Re: Tarantino and the whole "Hateful Eight" situation
Yeah, it sucks that he’s not going to make the movie now. Maybe he will down the road, but whatever.
The thing that sticks out to me is the fact that he’s thinking of either turning the screenplay into a novel or just publishing the screenplay as is in a book format. That’s a great idea, but Tarantino should go one step further. He should just open the drawer of unfinished stuff/unproduced screenplays and put it all out as a book. Tarantino has mentioned that he’s had so many ideas for films before, but the ideas just vanished. Maybe he put something onto paper, maybe he didn’t, but if he did and he feels comfortable enough to share, put it all out there in a book. Basically, Tarantino should do a Taschen style book of his archives. Just wipe the creative slate clean and start fresh again.
I thought about this other day because I was on Tinder (because I want to see if people I work with were on Tinder; instead I saw Mindy Kaling and people who were 5’7”) and it’s like unless you make some bitchy comment in your profile, nobody knows what your diet restrictions are like. Like they need a Vegan/Vegetarian dating site, but not exactly this.
I recently looked over the collection of year end lists and I made some glaring omissions of great stuff. So …
Nathan for You” was a very entertaining television program this year. Good on Comedy Central for breaking it back for another season in 2014.Nathan Fiedler was responsible for one of my favorite Best Show moments this year (When David Rees called in to tell his Shingles story and Fielder just laughed really hard about it)
Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain and Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell were on the shortlist for the best films of the year list.
Best International Instagram Cat: Musashi Best Domestic Instagram Cat: Charlie
Best Goal of the Year: Alexis Sanchez’s goal in the match against Real Madrid.
So, I burned a CD this morning to listen while driving around because I’ve been having some problems with syncing music onto my old phone (and fingers crossed: hopefully not on my new phone which it’s doing as I type). In other words, I had no music to listen other than the radio.
It was kind of weird/interesting to see what was in my car’s long dormant CD changer after all of these years. It was: Joanna Newsom’s “Have One on Me” spread over two CDS, a mix CD from an ex girlfriend, the Gonjasufi album (which still holds up really well) and the Freeway & Jake One album. I can safely I had not used my CD player since February or March 2010.
There’s a rhetorical question that I have to ask at the end of each year: was it a good year for film? Of course, it was. With the emergence of Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, A24, Magnolia, and Roadside Attractions, there is a chance for the oddball film to squeak its way into the world. Then there’s Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime. People will be able to see something like Mud and Short Term 12 instead of stuffing their face with The Avengers again. Well, that might be asking too much.
Yet what defined 2013 for me was the small, but mighty powerful ‘fuck backstory’ movement. Ridley Scott’s The Counselor did not really work for me, but writer Cormac McCarthy and Ridley Scott said “fuck it,” and started the story where it felt right. No need to spin the wheels in the muds trying to answer any questions the audience might have. The crown jewel of the ‘fuck backstory’ movement so far has to be JC Chandor’s All is Lost. Robert Redford is a man stranded in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Not a lot of dialogue. No flashbacks. It’s just a man trying to survive and make it another day. Life and death., the highest stakes imaginable, in terms of screenwriting.
Even though All is Lost did not make the final ten best cut, I want to believe that going forward, it’s possible for a film like this to co exist in the cinematic marketplace. There needs to be an equal amount of small character driven films next to the action movie (well, not necessarily next door to each other because the sound from the action movie would most likely be heard inside the small character driven film theater). It is possible. Anything is possible.
With that out of the way, let’s boogie!
