Movie TV DVD Review


Media&Movie TV DVD Review&Music24 Feb 2008 12:32 pm

Gun Club DVDGhost on the Highway: A Portrait of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and the Gun Club is out on DVD.

For me, viewing the DVD was a highly entertaining experience on many levels. Before his show at Merlyns Club in Madison, WI, Jeffrey was sitting quietly at a table. I asked if I could take a few photos. At the time I was at the top of my Tri-X shooting and lab processing game, and the resulting shots are still stunning to this day (see photo below with links to more from that date). Only after watching this excellent documentary by Andrew R. Powell and Kurt Voss did I make the connection, that Jeffrey was a huge Marlon Brando fan. Hence the intense brooding captured in this photo (part of collage left), complete with the leather jacket.

The DVD features many interviews with ex Gun Club band members Kid Congo Powers, Ward Dotson, Terry Graham, Jim Duckworth and Dee Pop, as well as close friends John Doe, Dave Alvin, Henry Rollins, Mike Martt and Peter Case that render a fascinating portrait of the complex personality of Jeffrey Lee Pierce.

Jeffrey Lee Pierce of The Gun ClubOn another level it was fun to watch the DVD and see where Powell and Voss chose to weave my photos of Pierce into the narrative. The filmmakers effectively resurrected one of the murkier, yet dramatic, photos of the batch (right) to describe Jeffrey’s collapse into alcohol abuse.

In the end, it is the intense recollections by those who knew Pierce that makes this a fascinating character study and interesting addition to the legends of modern pop, rock and punk music history. I was not a big fan and did not know much about Pierce, and I am grateful to the filmmakers to learn much more about the intense brooding character whose image I captured back then.

You can read more about the DVD and see video clips of the trailer at GhostontheHighway.com.


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Book Review&Media&Movie TV DVD Review29 Nov 2007 01:32 pm


‘Tis the Season for gift giving, and perhaps a little bit of global, spiritual consciousness in the positive direction. The following is a list of books and DVDs designed to enlighten your friends and family, an update of the list posted well over a year ago on this blog, Education In Terrorism.

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Media&Movie TV DVD Review27 Oct 2007 09:15 am

With the lunatics still running the asylum, the film No End In Sight documents the serious missteps of how we have become mired in this long, hard slog of a mess in Iraq.

Le Roi de Cœur the French anti-war film, named The King of Hearts in the USA, played for five years at the Central Square Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was a short walk from where I lived, and it was a cheerful play on how much fun it might be if the lunatics were released from an asylum to run a small village while World War One combat raged elsewhere in the countryside.

If only No End In Sight could be a light-hearted romantic comedy, but it is real, and the poor deciders for many Americans' futures are stubbornly still at work. Heaven help us all.

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Media&Movie TV DVD Review27 Jun 2007 09:32 pm

Teri Horton with her Jackson Pollock painting

The documentary film Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock? is an arresting study of whether or not a found object is worth over $20,000,000, and how to go about proving it. The documentary gets better and better as art critics, art dealers, and art experts try and determine whether a dumpster diving, truck driving woman really has possession of an original Jackson Pollock painting.

Part of the film shows the floor of Pollock’s studio where he was the software engine that threw the paint onto the horizontally reclining canvas. Gravity, excitement, gesture, inspiration, knowledge and whim played a part in the programming of the painter’s mind as he cast dripping paint noodles onto the awaiting virgin canvas. While in the excited solitude of his studio, did Pollock ever masturbate on any of his canvases? That would truly provide the DNA link that Teri Horton seeks for her painting in question. Some paint drip!

Jackson Pollock stands as a giant of real physical painting. Here is jacksonpollock.org to honor him with Flash-induced dripping pixels. Take note that these are flat 2 dimensional pixels of computer encoded light.

Brian Eno 77 Million paintingsBrian Eno calls his current touring exhibition, 77 Million Paintngs. I say that Eno has perhaps rendered 77 million musical notes resonationg in the physical airspace over time, but these are not paintings.

Eno has for a long time been a maker of stylish relaxed “ambient” music and art, sort of non-intrusive, office art without balls.

Spot Draves has been developing this idea long before Eno in his Electric Sheep project, as documented in my Tubular TV interview. Spot’s pixel throwing algorithms have been 10 years in the making, and are highly sophisticated.

