Amoeblog

SF at the AFI Fest

Posted by Charles Reece, November 1, 2011 09:37pm | Post a Comment

Among the standard schlocky dramas (J. Edgar), this year's AFI Festival has surprisingly quite a few works of speculative fiction. Here are the trailers:


Beyond the Black Rainbow


Melancholia


Carré Blanc


Extraterrestrial


Target

Overall, there's a lot more decent genre material than in years past, and it's free.

(In which the writer takes a break from writing to write.)

Posted by Job O Brother, February 9, 2009 08:02pm | Post a Comment

My baby’s been under the weather. And by baby I don’t mean a child I gave birth to; I mean it as a euphemism for “that one dude I smooch and go to Target with.” Baby is just much easier to say.

Anyway, when my baby’s feeling poorly, he likes to watch predictable films, like... well... anything you can come up with that stars Jennifer Aniston or Sarah Jessica Parker and ends with them proving that they really were destined for true love, after all. Normally I protest and suggest we watch something with more substance, such as The Killing of a Chinese Bookie or The Cranes Are Flying – y’know, something that provides perspective and/or promotes psychological examination, to which my baby will argue that he just wants to “be distracted and get lost” in a film, not be intellectually stimulated. I argue that it’s hard for me to “get distracted” watching a film that makes me want to stab a Phillips-head screwdriver into my left aortic arch.

It's like this:

ME...


...VS. MY BOYFRIEND...




AGAIN, ME...



...AND HE...



YOU GET...



...THE IDEA.


Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks, I guess.

These arguments usually lead to a stalemate, at which point we’ll watch some promo copy of a TV show he’s received. It was such a circumstance that led us to gander the first two episodes of United States of Tara, which we both enjoyed. FYI.

For now, however, I am alone and working on a spec script. For those of you unfamiliar with terms we use in the “Business”… well, you’re screwed, because you probably wouldn’t know what I mean by “Business.” Let’s start from the top:

By “Business” I mean the entertainment industry, of which Los Angeles is our Nation’s epicenter, and by “spec script” I mean a film or TV script that has been dropped on the floor and gotten covered with the dirt and stray poppy-seeds that cover the streets of Hollywood. So, we’re all on the same page now? Sweet.

I’m working on a spec script for It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, which is a show I’m keen on. I assumed everyone knew about this program already, but lately have learned that my nephew (we’ll call him Gvorshüxdlo to protect his anonymity), who is much more in touch with pop culture than I am [Me: “What do you mean ‘Who is Lisa Lisa?!’ She’s only one of Mtv’s greatest stars!”], had never watched it.

In case you’re like him, or in case you’re stuck at an office job and desperate for something to watch that doesn’t involve a cat falling off or into something, here’s some excerpts from the show…

[Insert fifteen minutes of Job weeding through tons of off-putting YouTube clips here.]

Urr... Well, it seems there's no good clips of said show available, due to all the copyright bro-ha-ha that's plaguing YouTube. In lieu of aforementioned clips, here's some alternate eye candy. The top is for me, the bottom is for my boyfriend -- though both are for you, dear reader. [Insert "Aww...!" sound here.]



Now then, I have to stop writing so I can get back to writing. Hi-ho the glamorous life!

SOUNDTRACK SERIES #1

Posted by Job O Brother, April 29, 2008 11:13am | Post a Comment
Directions: Imagine Mr. Brother living another day, as always, with music playing. Whether it’s one of his trusty iPods, or his home stereo, or working the soundtracks section of Amoeba Music Hollywood, Mr. Brother is eating, sonically, with the mouths of his ears.

To simulate this experience, as you read the below story of a day lived, you will be given certain music clips to play. These are inserted to provide you with the same tunes Job was hearing as he was doing what you’ll be reading.


For example, while he was writing the above directions, he was listening to this:



So, I was at Target the other day, looking to see if Method had launched any new cleaning products (which they had – a new toilet bowl cleanser, so I was happy), when I found myself looking at the pet toy section with fresh interest.

I decided to purchase a cat laser. That is, a little plastic mouse which shoots a red laser point; the idea being that the cat will think the red spot is some kind of living, flying, glowing thing and chase it around. Not every cat registers the laser, however, so spending the four dollars was a real risk on my part. You know me, though – I live on the edge. Cat laser? Purchased!

Before I left Target, I put my courage to the sticking place and ventured into the men’s restroom. The men’s restroom at the West Hollywood Target reminds me of jail, somehow. And yes, I’ve been to jail, thank you for asking.



Everything was going well – if not for my olfactory sense. I was washing my paws. A few sinks over from me was an old man in a porkpie hat. I watched, transfixed, as he removed both his upper and lower teeth and set them on the very public, men’s restroom sink.
I quickly left. I didn’t want the janitor to have to clean up any regurgitated Vitamin Water on my account.



