A Movie A Day #67: Animal Factory (2000, directed by Steve Buscemi)

Edward Furlong is Ron Decker, a spoiled 18 year-old from a rich family who is arrested and sent to prison when he’s caught with a small amount of marijuana.  Being younger and smaller than the other prisoners, Ron is soon being targeted by everyone from the prison’s Puerto Rican gang to the sadistic Buck Rowan (Tom Arnold).  Fortunately, for Ron, prison veteran Earl Copen (Williem DaFoe) takes him under his wing and provides him with protection.  Earl is the philosopher-king of the prison.  As he likes to put it, “This is my prison, after all.”  If he can stay out of trouble, Ron has a chance to get out early but, with Buck stalking him, that’s not going to be easy.

Based on a novel by ex-con Edward Bunker, Animal Factory was the second film to be directed by Bunker’s Reservoir Dogs co-stars, Steve Buscemi.  Though it was overlooked at the time, Animal Factory is a minor masterpiece.  Taking a low key approach, Buscemi emphasizes the monotony of prison life just as much as the sudden bursts of violence and shows why someone like Ron Decker can go into prison as an innocent and come out as an animal.  DaFoe and Furlong give two of their best performances as Earl and Ron while a cast of familiar faces — Danny Trejo, Mickey Rourke, Chris Bauer, Mark Boone Junior — make up the prison’s population.  Most surprising of all is Tom Arnold, giving Animal Factory‘s best performance as the prison’s most dangerous predator.

Here’s The Trailer for Geostorm, which is apparently a real movie

This trailer only needs a few more cats to look like a heavy-handed YouTube parody but apparently, Geostorm is a real movie that will be opening in October.  It was directed by Dean Devlin, who is a frequent partner of Roland Emmerich’s.

(In other words, expect a subplot about how Shakespeare didn’t actually write Twelfth Night.)

Geostorm will open in October and I imagine it will make its SyFy debut the following June.

4 Shots From 4 Films: Coffy, They Call Her One Eye, Cleopatra Jones, Ms. 45

4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

I was going to use four other shots for today but then I was inspired by my sister’s pick for artwork of the day.

For those who might question my decision to highlight four grindhouse films on International Women’s Day, I kindly refer them to my essay, Too Sordid To Ever Be Corrupted.

4 Shots From 4 Films

Coffy (1973, dir by Jack Hill)

Thriller, A Cruel Picture a.k.a. They Call Her One Eye (1973, dir by Bo Arne Vibenius)

Cleopatra Jones (1973, dir by Jack Starrett)

Ms. 45 (1981, dir by Abel Ferrara)

Music Video of the Day: Feel It by Neneh Cherry (1997, dir. Michel Gondry)

Seeing as today is International Women’s Day, I thought I would take that as an opportunity to spotlight the Neneh Cherry music video she did with Michel Gondry. I already did Heart, which she did with David Fincher. Since Cherry happens to be from Sweden, it works into the “International” part of the day and the ABBA retrospective I’ve been doing.

It’s exactly what you would expect from Gondry–distortion of time and space. Also, notice how Gondry not only uses the color of her jacket as an indicator of where she is in far shots, but shows up as the color of cars and other things as well. Take a look at the text on the “TV FOR DOGS” box. It says “No Crap Programs”, “Look Reel [possibly Real]”, and “For A Dog Vision”.

François Nemeta was the assistant director. He worked on around 13 music videos with Gondry and has done 20+ music videos himself. The most recent one I can find is from 2014, so I assume he is still in the business. You can visit his website here.