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Movie TV DVD Review&Politics18 May 2007 07:30 am

Brain, optic nerve and EyechartHere are a few links to help us wake up from our collective amnesia and neglect. Matters such as global warming are not going to be swept under the rug, if the rug is under 6 feet of water.

A panel of 11 retired military officers released a report, National Security and the Threat of Climate Change, in conjunction with CNA Corp. The report is available on the CNA web site, http://securityandclimate.cna.org/report/.

CNA National Security and the Threat of Climate Change.This might seem like a new angle on the impending climate change problem, but let’s face reality. If catastrophic weather events such as hurricane Katrina happen again, thousands of people are suddenly displaced, and in effect need to invade neighboring safer territories. It’s a battle for survival on higher ground waiting to happen.

In typical counter intuitive fashion, the Bush Administration is pushing for weakening of global warming limits proposed for agreement at the G-8 summit meeting scheduled for June 6-8 in Germany. What’s wrong with these people?! GM, Ford and Chrysler are in a terrible business slump anyway, so easing gas emission standards isn’t going to help them. Their best bet for a business revival is for green innovation. Come on, wake up Detroit!

NPR in conjunction with Natioinal Geographic has a page full of climate change links, CLIMATE CONNECTIONS. And if that is not enough, check out the GREEN PARTY web site.

IFC Films logoThe Green Party link was stumbled upon in a list of links at An Unreasonable Man: A Documentary about Ralph Nader. This film, and many other fine and unusual movies, such as the current After The Wedding and Factotum, were produced by IFC Films which has an impressive and though provoking web site. Be sure to look at their link to Quality Blogs which connects to numerous film review and independent cinema web sites such as Cinematical and Filmbrain.

And to top off this thoughtful preparation, I received email from Michael Moore’s organization announcing the premiere at the Cannes Film Festival of his long awaited next documentary “Sicko“, over 3 years since the release of Fahrenheit 9/11. Moore has had to protect his film from possible confiscation by the U.S. Government after Bush’s Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, launched an investigation of a trip Moore took to Cuba to film scenes for the movie.

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Animation&Movie TV DVD Review28 Apr 2007 09:07 am

Shrek the third

The CG Society has published an article detailing the technical advances in DreamWorks upcoming “Shrek The Third” 3D animated feature. Expect to see a lot of fussing over hair and fur.

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Humor&Movie TV DVD Review25 Mar 2007 10:42 am

Kentucky Fried Theater cover storyThe Wisconsin Alumni magazine On Wisconsin has published an outstandingly detailed article tracking the formative days of the comedy group who later went on to produce Airplane!, Naked Gun and many other movie hits. I arrived in Madison after the Kentucky Fried Theater had ended its run and moved to Hollywood, but I had seen Kentucky Fried Movie, which back in the mid 70’s was a counter culture hit along with The Groove Tube. These anti-establishment films were predecessors to Saturday Night Live and irreverent comedy trends more common today. If you are a fan of the work of the Zucker Brothers and Jim Abrahams, or are an aspiring writer/fimmaker, you will enjoy this interesting read by Rich Markey.

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Media&Movie TV DVD Review&Music07 Feb 2007 09:41 am

Beer Bottle Inspector, Wisconsin

With the advent of the audio CD, copy protection of digital media has become a major concern for the media business. Napster’s peer-to-peer file sharing of music across the Internet created a firestorm, lawsuits and new efforts to get the genie back into the bottle.

Encryption codes and DRM (Digital Rights Management) software have been created to protect DVDs, CDs and their respective filtypes from copying, and there are always ambitious hackers who enjoy the challenge of cracking the secret codes.

The iPod and its iTunes music and movie download system has been a great success. Part of that success means working with the content owners so that they do not get ripped off. Steve Jobs recently published his views on music and DRM on the Apple web site. It is a clear and interesting view on digital media and concludes that DRM really is unnecessary. There are 2 settings to every bit, so that discussion will go on for some time.

To shoot film or to shoot bits, that is the future Hollywood is confronting. Clearly, digital distribution to mall screens or iPods is the direction we are heading. New Yorker film critic gives a deeper look in his recent article, Big Pictures: Hollywood looks for a future.

Innovative filmmaker David Lynch seems to love the speed and control of DV production tools in making his new movie, Inland Empire. See details in this Videography article.

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