Friday, March 11, 2016

Tilbage til de hvidmalede, klonede David Lynch-stakitter

I 1990 boede jeg i boligkomplekset Barons Keep lige over for undergrundsstationen Barons Court i London (eller "metrostation", som det hedder på nymodens dansk, too bad I'm not nymodens. Hmm, nu jeg tænker over det, hedder det velsagtens "metro station", da 95 % af danskerne tror, vi ikke længere har sammenskrivning, eftersom de ikke har det i USA. Jeg tror, det var Søren Brun, der sagde det bedst ...) og fulgte med i den dengang helt nye TV-serie Twin Peaks af David Lynch.

David Lynch havde jeg allerede mødt kulturelt, da BBC tidligere havde sendt nogle af hans kortfilm, bl.a. THE GRANDMOTHER, og et dokumentarprogram. Jeg optog naturligvis hele baduljen og har grangiveligt stadig alle de gamle bånd, inkl. hele første sæson af Twin Peaks.

Nå, men i øvrigt er det slet ikke David Lynch eller Twin Peaks, vi skal snakke om. Og så alligevel. Serien var produceret af ABC og da den et par år senere sluttede, fik konkurrenterne ovre på CBS selvsagt den geniale idé at smede medens jernet var varmt og sprøjtede derfor en lignende "weirdo"-fjernsynsserie på markedet; Picket Fences. På dansk TV blev serien lanceret som "Under overfladen". Twin Peaks kørte fra 1990-91 og Picket Fences kom lige på hælene af førstnævnte i 1992.

Mellem '91 og '96 valfartede jeg lige dele frem og tilbage mellem Australien og Danmark og selvom jeg fulgte Picket Fences, har jeg hverken nogen erindring om, hvor mange afsnit jeg fik set eller hvornår Dansk TV viste serien. Og kørte den på DR eller TV2? Jeg checkede Henrik Larsens indeks over psykotroniske TV-serier i Obskuriøst, men han lader ikke til at have taget den med. Den er ellers vældig psykotronisk. Men hvorom alting er, så må det have været efter 1994, da jeg husker at have set flere afsnit i det opmagasineringsrum (læs: en lejlighed), som jeg havde anskaffet til opbevaring af alt mit ragelse i '94.

Der er altså gået omkring 20 år, siden jeg første gang så serien. Første og indtil i går aftes også eneste gang. Som det jo nogle gange går med kloner, efterligninger og direkte remakes, så viste kopien sig mere holdbar end originalen og modsat Twin Peaks' oprindelige to årgange (30 episoder), overlevede Picket Fences med hele fire sæsoner (88 afsnit). I flere år ærgrede det mig, at jeg ikke have fuldført mit projekt fra 90'erne med at optage samtlige afsnit, og da min natur byder mig at slette alt igen, hvis ikke jeg har fået fat i det hele, så kunne jeg ikke engang gense enkelte episoder i årenes løb. Ja, i alt fald ikke før 2007, hvor sæson 1 udkom på reg. 1 DVD i USA. Jeg blev naturligvis ufatteligt glad for nyheden om udgivelsen, ventede ni år, og ilede ud og købte den! Yay!

Desværre lader det ikke til at bokssættet blev nogen videre succes i Kamerika, for det blev ved den ene udgivelse. For nyligt har efterkommere af britiske tugthusfanger og jævnt kriminelle (dvs. australiere) heldigvis udsendt sæson 1-3 og nr. 4 skulle komme meget snart. Jeg er ikke helt sikker på, hvem der har udsendt sæson 1 og 2, men sæson 3 skulle være kommet på Madman, som er et sublimt australsk DVD-selskab. Når jeg er i tvivl, skyldes det flere stærkt negative brugerkommentarer på Amazon UK om billede- og lydkvaliteten af sæson 2, hvilket ikke ligner Madman. Men indtil videre er det altså det eneste måde at se sæson 2 og 3 på, med mindre man går bootleg-vejen eller ser private TV-optagelser.

Nå, men op i røven med alt det petitesseflueknepperi om udgivelser og dansk TV og hvad fanden ved jeg. Jeg genså piloten engang i nat og det vigtige her, det som er på alles læber (eller burde være det) er selvsagt; Holder den så, serien? Eller fremstår den, som dén klon, seriens samtid beskyldte den for at være?? Og var Jack J underholdt???