I walked home and fantasized about the different kinds of bold and delicious sandwiches I could make using doughnuts for bread. I’ve never actually done this, but I think about it. A lot. No matter what I contrive, however, I always come back to this fantasy of a simple glazed doughnut, cut in half, holding a few slices of warm ham and Swiss cheese. This obsession of mine is made all the more odd when you consider I don’t like doughnuts and actually hate sliced ham. For this reason, when I dream this recipe, I imagine feeding it to someone else, and watching them love it. Why do I want this to happen? I don’t understand. Sometimes I even imagine I own a restaurant, and the doughnut/ham/Swiss sandwich is an entrée. This is a long paragraph. Way too long for a blog. Unless, of course, it’s a blog entry about Guantanamo Bay, in which case, lengthy paragraphs are justified, if not because the subject matter is complex, then simply because the name of the place is so long. Guantanamo Bay, Guantanamo Bay, Guantanamo Bay, Guantanamo Bay… See how much room that took up? And I only mentioned it four times!

I’m drinking coffee right now, obviously. Corey and I stopped by his favorite café, Stir Crazy, on Melrose.



It is rad, I must say. It reminds me of the coffeehouses that dominate the northern half of the West Coast. The barista was this charismatic lass with curly locks who gushed over how soy milk bleeds into the coffee, leaving Corey envious that she could so lose herself in a moment. Meanwhile, I was studying the covers of the magazines they had displayed and doing what I always do – looking into the eyes of the cover models and trying to discern how they were “really feeling” when the photo was taken, as opposed (if opposed) to how the photographer wanted to portray them.


"Hmm... A taco would sure hit the spot..."

I just got an email from our new blog editor. You didn’t know we had an editor, did you? (This rhetorical question is meant for those of you who didn’t know. I want those of you few readers who did know to know I knew you knew, because I care about you and never want you to feel alienated. Now kiss me!)

Through her email I learned that she loves Pinkberry, which reminds me of the time I went to Pinkberry with Corey…



See, I had tried Pinkberry but Corey had not. So we went to the new location at the Farmer’s Market at The Grove. That’s pretty much the story. He got some and I didn’t, ‘cause I’m not that into it. But he liked it. I didn’t say it was a good story – only that her email reminded me of the story. Not every single thing I do is fat-with-a-ph.

Oh! I almost forgot - the cat laser? Fangs LOVES IT. Thank you for asking.

Here’s what’s playing as I’m about to save, edit and post this entry:

(In which Job mourns the loss of a loved one.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 25, 2007 11:52pm | Post a Comment
“I miss mayonnaise.”

I thought this to myself as I was walking home from work tonight. It was the sad, unfunny punch-line to a joke that began, “What should I eat for dinner?”

I love cooking for other people. Last minute, eight-course meals deftly prepared using nothing but a half-empty, bachelor’s refrigerator’s groceries? That’s a challenge I am suited for. I am MacGyver in the kitchen. And yes, smart-ass, I in fact could turn a ball of twine and a pinecone into a sumptuous dessert.

Left to my own devices, however, I am more inclined to eat simply. I like very rich foods with few ingredients. I suppose you could say I am the opposite of vegan. In fact, all my favorite foods can be traced back in origin to an udder. (And you Freudians can just back-down, because I have no patience for your antiquated psycho-babble; y’all are the Spanish Inquisition of the Modern Age!)

Cheese, yogurt, eggs – these are the main building blocks of my diet. Up until recently, though, the base of that food pyramid has been – steady yourself – mayonnaise.

Like most of you, I spent the first quarter of my life grossed out by that famous blend of stabilized emulsion of oil and yolks. I was made into a fan by a fellow punk rocker; a girl with long, curly, black tresses who’s name changed as frequently as her sexual partners, and who will remain nameless in this blog because I just said that. It was she who introduced me to the practice of smoking clove cigarettes and dipping French fries into mayo. A temptress indeed.

Tradition informs us that both of these practices are harmful, unattractive, and a good way to end a first date without making it to second base, but when you consider it was this same girl that I wanted to get to second base with, you’ll see why I had no option but to become addicted to both.

The cigarettes I quit long ago. The condiment, only recently.

I’ve never really trusted soy. Oh, I like miso soup, very much, and soy sauce too, if there’s no Bragg’s Liquid Aminos present. It’s these new-fangled incarnations of soy that trouble me.

Soybeans are cooked and ground and whipped and injected and shaped to resemble everything from a scoop of ice cream to a cube of butter to an entire Thanksgiving turkey to my grandmother. The things they do to the soy – the heavy processing – freaks me out a li'l. I am not a scientist; I have done no educated testing to support my theory; I have nothing but intuition.

I feel the same way about waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.; I don’t know they’re harmful, I simply don’t trust them.

So when, out of sudden and ill-advised curiosity, I turned a jar of my favorite mayo* around to read the ingredients, I was shocked, appalled, and, as though I had been transported back in time, grossed out to learn that my beloved glop was mostly made out of soybean oil.

I was torn. I wanted to forget I had ever read it. Maybe I had judged soy too harshly? No. No, I couldn’t feel right about soy. But maybe, since I had already enjoyed it for so many years, I could make an exception, just for mayonnaise?

I tried that for a jar, but it was too late. It weirded me out now. I was Adam and Eve, once happy in oblivion and free to enjoy myself; then I succumbed to the Condiment of the Hot Dog Stand of Knowledge, and now I saw that I was naked. And I was sore ashamed.

