Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Opera Thrills

By happenstance, THE FUTURIST! came across this updated trailer for DIVA, the French thriller directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix. Having seen this film on the big screen, THE FUTURIST! recalls it totally enveloping him in the comforting folds of utter suspended disbelief which is only found in a darkened theater focused on the dream world of a movie maker. DIVA mixes the world of opera, gangsters, honest and corrupt police, a saucy Vietnamese shoplifter, a strange French monosyllabic noir cowboy, Asian audio bootleggers, a shaved head assassin wearing sunglasses with earphones and the befuddlement of a plain Buster Keatonesque mail messenger pushed head over heels into a Hitchcockian vortex of romance, passionate arias and possible death; let's not forget the moped chases in the streets and subways of Paris. It is so original, so alive. Recently, THE FUTURIST! upgraded his DVD copy of DIVA from an old washed out print from Fox Lorber. DIVA is all about listening and sound presented in colorful dream-like images. The characters desire and wish to capture different types of audio. The quest for sound is captured with our eyes; both senses enraptured. This trailer made THE FUTURIST! want to re-experience the visceral thrills he felt and found love with, some years ago, when DIVA first danced its waltz of wonder in front of his eyes. He may find himself in the dark and smiling once again. He'd like to invite you.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ketch (Your Hands) Up

haiku is planning a 4th of July outdoor grilling event this coming weekend. He's very excited about this get together; his friends in the unknown indie band that is going nowhere, Marcel Proust's Mustache, will be attending. There is talk of illegal explosive devices that will cause brightly colored aerial designs of a patriotic flavor. Of course, there will be hot dogs, hamburgers and some kind of skewered vegetable kebabs. The most exciting thing, it seems, is that he purchased this new contraption to inject condiments (mustard or ketchup) onto the aforementioned food offerings. He believes it will cause quite a sensation. THE FUTURIST! wonders if it comes with a holster. He, also, can think of a very funny visual gag involving this gun, ketchup and the posed aftermath of a "fake" suicide attempt. Oh, that could be fun right before the corn on the cob.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Remembering Mr. Jackson with Some Funny Dancing

The recent death of Michael Jackson brought to THE FUTURIST!'s mind something he saw a long time ago. Steve Martin did a parody of the Billie Jean music video as the opening comedy bit on a Lorne Michaels produced comedy variety show from the early 80s. He searched YouTube and eureka!!

Searching YouTube is like eating European White Almonds ... you can't stop. THE FUTURIST! found this, as well; the prisoners of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, Cebu, Philippines perform Broadway style exercise routines in their prison yard. Complete with a male prisoner in drag, this performance is quite well choreographed for untrained felons. One wonders if they shiv each other in the showers to get the lead role in these outdoor productions. "I'm going out a multiple murderer ... but I'm coming back A STAR!"

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday Music that Lies Deep in THE FUTURIST!'s Closet

Squeeze, the British pop group which doesn't exist any more (If incorrect on this, please inform) was and still is one of THE FUTURIST!'s favorite creators of musical sound. Whenever he felt glum and needed to lie on the floor in front of his stereo and just try to escape from whatever ailed him, a Squeeze record would be placed on the turntable. THE FUTURIST! still has those very records. He no longer has a record player and Squeeze cds are hard to find ... if not near impossible. So, those happy sounds of songwriters Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford are stacked in the back of a dark closet behind other things of the past; hidden behind THE FUTURIST!'s suits and shirts and such. This is song that is not on ANY of the records in his possession. It's very pleasant and has that sound and style that made THE FUTURIST! think he could do anything as he floated on a cloud of tonal bliss.

For some reason, you will see quick flashes of great duos and couplings from pop culture appear on a screen behind the group on stage. Why, you may ask? Well, THE FUTURIST! asks the same question. He can see nothing in the lyrics of the song that would explain this visual accompaniment. The song is about a lonely lowly store clerk leaving his job late on a cold night; his only comfort is his ride on his bike to the pub for a pint and dreaming of companionship and love. A bad video, but a perfect song for THE FUTURIST!; performed with happy verve.


performed by Squeeze

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bang Boom Bash Bang Boom

As stated previously, THE FUTURIST! loves silent film comedy and brilliant sight gags. The following visual review of Michael Bay's new film Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen follows in that tradition, though it does have some sound ... but no verbal audio. The review was created by Martin Kermode. Mr Kermode is a film reviewer for BBC News 24, author of two BFI Modern Classic books, an editor of Sight & Sound magazine and a co-presenter on the The Culture Show on BBC 2. Mr. Kermode is, also, as you will witness a very funny clever man. THE FUTURIST! could not stop laughing; all the hilarity hurt so much due to THE FUTURIST!'s mirth muscles not being exercised enough. He needs to get a membership to a Joy Gym of some kind.

