Back to School Part II #33: No One Would Tell (dir by Noel Nosseck)


Do you remember when Chris Brown performed The Man In The Mirror at the 2010 BET Awards?  It was during a tribute to Michael Jackson and Brown broke down crying while singing the song.  Afterwards, he accepted an award and he said, “I let you all down before, but I won’t do it again.  I promise you.”

This, of course, was about a year after Brown had pled guilty to physically abusing Rihanna.  I remember being on twitter during Brown’s performance and seeing literally thousands of tweets from people talking about how brave Chris Brown was and how amazing his performance had been.  Chris Brown was looking at the man in the mirror and asking him to change his ways.  Chris Brown was promising not to let anyone else down by nearly killing any future girlfriends.  A lot of people on twitter claimed this was amazing.  I thought it was disgusting and I tweeted out my opinion.  I really didn’t give a fuck if Chris Brown was asking the man in the mirror to change his ways.  The man in the mirror was (and is) an abusive asshole.  The man in the mirror beats women.  The man in the mirror is not capable of changing his ways.  “FUCK THE MAN IN THE MIRROR!” I tweeted.

And, oh my God, the reaction my little twitter rant inspired.  What was especially disturbing was that the majority of people who tweeted me in Brown’s defense were other women.  Yes, they all agreed, Chris Brown had beat Rihanna but he admitted what he had done, he was asking the man in the mirror to change his ways, and hey, Rihanna probably deserved it.

My favorite excuse — and this was used by quite a few of Brown’s defenders — was this: “Only God can judge Chris Brown.”  Well, you know what?  I asked God and he says Chris Brown’s an abusive asshole.

I’m tempted to say that it amazes me that Chris Brown still has fans but actually, it doesn’t.  Sadly, when it comes to a celebrity, people are willing to make excuses for almost anything.  If you ask most people, they’ll say that they’re against domestic abuse and they think abusers should suffer the worst punishment imaginable.  But when the abuser is someone who they know (or, in the case of a celebrity like Chris Brown, someone who they feel they know), the excuses start.  The equivocations are heard.  The blame is assigned to everyone but the abuser.  We start hearing bullshit about how people make mistakes and only God can judge.

In short, people are willing to talk but when it matters, they rarely act.

That’s also the theme of a powerful and sad movie called No One Would Tell.  No One Would Tell was originally made for television in 1996 and it still shows up fairly regularly on Lifetime.  Though the names and certain details have been changed, it’s based on a true story.  In fact, the film feels like it’s based on several true stories.  The plot of No One Would Tell is one that has occurred and continues to occur on far too regular of a basis.

Stacy Collins (played by Candace Cameron, before she added the Bure to her name) is a 16 year-old high school student.  She’s quiet, shy, and insecure.  When she first starts to date a popular jock named Bobby Tennison (Fred Savage), it seems like a dream come true.  But soon, Bobby starts to show another side.  He’s controlling and possessive.  He grabs her wrist hard enough to leave bruises.  He shoves her into a wall when they have an argument.  When she wears a skirt that he thinks is too short, he grabs her in the school hallway and demands that she change immediately.  When she isn’t home to answer his calls, he assumes that she most be cheating on him.  And, when she finally breaks up with him, he kills her.

What’s infuriating is that, throughout the film, Bobby’s abuse is witnessed by all of his and Stacy’s friends.  Everyone sees him push her.  Everyone sees the bruises.  Everyone knows that Bobby is unstable and that Stacy is afraid of him.  And yet, nobody says a word.  Nobody does a thing.  Instead, they just make excuses for Bobby’s behavior.  Some of them even blame Stacy.  No one is willing to get involved and it eventually costs Stacy her life.

For a TV movie from the mid-90s, No One Would Tell holds up surprisingly well.  Admittedly, Fred Savage overacts in the role of Bobby (and maybe it would have been better if the role had been played by Eric Balfour, who appears as Bobby’s best friend) but Candace Cameron does a perfect job as the tragic Stacy, capturing both her insecurity and her vulnerability.  Some of the film’s best moments are the ones shares by Cameron and Michelle Phillips.  In those scenes, we see how Stacy learned how to make excuses for Bobby’s behavior from watching the way that her mother made excuses for the men who similarly abused her.  No One Would Tell is a powerful film, one that offers an unflinching look at abuse and one that dares to demand that its audience take a stand.

No One Would Tell is a film that should be watched by anyone who thinks that the man in the mirror can change his ways.

“Glitterbomb” Is Explosive — Time Will Tell If It’s Glittery

Trash Film Guru


Truth be told, I almost passed on this one when I saw it on the new release shelves last week. Image Comics first issues are a dime a dozen these days, as anyone can tell you, and while I’m marginally familiar with the work of writer Jim Zub, artist Djibril Morissette Pham is a name that’s entirely new to me. It was the pull quote from former Vertigo head honcho Karen Berger on the back cover of Glitterbomb #1 that convinced me to give it a whirl — after all, if it’s good enough for Ms. Berger, it should be good enough for me, right? Well, I’m glad I took her advice, because this book is considerably more than “good enough.”

Hollywood is always a target ripe for commentary of the seething and hard-hitting variety, vacuous wasteland of the talentless and over-privileged that it is, and Zub’s aim here appears…

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A Cat’s Perspective On The Fifty Shades Darker Teaser


Meh!  Humans are weird!  Not only do they have trailers for movies but they also have teasers for trailers!  They need to be more like me — sleep, eat, and learn to love the ennui!

