I've been having (and hearing reports of other people having) a hard time posting images to Blogger for the past week or so, which is making it hard to do some of the posts I'd like to do. Bummer. Kind of par for the course this summer though, Murphy's Law has been in full effect, kind of ridiculously so. But it's cool, I guess. Learning experiences, growth experiences, y'know, building humility, depth, character...I mean it kind of fucking sucks, but whatever, growth.
I watched the film ADVENTURELAND this week, and honestly I was expecting not to like it. It seemed like the kind of annoying, precious, cloying pseudo-indie faux-hipster shit ala NICK & NORA'S INFINITE PLAYLIST, which was just intolerable. ADVENTURELAND was a pleasant surprise, though. I found it very sincere, very genuine, I identified with the characters and found the situations fairly believable.
One of the things that I really thought was going to bother me was the soundtrack, which has a bunch of my favorite music on it. Lots of Lou Reed and Velvet Underground, Husker Du, Nick Lowe, the Cure...I always feel a little hesitant when I hear stuff like this in a mainstream production, which I guess is snobby of me, but it's easy to use this music as a prop, a kind of easy credibility, giving a straight film a sense of being hipper than it really is. ADVENTURELAND, though, hits every note right, pretty much every song they use is a song I have some kind of special attachment to, and I mean not that the mark of a good film is appealing to me personally, but I did feel a very strong personal connection with the songs used and the way they're used in the film, even stuff like "Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowded House and some of the other new wave hitz that are used.
So, yeah, see ADVENTURELAND. It really captures the essence of being young and having a crappy summer job, the kinds of relationships you form with your co-workers and all of that. Actually, it left me kind of nostalgic for times like that, which seemed kind of boring at the time, in retrospect, it's a lot fucking better than the boring shit office temp job with people I have nothing in common with that I have now. So, now I'm depressed. Fuck you, ADVENTURELAND.
My friend, filmmaker Jesse Richards, has taken the initiative for form an alliance for filmmakers "who are seeking and participating in creating a new authenticity, spirituality,or emotional value in cinema," which I am very proud to be associated with. Read about it here.
aka LISA LISA aka CALIFORNIA AXE MASSACRE- this is one of two very unique low budget movies directed by Frederick R. Friedel in the 1970s. Like the earlier KIDNAPPED COED, AXE was released as an exploitation movie by Boxoffice International Pictures, but while both films with framed with genre elements, they were basically art films. AXE is all about tone and atmosphere, and building a feeling of discomfort and dread. The pacing is slow and moody and Friedel takes the time to spotlight small moments and details of the surroundings, revealing the beauty in the unnoticed or mundane. Jack Canon, who appears in this and stars in KIDNAPPED COED, is kind of a revelation, he's a classic tough guy character actor and a perfect antihero. He didn't go on to do many other films, nobody involved in these seems to. Friedel, according to imdb, made another film in 2000, though I don't think it was ever released...
I'll try to post some images from KIDNAPPED COED and maybe write a few words about it when I get a chance to watch it again. That film is probably the better of the two, although AXE definitely has a certain dingy, uncomfortable charm to it...