Thursday, December 31, 2009

25 Films of The Decade with a Side of Delights

In alphabetical order:
(Ultimate favorites are highlighted)

ANYTHING ELSE (Woody Allen 2003)
BAD EDUCATION (Pedro Almodovar 2004)
CAFE LUMIERE (Hsiao-hsien Ho 2003)
CHILDREN OF MEN (Alfonso Cuaron 2006)
THE EDGE OF HEAVEN (Fatih Akin 2007)
GHOST WORLD (Terry Zwigoff 2001)
HOT FUZZ (Edgar Wright 2007)
IN BRUGES (Martin McDonagh 2008)
IN THE BEDROOM (Todd Field 2001)
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (Kar Wai Wong 2000)
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (Quentin Tarantino 2009)
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (Tomas Alfredson 2008)
THE LIVES OF OTHERS (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck 2007)
MEMORIES OF MURDER (Joon-ho Bong 2003)
MULHOLLAND DRIVE (David Lynch 2001)
THE NEW WORLD (Terence Malick 2005)
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (Joel & Ethan Coen 2007)
OLD JOY (Kelly Reichardt 2006)
PARANOID PARK (Gus Van Sant 2007)
THE PIANIST (Roman Polanski 2002)
THE SQUID AND THE WHALE (Noah Baumbach 2005)
THERE WILL BE BLOOD (Paul Thomas Anderson 2007)
ZODIAC (David Fincher 2007)

... and more that delighted the mind of THE FUTURIST!:

BRICK (Rian Johnson 2005)
CINEMANIA (Angela Christlieb & Stephen Kijak 2002)
CQ (Roman Coppola 2002)
FAHRENHEIT 9/11 (michael Moore 2004)
HALF NELSON (Ryan Fleck 2006)
THE HOST (Joon-ho Bong 2006)
I HEART HUCKABEES (David O. Russell 2004)
THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE (Nanette Burstein & Brett Morgen 2002)
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA (Clint Eastwood 2007)
LITTLE CHILDREN (Todd Field 2006)
OPEN RANGE (Kevin Costner 2003)
RACHEL GETTING MARRIED (Jonathan Demme 2008)
ROCKET SCIENCE (Jeffrey Blitz 2007)
RODGER DODGER (Dylan Kidd 2002)
THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (Wes Anderson 2001)
SPEED RACER (The Wachowski Brothers 2008)
TELL THEM WHO YOU ARE (Mark Wexler 2004)
WHOLE NEW THING (Amnon Buchbinder 2005)

and the Pixar output of the 00s
especially RATATOUILLE and UP

After careful scrutiny, THE FUTURIST! can attest that, in his humble opinion, 2007 was the best year of the decade for film. And if he were to select one film that was his favorite of all listed it would be:


Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Tree Topper

This is an original Robot Tree Topper created at Seussonoras Labs in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Saturday Music for Christmas and New Year's Eve

THE FUTURIST! presents a double final dose of Saturday Music for 2009:

THE FUTURIST! really really enjoys The McGarrigle Christmas Hour CD. It may very well be his favorite Christmas musical recording. This is a rare thing for THE FUTURIST! to opine on, because he really hates Christmas music. On the recording is a track sung by Rufus Wainwright which is thrillingly backed up by a band of sorts. Unable to offer that same experience, THE FUTURIST! presents an acoustic version of a Christmas song about unconditional love and the materialism of "presents" at the holiday season.


performed by Rufus Wainwright

And for New Year's Eve, THE FUTURIST! offers this tune with an inquisitive title ...
the answer need not be uttered. Whatever you do, THE FUTURIST! doesn't really care ... he just hopes you won't be depressed. Just remember, there are a lot of "you" out there.


performed by Nancy Wilson

Friday, December 25, 2009

Egg Nog - The Official Yuletide Beverage of Utter Despair

This commercial for Egg Nog was optioned by The Utter Despair N.J. Dairy Council, however its use was vetoed by the town selectman. They thought it should have been more depressing. THE FUTURIST! posts it here for your Seasonal Holiday enjoyment.

A Very Warm Christmas

THE FUTURIST! posts this video regarding Christmas Tree Ignition. Do not not drink excessive amounts of yuletide wassail and fall asleep under your holiday tree while smoking Dunhills. This can happen. Many years ago, this type of accident occurred during a Christmas party by a reveling guest and THE FUTURIST! lost several Christmas gifts ... a beautiful Crew Neck Sweater and some Persian Slippers. This is why he now spends his holidays alone.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas, Strudel

Strudel the Christmas Cat

Each year Strudel, the Christmas Cat, visits THE FUTURIST!'s home. He is given several treats and a bowl of Vodka enhanced Egg Nog. Strudel annually laps his portion of Yuletide liquids and mews for more. THE FUTURIST! gratifies his every purr, but must halt the festivities when things get a bit too frisky. Last year Strudel climbed into the Nativity Manger and ate Joseph's head and the Black Wise Man ... he then used the artificial hay in the religiously themed decoration as a litter box. Strudel, THE FUTURIST! hails you with regal aplomb!

