Archive for January, 2013

Banjo Chutney and John Le Baptiste go to Hollywood

January 20, 2013

So you all know, of course, that Banjo Chutney and I went to Hollywood to make a film? Well we did. And what’s more, we collaborated on a story about it, which you can read here:

‘Our Trip to Hollywood’ by Banjo Chutney and John Le Baptiste

When we awoke in our twin-bed hotel room, the air conditioning said ‘ming’. The big cars were honking and the maids were speaking in a secret language. Banjo said it was called Spanish.

We put our tiny white penises and tiny white bottoms into our tiny white underpants. And we did so shamefully. For was not the sin of Adam upon us?

Then we got a callback from the agent saying that the meeting was scheduled for 11. He said that the producer was excited about the project. That made us happy, but then we realised we would only have 45 minutes for breakfast, so that made us worried.

All of the waitresses in the breakfast diner were curling their mouths upwards at the ends and presenting their teeth. They called us y’all and wanted to be our friends.

I had biscuits and gravy. When I peeled back the sickly sauce there was a sad-looking spongiform beneath it. So it ate it and tried not to cry. Banjo ordered a sausage. Its legs were still attached.

After vomiting in the alley behind the diner for half an hour, Banjo and I caught a taxi to the studio. Our eyes were bleary and our knees were trembling but Banjo opened The Braveness matchbox and let The Braveness crawl around on the car seat for a while. It fed on a discarded crumb from a child’s food-unit then it did a little happy click. Then it got back inside the matchbox. We felt a lot Braver after that.

The taxi driver was humped, boweeviled, jerry-cocked, through with all that shit, he said. We shrugged and he said ain’t that the truth.

The taxi pulled away and the driver said shall I careen all over the road or career? Banjo said could he Kareem and the driver shot a finger-pistol full of respect-bullets our way.

We pulled up in front of a monolithic temple of success. It was where the big boys make their big boy pretend pictures. I got out and sucked the free air but Banjo just doubled over in a pool of whimper-fear. I took out a slice of marble cake I’d stowed in my cardigan and he came round enough to fall onto the pavement.

We hallooed the rentacop at the gate and showed our labels on our shirts, proving we were who we said we were. Tough times, he said. Damn if it ain’t.

The cobwebby forest of shame was all around us. We sure felt puny. I pulled a floral kerchief with a flourish, aiming to look emboldened as a cabinet. No, hissed Banjo. These types are wise to us. But I parped regardless. For clarity.

Banjo bucked back, the smell of wickedness in his nostrils. His hooves hammered as he twisted in his hackamore. Whoa boy, I said. Whoopsy daisy, said Banjo.

For two days we rode in silence through the pine-whiny glades. We’d stop now and then to share a cereal bar or take off our hats and dust the flies from our maws.

On the third day we came to a grove called ‘reception’, where a woman brought us coffee, hot and black and steaming from a plastic thermos. Don’t you be fooling none, said Banjo. I ain’t fooling none, I told him.

Could I have been fooling none?

Soon the hot, black coffee was snarling in our stomachs and we were on our way to see the Wizard of Oz. That’s what the receptionist said. I didn’t understand the reference. We walked down the hall of fame. Signed pictures of all of the greats were there. There was Philip Hardcastle, Steiner and Moobuck and, best of all, Old Blind Manhandle: The Talking Hobo. Banjo saluted as we walked past and Old Blind Manhandle saluted back, sort of.

At last we reached our journey’s end. It was the office of the producer. He offered us a Fillet o’ Fish. He confirmed that the o’ stood for ‘of’. You’ve got balls son, he said, pointing at my shoulder. He took Banjo by the cheeks and said, Welcome Home, Son. Banjo looked at my eyes, but my eyes looked away.

Excuse me, sir, said Banjo. We’re here to make a picture. And not just any kind of picture. Not the kind of picture, for instance, that you might find on a porcelain saucer. A picture of a smiling Jack Russell, for instance, on a porcelain saucer. No sir, not that kind of picture.

The producer tried to speak but Banjo caught his words using his special Bluegrass Claw. No sir, said Banjo, we want to make a moving picture. You can call it a filmic yarn if that helps you to understand it better. What kind of moving picture you ask? (The producer hadn’t asked, because his words were still spinning in Bluegrass Claw purgatory, like the souls of a trillion Anabaptists.) What kind of moving picture you ask, said Banjo.

It’s a simple story about a little boy who wanted to be a human, summarised Banjo. It’s a silent musical. It’s an inert action film. It’s a heartwarming horror. It’s got thrills, chills, banjo fills, and none of the above.

Did you boys write it, said the taxi driver, who had followed us into the office. Yes, I said, we wrote it together.

How? said the taxi driver.

I don’t know, but we did, I said.

The taxi driver sent for his lawyers, who brought round some contracts, which we ‘signed’ using short tubes of ink. The studio gave it the green light, and we went into production the next day.

So I guess by now you’re probably wondering when you can see the film that Banjo and I wrote. Well, the chances are, you’ve already seen it. For, here it is.

Martyrs

January 19, 2013

Martyr: noun – a person who is killed because of their religious beliefs.

But not if you’re in this film. ‘Martyr’ means ‘pretty woman wearing pants and vest who gets punched in the kidneys repeatedly’. Or does it? Sickened by the (alleged – I haven’t seen it) misogyny of this film, I turned to the wisdom of internet reviews for an insight into the true artistic meaning of slapping a woman about in a darkened room.

