Tuesday, May 31, 2011

And Then There's Black Shampoo

I haven't watched Black Shampoo this much since I was a teen. For the next five nights I'm going to be screening Black Shampoo four times. That all begins tonight in Huntington, NY at the Cinema Arts Centre. From what I hear, I may be braving it bringing trash culture to such a classy joint but we'll see.

Monday, May 30, 2011

On the Road Again - Impossibly Funky Book Tour Notes Pt 1

Day five of the Impossibly Funky Book Tour.

Today's one of the two days amongst the tour dates with no official items on the agenda. The next one will be Thursday.

Andrea and I drove through a lot of Pennsylvania on Thursday (5/26), stopping for dinner in State College, PA for some dinner and narrowly avoiding an oncoming storm. We drove ahead of the storm front for a while before it caught up with us just outside of our evening's destination, Hazelton, PA. The radio was alive with storm warnings and reports of tennis ball-sized hailstones.

All was calm the next morning when we made our way to Jersey City, NJ to stay at the Holland Motor Lodge; a stone's throw from the Holland Tunnel. We had quite an adventure trying to get from Jersey City to NYC via the PATH train. We rode back and forth between two stops, changing trains three times before we finally got the right one to take us to the World Trade Center stop. A quick trip on the E line got us up to Lucky Strike, a nice little eatery where we met up with friends -- Dylan and Christine from Paracinema Magazine, Lisa and Alan from the Cinekink Film Festival, Impossibly Funky contributors Leon Chase and Skizz Cyzyk (all the way up from Baltimore), and Cristina from 92Y -- the host of that evening's activities.

92Y really surprised me. There wasn't just the one theater but a few spaces. The room where we screened Miami Blues and Shock Treatment sat about fifty people. A few more friends and acquaintances showed up to the screening. I got a lot of compliments about Miami Blues. Most of the folks there had missed it on its initial theatrical release and never caught up with it on video, afraid it was "just another Alec Baldwin movie" -- apparently The Marrying Man soured a lot of people. I tend to bill it as a Fred Ward movie, despite Ward taking a back seat to Baldwin's terrific sociopath character. I found out last night that some people thought director George Armitage was "something like an Alan Smithee" -- having never heard of Armitage before, and since the movie felt and looked a lot like a Jonathan Demme film. This makes my determination to find Armitage for the upcoming Projection Booth episode on Darktown Strutters even more of a priority.

When I originally pitched movies to Cristina I suggested Phantom of the Paradise and Shock Treatment as kind of a Jessica Harper musical double feature. She was able to get her hands on Shock Treatment but then found that Phantom was set to play a few times in the NYC area.

Okay, how about Miami Blues, Cockfighter or The Woman Chaser as kind of a Charles Willeford tribute? Cockfighter was out as they'd shown that before and, apparently, The Woman Chaser is embroiled in legal trouble. But she found Miami Blues.

All right, then, how about a Miami Blues and Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins double feature? Could be a "first movie in a series that never happened starring Fred Ward" night?

Alas, no. Miami Blues and Shock Treatment it was. Now, I'm a fan of Shock Treatment, though I know it has some serious flaws. Yet, I kind of knew that I'm in the minority on that one. We got some Rocky Horror fans and even some Shock Treatment "shadow casters" at the screening but I don't think anyone else walked out without sharing the same sentiment of, "Well, I never need to see that again..."

Books Sold: 3

The next day we drove up to Schenectady NY -- not to be confused with Synecdoche, New York. There's a film society co-run by long-time Cashiers du Cinemart contributor and fan Paul Kazee called It Came From Schenectady. They played a double feature of Greydon Clark movies, Without Warning and Satan's Cheerleaders on Saturday night to a pretty good-sized crowd. I think there were more people -- and definitely more people I didn't know -- in the audience than I had in Manhattan. Schenectady should be proud that there are so many film fans around the area.

Not only did I get to meet Paul after all these years but I went out to dinner beforehand with Bob Plante (and his lovely wife, Tammy) of Gravedigger Video. That's one thing I love about these book tours is finally meeting up with folks I've talked to online or even through letters (remember those?) for years.