* THE FUTURIST! salutes ( in a non-Fascist manner) FILMBRAIN for bringing this item to his attention.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

These Trees Create

THE FUTURIST! would like to know what you think of the above banner. It was created by Young Sun Compton. That's a fascinating name, isn't it? Young Sun Compton currently is young and appears young, but one ponders what will happen when Young Sun Compton becomes much older; will the Young moniker cause a bewildered look on those he encounters when he shakes their hand and says, "Good morning/afternoon/evening, I'm Young Sun Compton." ... or when he plays shuffleboard at the retirement village condo recreation center?

1st Old Geezer: "It's Young's turn."

2nd Old Geezer: "Who the Hell is Young? Who?? Not me! WHO!!?"

3rd Old Geezer: "I'm hungry. I found a dime yesterday."

Young Sun Compton:
"I am."

2nd Old Geezer: "The Hell you are, you lying Son of a Bitch! You must have the God Damn Alzheimer's!"

THE FUTURIST! has diverted from his initial post idea. Excuse him.

THE FUTURIST! would like your opinion on the above banner created by Young Sun Compton. THE FUTURIST! imagines him to be fastidious and obsessed with order. Young Sun is a font fanatic. He is maniacal about fonts. He knows them all and can identify them all. He can affix a font to a person's personality. This sounds a bit abnormal and may well be ... it may be a malady of the mind. However, it hasn't harmed anyone ... well ... a customer service representative at Chaffworth Soups may differ in that opinion. Rumor has it that Young Sun Compton assailed the Soup Company with many phone calls and e-mails after they claimed the letters in their Alphabet Soup were in Verdana Font. Young Sun Compton claimed it was Comic Sans with a Tahoma influence caused by a mutant pasta genetic code caused by their high temperature cooking process. This went all the way to N.J. State Court and was later proved to be correct in Young Sun Compton's favor; several Chaffworth Soup Company executives lost their jobs. Young Sun was awarded a small monetary prize which he donated to the Mechanical Lead Pencil Appreciation Society located in Deep Rooted Depression, N.J.

THE FUTURIST! met Young Sun Compton awhile ago in a very brief encounter. He can't recall if Young Sun said anything but

"Hello, I'm Young Sun Compton."

And THE FUTURIST! might have replied:

"Yes, you are ... Young."

But that did not happen. He was in the company of a few of haiku's friends and it was a brief unconversational meeting. Just recently, through the interweb, THE FUTURIST! encountered Young Sun Compton again and asked him to consider what font would suit THE FUTURIST!. The answer was Neutra Font. The above banner was the result. Another banner choice was this one:

What do you think? THE FUTURIST! likes the first one the most. haiku has no opinion. Fleming Clamdish is trapped in his apartment dishwasher. The Amazing Frollo is sleeping. Dr. Seussonoras is dating his male secretary (which can only end badly) and Miss Angela Deppler, 2nd Grade Teacher and 1st Class Vixen, doesn't care at all.

** sigh **

Please leave opinions in the comments section. And visit Young Sun Compton's web page, thesetreesspeak. It's a marvelous menagerie of images. It has a neat clean, calming beauty of identity.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Soup of the Day: Duck

After a trying Monday, THE FUTURIST! needed a little pick-me-up. Instead of a martini, he youtubed himself a snippet of Groucho; in this case, a bit of Duck Soup. May this shared Groucho lift all your spirits after the beginning of another dreary work week. Frankly, every Monday should start or end with a little Groucho Marx.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Music for Constructing a Backyard Spaceship

Explorers (1985) directed by Joe Dante is nestled warmly in THE FUTURIST!'s cinematic heart. Oh, to be sure, it is a greatly flawed film, especially in its third act ... but, the direction by Mr. Dante of the young boys and their friendship, their eagerness to create and make their fantastical dreams come true is wonderful to watch. There are little references in the film to other classic films; Citizen Kane, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and This Island Earth are a few instances of in-jokes. Mr. Dante even references his earlier film Gremlins and pays honor to the beloved Looney Tunes animated shorts with the name of the school the boys attend; Charles M. Jones Junior High. In the video below you will recognize that two of the young explorers are Ethan Hawke and the late River Phoenix who might resemble THE YOUNG FUTURIST! in his tie, sweater vest and corduroy sport coat.

