This Week in Rixflix #20: August 25-31, 2017

There's just no way around it. In order for me to post this recap within the timeframe I have set for my regular This Week in Rixflix pieces, I need to post it today. The problem is that my body and mind are nowhere in the vicinity of where they need to be to do it any justice.

Illness has taken me under again. This time it is some sort of flu or flu variant, possibly a stomach bug but I also have an ongoing headache and my throat is slowly getting rawer over the past 36 hours. As I posted on Facebook, nightmares have come with the illness, and they have been pretty severe on their own, let alone having to also feel completely shitty while dealing with monsters and murderers. As a result, this post is going to consist of this lead-in and a single review of the new American version of Death Note. I had planned capsule reviews of several other films that I viewed in the previous week: Cher and C. Aguilera in Burlesque (2010), Greer and Garson in Adventure (1945), J-Law and galaxy gua…

This Week in Rixflix #19 : August 18-24, 2017

OK, let's get this ship righted... I have missed a few weeks in-between my last supposedly weekly installment of this series and this post. I am not going to go into the hows and whys, apart from saying that I, for the last week of July and the beginning of this month, decided to concentrate full-time on the TCM online course on Alfred Hitchcock in order to complete everything before the course's expiration date (August 5th). That's my excuse for the first couple of weeks I missed for This Week in Rixflix; the rest is my own concern. 

But complete the TCM course I did, and not only that (as I posted on Facebook a while back), between July 6th and August 10th – a span of 36 days – I watched 42 of the 56 feature-length films that Hitchcock directed in his lifetime. Twelve of those movies (about half of them silent features) were first-time views for me, of which I will speak more on The Cinema 4 Pylon in coming weeks. (If you think this isn't going to turn into a couple e…

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Meets Rik Johnson Brain Explosion...

This afternoon, as I was listening to some of my go-to "concentrate on writing" music, that being the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, I found myself getting a little more immersed in the lyrics than I expected.
Part of why I am able to write during Spencer's music over many other artists is because the main thrust of his music is not the lyrics. His songs tend to be exercises in style and rhythm over saying anything even remotely profound. His music is based in rhythm and blues, but with a very punky edge, a massive dose of ironic detachment, and a wild, often non-PC sense of humor. Spencer often makes grunts and crazed noises into the microphone (a la Lux Interior) just before whipping off another frenzied run of squalling, squealing guitar notes.

When I listen to music casually, I tend to concentrate first on the lyrics over the music in most things that I listen to in my collection. But when I listen to lyric-heavy music while I write, I get easily distracted when I find m…

This Week in Rixflix #18: July 7–13, 2017

So, I am finding that I am far more interested at this point in just watching all of Alfred Hitchcock's film than in taking the TCM online course about them. I thought that once I got through the silents and early talkies, that I would leap into online modules and first couple of tests, but I was wrong. I feel no drive toward doing it right now, and frankly, just want to dive into ever more Hitchcock films.
Part of this comes from my general dislike of schooling in any form, especially in taking time on my own to go back to doing it, and the other part is probably due to my belief that I am not going to really learn all that much more about The Master's work than I already know. (Certainly I have forgotten more than I remember, but I still feel like I have pretty good recall on the important stuff.) This is sheer arrogance and bullshit on my part. What it really comes down to is that I am a lazy bastard who believes deep inside that the really important part of all this is actu…

This Week in Rixflix #17: June 30 – July 6, 2017

As far as I can see, the real problem with TCM's online course this summer is timing. They have secured two days a week throughout July on their network in order to showcase just over 40 films directed by Alfred Hitchcock, but they started the online course that corresponds with the films well over a week ahead (in June instead) of the first night's viewing. Unfortunately, the course started out diving right into Hitch's numerous silent features, movies with which even longtime aficionados of either classic film or Alfred Hitchcock may not have much experience. I fall into both categories and I have only seen The Lodger (1927) from his silent days. Well, until this week, when I snuck in an iPad viewing of his boxing romance, The Ring, while visiting my father up in Idaho (where I am currently).

I had planned to dive right into the Hitchcock course from the start, and while I read through the materials thoroughly more than once, games come up in the course where they ask que…