Wednesday, April 29, 2009

You'll edit this out won't you?

Let’s Get Lost (1988)

Starring: Chet Baker, Various succubi

The Gist: A documentary charting the highs, both chemical and career-related, and the lows, both chemical and female-related, of all-round jazz legend Chet Baker. It’s a story you’ve heard a thousand times before: gifted and charming musical genius becomes popular and rich and famous for being a gifted and charming musical genius BUT THEN he makes friends with the drugs and he loses his gift and his charm and his money. In this case he also loses his teeth which it turns out isn’t such a good thing for someone who makes a living out of singing and playing the trumpet real nice. There’s a lot of talk about “getting lost” throughout the film, which is used as a metaphor in connection to music, drugs and life in general. However I choose to interpret it as the final death-cry of his teeth as they decided to jump from a sinking ship.

And then what happens?: The director seems to take the angle that if it weren’t for the women he surrounded himself with then Baker would have been fine. They all get introduced in a nice, positive light that has you thinking “ah, he should’ve stuck with her, she’s level-headed” until about five minutes later when they get edited into destructive leeches. I know Hollywood has reduced women to this for years but the seeming misogyny stands out a lot more here. I say “seeming misogyny” as a disclaimer since these could be genuinely wretched women. Who knows?

Wait, was that?: Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers? Yes, yes it was.

Level of Crazy: 10. True life crazy always gets a 10.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

La-la-la-la-la, I can’t hear you

Être et avoir (2002)

Featuring: Georges Lopez and the children of a rural school in France

The Gist: A lovely documentary that follows the goings-on at the primary school of a very very small village (I do research sometimes honestly, but I can’t remember the name of the village and don’t want to look it up for reasons I’ll explain later). There are about twenty students of varying ages and levels of cuteness. Lopez teaches all of them, in the same room. This makes sense to me since I come from a place where some schools had about 12 students altogether, but the city folk I watched this with were baffled. And by baffled I mean faces permanently set to “what the fug?”.

And then what happens?: It’s so cute that “so” is pronounced “shooooo” and you wave your finger at it and stick out your tongue. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll feel sophisticated cause it’s French and it's a documentary. Most people need only one of those things to stay classy.

And now a warning: After watching this you’ll have a warm glow, like the world isn’t such a bad place after all. Then someone will try to tell you about what happened after the film was released. I made the decision to put my hands in my ears and live in blissful ignorance and still believe in Santa. But the information is out there if you want it, it’s your call.

See it for: Marie. I laughed out loud just at the sight of her.

Level of Crazy: 10. And by crazy I mean crazy-cute.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Are you sure you want to fillum this?

A Complete History of My Sexual Failures (2008)

Starring: Chris Waitt, His ex-girlfriends, Mistress Maisie

The Gist: Waitt is a bit of a loser. He’s been consistently dumped by girlfriends for his whole life and has just gotten the boot once again at the start of this documentary. And by documentary I mean that in the post-James Frey meaning of “this is what really happened”. So this is kind of how things happened, maybe, now shut up and enjoy the cringing. He gets a camera and some funding to go around and interview all of his exes to find out why they broke up with him. But the fact that he’s got the commitment and the connections to get funding from producers to make a film suggests that he might not be quite the aimless loser those same producers would like us to believe. Again, it’s a story just like anything else so don’t be that arse in the cinema saying “pfft, if he hasn’t got a job how can he afford to have that shithole in London all to himself?”. No one likes that guy.

And then what happens?: Cringing. I mentioned it up there but even if you’re not on board with it at all and are sceptical about the whole thing, there are several moments, sections even, that will have you hand-covering-mouth, looking at the person beside you with your best OMG face. Like when he visits an ageing dominatrix who whips his testicles. Or at the beginning when he just shows up at people’s doors with a camera and expects them to talk to him. And then there’s my favourite part when one of his ex-girlfriends suggests that the reason behind his failed relationships might be his mental health. Because for a long time he thought he was Jesus. “Like, fully believed it”.

See it for: The part where Waitt asks every woman in Central London to have sex with him. Not to mention that he’s just swallowed eight Viagra tablets. And he’s pissed.

Level of Crazy: 6. Oh by the way it gets all serious at the end. Uber-serious. Whip-you-in-the-testicles serious.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bar Elegant & Unique. Ha.

Victor’s Bar 1 and 2

Drummond St, Melbourne

Starring: Betty Boop statues, Naked lady statues, Photos of old celebrities looking shocked at coffee shops

The Gist: According to the brochure:

Victor’s 1 and Victor’s 2, set in the heart of Carlton, (five doors down from eachother) are a rarity of sorts. Owner Victor has created two stylish venues full of contemporary artwork and elegant European sculptural works. The venues are like houses open to the public. Experience the unique artwork and browse from one venue to another.

So what’s it really like?: Victor’s 1 and Victor’s 2 look like they got effed in the A by a decorator at one of Elton John’s birthday parties. You could boil the theme at Victor’s down to a mixture of Saddam Hussein’s mansion in the late 1980s, what Donald Trump’s house probably looks like and some footage of all Michael Jackson’s gilded rubbish from that Martin Bashir documentary. Disco balls placed beside provocative statues of women with erect nipples reading a fake book, placed on top of stacks of other fake books. A bar designed to look like the front of a car. The stuff in the blue room... And the music is a bizarre mix of mid-nineties trance and deep house. So basically it’s like what a particularly clueless Hollywood executive would imagine an underground bar in Krakow looks like.

Go there for: Victor himself is usually hanging around, which I noticed after laughing at the brochure then looking up and realising the man with the jet black toupee from the photo was at the next table. Oops. Also my favourite part was, after first walking in, feeling like at any moment some kind of drug deal, drug bust or drug-related shooting was about to take place.

Level of Crazy: 11. You need to see what’s in the blue room.