Director Joe Dante worked closely with master film composer Jerry Goldsmith on his films. Explorers has one of THE FUTURIST!'s favorite soundtracks. The music has that tense pounding anticipation of a great deal of Goldsmith's work, but then lifts into a beautiful melodic flight that, in its sound, brings to mind the exultation of successful creation and wonder. It blends well in this montage of the boys working together on the building of their homemade spacecraft which will soon propel them into alien encounters and science fiction adventure.


from the soundtrack of Explorers
composed by Jerry Goldsmith

Friday, June 19, 2009


Making Jurassic Park and its sequels a little less scary and a little more ... nicer.

* A tip of the hat that THE FUTURIST! never ever wears to John Lichman

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Word from Tab Hunter

THE FUTURIST!'s father had this short filmed message, by closeted film heartthrob Tab Hunter, shown before ALL family home movies featuring THE FUTURIST!'s Aunt Vespa.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Little Room for a View

Fleming Clamdish poses in a very laconic manner with his
house warming gift, which he has no idea where to place.

Fleming Clamdish just got a new apartment in Utter Despair. It is extremely tiny. The ironing board, which springs from a door in the wall, doubles as his bed. He can make breakfast and make his bed at the same time, by merely turning to the right or left. He doubles his bed sheets as a kitchen table cloth. The clothes closet fits two shirts, a coat and one pair of shoes and his Scrabble board game (the junior edition); it resembles a High School locker. Watching television is awkward. There is room for only one chair in the living room; a blue love seat. THE FUTURIST! found it very odd sitting so close to Fleming Clamdish on that tight chair watching My Beautiful Launderette. Fleming Clamdish is a big Stephen Frears fan. THE FUTURIST! asked haiku what would be an appropriate house warming gift. haiku replied, "Don't you mean an appropriate casket warming gift?" haiku can be a smart ass. THE FUTURIST! decided on a food processor which he purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond. Fleming Clamdish accepted it with a small smile and in a taciturn manner. He kept it in his hands through the entire visit and was still holding it after THE FUTURIST! left. Fleming Clamdish said, "Oh, I will eventually find a place for ... it." haiku left after the presentation of the gift. He said, "My presence here is not needed anymore ... plus, my oxygen tank is running low, I need to go out and get some real air." He wore a scuba diving air tank with breathing nozzle to the house warming party. As stated, he can be a smart ass.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Silent Haircut Comedy

If you please, watch this modern silent short directed by Dougal Wilson, photographed by Alvin H. Kutchler and produced by Matthew Fone for Blink Productions. The hero is played by Matt Baynton. This silent film is one of a number of "Opera Shorts" commissioned by Sky Arts for the English National Opera.

THE FUTURIST! likes this very much. It looks like an old silent film; the cinematography has that shiny polished reflective glare of silent film of years ago The action is very professionally accomplished in the comedic style of the past. The tracking shots are beautiful. THE FUTURIST! loves a tracking shot ... and silent comedy.

* Thanks to The Bioscope for bringing this to THE FUTURIST!'s attention.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


What is Ypsilanti?

1. a skin disorder
2. an alien mastermind who battles Green Lantern
3. a new type of margarine
4. the Icelandic word for Sex closet
5. a Norwegian puppy's bark

No ... it's where Seussonoras Labs is located. Seussonoras Labs supplies THE FUTURIST! with many new inventions for testing and critical analysis.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Music by Django Reinhardt

On pure whim THE FUTURIST! recently purchased a two cd set of music by Django Reinhardt. THE FUTURIST! knew nothing about this Belgian born Gypsy jazz guitarist until he had seen Woody Allen's film Sweet and Lowdown. In the film a fictional 1930s jazz guitarist played by Sean Penn is envious and phobic about the talents of Mr. Reinhardt and his fears and jealousy become a running gag in the film. Reading a short bio on Mr. Reinhardt revealed that he was in a terrible house fire when he was 18 yrs old and suffered great burns. He almost had his leg amputated and the third and fourth fingers of his left hand were badly maimed by the flames. He was told he would never play the guitar again. He persevered and through determination and rehabilitation learned to play with only two fingers and used the injured fingers for chord work. The Amazing Frollo, one of the laziest men on Earth, should take heed of Django's story of determination ... Frollo complains of just having to arise from bed in the morning.

Here he plays a beautiful love song in his famous style along with violinist Stephane Grappelli, who collaborated with him many many times. The sound of the violin and the jazz guitar are beautiful to the ears and make the heart a bit lighter.


performed by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli

Friday, June 12, 2009

Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite!

