Saturday, December 30, 2006


Strap yourself in for the latest Retro Bollywood mindblower - from the film Teesri Manzil (1966); this is very Powell/Pressburger.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Hussein Swings

Saddam Hussein is still alive at the time of this writing, but he's scheduled to be executed in a couple of hours. CNN is on in the background - they switched from Gerald Ford retrospectives to this story, and their coverage is shaping up to be a ghastly version of a New Year's Eve countdown - I'm waiting for the clock to start ticking down to 10 pm tonight, dawn in Baghdad, the time of the hanging.

I'm sure Hussein, the self-styled Braveheart of the Middle East, would choose martyrdom of a more spectacular nature (drawn and quartered? strapped onto a scud missile launched into Israel? crushed by a giant apple?) than a simple rope snapping his neck, outlaw style, but that's how the Iraqi government wants it. Low key.

Then there will be the aftermath. I remember when his sons Uday and Qusay were blown up in a firefight a while back, and footage of their bashed-in corpses were broadcast right afterwards, the excuse given that, well, in the Arab world, the people there would never believe they were really dead unless the evidence were thrust in their collective face. Right. So why execute this man during Islamic religious holidays? Perhaps they'll broadcast the whole thing live on Al-Jeezy, in Smell-o-vision®.

Last week I saw some promos from a new pseudo-controversial CBC sitcom called Little Mosque on the Prairie, which looks like a multi-cultural spin on the Corner Gas formula - the bumper-sticker marketing campaign describes the show as 'Coming Sunni' and 'Halal-arious'. May I join in? 'It looks like Shiite!'

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Be A Mindstalker

Can you still buy Tab?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I Have So Much Sorrow

French Pop Wednesdays claps it's hands and says "oui" with a jaunty pas de trois belted out by Annie Philippe - "J'ai Tant de Peine".

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Black Caesar

Maybe it was because he died on Christmas Day, but the passing of James Brown seems like a cultural afterthought - his death was the subject of a minute or two obituary halfway through the broadcast on the nightly news; they didn't even fade to black at the end of the piece, they just went on to the next story. I highly doubt if Bob Dylan had died on Christmas Day the coverage would have been as slight. But Brown was Dylan, Bach and Beethoven.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Cinq Coins

It's strange that Tony Bill's Five Corners has vanished into obscurity. It was a major Christmas release in 1987 for the arthouse scene, with a cast of young actors on the cusp of major fame; Jodie Foster, Tim Robbins and John Turturro. It wasn't a hit, but it had a lot of name recognition at the time, not least because it was written by John Patrick Shanley, who would win the Oscar for the other film he wrote that year, Moonstruck. He seemed like a major new screenwriter at the time.

Five Corners was tough to market: here's a one sentence summary of the film I just found on the internet machine:
A rapist gets out of jail and returns to his old neighborhood in the Bronx, setting off a series of events that bring together his victim, her boyfriend, a pacifist, two wise-cracking cops, an algebra teacher killed by an arrow and other assorted eccentrics.
So yes, escalating weirdness, and yet grounded firmly in impeccable production design that recalls photos from Look and Life magazines of the period (1964, the Bronx). It made for a very memorable film... actually I'm almost afraid to see it again in case it's not as good as I recall...

But there's no point in grabbing it in its present condition. Cannon put it out on home video in the nineties but they must have lost the rights along the road to ruin, for in the last days of the VHS era and into the DVD era, myriad public domain releases of Five Corners started popping up in discount movie bins at Wal-Mart, etc, most likely all mastered from a ninth-generation VHS dub. Not even the cast was enough for a major player to grab that one when the rights came into the market? I'm sure you can buy a fine quality version in France...

Pop Pop

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A French Pop Christmas

French Pop Wednesdays brings you frankincense, myrhh and more gold from the Dim Dam Dom vaults. Noël à Vaugirard, from 1966. A French Pop all-star cast tells the story of Christmas. Kind of. Starring Serge Gainsbourg as Joseph, Chantal Goya as Mary, and Jacques Dutronc rocking out in a room full of slabs of beef and dancing nuns. You read that right.

Joyeux Noël!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Don't Stop Till You Amitabh

My last Bollywood clip got the big gundown at the Youtube Corral a day after I linked to it, so to make up for it, here's the one and only Amitabh Bachchan from the Bollywood thriller Gangaa Jamunaa Saraswathi. Here Amitabh gives a masterclass on the art of Bringing It On.

Best of Summer 1989

Smooth Operators Are Standing By

I'm not sure where this clip was taken from (a Quebec telethon?) but sacré fils! Homegrown French Pop! Michéle Richard rocks the biggest kangol I've ever seen in my life while belting out "J'Ecoutais La Mer". Is it too late to donate?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Vinyl Fantasy

This jawdropping sci-fi disco number hails from the Bollywood musical Karz (1980).

You Won't Believe Your Mind

File under Super Inframan...

Friday, December 08, 2006

La Fievre Du Samedi Soir

Worked out pretty well for Stephané Dion, but the Quebecois icon I would have encouraged to run for the Liberal Party leadership would have been Guy LaFleur. For some reason he chose not to; was he afraid the disco album would come back to haunt him?

(Thanks for the headz, Tim!)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Jazz Bar

We've all heard about how John Woo drew inspiration for his dynamic Hong Kong action melodramas of the late eighties on the films of Jean-Pierre Melville, Sam Peckinpah and Douglas Sirk, but no one mentions what seems to me to be a key influence on his work - a music video that must have been in heavy rotation on MTV Asia - 'The Captain of Her Heart', by Swiss or Austrian (or Dutch?) one-hit wonders Double (pronounced doo-blay). Actually, I wouldn't be surprised to find out Woo directed it.

Dutronc Dutronc Dutronc !

French Pop Wednesday thinks, therefore... I forget. That's life.

Jacques Dutronc sings 'Et Moi Et Moi Et Moi' en direct. I've said it before and I'll say it again - what's the point of having a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame if Dutronc's not in there? He's been eligible for more than 15 years.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What's Your Game Now, Can Anybody Play?

French Pop Wednesday covers The Hollies with Clo-Clo this week.

This is the strongest argument for the colour 'beige' I've ever seen in my life.

And proof that it's time for that Dim Dam Dom DVD box set.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Sustained Look at the Caruso Style

Enjoy this while it lasts...

Help! Truck Driver

French Pop Wednesdays is driving an 18-wheeler this week, answering Jane Birkin's distress signal. We told her to lie on the piano and wait for us.

(Merci, Pollyscake!)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bond Shoots First

In anticipation of Casino Royale overtaking For Your Eyes Only as the gayest Bond movie ever, here's a chronological look at the evolution of the Bond Gunbarrel Opening. My notes below.

Seeing them in order, it occurs to me that the various Bonds all have very telling Bond Themes.