Books Sold: 3

Day three had us driving farther north through the beautiful scenery of New York up into Canada, arriving in Montreal in the afternoon.

Montreal, and maybe Quebec overall, is a strange place.

I grew up close to Windsor, Ontario, and always found it interesting how everything in Canada has to be bilingual -- displaying English and French versions. Packages, menus, street signs, etc. all had to have the two languages. However, driving into Quebec yesterday I found myself at a loss, only seeing French signs/messages with a paltry amount of English. Do the Quebecois not have to display the two languages the same way that other provinces do? I'm also curious if the provinces farther to the west display French and English or if it's only Ottawa.

Thanks to my pal Dion Conflict, last night the Blue Sunshine Psychotronic Cinema Space played a 16mm copy of Greydon Clark's Angels Brigade (AKA Angels Revenge AKA Seven from Heaven). Blue Sunshine's space is terrific. It's big enough to be comfortable and small enough to be intimate, like watching movies in your friends' living room. About a dozen folks showed up including a lot of folks I've talked to on Facebook. The screening went really well and the best part was hanging out and bullshitting about movies before and after. I hope Montreal knows what a service Blue Sunshine provides. If I lived here I'd be going to their screenings every chance I got. Even in this next week they're showing amazing stuff that I wish I was sticking around for including a 16mm print of Joe starring Peter Boyle.

Books Sold: 5

More reports fro the road when time permits... Starting tomorrow (Tuesday) night the Black Shampoo begins with the first of four(!) screenings.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blue Sunshine

Tonight I'll be at Blue Sunshine in Montreal. I'll be signing/selling copies of Impossibly Funky and screening Greydon Clark's Angel's Brigade on 16mm. Doors open at 6:45pm, the show begins at 7:30pm

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Come to Schenectady....

Tonight in Schenectady, it's a double feature from Greydon Clark -- Satan's Cheerleaders and Without Warning. Both flicks are part of the A Walk-In Drive-In Double Feature for just $9.

Join me at 7PM at

GE Theatre at Proctors
432 State Street
Schenectady, NY

Friday, May 27, 2011

Impossibly Funky Summer Book Tour Begins Tonight

Tonight begins the Impossibly Funky Summer Book Tour. I'm going from NYC to Schenectady to Montreal to Huntington, NY to Brooklyn, to Boston to Providence and then back to Detroit. I sure hope to see and meet a lot of friendly folks. I'm bringing my video camera and hope to capture some moments.

Tonight's festivities kick off at the 92Y in Tribeca with Miami Blues and Shock Treatment.

Miami Blues

Shock Treatment

Date & Time: Fri, May 27, 2011, 7:45pm & 10:00pm
Location: 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson Street Directions
Venue: 92YTribeca Screening Room
Price: $12.00 each

The New York City Rocky Horror Picture Show & Shock Treatment Cast will be joining me at the screening of Shock Treatment. They'll be coming in costume and doing a pre-show performance of the title song!

The NYC RHPS/ST cast performs weekly at Clearview Cinemas (260 W. 23rd St. - between 7th and 8th Ave) every Friday and Saturday night at Midnight -- including tonight!

For more info of the NYC RHPS/ST Cast visit nycrps.org.

For more about the screening visit: 92Y.org.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hideous Mutant Freekz

Today is an historic occasion. Mondo Justin and I are proud to present the latest episode of The Projection Booth. It's all about Freaked, one of our favorite films. Special guests include co-writer, co-director, star Alex Winter, co-writer, co-director Tom Stern, co-writer Tim Burns, star Megan Ward, and star Lee Arenberg ("Fire in the hole!"). Amazing! Astounding! Come one, come all to witness the Beast Boy and Freaked!

Listen to the episode:

Or, right click and "Save Link As" to download it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Impossibly Funky Book Tour - Summer 2011 Edition!

I'm happy to announce the dates for the summer 2011 Impossibly Funky book tour.

This should be my triumphant return to NYC. It'll be a little strange to go back with Impossibly Funky in tow since the first section of the book centers around my experience with the New York Underground Film Festival back in 1995. (Read all about it here).

