29 October 2010

my halloween film suggestion

"outer space" - a 10-minute experimental film short that i really really dug. the film-artist basically re-edited the true story ghost-rape film, "the entity" and created an assaulting de-construction, both visually and aurally. i'm sure it can be interpreted a bunch of different ways, but to me, it looks like the point of view of the ghost that is attacking the main character, trying to break into the real world to do this horrible act. check it out!

24 October 2010

SFAI essays - #4: Response to "The Cinematic Body"

this is an essay response to Steven Shaviro's The Cinematic Body (Theory Out of Bounds) - specifically, two chapters entitled "Lines of Flights" and "Literal Perceptions." it's a great book that challenges the cult-like wave of psychoanalytic film theory that usually misses the point of the visceral experience of film-watching.

you can find more about, or order, the book here:


Steven Shaviro’s The Cinematic Body is like a breath of fresh air in the world of film criticism. By using a Foucaultian approach to analyzing film, he rightfully denounces the psychoanalytic critics and their essays, who seem to insist that the sole importance of a film is in what the images represent, to the extent that the images exist because of these ideas. This phrase from the “Lines of Flight” chapter sums it up succinctly: “The forms of ideology must indeed be included among immanent power relations, but they are not the basic, ultimate forms of power’s efficacy and intelligibility.”

Film criticism can be very heavy-handed with Freudian theories, castration hypotheses, and the like; to the point that I was starting to wonder if films I consider to be beautiful and visceral experiences (along with my own filmmaking) were not considered to be “good cinema” because they didn’t neatly fit into these pre-made symbolic categories. By emphasizing the inherent power of viscerally experiencing the image and its accompanying sound, Shaviro has restored the idea that filmmaking can be enriching and complex through mise-en-scene and montage, without even bringing the idea of representation into the mix. Suspiria is an ideal example of this.

There can be a plentiful amount of analyzation of this film - the way the brutally masculine hands penetrate the pure female bodies in the murder scenes, the manly demeanor of the female dance instructor, Madame Blanc’s name contrasting with the Black Coven, for some examples. But this film was obviously made as a sensory experience, and its critical praise should be based on that. In direct comparison to Shaviro talking about being violently affected by “this image and this sound,” Suspiria pushes our senses to the limits, creating a high amount of constant tension and fright to which most horror films can only aspire.

For instance, when Suzy Bannion first arrives in Germany, we know something is not right - partially because of the use of the creepy, foreboding soundtrack that we only hear when the doors to the outside darkness are opened. Later in the film, unrealistic, ultra-saturated washes of red light are visual cues of something horrendous about to happen. Quite often, the nightmarishly vibrant images combine with the abrasive, teasingly repetitive soundtrack to overload our senses to create what Shaviro calls an “automatism of perception” - a physical shock effect that disrupts the normal expectations of vision. The hyper-real sensory experience created by Suspiria intensifies this automatism of perception, making the viewing experience a physical one. Taking all of that into consideration, what symbols and representation can be attributed to these scenes that can compare with the feelings they produce?

Images are shot and edited a certain way for certain effects - I fully agree with Shaviro when he says that these images are really raw contents of sensation, first and foremost. Yes, you can attribute alternate symbology and representation by analyzing the plot to the nth degree. But, with a film like Suspiria, where image and sound are constructed so vividly and with such purpose, the result is visceral. And the visceral experience is something immediate that bypasses our reflective and cognitive responses.

If a film’s primary goal is to bring the audience into the film, to identify with the character, then Suspiria accomplishes this goal perfectly - by creating that “physical shock effect” through the mechanics of filmmaking to match the shock that the main character must be feeling when she encounters the supernatural. Any attempt to symbolize that shock will pale in comparison to the feelings that this film creates through the actual process of filmmaking.

And, yes, further analyzation of this film would most likely yield psychoanalytic theories of some sort - but, as Shaviro states, these symbols and representations do not create the film we are witnessing; rather, they are a consequence of the mechanisms of cinema. These ideas come after analyzation of the plot and characters; the plot and characters do not exist because of the ideas.

21 October 2010

Babyland video clip from 2006

...from when they played the Vanguard in LA. filmed the whole show, multi-camera. don't know why it didn't get approved for editing the whole show, as this clip looks rad, IMO...

SFAI essays - #3: The Shining

I stand behind Christopher Hoile’s reading of the The Shining, with his read on the animistic nature of the characters and the idea of the mirror-self. In comparison, while K-Punk’s essay on Hauntology makes some good points, it also stretches a little too far, to the point of inaccuracy.

I believe K-Punk’s arguments are strongest when describing Jack’s reaction to living at the Overlook - “It’s very homey. Never been this happy, or comfortable, anywhere.” Drawing comparison to a Freudian analysis, that sort of supreme comfort, along with the feeling that one has “been there before,” can be interpreted as the maternal body. Jack feels this way, not only because there is an actual feeling of connection to the hotel (which we see at the end of the film, in the photograph); but because the hotel is actually shaping him, causing him to transform, and “birthing” him into a new being. There are hints throughout the film that Jack has been on the edge of a mental break - alcoholism, abuse, an obvious disdain for his family - but the comfort and warmth of the “homey” hotel allows that maniacal side of him to become manifest.

K-Punk’s description of the ballroom atmosphere is also spot-on - specifically his idea of music accentuating the idea of being a “winding down gramophone of memory.” The amount of reverb on the song is almost unrealistic - partially because of the size of the room, but also because it feels like the sound is just barely emanating from the past, so the sound is echo-y, ghostlike, like a remnant of what it once was. Or, as K-Punk puts it, the song indicates that “what is forgotten may also be preserved, through repression.” The song being played when Jack is being “debriefed” about what must happen (and what has already happened) is “It’s All Forgotten Now” - as K-Punk points out, that’s no coincidence.

Plus, the haunting of the hotel by the Gold Room’s party full of “a genuine American leisure class of an aggressive and ostentatious public existence” makes sense when coupled with the idea that the hotel was built on top of an Indian burial ground - so the ghosts of the past, in classic ghost story fashion, would remain to haunt the present, due to the travesties that took place on the sacred land.