Connery's era is the most straight-ahead in terms of the delivery we have in our heads when we think of the theme - the huge horn opening and string section with the twang guitar lead and the loud gunblast. It was first messed with on You Only Live Twice, where they gave the theme a vaguely Eastern spin. George Lazenby's only theme is really wimpy - flutes and an Moog synthesizer; perhaps Jean-Jacques Perrey was in charge of the orchestration. Diamonds Are Forever goes back to the formula but does so in brassy, ballsy Hazlewood style.

Roger Moore's era is a travesty across the board. Live and Let Die leaves the twang guitar to compete with its successor: a flabby horn section, which here play comedy-style, almost like the Tijuana Brass. Plus Bond isn't wearing a hat! And he holds his gun in both hands! The Man With The Golden Gun sounds like James Last. The Spy Who Loved Me brings back the twang guitar at least but then has the crappest ending of them all. Moonraker sounds like background music from Hart to Hart. For Your Eyes Only is the only disco cowbell opening. Octopussy sounds like they had to slow things down to keep up with Moore as he walked across the screen. A View To A Kill has a fucking oboe playing lead.

Dalton's themes are bi-polar. The Living Daylights sticks to the symphonic Moore formula; if anything it's even more woodwind-reliant. And then comes License To Kill; the twang guitar must be here because it was already sitting in the kitchen sink.

Brosnan's intros are mostly in bad taste. Goldeneye is the most blatant reimagineering - pure mid-90's minimalist eurotrash synthwash. The only one that sticks to the classic Bond intro formula is the last one and even it has been drowned out by techno beats. The crap CGI bullet flying at you is the cherry on the cake.

How they start off Casino Royale will be interesting to see after watching this. And will Craig wear a hat?

(Neat-o, SexBeatle!)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Il Fait Beau Dans Le Metro

The Musical

The Documentary

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Throw Pillows

French Pop doesn't get much french poppier than this - Françoise sings Gainsbourg. Dim Dam Dom strikes again. And the kids in the back of the room? They're alright.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Barry Ryan Brings It On

A lesson in showmanship, courtesy of Barry Ryan, belting out "Eloise" on the West German show Beat-Club in 1968. Good luck getting this song out of your head.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Goodbye, Rummy

It's a start, anyway.

This is how I'll always remember him.

Oh, Sheila

French Pop Wednesday kicks out the gams with some more Dim Dam Dom - this is Sheila kickin' it like Cleo from 5 to Expo 67.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Would You Like to Buy an O?

Two vital DVD releases of late...

Available at finer bookstores everywhere is the latest issue of a quarterly DVD compendium called Wholphin, Dave Eggers' new baby, with Oscar-nominated shorts and such. I'll get around to it. The reason I had to grab it on sight is because it comes bundled with a very compelling bonus disc - the first part of Adam Curtis' three hour BBC series The Power of Nightmares, a dense, brilliant documentary chronicling the rise of both American neo-conservatism and radical Islamic fundamentalism in the face of the end of the Cold War, and how they both work to manufacture the threat of terror in their respective kingdoms to maintain power. It aired on CBC Newsworld last year but it would never in a million years be shown on American public television; the critique is just too intense. It's also unlikely to be officially released on DVD, not so much for its content as for the rights clearance and licensing headaches; the visuals are densely assembled from sources as far-flung as newsreels, international propaganda and period tv commercials, and the soundtrack is all source material including John Barry, Ennio Morricone and even some John Carpenter synthery! This stealth release in Wholphin (hopefully to be done in all three installments) may likely be the way to go to have a copy of your own.

Also quietly released recently - the answer to my prayers. Sesame Street Old School, Volume 1, 1969-1974 is seven hours of retro Sesame Street - 5 complete episodes as they aired more than thirty years ago (starting back to when PBS was NET) and dozens of extra skits and cartoons. Great idea. Now when is someone going to put a box set of retro television commercials out?

Healthy Looking Skin™

Ein Film von Tony Scott

Regular readers of the TT-P know that I'm a big Tony Scott fan from way back. His latest, Déjà Vu, sounds like a step back from Scott's hyperbolic subject matter of late (one-man death squads and babealicious bounty hunters); this one is a time-travel cop thriller starring Denzel Washington and Val Kilmer. I will lay even money this film ends with a small room filled with people chaotically firing guns at one another.

In anticipation of Déjà Vu, let's travel back in time together to view the not-for-broadcast director's cut of one of Tony the Tiger's early works, the Glenn Frey/Don Johnson Pepsi commercial from 1985.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Popcorn and Sticky Floors

I have been invited by fellow film scholar and man-about-town Colin Geddes to contribute to an exciting new blog called Popcorn and Sticky Floors, which pays tribute to some rich cinematic traditions that are falling by the wayside in the multiplex mentality of modern moviegoing - the golden age of grimy single-screen theatres playing lurid double (and triple) bills in seedy neighbourhoods. Trailers, posters, photos, memories. Anyone who ever read Sleazoid Express will know what they're in for here.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Noir est Blanc et Blanc est Noir

French Pop Wednesdays goes through the looking glass this week with something you probably thought you'd never see - Jodie Foster fluently covering Serge Gainsbourg, with the help of Clo-Clo himself, the late Claude Francois. I think if they are able to get enough momentum going on that swing they can do a 360 degree loop and enter another dimension.

(You talkin' to me, Absentreferent?)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Stuntin' Like My Daddy

What is with this album cover? It looks like the cover to the soundtrack for a John Woo ripoff directed by John Singleton. Bonus points to the H-Town Art Department for rendering the Godfather font in Bling. I hope they have a Best Ringtone category at the Source Awards.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Bollywood Caravan

My tribute to Retro Bollywood continues - here's something from the musical Caravan (1972) - featuring Helen rocking it to some Asha Bhosle playback, all on a fabulously artificial rooftop set. But I'm telling you, if I were the bartender she'd be CUT OFF!

(Clip courtesy of the fine people at Raymondo1960)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Super Inframan Returns

Finally! A domestic release of one of my very favourite insane action films on DVD - The Super Inframan, 1975's Hong Kong ripoff of Japan's Ultraman, which I knew as Infra-Man when growing up. Back at the 1979 TIFF (back when it was the Festival of Festivals) Infra-Man was shown as part of the amazing 'Buried Treasures' sidebar, programmed by no less a man than Roger Ebert, who knows camp when he sees it.

The film can best be described as a cross between a sci-fi kung-fu monster movie and an episode of H.R. Puf'n'Stuf. Ebert described the titular hero (played by future HK star Danny "Inspector" Lee) as "a bionic combination of Bruce Lee, Superman and a pocket calculator". He saves the world from the evil Princess Dragon Mom and her army of demons, including bad guys in skeletal suits on motorbikes, a giant blob on legs and robots with fists that fly off their arms on springs.

