Saturday, September 13, 2014

Noircon 2014 Program Announced!

NOIRCON 2014, a biennial tribute to all things noir from literature to film to art and poetry, will take place from October 30 thru November 2, 2014. This conference is produced and headquartered at Society Hill Playhouse.

Program includes panels on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, parties, movie showings, an awards banquet on the banks of the Delaware, Thursday evening at MOCA, the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art, and a Sunday visit to Philadelphia’s Port Richmond Books. Farley Books of New Hope will be on site at the Playhouse throughout the weekend, the official book seller for NOIRCON.

Among the featured guests are:

Fuminori Nakamura of Tokyo, Japan, who will receive the David Goodis Award for excellence in writing. Nakamura has won many prizes for his novels including Japan’s most prestigious literary award, the Akutagawa Prize . Two of his books have been translated into English, The Thief and Evil and the Mask, both published by Soho Press. Tom Nolan, of the Wall Street Journal will do a one on one interview with this outstanding young writer on Saturday.

Bronwen Hruska, Soho Publishing, is being recognized as an outstanding publisher in the crime fiction with the Jay and Deen Kogan award, last given to Otto Penzler of Mysterious Books. She has led the way in translation publishing and opened many doors for women in the field.

Eddie Muller, called the Czar of Noir, will accept the Anne Friedberg Award for contribution to Noir Education and Preservation, as well as introduce a special showing of the film, THE PROWLER, (written by Dalton Trumbo and first released in 1951) at 1PM Thursday, October 30 at The International House A novelist from San Francisco, many of his books relate to and examine Film Noir.

Scheduled panels include: The Black Dahlia, Jewish Noir, Existential Noir, The Politics of Noir, A Ross MacDonald Examination, Veering Off the Highway: How Springsteen’s Music Shapes Crime Fiction and Three Minutes of Terror, when every attending writer gets three minutes to share his work or ideas. Among the program participants are: Joseph Samuel Starnes, William Lashner, Joan Schenker, Stuart Neville, Jean Cash, Jonathan Woods, Robert Polito, Vicki Hendricks, Steve Hodel, Carole Mallory, Sigrid Sarda, Buffy Hastings, Jeff Wong, Duane Swierczynski, Tom Nolan, Alan Gordon, Megan Abbott and keynote speaker, Eric Miles Williamson.

For further information call 215-923-0210 or check the website: www.noircon.com

Monday, April 21, 2014

Messing with the Lion

Back in October 2013, I messed with "the lion", William Pattison AKA Eric Morse. I wrote a bit about a podcast Mr. Pattison hosts -- The Wolf Pack Podcast -- and an episode that really troubled me. It was ostensibly about the Lianne Spiderbaby story and an incorrect "unveiling" of the source of the story. The show also reveled in some sexism about female directors and even meandered into the Chris Alexander "controversy" where Alexander used a nom de plume when writing for Fangoria. The irony of William Pattison AKA Eric Morse having problems with someone using a nom de plume seemed lost on the host and his crew.

As Mr. Pattison warned in a comment on the October piece, "Dont (sic) fuck with the lion unless you want the claws." I messed the with lion and found that the claws include a lot of internet grousing in the form of podcasts, Tweets, YouTube videos, Facebook updates, and blog posts -- the armaments of the internet.

In the comments to my original post, I swore to "Anonymous" (Wolf Pack podcast co-host Derek Young) that I would not be listening to the Wolf Pack any longer. Alas, my car crash curiosity got the best of me and I continued to listen to the show so I could "enjoy" the deficient ramblings of Mr. Pattison and experience the breadth and depth of his talents. I managed to turn on several other new listeners to The Wolf Pack. They found Mr. Pattison to be as fascinating as I did. For every few shows that Mr. Pattison scheduled about UFOlogy, paranormal research, and film discussions, he would also indulge in a "Hatchet" show or a "Don't Drink the Kool-Aid" show. Those were the most enjoyable as they often proved to be more freeform and often addressed matters that truly bothered Mr. Pattison. His unfettered passion would flow through the airwaves.

