Further thoughts on the Certified Weird “Un Chien Andalou” (1929)
“Moving pictures merely repeat what we have been told for centuries by novels and plays. Thus, a marvelous instrument for the expression of poetry and dreams (the subconscious world) is reduced to the role of simple REPEATER of stories expressed by other art forms.”–Luis Bunuel
. . . → Read More: BUNUEL’S “UN CHIEN ANDALOU” (1929)
A note about the following essay, from the author. Wisconsin Death Trip is a 1999 film directed by James Marsh, an oddball, morbid documentary inspired by a 1973 nonfiction book of the same title. The film is structured as a chain of anecdotes and vignettes about life in small-town Wisconsin in the late 1800′s. This . . . → Read More: THE POISONOUS IMAGE IN WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP (1999)
The names of film critics cited in this essay have been redacted to protect them from professional humiliation.
“The filmmakers are stoned on weirdness for its own sake…”—from a negative review of Being John Malkovich
“Soavi’s decision to emphasize weirdness for weirdness’ sake quickly lends the proceedings a distinctly interminable feel, to the extent that . . . → Read More: WHAT’S WRONG WITH BEING WEIRD FOR WEIRDNESS’ SAKE?
DIRECTED BY: Srdjan Spasojevic
FEATURING: Srdjan Todorovic, Sergej Trifunovic, Jelena Gavrilovic, Katarina Zutic, Slobodan Bestic
PLOT: An ethical and well-intentioned ex porn star collaborates with an Eastern syndicate to produce a series of art-house pornographic films. In the process he is unwittingly ensnared in the dark, serpentine morass of his film executives’ depraved madness. WHY . . . → Read More: CAPSULE: A SERBIAN FILM (2010)
After the death of the silent star, Lon Chaney, The King of Horror crown was up for grabs. It was Universal Studios contract actor Boris Karloff who inherited Chaney’s mantle, and reigned supreme as horror’s newly crowned King.
Karloff was not the studio’s first pretender to Chaney’s throne. Bela Lugosi starred as the screen’s greatest vampire in . . . → Read More: KARLOFF
As a teenager coming of age in the 1980s, I became briefly obsessed with progressive space-art-rock band Pink Floyd in general, and their album “The Wall” in particular. The record was mopey, morbid, and self-absorbed, presenting even the simplest personal problems (an absent father, overprotective mother, trouble relating to women) as agents of an acute . . . → Read More: IN DEFENSE OF PRETENSE: THE JOYS OF PRETENTIOUS MOVIES
“God would seem to indicate to us and not allow us to doubt that these beautiful poems are not human, or the work of man, but divine and the work of God; and that the poets are only the interpreters of the Gods by whom they are severally possessed. Was not this the lesson which . . . → Read More: TED HOOD, JR., AUTEUR OF “GRAVEROBBERS FROM OUTER SPACE”
“Even a Man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolf-bane blooms and the autumn moon is bright”. The best thing about the 1941 film is the tone-setting poem above, which was repeated at least one too many times in the original, yet it is . . . → Read More: THE WOLF MAN (1941) & THE WOLFMAN (2010)
The uncanny—by which I mean the type of horror story that focuses on an encounter with supernatural powers and the existential dread that comes from contemplating the Unknown—was the first style of narrative weirdness storytellers indulged in, but for most people today the term “weird” is almost synonymous with the term “surreal.” This is a . . . → Read More: WEIRD SPECIES II: THE SURREAL
“What is weird?” is a question I’m sometimes asked. I don’t like to answer the question, because I think we’re all familiar with that “weird” feeling, and I’m more interested in seeing what other people think is weird than in defining it myself. In some ways, the problem we have identifying a weird movie is . . . → Read More: WEIRD SPECIES I: THE UNCANNY