Tuesday, August 17, 2010
A Year ago I started the column The Unseen, in an effort to burn though the stack of unwatched DVD’s that sat on my shelf. The stack was beginning to look fairly obscene to me. And still does, as this column has been a failure, at least in regard to its housekeeping components.
That stack still looms over me, pointing, screaming “J’ACCUSE!”
And yet, The Unseen remains a favorite thing to write. Simply because it forces me to expand my cinematic vocabulary every time I do. It’s easy for a cinephile to grow complacent, and there’s nothing more dangerous to the art of loving film love then complacency. Especially after the demands of the real world loom their ugly head. After working nine hours for the eighth day in a row, feeling beat to shit, its easy, all too easy, to say “Fuck it” and just pop in Hot Fuzz for the 97th time. Something known, something easy, something that’ll make you feel good. It’s not so easy to say, “Well lets pop on the Wreckmeister Harmonies!” And yet, as soon as the love for the new, for the challenge, dies so does a vital part of the film lover.
The Unseen acts as an inoculation against this. The films watched aren’t necessarily “tough” but they are things I haven’t been engaged with before. And that simple thing can be invaluable.
So without further ado here’s 37 things I’ve learned from the Unseen. I keep promising to get this thing on a regular schedule, and I definitely want to be more consistent with it. But I almost feel as though that would defeat the purpose of the column. And besides I would miss the big pile in my writing room, a constant dare to dive into uncharted waters.
1. Without question the best and closest shave will be delivered by the man whose son you just murdered.
2. Nothing turns a woman on more then leaving her to enjoy the post coital bliss by herself in an abandoned house.
3. Christopher Lee wears a gimp mask for reasons other then sexual satisfaction. I don’t know if this is more or less disturbing.
4. Detroit is a shithole.
5. You can resurrect anyone with a flaming stream of dog piss.
6. Birthday Cake can fuck you up.
7. Finding out you’re gay is exactly like finding out you have a burnt child molester inside of you.
8. Never underestimate the power of dull.
9. Those Nazi guys were pretty fucked up.
10. Never allow the corpse of Lillian Gish to ruin your social engagements.
11. Ogami Itto will
straight up motherfucking end you.
12. For a man who made Nashville and Prairie Home Companion Altman chose a surprisingly shitty band to make a movie about.
13. Robert Mitchum is a fucking pimp.
14. Werner Herzog can make you feel sorry for Steven Zahn.
15. Frankenstein’s Monster has a heretofore unknown propensity for Pimp Coats.
16. David Cronenberg might have some issues with women/the human race as a whole.
17. Maybe I should just accept the fact that I don’t particularly like Monte Helleman. I’m sorry.
18. Boiled Rice can give a man one hell of a boner.
19. If you drive a huge bright yellow crane up to a prison in Britain, no one will notice.
20. The family that warshes each other in a bathtub while defending each other from accusations of gang rape stays together!
21. Dario Argento really can’t make good movies anymore.
22. The Philippines is the place where dignity goes to die.
23. Robert Duvall will straight up end you.
24. Mankind is destined to be replaced by Cats and Dogs. One of whom will evolve into a an exact replica of Lou Reed. This Replica will summon a space demon. That space demon will be Iggy Pop.
25. Happy people freak out Herzog.
26. When Anti God possess you, you will be compelled to put on pancake makeup and hit people with planks.
27. The way to
become the ultimate swordsman is to fall asleep during your duels.
28. Clint Eastwood can appear in a
boring unfocused movie that’s not City Heat.
29. Roger Corman can apparently block traffic in major European cities at his discretion.
30. Edgar Allen Poe and God are totally homeys.
31. Paul Newman can box the shit out of you,
32. When trying to intimidate someone its best not to attempt it at a place where your subject has several Ravenous Pitbulls at their disposal.
33. Its possible to have Paul Newman, Lee Marvin, and Terrence Malick collaborate on a movie that has no value at all.
34. You will indeed pay the cost to be the boss.
35. Man nobody did forbidden like the fifties.
36. Pimp Vs. Vampires. Vampires win.
37. Toshiro Mifune can have enlightenment beaten into him.