Super Inframan came out a year or so ago in Asia as part of Celestial Pictures' massive restoration and DVD release of the entire Shaw Brothers catalogue - the Region 3 version was only in Cantonese and Mandarin. But the fine people at Image Entertainment picked up the rights to about 70 Shaw titles for NTSC release, including this one, and have in their wisdom included the crazy English language track for our version. It's probably the only film I prefer to watch dubbed.

Here's a Bin Laden-esque transmission from Princess Dragon Mom, culled from the old panned-and-scanned VHS - now imagine this presented in full-blooded ShawScope! Run, don't walk...

Thanks, Avary!

Rourke and Pinion Steering

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Serge Suppressor

French Pop Wednesday has a question for Serge Gainsbourg: "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"

Here he is making like the Big Bad Wolf to France Gall's Little Red Riding Hood...'Pauvre Lola', indeed. Reminds me of an exchange from the Gene Hackman movie Night Moves:

"I mean, there oughta be a law!"
"There is."

(Gemear, you love Serge as much as I do...)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Real-Life Bond Villains

Name: Kim Jong Il
AKA: Dear Leader, Lil Kim.
Leader of: North Korea
Running Tings Since: 1994
How Did He Seize Power?: His father died - only communist country with royal succession in effect.
Example of Super-Villainy: Where do I begin?
Pet Peeves: He reportedly wasn't amused by the depiction of him in Team America: World Police.
Fun Fact: Supposedly has a collection of over 20,000 films in his personal library and a harem of babes known as the Joy Brigade. Kidnapped a South Korean filmmaker and forced him to make propaganda epics on behalf of the state.
Awards: One of the films made by the kidnapped filmmaker won a Best Director award at a Czech film festival.
Bond Movie he would have been the bad guy in:You Only Live Twice

Name: Sean Combs
AKA: Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy, Diddy.
Leader of: Bad Boy Records, Sean John apparel
Running Tings Since: 1997
How Did He Seize Power?: His career rose in the immediate aftermath of Notorious B.I.G.'s death - his ghoulish tribute to Biggie "I'll Be Missing You" took the karaokesque use of a Police sample all the way to the top of the charts.
Example of Super-Villainy: Check out this party invite.
Pet Peeves: People who would rather die than vote. People who successfully sue him.
Awards: Hosted the MTV Awards once and announced he would be unveiling his new nom de mic 'Diddy' that evening: "You gonna see that in the entrance. You gonna see that swagger. You gonna see how I'm gonna navigate you through the journey."
Fun Fact: Invented the Remix. And then there's this.
Bond Movie he would have been the bad guy in: Goldfinger or Diamonds Are Forever

Name: Muammar al-Gaddafi
AKA: Mu‘ammar al-Qadhāfī, معمر القذافي, Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (official title)
Leader of: Libya
Running Tings Since: 1969
How Did He Seize Power?: Military coup.
Example of Super-Villainy: Goes around with a phalanx of camo-ed out bodyguard babes, in a possible nod to Professor Griff.
Pet Peeves: Pretty much everybody.
Awards: He gives out awards, recently bestowing upon Hugo Chavez his annual International Human Rights award.
Fun Fact: This year Lionel Richie headlined a concert commemorating the 20th anniversary of Reagan's bombing of Tripoli. The English Opera Company recently mounted a new production based on his life called Gaddafi: A Living Myth.
Bond Movie he would have been the bad guy in: Moonraker

Name: Rupert Murdoch
AKA: The Dirty Digger
Leader of: News Corporation (20th Century Fox, Fox News Channel, Sky Television, HarperCollins publishing, MySpace.)
Running Tings Since: The 1970s.
How Did He Seize Power?: Engulfing and devouring newspapers first in Australia, then Britain and America.
Example of Super-Villainy: Fox News Channel. Bought a house once owned by the Rockefeller family for 44 million dollars. Cash.
Pet Peeves: Liberals, anti-monopoly legislation.
Awards: Named the most influential Australian of all time by the Aussie current affairs magazine The Bulletin - he was heckled at the ceremony.
Fun Fact: The late Dennis Potter named the tumour that killed him 'Rupert' in his honour.
Bond Movie he would have been the bad guy in: Tomorrow Never Dies

Name: Saparmurat Niyazov
AKA: His Excellency Saparmurat Niyazov "Turkmenbashi" President of Turkmenistan and Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers (official title)
Leader of: Turkmenistan
Running Tings Since: 1985
How Did He Seize Power?: Rose up the ranks of the Communist Party. Supported Gorbachev in the final days of the Soviet Union; when Turkmenistan was granted its independence Niyazov retained control of the country.
Pet Peeves: He has banned opera, ballet, beards, long hair, makeup (for television anchors) and gold-capped teeth. Closed all libraries in rural areas.
Example of Super-Villainy: Statues of him are everywhere in the nation - one of them, a giant gold-plated statue of himself that stands in front of the country's largest building, the Neutrality Arch, rotates so it always faces the sun.
Awards: The 'Hero of Turkmenistan' award (5 time winner)
Fun Fact: Criticized the state television network for imposing his face on the screen during broadcasts, saying he found it embarrassing - the network interpreted his statement as a coded warning that they weren't using it enough, ramping up the Turkmenbashi accordingly. Introduced a new calendar in the country with the month of January renamed after him.
Bond Movie he would have been the bad guy in: Die Another Day

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Yesterday or Tomorrow

French Pop Wednesday - Saturday Bonus Beats edition.

Memo to the Criterion Collection: why don't you put Pierre Koralnik's Anna out on DVD? You're doing a nice job with restoring Godard and Truffaut, and that Eric Rohmer box is grand, but I think this obscure TV special from 1967 is key to the Nouvelle Vague - a Gainsbourg soundtrack, Anna Karina and Jean-Claude Brialy as the leads, and this strange cameo from Marianne Faithfull as some form of Trouble, waltzing through a party scene cooing Serge's amazing song 'Hier ou Demain' (AWOL from the official soundtrack).

This eye-popper was once put out on DVD in Japan (now OOP - I got my DVD-R rip of it from the wonderful people at 5 Minutes to Live who stopped carrying it shortly after I scored mine...) - on y va, Criterion!

(Spikedcandy, Je T'aime...)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Dose Huevos, Por Favor

Did you know that Dose is still around?

Remember Dose? It was the daily tabloid for the "urban, intelligent, and fun 18-34 year old" that was launched in 2005 by the CanWest media conglomerate. It offered a mix of irreverent news coverage, smartassy editorial and tons of celebrity coverage, along with Chingy ringtones. They spent a lot of money out of the gate on flashy dispenser boxes on every major intersection in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal, and lavish expenditures on TV and print advertising, making Charles Foster Kane-like predictions that they would lose 5 to 6 million dollars in their first year of publication. But Kane said his papers would go bankrupt in 60 years; Dose stopped publication in the middle of its second (was that why it was called Dose - as in uno, dos?)

