We continue our trek through John Cassavetes: Five Films with Faces from 1968. The hallmark of Cassavetes' directing work, honesty through improvisation, is on full display in an exploration of the alienation of modern American life. Like a good Bergman, it's depressing, but somehow still life affirming.
John Cassavetes kicks off the American indie film movement with a semi-improvised film the first version of which everyone hated and he left on the subway, Second versions' pretty great, though.
"Part performance art, part inside joke, hesingsthethemes may not get the vote of approval from Justin Timberlake, but as far as Urlesque is concerned, the kid's a star!" -- Urlesque.com
"I cannot stop watching this dude's videos in which he poorly attempts to sing TV show theme songs, adding an eerie, bizarre, or downright tragic motif." -- BuzzFeed.com
"He kind of seems like he's being forced to do that at gunpoint. It'll be one of the plot devices in Saw XVI." -- Videogum.com
10 years ago tonight I worried a lot of my friends when I started posting weird videos of myself singing television theme songs. But the internet loved me, though mostly on websites that while big at the time don't really exist in the same format anymore.
Anyway, I made another.
Gillo Pontocorvo's The Battle of Algiers (1966) is a historical drama about how the French completely failed to win the Hearts and Minds of the Algerians, a people they'd been colonial oppressors to for centuries. Can't imagine why it didn't work.
In 2003 the US Department of Defense held a screening of the film in the hopes of learning something they could use during Operation Enduring Freedom, since they'd failed to learn anything from 60 years of their own military actions. Doesn't seemed to have worked for them, either.
So let me spell it out for you, from colonialism to occupation to, heck, police interactions with Americans, when confronted with people who do not want you around: leaving is an option. Actually probably the best option. The "fight or flight" response includes the flight option, and that doesn't mean flying in reinforcements that will needlessly escalate the situation.
This is one of my favorite episodes we've ever done.
David Cronenberg is a weirdo with something to say and Videodrome may be his most straightforward film. Well, philosophically. While the movie basically wears its message one its sleeve, the film isn't exactly straightforward in any other way. But talking about it does let us say the word "orifice" a lot