{fv_addthis}

Latest Blog Posts

by Bill Gibron

24 Jan 2010

Throughout the years, there have been certain movies where hype has played a more significant role in its popularity and notoriety than the actual film itself. One such area where this occurs frequently is the horror genre. When it was released in 1974, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a major commercial success. But it also developed a reputation as being the goriest, most disgusting exercise in excess ever created. Anyone who has actually seen the film can attest to the fact that it’s rather tame by today’s effects standards and is more unsettling in tone than in its use of blood.

A few years later, a cheapo Italian horror film called Pieces, again about a chainsaw killer, sold itself to the public based on the tagline “it’s exactly what you think it is.” And true to its word, it was a repulsive exercise in human vivisection. Now another title long debated for its content and its context within society makes it to DVD. The subject of a report on 60 Minutes, numerous episodes of talk shows, and bans by British and other foreign markets, The Toolbox Murders (re-released on Blu-ray disc from Blue Underground) boasts a title perfect for terrifying exploitation and a reputation as a grueling exercise in sleazy, demented cinema. But the question is, does this film earn its infamous status? Or is it all just propaganda?

by Dave MacIntyre

23 Jan 2010

Massachusetts alternative rockers Dinosaur Jr. proved to a sold-out Phoenix Concert Theatre that they are hardly extinct.  The band, having just performed a free show at Sonic Boom record store, blew fans away with an energy packed performance highlighted by front man J Mascis’ guitar wizardry.  Standing before a tower of Marshall amps, Mascis barely broke a sweat while coolly working a bank of effects pedals and making his guitar scream effortlessly.  Lou Barlow, who also opened the evening plucking solo heart-felt folk songs on an acoustic guitar, reappeared on bass guitar and played like a possessed man.  Unable to enter Canada, regular Dinosaur Jr. drummer Murph was replaced by Kyle Spence who’s tight work on the kit meshed into the performance beautifully.  Fans were treated to new material from off the group’s 2009 release, Farm, such as “Pieces”, “Imagination Blind”, and “I Don’t Wanna Go There”.  Older fan favorites like “Feel The Pain” and “Freak Scene” also made the cut.  The evening concluded with encore performances of “Kracked”, “Sludgefest”, and “Chunks”, during which Fucked Up vocalist Damian “Pink Eyes” Abraham joined in.  Although 2010 has just begun, I can say with certainty this show will make my top 5 list for the year.

by Bill Gibron

23 Jan 2010

It’s said that confession is good for the soul. Of course, this assumes one has a conscience worth redeeming. It’s clear that not everyone would benefit from such acknowledgments or affirmations. To do so would reveal their own inner weakness and sense of corrupt complicity. Such an individual is Briony Tallis. For almost 80 years, she has hid the secret of her atrocious actions, of a decent man wrongly accused, a heartsick girl horribly hurt, and a love unable to fully flower. She’s finally decided to write about it - her last novel. She calls it Atonement, for that’s what it’s meant to do. But even in the act of contrition, she can’t allow the truth to dampen the forced fanciful mood.

You see, back before Hitler invaded Europe, the Tallis clan lived a life of privilege. While son Leon hobnobbed with his school chums in London, daughters Cecilia and Briony spent the summer heat in the country. While Briony, the youngest, entertains herself with writing and secret passions, Cecilia appears directionless - that is, until those moments when servant’s son Robbie Turner shows up. He’s been favored by the family, sent to school on their good graces (and money) and welcomed in their home as a quasi-equal. He adores Cecilia. She’s just realizing her own emotional and physical attachment. A scandalous note, the arrival of a young chocolate merchant, and a night of horrific sexual misunderstandings lands Robbie in jail, Cecilia devastated, and Briony defiant. War only deepens the already substantial wounds.

 

by Rob Horning

22 Jan 2010

Nick Bilton writes in the NYT about the curatorial impulse that living online has unleashed.

I go to scour the Web looking for more news to sift through and ration out to my friends and followers — a natural course of action in my day. I spend a considerable amount of time each day looking for interesting angles about technology, news, journalism, design or just the latest comic video to pass along the daisy chain.
Most of us do this to some degree. We are no longer just consumers of content, we have become curators of it too.
If someone approached me even five years ago and explained that one day in the near future I would be filtering, collecting and sharing content for thousands of perfect strangers to read — and doing it for free — I would have responded with a pretty perplexed look. Yet today I can’t imagine living in a world where I don’t filter, collect and share.

This is a perfect example of how performing free immaterial labor is starting to rule our days, become a compulsion. No longer a hobby, it’s an entire mode of being. Life is winnowing down to operations of this limited scope and scale—pointing and thumbs-upping at texts and images.

by Robert Moore

22 Jan 2010

If you were to ask someone what words first spring to mind after watching the two debut episodes, they would not be the ones that you would associate with great television. Instead of great acting, great writing, and compelling production values, with Spartacus you can’t think of much beyond nudity, the irresponsible use of CGI, cardboardish writing, and blood. Lots of blood. Titanic quantities of blood. In fact, there is so much blood that it is hard not to think of the famous Black Knight scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, in which copius amounts of blood spew from one severed arm and leg after another in absurd quanities. Was blood eve intended to be the major component of any series?

So what descriptive terms spring to mind when thinking of Spartacus?

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Stone Dead: Murder and Myth in 'Medousa'

// Short Ends and Leader

"A wry tale which takes in Greek mythology, punk rock and influences of American suspense-drama, this is an effective and curious thriller about myth and obsession.

READ the article