At each of the stops I'll be screening a movie (or two) and doing an introduction of the film, Q&A, and maybe even some interpretive dance.

Fri 5/2792YTribeca, Manhattan NYMiami Blues & Shock TreatmentRSVP
Sat 5/28It Came From Schenectady, Schenectady NYWithout Warning & Satan's CheerleadersRSVP
Sun 5/29Blue Sunshine, Montreal, QCAngel's Brigade (16mm)RSVP
Tue 5/31Cinema Arts Center, Huntington, NYBlack ShampooRSVP
Wed 6/1reRun Gastropub, Brooklyn NYBlack ShampooRSVP
Fri 6/3Brookline Booksmith, Boston, MASigning/ReadingRSVP
Fri 6/3The Coolidge Corner Theater, Boston, MABlack ShampooRSVP
Sat 6/4Cable Car Cinema - Providence, RIBlack ShampooRSVP

Film Threat & The Revenge of Print

The Revenge of Print continues to happen in 2011. Proof? How about Film Threat coming back to a newsstand near you? Hasn't happened yet but it could and you could help...

Film Threat is looking for folks to contribute to the cause. They're using both Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. Looks like Kickstarter is currently the place where the most money is donated -- strange since Kickstarter is an "all or nothing" platform. That is, if they don't hit their total goal ($30K), none of the money goes to them. Meanwhile, IndieGoGo is more of a direct funding tool. What you pledge is what you give and what they get.

I'm excited that Film Threat is coming back. I've really liked what new owner Mark Bell has been doing with the online version of the magazine and can't wait to see what he'll do with the print version.

Will I be donating? Heck, yes!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Get Ready to Get Impossibly Funky


Get Ready to Get Impossibly Funky

(Detroit, MI - May 16, 2011) For fourteen years Detroit author/editor Mike White toiled nights and weekends on his movie zine Cashiers du Cinemart. Starting as a (s)crappy xerox and stapled publication, the zine mutated over time to a magazine with international distribution, long after the siren song of the internet wooed most small publishers to its cheap epublishing. The best of Cashiers du Cinemart has been collected into one volume, 2010's Impossibly Funky, a treasure trove of articles about film and popular culture.

Mike White will be touring New England in Summer 2011, reading, signing copies of his first book, and doing movie/shorts screenings.

White caused a stir the last time he was in New York City during 1995's New York Underground Film Festival; his short film WHO DO YOU THINK YOU'RE FOOLING--a comparison of Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS and Ringo Lam's CITY ON FIRE--earned the ire of Miramax films as they campaigned for the Academy Awards for PULP FICTION.

Read all about the controversy and about White being banned from the New York Underground Film Festival by OLD SCHOOL director Todd Phillips in the opening chapter of Impossibly Funky: A Cashiers du Cinemart Collection.

Fri 5/2792YTribeca, Manhattan NYMiami Blues & Shock Treatment
Sat 5/28It Came From Schenectady, Schenectady NYWithout Warning & Satan's Cheerleaders
Sun 5/29Blue Sunshine, Montreal, QCAngel's Brigade (16mm)
Tue 5/31Cinema Arts Center, Huntington, NYBlack Shampoo
Wed 6/1reRun Gastropub, Brooklyn NYBlack Shampoo
Fri 6/3Brookline Booksmith, Boston, MASigning/Reading
Fri 6/3The Coolidge Corner Theater, Boston, MABlack Shampoo
Sat 6/4Cable Car Cinema - Providence, RIBlack Shampoo

More about Impossibly Funky:
Introduction by cult director Herschell Gordon Lewis
Foreword by TV personality Chris Gore
Articles by Leon Chase, Chris Cummins, Skizz Cyzyk, Andrew Grant,
Clifton Howard, Rich Osmond, Mike Thompson, Andrea White, and Mike White.
Cover art by Jim Rugg and Jasen Lex.
Illustrations by Dean Stahl, Pat Lehrner, and Jonathan Higgins.
Copy editing and layout by Lori Hubbard Higgins.
Editor photo by Stacey Walters.

