Dead Like Me

A Dead Like Me movie is in production, with many of the original actors but without Mandy Patinkin [also, et] and others. Also, it looks like this is direct to DVD, but may also have sequels [also].

Update 20jan09 @ 4:55 pm:

Dead Like Me: Life After Death is now listed as pre-order, and has a release date of Feb 17th.

As an aside, it turns out the the also now-cancelled show Pushing Daisies was developed from an episode idea for Dead Like Me. [see]

The Road to Guantanamo

The Road to Guantanamo, dir. Michael Winterbottom, 2006.

This movie is the story of a very deep sickness in Western culture. If I hadn’t worked retail, I might find the whole thing too surreal to believe. However, I have witnessed the kinds of people that could rationally reach the insane conclusions necessary to act as the guards and interrogators in this movie do.

The futility of “breaking” people so that they will say anything in order to point to something as if that’s evidence is clear here. It’s a grim bit of drama. Guantanamo is a new kind of Theatre of the Macabre, a Las Vegas replication of the Grand Guignol:

“Before the war, everyone felt that what was happening onstage was impossible. Now we know that these things, and worse, are possible in reality.”

This is a stage on which thousands of Pierrots take violent revenge on the world of Arlecchino.

Decasia

Decasia: The State of Decay. Dir. B. Morrison. 2004.

Just like Baraka, this film has striking visuals shown at something other than normal speed in a non-linear arrangement. Certainly there are juxtapositions to the images but there is only an implied story not an explicit one. Further, the visual elements of the film are accompanied by distinctive music that has no lyrical element.

On the other hand, this film is nothing like Baraka. First, the film is in black and white, and consists of damaged archival film spliced together. So, the visuals themselves were selected from existing stock, not shot with forethought and design. Further, this film is just bad.

Maybe there was a bit of satire on Baraka in the use of archival images of a whirling dervish. What is it about the whirling dervish that appeals to the avant? Is it the self-imposed dizziness the artist admires? And, I find it interesting that Qatsi productions appears in the credits, since there’s an oblique connection here to Baraka.

This film could easily have been rejected 2nd or 3rd unit daily rushes from David Lynch’s Eraserhead, or something similar.

Worse, this film gave me the same kind of headache I got watching Tesuo, but wasn’t freakin’ strange enough to make the headache bearable or redeeming.

About half way through the movie, I discovered that the entire collection of archival shots were being displayed at 1/4 speed. I found this out because I gave up and started to zoom through the film in the weak hope that it would somehow improve or manage to do something other than shamble on like a zombie trying to eat my brain.

Maybe if I was on acid and I wanted to have a bad trip, or if I needed some ambient visuals to project on the walls at some goth club, this film would come to mind again. Otherwise, I’ll be happy to forget as much as I can.

I doubt seeing this on the big screen would have helped and might have led to permanent brain damage.

A choice between Keanu and lamb’s guts? I have to think about it.

I enjoyed “Waking Life” and was excited to learn that Linklatter was doing another movie in the same style, and more excited when I heard, many moons ago, that it was going to be an adaptation of “A Scanner Darkly” that wasn’t a silly slasher movie. Now, I’m even more excited to see the trailer. [QT MOV link]

Although, I have to be honest. I would rather see exploding lamb’s guts (which, for the younger me was the biggest reason to see the old adaptation of the story, though I was not allowed to go.) than watch Keanu Reaves … but I will try to keep my lunch down for this movie.