“Made of Stone” at Capitol Theater

Last night was a one-time showing of The Stone Roses documentary “Made of Stone” by Shane Meadows here in Cleveland. Of course, this movie was playing to sold out audiences elsewhere, but not in Cleveland baby! I think there were 20 of us. Granted, most suckers were at the Johnny Marr show on the other side of town, but they could have done both. My husband was like a Twilight fan girl giddy with excitement, and even won a compilation CD. A great way to spend a Wednesday night!

I had seen the documentary “Blood on the Turntable” and although it lacked interviews with some of the band, it was a fun and crazy look into the management the band had dealt with. Music industry typical BS –you know how it goes. Honestly, I thought “Made of Stone” would have delved into more interviews; the forming of the band, and why other members had left and so on. Although there is some great footage dating back to their scooter days and shows at the Hacienda, the information on the band was lacking. I understand it was a film partly about the comeback, but it was treated in a way where you had to know who the band was already in order to get the fullness  of why all these people are running in the streets when they hear via social media that a free gig is happening and they have to show up to the box office with a piece of Roses memorabilia to get a wristband.

The_Stone_Roses_Press

Shane Meadows is a fan first more than a director. It shows when he reacts to seeing the set lists written in the rehearsal space, and by the fact he stays back and doesn’t want to rock the boat after Reni walks off stage in Amsterdam; an explanation is never really given as to what went on, only headlines that he had quit. John Squire and his drug problems are never brought up, it’s all very skimmed over aside from the legal troubles with Silvertone Records. The interviews with fans is more revealing I suppose, so maybe other than a few voice overs here and there an in-depth interview with the band wasn’t needed. The look on a fan’s face when Ian Brown grabs his cell phone, takes a selfie, then hands it back is pretty great.

This is a live concert documentary more than anything, which is great if you see it in the theater with the sound. Lord knows they aren’t the best live band as a rule so this was actually a great way to see them! The songs shown in rehearsals are pretty great, as well as the concert footage of “Fools Gold” and others. In the end, I still can’t understand a word Mani says, John Squire is simply adorable, Ian Brown seems genuinely amazed and happy, and Reni is still able to rock his Kangol hat at times. I’d say “Made of Stone” is perfect for the super fans and perhaps those Americans who want to understand how deep the love of this band goes if they didn’t know who they were. If you want a funny, ridiculous, look back at the history of the band and the amazingly crazy manager they had, get “Blood on the Turntable” as a follow-up.

I am not kidding you that during the live footage, both men I was sitting with in the audience teared up. This band was their scene, as they missed Joy Division and New Order slightly, and were already a bit older by the time Britpop had hit big. The waitress at the bar across the street asked us, “so who are the Stone Flowers?” which was strange since I can’t imagine she was much younger than I was (then again I was debating between a Stone Roses or a Depeche Mode poster for my room when I was 12!). So, we told her. How they invented Britpop pretty much and for many people, they were their Beatles. “Oh, I’ll have to look them up” she said.

Eye Candy + a Movie

Hey! The movie myself + my art are in is finally getting released! It stars Michelle Monaghan, Stephen Dorff, and Willem Dafoe: http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/tomorrowyouregone/

The film is opening April 5th in select cities like L.A., Charlotte, Columbus, Dallas, Philly, Denver, Houston, Chicago, Miami, Kansas City, Detroit. And even though it was filmed in Cleveland, nope, we aren’t going to be able to get it here. I guess a road trip to Columbus is in order? It was partially because of Michelle Monaghan my work made it into the film, she loved it so much she and some of the crew bought pieces. I have to thank David Jacobson for throwing me in the film, and expanding what started as just a walk-on as I was killing time waiting for my husband to finish up at the office.

Many of the painting that were in this movie are also going to be in “EyeCandy” opening Saturday, March 30th at WWA Gallery in Culver City, CA. I will have 7 paintings in it, and many are from my book as well. You can view all the info and other amazing artists in the show here. I wish I could fly back to Los Angeles for the reception, oh well. If you attend it, send me pictures!

Fulvia

Lady Fulvia of Terra, 8×10″

Snaps from the Set

I forgot to post some of these photos from the film I was in for 5 seconds this summer (depends what gets included). I was just happy to get my own prison cell/trailor dressing room. And all the Starbucks and Diet Coke I wanted!