My agreeable view of K-Punk’s article ends there. He extends this “party of prestigious people” idea to an intensely Freudian end that, while makes sense for this scene, would be a pretty weak central idea for the film. He states that Jack wishes to belong to this crowd so badly, that “the bartender” and “the waiter” become maternal and paternal superegos to him - to the point where Jack feels that he would “fail in his duty as a man and father if he didn’t kill his wife and child.” While I do see the connection K-Punk is making, the points made in the other articles - Holie’s, in particular - give the film a much more consistent reading, whose ideas can be attributed to the WHOLE film, and not just specific scenes (like this one).

While he does makes some points that definitely encourage further thought and analysis of The Shining, I don’t believe that the film was really made with these ideas in mind, consciously or unconsciously. Admittedly, I think this way after reading the other articles - Christopher Hoile’s being the most analytically accurate. But, I also see K-Punk’s analyses of Jack and Danny a little off.

The perfect example of this is when he states that Danny escapes Jack in the maze by “walking backwards in his father’s footsteps.” First off, that’s impossible, as Jack never ran past Danny until AFTER Danny did that - Danny retraced his own footsteps, thereby confusing his father. Even if K-Punk was talking metaphorically, as he believes that Danny will “psychically” not escape his father, the real psychic difference between the two is so great that there really is no reason to think that Danny actually will become his father someday.

K-Punk tries to back up this theory of Danny becoming his father through the argument of abuse begetting abuse, through family blood (Jack’s father passing on the “abuse genes” to Jack). This issue is explored in the book, but not so much (if at all) in Kubrick’s version - so, this argument simply can’t be made for the film.

However, K-Punk’s idea of the Overlook being a maternal force does come into play at one other point - when Danny is ejected, or “birthed,” from the hotel into the cold and harsh world of the outside, after they trap themselves in the bathroom. Shortly before this point, he had been mostly infantile and immobile, sucking his thumb and childishly yelling “redrum” over and over. Having been forced into the outside by his mother (through the tight opening of the bathroom window), he has to quickly grow up and figure out how to survive. Hoile’s article describes the scene like this, but it would also follow suit in the mind of K-Punk, based on his ideas about the Overlook.

This is where Hoile’s article gives a great example of what the film is about, and where K-Punk falls short - at this point in the film, when Jack pursues Danny in the maze, the idea of going forward perseveres over the idea of regressing. Danny is able to both live with his animistic side AND move out of his almost-infantile state (essentially, to grow up) to outwit Jack. Jack, on the other hand, is so keen on killing Danny, that he progressively becomes more and more animal-like as he trudges further into the maze. His screams of “I’m right behind you” become nothing more than growls and snarls; and when Danny’s footprints come to an end, Jack’s regressed mind doesn’t know what to do. In a way, it’s his obsession of fulfilling some sort of obligation from the “past” has regressed him.

The Shining is a film that can be read in multiple ways - Freudian, Hauntology, the idea of an animistic side to human nature, or just a complex ghost story - none of the ideas kill the debate of what it’s about. All have valid points, some more than others, reminding us of the brilliance of this film.

SFAI essays - #2: Slasher Films

Q: Clover, Dika, and Magistrale all talk about the anxiety and obsession of the Slasher film in relation to the viewer. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on how the writer or director is implicated. Are the theories of these authors ever based on the creator's desires rather than the consumer's?

The theories of these authors are definitely based on the creator’s desires. Vera Dika sums it up best - “Halloween functions to envelop its viewers in a precisely orchestrated system of gratification and shock.” In this film, in particular, John Carpenter has chosen to shoot scenes he has specifically written to get his desired effects. So much so, that it would be difficult to say that the anxiety and obsession of this film is not based on his own desires, feelings, and/or hang-ups. And, seeing as how all 3 authors acknowledge the influence this film had on future Slasher flicks; these films have effectively developed a formula based off of anxiety and obsession.

Dika gives a great example of this by pointing out the Freudian symbolism in Halloween. There are several scenes that demonstrate that Michael and Laurie are mirror images of each other: She is the good girl who isn’t a sexually active teen, and she is basically playing a motherly role by babysitting and protecting the children at all costs. Perhaps, most tellingly, she is the only one that senses that something is wrong in the neighborhood. None of her girlfriends actually see his face, even when they die; but Laurie spots him all over town throughout the film. The reason for this can be argued as such: as Dika describes, Michael Myers is her “id,” - she senses him, but does not confront him until there is no other choice but to defend the children. When she sees him amidst the swinging laundry after she comes home from school, she forcefully slams the window, trying to “keep him out.” And, it is this mirror-image quality between the stalker and the heroine that Clover has named as a major trait in what she has coined as “The Final Girl” - a character that has been adopted and used in virtually all subsequent Slasher films.

You could even go so far as to say that Carpenter wanted to establish this connection in the scene when he spies on her from the Myers house - as she walks away (after effectively handing him the key to the house of his youth), she sings a love song; while he spies on her, breathing heavily like a pervert. Now, you could say that this is all coincidence or unconscious decisions made by Carpenter - but seeing as how he chose to place homage to classic horror flicks that are all about confronting the “id” - The Thing and Forbidden Planet are playing on the television as part of a horror-thon - it’s difficult to dismiss it as such. Whether conscious or unconscious decisions caused these elements to become manifest in the film, Carpenter used these ideas to create anxiety, tension, and suspense - classic horror film elements for which Halloween is known.

However, I don’t believe that Slasher flicks are based solely on Freudian ideas and obsessions. What is great about the genre, especially when used in times of global and/or domestic uncertainty, is nicely summed up by Magistrale: “it is most adept at revealing our general impotence at the same time as it speaks to our hope for endurance.” The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a great example of this - the United States was at a domestic low-point when the film was made: gasoline shortages, we were no longer the “good guys” after needlessly invading Vietnam, and there was a general feeling of disillusionment after Kent State and multiple assassinations. In this movie, the feeling of helplessness is represented through nihilism, with a family that has been left behind by an industry that has embraced mechanization and technology. This unease is the tone and vibe, from the get-go, of Texas Chainsaw - through the consistent radio broadcasts of depressing news, juxtaposed with the seemingly aimless youth, traveling through an unknown countryside, looking for who-knows-what. These elements create anxiety and tension that isn’t Freudian in nature - but is still a creative choice by the director to set the mood for the film.

Wes Craven summed it up best in the 2001 documentary on 70’s horror, The American Nightmare: “There’s something about the American Dream, working hard, white picket fence, happy children... and discovering that that’s not the truth of the matter. I think that’s what gives American horror films and additional rage.” Whether it is Freudian or societal in nature, the directors of these films we’ve discussed have used this rage to create the anxiety that has set the standard for future Slashers.

