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For anyone interested, the Quay brothers, twin American expats who create absolutely wonderful shorts and films, are making a fairly rare personal appearance at Philadelphia’s International House on November 1st.

Yep, that’s them. I’d missed their latest feature, ‘The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes’, at three other venues in New York and New Jersey, but couldn’t for the life of me figure out why Philly’s where they decided to show up and say hi. The bio explained it: they were born there. Not unlike my Garden State, the city of Philadelphia extracts a strange loyalty from its inhabitants that lingers far beyond their actual stay. It cannot be explained in logical terms, nor does it waver in the face of mockery, of which there is so very much. Interestingly, Jersey and Philly rag on each other the hardest, much like the two weakest kids on the playground fight each other in a pitiful attempt to maintain the illusion they’re not the bottom rung.

I’d just gone to the International House, which hosts a number of film and other events, for an 80′s slasher triple feature hosted by Exhumed Films. The star of the evening was ‘Sleepaway Camp’- if you haven’t already seen it, get a bunch of your buddies together and enjoy. It’s a toss-up whether it was filmed in North Jersey or Long Island; all the guys are total guidos and pronounce the main character’s name ‘Ange-luh’, and the girls are taloned, big-haired megabitches. Apparently Wardrobe couldn’t afford full shorts or shirts for anyone, though for modesty’s sake there’s the occasional headband.

The acting’s hilariously over-the-top, especially a ‘doctor’ that seems like he wandered into the scene and they just went with it. Fifty percent of the movie is Angela staring:

I’ve already bought my ticket to the Nov. 1st screening and Q&A, and recommend those who care to go do so sooner rather than later, as the event will likely sell out.

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I labored for weeks on a script for a movie that eventually fell through due to location issues. There’s an abandoned mental institution about 5 minutes from where I live, and I was all set to shoot a spooky Halloween movie when the local constabulary decided to pull rank. Well, nuts to them; I ended up shooting a perfectly serviceable Michele Gondry ripoff. Anyway, Matt and I thought up a list of possible titles, all of which I hope to use on actual films someday:

-Nerdlinger’s Cat
-Sewage of the Organism
-Creeping Fate
-The House With The Squirrel It’s Walls
-Out of Time
-Irredemable Death (this would also be an exellent death metal song)
-Blacker Than The Raven Wings of Midnight
-Unutterable Fancies
-Inexpressable Madness
-Haunted House Party (I am definitely making this one. It writes itself!)

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Sweet merciful carp I wish I had Showtime! I don’t know how it flew under my radar, particularly since I’ve been on a horrorkick lately, but I just found out about Showtime’s ‘Masters of Horror’ series. Seemingly cheesy at first, what with the title sounding like a lame Great Adventure ride, it boasts a ridiculously impressive roster of directors including Takashi Miike, Dario ‘Susperia’ Argento(!!!), John fucking LANDIS, man! Need I mention ‘American Werewolf’ again?! Awesome!!! and Stuart RE-ANIMATOR Gordon!!! Doing ANOTHER Lovecraft-inspired tale called ‘Dreams in a Witch House’! The kid in the pictures is even wearing a MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY SHIRT!!!(I want one so much). There’s no stupid internet symbol for pumping my fists in the air repeatedly so some imagination is required.

Awesome.

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The man himself.

Yay! I just found out from TwitchFilm that an omnibus horror movie’s being made based on the stories of one of Japan’s first mystery writers, Edogawa Ranpo, alias Tarô Hirai. He chose his pen name based on the vocal pronunciation of ‘Edgar Allen Poe’; you can sort of see it. His short stories aren’t BOO! I totally scared you with bloody stuff!, more creepy/weird with an undercurrent of sadness. Junior year of college I neglected to sign up for classes in time and had to chose between taking fewer credits, some crappy intro to literature course, or an Honors class focusing on the literature of the Meiji Restoration period of Japan. Always game for a challange, I opted for the latter. Yep. Fascinating period in history, to have a formerly isolated culture suddenly and forcefully exposed to so many empires waiting to rip it apart, and have it emerge as a world power. We actually edged much further ahead of the period into the 1920′s, even watching the first few silents produced and screened. Anyway, one of the many books assigned was Rampo’s ‘Tales of Mystery and Suspense’, from which the movie extracts its various plots. I remember particularly enjoying the last story in the collection, I think it was called The Traveller with the Pasted Rag Picture, where a group of mystery afficionados trade stories of how to commit the perfect murder. The man with the aforementioned accessory creeps them out with his realization that not preventing fatalities was the ultimate untouchable crime. I’m pretty sure it was in that one; if I’m wrong I apologise as I haven’t read them in a bit.

Check out the article for descriptions and explanations of the individual tales.

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Ah, sweet rapture! Fall promises so many visual delights! Firstly and foremost, I reiterate the coming of Tim Burton’s ‘Corpse Bride’, David Lynch’s ‘INLAND EMPIRE’ and Terry Gilliam’s ‘Tideland’(do click on the links, as they lead to two most exellent sites and one rather odd interview). All well and good, but we’ve been anticipating these for months. Imagine my delight to find two and a half other directors dear to my heart coming out with a few new projects each!

Guy Maddin, director of the most exellent ‘Saddest Music in the World’ and ‘Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary’, is coming out with ‘The Brand Upon the Brain’ in November and directs Isabella Rosellini’s ‘My Dad is 100 Years Old’ right now! An audio interview can be heard here, and stills seen here at Twitch Films. Go lookit.

The Brothers Quay, twin brothers, students of Jan Svankmajer and directors of such marvels as ‘Street of Crocodiles’, are coming out with a new feature entitled ‘The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes’, produced by no man less than Terry Gilliam himself! Whippety!


from ‘Street of Crocodiles’

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