Japanese director Takashi Miike is a freak. Based on ongoing discussions I've held with friends and co-workers I'd say his films seem very either/or; anyone who has seen even one of his films has undoubtedly come to the conclusion that they've either seen one Miike film too many or that they've become Miike movie addicts. I've seen only a few films of his that could be categorized as middling (my favorite is one of these: the wonderful musical-comedy-horror farce Happiness of the Katakuris (2001)), and plenty of others I had trouble watching or couldn't finish due to the shocking visual content his stories are often soaked in. Being highly prolific (he has directed over seventy theatrical, video and television productions since 1991 and is credited with directing fifteen productions from 2001 to 2002 alone) and internationally famous for making movies capable of churning stomachs and blowing minds with such outrageous depictions of extreme violence and bizarre sexual perversions in underworld or otherworldy settings that often involve gangsters, outsiders and general sickos, it is no surprise Miike's films caught Quentin Tarantino's eye. It is a surprise, however, to see Tarantino himself all gunslingin' and gussied up in the opening sequence of Miike's latest creation, made available this Tuesday on DVD, Sukiyaki Western Django. I was so not expecting his performance or much of what followed, but I can say that I had a good night of movie magic enjoyment.
So, now that we actually have something to look forward to in our President Elect, I feel that we'll see our first real nostalgia for the decade known as the 90's. I know that there's been club nites and VH1 shows centered around fond 90's remembrances. However, now that's it approaching the "20 years ago today" mark, I think there will be a more in depth look back on the gen x/grunge era. I know for me, I can finally look back fondly at plasma donations, 60's styled garage rock bands, skinhead assaults, and janitorial gigs -- Henry Rollins on the Grammys and Chumbawamba blasting from frat houses, what a decade!!! Dovetailed at either end by a Bush as well as a hit or two in the middle by Bush (the band!). The 1990's ushered in the modern American culture wars -- the left armed with the Scum Manifesto and the right playing duck duck goose with the Book of Revelations.
Part III in this week's Amoeblogay Music Lists series, an ongoing informal survey of the best queer/gay or "gayest" (in all senses of the term) music or movies, includes submissions from Amoebloggers Miss Ess and Eric Brightwell. Note that most of these lists drew inspiration from the Out Magazine Top 100 Gayest Albums of All Time.
Amoeblogay Part I featured Larry Bob's Top 26 Queer Albums and Amoeblogay Music Lists Part II featured Amoebites Mark Beaver, Amoeba Brady, Brent James and Michael Whitmore. Lists still to come from Amoebites Brad Schelden, Jon Ginoli and Job O'Brother.
First up today for Part III is Miss Ess who says, "I agree about Pansy Division, but I personally haven't listened to them too much. I also think earlier Gossip records are better than the one that made the list. I like That's Not What I Heard. Sleater-Kinney should have had more entries on there too, like The Hot Rock and The Woods. I also love Mirah's album You Think It's Like This But Really It's Like This."
Eric Brightwell"s 10 Gayest Releases:
Mission Impossible 2
Harley Davidson & the Marlboro Man (1991 Don Johnson & Mickey Rourke)
Guitar Hero World Tour
Madden NFL 2009
Rock Band 2
Silent Hill Homecoming
Star Wars the Force Unleashed
I was a New Order fan way before I was a Joy Division fan. I know most people would claim the other way around. I am sure you hear some people born in 1985 who claim to have liked Joy Division before they liked New Order, but it is just not possible for some of us. Joy Division was formed in 1976, when I was 2 years old. Ian Curtis committed suicide days after my sixth birthday. We simply didn't cover this event in my Kindergarten class. Joy Division were not on Sesame Street. It really was not until 1987 when I started getting into New Order. The double album Substance came out in 1987. It still remains one of my favorite albums. It was one of the albums that shaped who I am today. It probably was also one of the first albums that I was absolutely obsessed with. I am sure it has a special place in the heart of many. The first album by them I remember actually buying was Technique, which came out in January of 1989. I was in ninth grade and not really ready for the 80s to be over. I actually think I had a dubbed cassette of Technique and Substance before I actually bought any album by them. Within the next couple of years I picked up most of the New Order albums and the two studio albums of Joy Division. I quickly fell in love with Joy Division as well, but for different reasons. I was also a Morrissey fan before being a Smiths fan. It was always exciting to go back and discover a band that was over before I was old enough to actually listen to them while they were happening. I fell in love with New Order-- there was just no avoiding it. They were everything I wanted in a band. They were also really unavoidable during the 80s and 90s. New Order were all over the radio and you would most likely hear them everywhere else you went. You would hear them in the mall or at your friends' house. DJs loved New Order. You would most likely hear them at any school dance, dance club, party, wedding, or bar mitzvah that you went to. They were a band that was easy to fall in love with. Joy Division captured that inner depression and angst that many of us felt, but New Order captured that more fun and optimistic side that many of us also identified with. Joy Division and New Order were sort of two sides of a coin. They have both remained with me ever since. I still never get tired of hearing "True Faith" or "Blue Monday."