Showing posts from March, 2008

Not Actually Playin' Possum...

This is just a quick, sad little footnote on this whole "living in California" thing.

I have moved to an area where I am apparently surrounded by opossums. Being a fan of marsupials, and not being daunted at all (like some outright wusses are) by crazy-looking varmints with mouthfuls of scary, sharp teeth -- not to mention being a longtime fan of king 'possum Pogo his'self -- I am very pleased at this thought. I like being surrounded by 'possums.

Except, every possum I have seen thus far is dead. Like, laying in the road struck by a vehicle dead.

#5 was tonight on the way home. "Hey, what's that laying by those cars?," I asked as the sun was just starting to go down on our day. Drawing closer, the blood spatter surrounding the unknown creature's body was made readily apparent. "Oh, it's another possum," I said almost nonchalantly, like I was now almost expecting any dead creature in our neighborhood to turn out to be a 'possum. &q…

This Is Now, And "That Was Then, This Is Now" Was Then... (Pt. 1)

So much of the time, one’s opinion of a particular movie ties in directly into what we are going through at that particular time and place. One (such as myself) can endeavor to remain unaffected by his surroundings and personal drama when viewing a movie, making a sincere attempt at attacking each film from the same mental standpoint. This, though, is not always possible. As the unfortunately popular saying goes, and one for which I shall, just this once, substitute the not-actually-obscene slang laid within it to lessen its stupidity, *blank* happens. We have what we would consider a bad day, we decide to go and see a movie to cheer us up, we quickly find it’s not always possible to achieve this nor is it all that easy to forget recent tragedy or upsetting news, and we often take it out on the absolutely innocent film that we ourselves volunteered to enter while encumbered by our crushing grief or whiny sulkiness. Sure, the film might actually be a genuine “Grade Z” piece of crap, bu…

Ignorance Isn't Bliss, But, Medically Speaking, Sometimes It's All You've Got

There was a definite point, as I lay there in the hospital emergency room with various and sundry tubes sticking out of my body, where I calmed down and realized that I was not going to die. At least, not that particular day.

It may have been when the nice intern ran me through a series of basic tests like finger-squeezing and whatnot, and I passed them at about a 95% rate. (I kind of screwed up the test on my peripheral vision with my right eye -- I guessed two fingers, not one.) The pain in my arm, chest and side -- ALL LEFT -- had not died down, but as I zipped through these basic medical checkpoints, I started to realize that I still had all of my faculties, and I started to worry less about launching into a mid-afternoon stroke. For a person like me -- who is wired for the day about two minutes before waking up -- this has an extremely lightening effect.

But, I was still in pain. And had been for three days running. It started with the left arm forearm on Monday, the left side and…

Gamera Vs. All Mankind: Act III: Act 2

Cleaning up around here at the Pylon has meant finding piles of unfinished posts that either went half completed or only partially written, or were simply a collection of scrawled title ideas without any text to back them up, nor were many of these scraps encumbered by even the slightest little reminder of what the hell I wanted to write about anyway at the time of their scrawling.

And somewhere deep, deep in the Archives of Pylonic Things Unpublished, there was a post that truly should have been. Back in May 2007, I finished reworking the third act for the animated short upon which my brother Mark and I were then deep in production: Gamera Vs. All Mankind. On November 10, 2006, I had posted on my main website, Cinema For Space Lovers, the initial rough version of the first two acts of our unique kaiju opera, assembled to fulfill an assumed birthday request by my pal Leif. On that very same day, seventeen months ago, wintry elsewhere but still clad in late autumn sunshine here, I also…

Recently Rated Movies #61 (but not really): Moontide (1942)

A couple months ago, I started an experiment. Not a really awe-inspiring one, but merely something that was to allow me to write about more films in a shorter period. Just a simple little experiment. Trying desperately to keep up with the massive nature of my movie-watching habits, I started a regular series of entries that actually sought to capture the true nature of blogging: that blog posts were really meant to represent an online version of journal entries. I have stated from the beginning of this particular portal of mine (nearly three years ago -- sheesh!) that the purpose of it was to serve as exactly that: a working notebook for me to place my thoughts and theories on film and film history.

And then that notebook, the Cinema 4 Pylon, turned into a veritable essay fest. Caught up in a deathless writing fervor, my posts grew longer and longer, as I became ever more comfortable with my online voice. It was a voice, I might add, for which I had been seeking for the past twenty yea…

Recently Rated Movies #60: The Right Girl in the Wrong Film

Girl On A Motorcycle
aka La Motocyclette aka Naked Under Leather
Director: Jack Cardiff // 1968, French-British
Cinema 4 Rating: 5

I think that I finally understand Marianne Faithfull…

About a week ago, I was overjoyed that I was able to see on What’s My Line? an old 1967 appearance by the famous English model Jean Shrimpton, if for no other reason than it made more vivid in my mind the references to her which I have run across in books, movies and music for the past thirty years or so. Certainly, at any moment that I wished, I could go online or to the library and simply look up as much information on Miss Shrimpton as I could care to have… but that’s not the way the game works…

The game works on chance encounters, on trivial missteps, on taking corners at the right time, and on making connections that may have been apparent to others all along but do not make sense to you until you have made just the right connection. I had seen pictures of Miss Shrimpton over the years, and knew much abo…

Spout Mavens Disc #8: Africa Unite (2007)

Africa Unite
Director: Stephanie Black // 2007// Documentary
Cinema 4 Rating: 7

I didn’t really think about it at the time, but in retrospect, it almost seems like the arrival of the Africa Unite screener from Spout in late January was an intentional tie-in to the annual Black History month held the following month. After all, watching it and reviewing it would, if things went the normal course, cause my own review to be placed up on Spout in that month of African-American celebration. I, myself, am not, to the best of my knowledge, of that particular descent, except perhaps in the manner that we all are of this planet descended eventually by way of that continental plate. But this does not mean that I don’t have any great interest in this very important, and generally neglected, aspect of the history books. It’s just that I was thinking, at the time of its arrival, as Africa Unite being a mere “concert film.”

Unfortunately, circumstance precluded a viewing of the screener occurring in my…