SFAI essays - #1: Rosemary's Baby

Q: Discuss and compare the two films Rosemary's Baby and the Stepford Wives - both based on books by author Ira Levin - in terms of domesticity and conspiracy.

In Rosemary’s Baby, Rosemary finds the above phrase on a piece of paper in her new apartment. It serves as both a warning and a foreshadowing as to what eventually happens to her. The same phrase can be applied as the literal conclusion to Joanna in The Stepford Wives (the original film, not the comedic bunk of a remake). It is obvious that the two films were based off of books by the same author, Ira Levin; as the filmmakers were able to convincingly tap into a paranoia in two very different women - Rosemary’s fear, besides being afraid that her satanist neighbors want to kill her baby, is rooted in her traditional domestic order being thrown into upheaval. By stark contrast, Joanna’s fear is the growing possibility of being forced back into the same order from which Rosemary comes.

By viewing both films solely from the female protagonists’ POV’s, the suspicion by the protagonists (and us) grows to the point of conspiracy. For example, when Guy leaves the room in Rosemary’s Baby, we only see and hear from Rosemary’s perspective - fragments and hints of what is, or might be, happening. Rosemary holds fast to her domestic dream and continues to compile lists, shop, and buy new clothes. Rosemary then starts to take an active role in piecing together what her neighbors are up to, only after she deduces that her baby is in danger.

In The Stepford Wives, Joanna is active throughout most of the film, striving to be both a housewife and a fine art photographer. She even strives to start up a sort of “women’s lib” group in her neighborhood, out of frustration that no woman wants to do anything but cook, clean, and serve her husband. Rosemary and Joanna probably wouldn’t have gotten along too well! However, like Rosemary, Joanna forms her own conclusions (along with the viewer) based on the pieces of the puzzle she overhears and uncovers. She actively seeks the truth, but out of fear for her own life. In both films, the truth ends up being more horrific then what they could have imagined.

The underlying conspiracies can be seen as domestic in nature, based off of Edward Bernays’ idealized society of consumption and homogenized domesticity to ward off the evils of what might be lurking in the human unconscious. Rosemary strives to hold on to these ideals; but a new order threatens her, with the goal of taking her baby and ushering in a new age of chaos and carnal pleasures (as evidenced by Rosemary’s rape-dream). Roman’s proclamation at the end - “The Year is One!” - says it all.

Joanna’s fears are just the opposite - in the town of Stepford, she strives to change that idealized order to which Rosemary willfully subscribes. In contrast to Rosemary, Joanna finds that the danger is a conspiracy to cement a homogenized lifestyle of suburban domesticity into the town of Stepford. The leaders of Stepford followed the ideas of Edward Bernays to a perverse level - the women might very well embrace liberation and disrupt that perfect domestic order - so, take out that human element altogether and replace them with robots!

In The American Nightmare - Horror in the 70’s, Robin Wood asserts that surplus repression makes us into “monogamous heterosexual bourgeois patriarchal capitalists” (Wood, p. 25). The conspiracy in Rosemary’s Baby is to destroy that ideal; while the Men’s Association in The Stepford Wives seeks to prevent potential liberating lifestyles from manifesting, and holding the safe domestic order in check. In both films, the protagonists lose their way and give in, by surrendering and by force, to their new domestic lives.

30 September 2010

a hilarious diversion

not work related, but definitely sociologically related - Hipster Dinosaurs:


"i remember when this volcano was dormant." that is going to be my next response when i hear somebody tell me that they remember when sonic youth used to play in their friend's bedroom...

- kt

11 September 2010

15 films... (from facebook)

The rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen Films you've seen that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag fifteen friends, including me, because I'm interested in seeing what Films my friends choose. (To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules ...

1. Dead Man - easily my favorite film. beautiful cinematography, haunting soundtrack, and a simple story told epically. plus, it's a western, and westerns usually bore me. so that's sayin' something!

2. Faces - John Cassavetes' tale of domestic boredom and collapse. brutal.

3. Trash - part 2 of Paul Morrissey's Flesh Trilogy. Joe Dallesandro plays a junkie that can't get it up, even though scores of women badly want him. plus, there's an odd love story mixed in there.

4. Totally F***ed Up - part 1 of Gregg Araki's "Teen Apocalypse" trilogy. written, directed, shot, and edited by him; with a 4AD soundtrack, to boot! this film was inspirational to me as i was graduating film school.

5. Buffalo '66 - Vincent Gallo's self-loathing love story, with Christina Ricci looking her best. shot on color reversal film, Buffalo '66 is one of the most technically beautiful-looking films of the late-90's. plus, VG's personality is so raw in this film, you can't help but feel both contempt and sympathy for him at the same time. he's easily one of america's modern film auteurs.

6. The American Nightmare - my favorite documentary. doc analyzing the societal influence upon american (and one canadian) horror films of the 1970's. Dawn of the Dead, Texas Chainsaw, Shivers, Last House on the Left... interviews with the directors, and a soundtrack by Godspeed You Black Emperor. "there's something about the american dream, and the realization that it's not the truth... that give american horror films an additional rage" - wes craven

7. Half Japanese: The Band that Would be King - my favorite music documentary. a 90-minute exaggerated fawning over an awesome indie rock band, Half Japanese. everybody in the film loves the band, but they all consciously amp up their praise to the level of the almost-absurd, with hilarious results that make you want to love the band, too. interspersed with some of the greatest "in-studio" footage ever shot of them covering a velvet underground song.

8. Sigur Ros: Heima - the most beautifully shot concert film of the Icelandic band, Sigur Ros. they play an album's worth of songs, each in a different location, all around Iceland: in a cave, in a town hall, at a swap meet, in a field destined to be flooded by a new dam, and in a huge outdoor theater. so beautifully shot and edited, it comes as close as a film can to capturing the magic that is their concert experience.

9. High School Confidential - film from the late 50's, where everybody talks beatnik. early appearance by michael landon and lots of tight sweaters and pointy bras. watch it, and you'll realize you were born too late.

10. The Seventh Continent - Michael Haneke's first feature, and arguably his bleakest. based on a true story of a suburban family in austria that committed suicide. the first half of the film is simply a series of repetitive shots of domestic malaise, over and over again. then, the breakdown happens, with no conscious explanation. one can deduce that the malaise of life has left these people trapped and hating their lives so much, that they want to die. but, the film leaves that interp up to you, as they descend into chaos for the last half of the film.