Humans are also weird because they read books like The Fifty Shades trilogy and spend all their time talking about how bad they are.  The flame-haired one even threw her copy of Fifty Shades of Grey across the living room once and totally woke me up!  (Don’t worry, I was able to get back to sleep … eventually.)  But then after hating the book, they get all excited about the movie and then they get all upset when the movie turns out to suck too!  I ate a spider once and it tasted terrible so you know what?  I stopped eating spiders.  If I was a human, I guess I would think, “Spiders are yucky!  Let’s go eat a few while watching a movie about them!”  Meh!

There’s a new Fifty Shades movie coming out and it’s called Fifty Shades Darker! It’s based on another book that the flame-haired one threw across the living room but she’s still planning on seeing it!  It’s such a big deal that instead of just releasing a trailer, the humans are releasing a teaser and then a trailer!  If they make another Fifty Shades movie, maybe they can release a teaser for the teaser of the trailer!

Someday, maybe they’ll stop making movies all together and they’ll just make teasers for trailers of pretend movies.  People will watch the teaser and say, “This is going to be a great trailer!”  I hope that happens because if there’s no more movies that means even less to distract from feeding the kitty!

Here’s the teaser for Fifty Shades Darker!  The trailer’s coming out tomorrow and the flame-haired one will probably share it because the kitty is planning on sleeping through Wednesday.  Meh!

Artist Profile: John McDermott (1919–1977)

Born in Pueblo, Colorado, John McDermott was a self-taught illustrator who started his career at Walt Disney Studios, where he was an effects animator on Pinocchio and Fantasia.  In 1942, McDermott enlisted in the U.S. Marines and served as a combat artist.  He later described World War II as being his art education.  After the war, he worked as a freelance illustrator and his work appeared on the covers of several pulp magazines and novels.  Under the name J.P. Ryan, he also worked as a writer.  His experiences at Disney inspired his 1971 novel, The Rat Factory.

The first two illustrations below are examples of the work he did while in the Marines.  The rest are from his career in the pulps:


In Case You Missed It…

cracked rear viewer


Remember Toni Basil? She had a mega-hit record back in the 80’s with the infectious pop song “Mickey”. The multi-talented Miss Basil’s been around forever, known for her choreography on TV’s SHINDIG, the films THE TAMI SHOW and The Monkees’ HEAD (where she shared the spotlight with Davy Jones). She choreographed two David Bowie tours (Diamond Dogs and Glass Spider), directed videos with Talking Heads’ David Byrne (“Once in a Lifetime”), and has appeared as an actress in VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS, PAJAMA PARTY, EASY RIDER, and FIVE EASY PIECES, among others.

Recently the 72 year old, who co-founded the street dance group The Lockers way back in 1971, strutted her stuff at a Los Angeles dance workshop, and the crowd of young kids went nuts! The video has gone viral and in case you missed it, I’d like to share it with you now:

Yeah! You’ve still got the…

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Music Video of the Day: Silent All These Years by Tori Amos (1991, dir. Cindy Palmano)

Funny enough–I am pretty much at a loss for words to talk about this music video even though I’ve been a big fan of Tori Amos for more than decade and a half at least. You have the child that emerges from behind the piano to connect her childhood to her adulthood, which represents the years of silence. Then we see the child run past her adult-self that is in a box–whether by choice or not. It doesn’t matter. There are other similar framings of Tori that emphasize height and face. You also have the inclusion of the old-lady outfit and breast implants. They are all pressures and conformity that she is walking away from with this song, the album, and literally by getting out of the box in the music video. It’s clever to have her stop lip-syncing at the part of the song where you would do that if you were going to do it anywhere. Then it ends with an uncomfortably long shot of Tori’s face where she looks like she is going to tear-up. There are some other things going on such as the innocent child popping in and chasing her during the video at the right times lyric-wise. You could do more analysis of this music video if you wanted to.

Considering this was Tori’s debut solo album, you would think this would be the first song on that album, but it isn’t. It’s the third one after Crucify and Girl. It all builds to the last song on the album about when she was raped, which is sung a capppella. The music videos seem to have started with this song, then were followed by Winter before getting to Crucify.

It’s a powerful music video, but it’s also a little misleading. I can’t recall the program where I saw it. It was probably a Behind The Music type thing. Regardless, I remember Tori saying that they started off trying to sell her like she was the new Carole King. The girl and the piano thing, which is exactly how she is shown in this music video at the beginning.

It’s funny to think of that in retrospect seeing as I remember being introduced to Tori Amos via the video for Spark. You know, the one where she is bound, blindfolded, and left with rats in the woods. I remember when I fell in love with her music. It was with her album of covers called Strange Little Girls. That’s the one where she took Eminem’s ’97 Bonnie and Clyde and made it particularly disturbing.

All in all, the music video is well-made, and a decent introduction to Tori Amos. You have to start somewhere, and the song is there even if I don’t think the video quite captures the musician you are getting. Plus, take a look at Madonna’s video for her early song Burning Up. You’d swear they thought they were selling a solo female Duran Duran.

Cindy Palmano directed five music videos for Tori Amos. From what I can tell, she hasn’t done anything else in the area of film since that time. Wikipedia says she was a photographer at the time. She’s obviously still around since you can find stuff about her with a simple Google search.

George Tiffin worked as the cinematographer on the music video. He directed a couple of music videos for Morissey. He seems to have done some other work as well in film. He is related to the Fiennes family.