Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Pressing Flesh

Hey, I'll be out around town doing a couple of events in July. If you've got the opportunity to come out and say hey, please do.

First up I'll be at Left Bank Books on July 19 for A Midsummer Night's Creep along with Fred Venturini, Kea Wilson and Josh Woods. If you've attended N@B events before you know what you're signing up for with Fred & Josh and as I've been at all of them that kinda makes me intimidated by Kea. Anyhow, I'll be doing my best to showcase my worst through the actions of my characters.

And then!

Only about a week later I'll be reading at the return of N@B-St. Louis also featuring Max Booth III, Jen Egan, Amanda Gowin, Chris Orlet, Scott Phillips and Tawny Pike. At at least one of these events I'll be reading from a brand new short story (Little White Lines) appearing in the anthology Blood & Gasoline edited by Mario Acevedo. If you're a follower of news in St. Louis you may recognize the return of my antagonist from Have You Seen Me? which appeared in St. Louis Noir a couple years ago. If you're a reader who tracks down all my shit and makes connections between the stories you may want to get a new hobby, but you'll probably pick up on the main character being the same as the narrator of The Plot which appeared in Shotgun Honey Presents: Locked and Loaded (Both Barrels vol. 3).

Can't wait to see you there.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Damage Done

I've got a new regular gig blathering about movie shows on the Do Some Damage podcast. Every couple of weeks I'll talk to host Steve Weddle about a couple of related films he's almost certainly never seen (he never sees any). I'll share space with Chris Holm talking about music and Holly West on TVs.
For my first segment I talked about Lynne Ramsay's You Were Never Really Here based on the novella by Jonathan Ames about an ex-soldier who makes a living finding trafficked children and killing their abductors with a hammer. It's stylish and super cool and could be the standard bearer for this type of gritty avenging angel fare for years to come. It's muscular and masculine, but it's a far cry from a lot of similarly concerned macho pulp. Props to Ames's fantastic book, but the hero who made a fucking amazing movie here is Ramsay.

So, for my second pick I wanted to highlight another film made by a woman in a male-dominated genre. I thought about looking at badass shit from Kathryn Bigelow or Ida Lupino, but chose instead to look at Elaine May's 1976 crime hangout-picture Mikey & Nicky starring John Cassavetes and Peter Falk as a couple of at-odds buddies spending a night in Philadelphia trying to avoid getting whacked by Ned Beatty.
Like You Were Never Really Here, Mikey & Nicky is concerned with masculinity - male friendships and conflict as well as their attitudes toward women and sex. It's a picture deserving the conversational company of peers like Husbands, Mean Streets or The Killing of a Chinese Bookie.

The first episode is available now and I'll be back in a couple weeks with thoughts on another pair of somehow-related crime pictures (one new, one older). If you tune in, I'll try to include information on where you can find my (older) picks streaming. Mikey & Nicky is currently streaming on Filmstruck.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

This Monkey's Gone to Eleven (Plus One)

Hey nerds here's me on The Projection Booth podcast talking with Mike White and Tony Black (not the Tony Black usually name-dropped on this blog) about Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys. I had a good time talking to those two and in preparation for the conversation did a lot of movie watching. Here's a quick list of films I used the upcoming podcast as an excuse to watch:
Hey nerds,

In the 'directed by Terry Gilliam' category

Time Bandits


The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

The Fisher King

Twelve Monkeys

Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas


The Brothers Grimm

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

The Zero Theorem

plus assorted short films

in the 'written by David Webb Peoples' category

Blade Runner

The Blood of Heroes

Fatal Sky (aka Projekt: Alien)





Lost in La Mancha - Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe's 2002 documentary about Gilliam's doomed production of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (starring Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort - congrats to Gilliam and company for finally realizing that story starring Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce)

La Jetée Chris Marker's short film that inspired Twelve Monkeys

Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo which influenced Gilliam and Peoples as well as Marker.

and Rian Johnson's Looper another time travel thriller only this time starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Bruce Willis because Twelve Monkeys Bruce is such a different performance than say Hudson Hawk Bruce I thought it'd be illuminating to watch somebody else point out all the mannerisms and tics that make him such a recognizable on screen presence. (Supposedly Gilliam gave Bruno a list of a dozen or so tics and crutches he was not allowed to use in Twelve Monkeys)

Finally, I checked out the first season of 12 Monkeys the TV show, but turned it off after only a couple of episodes because it clearly wasn't going to be anything like the film. I got the impression that it was a time-travel spec script somebody re-titled 12 Monkeys aaaaand I think that's probably exactly what happened. Probably a fine show on its own, but didn't suit my purposes - though I wish I'd seen the latter-season episode with a guest starring Madeleine Stowe.

On the episode Mike has a separate interview with Dahlia Schweitzer, author of Going Viral.

And check out Tony's X-Files podcast The X-Cast for more from him.

Thanks, Mike, for having me again on The Projection Booth - what a great show.