11. J-Men Forever - a series of 40's serials, cut together and overdubbed, to create a story about aliens from the moon taking over the earth with weed and rock music. i've been told that my "excited" voice is a duplicate of the films villain, The Lightning Bug. so, i guess this film had the most effect on me, in a way.

12. Three Colours Red - Kieslowski's final film of the "Three Colours" trilogy, and his final film before he died.

13. Halloween 3: Season of the Witch - partially because it was filmed in humboldt county, i love this film. but also because it's a truly original plot - an evil toymaker decides to bring back the tradition of the holiday by exploiting consumer culture to buy his deadly halloween masks for a mass child sacrifice. and that's only part of the plot! plus, my personal fave soundtrack, by john carpenter.

14. Amateur / Henry Fool - 2 films by Hal Hartley, the first of which irreversibly shaped my taste in film; the second of which is his greatest film, in my opinion.

15. Everything Will be OK - short animation by Don Hertzfeldt, the first of a trilogy. tells the story of Bill, a man dying of something mysterious - but can really be read as dying of regret and loneliness. told through the simplicity of stick-figures against a backdrop of decaying photographs and film stills, i challenge anybody watching this flick not to project themselves onto the almost-featureless face of the main character and feel genuine sadness in the same way that Bill does.

(fuck it, i'm adding one more)

16. The Holy Mountain - easily one of the most epic films ever made. that's a word i use a lot; but that word pretty much describes what the Jodorowsky set out to make. a gargantuan-sized vision quest, incorporating characters from all aspects of humanity, striving to reach the top of The Holy Mountain at all costs. metaphor? yes, but so much more...

too many to choose from, so here are the ones that would've come next: Day of the Dead, Prince of Darkness, Videodrome, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hitcher, The Rules of the Game, Gentlemen Broncos, Vernon Florida, pretty much anything by David Lynch

24 August 2010

music video completion

just finished checking out the final color-correction for a music video i directed for Isis. this primary ideas of this video were "epic" and "end of civilization" - and, more than ever, i feel like i was able to capture those ideas succinctly and beautifully. as soon as it's available for public consumption, i'll post a link here...

10 June 2010

ISIS dedication piece printed on NBC Bay Area website

a piece i wrote on Isis and their farewell tour was printed at the following link - enjoy, and please vote! the more votes, the more likely they'll keep printing stories like this in the future:


13 May 2010

Bootleg TV Archives - Vol. 5 - KMFDM (well, MDFMK)

10 years ago, I co-produced, shot and edited rock concerts in Seattle, WA. for a living. a dream job, that i still do today (less pay now, but i get to choose the bands)!

the company was called Bootleg TV, and its initial purpose was to shoot and edit live shows, in full cooperation with the bands. the original idea was to stream these shows on the web, followed by whatever the artist wanted to do with the recordings. basically extending the power of the live show, and keeping it in control of the artist. Two to three camera shoots, professional soundboard mixes, and a non-MTV, "from the audience" aesthetic. credits for the shoots are in the info of each youtube clip.

i think we were just a bit too early for this idea in 2000 - back then, web video was still in its infancy - well, more of a toddler, really. now that today's technology allows for easy viewing of anything and everything, i figured it was time to bring these videos back, in a way that is similar to what was imagined back then.

here is Volume 5 - just one clip to show, but it's action-packed! the group is KMFDM, the industrial metal powerhouse. the place is The Palace, in Hollywood, CA (the Palace is now Avalon, for you LA folk).

on this tour, they reversed their name's letters to MDFMK - they'd just reformed after their breakup, with a new line-up, so it appears they were looking to try something new. the new name didn't last long, and they went back to KMFDM after this tour.

the song is "Adios" - look for the the little boy in the red shirt, intensely headbanging; and check out the insane fans attacking Gregory, our cameraguy, in the parking lot!

to view all of the posted clips so far, click here:


06 May 2010

Bootleg TV Archives - Vol. 4 - Peter Murphy triple feature

10 years ago, I co-produced, shot and edited rock concerts in Seattle, WA. for a living. a dream job, that i still do today (less pay now, but i get to choose the bands)!

the company was called Bootleg TV, and its initial purpose was to shoot and edit live shows, in full cooperation with the bands. the original idea was to stream these shows on the web, followed by whatever the artist wanted to do with the recordings. basically extending the power of the live show, and keeping it in control of the artist. Two to three camera shoots, professional soundboard mixes, and a non-MTV, "from the audience" aesthetic. credits for the shoots are in the info of each youtube clip.

i think we were just a bit too early for this idea in 2000 - back then, web video was still in its infancy - well, more of a toddler, really. now that today's technology allows for easy viewing of anything and everything, i figured it was time to bring these videos back, in a way that is similar to what was imagined back then.

here is Volume 4 - i am a day late, so i decided to add an additional video to the usual two. plus, i couldn't decide which of these vids to cut out, so my indecision means more enjoyment for you:

"Final Solution" contains some hilarious backstage footage with Peter and the band before the band. "Disappearing" contains one of the simplest and coolest on-stage props i've ever seen. and, of course, a rousing rendition of "Cuts You Up." enjoy!

to view all of the posted clips so far, click here:


28 April 2010

Iron Man 2 Red Carpet Premiere

shot the red carpet event of Iron Man 2, for marvel.com, on 26 April 2010. being a Marvel Comics fan since i was a young'un, and being in the middle of the carpet chaos in the center of hollywood definitely made it one of the more thrilling work days in recent memory.

Shot for Upstairs Film, hosted by Tamara Krinsky.

Scourge Productions Concert Archive, Vol. 1 - Peter Murphy and Black Heart Procession

Taking a break from the Bootleg Archives this week, to show a couple of Scourge Productions archive clips, produced during the Bootleg TV era. We had access to killer gear (thanx, Bootleg!), and we got to work with great camera-folk from Bootleg TV; for live shows that we selected from our personal musical tastes. Editing is a little more experimental, but it still has the "audience perspective" aesthetic that we still insist makes a compelling concert video.

The first video is of Peter Murphy, from his legendary acoustic performance at Convergence 6 in Seattle, in the year 2000. Folks that were there will now be seeing a clip from this video for the first time. Listen for Peter's shout-out to the lady who made this performance possible!

