10 Feb MOVIES, MUSEUMS … and me!
OK, no time-wasting, let’s get down to the business of discussing some cool movies I’ve seen recently, and let me start by saying…
I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed Suspiria.
Compared to the original I found the storyline much more cohesive and easier to follow, and it ended up with me getting more from the story now than I did from the original. I thought in terms of mood and atmosphere, they nailed it. I was getting the same feelings of angst, fear and claustrophobia. That was compounded further by the way the dance school was presented to us, just this very suspenseful and untrustworthy place.
Suspiria is also one of the few examples where we can say modern technology has made a film better. A lot of times, remakes can see modern technology and CGI put into things too much, almost making it too good and knocking the essence of the film out of it. But in this case, no way. It worked really well and was used judiciously. If you haven’t seen it, there’ an early scene involving a dancer who literally gets twisted all over the place, and it was both disturbing AND tense.
Tilda Swinton is really great in this. She comes across so well in the horror genre; I think she could make an incredible genre actress. I mean, she already is an incredible actress, so no surprise there I suppose. And she fit perfectly with the overall vibe of the movie; which was much more psychological horror than gore. I mean there was a shower of blood near the end of the film, but overall it still didn’t ring with me that this was a “gory” film most of the time. You don’t feel like you’re watching gore for gore’s sake, and I personally didn’t feel like I was watching a gore film. It really does get across the circumstances of the situation … a witch who is very pissed off and has scores to settle. And the way it ended completely blew me away.
There is a great character twist, which I thought about sharing with you … but you know what? I won’t. I’ll leave it to the more observant of you to figure it out…
I also saw Venom … and I really enjoyed it!
I have to say that I actually love all the Marvel stuff. I have not seen a recent Marvel film that I thought sucked. You know why? I’m just reconnecting with all those stories, which were core to my growing up in the ‘60s and ‘70s, all those comics that were so central to everything I did. And seeing them done so faithfully, for Marvel nerds like me it’s been amazing. Like when I saw Colossus in one of the movies … they had him down so freakin’ well, down to his outfit and accent, and again – as a Marvel nerd, you look for the details. Seeing Juggernaut! That is a deep cut character, to use a musical term, and it’s all been just too cool. So yeah, I loved Venom.
These movies are highly entertaining, I can nerd out on the storylines which are always similar to the comic books, but what’s cool is that you don’t have to be a Marvel comics fan to enjoy these movies.
The final movie I wanna talk about for now is 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Sci-fi and fantasy for me is all in the same bucket of entertainment, and 2001: A Space Odyssey remains incredible. I’ve seen it around 12 times, and the first time I saw it I was 6 years old. At the Coronet Theater in San Francisco when it first came out. It isn’t exactly the typical film you bring a 6-year-old to, so I waited ’til my kids were at least 10 before showing them, so they could at least have some elements of comprehension. But now that I think about it, seeing that film at such a young age probably planted some deep movie seeds.
I was mesmerized by the visuals; every single scene is a marvel to look at, so well put together, color-wise and composition wise. Every single element is so expertly applied by Kubrick that it leaves 2001 as nothing short of brilliant, especially as so much of it was done on sound stages at Pinewood Studios in London … which reminds me, I really need to go check Pinewood out and I always forget to do it until I’ve left London! So – note to self, Kirk, read your own blog this summer and get to Pinewood Studios! But back to 2001 … I’m obsessed. And how could you not be? It’s visionary in so many ways.
They’ve got early cells phones, they have a form of skype, and they have Alexa … but his name is actually HAL! And I just love that the alien life form is the monolith. When I told my kids that, they went “Huh?” and looked at me like I was crazy, because they were expecting some bug-eyed creature with 18 legs! And the sound whenever you see the monolith, that chorus, it’s so intense and great. The kids also said, “Dad, it’s so quiet and boring!” So I told them Kubrick was trying to give the viewer the feeling they’re actually in space themselves, that’s why it’s so quiet and still.
That film sucks more sound into a vacuum than any other I can think of! There’s even a psychedelic component, like the light tunnel near the end, which was heady stuff for the time. So yeah, 2001 needs to be seen at least a few times. There’s always something new to see in it and it’s one of the great cinematic experiences.
Finally, non-movie talk. There are two things I wanted to make sure you were aware of.
At the start of the year I decided it was high time I started being a bit more social, as in media. Like using my Instagram and Twitter accounts in order to have some fun with smaller thoughts and recommendations, as well as keep a little more in touch. So head on over to @kirkhammet which will be more of li’l old me, and @fearfestevil which will focus more on all matters horror, movie and sci-fi related as well as toys and, well, you get it, right? Right!!!!
Lastly – but perhaps most importantly (and proudly) I want to confirm details for the Royal Ontario Museum’s exhibition of my It’s Alive! Collection this July 2019, which debuted at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem last year.
(Detail from R. Kikuo Johnson, Rock On, 2017. © 2017 Peabody Essex Museum)
There will be some new and exiting pieces for you to enjoy, and I’ll be creating exclusive music for the exhibition (more details on this later). The exhibition will be open to see and experience from July 13th 2019 to January 5th 2020 on Level 4 at the Roloff Beny Gallery. Visit the museum’s site for further information as it becomes available:
and I’ll also be letting you know more about what you can expect here and on those social media outlets.
See ya later,