What They Blogged For.

Love. Hate.

Before we say our final goodbye, I just wanted to leave you with a random sampling of posts from some of my favorite people on this blog:

Benjie’s Skyrim addiction.

Occam Razor on “The Seven Robots You Meet In Heaven.”

Benjie and I watching New Moon and The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2.

A Movie Script Ending.”

The MPDG vs. the Amazing Girl, Heroes vs. BSG, and Kirsten Dunst vs. Kate Hudson.

Peanut St. Cosmo saying goodbye to her Blackberry.

(And really, just anything by Peanut, cause there’s too many to list.)

Fuck Yeah Sayid!

Anytime we talked about Lost.

High Fidelity vs. 500 Days Of Summer.

Hey, Shitface, Get Off My Lawn!”

Benjie and August Bravo on internet hype, and meeting expectations, and also Super 8.

Independence Day 2?

The end of the Counterforce podcast, and the birth of Time Travel Murder Mystery.

J Fran Fran.

Jonathan Franzen and his “Strong Motion.”

Benjie on his favorite sequel ever.

Occam Razor on a post peak oil world, and big booty bitches.

Benjie on how to properly spend New Year’s Eve.

While my torrent gently downloads” by Benjamin Light.

This is by no means a complete list, not at all. It is, in fact, an extremely rushed list. And may actually be a really terrible retrospective, at least in terms of showing what we did best, when we did our best, but oh well.

It’s just a few of my favorites. I would invite you to explore further, if you get the chance.

Virgin Snow.

As a last word on Alfred Hitchcock, I just wanted to share two quotes I saw just recently, the first being from Hitchcock himself…

“Blondes make the best victims. They’re like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints.”

…which is from an interview he did on TV in 1977.

And then I saw a quote from Ingrid Bergman…

“I’d like to know more about his relationships with women. No, on second thought, I wouldn’t.”

Fitting.

And then I saw this, which I love, and is wonderfully seasonal:

Good Evening!

by Grant Snider, from here.

A boy’s best friend is his mother.

Good evening.

I saw Hitchcock today. Just a few quick thoughts…

1. The nicest thing you can say about this movie was that it was witty and clever, but it’s ultimately very light fare. So much of this movie is fantasy – and not just the fantasy and daydream sequences – but it’s trivial aspects, imagined insights into the life of the filmmaker and his wife. A documentary about the making of Psycho and this era of Hitchcock’s career, with speculation from more informed opinions would’ve probably proved to be more interesting.

2. This movie has gotten mild Oscar buzz, and I guess it’s there, but primarily for the production design. The story is pretty formulaic, not giving the actors much to do other than say their lines competently.

3. Speaking of which, James Darcy does a fairly accurate seeming impression of Anthony Perkins. It’s funny to me that they make Perkins’ homosexuality not so much an unofficial secret throughout Hollywood, but something that a careful observer can pick up from a distance.

Just imagine the meeting of ScarJo and Bernard Herrmann.

4. This is second movie that I can think of that introduced a character played by ScarJo by doing a close up of her ass.

5. That said, it’s a film, it’s fantasy. The people are better looking. Helen Mirren is obviously much more attractive than the real life Alma Reville, and Anthony Hopkins, even under all the make up, probably still has a much more expressive face than the real Alfred Hitchcock. Also, Danny Huston is a villain in everything, right? That’s good casting.

6. Watching the film, of course, lead me to thinking about Psycho again. And that lead me to thinking about Delillo’s last novel, Point Omega, which has a prologue and epilogue set at the 24 Hour Psycho art installation by Douglas Gordon, which was at the Museum Of Modern Art in 2006. The installation took Hitchcock’s 109 minute movie and stretches it and slows it down so that it plays out over the course of 24 hours. The shower scene, for example, which lasts 45 seconds, takes a whole hour to play out.

In the novel, the 24 Hour Psycho stuff is a fascinating sequence that really informs the rest of the novel and how it deals with the perceptions missed perceptions of time passing. This little section always stuck out with me:

“The less there was to see, the harder he looked, the more he saw. This was the point. To see what’s here, finally to look and to know you’re looking, to feel time passing, to be alive to what is happening in the smallest registers of motion.”

If you’d like to check out an interesting book that takes a nice look back at Psycho, I would highly recommend A Long Hard Look At Psycho by Raymond Durgnat. It would make a nice companion piece to a film like Hitchock, really digging deeper than the fluff.

7. Something the film touches on, but only ever so briefly, is that great art can come from disturbed minds and from desires and fantasies that can’t be beaten and broken down into a box labeled “normal.” Obviously Alfred Hitchcock had some curious interests and obsessions and some continuing issues with women. The same could be said for Woody Allen. And Roman Polanski. There could be a lot of accurately negative things said for them as human beings, as well as a lot of accurately positive things said about their art. You need to pick your medium of release, because dark fantasies don’t have to spill over into reality. Sometimes creativity is born in the shit, and art has to be separated from the artist. Like I’ve repeated in one of my favorite quotes, there’s a difference between make believe and real life.

The difference between make believe and real life.

8. Now, I kind of want to watch that recent  HBO movie with Toby Jones as Hitchcock and Sienna Miller as Tippi Hedren. Since it covers the making of The Birds and Marnie, it’ll be a kind of unofficial sequel to this movie. And it’ll get into some of the trivial parts of history that really interest us (and that Hitchcock only touches on sparingly): Hitch’s obsession and control over his leading ladies.