Mr. Pattison felt that his character was being disparaged though the same means as listed above. In order to quell this stream of negativity, he choose to address his detractors via his podcast platform in one of his "Don't Drink the Kool-Aid" shows on 3/21/2014. Here are the results:



Apparently, the hatchet was not buried with this broadcast as there was an episode of the Keep It Reel podcast that became something of an extension of the same conversation.



The host of Keep It Reel, Lucas Marlone, did an admirable job of trying to manage the circus that the show became. He had to deal with crying babies, horrible audio quality, and up to six fervent callers talking all at once. This is a marathon three hour session that's not for the faint of heart. Things really get intense in the last half hour when one of the callers, Josh Hadley, requests that Mr. Pattison speak for himself rather than allowing Mr. Young to speak for him.

What I find to be somewhat amusing (and a little unsettling) is that my name gets bandied about throughout this whole mess. I called out Mr. Pattison for the one show and highlighted a few other shows yet, I've been vilified for being the source of consternation rather than being a source of internet traffic and new listeners for the Wolf Pack podcast.

Am I playing the victim? No, not without my tongue planted firmly in my cheek. Rather than messing with "the lion" (the lyin'?), I seem to have stirred up a hornets' nest of people who take themselves far too seriously. I try not to. I'm "honored" to be the topic of conversation but find the whole thing to be a tempest in a teapot. These shows have devolved into something akin to listening to a party line at a trailer park.

I will continue to listen to Mr. Pattison but I probably won't post any more about him on this blog unless I continue to be a topic of conversation.

Keep listening to good podcasts...

Addendum:

Here's another fun podcast from Mr. Tom Gulley. I'm not that familiar with Tom but he sounds like the reasonable version of Hart Fisher.



Addendum 2 (4/20/2014):
It seems that Mr. Pattison has gone 'round the bend with his latest "Don't Drink the Kool-Aid" show. Without Derek Young to try and quell Mr. Pattison's rantings, we get to hear nearly 90-minutes (minus the full-length songs that bookend episode) of him telling off the world. We learn about his past and how he lost the loves of his life to "socials", to "horror socials" and to the cousin of Richard "The Night Stalker" Ramirez.

Mr. Pattison also indulges in quit a lot of hate speech, calling his detractors "faggots" and threatening to "fucking torch" at least one of the "horror socials" who he feels has wronged him.

It really doesn't get any more entertaining than this.



Well, let me clear this up. In California we call everyone faggots, just like we call everyone bitches. The way I was using it was to in other words call them low life cowards and asshole. We simply say "faggots". It is not a sexual orientation slur it is just the way we are in California. The fact that three of the people I blasted are gay has nothing to do with my choice of words, it was habit and culture...So get over it.

This is a very surprising to me. Could someone please verify if all Californians throw around "bitches" and "faggots" like Mr. Pattison claims Californians do?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cashiers du Cinemart 18 - Now Available

Cashiers du Cinemart #18 marks the 20th anniversary issue of the infamous Detroit film zine. Featuring reviews, interviews, and essays on films from the sublime to the obscure.

Regular contributors Skizz Cyzyk, Rich Osmond, Mike Malloy, Mike Sullivan, and I are back. Jim Donahue, Calum Syers, Scott Lefebvre, Andrew Leavold and Joshua Gravel have returned. This issue also features articles by first-time contributors Jay A. Gertzman, Heather Drain, Greg Goodsell, Marisa Young, Mike Dereniewski, Ryan Sarnowski, Jared Case, Joe "Woodyanders" Wawrzyniak, and David Bertrand.

This new issue features interviews with Eddie Romero, Anthony Matthews, and Earl Owensby along with essays on Thundercrack, The Killing, They're a Weird Mob, Tenderness of the Wolves, Eye of the Tiger, Fruits of Passion. Corrupt, The World's Greatest Sinner, Belladonna of Sadness, Dick Tracy, Lianne Spiderbaby, Patty Duke, and Harry Crews as well pieces about casting choices that almost were and "mock dubs" films.