Batman's Holiday How-To Guide

Please allow Batman, the caped crusader of Gotham City and kick-ass super hero, to instruct you this Christmas Eve on how to wrap presents and construct a Gingerbread House. It is very informative.



Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Less Than 10 Minute Matinee

It's the Holiday Season and THE FUTURIST! is inviting you to the special Yuletide Less Than 10 Minute Matinee at the theater of the MIND! Are you done shopping for useless items that you inflict on others as they give you useless items in exchange? Are you done with a morning of filling the greedy corporate pockets of the shopping mall retail robots with your hard earned cash? If so, please get your ticket and follow THE FUTURIST! to your seat in the theater. First up is a coming attraction for a delightful Mexican Kiddie holiday movie called SANTA CLAUS produced by K. Gordon Murray (the kiddie matinee King of the 60s). In this dubbed mess, Santa has a laboratory with rubber lipped computers, employs Merlin as a slave and battles demons. It's a hallucinogenic mess designed to make you laugh as you lose your sanity.

And now Holiday Greetings from the Management with a special Christmas Seals message from actress Virginia Mayo ....

Finally our feature presentation. Happy Holiday Movie viewing, everyone!

directed by Charles E. Sellier Jr.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday Music for Her Majesty's Secret Service

40 years ago on December 18, 1969 THE FUTURIST'S favorite James Bond film premiered. It was a BIG moment for 007 fans due to the fact that a new actor was to take over the role of Ian Fleming's dashing British spy character. The actor chosen was George Lazenby and he made a damn fine James Bond. After 5 films, Sean Connery had decided to relinquish the role for reasons that have been disputed and/or exaggerated for years since. Whatever the reasons they are insignificant to the fact that this is, in THE FUTURIST!'s humble opinion, THE BEST Bond film ever made. It isn't anything highly significant that makes it better ... it is a mixture of things ... the acting, the emotion, the snowy locale of the villains, the more proactive, athletic and hands on arch villain Blofeld, the wonderful Diana Rigg and the music. This film has one of the best soundtracks of any Bond film. Not only is there the Louis Armstrong performance of the bittersweet song We Have All the Time in the World, but there is the John Barry composed pounding main title theme which you will hear below accompanied by some stirring clips of the film.


composed by John Barry

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Art of Hand Shadow Illusions

THE FUTURIST!'s aide de camp, haiku, recently took a night course in Hand Shadow Illusions. He, of course, learned how to create the expected light and shadow depictions of a duck head, rabbits, a man with cigar, various birds and Abraham Lincoln (before and after assassination) merely using a screen (or wall), light and ten fingers. This was an advanced course and haiku's teacher was quite innovative as you can see in the above photo. THE FUTURIST! was quite impressed, but, also, very distressed to see this on the wall of his living room when he entered his abode after a trying day. After cleaning up the broken glass and moping up the smashed bottle of vermouth that he had purchased, THE FUTURIST! congratulated haiku on his graduation from the night course and the dexterity of his digits. haiku does have thin fingers.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


This supposed photographic evidence MIGHT indicate why THE FUTURIST! has a fear of bears to this very day. At a birthday party for THE YOUNG FUTURIST! held a very long time ago, which was held in a relative's backyard, Uncle Gary thought that renting a small black bear was a brilliant idea. You might expect an adult to hire Shetland pony for the afternoon for the children to ride, but Uncle Gary knew a carnival owner that was traveling through the area and made arrangements to meet him at a nearby saloon for contract negotiations. After several cocktails, Uncle Gary was assured that the young bear, named Toodles, would dance to music and juggle balls. This did occur to some extent ... Toodles arrived and danced on top of THE YOUNG FUTURIST! and did juggle balls ... but balls that physically belonged to THE YOUNG FUTURIST! THE FUTURIST! has never forgotten this pre-pubescent outdoor Birthday celebraton and it has inspired him to create this poster in FUTURA FONT:

Great Opening Credit Sequence Theater

directed by John Huston, Kenneth Hughes,
Val Guest, Robert Parrish and Joseph McGrath

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday Music to Soar Above the Strife

THE FUTURIST! just had a very ugly moment in his life. It involved the dissolving of a very old friendship. Of course, the decision to do so was for the better. THE FUTURIST! can only take so much crap. What better way to suture the emotional wounds of such moments than the sounds of Neil Hannon aka The Divine comedy. THE FUTURIST! selected this video to best represent the song due to its sound fidelity and the visual of a car or some vehicle hurtling through the night to a destination of solace at Christmas time. One of the lines in the song says, "Looking into all your lives and wondering why Happiness is so hard to find." Yes. THE FUTURIST! is looking.