Sadly I do not have any of me in hair and make up where I’m outfitted in a black slip and look like a piece of white trash. The first day when I waltzed onto the set to collect my artwork that was rented (and later purchased by various cast and crew, yay!) I got cast on the spot, and the part was quickly expanded. I guess my hair color sealed it. First, they had me dress as plain ole me: Motorhead t-shirt and leopard print skirt, with a cane. I play 3 different characters, that are all versions of myself. Kind of funny. Here’s me and one of the other people cast on the spot for a scene at a classic car lot…

I tell you, nothing curtails eating like being told you’ll be in your underwear — without the help of Spanx — in a Hollywood production the next day. Finding wardrobe that fit me was a challenge in that all the other actresses were a size 0-2, and I’m a 12! It was funny to be handed things to try out that I couldn’t even get over my shoulders. In the end we found something nice that made me look like a weird darker version of Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8. In any event, I got to cuss a lot and ad lib lines on top of what I rehearsed with my on-screen husband. Here I am with him, and my real husband…

This is going to look really cool when it is done, a sort of gritty noir, Boot Tracks. The most surreal moments for me were hitting Stephen Dorff in the head with a blunt instrument, and my husband and I sitting there having pasta dinner with Willem Dafoe, just chatting — you know, like you do. Wanted to tell him how he saved Boondock Saints, but I figure he got fawned over enough by everyone else.

The casting and production people were very adamant that I go and sign up with SAG now that I am eligible, and pursue acting as a real thing. Not because I’m such an awesome actress but as one person said, “despite your weight, you look amazing on camera even when you’re supposed to look like a mess, people will cast you for your face alone”. I’m going to see a local agency that I heard was good, but aside from that, I don’t know what’s more heartbreaking: being an actress or an artist! I think if I don’t take it seriously as a career, and do it for fun, I’ll be okay.

The Classics

I’m talking about pictures baby, not dusty old books!

If you’ve known me long enough, then you know I’m an old movie fanatic. I think it started with “Top Hat” initially, and some of the old Carmen Miranda movies that my mom used to watch. Sure there were the Shirley Temple vehicles, but I wanted stuff with fabulous sets and costumes! At age 8, I already wanted an art deco bedroom and fabulous evening gowns. Mostly I also liked how my mom would preface each movie before we watched it, like “Flying Down to Rio” she described as, “Dolores Del Rio is so dark, and the guy is so blonde and the whole thing is about how exotic she is, and how blonde he is — they work it out obviously”.  Of course my favorite movies I used to watch over and over were the Topper movies. I’m more a fan of “Topper Returns”; maybe because it is a murder mystery, but also because his wife Billie Burke is so ridiculous in it. It is also fun for me now because of what I know about Carol Landis, and a character in “Valley of the Dolls” (book version, not the movie version) being based on her.

Like many people into the old Hollywood movie thing, I’ve always been fascinated by the studio system itself. It was great actually living in Hollywood for a while, and working downtown, so I could geek out on stuff just walking around; things and places and events I knew no one else cared about as far as industry history. I’m also really into the pre-code films — and if you ever want The List of what you couldn’t do in film after 1933, I have it. It is truly amazing to watch pre-1933 movies like, “Blood Money”, “Skyscraper Souls” and “Baby Face” be so blatant in a context where, when you think of black and white films, you think of them being glossed over and hardly daring at all. My mom got me The Star Machine as a Christmas gift, and if you are into old Hollywood movie history and the business of it all, then you should get it for sure.  What amazes me is that even the silly little movies talked about throughout the book are things I’ve seen, even the bad Deanna Durbin crap. Maybe one day I’ll meet the author, because I know we’d have so much fun geeking out together.

So, if you are like me, you will love: Tired Old Queen At the Movies. That sums up what I feel like most of the time anyhow. Here’s a question: out of all the episodes, which 2 movies does he feature are the only 2 I haven’t seen? It is a good thing I don’t have a collector mentality, because if I did, I would have a film memorabilia collection much like Steve does. I think so far my only true indulgence was buying the out-of-print paperback of Joan Crawford’s “My Way of Life”. It was totally worth it, as you no doubt could tell.

If It Worked Once, It’ll Work Again

This is just getting ridiculous: http://dlisted.com/node/30891

The Neverending Story? Really? And let me guess, they'll cut out the traumatic swamp scene just to keep it PC or some crap like that. My mother took me and a friend to see this movie when I was 4 or 5, and truly, a whole generation was traumatized by that scene — slower and more painful than Bambi's mom getting shot. But, I am a stronger and better person for going through it at such a tender age. Okay maybe not, but still.

Ideas, originality? What are those again? Hollywood, you really are going to so many new lows. The old saying of nobody went broke in Hollywood by underestimating the intelligence of America may be true to an extent, but this is just getting retarded and lazy. Just do an updated All About Eve and get it the hell overwith! That re-make of The Women translated so well to modern times, didn't you think?

This brings me to a question: how would you like it if people started to re-make classic albums? Seriously. I had this discussion a few years ago with Troy Gregory of The Witches/Dirtbombs fame, and he said, "you know what? I'm going to re-make James Brown live at The Apollo". Brilliant! Just to prove a point, what would happen if you rounded up a bunch of musicians to do this? How would you like Kanye West to remake Thriller? How about Coldplay remaking The Velvet Underground Peel Slowly and See? They could get Pink to be Nico for a follow up, amazing. Dark Side of the Moon would be great if Kenny Chesney had a hand in re-making it, don't you think? And the MC5 Kick Out the Jams should be re-made live as it was by The Jonas Brothers as I'm sure they could totally pull it off.

