Friday, June 27, 2008

Broncho Billy Film Festival At Niles

The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, Northern California treasure, mecca for historians, culture vultures and film geeks alike, will present The 11th Annual Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival all weekend, starting this evening.

History, particularly when it involves cross-eyed Ben Turpin falling on his butt, can be fun.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mr. Lobo's Surreality Check

Mr. Lobo, "your horror host", wrote this excellent rant as a response to a despairing posting on the Mr. Lobo's Sleepless Knights Of Insomnia message board that decried the noxious effects of Big Media and Big $$$ on culture, and how things have gotten 1000 times worse in the past 15 years.

The major media outlets are never going to put anything ahead of money. We need to let those dinosaurs die and discover and praise those who are making entertainment for the highest rather than the lowest common denominator.

Negativity only turns people off. . . I was unhappy with what I saw on late night TV; I made my own show. There are a lot of us that are part of the solution that doing great culturally positive work that needs support to break through to the mainstream. So often I hear people say..."they don't do it like that anymore" and I want to say--"Well, I do! And a bunch of other artists and producers are, too" They don't want to see what I'm doing because it doesn't fit in with their negative rants and ravings!

Let's take the tip of one iceberg...Last Saturday's Psychotronix Film Fest--a packed house enjoyed tons of classic entertainment for all audiences provided by SciFi Bob, Psychotronic Paul, Scott Moon (publisher of Planet X magazine and the musical mastermind behind Cinema Insomnia music video "Watching TV"), Rob Emmett of KFJC's wonderful "Norman Bates Memorial Soundtrack show" and soundman Austin Space.

  • Ernie "Hardware Wars" Fossellius was there with his DVDs

  • The Queen and I represented Cinema Insomnia

  • Cult Radio A Go-Go covered the event

  • Bill Devers, president of the Indy Film Co-Op and organizer of The B-Movie Celebration was there, as was. . .

  • Will "The Thrill" Viharo, who does Thrillville revival shows at theaters up and down the state

  • Tom Wyrsch, who made the Creature Features documentary

  • KTEH programmer Ken Patterson, who brought endless British Sci-Fi and even groundbreaking Anime to Bay Area TV

  • Filmmakers, musicians, and artists galore who were there who are doing good stuff right now!

We are in a B-cult underground renaissance! I'm tired of hearing everything sucks...everyone I hang out with is doing something super special!

Here with your Surreality Check, now bend over and say ahhh...Mr. Lobo

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin, Standup Philosopher (1937-2008)

I loathe serving as an R.I.P. blog! This week, that most wonderful of satiric shit disturbers, George Carlin, passed away at 71.

Hope George left at least a screed or two of unpublished social criticism, as ferociously scathing as Mark Twain's last writings, behind. Until then, you can rent or - if you're fortunate enough to not have your home in foreclosure during an election year - buy the DVD box set of his standup comedy specials.

In tribute, enjoy this prime clip of George at his razor-sharp and fearless best.

Carlin was certainly among the best of, to steal a term from Mel Brooks, the "standup philosophers". For an example of pure linguistic prowess:

Last week: the greatest, coolest, sexiest female dancer in the history of movies, Cyd Charisse, shuffled off the mortal coil at 86. Here she is, kicking ass in Vincente Minnelli's 1953 film The Band Wagon. I've watched this more times than countless fanboys have seen Star Wars or Star Trek: The Wrath Of Khan.

Both, fortunately for us still wandering around on this planet, left ample evidence of their artistry. . . evidence that can definitely help a person get through some of the rough spots in this earthly trip we share.

I'm toasting both of 'em tonight, baby.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Psychotronix Film Festival Returns Yet Again, Against Our Better Judgment

For over 15 years, the KFJC Psychotronix Film Festival has presented a film archivist jam session.

The visual music (cacophony?) draws from a wide range of oddly tuned instruments: unintentionally hilarious 1950's commercials and "educational" films, the most bizarre obscure classic cartoons, trailers from the worst movies, double-entendre packed Pre-Code goodies, the cheapest international monster movies, the campiest musical shorts, the most surreal silent movie clips and TV programs that aired once or should never have aired. We don't know what riff we'll play until the show is underway.

We'll be back with another freewheeling improvised program of questionable entertainment on Saturday, June 21.

If you are between the South Bay Area and just south of San Francisco, you can hear us jabber about the festival (A.K.A. attempt to explain something than defies rational
explanation), on KFJC 89.7 FM at 6:00 p.m. this very Monday evening, June 16.

Radio personality Robert Emmett of "The Norman Bates Memorial Soundtrack Show" hosts the festivities. Our special guests: direct from TV's Cinema Insomnia, horror host Mr. Lobo and The Queen Of Trash.

Alas, the fabled Room 5015 is slated for major remodeling shortly, so it may be a little while before our next fundraiser for KFJC. We'll give 5015, site of 35 Psychotronix Film Festivals, a fitting sendoff.

What? The KFJC Psychotronix Film Festival

Where? Room 5015, Foothill College campus, Los Altos Hills, CA (El Monte exit off of Highway 280)
When? Saturday June 21, 7:00 to 11:30 PM
Why? We give away a menagerie of cheap door prizes at intermission!

While showtime is 7:00 p.m., get there early - these shows sell out.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Next Philosopher Guru by Paul F. Etcheverry

Found scribbled on lined stationery in the back of a cab in Trenton, New Jersey, the wise words of Al Confucius Johnson, philosopher, beer drinker.

"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, make a sandwich."

"I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge. I am one who is in possession of a 1971 Archie, Jughead and Veronica comic."

"Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night involving more than six tall boys of Mickey's Big Mouth."

"I hear and I forget. I see and I forget. I do and I forget. I go to the bathroom and I forget. I forget and I forget."

"If you find your place in the world, make sure there's a bathroom nearby."

"Respect yourself and others will still tell you to commit physically impossible sexual acts."

"He who exercises government by means of his virtue will not get any campaign contributions."

"He who wears his heart on his sleeve will end up with bloody shirt-sleeves and some explaining to do at the dry cleaners."

"He who feels connected to all beings must always remember to wear pants."