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Below the Line of Barn Doors

The ramblings and insights of an aspiring filmmaker from small-town Iowa.

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Here is my in progress to-read list for the summer.

Here is my in progress to-read list for the summer.

New Ideas, New Blog

This blog will still be used for entertainment purposes, like posting stuff about movies or music, but recently I have decided to start a new blog in order to discuss some heavier things, make some observations about life and recall some fond memories. 

This blog is called “Singing Through Thawing Lungs” and can be found here:

http://thawinglungs.tumblr.com/

It will be, from now on, my primary. 

Deserted Tunnels Make Lovely Reading Spots

First post in months, and I figured I’d share this photo of the place I call my reading paradise. 

You simply MUST check out this movie

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

geoffsayshi asked: I'm not so sure if you can teach someone how to be creative. I think it's something you've gotta just have.

Dead on, that is why an education isn’t as important as many might think because you need to teach yourself by looking inside your mind and heart.

In Regards As To Why I Dislike Film Schools

The universities may teach you all you need to know about filmmaking, but never how to be creative. 

To them, you must be a copy, of a copy, of a copy, of a copy…

Trainspotting Review

Scag, scag, and even more scag! Today I bring to you a review of the film Trainspotting.

Released in 1996 and director by Danny Boyle, best known as the English bastard that brought you 28 Days Later in which other English bastards run about from zombie bastards, Trainspotting is a story about even more bastards living their daily lives as drug addicts, but this time they are Scottish! Hailed as one of the greatest English films ever made, Trainspotting is the number one film that gets the Scots to their knees and willingly open wide, but have they forgotten about the instant classic that was also made their, Doomsday….sorry, couldn’t keep a straight face there.

The main character is a man named Renton, a heroin addict that tries to overcome his addiction for the love of his friends and family, actually just his family because his friends are all even worse druggies than he is. There are two parts of this film, the recovery which is the first half of the film, and the relapse being the latter. In the beginning we see Renton desperately try to wane himself of the junk and succeed, only for his bastard friends led by psychotic Begbie who we all know as the dad from 28 Weeks later, to involve him in a drug heist. So think Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels mixed with Requiem for a Dream and you have Trainspotting.

The overall writing of the film was pretty spot on, easily creating entertaining and in some aspects completely depressing situations that constructed a vast and destructive environment for all the characters to be set free and run amok, shooting up and passing out. The pacing was also rather good and I never found myself bored at all, wondering why the hell there weren’t any zombies running around munching on the shrivled up remains of the main character’s brains. However, the writing was a bit one sided at times when it came to the characters, in terms of gender. Whereas with males some of them you wanted to be buddies with and some you wanted to knee in the groin, all of the female characters were complete bitches that I wanted to invite over to play a game of bop for apples in a woodchipper. The only saving graces for the gals in this film is an underage school girl that only appears thrice in the film, which disappointed pedophiles everywhere.

I was a bit disappointed in the first half of the film, probably because I went into this film expecting it to be a comedy. That was because blurbs on the DVD cover boasted it as “hilarious” and “devilishly clever” and other variations of the such that would boost Danny Boyle’s ego. However, it was hard to see this film as funny at all, especially during a scene in which a baby dies and they pan slowly to show its decomposing body. I guess if you like dead baby jokes you might find it funny, so long as you like no setup and the punchline is just a woman hysterically screaming “My baby is dead!”. I guess your mileage may vary depending on what you find funny. I found most of the humor in the film to be quite shitty, and I do mean that literally. There are at least two major instances in which fecal matter is physically used to make a scene funny, and in both scenes that respected character is digging his hand through their own shit. In one particular scene, Ewan McGregor’s character must retrieve drugs he just shat out from a toilet in order to get back to having a high again. This is very much like in real life when Ewan decided to act in Star Wars Episode One. But that isn’t to say the humor is bad, I just think that you need to understand what the characters are going through in those situations, and I found myself relating to a lot of their problems because I am quite the heroin addict myself, but that is beside the point.

Danny Boyle is quite the nifty little filmmaker, and there are two specific scenes in which I want to address that I found to be rather cool. The first one was a quick drug trip that Renton goes through after taking a bit too much heroin. There is a shot in which he is on the floor and he starts to sink in and eventually disappears, the thing is it was such a simple little effect but I have since fallen in love with it. The second is the detox scene that later complements the drug trip. Renton, having been locked up in his room at his parents must sit there and go through withdrawals as he sees various hallucinations of his friends and family, including that dead baby appearing crawling on the ceiling pulling off an Exorcist by spinning its head180 degrees.