What other ways can we ruin the memories of your youth? Come on, we can think of something!

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Control: Cheer up emo kid

So I went and saw the Anton Corbijn movie “Control” based off the book, written by Joy Division singer Ian Curtis’ widow. Everyone I know who read the book kinda was “meh” about it; I just went because I like Anton Corbijn, I had nothing else to do, it was my friend’s birthday, and I had never been to the art school campus theater here in Cleveburgh.

control_corbijn

It was very well filmed, despite the subject matter it had quite a few laughs in it, and I give the casting people credit for being able to find actors that look enough like the real people. Other than that…I found myself getting bored, a lot. The most interesting things are the riots at shows and the band manager Rob (he’s quite a character in 24 Hour Party People as well). I know the movie was supposed to be centered on Ian Curtis’ private life; what a nutty jerk he could be to his wife and daughter and why he probably killed himself. But I really, wanted to see more band related stuff. I guess his wife wasn’t around for most of that.

I’m actually more interested to hear what his daughter thinks of all of this. She was born the same year as me, and it must be odd having a movie and books written about a parent you hardly knew. That there’s a whole cult following and maybe you are expected to have some insight and be a certain way; must be strange having your dad be the godfather of goth! And yes throughout the movie my friends and I were making jokes about the birth of emo.

I guess the only thing that irritated me was the theater itself. I had never been to this particular art house theater — it reminded me of why I don’t go to both music gigs or regular theaters anymore. My god, as hubby said, “this is the hipster retirement home”. I never knew so many people in Cleveland wore berets. The smug was outstanding, the seats uncomfortable, it smelled, and it just overall annoyed me. I thought I’d go out and try to be social, but wow, I much prefer sitting at home to watch movies. One of these days I’d like to get a big ‘ole home theater built in my home — that is the only way to go.

My verdict: a pretty good movie despite the many ‘blah’ moments. What I really would like to see is a film about Guns ‘n’ Roses — now that would be entertainment!

Ancient Movies, Pre-Code Films I Love

I remember when I was 20 or so, a younger guy from my college says, “Have you seen, like, every ancient movie ever made before 1965?”

Well, I haven’t of course. But it is scary that I recognize and know the names of actors from before 1945 all too often. I even know who else they’ve co-starred with, what directors, who they hated, who they slept with and any possible scandals as well.

Maybe I should have been a guide at the Max Factor Hollywood Museum after all? Anyways, here some “Ancient” movies I dig, and maybe you will too.


Female: She runs a car company, yells a lot at board meetings, sleeps with all her hot male employees and has a kick ass pad to boot. This movie is worth it alone for the art deco set design. As for the message that women should act like women and be soft and cuddly and not in any sort of power position that would make her husband feel inferior? Eh.

Employee’s Entrance: Warren William likes to play bad guy workaholics who do business any way they can. In this he plays a very driven Department Store manager; I’ve noticed men who have seen this movie just love his character. It is also very interesting to see how department stores used to operate, and all the jobs that no longer exist. Of course there’s drama and suicide too. At one point Warren even gets Loretta Young drunk on champagne and bangs her while she’s unconscious. Again, worth it for the costumes and sets. Are there any Warren William movies during this period where he didn’t play a ruthless business man gone bad who enjoys getting young girls drunk on champagne and banging them while they are unconscious? Well, I suppose “Imitation of Life”, but that’s gotta be some strong champagne indeed! Anyways, this is a lovely pre-code film with all sorts of drama and suicide very much like “Skyscraper Souls” without the office building part.

The Women: How can you look at this picture and NOT want to see it!? And mind you, Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer really did hate each other that much — they aren’t acting! This movie is “all about men”. There are no men in the movie actually, but you get enough catty one-liners and ridiculous costumes that they would look out of place. Joan Crawford and her bath tub are a hoot, and the movie actually goes into color for one segment: the fashion show. Again though, I’m not too crazy about former playwright/congresswoman/ambassador Clare Boothe Luce and her message in all of this: keep the husband at any cost, even if he is a lying, cheating, deserting son of a bitch.

Skyscraper Souls: Warren William is at it again being a bit of a creep with young naive ladies in the city. This time he is a bigwig bank president property owner at the tallest building in Manhattan. Oh but what debauchery and high stakes can happen when is comes to the sexy world of commercial real estate! The set design (based off the Chrysler building) and costumes again, so worth it!

Wild Boys of the Road:  A Steinbeckian picaresque, the episodic movie that follows the adventures of high-schoolers, who go from comfortably middle class, to dropouts who leave their families behind to ride the train to look for work during the Depression. At one point they settle in a shanty town in Cleveland known as Sewer Pipe City, a kid loses his leg to the train, a prosthetic is stolen, there are clashes with police, attempted rape, and more. I’ve seen this movie at least 8 times and I never get tired of it.