The Ten Best Films of 2013:
10. Pacific Rim (Dir: Guillermo del Toro)
9. Only God Forgives (Dir: Nicolas Winding Refn)
8. Gravity (Dir: Alfonso Cuaron)
7. Tie: Frances Ha (Dir: Noah Baumbach) and Inside Llewyn Davis (Dir: The Coen Brothers)
5. Her (Dir: Spike Jonze)
4. Spring Breakers (Dir: Harmony Korine)
3. The Wolf of Wall Street (Dir: Martin Scorsese)
2. 12 Years A Slave (Dir: Steve McQueen)
1. The Act of Killing (Dir: Joshua Oppenheimer)
This Is The End (Dir: Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg)
Prince Avalanche (Dir: David Gordon Green)
Short Term 12 (Dir: Destin Cretton)
You’re Next (Dir: Adam Wingard)
Nebraska (Dir: Alexander Payne)
Special Award of Recognition & Honor:
Possession (Dir: Andrzej Zulawski)
Dredd (Dir: Pete Travis)
Universal Solider: Day of Reckoning (Dir: John Hyams)
Brie Larson, Short Term 12
Ryan Gosling, The Place Beyond The Pines
Adele Exarchopoulos, Blue Is The Warmest Color
Jake Gyllenhaal, Prisoners
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Sharni Vinson, You’re Next
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
The cast of Spring Breakers
Best Use of Hats:
Rooney Mara, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
Olga Kurylenko, To The Wonder
The Harris Savides Award for Excellence in Cinematography:
Harris Savides, for the Audrina Patridge House break in sequence in The Bling Ring
Benoit Debie, Spring Breakers
Emmanuel Lubezuki, Gravity
Best Boston Accent:
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Best Paycheck Performance:
Michael Shannon, Man of Steel
Kind of a Mess, Still Kind of Good:
The Evil Dead (2013)
White House Down
Worst Film of the Year:
A Good Day to Die Hard
The “Chill Out, Ryan Reynolds” Award for Most Over Exposed Actor:
A few weeks I wrote that I didn’t have it in me to recap the year in embarrassing moments in popular culture and the actually important/interesting people from the year. With Barbara Walters retiring this year and being me a 75 year old man, I didn’t have an idea of who the actually interesting people of the year would be. Not to mention, I wasn’t sure if I would have the time to summarize everything as well as devote the right amount of attention to the annual year in film spiel.
Well, it appears that everything fell in the right place and here we are… This particular review will cover the following topics: music, podcasts, television, dogs from Instagram, personal and sports.
Favorite Album: “Pain Is Beauty” by Chelsea Wolfe
I stumbled into this album and Chelsea Wolfe at FYF Fest this year. I had time to kill in between The Orwells and How To Dress Well so I walked to the far left side of Los Angeles State Historic Park; I didn’t know what exactly to expect, but I saw some people wearing Deafheaven t-shirts and Latino teenagers. It had to be the right place. I was transfixed by Wolfe’s performance and have been eternally kicking myself for leaving early to get a spot for How To Dress Well (who were incredibly disappointing). I had “Pain Is Beauty” on repeat all through September as I was entering a transitional phase. It really helped me get through that.
Other favorite albums: “Sunbather” by Deafheaven, “Rap Album One” by Jonwayne, “Dissed and Dismissed” by Tony Molina, S/T by Fuzz and “After Dark 2” from the Italians Do It Better label.
My music listening habits changed a lot this year. I didn’t have that hour to two hours at the gym every other day that I used to have. I listen to too many podcasts and my ADHD got in the way at times.
Weirdly being a vegetarian affected my music taste this year as well. I started to listen to early hardcore and some Youth Crew hardcore because I felt that it would help me stay on the vegetarian. I can apply the meaning of all these straight edge anthems to my decision to stop eating meat. Somebody asked me about the new Daft Punk album and I told him that I was too busy listening/catching up on Void to really sink my teeth into “Random Access Memories”. Maybe in 2014, I’ll finally give it a second chance.
Best Live Performance: Thee Oh Sees at FYF Fest.
I don’t get out to as many concerts/shows as I used/would like to. Even if I went to more shows, I would still say that Thee Oh Sees were the best live band I saw. What makes a performance great for me is the gut reaction afterwards. If the thought of quitting my job and entirely uprooting my life just to follow that particular band on tour is the first thing that pops up, then it was a great show. I think I had that thought mid way through their set.
Sadly, that might’ve been the last time to see Thee Oh Sees for a while. : (
Granted not every band is going to have the freedom of TCGS and public access television, but every band should be like this.
It is difficult to make a best podcast list because I think all of the podcasts that I listen to are the best ones! This segment is more of: why aren’t you listening to “How Was Your Week with Julie Klausner”, “Stop Podcasting Yourself”, “The Fogelnest Files”, “I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman”, “The K Ohle with Kurt Braunohler, “Girls in Hoodies”, “Uhh Yeah Dude”, “How Did This Get Made?”, “Low Times” and “Go Bayside!”?
There’s always going to be a moment in “Uhh Yeah Dude” where Seth Romatelli says something that makes me lose my mind. I missed an exit on the freeway because I was laughing too much at “Stop Podcasting Yourself”. I learned about the pop star wars from “Girls in Hoodies”. Podcasts are important. They can save your life. Granted, if you have the time in your day for a podcast.
I will have to admit that due to podcast overload I’ve been dipping out on some episodes of “WTF with Marc Maron”. It’s not that I don’t like the show, it’s just I have to pick and choose what I want to hear.
