Tag Archives: G.B. Hajim

GB HAJIM’S TOP 10 WEIRD MOVIES

GB Hajim is the director, co-writer and chief animator of the Certified Weird Strange Frame: Love and Sax. We described that film’s visuals thusly: “Imagine dropping a hefty dose of LSD on the set of Blade Runner, and you walk through a door and suddenly you’re in the Star Wars cantina. Now, imagine that experience animated by the team behind Fantastic Planet working under the direction of , take that result and square the weirdness quotient…”

Strange Frame is available on iTunes, Xbox, Playstation, Netflix, and most everything else, but if you really want to support the filmmaker and get all the features, the director recommends picking up the DVD from Amazon.

Strange Frame was GB’s first feature film. He makes his home in Hawaii. GBʻs current project is the fan convention HawaiiCon 2014, featuring a reunion of the cast of “Stargate Atlantis” and Walter Koenig’s 78th birthday!

Some of the very best of weird movies vanish into obscurity as soon as the actual print of the film wears out. I am thinking of the 1991 half hour film by Aussie filmmaker Shane McNeil called the Apocryphal History of Meat Part IV – The Brotherhood of Meat. Witty and weird, this movie is an excellent treatise on vegetarianism with lots of exploding meat to keep its tongue in cheek. A list of weird documentaries could be forthcoming—it would definitely include another Australian gem Cane Toads: An Unnatural History and Chris Smithʻs American Movie.

To me, the hallmark of a weird movie is a moment so unique that it can only be brilliant in the context of the certain refined bizarreness a filmmaker has created. Shu Lea Cheangʻs cyberpunk porno I.K.U. (which literally means “cum” in Japanese) has such a great moment, when two of the leads are singing karaoke into rotating throbbing dildos. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie drags, so it doesn’t make my cut for top ten. I also left off some gems that have just become too familiar, and therefore less weird, like The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

1. Bliss (1985), Dir. Ray Lawrence

The movie is a surreal journey of a man who, at the moment of death, has an epiphany so strong that when he wakes he cannot tell the real lies of his life from the lies his brain is telling him. Youʻd think that cockroaches erupting from his chest would be enough to tip the guy off, but youʻd be wrong.

The moment: Harry is having a bad day. His friend offers him a joint. His day only gets worse, beginning with rain. In the downpour, an elephant sits down for a rest, crushing Harryʻs car. Harry, unfazed and very stoned, tries to drive the now roofless car home and is surprised when the police pull him over.

The other reason I love this film is the way it points out the craziness of modern society in contrast to the more sane but difficult life on an anarchist commune. Another film to watch in this vein is How to Get Ahead in Advertising.

2. Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), Dir.

If the fact that this trip fest was made in 1943 doesn’t blow your mind, you donʻt have perspective. The sound track is eerie, but stripped of any pretension. Each element in the movie is used for maximum impact—a knife, a key, camera movement, a mirrormask. Yes, decades before Neil Gaiman, Maya made an image of a mirrormask that will be etched on my mindplane for life. Continue reading GB HAJIM’S TOP 10 WEIRD MOVIES

156. STRANGE FRAME: LOVE & SAX (2012)

“How fortunate are those who can frame the beauty of the strange.”–opening title of Strange Frame

DIRECTED BY: G.B. Hajim

FEATURING: Claudia Black, Tara Strong, Ron Glass, 

PLOT: In the 28th century, saxophonist Parker falls in love with songwriter and escaped debt slave Naia on Jupiter’s moon Ganymede. The two women form a band, which catches the eye of a music producer. When the producer kicks the sax player out of the band to set Naia up as a solo act, hooks the singer on drugs and isolates her from the outside world, Parker teams up with two interplanetary trash haulers to penetrate the corporate defenses that separate the women.

Still from Strange Frame: Love & Sax (2012)
BACKGROUND:

  • This is the first feature film from Hawaii-based director G.B. Hajim and the first script and soundtrack from co-writer/co-composer Shelley Doty.
  • Hajim and Doty began discussing the project in 1999, and began writing the script in 2002. They envisioned Love & Sax as the first in a series of four films.
  • More than forty Hawaiian high school students worked as interns on the film over its seven years of production.
  • The black and white live action footage edited into the film comes from the all-black feature The Duke Is Tops (1938), starring Lena Horne as a singer who is manipulated into leaving her lover behind with promises of becoming a star in New York City.
  • “Star Trek” alumnus George Takei has a vocal cameo.

INDELIBLE IMAGE: Strange Frame is at its visual best when it’s a free-flowing montage: cut-out mutant space lesbians in the foreground, swirling psychedelic backgrounds drifting in and out of focus in the background. It is therefore a difficult task to isolate a single strange frame from this movie; every image is in a constant state of flux. One of the best sequences occurs when Satanically suave agent Dorlan Mig plies the women with powders and rare liquors in an upscale Ganymede nightclub populated by horned celebrity dominatrices and their monocle-wearing cat-person managers. Immediately before the lovers are launched into a trip that’s visually unhinged even by this movie’s extreme standards, we see them reflected in his mirrored shades, one girl improbably and perfectly framed in each lens, before their visages dissolve and morph into pink lips and tongues. That’s about as standout a standalone image as you’ll be able to find in this Heraclitan river of psychedelic cinema.

WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: This story of two renegade lesbian rock stars gigging among the moons of Jupiter is a bit odd, but really not all that weird in and of itself. It’s the visuals that (as the movie’s legend promises) “frame the beauty of the strange.” Imagine dropping a hefty dose of LSD on the set of Blade Runner, and you walk through a door and suddenly you’re in the Star Wars cantina. Now, imagine that experience animated by the team behind Fantastic Planet working under the direction of , take that result and square the weirdness quotient, and you have some inkling of Strange Frame‘s visuals.


Original trailer for Strange Frame

COMMENTS: Strange Frame is an animated psychedelic lesbian science fiction musical. Just to be clear, I would have been happy with any three Continue reading 156. STRANGE FRAME: LOVE & SAX (2012)