files first season, the Monty Python entire disc set and Beastie Boys anthology and, in retrospect, I think that’s cheating. I need to stick with movies. So I’ll do an addendum post with these 7 and some worthy additions.

  • Jacob’s Ladder – Adrian Lyne – 1990 – This movie works on many different levels. It’s a horror movie but with a spiritual theme. I like that it takes more than one viewing to absorb. The DVD has some cool extras. I consider extras a requirement to be a DID unless I REALLY like the movie.
  • To Kill A Mockingbird – Robert Mulligan – 1962 – One of the few examples where the movie is at least as good as the book. The new collector’s edition includes some nice goodies.
  • Casablanca – Michael Curtiz – 1943 – I don’t think I really need to explain this choice. Bogie is the coolest.
  • Raising Arizona – Joel and Ethan Coen – 1987 – Totally hilarious. I love the Coen brothers. Unfortunately, I can’t include Miller’s Crossing in my list (and it certainly would be included) as it isn’t available on DVD.
  • Unforgiven – Clint Eastwood – 1992 – Eastwood’s final word on westerns. There’s a reason why this won best picture. There are several other westerns that I’d love to include, Wild Bunch, Once Upon a Time in the West, High Noon among others, but I’ll live with this one.
  • The Great Escape – John Sturges – 1963 – This is an epic WWII movie that has been one of my favorites since the first time that I saw it as a kid. Steve McQueen is so cool in this one that they had to work it into his nickname in the film, “The Cooler King.”
  • The Player – Robert Altman – 1992 – Robert Altman’s return after a string of forgettable work in the ’80s. A wonderful satire of the film industry. It’s fun just to watch all of the cameos. I also really enjoyed Short Cuts and Gosford Park.

Current movie follow up.

  • Miller’s Crossing is available on DVD. I’m not sure it ever wasn’t, but I’ll give myself a break. I’d put that on the list. The Big Lebowski is also up there.
 Posted by on July 4, 2023 at 1:54 am
Mar 282023
Danny playing on the rug at the Overlook - The Shining

Much has been said about this movie over the years. I recently read a review of the new insanely expensive book that came out about it. It sounds like a very definitive guide and I might consider purchasing it if they ever make a reasonably priced copy. The article is a nice mix of how it influenced Pixar’s Lee Unkrich, someone I already follow on Twitter and his busting of some of the myths about the film in the course of researching the book. I have previously posted a link to the film that Kubrick’s daughter made during the making of the Shining. I remember seeing it in the theater with my mother and some family friends. I’m pretty sure I was the youngest there and probably shouldn’t have seen it at my age (a recurring theme if you know me). It came out in the summer of 1980, so I was 8 years old. The actor who plays Danny is less than a year younger than me. And to show what a rabbit hole the Internet can be, in double checking Lloyd’s age on IMDB, I was introduced to another documentary called Filmworker about english actor Leon Vitali who was an assistant to Kubrick for 30 years. Now I need to watch that. Apparently it came out in 2017 and I completely missed it. In general, I’m a Kubrick fan at least of the visuals. The actual movies can be hit or miss. The Killing is amazing. I can really only sit through parts of 2001 and Eyes Wide Shut. Same with Clockwork Orange. It’s too much.

I didn’t read Stephen King’s book until later but my mother told me that the book included animal topiaries that came to life that were left out of the movie (presumably because that was going to be too difficult to pull off in the late 70s). It was that one and The Stand that I learned about from her early on.

 Posted by on March 28, 2023 at 12:29 pm
Feb 222022

The Chronicle posted a 30 year commemoration last week of the night that GG Allin played the Cavity Club in Austin. The story lines up pretty well with what I recall about it. I didn’t attend the February 1992 show but one of my bands at the time played the Cavity shortly after that and I recall seeing the arrest report on the wall and it was still a topic of discussion as we loaded our gear in to play the gig. The descriptions of the club in the story are accurate. There was a small entry area with a counter or table as you entered the venue and then the stage and main area were immediately to your right as you walked in. I don’t think they had a liquor license or served anything. The place was very bare bones and an utter dump. The gig we played is the only time I ever went to the club. I don’t recall it lasting very long. I had forgotten that it had the Zendik people in it. I’d see them on local cable access and around town.