9. I’m not sure if this makes me really want to go see Bates Motel.

10. When you watch movies in December, and especially the second half of December, you kind of have to keep the idea of the Oscars always present in the back of your mind, right? I haven’t seen Zero Dark Thirty yet but I suspect that the big Oscar buzz will be between that and probably The Life Of Pi. On the Time Travel Murder Mystery podcast Benjie and I talk about the padding you have to do to come up with 10 films to nominate, because at least four and sometimes five of those films have no chance whatsoever. I suspect that Hitchcock is one of those films. It’s a cute movie about a great director and his under appreciated wife and a mid-life crisis (well, slightly later than “mid-life”) and some marital scrapes. And through that time there came about a truly great piece of cinema. Psycho, that is, not Hitchcock.

Uncut.

And so are you.

I repeat this a lot, but this is one of my favorite quotes, and it comes from Klaus Kinski’s autobiography, Kinksi Uncut:

“I once asked a Gypsy girlfriend whether she ever went to the theater or the movies, and she replied: ‘When I was fourteen, two men fought with knives over me. One stabbed the other to death. I touched the dead man; he was really dead. The other was really alive.’

Thats the difference between make-believe life and real life. Mine is real.”

Kinski was very intense, but silly. But ever since I read his book in my early teens that quote has stuck with me.

File this one under: Supplemental, and Ancient Hollywood Weirdness.

I can see you!

from here.

Broken Dawn.

and

No comment.

“He does watercolors. Mostly landscapes, but a few nudes.”

I’m excited to talk about Cloud Atlas with Benjie on this week’s episode of the podcast, but I recently (and finally) saw Safety Not Guaranteed and Moonrise Kingdom as well, which Benjie had already seen, so maybe we’ll get to talk about those as well…

And (obviously) I just discovered my new favorite silly mash up tumblr of the moment, Kanye Wes Anderson. I’m a little late to the party on this one, but enjoying it. Both of these guys live in such a precious and stylized little world, so why wouldn’t they mesh together perfectly?

That said, I sincerely hope that after this we can take a break on these mash ups and amalgamations.

Anyway, if you haven’t checked it out in a while, check out the podcast, Time Travel Murder Mystery.

And, until next time: 63 posts to go.

Stories and subjects.

“American pictures usually have no subject, only a story. A pretty woman is not a subject. Julia Roberts doing this and that is not a subject.”

-Jean-Luc Godard, 1994

File this one under: Supplemental, and Ancient Hollywood Weirdness.

The year in film.

This is a fun little montage:

from here and here.

Samhain.

Another year, another Halloween.

The inevitable is upon us: the year is almost over.

You find yourself out somewhere, you’ve got a drink in one hand and your cell phone in the other. In your stomach is chocolate and booze. On one side of you is a girl in a leotard with cat ears on and she’s telling you what an asshole her ex is. On your other side is a girl dressed up as sexy Mother Teresa and she’s sleeping with the other girl’s asshole ex. Trick on one side of you, Treat on the other, and your drink is almost empty. It’s getting colder now outside and darker earlier and earlier. It’s time to start self reviewing and battening down the hatches.

via Google today.

Last night I got into a conversation with someone who told me that they hated Halloween. They didn’t see the point of it anymore, they said. I have to say that I wasn’t exactly super enthused about this year’s festivities but in a way, I still feel like Halloween is one of the last pure holidays available to us.

The various Halloween decorations sold to you  leading up to tonight feel more welcome in your home, I feel, than the Christmas ones. And the fact that the Christmas decorations start rolling out in store aisles as early as October now doesn’t make the sentiment that comes with them feel any more genuine or less hollow. But there’s still a kind of joy in those who put up something around their house with the intent of scaring a person or reveling in a bit of annual darkness.

Then there’s the candy. That one’s self evident, I think.

The movies. Halloween movies, or the movies that they play on TV around Halloween or the ones you specifically seek out because of this holiday, they aren’t just seasonal. They’re timeless, in their own special, twisted, beautiful way.

from here.

There’s always a mood that can strike a horror fan for movies about witches or demons or zombies or psycho killers or what have you and that mood isn’t solely isolated to Samhain. It’s just amplified there, maybe.

Besides, there’s just a handful of true, genuine Christmas cinema classics and the rest is bullshit. A movie can feature Rob Lowe in a pullover standing in front of a Christmas tree or feature an orphan meeting an angel who cures his syphilis or whatever, but that doesn’t mean I want to watch it. And as far as “holiday cinema” goes, Christmas is Halloween’s only real competition, and just like the holiday itself, it’s an empty category.

Never mind the fact that Halloween is the last real holiday where you can be yourself. You can be independent. Maybe you need to put on a costume and go out and get drunk and pretend to be someone else for a few hours after the sun sets, but it’s worth it. Maybe that’s how you need to express yourself. Either way, it’s your time. Enjoy it. After this it’s Thanksgiving and your circa Christmas fare, and you’re surrounded by family and you have to pretend to be someone else. No, you’re not a disappointment to your parents or extended relatives who know nothing of the real you but have some concerns based on your facebook status updates. No, this year hasn’t been a disappointment despite all the big plans and hopes you’ve had for it. And no, you’re not a disappointment to yourself, you hope.

Just to reiterate, Halloween is nothing but: Candy, booze, spooks, thrills, sexy costumes, ghosts, goblins, ghouls, an excuse to break free and have a little fun while leaving a little bit of your dignity behind. That sounds amazing. It also sounds like your average day on the internet just IRL.

Oh well, right? October is over, and another holiday has passed. Here on Counterforce the past month has been about the words of dead writers and witches and vampires and comic books (and comics on the web) and television shows (and television shows based on comic books like The Walking Dead) and actresses and wondering where they’ve been and who they’ve been fucking and all sorts of ridiculous shit on the internet in it’s silly labyrinthine ways. So, business as usual, I guess.

And tomorrow is another day. And probably more of the same.