The second video is of The Black Heart Procession, performing at the smoky, cramped club known as Graceland (now El Corazon) in Seattle. One of their best songs, from their first album - Stitched to My Heart - is the song of choice.

Both of these concerts exist in their fully edited entirety, in the Scourge Productions archives... want to see more? Let us know!

Click below to access the youtube page, or just scroll down to view the clips. Enjoy!

This week: Peter Murphy and The Black Heart Procession
Next week: Back to the Bootleg Archive with KMFDM (actually, MDFMK, in the incarnation we shot).


26 April 2010

Kenneth Thomas Voiceover Demo Reel

Looking for a smooth talker for your womanizing aardvark animation character? Or maybe a PSA VO that puts people's mind at ease? Or maybe a gregarious party-type voice? I'm available for voice work - specializing in these aspects, as well as others. However, the mellow womanizing partier does seem to come naturally... just click below to listen:

Kenneth Thomas Voiceovers

22 April 2010

Bootleg TV Archives - Vol. 3 - Legendary Pink Dots and Neko Case

10 years ago, I co-produced, shot and edited rock concerts in Seattle, WA. for a living. a dream job, that i still do today (less pay now, but i get to choose the bands)!

the company was called Bootleg TV, and its initial purpose was to shoot and edit live shows, in full cooperation with the bands, in order to please fans and get more material out there for the artists. the original idea was to stream these shows on the web, followed by whatever the artist wanted to do with the recordings. basically extending the power of the live show, and keeping it in control of the artist.

with the present-day common knowledge of youtube and vimeo, that might not seem too crazy; but back in 2000, web video was still in its infancy - well, more of a toddler, really. now that today's technology allows for easy viewing of anything and everything, i figured it was time to bring these videos back, in a way that is similar to what was imagined back then. i think we were just a bit too early for this idea in 2000!

here is Volume 3 - 2 new songs, from 2 different concerts, from the "Bootleg TV" days. Two to three camera shoots, professional soundboard mixes, and a non-MTV, "from the audience" aesthetic. credits for the shoots are in the info of each youtube clip.

to view all of the posted clips so far, click here:


This week: Legendary Pink Dots and Neko Case (thanks to Gregory D'Elia for putting this clip online; this is a link to that clip)
Next week: Black Heart Procession and Peter Murphy

14 April 2010

Bootleg TV Archives - Vol. 2 - The Dandy Warhols and Queens of the Stone Age

10 years ago, I co-produced, shot and edited rock concerts in Seattle, WA. for a living. a dream job, that i still do today (less pay now, but i get to choose the bands)!

the company was called Bootleg TV, and its initial purpose was to shoot and edit live shows, in full cooperation with the bands, in order to please fans and get more material out there for the artists. the original idea was to stream these shows on the web, followed by whatever the artist wanted to do with the recordings. basically extending the power of the live show, and keeping it in control of the artist.

with the present-day common knowledge of youtube and vimeo, that might not seem too crazy; but back in 2000, web video was still in its infancy - well, more of a toddler, really. now that today's technology allows for easy viewing of anything and everything, i figured it was time to bring these videos back, in a way that is similar to what was imagined back then. i think we were just a bit too early for this idea in 2000!

here is Volume 2 - 2 new songs, from 2 different concerts, from the "Bootleg TV" days. Two to three camera shoots, professional soundboard mixes, and a non-MTV, "from the audience" aesthetic. credits for the shoots are in the info of each youtube clip.

This week: The Dandy Warhols and Queens of the Stone Age
Next week: Legendary Pink Dots and Neko Case

13 April 2010

A Weekend of Music in (actually, around) San Francisco (Originally appeared on nbcbayarea.com on 01 December 2009)

As a wanna-be San Francisco resident, I found one more reason to get up here ASAP - a weekend of eccentrically rich and blisteringly heavy music. The former was found on Friday night in Sebastopol, while the latter thrashed eardrums in San Jose. I guess not just San Francisco proper has cornered the market on an excellent variety of live music.

The Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol started the weekend, with "Fancy Booze for Semi-Fancy Folks," brought to you by Claypool Cellars - that would be Les Claypool, of Primus fame. The night was a double-bill of the tasting of his new Pinot Noir (musician, novelist, wine-maker... what next?), aptly named Purple Pachyderm; and a night of live music, billed as "Claypool and Friends." While I am not an avid fan of most live improv-jam noodly stylings, this night provided the crowd with some truly psychedelic and rhythmic grooves that even brought this critic around. Guest appearances by Larry LaLonde (guitarist from Primus) brought out a rendition of "Tommy the Cat," one of my faves by the defunct band. Gabby La La, one of Claypool's regular co-horts, brought everybody up into the psychedelic stratosphere, with her expert wielding of the sitar. Add to that some electric cello and Claypool's trademark bass grooves; and you've got a room that draws you in like a magnet and won't let you go 'til they're done. There was an expectation of a Tom Waits appearance - the main reason yours truly attended - but it was not to be. However, the cozy surroundings of the 150-year old enclave, a few glasses of the bold Pinot vino, and a live jam-session with Les and friends added up to a night that exceeded my expectations for greatness and pleased all of the "Semi-Fancy Folks."

Gears were radically shifted 20 hours later - next stop, San Jose, to witness the final show of this year's ultimate metal festival tour. Death Metal band Dethklok, the human embodiment of the enormously popular Adult Swim cartoon, Metalocalypse, co-headlined the 4-act show. Their counterparts were Mastodon, the swampy prog-metal outfit from Atlanta, Georgia; whose latest album, "Crack the Skye" has taken the metal world by storm, selling over 200,000 copies. As if that wasn't enough, Boston legends Converge, hardcore/extreme metal masters of a 20-year vintage; and local shredding heroes High on Fire, opened the show.

Every band had it's core followers rushing up front for their performances. Matt Pike, High on Fire's guitarist and vocalist, dominated the stage like a man possessed, feeding off said fans' energy and returning it back with his trademark growly vocals and expert heavy riffage on his guitar. For a band that usually headlines sub-800 person venues, these metal veterans knew how to dominate the San Jose arena.

30 minutes after High on Fire's set ended, Converge emerged to crush the crowd. And crush they did, with their trademark mix of hardcore and complex metal rhythms, earning the trademark "metalcore." They're a band that Mastodon, the co-headliner, has stated as an influence; and it was easy to see why. Jake Bannon screamed the vocals with genuine desperation, flailing about the stage for the entirety of their 30-minute set. The bassist, Nate Newton, was not far behind in the aerobic category - this has got the be the most physically active band on the planet. That energy rubbed off on the crowd, ushering in a mosh-pit, which visibly garnered the approval of the singer.