Overall, Trainspotting is quite the gem of a film, though not that many people are aware of it, at least in the United States. If you ever want to have a one-two punch back to back movie session pop in Trainspotting followed by Requiem for a Dream and you can bet your willies you will never do an ounce of junk for the rest of your life. I know it got me out of my crazy drug habits, now I just have to work on that whole “arson” thing and I’ll be up for parole.

Blue Velvet “Review”

We all like sex, right? After all sex is a magical thing of a bonding event that brings two lovers close together and makes them feel like they are at one with the world.

Well, the film Blue Velvet will make you want to take off your penis, lock it away in a box and throw it into the ocean for it to sink to the bottom, never to be found as you leave the rest of your life as a virgin by choice. Not like you were going to get anything anyway. Moving on.

So it’s 1986 and David Lynch felt like toying with the minds of nymphos everywhere by making a movie about sex and violence, or rather violent sex. If that wasn’t disturbing enough for you he also decided to make this film have a straightforward plot.

After visiting his father in the hospital following a vicious attack by a robot-vampire-zombie-nazi duck, or something, a young man named Jeffery discovers a human ear graciously being gnawed away by a squadron of renegade, flesh-eating ants. He does what any sane human would do and grabs the ear and pockets it.

One thing leads to another and soon the savior of ears is caught up in the gritty world of sex and drugs in the same humble town of Lumbertown, but strangely rock and roll doesn’t fall into that combo at all, seeing as how the same freaking song plays over and over again in the film. Can you guess that name? That’s right, Nympho Drug Fuck Woman Beater by Frank Booth and the Boothettes

Then there’s this guy named Frank Booth who is, in laymen’s terms, IN.FUCKING.SANE. He beats women; he inhales deadly amounts of aymnal nitrate, and puts on pretty lipstick and kisses boys while lip synching to a Roy Orbinson song. This reminds me of every karaoke night I’ve ever been to in college, minus the lip synching.

Anyway, this film shares a lot of the same themes among many other David Lynch film, particularly the sexual tension among the human race and domestic violence in small town USA. But the one trait that shows prominence would be the classic Lynchic “I’ll Fuck With Their Minds Sexually, And Then Make Them Feel Bad For Getting A Hard Later On”. He has done this in EVERY movie he has ever done, and because of that he is a bastard.  

Allow me to explain that last bit. There is a scene where the main character Jeffery breaks into the house of a club singer who has been under police surveillance for the last few months in order to figure out more behind the mystery of the severed ear he found. Upon hearing the singer enter he home he ducks into the closet to hide, of course. Some time passes before she realizes someone is in the closet and he is discovered. At knifepoint, she makes Jeffery dress down to his skimmys and slowly removes his underwear, very sexually I might add, and starts kissing his lower stomach. All at FUCKING knife point. So right now you are trying not to find this scene hot while at the same time wondering if she is going down on him or is she going to chop his block off. Oh, and then they eventually do bang. Nice foreplay, eh? And whether you like it or not, you just got a boner from the scene. You have no idea, but you did and now you feel like the scum of the earth. You sly bastard you, David.

Now I suppose I should get to the actual review part. The film was fantastic, to sum it up. The ominous mood is easily set with David’s unusual and cryptic writing and leaves the viewer to figure out whether or not the ending of the film resulted in good overcoming evil forever, or just for now. Lynch, when he wants to, knows how to pace the action of a film just right and allow the viewer to become one with the evil underworld of small town USA, and taking them through every devious action that happens there. Nearly every player in this film contributed perfectly to this world, from the decline-of-innocence aspect of Jeffery to the downright disturbing and dangerous mind of Frank Booth. This film is a fierce storm of sexual deviancy and reclaiming ones previous state of content with the world, and if you are not disturbed by this film after seeing it then either you fail to want to realize all the malicious spirits that lurk in every corner of the earth or you wanted to see more scenes in which David fucks with your hormones.

Either way, I highly recommend this film and say fuck you Ferris Bueller’s Day Off this was the real coming-of-age film of 1986, and at least it doesn’t have Cameron whining every ten seconds. That has been replaced with Frank saying fuck every three.

HOLY…New Blog, BLAGH!

Don’t think I have forgotten about you guys.

Finals in college, you know?

And I’ve been spending a ton of time with my lover, so…you can’t yell at me dammit!

Anyway, if you haven’t noticed (probably because you don’t read this anymore) I have made another blog called “Memory in the Melody.”

With this blog I talk about some fond memories of my life and I complement it with an album that I was influenced by at the time. 

I only just started it, so not much to it yet but please check it out!

memoryinthemelody.tumblr.com 

You won’t regret it…or will you? Maybe? I dunno

Isn’t it scary that someday my ideas are going to reach the world?