And just like how when George H.W. Bush ended his memoirs on that Simpsons episode by saying he had accomplished everything in his first term and didn't need to be re-elected, when Dose announced the end of their newspaper operations, they sent out a press release saying “in this very competitive newspaper market, we feel the printed publication will not produce the financial results we expect over the long term, however, we see a growing product in the Dose online and mobile offering which we will continue to develop.”

I forgot all about Dose until today when I found a link to their on-line operations. They're still around. And apparently "what didn't kill them made them stronger". So how mighty is Dose now that it's Is the news even more irreverent? The editorial even more ballsy? Not sure - when I went to the site I was hit between the eyes with a pop-up window for Molson Canadian Cold Shots (little bullets filled with beer - bad news for the 18-year-old targets in most provinces: you're not old enough), and the top story in their amped-up 'Celebrity' section: how Maggie Gyllenhaal is Tinseltown's Latest Yummy Mommy. There is a link to news (all stories off the wire services) and no editorial to speak of. And ChavMillionaire ringtones for the downloading.

Wake me up in sixty years, Mr. Bernstein.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


French Pop Wednesdays climbs up the Wall of Sound this week, with a leg-up from Françoise Hardy.

Françoise could do no wrong in the sixties, and this is one of her more heart-rending numbers, hailing from her 1967 LP Ma Jeunesse Fout Le Camp (in English it roughly means 'my youth has fucked off' but something is lost in translation...)

Unlike pretty much every other girl singer in France's pop scene at the time, Hardy had direct involvement in writing her own material; this was her final album for her old label Vogue and the first album under her own production company, Asparagus (a joke on her tall, thin physique). The sumptuous arrangements on the album are provided by such luminaries as Charles Blackwell, Jacques Dutronc and John-Paul Jones (yes, that John-Paul Jones). This bit of Spectorian splendour was the hit single. I didn't know there was a video until today, though.

(Merci, Abborna!)

Monday, October 02, 2006

State of Denial

I don't know why the Liberal Media has worked themselves up in a lather over this Mark Foley scandal - according to the White House press secretary, these are just "simply naughty emails" we're talking about here. Come on - Foley was the former co-chair of The Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus in Washington. This is the thanks the man gets? Can the American people please concentrate on the real threats to the nation - the "cut and run" crowd and the gay marriage lobby?

Thank God at least those Diebold machines are in place to correct any mistakes the American voters might make on Election Day.

(As usual, Chris Morris saw this coming...)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

American Hardcore

Otis Redding: an unacknowledged godfather of punk rock. This is from 1967.

(Clip posted by Alquit.)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Who's Your Daddy, NASCAR Dad?

My thanks to Christine for pointing this out...

Deodorant Reviews

Right Guard Xtreme Invisible Solid: Arctic Refresh

Being a big Wu-Tang fan from way back, I figured if this product was good enough for Method Man to do commercials for it, it was "street" enough for me. The ads he and Redman did for this product no doubt led to the short-lived Fox sitcom Method & Red. And no deodorant in the world could cover the rank odour of that one. (The two forgotten shows I keep trying to convince people were real were this one and Robert Mitchum's early-nineties sitcom. But I digress...)

This line of manly, To The Extreme! anti-perspirants are designed for your sweaty, athletic lifestyle, and the least aggressive one in the line is Arctic Refresh. It feels like rubbing a miniature glacier under your arm. This line of deodorants introduced the Power Stripe - a powerful band of green anti-perspirant sheathed in more traditional white compressed powder. I wouldn't say it goes on dry, but I don't recall feeling anything running down the sides of my shirt during my subsequent racquetball game. It's a snow brainer - Arctic Refresh is a blast of fresh chilly air! B-

The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift

Stumbled across this Chav-friendly deodorant at HMV while inquiring if Method & Red: The Complete Series was available on DVD yet. They had racks of this Tokyo Drift deodorant alongside the two Fast and Furious films. Jesus, what would it make you smell like? The interior of a new Mitsubishi? Perhaps the faint tang of pickled ginger?

They certainly do get points for packaging. The container looks exactly like a DVD case. But perhaps the packaging is a bit too clever because try as I might, I couldn't get any of the anti-perspirant out. Nearly tore up my armpits trying.

Worst part: to my admittedly novice nostrils, it smelled like nothing. Is this what they mean when they say these things are odour free? I'm sorry, but Diesel never catch on. Can't recommend it. D-

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Before the Brawl

French Pop Wednesday puts a little too much sugar in your coffee today, thanks to the deadly sweet stylings of France Gall.

France was big in France in the sixties - the standard bearer of the Yé-Yé scene, responsible for some of the more massive hits in the genre. This is from her late sixties album '1968', a tumultous time in Paris, though she sounds unfazed by it, judging by the title of this number: 'Avant La Bagarre'. Her beatnik fighting technique is unstoppable.

And who was the genius who thought to set off her cornsilk-blonde hair against an robin egg blue-toned set? This appearance is from the French TV variety show Dim Dam Dom; so named because it aired on Sundays (Dimanche) and was aimed at the Salut Les Copains crowd (Des Dames et Des [H}ommes).

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bollywood Brings It On: Satyam Shivam Sundaram

To kick off a recurring series of the finest Retro Bollywood clips YouTube has to offer, I'm starting things off with one of the greatest production numbers I've ever seen in my life: an absolutely mindblowing fantasy sequence from Raj Kapoor's 1978 melodrama Satyam Shivam Sundaram. This number looks like it cost 300 zillion dollars (not adjusted for inflation). There is literally too much going on here. Just the way I like it.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Texas Chainsaw Manicure

Opening next Friday - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, which comes along to fill in the backstory as to why a bunch of horny teens got sliced to ribbons by a power-tool-mad hillbilly. Turns out that a few years earlier, another group of horny teens got sliced to ribbons as well (Spoiler alert)!

I saw the trailer for this a couple of weeks ago - I couldn't tell by watching the teaser but apparently this one takes place in the late sixties, though that probably won't preclude it from having some generic crap-metal over the end credits.

This prequel to a remake was produced by Michael Bay, who is actually an unacknowledged master of modern horror - he was already riding a wave of property damage spectacles like Armageddon before the September 11th attacks. I wondered how he would conduct himself in the face of all that - did he not feel even slightly psychically or karmically responsible? How wrong I was - in 2003 he made Bad Boys II, which was practically an Al-Qaeda recruitment film. The film begins with a Klan Rally (complete with Bay's director credit over the image of a burning cross - 100% true!) and ends with the last surviving bad guy being blown to meaty bits by a landmine in front of the prison at Guantánamo Bay (no relation).