Available in paperback and eBook formats via:
Lulu
Amazon
iBookStore


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Brag Me to Hell

I don't get too many opportunities to brag but, since I have a few, here goes:

Fangoria 332/333:
I was asked to pen a piece for Fangoria magazine after the episode that Rob St. Mary, Jeffrey Schwarz and I did about William Friedkin's Cruising on The Projection Booth.

The piece will run in two parts -- the first in issue 332 which is now available and the second, a transcription of an interview with Randy Jurgenson, will be in issue 333.

Order Fangoria 332
Listen to the Cruising Podcast

The Search for Weng Weng
If you've never heard of Weng Weng, you're missing out. And, if you've never heard Andrew Leavold wax poetically about Weng Weng, your life is not complete. Leavold is the director of The Search for Weng Weng, a documentary about the 2'9" action star from the Philippines. I'm very proud to be listed amongst the producers of the film which is heading towards its European premiere.

Keep up with the film via its official site.

The Projection Booth
We've got some really fun podcasts coming up this year. We've got our shows schedule out until December along with special episodes that will drop as they're available including interviews with director John Badham and producer Stephen Scarlatta.

We're still working on locking down some guests for this year. Here's hoping!
See everything we have planned so far.

Beard-Os and Badasses:
I've been invited to be a part of the upcoming documentary Beard-Os and Badasses: The Punks Who Took Film News Underground. For this one I'll be in front of the camera as an interview subject. To keep up with the film, like it on Facebook.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Twelfth Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Nominees

The Projection Booth has been nominated again for a Rondo Hatton Award. Would you do me a kindness and vote for us this year?

Here's all the pertinent details:

One vote per person, please. Every email must include your name to be counted.

Simply copy this ballot and send an email with your picks to David Colton at taraco@aol.com by Sunday night at midnight, May 4, 2014.

Here are some suggested categories/votes:

8. BEST DOCUMENTARY: REWIND THIS! directed by Josh Johnson. How the VHS culture changed horror and the movies.

13. BEST ARTICLE: 'Who Does Your Girlfriend Think She’s Fooling,' by Mike White, Impossible Funky Productions. How Lianne Spiderbaby buffaloed the industry which she claimed to adore.

23. BEST MULTIMEDIA HORROR: THE PROJECTION BOOTH Podcast targets genre films and more.

To see the full list of nominees visit http://rondoaward.com/rondoaward.com/blog/?p=32



Thursday, March 06, 2014

News About Fangoria 332

I'm very happy to announce that I'll have an article featured in issue 332 of Fangoria magazine. Shortly after the Projection Booth episode about Cruising, the editor of Fangoria, Chris Alexander, approached me to pen a piece about the film. I was eager to do so as I was still steeped in Cruising from the research and discussion of the film that I'd had with Rob St. Mary and Jeffrey Schwarz. I wouldn't have been able to write the piece without them. I'll post a link when the issue is available. In the meantime, here's everything that will be in the new issue:

INTERVIEW: NANCY ALLEN & KEITH GORDON They joined forces to track down a maniac who was “Dressed to Kill.”

FEATURE: “CRUISING” In the midst of the early-’80s slasher trend, William Friedkin made a very different kind of murder movie.

PREVIEW: “OCULUS” Gaze into the mirror at the center of Mike Flanagan’s creepfest, and you won’t like what looks back.

PREVIEW: “PROXY” Indie auteur Zack Parker explores many different kinds of psychological trauma. Plus: actress Kristina Klebe on her dangerous love.

PREVIEW: “AFFLICTED” See the world and scream in fear with Clif Prowse and Derek Lee’s travel-terror opus.

PREVIEW: “COUNTDOWN” Get the straight dope on the Thai shocker from its vivid villain, David Asavanond.

PREVIEW: “SALEM” Witch new horror TV show should you watch? Creator Adam Simon explains why it should be his.