Listen to the wonderful sound and lyrics:

performed by The Divine comedy

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Very Mer-Ray Christmas!

Seussonoras Industries acquired a small company called Beget Corp. that employs former NASA scientists, physicists, nuclear engineers and comic book geeks. Dr. Seussonoras recently saw their designs for a disintegrator ray gun and bells went off in his head ... jingle bells! With careful modification and the correct advertising, the gun would be THE Christmas gift of 2009. Of course, this would be solely advertised for adult use only ... a gun that projects a powerful radiation beam of energy that will disassemble the molecular structure of any object in its path IS NOT the type of instrument that you would want in a child's pudgy little hand. Private testing was done by Dr. Seussonoras' assistant The Eliminator of Bullshit. While having pumpkin pie dessert after a very tense Thanksgiving dinner, The Eliminator used the pistol on a passive aggressive relative. The advertisement below was sent to THE FUTURIST! by Dr. Seussonoras before a public airing.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Eliminator Speaks!

Dr. Seussonoras' able assistant The Eliminator of Bullshit recently wrote this piece on his blog regarding Autumn, trees, falsities, sadness and truth. THE FUTURIST! is reprinting here on his blog due to an admiration of its writing and message. The Eliminator's words speak to THE FUTURIST!, especially at this time of the year. Please take a few moments to absorb The Eliminator's writing and feel free to comment. THE FUTURIST! tried to contact The Eliminator to okay this reprinting of his work, but he was in conference with Dr. Seussonoras regarding corporate bullshit elimination, a Chinese lunch and a sauna.

Leaves and Sadness

The saddest thing about Autumn is that once the leaves begin to fall, you can see how thin the forests really are. They're not as endless as they seem when fully foliaged. The wooded places are dwindling, but I take heart in knowing that if there are no trees, we will all die. Thus, the maximum amount of time I must spend on the Earth-without-trees is but a moment.

How do we deal with all the sadness? The trees seem not to feel pain. They readily give up their ghosts each year, they turn to flames and then to skeletons, but always, always they have the knowledge that by their very biology, they will come back to full life, lest some mean ax have its way. But we humans are not so lucky. We have no guarantees that when our world falls to our feet leaving us naked and cold that it will all work out.

So we find ways to cope, mostly destructive mechanisms to deal with the sadness in the world: alcohol, drugs, violence as a hollow outlet, isolation, hardened hearts, self-sacrificial altruism, humor, God. No wonder so many people in this world present a false being to others. If one is not genuine, one does not have to accept anything else as genuine. But, the moment, you really live and become a real person, you start to feel it. You feel it creep in on a night like this, alone, staring into a pallid computer screen, with more leaves on the ground than on the branches, for both you and the trees.

You're genuine and so is all that sadness.
How does it not rot your happiness? The knowledge that twelve year olds wish for death, or that your mother hasn't been happy in ten years?

Then again, perhaps I'm just a sentimental kid who doesn't get quite enough sleep at night. Somehow, though, I think there's more to it than that. Why? Because I've discovered a few things along the way, while carrying that burden of sadness, hefting that sack of subversive spirits across the land.

There are a few loopholes given us by design. Beauty, so delightfully common it is, and it seems only the genuine can see it. The same ones that shut out the sadness can't see the beauty. It's there every day, every ten minutes, every time you pass a window, play a song, write a word.

Beauty is a big one, the biggest, but there are more loopholes, little tricks to come away partially unscathed. Each may have his own, but let's just say that at the end of the day, I would think no less of you should you act a little less sane

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday Music for "Guy Who Looks Like the Vampire from HBO's True Blood"

Yesterday THE FUTURIST! had decided to devote December's Saturday Music posts with 4 weeks of the movie music of John Barry ... however, a conversation with an acquaintance, known to those of the fair sex as "the guy who looks like the vampire from True Blood", reversed THE FUTURIST!'s decision. Why? Through idle conversation it was revealed that he loved the sounds of Burt Bacharach as much as THE FUTURIST! ... well, one could question if another could hold the sounds of Burt Bacharach as close to the heart as THE FUTURIST! does, but that is beside the point of this post. The point of this post is to fulfill his promise to said "guy who looks like the vampire from True Blood" and feature one of THE FUTURIST!'s favorite Bacharach/Hal David tunes sung by Dionne Warwick. It is evocative of all that Bacharach is ... the sound of the instruments (especially the horns), the voices, the forward locomotive-like turning of the beat. It is pure late 60s pop music sound ... and THE FUTURIST! could close his eyes and imagine himself in a very cool 60s setting hobnobbing with people in fine tailored suits and cocktail dresses and holding a very dry martini and letting this music envelop him ... but then he would open his eyes and realize it was ... a dream.