Charnel houses like Wolf Creek, Hostel, Saw, The Passion of the Christ and The Hills Have Eyes don't interest me. I'm not a prude - I saw Man on Fire twice in a week! I think it's because I like my pro-torture movies to be served straight up. Eli Roth dressed up Hostel by saying it was supposed to be an allegory/commentary on American foreign policy and attitudes. Whatever, Chomsky. Meanwhile Tony Scott's hero maims and kills half the male population of Mexico to avenge the murder of a little blonde girl who's not even dead (Spoiler alert)!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

French Meltdown

French Pop Wednesdays et la encore, par demande populaire - and things are getting heavy this week.

Léo Ferré was the original aging punk - an old-school chanson singer in the thick of it in May '68 Paris; around then he put out a weird psych-rock poetry album out, recorded with a band called Zoo. This orchestral rendition of 'Avec Le Temps' is charged with anarchic bursts of feedback - I think the microphone was wilting in Ferré's presence.

Do not get into a staring contest with this video of Léo Ferré. You will lose. If his visage seems familiar, that's only because Léo Ferré is for Quebec what Kenny Rogers is for red-state America.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Post Dahlia Report

If only I could tell you The Black Dahlia was worth it after waiting four years for the follow-up to Femme Fatale, but alas, it appears De Palma's heart wasn't in it...for me it never really got off the ground and here's why...

1. Josh Hartnett is a void at the centre of the screen. Why do people keep hiring him as the lead? And why has an actor with the flattest, blandest vocal delivery this side of Harrison Ford been entrusted throughout his career with the job of the narrator (Black Hawk Down, Sin City and now here)? The only time I quite liked Hotnett in a movie was towards the beginning of his career in his role as Trip Fontaine in Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides; the listless film literally kicked into second gear the instant his character showed up.

2. Not enough Aaron Eckhart. Things were looking good at the beginning with Eckhart shambling around with his dim good looks, introduced early as a tough cop with a sideline image within the force as a boxer - De Palma seizes upon an amazing touch that nods to Eckhart's near-caricature handsomeness, outfitting him with a protective mouthplate that renders his goofy smile even more cartoonish - he is the modern equivalent to Russ Meyer's favourite beefcake go-to guy, Charles Napier. But for reasons made unclear in the narrative, he goes bonkers in the face of the Elizabeth Short investigation and gets done in about halfway through by the Phantom of the Paradise guy, both of them falling hard from atop a spiral staircase into a fountain that fills quickly with their blood, just like Tony Montana in Scarface...

3. Fiona Shaw. The acclaimed British stage actress plays Hilary Swank's demented mother in a performance so off-the-scale in its excessive scenery-chomping that I started wondering if De Palma had originally planned to have John Lithgow play the part (Raising Cain, anyone?).

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Carro dos Povos

Turns out Robert Altman's Short Cuts is a remake of a 70's Brazilian car commercial.

(Obrigado, scaramanga1974.)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Haneke Schlemmer

Of all the people...Michael Haneke is going Hollywood.

From the Guardian...

Michael Haneke, director of last year's arthouse smash Caché, has revealed what may be his most controversial film to date: a Hollywood-style remake of his 1997 "anti-thriller" Funny Games. The Austrian film-maker known for his unflinching dissections of violence and middle-class hypocrisy has signed up to direct an English-language version. The film will star Tim Roth and Naomi Watts as a wealthy couple who are trapped and tormented in their Hamptons holiday home by a pair of vicious psychopaths...

Next, I hope, is a remake of Caché starring John Travolta in the Daniel Autueil role; he could be reunited with Kirstie Alley as his wife. But the European title's too artsy - they should call the American version Look Who's Stalking.

Remake, Please

This seems like a dream project for either Michael Bay or Paul Verhoeven.

Rock @ Workforce

Frankie Goes To Hollywood said, when two tribes go to war...

Like most Torontonians, I have had trouble choosing where to go when I need my Gloria Estefan fix. The TV commercial ad war between Toronto's two rival adult contemporary radio stations, CHFI ("Toronto's Lite Favourites") and EZ Rock ("Today's Soft Rock with Less Talk") has been at saturation levels for years now. CHFI's ads are weird enough (now their on-air personalities are doing home invasions), but EZ Rock's commercials are mindblowing. I think some weird CIA splinter group straight out of The Parallax View are the ad agency handling the EZ Rock account. For a while they were like negative political ads, with Leeza Gibbons telling you how lucky you were to have EZ Rock, mentioning you didn't have to worry about their morning team's banter embarassing you, "especially if you're in the car with your kids." Unlike other radio stations, one presumes.

But tonight I saw EZ Rock's new campaign for the first time - and it's weirdness was so amazing I pumped my fist in the air; once my fist came back down, I immediately jammed it into my keyboard to sign up for the EZ Rock @ Workforce. If they draw my name they're going to come by my work to give me my prize. I'll probably get fired on the spot.

Somebody better post that thing on's the Pixar version of American Psycho.

I fear CHFI will have no choice but to respond.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Doesn't Anyone in Hollywood Know How To Play Lemonade?

Snakes on a Plane, the final big movie of the summer, finally came out last weekend and died a surprisingly quiet death, considering its unheard-of name recognition and the ceaseless, web-generated hype. It made 15 million dollars. It narrrowly beat out Talledega Nights for the number one post on the box office chart, pushed through by its late Thursday night special sneak preview numbers. That has to be considered a bit of a shocker. But I saw it coming.

If I was running New Line, I would have rolled it out between April and June; it would have made a fortune! I think that was back when people cared, when people were psyched about the idea. That was back when people would have gone out to see it whether or not all their friends told them it sucked. In fact, I probably would have gone to see it.

Doesn't anyone in Hollywood have a VIC-20? Hasn't anyone ever played Lemonade? If it's going to be hot and sunny next weekend, load up on the lemons and sugar, jack up the selling price and wait for the thirsty people to show up. Don't wait until just before Labour Day.

Let me put it in some perspective. Here are some 2006 releases that had bigger opening weekends than SoaP: Tim Allen's The Shaggy Dog, RV, Barnyard: The Original Party Animals, Little Man and Nanny McPhee. And none of these films had a catchphrase.

Fun fact: Hong Kong crazy man Ronny Yu (The Bride With White Hair) was the original director; he was replaced by David R. Ellis, who directed another film with a ridiculous title: Final Destination 2.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Guilty Until Proven Guilty

A friend of mine said he went to get a coffee this morning and as he passed a news stand, did the first actual spit-take of his life when he saw the sanctimonious front page of today's Toronto Sun.

This morning, the meat puppets on CNN would not let go of the eyewitness accounts of the accused JonBenet Ramsey killer flying business class on Thai Airways, sipping champagne, eating "sumptuous meals" ("sumptuous" airplane food?) and wearing a tie and not wearing handcuffs, etc. I suppose people would have been happy to hear that he was flown over in a box along with the cats and dogs in steerage.

