Midnight Movie Madness: Threepenny Opera

Threepenny opera” – (112 minutes, Germany 1931, NR)

Thank God for egotists..?

Die 3 Groschen Oper”… Of late, we have been going through several films of significance, centering around the evil men are capable of. I am thinking mainly of “the killer inside me” and “Wolf Creek”, but there’s more: “Psycho”, “M” and much more.
If you are familiar with “threepenny opera” you might think the comparison to be strange, but it really isn’t.
Threepenny opera” began as a stage play written by Bertolt Brecht, a playwright of vision and talent who was also very difficult to work with, focusing as he did on differences rather than goals. Basically an egotistic prick with talent, Brecht’s history is fascinating in itself but is not the focus of this piece.
One of the protagonists (antagonists?) of “threepenny opera” is Macheath “Mackie” Messer, a psychopathic killer, in modern terms. You are probably familiar with the song “Mack the knife”, which has seen several interpretations over the years, by Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra among others.
But the original version is not quite so… watered down, and we actually owe its existence to Harald Paulsen, another egotistic you-know-what who was cast as Macheath before Rudolf Forster replaced him, and most likely for the better.
The fact remains, however, that if not for Paulsen’s demands to have a song introducing his character, we would not have this classic today.

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Halloween gruesomeness

Don’t know why I’d been saving this one up but here’s a crime scene pic from Halloween.
And finally, oh yes, finally, I’ll get my hands on “the human centipede” DVD Monday. At long last.

This. Is... SPARTA...!!!!


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The Institute: palace of wonders and marvels

Some places remain within you forever, that is a fact. The Oceanographic Institute in Monaco Ville is so deeply embedded in my mind, I had no clue where this image I photoshopped came from, until reading an article recently:

The underwater palace

This year, I realized only this week,  marks the 100th anniversary of the Institute. The impressions it left upon me 40 years ago are much more than memories.

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Fair winds to gaseous giants: les petomanes

A proud, though somewhat freakish tradition.

Joseph Pujol

Le Pétomane was the stage name of the French flatulist (professional farter) and entertainer Joseph Pujol (June 1, 1857 – 1945). He was famous for his remarkable control of the abdominal muscles, which enabled him to fart at will. His stage name combines the French verb péter, “to fart” with the -mane, “-maniac” suffix, which translates to “fartomaniac”. The profession is also referred to as “flatulist”, “farteur”, or “fartiste”. […]

Soon after he left school he had a strange experience while swimming in the sea. He put his head under the water and held his breath, whereupon he felt an icy cold penetrating his rear. He ran ashore in fright and was amazed to see water pouring from his anus. A doctor assured him that there was nothing to worry about.

When he joined the army he told his fellow soldiers about his special ability, and repeated it for their amusement, sucking up water from a pan into his rectum and then projecting it through his anus up to several yards. He then found that he could suck in air as well. […]

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“Wolf Creek”: qu’est-ce que c’est?

Wolf Creek” – (99 minutes, Australia 2005, rated R)

“I’m going to do something now they used to do in Vietnam. It’s called making a head on a stick.”

This is an earlier effort from the team which brought us “Rogue” reviewed here earlier this month.

Three backpackers, two girls and a young guy, traveling the Australian Outback get stranded at Wolf Creek national park when their car refuses to start.

They are so far from the nearest town, their only choice is to wait until dawn before even considering starting out for it on foot.

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Midnight Movie Madness

Kirikou and the Sorceress” – (74 minutes, France/Belgium/Luxembourg, 1998 NR)

This is lighter fare, of the kind both grown ups and children (though not too small) would enjoy for both its lessons and visuals. This is the third of Michel Ocelot’s animations we have watched and while all three are distinct and original, there is a common humanistic thread to his tales that is enchanting. Ocelot’s background covers virtually every aspect of animation from background artist to director, producer and narrator.

See a scene here:

 

I don’t believe his name is well known here, although he certainly is widely recognized in his field.

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“The killer inside me”: portrait of a sociopath

The killer inside me” – (109 minutes, USA 2010, rated R)

“I got one foot on both sides of the fence, I can’t move, I can’t jump.”

Lou Ford (Casey Affleck) is a Sheriff’s deputy in a small town in West Texas, easy going and friendly with all. As a matter of fact, Lou does a lot of favors. He takes care of his community, no fuss, no muss.
That is until the Sheriff (Tom Bower), a good old boy drowning despair in alcohol, asks him to tell a hooker living on the outskirts of town to get a move on. Joyce (Jessica Alba) doesn’t take the news well, and slaps, then hits Lou. This exchange triggers something in him that he buried many years earlier. He gives Joyce a whipping with his belt and there starts a relationship based on animal lust and forceful, dangerous sex.
This also presents Lou with an opportunity to settle old scores. As he put it himself, “the problem with growing up in a small town is that everyone thinks they know you”.

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Midnight Movie Madness: Pig Hunt

Pig Hunt” – (100 minutes, USA 2008, rated R)

Woof. What a week. And a half. Starting a new job, in a different industry has thrown me off my game somewhat, and here I am apologizing to our fantastic readers for this late review.
The Midnight Movie Madness shall continue! But now on weekends instead of Wednesdays. Ah well, working in service industries (is there anything else left?) has taught me to grovel.
Have I got a good one for you, now…? I developed an inclination for this movie as soon as I saw that Les Claypool not only did the score, but appears in a small role, as a vengeful hillbilly wearing a priest’s collar and a Stetson. We like the funk here at JBoD, and Claypool’s so funky he was turned down by Metallica when he auditioned with them in the 80’s. Their loss and probably a good thing as he went on to front Primus. The man is not only an extremely talented musician, he is local, born in Richmond California, across the bridge from us.
“Pig hunt” might not be everybody’s cup of tea, particularly people unfamiliar with California. It seems to cram a lot, too much color, too much weird…. But this is California! The movie has a plethora of strange characters from weird hippies carrying Kukri knives (they HAVE to draw blood once they are unsheathed), to crazed rednecks, not to mention the odd group of friends going to these here parts near Boonville (in Beautiful Mendocino county) from San Francisco.

Watch the trailer:

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