Category Archives: Video

A Fear Too Beautiful To Resist!

by Tony Nigro

Nobuhiko Obayashi’s Hausu is my favorite cult film that I’ve never seen.  Recently, the indispensable Janus Films has been touring it theatrically and I’ve managed to miss every L.A. screening.  I can only hope the tour means a Criterion DVD or Blu-Ray release is imminent.  The newly subtitled trailer Janus posted today only reinforces that hope.

“HOUSE IS CALLING TO YOU COME BACK HOME AND MARRY ME.”  Enough said.  You had me at the disembodied fingers playing piano.

Be sure to also check out Midnight Eye’s recent feature on Obayashi, and one of his early, rather avant-garde short films.

Freak of the Week: Wapakman

by Tony Nigro

I’m going to be honest here.  I don’t care about boxing.  I do, however, care about aspiring politicians and superheroes because they are the people who make this world go ’round.  Manny Pacquiao happens to be both, with the latter aspiration on display in Wapakman.  So here’s to Pacquiao being the next Dwayne Johnson and learning from Schwarzenegger’s political missteps.  Maybe fighting a giant crab will even help his already stellar boxing career.

I’ll be honest about something else.  The bad aspect ratio of this trailer kills me like fake HD at a sports bar.  Someone please upload a corrected version, or offer me money to do it for you.

Cattle Call

by Lewis Manalo

This might be your kind of thing, but LEGS‘ short “I Wanna Be Your Dog” pretty succinctly illustrates why I stopped working as a talent agent’s assistant.

One wonders what Laura Mulvey would make of the masochistic exhibitionism that these actresses “portray”; however, if you’re familiar with Iggy Pop, the context of the film parallels his outrageous live perfomances, confirming the role of the cinema audience (and the viewer) as that of sadistic voyeur.

For my take on the mechanics of viewing (shameless plug!), see here.

Zombie 101 & Video Criticism

by Tony Nigro

A brilliantly realized zombie primer by Matt Zoller Seitz that astutely included George Romero’s The Crazies as a bridge to 28 Days Later and what he dubs “zombie-by-proxy” stories.

Along with Kevin Lee, Seitz is taking online film criticism in the right direction, using online video to elevate criticism above the print vs. blog roadblocks that have become all too commonplace.  (Another tremendous video entry by Seitz is the “Evolution of the Modern Blockbuster” series at The L Magazine.)

Here are some of my older (and less effective) entries on zombie film criticism:

Freak of the Week: Trick or Treat

Heavy Metal.  Ozzy.  Marc Price “from Family Ties.”  Someone call Tipper Gore and the PMRC, because it doesn’t get any more evil than this, folks.

Not Coming to a Theater Near You has a more respectful and well thought out piece on this piece.

Squint and See

by Tony Nigro

A recurring argument in avant-garde cinema circles regards watching a film projected versus any other way.  The idea is that one cannot truly “see” a film except in an ideal projection setting, which excludes home and online video.  (Video art is another story, and I’m not going to touch that now.)  The broader discussion breaks down into two camps: purists and people the purists think are philistines.  Sometimes, the purists call each other philistines.  For more purist-on-purist action, check out the archives of Frameworks.

Of course, this is to say nothing of the irony that many avant-garde film folks, those supposedly ahead of the curve, are really purists.  Or maybe I mean “puritans.”  Anyway, that’s a different essay altogether.

Film Studies For Free is a tremendous resource of links and videos that fulfill the promise of the blog’s title.  (I only wish it existed before I went into hock to get a college diploma.)  A recent post there about Michael Snow included an embed of Snow’s avant-garde touchstone Wavelength, a 45 minute zoom that blah blah perception blah blah textures of film blah blah, or something.  Look Snow up sometime, because he’s fascinating.  Right now I’m more concerned with comments sparked by the embedded video, comments about how the only way to watch Wavelength is on film.

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Freak of the Week: Panic Face King

We’re taking a step back this week from freaky horror movies to look at real terror, or at least how a perverse Japanese reality show can inflict it upon one unlucky bastard.

Maybe the American remake could star Richard Heene.

Freak of the Week: Ring, Simian Style

Sure, this one has been circulating for a while, but we’re deep into the Halloween preseason and feeling a little randy.  Besides, we love chimps.

Freak of the Week: 666

by Tony Nigro

Via VICE via Boing Boing, the first Nollywood horror flick that I really need to see but probably don’t have the stamina to finish.  Produced by a pastor and replete with all sorts of “special effects” (as in “special education”), 666 promises a lot by offering very little.  The trailer reminds me of a cross between the Troma-distributed Fatty Drives the Bus and a mondo psychotronic Elvis-meets-Frankenstein piece of crap I dug out of the back of Jerry’s Video Rerun in the ’90s.

Freak of the Week: Banana Street

Ideally, our Freak of the Week feature is related to a face-melting movie and tied to an upcoming screening.  But the Internets are a fascinating series of tubes with their own brand of freakish videos too good to pass up.  And often these come from Japanese television.

A Japanese riff on Sesame Street‘s Bert and Ernie, Banana Street has made the viral video rounds at least once or twice before, but its creepiness is timeless.  It’s also further proof that Bert is evil.