Monthly Archives: August 2008

Momma’s Man

I don’t think I can top the wonderful posts by many fellow bloggers on Azazel Jacobs’ beautiful Momma’s Man, though it isn’t for a lack of trying. My closeness to the film, not necessarily to the production or Aza Jacobs, is my largest hurdle: I had Ken Jacobs as a professor in 2002, have been to his Tribeca loft, and correspond with him from time to time. 

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Pump Up The Volume

With a certain amount of wishful thinking, Allan Moyle’s Pump Up The Volume may be seen as something of a call to arms. The film bravely takes on the 1960s, setting the film at Hubert Humphrey High School (where Mark, played by Slater, attends), revisiting the anarchy, momentum, and freedom of that time, all within a deceptively quaint teen film framework. Pump Up The Volume is angsty as fuck, using Lenny Bruce and Leonard Cohen as its spiritual godfathers, and it is set in the late ’80s and early ’90s, in high middle class Arizona, fresh off a Reaganized veneer on societal woes. There’s not much to look at visually, but it’s difficult to not find its shoot for the stars, smash the state sentiment moving. Whether the film has any lasting impact is another matter: lots of bad hair, Diet Coke, and really, really trite scenes of co-opting hip hop. Its message is fresh as ever, though the power of radio is now in satellites and on the web. Regardless, it’s good fun. When was the last time Hollywood was brave enough to make something this adult?

Manny Farber

Manny Farber – 1917-2008

Wealth and work [updated]

I’m in the process of working on another short film, tentatively titled Wealth and Work, which will (pending disaster) be finished by a week from Saturday. It’ll be part of an ongoing gallery exhibition. 

This is the first time I’ve collaborated with a writer, a close friend of mine, and so far the experience has been quite exciting. So far, the film is split in two parts: the first focusing on a guy after a job interview and the second part a reflection on the character’s unemployment and class. 

It’s something of a myth that a college education yields work, or at least work that allows one to pay debts and pursue some kind of meager existence. In the corporate world, the first thing lost after finding work is one’s college education. If one cares to study in their field, continuing education still may yield no work at all. Yet, for all of the disadvantages that Americans have, the class of servitude knows no bounds, and those born in this country provide future global generations with the grisly task of working underneath them. 

Without ruining too much, all I’ll say is that this is something of a departure for me, an exciting one at that. The dialogue (or rather, voice over material) is what will guide the film, even though I intend to allow the camera to dictate and have the first word. 

[Note: I wanted to have my short, May Dailies, uploaded for viewing, but I’m having difficulty compressing it properly. I hope to have it up soon.]

[Update 08/19/08:Wealth and Work is embedded below. Feel free to comment or embed elsewhere.]

I will be reediting the second part, mostly to record a sharper, more robust dialogue. This is more or less a first cut.