Okay, maybe the guy did it after all and this posting will seem hopelessly naive in a few weeks, once the DNA evidence rolls in pointing to the man's actual guilt.

But look. I saw Force Majeure and some of Brokedown Palace. I think if I was suspected of committing a crime in Thailand, whether or not it was true, especially if the net was closing in, I might confess to something, anything, that would get me immediately hustled back over to North America as opposed to rotting in a Thai prison. Has that not occurred to anyone?

Well at least this story has shut everyone up about not being able to bring hairgel on an airplane, the whole Israel/Hezbollah grudge match, and that NSA wiretapping turning out to be unconstitutional...

Wait a second...has anyone looked in on where Karl Rove spent the 1996 Christmas holidays?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Brian De Palma Joint

Who is the greatest living American filmmaker?

Most people would say Scorsese takes the title, but Casino was more than 10 years ago. Since then he's made the incredibly exhausting Bringing Out The Dead, Gangs of New York, which I actually didn't bother seeing (holding out as I was for the inevitable release of his preferred four-hour cut, although that may never happen at this point and judging by what I've seen from popping in on it on TV, might not be what the world needs now), and The Aviator, which was like a Vanity Fair article come to life but also impersonal. His Dylan documentary was admittedly fine, although I've been told his primary role in the film was to assemble the footage, not to collect it. I saw the trailer for his latest, The Departed, and I fear another DiCaprio-centric disappointment; it doesn't seem to hold a candle to the source material, the zippy Hong Kong policier Infernal Affairs. The trailer even trots out the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter", which is as much of a theme song cliché for Scorsese at this point as "Funeral March of a Marionette" was for Hitchcock.

You want to talk injustice when it comes to the Oscars? Scorsese has been famously robbed for the best director award twice, and I'm not talking about recent years, when he was clearly trying to win it. Meanwhile Brian De Palma, the director who actually discovered Robert De Niro, has never even been nominated.

Granted, in the last fifteen years De Palma has brought us a couple of stinkers (Mission: Impossible and especially Snake Eyes). Mission To Mars isn't ultimately very good either but at least each of these three films has one bravura setpiece.

De Palma has made three of my favourite films. Scarface is so good that not even every episode of 'MTV Cribs' featuring a bone-headed rapper with a framed Tony Montana head-shop poster mounted in his bedroom can take away from it (Scarface is like Star Trek for chavs; their devotion to it brings out something inescapably nerdy in them). It is the fastest three-hour film ever made, and almost the last word on the Reagan eighties. Carlito's Way was a film I saw religiously when it came out. No less an authority than 'Cahiers du Cinema' declared it to be the best film of the nineties. That might be pushing it, but it is wonderful, a Casablanca for this age (we will not speak of the ill-advised prequel he had nothing to do with). And I am a big defender of Femme Fatale, the sleazy, absolutely unhinged Eurotrashcapade that I'm still kicking myself about missing in the theatres. It was the closing night film of the 2002 Toronto film festival, and it must have been great to be in Roy Thomson Hall for the moment De Palma yanked the narrative rug out from under the audience; I'm sure it cleaved the room in twain. This is a director who is in touch with his unconscious.

Anyway, there's a new De Palma film on the way, and though the trailer for The Black Dahlia worried me somewhat (it's being marketed as Untouchable Chinatown Confidential) it does seem to contain the usual De Palma-isms; voyeurism, obsession, murder and dangerous, interchangeable dames, served up with sumptuous visuals and split diopters and blasted through a hall of mirrors. Plus Bulgaria, of all places, stands in for 1940s Los Angeles. That should be worth the price of admission right there. After Femme Fatale, I'm not missing another one in the theatres. I just hope his heart is in it.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Summers

Tout-Gain-Gain Mercredi, y'all...

In 1971, Gainsbourg made a concept album called 'Histoire De Melody Nelson' detailing the doomed love affair between a drunken letch and the young girl he becomes obsessed with (who he first meets by hitting her on her bicycle with his Rolls-Royce); he promoted it with a half-hour TV special in France where he made little chromakey-heavy music videos for each track. Again, this was 1971. Ahh Serge, always on the vanguard.

(Salut, Gemear)

Minister of In-Flight Movies and Stewardesses

This guy must have been the Freddie Laker of pre-revolutionary Iran. The planes of Iran Air flew one mile higher than other airlines. I would have hated to be the guy who was sent out on the wing with a yardstick to make sure.

(via Adfart, courtesy of Dennis "Dr." Oetker)

Sunday, July 16, 2006


This is how they sold waterbeds to the 'cool cats' in 1981.

(Nice one, Love2register...)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Fox News Explains It All To You

I find mideast politics quite confusing. Thank God Fox News is there to clear up matters somewhat. Here's a helpful map of the current situation, as featured on the John Gibson show yesterday. I think I get it now.

(Thanks to Amanda for the headz.)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Gitanes...Moi Non Plus

I've decided French Pop Wednesdays this July is an all-Gainsbourg affair.

This is from some French variety special from 1967, where I guess they just planted Serge down on the set, gave him a pack of smokes and told him which camera to glare at.

The song is 'Initials BB', a tribute to you know who.

(Thanks, pgallagher4!)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

This Scud's For You

America and North Korea might want to get back to the bargaining table - I think I may have discovered some common ground.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

'68 Bonnie & Clyde

with apologies to Beyonce and Jay-Z...accept no substitutes.

Here's one of the classics of French Pop - Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot's mighty 'Bonnie and Clyde', from Bardot's 1968 TV special. I lost count how many Gitanes Serge consumes in this video. I guess Serge was impressed by Arthur Penn's Nouvelle Vague influenced film of the same name (which at one point was actually to be directed by Francois Truffaut).

(Salut, MalkinWatch!)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Turn Around, Bright Eyes...

...there's a Hurra Torpedo right behind you.

(Thanks, Exr!)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Salut, Poupee

The pop culture Prague Spring that YouTube has brought us has just been crushed by the Copyright Tanks: Many clips have been knocked out of the system in the last few days (including my last French Pop Wednesday clip from Antoine, dammit...)

Well, let's see how long you get to watch such things as my latest finding, Michel Polnareff's amazing song La Poupee Qui Fait Non - on the original album track version of this song, the main guitar riff was supposedly played by none other than Jimmy Page, a session musician on a lot of the legendary french pop songs, many of which were actually recorded in London...

What the world needs now is a nice Polnareff boxset.

