The Cultural Gutter

taking the dumb out of fandom

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

The Akira Project

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An amazing fan-made trailer for a live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira.

FantAsia Film Festival 2012

The FantAsia site is up and running with many, many trailers to get you ready for the festival. (Or at least, what films to keep an eye out for).

Shatner on Shatner’s World

William Shatner talks about his book on CBC Radio’s Q and his world on NPR’s  Fresh Air.

The Last Canadian

Grady Hendrix reads London Free Press editor William C. Heine’s The Last Canadian, a plague-driven, apocalyptic pulp set in Montreal. Unfortunately, the protagonist’s citizenship papers haven’t come through before the plague hits.  For Canadian pulp fiction featuring full Canadian citizens, check out Tales from the Vault, curated by own own Screen Editor Emeritus, Ian Driscoll.

Talking About It

The Montreal Gazette interviews cartoonist Chester Brown about his book, Paying For It, his graphic memoir of his days as a john.

Press Start

Press Start is a Montreal show dedicated to art based on old videogames.  Game Set Watch has pictures and links to pictures and to an associated store.

Fooling the System

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“Fisher,” they’d cry, “we’re going to find you.” They were looking in the wrong place. I was already somewhere else. And as they approached the last position they saw me, that somewhere else was right behind them. Either a clean bullet to the head or some other form of quick, close, personal death, they slump […]

FantAsia 2010

Dread Central has the schedule for FantAsia 2010 in Montreal. This year has a special focus on organized religion with a screening of Ken Russell’s The Devils and Serbian genre films with a screening of A Serbian Film. which people have found hard-going.

Les Aventures de Madame Merveille

Cecil Castellucci, Minx comic artist and Canadian nerdcore icon, has cut the middle brow out with her fusion of low and high art, the comics opera,  Les Aventures de Madame Merveille.  See it in Montreal with art from Pascal Girard, Michael Cho, Scott Hepburn and Cameron Stewart.

Secret Identity

Ian’s girlfriend discovers he has a secret in his pants in this animated film by Guillaume Chartier. (thanks, Dr. O!)

Pure, Unadulterated Munday

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Originally from the “New York and New Jersey area,” Evan Munday is a Toronto-based comic artist and illustrator with a day job as a book publicist. He’s a member of the illustration collective, SketchKrieg!, has written a young adult novel, The Dead Kid Detective Agency and illustrated magazines and books, most recently Jon Paul Fiorentino’s […]

Kung Fu, Gangsters, Etc.

Scroll down to see scans of Colin Geddes’ Fantasia Hong Kong film poster exhibit at Cinematheque Quebecoise: The Magnificent Butcher, Twelve Deadly Coins, 36th Chamber of Shaolin, City on Fire, Exiled, Triangle. Sammo Hung, Cheng Pei-Pei, Ti Lung, Donnie Yen, Chow Yun-Fat, Anthony Wong.

Your Own Private FanTasia

Sad you didn’t make it to Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival?  Ease the pain with an interview with Gordon Liu. (Thanks, Colin!)

Red Eye

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15 hours on the road and I was my own red-eye on I-94’s corridor of stripclubs, fireworks and roadkill, racing past dead deer in Michigan, then Gary, Indiana’s steel mills and through Chicagoland, the Sears Tower in the distance waiting for its evil eye, till the highway gave out in Wisconsin. Yes, I went to […]

A Real Conundrum

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If you’ve seen the movie Sideways, you may remember Paul Giamatti’s character discussing his imminent book deal with a certain small-press publisher named Conundrum. “Conundrum?!” I thought between fistfuls of popcorn. “No, it can’t be.” How did Andy Brown — the mensch behind Montreal indie publisher Conundrum Press — get his peculiar brand into a […]

Indie-meets-industry shindig

Buckets of beer at the GDC.

It might have been the buckets of beer or just the balmy San Francisco night that had me feeling so upbeat after the Game Developers Choice Awards and the Independent Games Festival but even in sober retrospect it was pretty remarkable. On a basic level, it was simply seeing the best videogames of the year […]

Learning Vince’s Dirty Moves

Wrestling with issues of exploitation.

In July 1996, Hulk Hogan shocked the world by becoming what oppressed him the most as a hero in the 1980s: he turned heel. As the garbage filled the ring, he told Mene Gene Okerland, “As far as I’m concerned, all this crap in the ring represents the fans out here. ” That year Pro […]

The Name Game

Ubisoft

While I wait in the lobby of one of the largest game studios in the world, I watch someone go through to the inner sanctum. The shiny barrier, with transparent doors that whir apart at the wave of a card-pass, looks familiar — I think I’ve seen the devices being used as turnstiles in a […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Actor Richard Kiel has died. Kiel worked in both film and television, including performances in The Twilight Zone episode, “To Serve Man”; Eegah (1962); The Barbary Coast with William Shatner; Happy Gilmore (1996); Pale Rider (1985); as Vlad in Tangled (201); and as Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979).   The New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times and Variety have obituaries. Here he is interviewed with Britt Ekland. And David Letterman interviews Kiel here.

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    Open Culture has a round-up of eight free and complete films by Dziga Vertov, including Man With A Movie Camera (1929) and the first Soviet animated feature, Soviet Toys (1924). (Thanks, Earl!)

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    Matt Zoller Seitz has written a lovely meditation on Robin Williams at RogerEbert.com: “Williams wore the invisible garments of depression. He carried that burden. A lot of the time we didn’t see it, because he was a bright and enthusiastic comic performer and a great actor. But the weight was always there.

    Somehow he lived 63 years.

    What a warrior he was.”

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    At Kaiju Shakedown, Hiroshi Fukazawa interviews director Ringo Lam. “Not as flashy as John Woo, never as hyperkinetic as Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam is one of Hong Kong’s most underappreciated directors. He made his name with sophisticated, downbeat crime dramas that came to define a certain style of urban Hong Kong cinema in the Eighties and early Nineties. After getting his start in television at CTV and TVB, he directed five features before finding his stride with 1987’s City on Fire, the movie that provided the blueprint for Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.”

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    “[Grace] Jones — who was famous not just for her music, but also for her acting and modeling — took Lundgren to New York, where they partied at the legendary Studio 54 and Andy Warhol took pictures of Lundgren. Jones introduced Lundgren to the world of show business. Meanwhile, Lundgren was still set to begin his Fulbright scholarship at MIT. ‘I started sort of thinking, “Wow, this is kind of cool,”‘ Lundgren remembers: ‘”I don’t know if I want to go back to engineering after this.”‘ More at NPR.

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    “A mid-20th century collaboration between artists, poets and printers gave rise to a unique book of surrealistic creatures accompanied by complementary typographic art poems.” See more at BibliOdyssey. (Thanks, Andrezo!)

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