Friday, March 25, 2011

My Book Launch

... is next Friday.

At The Prophouse Cafe at 1636 Venables st. Vancouver.

The Facebook Page

My "Author" FB Page

So I'm preparing for that. have some new books ordered in to sell at the show. Also two local legends: Rodney DeCroo & Wyckham Porteous will be opening the evening for me with their own unique brands of wordsmithy. It's going to be a fun gig. I'm pretty excited. And I must confess, a wee bit nervous. I haven't "Read" in a few years. But I've been rehearsing, and most of my old standbys like say "Like Bukowski In Drag" seem to come pretty easily. Muscle memory. Like riding a bicycle. mmm Poetry Bikes.

Otherwise, I really do feel like self publishing is the way for me to go, at least at the moment. I live a fairly simple existence: Job/Commitment wise specifically so I can have the downtime needed to write and develop my craft. Am I vigilant in this? Not so much. But I've never been a fast starter with anything. I prefer the slow burn method. My methods of learning are much more sponge like t I think, than most. When I was in school, I never took much in the way of notes. I read, casually, but thoroughly, mulled and most importantly discussed (in classes, and out) the things I was absorbing.

This I am only realizing now has served me better in the long term than it did in the short term (mediocre transcript etc...) The main thing I got from University was that I was a writer. A poet.

Which is kind of weird, as until I started writing poetry, it was low on my list of forms I enjoyed. I learned to read from Spider-Man Comics (and Sesame St (1st gen Sesame St. kid thankyou.) and moved through Hardy Boys etc into Fantasy & SF. I still read a lot of genre fiction. Mostly actually. But I also read as much Canlit as I can also. But I'm getting all auto-bio again, when I do in fact have a point to get to, eventually.

(Maybe you can tell ? I like to blog without editing. It's a public diary, right? Well it is for me. )

What I'm saying is that when I was young if I ever thought about being a writer, it would have been as an author of probably both SF & Fantasy stories. I played a lot of D&D and loved Comic books, and whatever other nerdly pursuits I found. This is still pretty much my life.

So why am I not an SF writer? I'm going to have to give that a try. I have some ideas. I'll let you know when they are read-able.

But back to Poetry.... I still don't read a lot of poetry to be honest, other than my own that is. But I am now also a poetry nerd, as well as a comic book, SF nerd.

I think we all need to have some kind of creative outlet, mode of expression that is communicative, not just typing or writing &/or drawing... for some it might be dance, a sport, or walking, talking, conversing, for many it's all these things. Of course, right?

I find though it's easy to get into a non communicative rut of working, home, relax
 alone, sleep, repeat, repeat repeat.... So I'm forcing the issue a bit by getting my work out there and getting back to a bit of performing and that kind of relationship building that happens between you and a crowd.

Phew.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Glib Reviews of Random Movies #10

The Hitchhiker

Directed By Ida Lupino should be shown to everyone who ever wants to make a movie on little or no money. Genius little noir that seamlessly mixes noir cliches, homo-erotic subtext, (Interesting that this movie directed by a woman had no women to speak of in the movie) clever editing, guerrilla locations, great lighting and set design to create a real sense of the "malaise upon manhood" that the 2nd world war had wrought... The Villain is almost literally a Steve Ditko drawn villain come to life with his paralyzed eyelid. Steve Ditko meets EA Poe meets Hubert Selby Jr.

Quick Change

Bill Murray and some other clowns outwit Jason Robards. A gem of a Heist comedy highly enjoyable... nice cameos.

Green Lantern: First Flight.

An animated feature from DC... These movies might be the best thing DC has going right now. Highly entertaining re-telling of Hal Jordan with Sinestro, Kilowog, the old Jewish Tailor version of the Guardians, and I tell ya what Victor Garber was born to Voice Sinestro. Kick ass. Some great Cosmic battles. Well animated, voice-acted.

Black Widow

(Bob Rafelson) Oh so 80’s very low budget, but with the great Connie Hall behind the lens it looks really nice. Teresa Russell is marrying (slightly) older men and then killing them, it's her hobby. a very very young and nerdy looking Debra Winger is an old school IT nerd crunching secret data collected by spying on The American citizenry. She only has circumstantial evidence as Teresa ups the ante by marrying and doing away with Nicol Williamson (Merlin!) in quick order before Debra can get to her. Eventually Winger goes undercover in Hawaii and gets her spider. I won't give to many details other than to say that if palpable sexual tension between two women (and an oddly placed "pride" flag) does what is supposed to, you will quite enjoy the last half of the picture.