(Thanks for fighting the good fight, Citycab!)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Monday, June 26, 2006

Brutally Comic, Brutally Tragic: Kings & Queen and the End of the Reps

Toronto is about to undergo a cultural lobotomy at the end of the week. Four of the five theatres in the Festival Cinemas repertory theatre chain will close this Friday (June 30th), including the Revue, which has been open since the 1910s, and the Royal, an art-deco-tinged jewel, where I once had the privilege to show my feature-length tribute to late night commercials, Infomercial Night. These theatres were home to more than just second-run movies - they were used by smaller film festivals and such beloved institutions as my friend Colin's Kung Fu Fridays screening series. It just got a little harder for a cineaste to labour for love in this town.

I know it's partly my fault that these places where I spent years of my life getting my film-going education are closing shop - I don't go very often anymore. DVDs have kind of ruined going to the movies for me. And the window between a film's theatrical release and its DVD debut is down to about four months in most cases, so people tend to go rent the disc when it comes out instead of seeing them second-run. I remember a couple of years ago when the two Kill Bill films finally played as a double-bill, at the Royal - I had assumed there were lots of film nerds like me who had held off seeing them, waiting for the opportunity to see them both together in the theatre, in one evening, so I arrived early expecting a line-up around the block...there were about 50 people there in total. I should have known then that the end of the reps was near, and now here it is.

The same night the reps are mostly closing, Cinematheque Ontario will be showing one of the bona fide masterpieces of this era, Arnaud Desplechin's Rois et Reine (Kings & Queen) from 2004, which once upon a time would have been an art-house staple, but in this day and age went straight to video except for the major US markets. Not even an unexpected placing right behind A History of Violence in the Village Voice's 2005 critics poll stirred up much interest in it - it played at TIFF in 2004 but is only now popping into a theatre in Toronto for a couple of nights. Better than nothing, I guess.

Desplechin made a film in the mid nineties called Comment Je Me Suis Dispute...(ma vie sexuelle) which was a three hour film about a young French intellectual's chaotic love life and stalled academic career which I loved loved loved to pieces. I took an aisle seat when I went to see it at the festival in 1996 in case I couldn't take it and had to bolt but quite the contrary - it was one of the few movies I've seen that I didn't want to end. And I thought it was just me who felt this way, because of the few people I know who did see it, most bolted. Desplechin's newest film didn't knock me off my feet to the same extent, but it haunted me ever since and seeing it again once it eventually showed up on video sealed the deal.

When Desplechin was putting the film together, he pinned to the wall a maxim of filmmaking that motivated Francois Truffaut - "One minute: four ideas". Desplechin's films are jammed full of detail and ideas and life - tons of tiny yet fleshed-out roles for actors, allusions to art, literature, psychoanalysis, myth, and different film genres and music - Kings & Queen's soundtrack ranges from classical to klezmer to hip-hop to Randy Newman and Henry Mancini - almost too much detail for an audience to take in on first viewing. Kings & Queen is basically two movies in one - a tragic storyline that evokes the "women's pictures" of the forties and fifties, steeped in melodrama and dilemma, and a burlesque, slapstick storyline involving a musician's descent into madness, that are somehow, in Desplechin's hands, made to co-exist. Emmanuelle Devos plays the woman, and one of my favourite actors of today, Mathieu Amalric (he was the lead in Comment Je Me Suis Dispute... and the dandyish French informant in Munich), plays the man. There are emotional moments in this film that I recognize from life but didn't think could be captured in movies. There are two monologues of unadulterated candour late in the picture, one shocking in its cruelty, the other stunning in its generosity, which floored me.

If you're in town, see it now, because it's not going to the reps.

UPDATE: Not only is Kings & Queen getting a first-run release in Toronto after all (it opens at the Carlton July 7th), but also it seems the Royal Cinema will survive in some way, shape or's being turned into a post-production facility by day and movie theatre by will be closed for renovations this summer, though. (June 29th - JH)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

A Place To Stand

Ontario just became a little bit more dull. Our provincial government has quietly dropped our iconic trillium logo (minted in 1964 and respected ever since) in favour of... something boring. Something more unremarkable. Something that might wind up on your windscreen.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Marketing 101: Sex Sells

For sale in Chinatown...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Hartford Me To Say I'm Sorry

Let me be the first to congratulate the Hartford Whalers on their first Stanley Cup championship. I think it was very cool of them to rip off their Carolina Hurricanes jerseys as soon as the Cup was in the bag, reminding the 'hometown' crowd of their true lineage.

I would also like to point out our classy new masthead - lovingly rendered in Data 70 by Richard Shouldice of the exciting new web design/international espionage firm, The Brokerage. The Telekino logo was designed by Tad Hozumi. Much thanks.

This Thursday night at Buddies is a down-and-dirty retro cabaret called 'Can't Stop' - in amongst the raunch and revelry there will be a 5 hour Telekino montage projected throughout the's eyecandy of the highest order - breakdancing lessons, aerobics videos, 80's shampoo commercials, MS-DOS training videos and generous commercial breaks from Japanese television.

I have a friendster account now.

You might also want to see my playlists at my Youtube page. My favourite collection these days is Where Your Children Are, a tribute to local news anchors. I hope to be posting videos of my own there shortly.

PS: Two people have found this blog based on the Google search "Chocolate makes me think of jazz".

Friday, June 16, 2006

Gagnez Un Rendez-Vous Avec Tad Hamilton

I'm not one to complain about the french on the Corn Flakes box, but sometimes there are disappointing things about living in a country that enforces bilingualism on packaging. Most DVDs that are released in Canada that have a french language audio track now sport bilingual packaging, so you look at the cover and it says Batman Begins on the top and then in smaller text underneath, Batman: Le Commencement. That touch takes away from the grandeur, I think. Sometimes they have to distort the original studio artwork to impose these french graphics. And then they also print both the english and french title of the film on the spine of the case. So now when I go to inspect my collection I see on the shelf such films as Invasion of the Body Snatchers/L'Invasion des Profanateurs or The Warriors/Les Guerriers de la Nuit. Casino is titled Casino/Casino on the spine. Why? I would hate to meet the bureaucrat who could answer this question for me.

I can't see the french consumer being thrilled to have this bilingual packaging anyway - the use of French is usually crudely photoshopped into the original cover art, like an afterthought or an obligation. I don't know why they don't offer consumers either reversible packaging (english and french on either side of the cover insert) or use alternate french language artwork on 25% of the print run. I was thrilled to come across a used Quebecois copy of Femme Fatale ("de Brian De Palma, Le Maitre Du Suspense Erotique"). The french packaging is the cherry on that particular cake.

Anyway I find this enforced and bland bilingualism on domestic videos irritating for the most part. But there are exceptions. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls came out on DVD last Tuesday. I was considering ordering a copy from the states just so I would have a pristine english only package of a very eagerly anticipated release. Until I found out the french title of BVD is Orgissimo.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Kiss of the Hippies

French Pop Wednesday - time for some naff psychedelia - featuring Brigitte Bardot, Sasha Distel, and a very special guest rocking out on the electric sitar. It may look like it was first broadcast on Iranian state television but it actually hails from BB's 'Bardot Show' TV special from 1968.