As expected, the crowd doubled in size after Converge's set; as most fans were there for the co-headliners. Being a 36-year old metal fan, I loved witnessing the vast number of youngsters - many donning Slayer hats, Children of Bodom t-shirts, and genuinely into the music they came to witness tonight.

Fans of Mastodon who didn't know what to expect (like me) were greatly surprised - the band played their latest album, Crack the Skye, in its entirety - with full visual projections to accompany each song. Their latest is a concept album, and the visuals supported this by portraying psychedelic visions of out-of-body experiences of a character that is trying to find his way home - pretty complex stuff to describe here, but let's just say that the bands complex musicianship and epically building song structures meshed perfectly with the visuals. A full-on sensory overload of the best kind!

The show ended with a 60-minute set from Dethklok, the "cartoon death metal band" fronted by Brendan Small, creator of said cartoon, Metalocalypse. It must have been odd for fans to witness 3 bands fronted by long-haired and/or tattooed axe-wielders; and then have Dethklok emerge as 4 clean-cut dudes who look more like dot-commers. After all, they're really just fans of this genre that basically were called into touring by the cartoon's popularity. But, once the music started, the cookie-monster-style vocals and heavy riffage overtook everybody's pre-conceived notions.

Dethklok also incorporated visuals for each song, but each one was precisely timed to the live music - with the cartoon band being projected and "playing" along with the real band on-stage, to humorous, yet crushing, tunes like "Murmaider" and "Pull the Plug." The result was perfect for the crowd - the old metal fans could stand back and laugh at the in-joke-heavy metal cartoons; while the sub-21-year-olds were enticed to throw up the trademark devil-horns and push their way up front to the mosh pit. Not band for a "cartoon band!"

The 4.5-hour metal fest ended with Dethklok and Mastodon profusely thanking the road crew and crowd; saying a final goodbye to all, as this was the last stop on the 7-week tour. Having gotten barraged for that length of time, I was ready to pass out on the ride home - if only I had a bottle of Claypool Cellars' Purple Pachyderm to finish off the evening... Can't complain too much after a weekend of musical bliss like this. Thank you, Bay Area!

08 April 2010

Bootleg TV Archives - Vol. 1 - Sunny Day Real Estate and The The

10 years ago, I co-produced, shot and edited rock concerts in Seattle, WA. for a living. a dream job, that i still do today (less pay now, but i get to choose the bands)!

the company was called Bootleg TV, and its initial purpose was to shoot and edit live shows, in full cooperation with the bands, in order to please fans and get more material out there for the artists. the original idea was to stream these shows on the web, followed by whatever the artist wanted to do with the recordings. basically extending the power of the live show, and keeping it in control of the artist.

with the present-day common knowledge of youtube and vimeo, that might not seem too crazy; but back in 2000, web video was still in its infancy - well, more of a toddler, really. now that today's technology allows for easy viewing of anything and everything, i figured it was time to bring these videos back, in a way that is similar to what was imagined back then. i think we were just a bit too early for this idea in 2000!

starting today - once a week, on thursday, i will post 2 new songs, from 2 different concerts, from the "Bootleg TV" days. Two to three camera shoots, professional soundboard mixes, and a non-MTV, "from the audience" aesthetic. credits for the shoots are in the info of each youtube clip.

This week: Sunny Day Real Estate and The The.
Next week: The Dandy Warhols and Queens of the Stone Age.

Copy and paste this link to go to the page of all the videos, or just watch this week's selection below:


02 April 2010

Trailer for Chameleons UK DVD i produced and directed

check it out, Chameleons fans - if you didn't know it existed, well... it does! the official 2002 reunion DVD. a 2-disc set, over 2 nights in San Franicsco in 2002. one night, the full electric set; the other night, a bit quieter and semi-acoustic.

31 March 2010

La Carrera Panamericana documentary i directed

here is the trailer for the feature-length doc i co-produced, shot, directed, and edited in 2001 - about an annual 6-day car race from The Mexico-Guatemala border to the Mexico-Texas border. escorted by police, 150 mph on the freeway, all classic cars 1970 and older. let me know if you want to see the whole thing! racing from checkpoint to checkpoint by day, partying hard through the streets of old Mexican cities by night...

28 March 2010

The Wedding Present, live at The Troubadour, April 2nd - check yr local listings for yr hometown's show.

this friday, april 2, at the troubadour - The Wedding Present performs their classic album, Bizarro. even if you like em just a li'l bit, you should check em out - some of the best love-torn lyrics of any present-day rock band. watch this video and decide for yourself, they'll be playing this song...

oh, and this is from 1989, even though the singer's haircut is a common style from the present.

27 March 2010

If only Greenberg had a Hot Tub Time Machine

When dedicating a significant portion of your day to a double-feature, you might want to plan on films that aesthetically complement each other. Or maybe just strategize your time economically, sneaking into the second film just a few minutes after the first one ends. Ideally, you can just go see two films that satisfy two sides of your movie-loving brain and end up with all of the above. In this case, the real joy was in the joyous surprise of the similarities between my choice of double-feature on March 26th, 2010: Greenberg and Hot Tub Time Machine. Both films opened on the day in question, and both films' stories centered around now-grown-up Generation X'ers who are dissatisfied with what they've done with their lives, now that they're 40 (ish) - something that this viewer is always pondering. One film is a full immersion into that sad-sack of a mind, while the other is pure escapist fun. Hence, the hot tub.

Greenberg's "hero," or in this case, main curmudgeon, is a dedicated cynic, whose previous stint in a mental institution is never fully explained - but, one can guess that something/somebody steered him so wrong, that his view of the world is permanently filtered through a black window of disgust. And, in this reviewers opinion, that something/somebody is him.

Roger Greenberg (played by the usually comedic Ben Stiller) is the quintessential distrustful artist from the 90's, whose insistence on staying cool and independent with his music robbed him and his best friend's a recording contract with a major label. The attitude of "the man is gonna just bring us down" resulted in the band's dissolution, and his friends taking regular jobs, quitting music, and becoming exactly what they probably never imagined - domesticated. Greenberg went the complete opposite route and maintained his distrust of "the man" - which, in effect, stunted his growth and fueled his present-day disgust with the world and his not having any sort of root in it.