Det vigtige først: Ja, jeg var glimrende underholdt. Persongalleriet er finurligt, dialogen flød fint og historien i det spillefilmslange pilotafsnit fin nok til at gøre det, som den skulle; give os den finurlige dialog af det flydende persongalleri. Eller hvordan det nu var. Da jeg så serien i 90'erne var jeg vældig glad for Holly Marie Combs i rollen som sheriffens datter, Kimberly Brock. I dag, tyve år senere, jah joh, hun er stadig en smækker sag, men her i alderdommen er det scenerne med den skæve og tossede forsvarsadvokat Douglas Wambaugh, som begejstrer her i huset. Wambaugh spilles af Philip "Fyvush" Finkel, som allerede dengang var en ældre herre. Jeg slog ham op på Wiki og kan med glæde meddele, at han i en alder af 93 stadig er i fuld vigør. Eller i alt fald i live.

Hvis der er een ting, der både i 90'erne og i nat irriterede mig, var det serien kendingsmelodi, hvori der bliver hamret på et klaver, som om det var en skide syvårig, der sad på taburetten. Men man kan jo for fanden skrue ned for lyden under rulleteksterne, så det går nok. Holder serien? Ja, nu er det jo som sagt kun pilotafsnittet, jeg har set, men jeg synes, det holdt ganske glimrende. Jah-joh, der var måske et par detaljer hist og pist, men jeg synes stort set, afsnittet kørte glimrende.

Fremstår serien så, som den klon, samtiden dengang anklagede den for at være? Nej, det synes jeg ikke. Om de skæve personer i "Under overfladen" ville have eksisteret uden Twin Peaks' succes er måske nok tvivlsomt, men hva' fa'en, ville Sodom have eksisteret uden Kreator eller Destruction? Der laves næppe noget popkultur, der ikke ta'r sin inspiration et eller andet sted fra. Tricket er at lave noget, der kan leve sit eget liv og det synes jeg Picket Fences levede op til (i alt fald med pilotafsnittet, nu får vi at se med resten af serien. Hvis det går alt for meget ned ad bakke med kvaliteten, skal jeg nok følge op på dette indlæg med et nyt, vredt indlæg, hvor jeg brænder lortet af på bålet. Indtil dét sker, vil jeg nøjes med at anbefale serien (for 117. gang: i alt fald pilotafsnittet!).


PS: og jo, jeg poster med vilje indlægget på den engelske udgave af bloggen og vil i den forbindelse lige gøre danske/skandinaviske læsere opmærksomme på, at man ikke får notifications fra den danske del, hvis man kun abonnerer på den engelske side af bloggen. Omend de ser ens ud, er der tale om to forskellige Blogger.com-blogge.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Jodorowsky on Refn



I love this brief segment from the documentary film NWR (Laurent Duroche, France 2012) where cult film director and graphic novel author Alejandro Jodorowsky talks about Nicolas Winding Refn. In fact, the entire film is good (but don't see it for Jodorowsky as he's hardly in it). I taped my copy off TV but it's also on DVD in Germany and France.

Monday, March 7, 2016

KILLERS (Japan/Indonesia, 2014) - trailer



I just found this Japanese/Indonesian film on dddhouse and the trailer certainly looks good. I realise the thumbnail makes it look like yet another "torture porn" film but if it is the trailer certainly doesn't look that way.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Telly movies: DEATH AT LOVE HOUSE (1976)




One or two years ago the film fan channels on YouTube were thriving. The horror film community on there was the place to be. I had so much fun I even skipped Facie! Now, not so much. Youtubers are leaving in droves. The YouTube horror movie community has become the equivalent of the wasteland in Mad Max' barren futuristic world. A wasteland. I have a tendency to go against the grain, though, so now I've actually started to do videos again. Hah! Here's my latest one. It's a review - or an attempt at a review anyway - of the 1976 TV horror movie DEATH AT LOVE HOUSE. Not too many people have reviewed it (could this be a hint of its cinematic qualities? Naah). Well, check it out. I'll try and keep my videos fairly short from now on. 45 minute videos are a thing of the past.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Hardboiled from Hard Case Crime

I finished Lawrence Block's "A Walk Among the Tombstones" the other day. 400+ hardboiled pages. Thoroughly enjoyed every page. Good stuff. This is my first book in Block's series about Matt Scudder but hopefully not the last. There's a new(ish) film adaptation out but I haven't watched it.

...and now I'm halfway thru Richard Stark's (aka Donald E. Westlake) "Lemons Never Lie" from 1971. Great stuff. The book was in a huge pile of books on my shelf and I probably wasn't gonna read it till later but then I noticed a "rave" for the book by Lawrence Block and as I'd just finished HIS awesome book. I knew I haaad to read it right away. Both books are published by Hard Case Crime books.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

AMERICAN MARY (Can, 2012) Dir: ze Soska twinz



"Ich fühle mich wie doktor Mengele heute"*

 I watched the Soska sisters' second film the other day, AMERICAN MARY. Their first is DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK but I haven't seen that one. But THIS one I've seen and I loved it! A young female student is on her way to become a surgeon but she's raped by one of her professors and she decides to leave her course and take revenge. What kind of revenge? I hear you ask. Well, not telling you, you'll have to get the film. Basically this is a revenge flick.And what a revenge flick!

