Amoeblog

Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi: Endless Poetry, The Projected Man & Blade Runner 2049

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 8, 2018 07:20pm | Post a Comment

Movie Moment

By Jon Longhi

Welcome to the second Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi, where I review new releases on Blu-ray and DVD. This month I review a new movie by surrealist wild man Alejandro Jodorowsky, a classic monster movie from the sixties, and the stylish new sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner 2049. Everything reviewed in this column came out in the past four months. So here we go:

Endless Poetry, Alejandro JodorowskyEndless Poetry, ABKCO:
Alejandro Jodorowsky is in his late eighties but he's still making movies. Cinema's arguably greatest maverick is not going quietly into that great night. In fact, this is the second film he's put out in the past five years. Both films have been biographical in nature although, like the rest of Jodorosky's films, reality is often just a launch pad for his surrealist flights of fantasy. Just like Federico Fellini, in Jodorowsky's movies it's hard to tell where reality ends and fantasy begins. In fact, this movie has some obvious nods to Fellini films such as 8 1/2 and Juliette of The Spirits. But make no mistake, this movie is pure Jodorosky and goes to places Fellini could never imagine. Just like the rest of his films, there are things in this movie you'll never be able to unsee. There is one scene that depicts a performance art piece where an armless man enlists audience participation to help him caress and make love to his wife that is one of the more disturbing things I've seen in years. Let's make a check list for this film: Random disemboweling? Check. Love triangle with a dwarf? Check. A mother whose only way to communicate is by singing opera? Check. A parade of skeletons? Check. Weird Freudian sex? Check. Strange orgies of psychedelic art? Check. In fact, this checklist could go on almost forever, because on one level this is a mere biography and on another this is a movie about life, the universe, and everything. This film and it's predecessor are the works of an artist at the end of his life trying to teach us the lessons he has learned and what it all means. On a certain level, this is one of the drawbacks of the film. Endless Poetry is not as good as The Holy Mountain, El Topo, and Santa Sangre because those films were delirious searches for the truth, whereas this film is made by a man who has his answers and wants to explain them to us. It's a calmer more controlled work. That difference in tone makes this a more, dare we say, "traditional" film than Jodorosky's early deranged masterpieces. But that is no slight against this picture; the only one Jodorosky is in competition with is the earlier version of himself. This is probably the most crazed and surreal movie that will be released this year. Jodorosky is still in a category unto himself.

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(In which I celebrate four years of rad love.)

Posted by Job O Brother, January 10, 2011 03:53pm | Post a Comment
 
Today the boyfriend and I celebrate the fourth anniversary of our first seeing each other’s faces. Upon awakening this morning, we each remarked that it hasn’t felt like four years, but shorter. In part this could be because we have so much fun together, but it also helps that the season-less weather of LA makes everything feel like one, very long year.

It was music that brought us together, which is funny when you consider we often have such different tastes. For instance, he thinks cranking some Tori Amos while taking a hot bubble bath is swell, while I find the very idea akin to suicide; when curling up with a good book, I like to listen to some classical lieder, an past-time he would typically describe as “poop-facey.”

Our first connection was made on Friendster. You young ‘uns won’t know anything about this, but long, long ago – before there was Facebook (yes, it’s true!) – there was a site called Friendster, which amounted to about the same thing: letting you maintain the illusion that you’re “in touch” with everyone you care about and simultaneously allowing you to seek out companionship with strangers based on what movies/music they list as liking.

“He’s a surgeon who looks like a young George Clooney but oh – I could never date a guy who likes 311 and Matrix Reloaded. Our babies would have webbed feet.”

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"!woeM"

Posted by Job O Brother, April 13, 2009 11:28pm | Post a Comment
My cat is weirding me out. He’s sitting in front of my closet door, facing it, staring.

After I wrote the above sentence, he suddenly lunged up, supported by his hind-quarters, and pressed his face into the long mirror nailed to the door. Methinks he’s of a mind to jump into the room he sees inside the looking glass, despite the fact that I have repeatedly forbidden him to do anything of the sort. Call me old fashioned, but I’ll never approve of house-pets defying the laws of physics. It’s un-Christian!

What a perfect lead-in this would be to discuss with you my great love of the works of Lewis Carroll, and the myriad influences it’s had on both music and movies. How sad it is that this blog won’t discuss it further!

It was on this day in 1894 that Thomas “Sloppy-kiss” Edison produced the first commercial exhibition of motion pictures in history, in New York City, using his new invention, the kinetoscope. (It’s interesting to note that, even at this first “movie,” people were already complaining that there were too many previews.)


For a fee of 25¢, patrons could peer into a variety of kinetoscopes and enjoy a hilarious comedy such as “Man crouching and getting back up,” or passionate romances like the heartfelt “Woman arranging a bouquet, then dusting a lamp”, and let's not forget the riveting drama and pathos of “Balloon blown up, then popping.” It’s testament to the genius of these stories that little has changed in Hollywood plot-structures, even all these years later.


Edison saw little real value in his invention, having been (tragically) hypnotized by his other new invention, the Hypno-helper, into believing the hypnotizing machine would be the answer to every home-makers’ chores. (His confidence in the contraption remain unchanged, even after hundreds of letters came from husbands across America complaining that they’d come home from long days of work, hoping for hot meals, and instead finding their wives in trances, thinking they’re chickens, or their “arms were so light they’d float away,” or, in some extreme cases, that they were the Sea Islands Hurricane and had killed over 1,000 people in the greater coastal area of Georgia.)

Despite Edison’s ambivalence to the kinetoscope, it was a tremendous success. Where Edison saw no future, others saw a fortune waiting to be made, and soon advancements in film-making technology came faster than Fatty Arbuckle at a game of spin-the-bottle. [I am so, so sorry about that.]

Over the course of time, movies have become a diverse and refined art-form (excepting anything starring Matthew McConaughey, that is), and the people who make the films have become the closest things our country has to royalty.


You've come a long way, baby! - Lillian Gish vs. Courtney Love

All of which would be great background information if this blog was about the motion picture industry, but as it is, instead, about Tammy Grimes, I present you with this:


Despite being a staunch Republican, Grimes managed to give birth to the ultra-cool Amanda Plummer.


Ms. Plummer earning that S.A.G. paycheck in Peter Greenaway's homage to Fellini, 8½ Women

Amanda Plummer’s fame as an actress of both screen and stage (she’s been nominated for three Tony Awards and has won Best Actress once) has eclipsed her skills as a pet therapist, her true passion. I know this because Ms. Plummer was kind enough to take my pussycat on as a patient. (My cat had suffered a traumatic experience when a neighborhood dog jumped in through my open window and, after tearing up my best pillow, proceeded to introduce my cat to crystal meth, which led to years of addiction which only abated after months of intensive counseling and controlled supplies of catnip chewies.)

Ms. Plummer’s revolutionary, therapeutic process involves the use of Edison’s hypnosis wheel, the only bad side-effect of which is that my kitty now thinks he can jump through my mirror to the other side.

But, as I said before, that’s not what this is about.