PublisherBearManor Media
Dimensions6" X 9"
Price$24.95 US

About the Editor:
Often mistaken for the ginger screenwriter/actor of the same name, Mike White has been a frequent contributor to publications such as CinemaScope, Paracinema, Detroit's Metro Times, WildSideCinema.com, and Detour-Mag.com. He's served on juries at the Slamdance, Cinekink and MicroCineFest film festivals. White has been featured in the documentaries David Goodis: To a Pulp and The People Vs. George Lucas. Additionally, he's co-host of the podcast The Projection Booth (www.projection-booth.com) and has had his video work shown in festivals around the globe, most notably the experimental documentary Who Do You Think You're Fooling?

CONTACT:Mike White
WEB SITE:www.impossiblefunky.com

Black Shampoo Poster
Miami Blues Still (B&W)
Miami Blues Still (Color)
Angel's Brigade Poster
Shock Treatment Poster 1
Shock Treatment Poster 2
Shock Treatment Still (Color)
Shock Treatment Still (B&W)
Shock Treatment Still 2 (Color)
Front Cover Color - Low Resolution JPG
Front Cover B&W - Low Resolution JPG
Full Cover Color - Low Resolution JPG
Full Cover B&W - Low Resolution JPG
Front Cover Color - High Resolution TIF
Front Cover B&W - High Resolution TIF

Friday, May 13, 2011

Coming to NYC in Two Weeks!

Miami Blues

Shock Treatment

Date & Time: Fri, May 27, 2011, 7:45pm & 10:00pm
Location: 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson Street Directions
Venue: 92YTribeca Screening Room
Price: $12.00 each

The New York City Rocky Horror Picture Show & Shock Treatment Cast will be joining me at the screening of Shock Treatment put on by 92Y on May 27, 2011. They'll be coming in costume and doing a pre-show performance of the title song!

The NYC RHPS/ST cast performs weekly at Clearview Cinemas (260 W. 23rd St. - between 7th and 8th Ave) every Friday and Saturday night at Midnight -- including that Friday, May 27!

For more info of the NYC RHPS/ST Cast visit nycrps.org.

For more about the screening visit: 92Y.org.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Cashiers du Cinemart #16 Cover!

I'm very proud to finally display the cover art for the cover of Cashiers du Cinemart #16. It's an amazing piece by artist Stephen Blickenstaff. I've been a huge fan of Steve's since I was a little punk rocker and listening to Bad Music for Bad People (yeah, he did the cover for The Cramps's album).

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Star Wars Blu-Ray -- Worse Than the Dentist

So, yesterday was "Star Wars Day." Know why? Because "May the fourth" sounds similar to "May the Force" as in "May the Force be with you."


Maybe if you have a speech impediment. "May the fourth be with you!" "Gee, fanks!" It's pretty lame.

And speaking of lame... the announcement came yesterday of what would be on the upcoming Blu-Ray release of the Star Wars set. As I don't have a Blu-Ray player, I couldn't really give a shit. As I would never purchase The Phantom Menace, The Clone Wars, Revenge of the Sith or Return of the Jedi, that makes a set that includes these even less appealing.

What the news of the Blu-Ray set doesn't address is what changes director George Lucas has made to his films between their last release and this one. As he can't stop fiddling about, it's going to be interesting to see just how much more tinkering he's done and how much worse he's made his films.

More than anything about the set, the cover art made me cringe. I couldn't believe that just how aesthetically unappealing the artwork chosen for the set is:

I don't know if there was some king of contest held and the powers that be took pity on an artist who was taking a break from inept landscape paintings but that image is about as bland as matzo. And let's not talk about the questionable symbolism of young Annakin Skywalker coming towards the viewer while his son, Luke Skywalker, walks away. Are we to think that Annakin left Tattoine for an adventure while his son came back? Or is Luke so ashamed of being in the image that he's turning his back on us? Or could the artist not find an image of Mark Hamil to use so he painted him from the back?

This image sums up just how lame the Star Wars films and franchise has gotten. Not even a respectable dentist office would display such an atrocity. It reminds me of something Bob Ross would have scoffed at.