And of course, The Best Show on WFMU ended it’s run like the 95/96 Chicago Bulls. Tom didn’t let the show become some stagnant thing, it evolved and became something different. It’s hard to imagine the show without its sound collages. It’s only the beginning for Scharpling & Wurster.
It’s hard to write a year in review/best of list when the things you want to champion are in a state of flux. “The Chris Gethard Show,” my favorite TV show will shoot a pilot for Comedy Central in January. If it goes, there will be more TCGS in 2014. Hopefully. Fingers crossed. Toes crossed too. If doesn’t, who knows what will happen to the show.
I haven’t seen a show that manages to be completely honest (for example when TCGS panelist Murph proposed to his girlfriend) and chaotic (for example Conor O’Malley’s reoccurring character, Beast Masturbator). It treads a fine line and can completely shift at any moment. Imagine “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” at its pinnacle, but ten times better.
It seems so long ago that “Breaking Bad” ended its run. Does that say something about how disposable everything has become in the social media age? Or more of a by product of how much we over hyped and endless talked about how important and significant the show? Wait, am I contradicting myself here? I feel like I am; I guess what I want to say is that when something reaches a saturation point like “Breaking Bad” did after its second season/arrived on Netflix Instant, we don’t necessarily need to hammer the point everybody needs to see this show or catch up in time for the next season. If people don’t catch onto the show, then fuck ‘em. There’s a certain point where you have to leave them behind.
ESPN FC reminds me a lot of TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” but with soccer highlights. Craig Burley is like a Scottish Charles Barkley. It’s fun. Tune in if you want to get into soccer (which you should) or prepare yourself when you tune into the World Cup during the summer.
Other Good Shows:
"Key & Peele"
"Parks & Rec"
"Orange Is The New Black"
"The Eric Andre Show"
The biggest change for me in television is that I’ve managed to get over my disdain for Jay Leno. It seems like I only have one celebrity enemy left in the world: Josh Gad.
I know that I’m in the minority, but I don’t see television as the last great remaining American art form. There are good shows out there, but nothing can compare to film. Maybe I’m not watching the right shows or I’ve chosen to watch basketball or soccer instead.
Dogs of Instagram
This will be brief or at least, I’ll try to be brief. The Dogs of Instagram have had a great year thanks to Instagram Video. Now, we can get videos of French Bulldogs snoring, Boston Terriers spazzing out and Shiba Inus howling at various things.
At the same time, it’s been a weird because I believe one of my favorite dog gangs, The Three Musketeers: Rex, Dip, and, Moss have broken up or at least, their owners go to the dog park at different times now. It’s a bummer because they were such a cool gang. Maybe they’ll get back together in the new year. Paws crossed.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: time sure seems to be fly by when you’re not having fun. This was really the first year where I thought to myself didn’t that thing happened a couple of weeks, but it was back in April. Does that just come naturally when you get older? No more extended summer vacations? You just plug along then that’s it.
It seems as if the vegetarian lifestyle agrees with me as I’ve manage to lose nearly 30 pounds so far. It wasn’t easy at first, but it can be done. I feel like it’s something people should try at least for a month.
I’m still just as irrational as I’ve ever been. I was dating a girl a couple of months and I feel like one of the reasons why I broke things off was that she didn’t think Hatch aka Dog Iver aka Japanese Jesus wasn’t that special. That wasn’t the absolute reason, but it helped me make the right decision.
I developed this theory about relationships last year, but I didn’t really want to talk about it because Universal Studios used the song in the trailers for This Is Forty. You know the song, “What Is Life?” by George Harrison? You have to be with someone that makes you feel like that song. Life is too short to settle and say, “well, I’m not getting any younger.” Fuck that shit. Find the right thing for you, but don’t settle.
Fight for the good things in life.
Being a sports fan, especially if you wear each victory on your shelve and carry each defeat on your back like a bag of bricks, is a horrible existence that I would not wish upon any one. Then again, a life without sports is a life without excitement and fun.
It’s too early in the season to talk about Barcelona’s season, but I like what Gerardo “Tata” Martino has done so far with the team. I wish Thiago hadn’t gone to Bayern Munich in the summer because he would’ve such a great fit for Tata.
Regarding basketball, it’s fascinating to watch the Lakers and Clippers act out a body switch movie in real life. The cavalcade of injuries that have hit the Lakers seems like something that would have plagued the Clippers a couple of years ago (remember when Baron Davis was on the Clippers?) and the Clippers getting the right coach, I don’t know…