The Friday Afternoon Movie: Blood In The Face

Friday! It is now! At this very moment! Time for the FAM! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Today’s Friday Afternoon Movie is 1991’s Blood in the Face, directed by Anne Bohlen, Kevin Rafferty, and James Ridgeway, based upon Ridgeway’s book Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads, and the Rise of a New White Culture. You may assume from the title of that book that this film may be about white supremacists. You would assume correctly. Blood in the Face, filmed mostly in Cohoctah Township, Michigan, is an encounter with the ultra-right, lunatic fringe — at least as it existed 20 years ago.

What makes the movie work, I think, is how casual, for lack of a better word, the entire encounter is. The directors eschew the usual tropes associated with exposés and documentaries. There is no narrator, there are no experts being interviewed in order to provide commentary or context. By and large the filmmakers stay out of the actual film (with the exception of Michael Moore, who makes an appearance around 7:12 in part one, interviewing a uniformed neo-Nazi). The majority of the interviews are conversational in tone, giving the disturbing illusion of actually being amongst these people. Oftentimes it feels like it’s just you and a bunch of crazed racists; an uncomfortable experience, to say the least.

Alex Jones And The Clockwork Elves

Every once in a while I like to check in on Alex Jones, just to see how he’s doing. The man lives in a very dangerous world, you understand. Far more dangerous than the sphere that you and I inhabit. Crazy shit goes down on a daily basis in Jones’s ‘hood, so I just stop by every now and then to make sure that his head hasn’t exploded or, at the very least, to witness his head exploding.

There could not have been a better time. Truly, this is some of the man’s finest work. It’s got everything a conspiracy could ask for: government cover-ups, drug use, Philip K. Dick and elves. It’s awe-inspiring stuff. The gist is that powerful old men, who may or may not be ruling the world, are jacked up on the powerful hallucinogen dimethyltryptamine (DMT). Under the effects of the drug, they have come into contact with beings Jones’s claims they refer to as “clockwork elves” who instructed them to enslave humanity and build the Large Hadron Collider.

Now, Jones insists that he does not believe this (probably…maybe) and that this is “pretty David Icke”. He wants you to know that he doesn’t talk about this stuff because it would blow your mind. But he also knows that you need to know these things. You need to be aware because, as mentioned, Alex Jones lives in a pretty dangerous world and, with his help, you can too.

BTC: “What is that ungodly thing?”

“We all saw it scrawled across the blackboard the second we stepped into Miss Lovecraft’s class…”

A  disturbing and darkly humorous commentary on burgeoning adolescence and coming to terms with “the other” that is the opposite sex, Craig MacNeill’s short film, “Late Bloomer“, devotes a horrific (and hilarious) thirteen minutes to the obscene revelations that stem from biological discovery.  Written and brilliantly narrated in true Lovecraftian style by Clay McLeod Chapman, this tale of a “7th grade sex-ed class gone horribly wrong”  chronicles the destruction of innocence in pulpy prose worthy of the old gentleman himself.

How to describe these grotesque mockeries of natural law? Clearly hovering at the edge of sanity, both awe-struck and terrified by the frenzied hormonal horrors to which he has become an initiate,  the film’s narrator recounts the events of that eldritch classroom in an eerie, quavering voice while a murky, droning soundtrack by One Ring Zero provides appropriate ambiance.  It is said that MacNeill was inspired to make “Late Bloomer” while shooting a documentary on the film’s writer; one cannot view the result without  imagining the horrors to which that pale, untried youth may have borne witness in the classroom.

Super Cat World VS High Voltage Prairie Dogs Group Audio Harassment

A little light Rapture music:

Yours truly has NO idea why this video hasn’t gone insanely viral. Then again, yours truly is tripping balls on painkillers at the moment.

Double prairie-dog dare ya to watch the entire thing.

[Edited to add: holy FUCK, THIS ENTIRE CHANNEL IS NUTS.]

Jodorowsky’s Dune Finally Revealed?

Some of Moebius’ concept sketches for Jodorowsky’s Dune

For decades it has remained one of sci-fi cinema’s greatest might-have-beens. In 1975, during that magical time when studio heads willingly gave nigh-unlimited piles of cash to visionary directors, Alejandro Jodorowsky signed on to film Frank Herbert’s Dune, with a who’s who crew of alt culture royalty then-famous (Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger, Orson Welles) and up-and-coming (H.R. Giger, Dan O’Bannon, Moebius).

H.R. Giger concept design for Dune

The effort collapsed in pre-production amid bizarre rumors, massive budget overruns and plenty of mutual blame. Jodorowsky remained silent on the matter for years, and later penned a revealing account that told his side, but left a lot unsaid. The complete story of this tantalizing effort has remained a mystery, with the only the occasional glimpse to fuel our imaginations. That will soon change.