MINIFEATURE: “FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: THE SERIES” Robert Rodriguez reveals how he’s bringing his Mayan vampires to the tube.

FEATURE: “BATES MOTEL” There are more shocking developments in the second season for fans to go psycho over.

PREVIEW: “UNDER THE SKIN” Scarlett Johansson as an alien seductress? Jonathan Glazer’s film isn’t quite what you’d expect.

ON SET: “PATRICK: EVIL AWAKENS” Director Mark Hartley explains why and how he gave the Aussie classic another spin.

PREVIEW: “JINN” Letting ancient secrets out of the bottle, Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad tempts cinematic fate.

MINIFEATURE: “DEATH SPA” Gorgon Video resurrects for the Blu-ray age with an exercise in over-the-top bloodshed.

MINIFEATURE: “FRIGHT SHOW” The Fango-affiliated VHS anthology combined four frightful fan flicks.

PREVIEW: “FRACTURED” Adam Gierasch and Jace Anderson’s shocker really gets into its characters’ heads.

PICTORIAL: ASHLYNN YENNIE Part of our Fango/GOREZONE photo showcase for the sexy “Fractured” and “Human Centipede” star.

PREVIEW: “JOHNNY GHOST” A particular spirit of rock ’n’ roll haunts the heroine of Donna McRae’s film.

MINIFEATURE: “THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN” Clive Barker’s classic tale is on track for a stunning new showcase.

FEATURE: “A FIELD IN ENGLAND” British sensation Ben Wheatley presents a surreal history of violence.

PREVIEW: “THE RAID 2: BERANDAL” The story sprawls and bodies fall as Gareth Evans returns to the scene of the crime.

FIRST RITES Why this is a “Skin” mag

POSTAL ZONE Fantastic Friedkin and an amazing “Spider!”

MONSTER INVASION Previews of “Smothered,” “The Hanover House,” “Fool’s Day” and “Clawing!”

MONSTER OF THE MONTH “Space Girl” from “Lifeforce”

THE VIDEO EYE OF DR. CYCLOPS Reviews of “Dead Kids,” “Odd Thomas,” “In Fear” and others

NIGHTMARE LIBRARY Reviews of Aaron Christensen’s “Hidden Horror” and Daniel Levine’s “Hyde”

DUMP BIN DIARIES Shout! Factory’s “All Night Horror Marathon Volume Two”


Mike White: Internet Troll & Cyber Bully

Apparently I'm a very bad person and should be spanked:



More words of wisdom:







Friday, February 21, 2014

Spectacular Optical to launch “KID POWER!” book at Fantasia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Cult Film Website Spectacular Optical to launch Book Series with "KID POWER!"

Film writer and programmer Kier-La Janisse and Canuxploitation scholar Paul Corupe, the team behind cult film and pop culture website Spectacular Optical, are prepping the label's inaugural anthology book, KID POWER!, about images of child empowerment in film and television. With cover and key art by Austin Sellers, subjects spanning North America, the UK, Australia and beyond, and a diverse array of some of genre criticism's most unique voices, KID POWER! will be an essential addition to any collector's bookshelf.

Spectacular Optical Book One: KID POWER! will be launched during Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival in July of this year. The book will be full colour, heavily illustrated throughout, and will be the first in an ongoing series of Spectacular Optical anthology books on cult cinema with an emphasis on supporting Canadian genre and pop culture writers.