Monday, May 02, 2011

CIMMFest Recap

The weather could have been better. Walking from the festival HQ (the basement of a converted church where we saw Color Me Obsessed) to the theater where we caught Freaks in Love, we managed to get soaked to the bone by a torrent of freezing rain. The next day was a little better when the rain gave way to snow... in the middle of April.

Color Me Obsessed proved to be an interesting experimental documentary. It's the first time that I've seen a doc about a band (in this case, The Replacements) where none of the band's members, music, or even album covers made an appearances. Director Gorman Bechard did some very clever workarounds to that end and even employed some techniques that I wish more traditional music documentaries would do, such as going album by album by the band featured and displaying the track listing. He also put The Replacements into context a bit by describing their album sales compared to other albums released the same year. Alas, I was unaware of The Replacements as a young punk rocker and only knew them from their last few alternative radio-friendly albums. I didn't know that they could rock out. Also, they're one of those bands that carried a lot of emotional baggage for me as they were my ex-wife's favorite group. Putting those things aside, I would have liked to have heard their music and judged for myself during Color Me Obsessed but that was not to be. The "trick" of not featuring The Replacements's music wore out its welcome for some viewers but the film managed to hold my interest, even as my legs were falling asleep on the uncomfortable church pews where I saw it.

I don't necessarily feel right reviewing Freaks in Love since my good friend and Cashiers du Cinemart contributor Skizz Cyzyk edited and co-directed it. Let me just say that it was terrific seeing the full film after having seen clips over the last year. I think I can be unobjective enough to posit that Freaks in Love is as good (if not better) than a lot of the band documentaries people will see. It won't get a huge buzz because the people in Alice Donut aren't huge drug abusers and don't hate one another. In that way, Freaks in Love isn't a typical band documentary. Hell, they even got together after they broke up for a while so there isn't the big rift between members of the band that we expect to see in the usual fare.

Speaking of dysfunctional bands, drug abuse, and insanity... there's so much of it in directors Don Argott & Demian Fenton's Last Days Here that I kept wondering if the movie was a mockumentary. It didn't help that I'm completely unfamiliar with the band Pentagram. Likewise, though a lot of people discuss their music throughout Last Days Here, there's very little of the music on the soundtrack. Or, at least, there's not enough of it to justify the heaps of praise that the documentary's participants heap at the feet of the band.

Since seeing Last Days Here I downloaded some Pentagram music and I'm not unimpressed, though it doesn't seem to blaze any trails that Black Sabbath didn't. The idea that Pentagram is some kind middle ground between Sabbath and the Sex Pistols really doesn't hold water for me. Plus, I'm not even sure if that's chronologically accurate.

Regardless, Last Days Here is a fairly fascinating work. I walked away with some nagging questions (What happened to Bobby Liebling's parents after he moved out of the sub-basement? How much were they enabling him? How'd he get his hands on so much crack? How in the world did they get so many people to that NYC Pentagram show?) but I've been able to sleep without having them disturb me too badly.

Sunday we caught The Anatomy of Vince Guaraldi (reviewed in another post) before we headed down the highway back to Detroit.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Doc Whores

It's a great time to be a fan of documentaries. In recent years, one can't walk a yard without tripping over a documentary film or filmmaker. That said, if one watches a number of documentary films one will start to see a few faces quite often. I refer to these people as "doc whores."

There's nothing wrong with being a doc whore. Hell, it's something to which I aspire. But, spotting a doc whore can make for a fun drinking game.

John Waters
Quentin Tarantino
Jello Biafra
John Landis

And this gentleman is quickly joining the ranks:
Keith Morris

I'm sure there are more but this is a good start.

Who are your favorite doc whores?

People Vs. George Lucas Opening in Select Theaters!

I'm happy to see that The People Vs. George Lucas is getting a few play dates around the U.S. starting in May. I'm not holding my breath for a Detroit showing but stranger things have happened.

May 6: New York City – Cinema Village

Cinema Village
22 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10003

May 13: Los Angeles – Nuart Theater

Nuart Theater
11272 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

May 28: Chicago – Siskel Film Center (Limited Run)

Gene Siskel Film Center
164 North State St
Chicago, Illinois 60601

Keep up on all the releases at http://www.peoplevsgeorge.com/screenings/