Music Video of the Day: Moonlight by Lil Xan feat Charli XCX (2018, dir by Austin Peters)


When I watch this video, I immediately think of despair.

The sleazy motels.  The empty swimming pools.  The landscape of endless emptiness.  It’s all very American and yet it’s also a world that’s inspired some of the greatest American films ever made.  Just look at some of the shots and tell me that you don’t see the spirits of Harry Dean Stanton and Dennis Hopper hanging around in the background.  There’s a beauty in the ugliness of it all.

Enjoy!

International Weirdness : “Dark Forest”


Trash Film Guru

I honestly feel halfway guilty about including a film shot only about a six-or seven-hour drive from my own house as part of my occasional “International Weirdness” series here on this site, but when you live in Minneapolis and the flick in question was made in Winnipeg, well — that’s how it goes, I guess. There isn’t much geographic distance between our towns, but there is that US/Canada border.

Winnipeg’s independent film scene has been fairly robust in recent years, as most know — comparisons to the 1990s “Toronto New Wave” have abounded — but our northern neighbors like their genre stuff, too, and 2015’s Dark Forest, brainchild of writer/director Roger Boyer, seeks to do something a little different with the classic “slasher” premise, namely : deconstruct it and turn it on its head at the same time. How best to do this? Well, how about by making it…

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Midnight Snack: THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF (2Oth Century-Fox 1950)


cracked rear viewer

THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF made it’s TCM debut last Saturday night on Noir Alley, hosted by “The Czar of Noir” Eddie Muller. This is a ‘B’ film I’d never heard of before, and since you all know how much I love discovering new/old ‘B’ movies, I stayed up past the midnight hour to give it a watch (which I usually do on Saturday nights anyway, being a Noir Alley fan!).

The film doesn’t waste any time, quickly introducing the main characters and getting right into the story. Thinking her husband is planning to murder her, rich San Francisco socialite Lois Frazer guns him down in cold blood directly in front of her lover, Homicide Lt. Ed Cullen. Ed dumps the body at the airport to make it look like a robbery/murder, tossing the murder weapon off the Golden Gate Bridge. Then he takes the lead in the investigation, along…

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Music Video of the Day: 5 in the Morning by Charli XCX (2018, dir by Bradley and Pablo)


I imagine I’ll be up and listening to this song at 5 in the morning.  As for the video, I always love these sort of post-apocalyptic warehouse-style music videos.

Enjoy!

Anime you should be watching: Hinamatsuri


I know, I know, I say I’m gonna start posting a lot, but seeing as it’s been a year and a half since I’ve posted, I won’t blow smoke up your keester.  I don’t post often, and I may not post for awhile again.  But the spring anime season has brought us such a gem of an anime that I absolutely cannot let anyone not know about it.  This rare masterpiece that I’m referring to is Hinamatsuri.

The basic premise of Hinamatsuri is this.  An alien girl, or possibly psychic girl from the future, who really knows?  Anyways, she shows up in a pod in the apartment of a fairly high ranking Yakuza member (the Japanese version of the Mafia).  She essentially blackmails him into letting her stay with him because he loves his expensive vases, and she can smash them with just a thought.  But that’s just scratching the surface.

When I first started watching this show, I did love it, but I felt that its namesake, Hina, was the worst person in the whole show.  I mean, you have Hitomi (see picture above) who is the pushover type.  She can’t say no or make a compelling argument in her defense, so she essentially gets used by everyone.  But, she’s so good at what she does that even though she’s being used, she winds up being the most successful 9th grader in the world.  Soon she’s the 9th grader that CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are desperate to hire.  All the while, she wants nothing more than to be a normal middle school girl.

Then you have Anzu.  Oh for the love of kittens, there’s Anzu.  She initially shows up as a rival for Hina, but Hina shows that she’s much more powerful than Anzu and immediately puts her in her place.  Anzu plans to go back to wherever they’re from, but her transportation pod is irreparably damaged.  Initially she realizes that shes much stronger than mere humans, but she is such a good girl that she doesn’t try to take advantage of it.  She winds up homeless, and then many tugs to the heartstrings are made.  Eventually everyone is left with the only conclusion, ANZU IS A GOOD GIRL.

Ultimately, it’s very hard to talk about this show and not spoil much.  Is this a comedy?  Yes.  Is this a slice of life?  Yes.  Is this a drama?  Yes.  Essentially, this is a show that’s greater than the sum of its parts.  Even the one shot throw away episode with Mao was entertaining and tugged at the heartstrings.  Very rarely will I honestly say that an anime is perfect, but Hinamatsuri is that rare show where everything works and brings you the most entertainment you will ever find in this medium.

4 Shots From 4 Paul Thomas Anderson Films: Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood, The Master, Phantom Thread


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 lets the visuals do the talking.

Yesterday was the birthday of one of our greatest filmmakers, Paul Thomas Anderson!  This edition of 4 Shots From 4 Films is dedicated to him and his brilliant career!

4 Shots From 4 Paul Thomas Anderson Films

Boogie Nights (1997, dir by Paul Thomas Anderson)

There Will Be Blood (2007, dir by Paul Thomas Anderson)

The Master (2012, dir by Paul Thomas Anderson)

Phantom Thread (2017, dir by Paul Thomas Anderson)