Dr. Adam Flisser will explain the dangers of bed hopping, dirty hairbrushes, sheets, headphones and hair. And get a load of the very scary Pubic Lice. These microscopic bugs live on your skin and blood. According to this video, college students are filthy pigs with lots of body lice. After watching this THE FUTURIST!'s crotch suddenly feels very ... itchy.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Werner Herzog Remakes

Recently, THE FUTURIST! was involved in a whirlwind of craziness on the social networking site TWITTER. John Lichman, online producer of the Current TV Rotten Tomatoes Show, posted the new trailer to the remake of Bad Lieutenant by Werner Herzog. The trailer is incredibly mind boggling in its acting, dialogue and potential storyline. This prompted Lichman to begin an inspired, yet insane, mission to start creating ideas for Werner Herzog remakes and posting them in the required 140 characters or less on TWITTER. If you are able to create enough posts using a certain topic, it can become a Top 10 trending topic, which is then posted on the right of the screen for all "Tweeters" to see. Most trending topics are references to the Jonas Brothers, Jimmy Fallon, American Idol, OMGILOVEGOSSIPGIRL and Swine Flu. Getting wernerherzogremakes to the point of being a trending topic seemed so insane, so funny, so anti-Twitter ... therefore it had to be done. THE FUTURIST! participated and below are some of his contributions. A knowledge of Mr. Herzog (director of Grizzly Man, Fitzcarraldo, Encounters at the End of the World and more), his films and themes and his frequent use of actor Klaus Kinski helps you understand the satire ... otherwise you may be lost. Of course, as most quests for happiness conclude, wernerherzogremakes never became a trending topic and the mission was a failure.

As an added bonus, THE FUTURIST! includes (at bottom) a video of Herzog being shot by a sniper during an interview.


THE GOLD RUSH: Herzog eats shoe in snowbound cabin. Errol Morris interviews him & envisions Herzog as giant chicken.

HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE Nastassja Kinski as Pop Singer Schizophrenic. Has sex with father Klaus Kinski & square dances.

GRIZZLY MANHATTAN: Neurotic NYer beset by shallow friends, ex-wife, criticized for affair with bear. Bear kills everyone.

MONKEYS ON A PLANE: Herzog unleashes 100 squirrel monkeys on jet liner after takeoff. Films resulting melee & narrates.

DER FLEIDERMAUS RETURNS: Depressed super hero battles suicidal insane Penguin. Both walk off into snowy void of doom.

MY DINNER WITH KLAUS: Herzog films dining in restaurant with Kinski. Talk of life, philosophy, God, suicide, murder.

DER SIEBEN SAMURAI: 7 Asian dwarves ride into small western town, throw excrement, curse and spit.

THE MUZAK MAN: Con Man Kinski comes to Midwest American town selling music lessons. He sings, dances & rapes librarian.

THE TAKING OF PELHAM EINS, ZWEI, DREI: Herzog films actual hijacking of NYC subway car just for fun ... no ransom.

MR. FRAU: Kinski tries to handle family stay at home chores while wife Teri Garr works. Their children flee screaming.

THE OSCAR: Herzog strangles Philippe Petit with trapeze wire after losing Oscar for Best Doc. Elke Sommer cameos

KINSKI VS KINSKI: Klaus Kinski sues himself for custody of his sanity. Sanity played by dwarf resembling Justin Henry

GREY GARDENS: Doc. of Herzog & Kinski in house dresses & sun bonnets living in Long Island house. Murder attempts ensue.

LITTLE DIETER NEEDS TO FLY DOWN TO RIO: Soldier imprisoned by Viet Cong attempts to stage musical number on plane wings

JAWSZECK: Insane German actor terrorizes New England beach community by biting vacationers.

STROSHREK: Ogre travels to America with talking donkey, moves into trailer home, works as mechanic & gets disillusioned

MR. KINSKI BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE: German business executive tries to erect suburban cape cod in Amazon jungle.

NOSFERATOOTSIE: Vampire dresses in drag for role on German soap opera.

AGUIRRE THE WRATH OF OH, GOD! Spanish conquistador travels down Amazon on raft with George Burns and 65 squirrel monkeys.

THE ENIGMA OF DOOGIE HAUSER, M.D. Adolescent doctor arrives in city hospital, cannot speak, stand erect or bill medicare.