performed by Dionne Warwick
composed by Burt Bacharach and Hal David

Friday, December 4, 2009

In the Hive

Last evening THE FUTURIST! went to The Utter Despair Mall and visited the AMC Mega Hive of 16 Screens. He went to see FANTASTIC MR. FOX directed by Wes Anderson and it was very good. It erased some troubling thoughts from his mind and did what the magic of cinema can do ... transported THE FUTURIST! to another plane of existence ... an oasis of bliss and wonder. Before the orange and earth toned stop action animation version of Roald Dahl's book came to life under the eccentric direction of the fascinating Wes Anderson, THE FUTURIST! had to sit through several trailers and vacuous commercials that made no sense. Do they think these commercials really achieve their goal? They are just images and noise and color. Anywho, the trailers were stultifying visuals that bludgeoned THE FUTURIST! with their inanity. Why is money wasted on these ideas? Ah, yes ... to make money for that big first weekend! Of course. THE FUTURIST! sat through the ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE SQUEAKQUEL trailer, a Dreamworks computer animated noise fest of non-hilarious gags that boasted BIG celebrity voices! and The Rock in THE TOOTH FAIRY. Yes, THE TOOTH FAIRY. THE FUTURIST! was in terrible psychological pain ... three coming attractions that promised a flat liner on the brain wave meter of thought and entertainment. The most inexplicably strange trailer was the first projected on the screen. At first it seemed to be a gag perpetrated by the theater owners. It begins slowly in some African village as we watch two babies have a squabble over an empty soda or water bottle. Could this be the third installment of THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY? (oh no please no) What is this? It's going on too long ... wait ... it is progressing.


On April 16, 2010, THE FUTURIST! can be treated to a film about babies from around the world. How incredibly enticing. The theater owners want you to turn off your cell phones, not to talk and quiet your children ... yet, THE FUTURIST! can pay $11.50 to see and hear babies scream, fight, drool and look angelic as they sleep for 2 hours of his precious life. The World has gone mad. THE FUTURIST! will stay in his home in Utter Despair.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cannon & McGrath's Most Wanted List

Cannon and McGrath Dutch Angle Style.

THE FUTURIST! was recently befriended by Irish police detectives Cannon and McGrath after he assisted them, and their Chief, with information regarding counterfeit Guinness being mass produced and black marketed overseas by unscrupulous characters in a certain part of New Jersey. How THE FUTURIST! was able to assist them cannot be disclosed except to say that it involved a lot of vomiting. Anywho, since he has made their acquaintance and found them to be quite affable, THE FUTURIST! asked them to give him a list of their favorite television detective/police/crime programs. They acquiesced immediately and sent him the following list:

(list compiled while they were on duty)

The Wire: This one took me a while to get into but it definitely lives
up to the hype. I particularly love the bluesy soundtrack and backdrop
of Baltimore. It's very complex and you get a lot out of watching it
for a second time.

The Shield: Criminally, this one is often overlooked, but I think it's
one of the most thrilling and dramatic shows on TV. Great acting and
the camera work (which I was initially put off by) add so much to it.

The Sweeney: Excitingly basic thrills and gritty storylines make this
an essential '70s British police show. No matter how boring an
episode's plot has been, when it abruptly ends and makes way for the
poignant closing theme, you're always left wanting more.

The Job: A sitcom based in a New York police precinct, starring Denis
Leary. The same team went on to create the much more successful, and
more hard-hitting, Rescue Me. One of the funniest shows around, it
was, of course, cancelled after one series.

Police Squad: A send-up of the police genre which went on to spawn the
even funnier, and tighter, The Naked Gun series. But, there are still
plenty of glimmers of that genius here, not least the "freeze-frame"
gag at the end of every episode.

Columbo: Always on TV on a Sunday afternoon, Columbo is a very
danger-free detective show. We always know who has committed the crime
(as does Columbo), but keep watching for two hours until he tells
them. Typically, they always take it well.

And here is one of their adventures. It begins with one of THE FUTURIST!'s favorite opening shots in film history.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy Birthday, Woody

Woody Allen
Born: December 1, 1935

THE FUTURIST! thanks you for wonderful moments like this:

and thoughtful moments like this: