Wednesday, July 27, 2005

TV: Midnight Movies

Lately my cable box has been a greater source of entertainment than the multiplex. First the South Korean thriller MEMORIES OF MURDER makes its North American debut via On Demand. Then I discover that this documentary, fresh from the Cannes Film Festival, is available to Starz! subscribers.

Stuart Samuels’ film surveys the half dozen cult favorites that spawned the phenomenon of the midnight show: EL TOPO, the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, John Waters’ PINK FLAMINGOS, THE HARDER THEY COME, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, and finally ERASERHEAD, which represents the movement’s greatest artistic achievement.

In a brisk, entertaining ninety minutes, Samuels talks to the makers of each film as well as distributors and theater owners. It’s clear that these movies existed in opposition to mainstream culture, down to the fact that audiences turned up to see them when most people were turning in. Now, as John Waters observes, that fringe mentality is the mainstream culture. Which sort of takes the fun out of it.

I risk embarrassment by admitting that I’ve only seen two of these six movies. I’ll limit the scope of the damage by not saying which ones.

Website Update: Links

I’m slowly gearing up to make some changes around here. I started by updating the links. Polly P.I. joins the permanent roster, as does Kung Fu Monkey. I was going to add Paul Guyot’s Ink Slinger, but he thinks we spend too much time in the blogosphere as it is.

Meanwhile, the missus has relaunched Lady, Make A Note Of This with a brand new focus. Stop by and make her feel welcome.