Dick Tracy

(Beatty). Much better than my memory of it, but by no means perfect. Out-Burton's Tim Burton tho if you compare it to his Batman. geat look to it, which my HDTV only makes better looking. There are maybe 2 too many long montages to show weeks (or is it days or hours it's hard to tell) going by etc... otherwise very faithful to the spirit of the comic (much better than "The Spirit" movie btw)... The female characters have a lot of Moxie, which is required. whatever happened to Glenne Headley (Tess Trueheart, also the gal in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels... she married a friend of mine then I never heard of either of them again) oh and BTW I think this may be the role which started Al Pacino on to the "voice" that he now uses all the time: Screaming. It's a great performance, but it may have ruined his acting career.

Calvaire.

another movie warning about the perils of travelling alone through rural Europe where everyone you meet is either clinically insane, or just undiagnosed insane. A cheeseball Frenchie Lounge singer breaks down in the fog and ends up beaten, raped, tortured and forced to sing horrible chansons d'amour and given a bad haircut. Creepy as hell. Great camera and mise en scene. a short sharp shock to the system and a warning to never wear a cape, unless you are a superhero.

I love you, Man.

Frickin hilarious, annd no Man-crying from Segel. Good buddy flick for the modern age. Not deep or anything. light clever fluff.
It's actually something of a Nerd-mance as well as a Bromance as neither lead buddy really has the required social skills for new friend making.

Wolfhound

... billed as Conan meets LOTR... in reality it's mostly Conan-esque... in a good way. Good battle scenes and very very D&D in terms of narrative. Lots of hints in the exposition, that the characters figure out when they need to. great vistas, very decent CGI.

Edison & Leo

a steampunk-ish and very macabre stop action animated feature, billed as the first such feature from Canada. Powers Boothe has a lot of fun voicing the  inventor "George Edison". It all takes place in a fictionalized Manitoba where Amazonian all female warrior native tribes are the norm. cheeky, very dark, clever stuff co-written by one of my old Profs from film school.

The Mutant Chronicles.

Stylish, well acted, good action... weak story. But, entertaining. Thomas Jane and SF stalwart Ron Perlman kick a lot of mutated butts. sometimes the green screening looked a bit suspect... But I dug the steampunk design of all the post nuked world equipment.

Voodoo Woman (no imdb link :( )

an autobiographical  doc about a closeted trans (who was quite femme too start with) who went to Cuba ostenibly to do a doc about Santoreia or Cuban Voodoo. As a practicing Buddhist monk, she was both open minded and skepytical of all the chicken entrails and whatnot, but via the rituals discovered that she had no course left in life other than to actually live as a woman. The voodoo rituals and exploration of that aspect of Cuba was just as interesting as her own story and they melded together nicely. At the end everyone stayed to hear her talk, as it left you wanting to know more about both aspects of the story.

The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela -

a slightly fictionalized true story of Raquela Rios - a Phillipino "ladyboy" who wants to get off the street and have a semblance of regular life. Through friends she eventually hooks up with a porno webmaster/total douchbag from NYC who exploits her to make a lot of money (she was paid well also) She also gets a working visa and goes to Iceland where she works in a fish factory, and cleans an old lady's house (very philipino foreign employment) The douchebag flies her over to Paris, where he spends his time deriding France in a very Languish way that made me think the real webmaster guy may have been a poster here.) Eventually she goes back home and ends up back on the streets, and the douchebag heads for Brazil where the "asses are amazing". Really really well filmed fake doc, starring the actual person all the shit happened to.

Her Name was Steven (no linkie :( )

a doc about that Fla City Manager who had a highly publicized sex change. She got some inner peace, and her kid was very cool about the whole thing. Everyone else in her life seemed to be an asshole, and she was thrust into the spotlight as a spokesperson for the trans community, without actually being very informed on what she was doing. Out for just a few months and she was expected to be the voice of people she was only just starting to identify with, or as. It's amazing she didn't kill herself. Now managing a different FLA city after getting more well adjusted, and surgeried... she passes really well now.

Cowards Bend The Knee -

a silent film from Guy Maddin. clever, cheeky and fun. Great old school B&W filmed with more vaseline on the lens than a Doug Sirk movie. A member of The Winnipeg Maroons leaves his Girlfriend for an evil Asian girl while the girlfriend is having a backstreet abortion in the back of a beauty parlour. Eventually the Asian girl chops off his hands and the ghost starts dating his Dad. Very Maddin. Very.