User JSh0k writes on IMDB that “…Martyr’s [sic] is definitely a dish best served cold” by which I assume he means that watching the kidney-punching is like eating a big bowl of ice-cream.

He (I’m assuming he’s a ‘he’, although ‘he’ may well be a ‘she’) also says that Martyrs “…will hopefully astound you with it’s gutsy originality” but that it is similar to “movies like Nacho Cerda’s Aftermath”. Hmm, I’m confused.

He does clarify things by arguing that Martyrs “….is guaranteed to divide audiences everywhere.” Divide them into sadists and non-sadists, presumably.

At least IMDB user Onderhond can add some meaning to the dismemberment: “…limbs are flying enjoyment to be found.” Right. “Don’t watch Martyrs to get a little horror kick, or to indulge in silly gorefests.” I won’t, then.

Still, I don’t quite know what all the slapping, punching, knifing, pissing and impalement means. I get that it’s ‘tough to watch’, ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘not for the faint-hearted’, but what’s underneath all of that?

In a last bid to unearth some sense I turn to the late William Burroughs. Using the Lazarus Corporation‘s fine Text Mixing Desk, I throw together some of the key points from the most avid internet reviews, and I paste the results below. I think you’ll find they render the film obsolete.

Not that I’ve seen it.

Lazarus Corporation Text Mixing Desk says: “Torture scenes watch this film is harsh. you wear an honour watched that! like the easily badge to say movie women have physical stabbed in the street to answer her warped kidnapping get a little horror gorefests. young girl girl captured wants laugier digs deeper into the forgotten. don’t watch martyrs story of horror and torture, I honour badge film there’s no genre ‘popcorn’ flying the capacity laugh harrowing extremely violent desires the enjoyment to be found. violence unfeeling squirm and accept the monster wrangled, the tension simply serve a human mind. the physically sick schizophrenic horribly monickered martyrs to and torture of a ‘torture-porn’ are emotionally exorcism bleak, depressive to be slasher gory, but you won’t people literally get kick, or joy, limbs are rather that idea behind martyrs truly is a ordeal to end must-see is not futile nor characters to indulge in silly and wear an understanding cold and inevitable extremely graphic presentation is cold, the her.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why some people like the film Martyrs.

Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series

January 13, 2013

Frak you, agoraphobia, I got me a home cinema! And the first thing I shall review is Battlestar Galactica on blu-ray laser discs.

Battletar Galactica is known for its sexy robots (called cyclons), rugged ladies (mostly cyclons) and shonky toasters (flying cyclons).

But did you know it was originally going to be called Battle-scarred Galacti-cops? And then Baffle-stumps Galactiballs? But the producers ultimately settled on ‘Battlestar Galactica’.

I don’t know why.

Set aboard the giant space-museum Galactica, the story focuses on interplanetary wrongness, which some dirty robots have done. Some of the dirty robots are really people, only they don’t know it. And there’s some war going on, but that’s on a different planet, I think. And some other people are running away from the robots.

Basically, it’s like the Kris Kristoffersen film Convoy, but in space.

Anyway, our hero is Commander Adamski (really a cyclon), played by a young Charles Bukowski. To accurately portray the rufty-tufty space-cop, Bukowski would wrap 158 elastic bands round his head before he went to bed every night, so that in the morning he would have the grizzled, spodgy-fleshed, lump-like depth of character needed to convey the psychological wear-and-tear of a ‘been there, seen that’ kind of man like Commander Adamski.

Commander Adamski

The commander struts the bridge like some cocky space chimp atop a shamelessly spacious spaceship-shaped tree.

The series poses many existential questions. What prize holdeth the stars for a man like this? What fortune may he seek, out in the cold, whiny fruitlessness of vacuous space? How does our grit-faced herald of the outer realm lead his champions to victory? And at what cost?

What’s an ‘FTL’?

Anyway, it all looks smashing. Except that whenever Adamski is on-screen, his craggy, pocked, moon-like landscape of a face absorbs all the pixels, making everything else blurry. The other thing is this smug, bossy woman keeps telling him what to do, and you’re like “Shut your face, he’s Captain Adamski!”

Also, this disc box includes some behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with Commander Adamski and the cyclons. I haven’t watched them. I mainly just fast-forward to the bits with the sexy lady cyclon and the wizard.

Exit Through the Gift Shop

January 4, 2013

This is a poem about that Banksy film, Exit Through the Gift Shop. I’ve never seen it. Come to mention it, who knows whether it really exists?

Banksy used red paint to create an authentic plum juice effect when creating the artwork for ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’

Exit Through the Plum Aisle, after William Carlos Williams

1.

The others asked me

If I eat.

Sure, I eat some.

I said.

So they I gave me a plum

To eat

So I ate it some.

It was a streetplum.

That’s what the others told me

Anyway.

2.

The others filmed me

While the squirty sap

Sat on my chin

Where it had dropped from my grin

And then it plummeted

Onto the flat gum

On the pavement

From the fat plum

In my mouth.

3.

Then the police turned up

And said we couldn’t do that there.

I tried to get them to chase me some

But they just waggled their sticks

A bit

And called us scum.

Plum-eating scum.

4.

Pretty soon

My plum-eating

Gained notoriety.

I ate plums all over the world

As a gesture of solidarity

To people and stuff.

But only streetplums

You understand.

5.

Later I looked up ‘streetplum’

On Wikipedia.

It transpires that there’s no such thing

As a streetplum.

It was a hoax.

I ate a hoax plum.

Lots of ’em.

The value of my work plummeted

I became a plumber.

A real plumber

Not a hoax plumber.

I don’t eat plums so much anymore.