(Merci bien, Videonostalgie!)

Friday, June 09, 2006

C-30 C-60 C-90

"Chocolate makes me think of jazz."

"Welcome to the World Wide You."

-- two incredibly bad soundbites from a current ad campaign for high-speed internet service.

I like commercials better when they didn't talk so much.

(Via Jcz1978.)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Are We There Yet?

Attention movie stars: You can't all be Vincent Gallo. You can't all be renaissance men.

Take Ice Cube for example. The actor from such family-friendly comedies as Are We There Yet? and the upcoming big-screen remake of Welcome Back Kotter, has decided to take a page out of the LL Cool J playbook - he's putting out a rap album.

Isn't he a bit old for this sort of thing? I guess he's desperate to shake off his affable image - now he's all Mr. Tough West Side gangbanger on the cover of his "rap" debut, Laugh Now, Cry Later (ooh I'm so scared! What are you gonna do, Cube - pull a drive-by on me in your station wagon? With those brats in the backseat?)

To make matters worse, his label, desperate for a gimmick, is outrageously promoting this thing as his "7th album". Who does Cube think he is, Chris Gaines? You think a makeover and some pretend 'discography' cooked up by the marketing department is going to fool us? Nice try, Cube, but you can't pull the Kangol over our eyes - we've seen the Barbershop films. We know who you are.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Avec Anna, Tout Est Possible

Vive le French Pop Mercredi Libre!

Here's another slice of Pierre Koralnik's Anna, which was the first colour film made for French television. This thing came out on DVD in Japan but, so far, not in its country of origin, which seems to me to be a cultural oversight.

(Merci encore, Pollyscake!)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Give the Devil His Day

Round up all the male babies born today and check their's 06/06/06.

I was watching The 700 Club this morning to see how they would handle it and their weird newscaster on their weird news segment made mention that there was only a 1-in-a-100,000 chance the world would actually come to an end today - then they shot back to Pat Robertson in the studio who added it was actually a 1-in-a-trillion chance that today would be the day of reckoning. They seemed pretty sure of themselves.

In case of Devil, break glass.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Gorgeous Ladies Of Rapping

The Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling were not only Queens of the Ring, they were the Queens of the Mic, bustin' out gold fronts like popcorn, and drainin' sucka MCs like Drano.

(Thanks, Lamp2av!)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Fred Seagal

Steven Seagal is more of an ideapreneur than even Vincent, he hasn't thought to offer his services as a male escort, but he has launched an ambitious on-line store where you can buy his films, preview tracks from his second album of patchouli-stained bluesrock, Mojo Priest (featuring the promising-sounding track 'Talk To My Ass') or just order dozens of cans of his very own Lightning Bolt energy drink.

The store is a work-in-progress: the front page says, somewhat ominously, "The complete line of DVD's, oils, music, drinks and more are coming shortly."

Not sure where the oil ends and the drink begins, however...and this video doesn't exactly clear things up.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Gallo: Gigolo?

From Vincent Gallo's merchandise website...

"I, Vincent Gallo, star of such classics as Buffalo 66 and The Brown Bunny have decided to make myself available to all women. All women who can afford me, that is. For the modest fee of $50,000 plus expenses, I can fulfill the wish, dream, or fantasy of any naturally born female...female couples of the lesbian persuasion can enjoy a Vincent Gallo evening together for $100,000. $200,000 buys the lesbos a weekend. A weekend that will have them second-guessing."

Thursday, June 01, 2006


The truth® campaign (sic), the youth smoking prevention initiative run by the American Legacy Foundation that fights cynicism with cynicism, have just changed their pitch up...last week they launched a five-month ad campaign that appears to be designed to get me to start smoking.


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ex-Fan des Sixties

French Pop Wednesday y'all.

Jane Birkin was the long-standing muse of France's pop libertine Serge Gainsbourg - he kept writing whole albums for her even after they separated. This is the title track from her weird 1978 album 'Ex-Fan des Sixties' - I think they broke into the set of Welcome Back, Kotter to film the video. See, we had Patsy Gallant on our variety specials; France had Jane Birkin on theirs.

(Thanks, Pollyscake!)

Monday, May 29, 2006

Death By Keytar

The Euro is the only currency my mind can accept right now, sorry.

This band is called 'Fox The Fox'.

(Thanks, Xuanxusep.)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Let The Sun-In Shine

Woke up this morning, polished off a bottle of Drakkar Noir and stumbled across this vintage (1987) bit of Euroschlock - they're called Blue System. The lead singer looks a bit like if Nick Nolte were the lead singer of Kajagoogoo. The song is called 'Sorry Little Sarah' and he should be.

(Thanks, Heinzix.)

Thursday, May 25, 2006


From the Grabbies200 youtube page - more EuroMadness - this time in the form of Italy's Heather Parisi and her 80's Spandex Squadron. This song is called 'Disco Bambina'.

I'm on a Eurotrash kick now and who knows when it will end?

A Little Marcy Music

Little Marcy. God's Wholesome Little Puppet.

I knew Little Marcy was a prolific Christian recording artist - but it didn't occur to me until tonight that there was video evidence of her existence.

Little Marcy sounds like a demonically-possessed Blossom Dearie. I first heard her one Sunday afternoon on college radio in Montreal. You know the Christianity's working when you listen to Little Marcy or look at one of her album covers and aren't weirded out.

There was a great Little Marcy bio page on the Sharpeworld site but it has since gone 404. I did find her myspace page - it's sort of a VC Andrews© thing though, because I think the woman who did the act is dead.

I think this video is one of those things where you watch it and then the phone rings and you die a week later, so be warned.

Fudgeland, Jesus wants you for a sunbeam!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


This is how they sold television sets in South Korea in 1970.

(Thanks, NudeViking.)

The House I Grew Up In

French Pop Wednesday - time for some Françoise Hardy.

This week I saw the documentary Is It Really So Strange?, which documented the unexpected following Morrissey and The Smiths have cultivated amongst young Latinos in Los Angeles. One of the people interviewed in the documentary told of when he was working at his record store job a couple of years ago, when Morrissey himself walked up to him and asked him if they carried any of Françoise Hardy's records. The guy went looking through the store and saying "I'm sure I've heard of him, but I'm not sure if we carry any of his records." Eventually Mozza corrected him. The star-struck fan's illusions of Morrissey were shattered minutes later when he spotted the singer checking out his own section in the store before jumping into his convertible and driving off.

Here's another clip from Françoise Hardy's 1965 TV monochrome special Hardy Show - 'La Maison Ou J'ai Grandi'.

(Thanks, Soleysoley.)