As would happen to anybody who refuses to change to Greenberg's extent, the world passes him by, and each passing day of the past becoming more, well, past, just gets more and more frustrating - to the point where he just can't relate with anybody about anything. "Youth is wasted on the young," says Greenberg's friend, Ian, as he patiently sips drinks with Stiller's character. Greenberg responds with a desperation to convince himself that it's ok that he's done nothing with his life: "Life is wasted on... people."

Ben Stiller's face is constantly tense, eyeballs batting back and forth, with a tense and frozen shrug of a posture, as if he's waiting for more reasons to hate himself and the world around him. He does this so well, that the one time he actually relaxes and breathes in this film is when he's at the breaking point and just needs to talk to someone - or else go insane again. - in this case, it would be with Florence, played with an unmatched beautiful naturalness by Greta Gerwig. He calls her on the phone, gets her voice mail; and seemingly in one breath, unloads his life story. And, like very few films that are as character-driven as this, you can see his body and face change, along with his mind, to the point where he actually emotes something positive to the one person that doesn't share his past and could actually give him some perspective. This monologue was such a relief to this viewer, that I felt my own body let go along with Greenberg's. All from something seemingly simple to most people, but not to those that feel left behind and totally lost. To create a film this visceral through nothing but human emotions is rare in American cinema. To see this story told - to see a character-driven story like this be told, emotionally reminiscent of films like Rafelson's Five Easy Pieces, is simply beautiful.

Now, don't get me wrong - Hot Tub Time Machine is NOTHING like this film - it's similarities to Greenberg are simplified as plot points. However, it, too deals with that same generation and three particular characters' unhappiness of letting their earlier lives give way to boring domesticity, with dead-end jobs and broken relationships. Whereas Roger Greenberg's insistence of not adapting to a changing world left him stunted, Hot Tub's characters gave up their dreams as youths in the late 80's after the pressure of "get a job, start a family" set in. And their unhappiness has led them to a try and reclaim their wild youth by going back to their old party grounds, Kodiak Valley - fulfilling the much-used 80's plot device, the ski slope sex romp. But, upon arrival, they've found that the resort has gone the way of their dreadful lives.

Thank god their hotel room has a Hot Tub Time Machine! Well, they find out it's a Time Machine after a night of partying in the tub and spilling their energy drinks into the tub's Back To The Future-like temperature controls, which time-warps them back to 1986. If the film wasn't called Hot Tub Time Machine, I would complain about the randomness of this plot device - what else would you expect?

Here is where they discover the obvious: if you knew then what you know now, your life would come out perfectly! The throwback to jokes, fashion, music, and movies of the 80's ensue. The plot is predictable and riddled with holes (the 4th character, a hilarious Clark Duke, goes back in time with them, but somehow he's still alive in 1986, one year before he was born) - but, with a film title like Hot Tub Time Machine, you had better not hope for a character-driven story with intelligent dialogue like Greenberg.

But that's why HTTM rocks. It embraces the wackiness of the title and it knows what it is. It's a movie told with the same sensibilities that drove the better teen-sex flicks of the 80's, but from the point of view of folks that grew up in that time that can now look back and toy with the idea of "what if we did things differently? What if we followed our dreams, rather than give in to the Man?" And, while it's far from perfect, it hilariously succeeds in its modest goal - telling the story of 3 dudes that wished their lives turned out differently and are able to do so, all the while doing those things that we all would do if this actually happened. Betting on sports events, knowing the results of all the games. Hooking up with somebody that excites you, because you know your girlfriend at the time is going to dump you. And having one more chance to start off your music career with a song that hasn't even come out yet. This film delivers the typical sex-romp jokes that you would expect, but it's hard not to full-on root for these guys, as they are doing things that you would love to do if given the chance. Well, if you had access to a Hot Tub Time Machine, that is.

There is probably a middle ground between driven insane by a refusal to adapt to a changing world, and taking the Americanized pre-destined route of job and family. Neither Greenberg nor HTTM tries to find such ground; they merely follow folks that are frustrated by the polar opposite paths that they took - one very real and naturalistic, and one very goofy and outlandish. If you're somebody in your late-30's who is wondering where the hell your life went, Greenberg will press a lot of buttons - hard and painfully. But, you'll hopefully leave the theater trying to figure out if it's not too late to ease up on the cynicism that's keeping your down. Or, if you just want to escape your existential dread, and enjoy the impossibility of making it all better through time travel, take a dip in the hot tub.

Greenberg: 5.5/6
Hot Tub Time Machine: 4/6

my attempt to enter the Progressive Insurance contest

Go to helpflo.com and check the details - and complain for me if you so wish! I've done my part, and they won't listen. They wanted entrants to make a video that explains why the Progressive girl, Flo, needs a helper/mate. And, the best video will then star in an ad with her. Most everybody turned on their webcams and delivered a monologue, basically answering the question straight. And some are funny. However, I thought it might be more fun, and creative, to actually make a "commercial" in a similar vein to the Progressive commercials - a bit cheesy, but still delivering what the contest wants: a reason to give Flo a mate, ending with the "Now That's Progressive" slogan. In this case, I'm basically saying she could use a boyfriend!

The contest folks DENIED my entry - and would not give me a reason, except saying, "read the rules and figure it out yourself." They say you can't use trademarked stuff - but, they allow people to wear what aprons that say "progressive" and they let people use the slogan! so, the liberties i took seem right in line with that. so, check it out and leave a comment, so i can bitch about this to them... thanks!

Progressive Dude: Kenneth Thomas
Progressive Girl Look-Alike: Corey Remington
Camera: Kenneth Thomas, Corey Remington

16 March 2010

Oil rigs in the golden ocean - slo-mo

Review: Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchetra, "Kollaps Tradixionales" - 10/10

"Kollaps Tradixionales," the sixth full-length by Thee Silver Mt Zion, would be the perfect first album for somebody to hear from this group. Combining the simplicity of the first album, the melancholic dirges of the second album, and the increasingly confident choral singing of the remaining albums; their sixth full-length just might be their most encapsulating, and best, album.

Having re-structured their official name to Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra after bringing in a new drummer and losing a cellist after their last album, the 5-piece band is now comprised of two violins, one guitar, one contrabass, and one drummer - and all are vocalists, singing choruses in a... well, choral fashion.

