Vestron Video VA 2018
Vestron Video VA 2018
The Plot. Two things struck me about the celebrated elliptical opening sequence of UP, where the young version of Carl, the protagonist, is shown to age and fall in love with Ellie, who remains dead for most the picture: (1) Despite Pixar's raison d'etre, overloaded digital spectacle, what the company excels at is character portraiture. This tends to be done in the first third of their stories, after which the plot kicks in, and I get bored. Unlike Wall-E, however, UP is mostly about Carl just hanging out in his floating house, talking to this chubby little cub scout stowaway, and befriending some linguistically enhanced canines. All of which makes it the best Pixar film to date. (2) Seijun Suzuki and Pixar know something about generic expectations that Steven Spielberg doesn't. Like all moviegoers, my emotions are mechanized, habituated responses to the levers, pulleys and cables of traditional storytelling. Thus, in abstracto, I'll feel elation on cue when the hero risks it all to save those more unfortunate than he, even if the particularities involve an Aryan saving some Jews (a lesson that can be had from Star Wars' appropriation of Triumph of The Will). These 2 and 1/2 hour-long movies of Spielberg's could be cut down to a few, brief sequences leading to the big crescendo, and we'd all still have the same reaction. Much like Suzuki tends to jump cut over the dramatic cliches in his films, Carl meets Ellie, they share similar interests, yadda yadda yadda, she's dead, now her absence structures our understanding of Carl for the rest of UP. Less flippantly worded: poetic resonance isn't based on word count, nor are genre pleasures.
With another fourth of July behind us, I'd like to give big ups to fireworks, baseball, grilled meat, cold beer and David Lee Roth and his hit "Yankee Rose" for making this holiday weekend sparkle like, well, like the fourth of July, actually. Roth and rock 'n' roll guitar-mystic Steve Vai penned the song in 1986 for Roth's debut solo effort, entitled Eat 'Em And Smile. The song is credited as a dedication to the Statue of Liberty (which was undergoing renovation at that time and thus was a hot topic of sorts). It is interesting that the intro sequence for the video of "Yankee Rose" seems to attempt a showcase of immigrant stereotypes in a corner convenience store setting --- is the audience supposed to somehow relate to your friendly neighborhood bodega? I can't figure out if I find it appealingly appalling or appallingly appealing, but then this feeling is almost immediately washed away by the savage animal that is Roth's demand for, "a bottle of anything and a glazed donut, TO GO!" followed by a rigorous display of high impact aerobics and the flashiest array of spandex you'll ever see stretched across one's person, ass-less or off-the-shoulder. Hooray for the U.S.A.!
This is the kick-off post in a seven-week summer series of Graffiti Amoeblogs, focusing on the art of graffiti and running every Saturday from now, July 4th, until Saturday, August 15th, 2009 -- the date that will mark what would have been the 40th birthday of Mike DREAM Francisco, the legendary Bay Area graffiti artist who was tragically murdered nine years ago on the streets of Oakland. Rest in peace, DREAM. Your legacy will live forever.
Included in the numerous blogs in this series will be an interview with DEMER of the longtime NYC Wallnuts crew, who decades later is still making graffiti art, and who currently runs the store Graffiti Comix in Belleville, New Jersey, where he combines his two life-long passions/hobbies -- graffiti and comic books. There will also be an interview with OB, who runs the graffiti supply (and record) store All City in Dublin, Ireland. That same Graffiti Amoeblog will also take a look at the Irish graffiti scene.
James & Karla Murray, the hard working and prolific graffiti photo-journalists (Broken Windows, Burning New York, Store Front, Miami Graffiti), will also be interviewed here and high-quality images of their best New York City and Miami graffiti shots will also be included. Future Amoeblogs will also focus on Cali graffiti and its makers, and of course there will be a whole blog dedicated to DREAM, who was an amazing artist.
The July calendar is now online!
Friday & Saturday July 3 & 4
Celebrate Independence Day At The New Beverly!
Two Starring The Legendary James Cagney
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Get ready to Laugh, to Sing, to Shout! ...For here comes Uncle Sam's Star Spangled Yankee Doodle Dandy!
dir. Michael Curtiz, starring James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, Richard Whorf, Irene Manning
Fri: 7:30; Sat: 2:45 & 7:30, Watch The Trailer!