GRIZZLY MAN FOR ALL SEASONS: Sir Thomas Moore loses head after getting too close, then not agreeing with King of Bears.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saturday Music for Hijacking a NYC Subway Car

Very soon another remake will hit the cinema screens. This time it will be a retread of Joseph Sargent's THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE from 1974. In THE FUTURIST!"s opinion, this thriller (along with Midnight Cowboy and Dog Day Afternoon) is one of the best "New York movies" he has ever seen. Every scene is realistic and gritty. The filmmakers make the New York City of 1974 come to life; the cars, the clothes, the buildings, the litter and even the smells of the streets and subway seem to waft from the screen. The film's well written and intense script, adapted from John Godey's novel, is a spellbinding, edge of your seat roller coaster ride about the hijacking of a subway car by a band of criminals seeking ransom. It is delivered to you with perfection from a cast of great actors. The remake gives us Denzel Washington and John Travolta, but the original gave us Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam and Jerry Stiller. Each of those actors don't look like movie stars ... their faces radiate everyday wear and tear and each seems to live their part as actual denizens of the Big Apple. Oh, and that perfect ending of cinema perfection! THE FUTURIST! always cites this film as having a brilliantly constructed and accomplished conclusion; an ending that does only what the movies can do ... say so much and provide so much satisfaction with sounds and just a facial expression.

Who knows what this remake will be like? The commercials make it appear jaggedly edited and full of rap music. Oh, my.

This Saturday, THE FUTURIST! presents to you the opening credits to the original 1974 film with a wonderful aggressive soundtrack by David Shire. The theme from this film has a tone of menace and danger ... just like 70s New York. You will hear sounds provided by brass that make you feel you are caught in midtown traffic ... bleats and bursts that sound like angry cars ... congestion and stress. A mix of sounds that prepare you for what you are about to see and experience. THE FUTURIST! urges you to see the original film. It can't get any better.


from The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
written by David Shire

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Letters from Lewis

For the past 3 months, THE FUTURIST! has been receiving beautifully written notes on bone white writing paper. Each note has been penned in black ink, folded exactly and placed in a corresponding perfectly squared envelope of pale gray. When the envelope is opened and the note unfolded to view its message, a slight scent of cinnamon and freshly laundered tweed emanates into the air around the reader, but soon dissipates. The letters appear to be from the author Lewis Carroll. Amazing. They are always addressed to "Penningworth". Here is one that arrived recently:

Dear Penningworth,

Shall I impart what happened to me this past Sunday noon? I was accosted by several prep school boys who interrupted my slumber. I was resting against my favorite oak tree by the river with a copy of Darwin's Origins of the Species on my lap. These brutes hurled invectives, as well as acorns. A medium sized stone with angular edges, of a most dangerous aspect, was thrown and grazed my shoulder. I blurted out a moan which only encouraged their taunting. My suit coat was torn at the seam and I felt a terrible burn from the impact. They soon left. I wept for a bit and returned to my reading of the Darwin text; it only proved the author's point that these brutes were spawned from simians. Oh! The words started to blur before my eyes due to my consternation and shortened breath. I was quite vexed and my constitution was suffering from near faint. I soon retired to my quarters and brewed some Earl Grey Tea; a restful libation to cure my anxiety.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Top 5 Films of Utter Despair

THE FUTURIST! was a sad person before he lost most of his hair.
Now, he's even more melancholy.

THE FUTURIST! was recently asked by John Lichman of Current TV (home of The Rotten Tomatoes Movie Show) to compose a Top 5 List of films of any genre or theme. Mr. Lichman is the show's on-line producer and helms the Current TV Movies Blog. He adds things of cinematic interest to the blog daily with his comedic word play, eye for silly visuals and oft times black sense of humor. Last week he instituted this Top 5 Film list with his first contributor - Glenn Kenny, film critic and the "Sydney Greenstreet" of movie blogging. It was quite an honor and a surprise to receive an email from John Lichman asking THE FUTURIST! to be the 2nd person to construct a list.

After much head scratching and conferences with haiku and The Amazing Frollo (a very lazy acquaintance of THE FUTURIST!), a decision was made. THE FUTURIST! would construct a list of his favorite Top 5 Films of Utter Despair. It's a very international list of great taste and deep sorrow; two of the films have their settings in places with lots of deep, perpetual snow and grey skies, one is in 1930s Los Angeles, one in feudal Japan and another involves depressed neurotic New Yorkers and suicide.

Please enjoy click on the highlighted text above and hopefully you shall enjoy it.

THE FUTURIST! thanks John Lichman for his consideration of THE FUTURIST! in contributing to this series of weekly lists. He has made THE FUTURIST! very happy ... momentarily very happy.