The Cultural Gutter

geek chic with mad technique

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

The Graves of Russian Mafiya Bosses

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Denis Tarasov has photographed the elaborate graves of Russian and Ukrainian organized crime bosses. They’re currently being shown at London’s Saatchi gallery. (via @jakeadelstein)

“How Corpses Helped Shape the London Underground”

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‘In her excellent and morbidly fascinating book Necropolis: London and Its Dead, author Catharine Arnold describes in detail the subterranean presence of corpses found throughout the British capital. To no small extent, she makes clear, dead bodies were basically buried everywhere, to the point that, as Arnold pithily states, ‘London is one giant grave.”’ More […]

The Dangerous Dead in Notts

The discovery of a skeleton found with metal spikes through its shoulders, heart and ankles, dating from 550-700AD and buried in the ancient minster town of Southwell, Notts, is detailed in a new report.”More at The Telegraph. (via Disinformation)

Midnight Madness 2012 Trailers!

Trailers for this year’s Midnight Madness programme! Dredd 3D; Seven Psychopaths; The Lords of Salem teaser from a Rob Zombie concert; ABCs of Death; The Bay; and the much anticipated, John Dies at the End.  No One Lives; Hellbenders; Aftershock;  and Child’s Play/Come Out and Play are all playing Midnight Madness, but I haven’t found […]

The Death and Return of Superman

“The Death and Return of Superman,” acted out by many famous nerdy people. (Thanks, Mark!)

The Kids Are All Right

Despite my whinging last month, I do in fact both read and love a lot of young adult Romance.  I  may not be fond of the ‘Supernatural Boyfriend of the Week’ subgenre (and no, Stephanie Meyer did not invent it; it’s been out there for decades), but that still leaves me with a large field […]

The Raven

James Earl Jones and Christopher Walken read Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.”

The Grave of Bela Lugosi

Today is Bela Lugosi’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Bela!  J. W. Ocker writes about Bela’s perfection as a vampire and about the sadness of his grave.

Death in Games

Narrative Death, Game Mechanics Death (aka, screwing up and dying), No Death, Permadeath and Rewind: Alistair Doulin writes about death in video games.

The Return of the Sea King

Aquaman’s alive. He was dead, if you hadn’t heard. Glen Weldon writes about the Sea King’s re-ascening his throne and how hard it is to be an Aqua-fan.

Tragedy Systems in Grand Theft Auto IV

“Death is permanent and, in all works of fiction, predetermined. Except in video games, where most of the time it is neither.” At Hit Self-Destruct, Duncan writes about agency, time travel and death.

Elvis After Life

Shaken by the Strength and Mighty Power

It’s funny. I knew today was the anniversary of Elvis’ death. I didn’t realize it was the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ long black limousine sliding into the beyond. A good hunk of his afterlife has been in comics. Let us take a moment of silence for the man from Tupelo.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Jenn Frank writes about horror, games, “Tropes vs Women In Video Games” and “consuming media responsibly”: “I think what I’m getting at is, especially with the horror genre, it’s less important what a movie says and more important that you, the viewer, understand why you’re enjoying it. I believe in judicious self-awareness; a director like Nicolas Winding Refn knows exactly why he makes the directorial choices he makes, and he works those kinks right out onscreen.

    Or, if you aren’t enjoying a piece of work—if ultraviolence isn’t your thing, or if you’re suffering a visceral reaction—it’s every bit as important that you identify what about the piece is making you uncomfortable.”

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    In  Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, “Women As Background Decoration: Part 2,” Anita Sarkeesian discusses “how sexualized female bodies often occupy a dual role as both sexual playthings and the perpetual victims of male violence.” It is quite graphic in terms of violence and sexual violence.

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    Here are the films playing the Vanguard program at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival: Spring; Luna; Hyena; Goodnight, Mommy / Ich Seh, Ich Seh; Alleluia; The Duke Of Burgundy; Over Your Dead Body; Shrew’s Nest; They Have Escaped; Waste Land; The World of Kanako; and The Voices. (Trailers added as they become available).

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    Here are the films playing the Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness program: Tokyo Tribe; Big Game; Tusk; It Follows; Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films; [REC]4: Apocalypse; Cub; The Editor; and, What We Do In The Shadows and The Guest. (More trailers as they become available).

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    The Guardian has collected some responses Haruki Murakami gave to reader questions at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. “I don’t have any idea at all, when I start writing, of what is to come. For instance, for The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, the first thing I had was the call of the bird, because I heard a bird in my back yard (it was the first time I heard that kind of sound and I never have since then. I felt like it was predicting something. So I wanted to write about it). The next thing was cooking spaghetti – these are things that happen to me! I was cooking spaghetti, and somebody call. So I had just these two things at the start. Two years I kept on writing. It’s fun! I don’t know what’s going to happen next, every day. I get up, go to the desk, switch on the computer, etc. and say to myself: ‘so what’s going to happen today?’ It’s fun!”

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    Patrick Lung Kong and Tsui Hark discuss their work together and Lung’s influential film, The Story Of A Discharged Prisoner (1967), during a retrospective of Lung’s work. ‘Protesters called “and said ‘Burn that film, burn it!’” Lung Kong said. The timing was off, with Hong Kong embroiled in riots, and demonstrators targeted a government official Lung Kong had invited to the premiere. “The audience just stepped over the bombs,” Lung Kong said, lifting his foot gingerly to demonstrate. “Thank god, it broke all the records. That’s why I had a third film to make.”’

     

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