I discovered Trader Joe’s Canola Oil mayo, but I was living a lie. It wasn’t the mayo I loved. It was smooth as silk and tarter. Not clumpy and subtly nasty like Best Foods. Besides, even without the soy, I had also taken a quick glance at the fat content of mayo. When I did the math and learned that one of my serving sizes equaled about a week’s supply for the Food and Drug Administration, my heart almost stopped then and there.

So, with a great sadness reserved for British soldiers who discover in court that the Chinese woman they’ve been married to for years is actually a man and that they’re going to write many awful plays and films about you, I said “zài jiàn” to mayo.



Love means never having to say 'I'm sorry I have a womb and a Y chromosome.'

It was only then that I realized how much I had come to depend upon it to make simple meals a pleasure. A bland burrito could be made festive with mayo and Chinese spicy sauce. Uninspired linguine with marinara because decadent when mayo made it a sweet-tomato cream sauce. A can of tuna, carrot sticks, peanut butter and crackers – all these things worked fine as an entire meal when paired with mayo. What now?

Well, it’s been some months since I axed mayo from my diet (though I still enjoy it with fries when I go out to eat – it’s like the difference between a glass of wine with friends and a box of wine alone). I can say that I’ve adapted well. I’ve even lost weight.

But on these evenings when I'm particularly tired and I don’t feel like steaming “this” or layering slices of “that”, I am reminded of how convenient, inexpensive and fulfilling mayo was for me. Oh sure, I’m still MacGyver – but these days I feel like I don’t even have a pinecone option, to say nothing of twine.

I determined to take myself out to eat. I rarely do that alone. There’s a sushi restaurant near my home that I wanted to try out, so I headed there, giddy for my impulsive adventure, only to see that it was graded a ‘C’ by the health inspectors. Raw fish and filth? Um, no thanks.

Of course, raw fish, filth, and mayonnaise – now that’s got some possibilities…



My sweetheart in happier times...

[Incidentally, I realize this blog entry has little to do with music, films, or anything else that Amoeba sells. So allow me to say that I really like all albums by Moondog and that you should listen to them. Thank you.]

*I have been a loyal supporter of Best Foods Mayonnaise. Those of you east of the Rockies will know it as Hellmann’s Blue Ribbon, although I’ve seen Hellmann's for sale on the West Coast, too, at Target. Also, Sysco brand is acceptable, which is good, because it seems to be the default of many West Coast restaurants.

(In which Job gets into a screening and a fight.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 15, 2007 10:51am | Post a Comment
I have some good news!

My and I sweetheart had our first fight.

(That’s not the good news. Note the paragraph break, indicating a different point; though their coupling is relevant. Therefore, don’t mistake the above sentences as a non-sequitur, per se; except in instances where they may be removed from this paragraph and, as a result, rendered sans context, in which case, y’all can get freaky freaky with your bad self.)

My sweetheart and I went to a media screening of “The Ten”, the new comic, moving picture (or “movie” for short) directed by David Wain and written by David Wain and Ken Marino (both known and loved for their participation of that miracle of radness known as “The State”.)

“The State” was a sketch show that ran for three seasons and launched the careers of many familiar faces that went on to create other hella sweet things: STELLA, Wet Hot American Summer, Reno 911, to name some of the better known.

The film was almost completely entertaining, and even when it wasn’t making me laugh outright, I was never bored. The film, unlike the first two paragraphs in this blog entry (when taken with this, the following elucidation, as before explained) is chock full of non-sequiturs and basic silliness, which I like a lot.

I like that kind of humor a lot.

Like, more than just friends.

Anyway, sometimes there’s a lull in the pace or mood as a means of creating a sudden tension or bring everything to a heightened sense of surreal anxiety, which I appreciate, but will strike most people as just… not funny, which I also love. It’s interesting to note, too, that the cast is large and has many hotties in it. It is a very sexy cast, and you will have more than one face to crush on.

My only actual complaint is one of the actors. I won’t say who, because I’m about to have brunch with them before we go to our Kabalaties Class (that’s combination Kabala study and Pilates work-out for those who aren’t insane), and I don’t want to spend the whole time we’re enjoying our #4 Special (wheat-grass colonics with lychee-scented oxygen tanks, served with a Thetan-cleansing aura douche and sweet potato fries) with me defending my blog. The actor in question is very famous, loved by many and, in my opinion, a terrible actor. Another good reason not to say who it is: because you may not share my disfavor and therefore have no problem with them, and you don’t need me making you feel all self-conscious because you have no taste.

And don’t think for a second that it’s Paul Rudd, because he’s pretty and we like him.

If you love the various comic titles cited above, you’re sure to at least be entertained by “The Ten”. It’s not in theatres yet, and probably won’t stay in them for long because that space is needed for your Spiderman 334 and X-Men 635 and all your other stinky sequels.

As for my fight with my sweetie, it happened directly after seeing “The Ten”, but it was resolved quickly and we were holding hands and shopping at Target within the hour, just like every other gay couple in Hollywood.

Ken Marino, Michael Showalter, David Wain - looking gayer than my boyfriend