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

Pregnesia!

The ultimate in amnesiac pregnancy romances, Pregnesia! (Thanks, Tars Tarkas!)

Ben Wheatley’s Viral Videos and Rob Zombie’s Ads

Kill List director and suspected Pirate Captain Ben Wheatley has been secretly making commercial videos for years. Siân Elizabeth-Anne just happens to have gathered all Wheatley’s booty in one place, The Vanguard programme blog. Or most of it. Meanwhile, at the Midnight Madness blog, Chad Eberle has collected evidence of Rob Zombie’s secret life as […]

Vanguard 2012 Trailers!

This year’s Vanguard program at the Toronto International Film Festival also looks pretty sweet with Soi Cheang’s Motorway, starring Anthony Wong Chau-Sang; 90 Minutes; Berberian Sound Effects; Blondie; I Declare War; iLL Manors; Painless; Pusher; Sightseers; Thale; and Michel Gondry’s The We And The I. I haven’t found trailers for Beijing Flickers; Here Comes The […]

Lovers In A Dangerous Time

Recently, I’ve been thinking about danger.  Specifically, the kind of danger that runs through a certain subsection of Romance, often called ‘romantic suspense’.  These are the stories that drop the hero and heroine into physical jeopardy in addition to exposing them to all the emotional risks of falling in love.  When done well, they share […]

A Decision to Self-Publish

Publishing powerhouse Jackie Collins explains her decision to self-publish and the business of books.

“Agent of Influence”

Fascinating article on thriller writer Dennis Wheatley’s role as a planner of deceptions for WWII British Intelligence and his influence on Ian Fleming and James Bond. (via @driveinmob)

Sourcing the Drive Soundtrack

Black Hole Reviews runs down the possible sources for the Drive soundtrack, track by track.

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.

Looking Back on Shirley Jackson

Kyla Ward looks back on the work of writer and horror icon, as author of “The Lottery” and The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson, in an issue of Tabula Rasa from 1995. “To say Shirley Jackson is a psychological novelist, and that the horror in her stories comes from the increasingly skewed perceptions of […]

10 Comics I Liked in 2011

It’s the beginning of January, cold and dark where I am. The critics are all putting out their best of year lists, and maybe you’re looking for something to read. So here’s my entry into annual lists: 10 comics I liked in 2011 that I haven’t written about. Well 9 comics I haven’t written about […]

The Vulnerable Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Monika Bartyzel writes about “softening and sexualizing Lisbeth Salander” in David Fincher’s adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the pre-release posters and Stieg Larsson and his novel. “There seems to be a relief that Mara’s Salander is a more relatable person, that classic ‘female’ tropes like softness and vulnerability are visible. It speaks […]

“The Lottery”

On the anniversary of Shirley Jackson’s birthday, here are a piece on The Haunting of Hill House at DarkEcho and a 1951 radio play of her “The Lottery” on NBC Short Story.

RIP, Ken Russell

Filmmaker Ken Russell has died at the age of 84. The extremely prolific Russell’s films include:  Tommy; The Harry Palmer film, Billion Dollar Brain; Women in Love; The Music Lovers;  The Devils; Altered States; Crimes of Passion; and Lair of the White Worm.  The Guardian has an obituary and Mubi has a collection of articles […]

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.

Hear Mysteries of the Inner Sanctum!

The Internet Archive has a collection of the old time radio show, Inner Sanctum Mysteries, sure to spookify any All Hallow’s Eve.

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).

The History and Art of the Title Sequence

A couple of looks at the art and history of film title sequences.

Summer Fun Time Reading ’11

It’s summer time and instead of beer bottles exploding out of coolers in a shower of refreshing ice, bikini-clad hotties and fireworks as we know it should be, everything is wilting and perhaps even melting. As far as I can tell there are only two possible explanations—Hot Lava Monsters have readjusted the earth’s thermostat to […]

Soulless Gialli

“What have they done to gialli?” wonders Allison Nastasi about new giallo films and then offers up 5 examples of the genre at its best.

Minoru Kawasaki: Look Back in Fun Fur

executive koala 80.jpg

Every April at the Gutter, the editors write about something outside their usual domains.  This month Comics Editor Carol Borden writes about movies. This is not even close to a full retrospective, because while Minoru Kawasaki doesn’t have a huge number of films, many of them are not available with English subtitles and I don’t […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Salon, Matt Ashby and Brendan Carroll write about irony and cynicism, sincerity and honesty in art: “At one time, irony served to challenge the establishment; now it is the establishment. The art of irony has turned into ironic art. Irony for irony’s sake. A smart aleck making bomb noises in front of a city in ruins. But irony without a purpose enables cynicism. It stops at disavowal and destruction, fearing strong conviction is a mark of simplicity and delusion.

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    Eastern Kicks has an interview–and a gallery of photos of–director Park Joon-hung.

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    Get ready for a new season of Mad Men with this collection of Absurdist Mad Men promotions, which the Cultural Gutter participates in and even encourages. Duck Phillips rules an undersea advertizing empire and “Pete feels slighted.”

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    Some interesting thoughts on South Korean cinema with “A Dish Best Served Bloody: Revenge In South Korean Cinema” and this Cannes program piece on Arirang (1926) and the history of Korean film.

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    Al-Jazeera America profiles John Pirozzi’s Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten, a documentary about Cambodian rock’n'roll and musicians who survived the Khmer Rouge. “Until 1975, music thrived in Phnom Penh, with clubs full night after night, crowds gathering in the streets around transistor radios to hear the latest releases, and the biggest stars being feted by the king. Enter the Khmer Rouge, communism and the war on intellectuals. Between 1975 and 1979, about 2 million Cambodians, roughly a third of the population, were rounded up and either were killed or died of starvation. Artists were particularly disliked by the Khmer Rouge, which saw creativity as decadence: Almost all of the biggest names perished during that era.”

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    Architecture Daily has an excerpt from City of Darkness detailing the development of Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City. “By the 1970s, the City had filled out to its maximised form, with buildings of up to 14 storeys in height, and virtually no ground level daylight penetration save at its centre. Its density was estimated to have reached a mere 7 square feet per person. The yamen area had somehow remained an exception to the vertical development, leased to a missionary society in 1949 for use as an almshouse and old people’s home. Eventually, it defined the sole substantial void within the Walled City, with visible sky above it.”

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