It's a combination that makes these folks difficult to pin down into any genre - post-rock? Not instrumental enough. Freak folk? While the lead vocalist, Efrim, might be bearded, their music is too electric and not hipster enough to be lumped into that category. No, they are simply Thee Silver Mt. Zion - which usually means a politically charged theme running through the album, 6+ minute long songs of vocal urgency, a ghostly and tremolo-rich guitar sound, and thick layers of violin to give it an orchestral quality. Add to that the quintet's coming together at the climax of their multiple-movement songs, and you have the most majestic and sincere yearning for a better world ever laid to tape.

And that's what "Kollaps Tradixionales" is about, from the first song onwards - "There Is a Light," the album opener, starts off like a church hymn, complete with organ and a gentle building quality that eventually ends it's 15+ minute span with the entire group desperately crying out, "There is a light!!" - sentiments spoken from people who want to believe, have to believe, that there are righteous people trying to trudge along in a world that strives to push them down. And, then, at the end of the song, after all of the instruments have faded away, Efrim quietly states, "That was pretty good" - testament to the fact that, even though the group is admonished by many as being whiny and negative, that they are more than capable of creating beautiful tributes to the plights of many, and that they can be humbly surprised with their sonic results.

The rest of the album progresses very naturally - the second track "I Built Myself a Metal Bird," is easily their loudest choral rock (maybe that's their genre?) song, and their catchiest tune to date. "Catchy" is meant in relative terms - they're not going to be played on popular radio anytime soon; this song is simply SMZ at their most fun - as if the first song gave them so much hope, that they're riding that wave into this song and letting the world know that they're ready to "dance, motherfucker, dance" - which is the last repeated line of the song.

"I Fed My Metal Bird the Wings of Other Metal Birds" is the flip side of that song, partially in the way that the title finishes the previous song's title with a resolution of darkness. And partially due to the change in music - the song's 6+ minute run is mostly laden with ghostly, tremolo-rich, distorted guitar and sadly whining contrabass; before it explodes with one last energetic outburst that is reminiscent of the previous track. When this song ends, you, and seemingly the band, are spent from both collective disillusionment and the sonic onslaught.

By the time we reach the last song, we are ready for the end of the album - and that's a good thing - because this album does what many, many albums strive to do but fail: project a purely emotional experience, with a distinct beginning, middle, and end. While we began with a positive glimmer of hope, we quickly were reminded of the harshness of the world - but, the last song is sort of a call to arms, for both the listener and the group.

That last track, "'Piphany Rambler," states, "We crawled upside that mountain..." and then, "Don't take these blues away" - as if saying that the struggle is what keeps this entity alive, and is something that the listener shouldn't forget - that the struggle for any sort of peace and justice is simply going to be eternal, but that doesn't mean you should balk when you see "that mountain" before you. That's not what Thee Silver Mt. Zion are doing, and just listen to the result - their best album to date.

15 March 2010

2 reviews I did for TV Eye Magazine

These reviews were done for TV Eye Magazine, a rad rag that covers underground metal and other forms of extreme music, through print and DVD footage. These reviews were assigned to me as comparisons with iconic albums/docs; hence, the comparisons...

11 March 2010

future endeavors

i made this decision many months ago, after losing my job - but i'll make it official now. these days, that means posting your statement in a blog.

i've grown more and more tiresome of using my skills as a gun-for-hire - shooting and editing is enjoyable when it's an exciting project, or something in which you believe. but, too many shoots that don't fall into either of those categories leads to an overall weariness of the whole profession. i'm still considering selling the camera and becoming an organic farmer in new zealand, as that sounds damn exciting. but, then i'd want to make a documentary about "organic farming in new zealand," so i guess that kills that idea.

so, losing the job has forced me to re-think how to keep doing what i dig, which is something that needed to happen. the stress level has increased 100-fold, looking for work and all that - but the clarity of what to do next is the result of my brain being tested to its limits. go back to school, get a master's degree. in an ideal world, that would mean that i could work doing something i enjoy - teaching - and that would allow me to ONLY work on projects that i enjoy in my spare time. lack of burn-out = starting and finishing projects you believe in, with little danger of those ideas getting stunted in the infant stage.

as of today, San Fran Art Institute has said, "come on up! we'd love to have you!" still waiting on other schools, also in San Fran, LA, Boston, and Montana (!). but SFAI is looking pretty rockin'. and making a change like this for a future that seems to make a lot more sense is pretty relieving. it took losing a job to realize it, but sometimes a kick in the ass gets the head in gear.

some time-lapse videos for you, shot around California

10 March 2010

09 March 2010

Peter Ivers on New Wave Theater

top films of the first ten 2000's

…not in any particular order - and none of these surpass my current top-5, three of which come from the 1990’s…

- The Puffy Chair - haven’t seen relationship strife this wrenching and accurate since Cassavetes’ Faces.

- Mysterious Skin - Gregg Araki’s most mature film, but he retains his brutal edge and stylized vision. glad he still makes films.

- The American Nightmare - a film-studies-like documentary about the sociological metaphors and influence of social strife upon 70’s horror films. treats 70’s horror film like the art it is. set to the music of Godspeed You Black Emperor, which works perfectly with the juxtaposition of the bleak look of the films in question. my favorite doc ever.

- Heima - music doc about Sigur Ros’ concert-playing journey across Iceland. from amphitheaters to caves to schoolhouses, the settings in which they play are more beautifully shot that any concert film to date.

- The Brown Bunny - Vincent Gallo’s 2nd film. some folks say it’s too egotistical to watch; i say that this film shows one man’s pure vision more than 99 percent of films out there. do people say that a painter’s canvas is ego-driven because only one person painted upon it? no? then why do they say it when one person (pretty much just one person, for real) makes a film like this? one of the most earnest depictions of the loneliness of a man’s soul.

- The Informers - the most accurate depiction of a Bret Easton Ellis book, to date. the emptiness of his book’s characters was finally not dramatized too much for a mass appeal - probably why it got panned.

- Everything Will Be OK/I Am So Proud of You - the first 2 parts of Don Hertzfeldt’s trilogy of simply-drawn animated films about Bill, a man dying of loneliness/regret/disillusionment of life? maybe all 3? whatever the case may be, i challenge a viewer not to find their heart pierced with sadness when they watch and all-too-easily relate to this heartbreaking story.

- Anti-Christ - lovely, yes. brutal, yes. excessive? maybe. but watching the lengths that the story, and the actors, go to in this film is fascinating.