The way the Soska twins directed the film, and Katharine Isabelle in the lead role (she was also in the GINGER SNAPS movies) makes for exciting viewing. I wasn't bored for one second of the film. At all.

I watched the UK DVD. There's no subs but at least it carries the German dub next to the original English audio (!!!). There are two short docs but no trailer. I got the DVD for peanuts from Amazon.

Highly recommended.


*Line in the movie from a German assistant the main character hires. It translates: "Today, I feel like doctor Mengele". The main character replies: "Ay?" and the assistant says: "Zhey are twinz". Yeah, Third Reich humour there.
 

Poem #357: Nordic Bliss Without Penguins


- I travelled many miles on dreaded public transport from a much loved s.o.

- My journey lasted for too many hours
(I'm exaggerating for poetic purposes here as 'tis was an hour only, but hey, sixty minutes is sixty minutes and you could easily find yourself having a bitch of a time if members of the last forgotten SS commando troop were pulling your fingernails off or you were trapped under smelly bottoms of Norwegian trolls for sixty minutes).

- And a mere three minute walk away from my fake work I get a text from supervisor guy (who isn't fake at all) "Dead quiet here, take day off why don't you".

- So here I am with a couple of thebirkes and a frøsnapper, 70's blaxploitation from Marvel and sweeet toones on the stereo (Kaizer's Orchestra).

Hey, Nordic bliss (without penguins).



I first posted the above on Facie the other day but I thought you should have a chance to read it as well, oh you, my trusted and faithful blog reader.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Where to go for your best insomnia

The other day I was finally able to watch the original Norwegian version of INSOMNIA. Last year I scooped up the American remake at a one of my very last attacking the local Blockbuster (the Danish leg of the branch was bough up by another chain called Blue City but, sadly, they've closed my local store now. I never rented anything there but their second-hand dvd bins were pretty cool).

The remake from 2002 was directed by none other than Christoper Nolan and stars Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank in the lead roles. Both films carry the same title. I gotta tell you, the remake is great! It's one of thee best remakes I've seen in a very long time. But then again, Hollywood does spew out a lot of awful remakes so I guess it's not that hard to create a pretty decent remake.

Anyhoo, as I said I've finally gotten hold of the original Norwegian film from 1997. It's directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg and I have no idea of what he's done before or since. The film stars Stellan Skarsgård, Maria Bonnevie and a bunch of people I've never even heard of.

Both films follow the same plot line; Two cops go to an outskirt cold and snow-ridden place. A killer has off'ed a young girl but that's not all. The cops have problems back home and this leads to one of them, the main character, getting into more shitty quicksand than he can escape from. Or can he?

I was surprised to see the remake actually has a more convoluted plot than its predecessor. Also, the remake runs almost half an hour longer than the Norwegian film and lets itself sink way more into its insane insomniac nightmare.

I liked both films and both Al Pacino and Stellan Skarsgård are excellent in their leads ... but it's Al Pacino and the remake than keeps sitting at the back of my mind even now many months after having sat thru it. I need to rewatch both versions, though, and altho I liked the remake better I highly recommend than you watch both versions and make up your own mind. I checked the user comments under the Norwegian version's trailer on YouTube and it seems more people like the original film better.

I watched the 1997 film on dvd from the UK and the remake on a local release. Both films are on dvd in the UK and Scandinavia.





Update - Scandie readers

I have a feeling some, if not most, of my Scandinavians readers who subscribe to this blog have missed the wee detail that they need to subscribe to my Danish posts in order to receive notifications of them!

The thing is, I regard this blog as just the one blog but with an English language section and a Danish ditto. However, in reality they're two different blogs. Just same title and layout. In any case, if you wish to receive notifications of my Scandinavian posts you need to subscribe to the Danish section as well. Go here.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Zombies in the land of Oz

Check out this trailer! It's a new zombie film from Australia called WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD (dir: Kiah Roache-Turner) and it looks awesome. It's out on DVD and blu-ray in the UK (and most likely on DVD in Oz as well) but not yet in the US. I ordered the UK DVD over the weekend and can't wait to get it. Everyone I've spoken to says it's pretty cool (well, except for one Aussie collector on fb, haha) so I'm certainly looking forward to this flick which, judging by the trailer, looks like MAD MAX with zombies!

Five bucks from Amazon UK.