Showing posts from September, 2016

A Temporary Setback...

As concerned as I am about crossing every "t" and dotting every "i" where my actual work output is concerned, I am absolutely a nightmare when it comes to the matter of handling the minutiae and behind the scenes details of my personal business.

I refuse to go into the "who" as this is nobody's fault but my own, but my inability to follow through with the proper paperwork (all of it remarkably simple) when politely requested has forced me to learn a hard lesson today in keeping someone's trust (in a business sense). And, thus, also lose the position I was to have with them for at least the next couple of months.

This is going to slow the personal roll that I had been on for a good six weeks (plus) by this point. While I have caused no actual harm to anyone but myself, it is going to be hard to smile for a few days.

He Built It, and We Came Around...

Since the majority of my friends are of the theatre world, I imagine many will post on Facebook and other social media sites today about the death of Edward Albee, especially since so many of them have had the chance to meet him over the years (as did I). Since I am less theatrically bound (and not to put the man's monumental talent and staggering work down at all), Albee didn't mean quite as much to me as did author W.P. Kinsella, who also died on Friday.
A nice chunk of space on my bookshelves is still devoted to Kinsella's works, which of course include his novel Shoeless Joe, from which the film Field of Dreams was adapted. While I do have a couple of volumes of his short stories based around Native American reservation settings (such as Dance Me Outside, itself turned into a film in the '90s, and The Fencepost Chronicles, each excellent in their own right), most of my Kinsella collection is comprised of his numerous books about baseball.

Naturally, this was the key …

Either an Exceedingly Happy Accident and/or The Quickening...

Chalk this one up to "Exceedingly Happy Accidents". Yesterday morning (Thursday), it suddenly struck me that I had forgotten to post a link to my review of Patton Oswalt’s stand-up show that Jen and I attended on Monday night at the Irvine Improv. I had written the review for Facebook originally, but had, once the piece moved beyond a couple of brief paragraphs, also decided to publish it on The Cinema 4 Pylon as well. I totally put aside any promotion of the piece, which is quite out of character for me, but the reason I put it aside is because I was concentrating on actual work. Actual work, as any other member of this household will tell you, is quite out of character for me now as well.

I usually start out promoting on Twitter and then move forward through Google Plus, etc. and finally end up on Facebook. On Twitter, I did up a brief 140-character or so line, included @pattonoswalt within the text in the absolutely vain hope that perhaps he might see it, though I doubted …

Refilling the Flagon of Chuckles (or at Least an Extra Tall Improv Glass)...

One of these days, my wife Jen and I will see Patton Oswalt live at the end of a tour, when he has buffed his latest material to a crystalline sheen and stropped each and every punchline to its ultimate razor sharpness. He will be recording (or close to recording) his latest cable special or album, in a hall specially selected for its visual and audial excellence, and it will be a truly memorable night of comedy for us.

But until then, I love watching Patton Oswalt in workshop mode. Last night was our fourth time seeing him onstage in any setting, and our second seeing him onstage at the Irvine Improv (in the old theatre and now in the brand new design, which is much improved, though Patton did riff on how dwarfed he was in the larger, deeper stage layout. [The other two times we saw him live were at the Tenacious D and Friends – Stand with Haiti Benefit at the Wiltern in 2010, where he did a short set amongst many other acts, and at the inaugural Festival Supreme in 2013, where we mis…

The Tower of Film: My Top 25 of 1964

For those who might think it is in poor taste for me to use the word "tower" so blithely in an article title on September 11, my answer to anything negative you might have to say about it is a deeply cold "Fuck you, it's my goddamned birthday."

Also, this tower is still standing. (And please don't cue the Elton song...) This tower stands as long as I do (or at least as long as I can breathe, if in fact standing ever becomes a true difficulty, then I shall watch sitting down). The Tower of Film is my term for the figurative monstrosity that has arisen out of the 12,000-plus feature films that I have watched in my now fifty-two years on this spheroid, with the very cream of the crop occupying the higher, more exalted positions on that tower.

The Tower of Film started out a few years ago as a different project which slowly evolved into its current state, once I realized the enormous breadth of the project and just how much I had underestimated its original poten…

The Psychotronic Video Guide: Straight to Video but a Long Time to Letterboxd

[This post has been published simultaneously here and on my new film book website – V for Voluminous, C for Cinema. To read this post on that site instead, go to]

The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film
by Michael Weldon
St. Martin's Press/Griffin | 1996
Trade paperback | 646 Pages

1st U.S. edition

My love for Michael Weldon's 1983 book, The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film, is well-known to my friends and longtime readers of my websites. Much of the early drive of my original blog, The Cinema 4 Pylon, was dedicated to playing catch up (in a series of posts that went by the title "Psychotronic Ketchup") in trying to see all of the films within that book, a volume which contained roughly 3,000 film titles of the not exactly middle of the road variety.

If there is a book within my library that I consider to be a "bible," though not in a truly religious sense of course, it is Weldon's Encyclopedia. As rough hewn and lowbrow a…

What It Is, My Man, and What It Will Be...

If you are the sort of person who is nice and polite and checks back regularly with websites you enjoy and wonders sometimes why a website for which you retain a particular admiration doesn't update more frequently, then this post is for you.

Of course, I would not dare to presume that my humble website might be counted amongst those sites for which you hold particular admiration, but on the off-chance that it is to be counted within that group, then please let your eyes drift downward.

I have not posted on The Cinema 4 Pylon since July 10, and that post was Part 1 of what was meant to be a multi-part excursion into the world of straight-to-video action thrillers, a genre which I have largely avoided in recent years. The post was triggered by an impromptu and cheap DVD purchase in a Wal-Mart in my then just-completed holiday trip up to my home state of Alaska, and there was never meant to be a two-month gap between the first part and even the merest mention of the second part.

The la…