I did attend the later 1993 show on 5th street. We had to sign a waiver to gain entry. It was a fairly tame show in the end but he did smash himself in the head with the microphone a few times. There was no stage and it was fairly crowded.

After GG died, when I lived in the East Village in 94/95, I would see Merle Allin wandering the streets. He’s a hard guy to miss given his facial hair choices along with his haircut. The documentary, Hated, was released around that time. It was the first film by Todd Phillips when he was an NYU film student. He later did Frat House which was an HBO documentary that got squashed by the families of the frat boys of whom it did not paint a flattering picture. I recall Tool featuring prominently in the soundtrack. I think I also saw that on Austin local cable access. Todd Phillips has gone on to have a pretty prominent director career with Old School, The Hangover movies and Joker.

Fast forward 10-15 years and I end up in another band where a band mate did some recording on one of GG’s albums and gets royalty checks from time to time. It’s become a tradition to meet out for beers and spend that money. Hence, the running joke: “These beers are on dear, departed Uncle GG. RIP”

 Posted by on February 22, 2022 at 1:21 pm
Aug 302019

If you don’t already subscribe to Austin Kleon’s newsletter, you should. I first found him via a blog post for an Austin City Limits taping that I attended at the old studio. He almost always has at least one cool link or tidbit to share.

Today’s newsletter linked Stop Blaming ‘Jaws’ from Heather Havrilesky in 2013. I didn’t know that she wrote for NY Times Magazine. I recall liking several of her writings on Salon back in the early 2000s. The amusing part to me is that she pretty much wrote the script to 2018’s The Meg with that mock 2014 version of Jaws. I wonder if she’s asked for a cut of the royalties?

I’m not sure I completely agree with what she says in the article though. It’s true that the writing and directing in Jaws is far superior to any summer blockbuster (or most movies for that matter) made since. But that’s really true of the film industry in general. You can still say that Jaws caused the studios to chase the massive box office takes in the summer, maybe just not the subsequent decline in quality which probably happened for a number of reasons.

My go to example for this is Network. The writing and directing in that? So amazing. And it would never get made today. It’s on Netflix. If you’ve never seen it, you should go watch it right now.

 Posted by on August 30, 2019 at 12:35 pm


 Austin, Film  Comments Off on Boyhood
Jul 162005

LinklaterWe took the family to the Harry Potter release party at Bookpeople last night. The Boy dressed in his Harry Potter costume from Eeyore’s earlier this year. He got quite a few compliments, in fact, so much so that a PA from Rick Linklater’s IFC-funded as-yet-untitled 12-year project asked if he’d be interested in being an extra in some filming they’d be doing at the party.

They ended up including the whole family walking behind Eller Salmon and his crew in full Harry Potter regalia up the side of BookPeople from GSD&M. The Boy got a first hand view at the mind-crushingly boring reality of filmmaking. We had to walk up to the party about 10 times before they decided that they had a decent enough shot to move on. They headed over to the Lamar side of the store to do some more shooting at which point we were allowed to rejoin the party. I guess we’ll have to wait for 2016 to see if we made it in the shot and avoided the cutting room floor.

The party was ok, but hampered by the high temperature and high humidity. We never got to see the fire dancers or the surprise prepared by Alamo Drafthouse, although they were inflating the portable screen as we left. We only lasted until 10pm as we’d already reserved our copy of the book at Sam’s last week.

There are a few more photos in the Flickr set.
Harry Potter - Boyhood - Bookpeople

 Posted by on July 16, 2005 at 9:26 pm