The Cultural Gutter

beyond good and bad, there is awesome

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

RIP, James Rebhorn

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Actor James Rebhorn has died. The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Hollywood Reporter have obituaries. Rebhorn had roles in films including Independence Day, Basic Instinct, The Talented Mr. Ripley and He Knows You’re Alone. And he had roles in television shows including, Search for Tomorrow, Guiding Light, As The World Turns, […]

Cruising at the Projection Booth

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This week The Projection Booth looks at William Friedkin’s Cruising (1979), with discussion of the controversy surrounding the film and interviews Don Scardino, Randy Jurgensen, & Travis Mathews about the Sixties and Seventies New York, making the film and making Interior. Leather. Bar.

The Fatal Flaw of Dexter

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And Todd Van Der Werff has some thoughts on the series finale of Dexter at The AV Club: “The fatal flaw of Dexter has always been that its writers have rarely, if ever, treated the central character with anything like a clear vision of who he’s meant to be.”

“The Heist Always Goes Wrong”

“In a good heist film, the heist always goes wrong.” Andrew Nette shares his favorites.

Most Enjoyable Asian Films of 2012

At Wildgrounds, Kevin Ma shares his most enjoyable “bad” film and most enjoyable “good” film of 2012.

Serpico Now

The New York Times profiles Frank Serpico: “Pacino played Serpico better than I did.” (via Andrew Nette)

Chester Himes on the BBC

Listen to BBC Radio 4’s production of Chester Himes’ crime classic, Cotton Comes to Harlem. Only available for a short time. (Thanks, Andrew Nette)

RIP, Frank Pierson

Screenwriter and director Frank Pierson has died. Pierson wrote such films as Dog Day Afternoon, Cat Ballou, The Anderson Tapes and Cool Hand Luke. Pierson also wrote teleplays for Have Gun Will Travel, The Naked City, Lakota Woman: The Siege at Wounded Knee, Mad Men and The Good Wife. The Hollywood Reporter has more on […]

NYAFF 2012!

Who will dare face the New York Asian Film Festival?! Who will dare not to after seeing the festival trailer and reading, “Grady’s Guide to NYAFF 2012?!”  The full festival schedule and ticket information are here.

Squad 7: Impressions of Murder

In 1978, Elmore Leonard followed Detroit Homicide’s murder felony unit, Squad 7 and wrote a story about it for The Detroit News Sunday Magazine.  (Thanks, @booksadventures)

The Raid in Claymation

Enjoy full-on awesomeness as The Raid is recreated in stop-motion animation. (Thanks, Colin!)

The Raid Trailer

Here’s an Indonesian trailer for The Raid, not that it matters because the titles are in English and asskickery is an universal language.  (The Raid played at–and won the People’s Choice Award–at TIFF’s 2011 Midnight Madness Programme, see more trailers from that programme here and here).  

Interview with Ryoo Seung-Wan

Hangul Cellulloid interviews director, writer and actor, Ryoo Seung-Wan about his earlier films, including Die Bad; his current film, The Unjust; his upcoming, The Berlin File; and whether Korean films are inherently violent.

Interview with Cartoonist Susie Cagle

Comics Alliance interviews Susie Cagle, who was teargassed and arrested while reporting on Occupy Oakland for Good magazine. The article has a couple of her sketches and some distressing video.

One Podcast. Two Men. Ten Thousand Bullets.

The Projection Booth targets John Woo’s The Killer and its legacy, including an interview with Kenneth Hall, writer of John Woo: The Films.

Midnight Madness 2011, Updated

Here are two more trailers for films screening at this year’s Midnight Madness Program at the Toronto International Film Festival. First up, a teaser and clip from Eduardo Sánchez’ Lovely Molly. There’s also a trailer for Frederic Jardin’s thriller, Sleepless Night / Nuit Blanche. (Updated: The Incident trailer was incorrect).

Trailer for The Raid

Joe Taslim and Iko Uwais go through 15 floors of bad guys in Gareth Evans follow-up to Merantau. We didn’t have the trailer for The Raid in time for the Midnight Madness trailer post. But it’s worth the wait.

Singham Trailer

“Don’t fuck with Bajirao Singham.” Cars roll, guns are drawn and Bajirao Singham tears a lamp post up and hits a guy with it in this trailer for Singham, a remake of the Tamil action film, Singam, directed by Hari and starring Surya Sivakumar.

Podcasts! Podcasts! Podcasts!

Here at the Gutter we like our podcasts. We especially like Infernal Brains and The Projection Booth. At Infernal Brains, Todd and Tars discuss Thai pulp hero, Insee Daeng and Wisit Sasanatieng’s recent screen adaptation, Red Eagle.  Meanwhile, at The Projection Booth, Mike and Mondo Justin report on Robocop (including news on Detroit’s statue) and […]

RIP, Peter Falk

Actor Peter Falk has died.  He was probably best known as Grandpa in The Princess Bride and Lt. Columbo in Columbo, but he worked for Frank Capra, Nicholas Ray, John Cassavetes, Wim Wenders, Robert Altman and Robert Wise.  And gave probably the finest performance ever at The Dean Martin Roast.  The Guardian, The Telegraph and […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Brain Pickings looks at the life and work of Tove Jansson and the wisdom of her character, Too-ticky. “Too-ticky, the sage of Moominvalley who solves even the most existential of problems with equal parts practicality and wisdom, was inspired by the love of Jansson’s life — the great Finnish sculptor and graphic arts pioneer Tuulikki “Tooti” Pietilä, Jansson’s spouse. The two women met in art school during their twenties and remained together until Jansson’s death more than six decades later, collaborating on a lifetime of creative projects — all at a time when queer couples were straddling the impossible line between anguishing invisibility and dangerous visibility.” (via Kate Laity)

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    Photographer Kevin Weir uses vintage photographs to create haunting animation in “The Flux Machine.” The Guardian has an interview with Weir and more on his work.

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    At the New Yorker, Jill Lepore considers the intertwining histories of women’s suffrage, feminism, Amazons and Wonder Woman. “It isn’t only that Wonder Woman’s backstory is taken from feminist utopian fiction. It’s that, in creating Wonder Woman, William Moulton Marston was profoundly influenced by early-twentieth-century suffragists, feminists, and birth-control advocates and that, shockingly, Wonder Woman was inspired by Margaret Sanger, who, hidden from the world, was a member of Marston’s family.”

     

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    Tim Reis shares ten things he learned from producing his first independent feature The Demon’s Rook. “Making an independent feature film is hard. Making an independent feature film with no money is especially hard. Making an independent feature film with no money, no actors, and a first-time director and crew is almost impossible. It is also the greatest, most liberating thing and you can and should totally do it.” (Thanks, Colin!)

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    The Princeton University Digital Library has digitized three Seventeenth Century Japanese illustrated scrolls and you can view them here. Meanwhile, 100,000 images from Getty Research Institute are now available at the Digital Library of America. (via @BibliOdyssey)

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    The Awl’s Rich Bellis writes about Koh Masaki and the importance of Masaki’s visibility as an out gay man working in the Japanese porn industry. “By the time he died from peritonitis after an appendix operation, at just 29, Masaki had established a celebrity persona in a business where such a thing hadn’t existed before. Japanese censorship laws require blurring genitalia, but social stigma leads many performers (regardless of gender) to obscure their faces, too. Dark sunglasses, hats and blacked-out swimming goggles are common accessories in an industry whose overall value has been estimated at around $20 billion.” (Thanks, Earl)

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