Now a new documentary by Frank Pavitch aims to finally reveal what really happened with Jodorowsky’s attempt to bring to life a work he believed divinely bestowed on humanity via Herbert.

Over at Blastr, they’re ecstatic, and with some cause (though Jodorowsky’s Dune, if made, could have ended up a fiasco as easily as a masterpiece). The glimpses that have for years sent Dune fans minds spinning are just the tip of the iceberg, and I can’t wait to see what else Pavitch has managed to uncover. The fact he’s wrangled interviews with many of the key participants is encouraging. We may finally know the full tale of this brilliant, doomed effort to fit galactic transcendence onto a movie screen. In the meantime, there’s always the activity books.

[via Brandon Shiflett]

Michael J. Anderson Loves to Laugh

Via DJ Dead Billy.

The man who played The Man From Another Place on Twin Peaks, and Samson on Carnivale, is going viral. Anderson’s YouTube channel, (which bears the questionable acronym of MANFAP) is verrrry intriguing. “Alien wizard from the distant future” or Neo-Dadaist performance art ninja? Both? Neither? You decide.

Man vs. Box

As the Japanese continue their misguided forays into the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence, we can, no doubt, expect to see more scenarios like the one played out here, in this video. What chance does a human being stand against the cold, steel mind of the insidious Machine? If a man can’t even flip a switch in peace in the presence of one of these things, what hope is there for our future?

This is what happens when our creations rebel. This will be the end of us.

MK12 Does it Again. (FITC 2011 Title Film)

After more than a decade, ruddily engorged by countless commercial and artistic coups d’états, the Kansas City-based design and filmmaking collective known as MK12 still excels at chewing bubblegum and kicking ass and making the baby Jebus cry. PROOF:

(Via MK12 co-founder, Matt Fraction.)

FITC is a design and technology events company that celebrated their 10th annual flagship event in Toronto just last week. MK12 produced this brief-but-brutal animated title film to mark the occasion. Indelibly. In your shuddering brainmeats. For all eternity. Nnnngh.

Pipe dream of the day: MK12 makes a full-length movie in cahoots with Al Columbia.

The Friday Afternoon Movie: Man Bites Dog

What a week, huh? Yeah, pretty crazy. It’s Friday though, so it’s almost over. And since it is Friday, how about some FAM?

Today we have 1992’s Man Bites Dog (French: C’est Arrivé Près de Chez Vous, It Happened in Your Neighborhood), directed by Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, Benoît Poelvoorde. A mockumentary, the story follows a crew of filmmakers, including director Rémy (Belvaux) and cameraman André (Bonzel) as they record the day to day adventures of Ben (Poelvoorde), a prolific serial killer. Ben brings them along on his excursions, introduces the crew to his friends and family, and discusses the ins and outs of his “craft”, as well as pontificating on subjects ranging from philosophy to architecture. Soon, however, the crew is drawn in to participating in Ben’s increasingly random and violent crimes.

I recently re-watched this with someone who had not seen it previously and it is definitely a movie of two halves. The first half of Man Bites Dog can be very funny, in a way that only dark comedies can be. There’s even an homage to the running gag in Rob Reiner’s seminal mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, with the crew losing a number of sound men during filming (due to “occupational hazards”), with each receiving the same eulogy from Rémy. It is a cynical humor to be sure. The shift occurs 2/3rds through the film (Editor’s Note: Oh for— You said this was a movie of two halves and now you’re speaking in thirds. What is wrong with you? Must you be terrible at everything?), with a brutal scene that heralds the active participation of the film crew. It’s a powerful moment and it works by both removing the distance the crew afforded themselves from what they were filming, as well as removing the distance the viewer was afforded from what they were watching. In that moment, all the laughter sort of gets sucked out of the room.

Watching it again, over a decade since I first saw it, I was struck by how well it still holds up. The cast is superb, especially Poelvoorde who plays Ben as a man simply making a living, regardless of how monstrous the means may actually be. It is a manic, bizarre movie; violent, cruel, and funny. And yet, despite that last bit, it never feels like it condones what is happening on screen. In the end, all involved are judged guilty, and all pay for it.

Lucas Camargo

The draw of Lucas Camargo’s work, I think, is its density. Packed into each drawing is a cacophony of tiny details, jostling to make themselves known. They’re almost like those once ubiquitous Magic Eye images, at first they’re a mess of lines until, suddenly, their long-faced subjects unveil themselves.

Via supersonic electronic