The full contents of the book are:
  • It's a Yorkshire Thing: An Interview with David Bradley of KES - by Kier-La Janisse
  • After-School Shootout: The Lowry Brothers: HAWK JONES by Paul Corupe
  • Bad Hair Day: Producer Rock Demers on THE PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION by Bret Berg
  • Curley and his Gang: The Laughably Short Life of Hal Roach's Second Kid Comedy Crew by Zack Carlson
  • They Can See In The Dark: An Interview with Richard Nielsen, Writer/Producer of THE LITTLE VAMPIRE by Cheryl Singleton
  • Motherless Child: The Power and Poetry of THE UGLY LITTLE BOY by Chris Alexander
  • They Let Me Keep a Crocodile: A Conversation with Stephen Rosenberg, Child Star of 1978s JACOB TWO-TWO MEETS THE HOODED FANG by Zack Carlson
  • Memories of THE CHILDREN OF TIMES SQUARE by Robin Bougie
  • Dear Judy: Australian Girlhood Mythologised by Briony Kidd
  • Cosmic Rays and Mind Travel: Anthony Read's CHOCKY Trilogy by Owen Williams
  • Knowing is Half the Battle: An Interview with ABC Afterschool Specials Producer Martin Tahse by Kier-La Janisse
  • A Who's Who of ABC Afterschool Specials by Kier-La Janisse
  • Stinky: Abbott and Costello's Resident Man-Child by Robert Dayton
  • Motion Picture Purgatory: KENNY, THE KID BROTHER (1988) by Rick Trembles
  • Kids Flicks Are No Laughing Matter by Jesse Hawthorne Ficks
  • Ann Turner's CELIA: They Kill Rabbits, Don't They by Briony Kidd
  • Nicoletta Elmi: Italian Horror's Imp Ascendent by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Craig Martin

An Indiegogo campaign will be launched in late March to fund printing through pre-sales of the book, in regular and collector's editions. Editions of the book include:
  • Regular Edition
  • Collector's Edition (limited to 50, comes with compilation CD)
  • Collector's Set (limited to 20, comes with compilation CD, JACOB TWO-TWO "Child Power" T-shirt and KENNY-inspired skateboard deck designed by Jay Shaw, http://www.kingdomofnonsense.com/)

EDITOR BIOS:
Owner and Editor-in-Chief: Kier-La Janisse

Kier-La Janisse is a film programmer for Fantastic Fest and SF Indie, the founder of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies and Owner/Editor-in-Chief of Spectacular Optical. She has been a programmer for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas, co-founded Montreal microcinema Blue Sunshine, founded the CineMuerte Horror Film Festival in Vancouver (1999-2005) and was the subject of the documentary Celluloid Horror (2005). She has written for Filmmaker, Shindig!, Incite: Journal of Experimental Media, Rue Morgue and Fangoria magazines, has contributed to The Scarecrow Movie Guide (Sasquatch Books, 2004) and Destroy All Movies!! A Complete Guide to Punk on Film (Fantagraphics, 2011), and is the author of A Violent Professional: The Films of Luciano Rossi (FAB Press, 2007) and House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films (FAB Press, 2012). She is currently working on the book A Song From the Heart Beats the Devil Every Time about children's programming from 1965-1985.

Managing Editor: Paul Corupe
Since 1999 Paul Corupe has shared his passion for Canada's film history at Canuxploitation.com, a site recognized as the essential source for uncovering the forgotten films of Canada's past. He has written about genre film and Canadian cinema in publications including Rue Morgue magazine and Take One: Film and Television in Canada. He has appeared in several documentaries about Canadian film and scripted episodes of Bravo's On Screen! television series.

ABOUT SPECTACULAR OPTICAL:
Named after the sinister institution in David Cronenberg's Videodrome, Spectacular Optical began as an online journal in April of 2011, in anticipation of the Fantasia Film Festival's 15th Anniversary. An outgrowth of the festival's seasonal blog, the journal was the festival's way of connecting with movie-goers on a year-round basis, and nurturing the exciting talents that are a part of the festival's lineup each year. In fall of 2012, the journal's affiliation with the Fantasia Film Festival was discontinued, and it was bequeathed to its editor Kier-La Janisse, who has since re-established Spectacular Optical as an independent small-press publisher of collectible film and pop culture books with an emphasis on supporting Canadian genre film writers and designers. In addition to our print books, throughout the year Spectacular Optical will continue to publish articles, essays and interviews with established and emerging genre filmmakers, artists, curators and exhibitors on our website.

For more information, contact Kier-La Janisse at bigsmashproductions@gmail.com