The Daily Ping

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July 23rd, 2000

Bizarre Cinema

Alphaville… Jean-Luc Godard’s bizarre vision of the future, as envisioned in the 1960’s. Wonderfully strange, featuring a central computer with the most wicked voice ever heard in a movie.

Week-end… Another Godard flick. All you need to know is that there is a single tracking shot that lasts ten minutes and consists of nothing but people in a traffic jam honking their horns. Chaotic and apocolyptic.

Even Dwarfs Started Small… A cast made up entirely of small people. See my earlier Ping for further details.

The Holy Mountain… Very strange anti-religion flick that features a Jesus-like figure and his sidekick, an ass-kicking midget with no arms and no legs (I kid you not).

Note while I list these all as “bizarre” movies, they are strange with a purpose. They are wonderfully entertaining films from a directorial standpoint even if they totally shun the standard linear storytelling of Hollywood cinema. If you dig fringe films, I urge you to check these four out. And, of course, contribute your own favorite movie from the outer edges of cinema. -ram

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

FROM: Robert
DATE: Sunday July 23, 2000 -- 12:38:03AM
We watched the tracking shot from "Week-end" for Film Studies. I like the big payoff at the end. It was worth it.

FROM: Spoor
DATE: Sunday July 23, 2000 -- 8:36:53PM
These are real movies??

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Sunday July 23, 2000 -- 8:58:18PM
Spoor -- Yes, they certainly are! :) Jean-Luc Godard is probably the best known French new wave film director with dozens of films under his belt. Alphaville is available on DVD. Week-end has not yet been released on DVD, but hopefully it will be soon.

Even Dwarfs Started Small has been released on DVD by Anchor Bay and is accessible through any online store.

Holy Mountain is way too hard to come by, unfortunately. If you are interested in seeing it, though, drop me a note and I'll pass along the name of someone who can get you a copy for about $15 on VHS.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Sunday July 23, 2000 -- 10:03:31PM
"Holy Mountain" does sound interesting, but usually I'm a sucker for anything described as "anti-religious". One of Jodoworsky's other flicks, "Santa Sangre", is a pretty creeper tale about a kid in the circus who has to serve as his mother's arms after his dad cuts them off when she catches him cheating. I can recommend that one personally.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Sunday July 23, 2000 -- 10:13:15PM
I hadn't seen Santa Sangre -- do you have a copy? Jodoworsky only directed a small handful of movies, which is a shame because his style is so utterly unique.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Monday July 24, 2000 -- 12:03:49AM
Ry--I've seen it for rent before. Check around, but not in mainstream chains. It's NC-17 [flashback to previous ping].

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday July 24, 2000 -- 2:13:51PM
I forgot to mention, this was Ping #200.

Has it been that long since we launched this thing? Sheesh.

Back on-topic: Robert, it looks like its list price is a mere $10, so I may just buy a copy online.

FROM: pistol jack
DATE: Monday July 24, 2000 -- 5:16:33PM
i'm still trying to find "even dwarfs." every video store i go to does not have it.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday July 24, 2000 -- 7:38:35PM
Jeff -- If you have a DVD player, you can surely get it from Netflix. I'm not totally sure if they put it out on VHS. You also may want to check in Manhattan, as I'm sure some of those stores (including Tower) would have it, albeit for a silly price.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Monday July 24, 2000 -- 9:23:02PM
Ryan--It's that cheap?! Hmmmmm....

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday July 25, 2000 -- 9:57:12AM
Robert -- yeah, Amazon has it for $10 (which is the list price)... of course, I don't know how good the quality of it is, but probably worth that money.

DATE: Sunday January 14, 2001 -- 7:30:24PM

FROM: Mike Zaleski
DATE: Sunday January 14, 2001 -- 7:36:52PM
I'm a college Student in Scranton, PA and I came upon your site while searhing for stuff on Jodoworsky. I have both El Topo and The Holy Mountain and they're both great (beautiful prints too). I'm a big fan of Herzog (Even Dwarves...) too, though I've only seen Nosferatu and Herz Au Glas (both great films). Here are some of my bizarre flicks reccomendations: Valeie and Her Week of Wonders (ultra-bizarre, dreamlike, Czech fairy-tale) and Brewster McCloud (surreal and absurd Robert Altman comedy about a kid who lives in teh Huston Astrodome and works on building a pair of wings to fly away), The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (surreal and scathing social satire by Luis Bunuel). I'm a big fan of horror flicks and I collect them too if anyone would like to trade. What's everyone's favorite horror flick?

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Sunday January 14, 2001 -- 11:46:38PM
Mike -- It sounds like you and I need to talk! :)

I also liked Valerie and Her Week of Wonders -- very cool and super-rare flick I'm happy to own. Drop me a line and we'll talk trades... some of those others you mention sound quite good.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Monday January 15, 2001 -- 1:45:42AM
I'm really a big fan of the Scream trilogy.

FROM: Monica
DATE: Monday January 15, 2001 -- 11:49:56AM
anyone seen "Hell Comes to Frogtown"?

Maybe Robert did, I don't remember.
Very funny movie. Dance of 3 snakes... oh, and one of the first lines of the movie (not counting intoductory narrative explaining the hostile mutant frogs and lizards) is "hey, squidlips!"

tee hee :)

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday January 15, 2001 -- 12:06:30PM
Sounds like a good one, Monica. What's scary is that they made two sequels to it...

FROM: Robert
DATE: Monday January 15, 2001 -- 1:06:43PM
Monica--I think it was the second in the series that I saw. Man, that guy's jaw still gives me nightmares.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Monday January 15, 2001 -- 2:10:11PM
What about Garbage Pail Kids the movie?

FROM: Monica
DATE: Tuesday January 16, 2001 -- 12:00:30PM
Ryan--unfortunately I haven't been able to find the 3rd one, but I've seen the second.
Robert, you GOTTA see the first one!

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday January 16, 2001 -- 3:02:01PM
Monica -- I assume that the "Monica" referenced on the page you mentioned is you...?

FROM: Monica
DATE: Tuesday January 16, 2001 -- 4:02:20PM
Ryan--yep, and happy Tuesday!

FROM: Rich Polysorbate 60
DATE: Tuesday March 26, 2002 -- 2:26:26 pm
A movie that I saw recently and liked was "the Grey Gardens". It was a documentary made in the mid-70's that was centered upon the daily life and routines of the "other" Kennedy family that seldom is heard about. This family being an elder aunt of the Camelot family and her slightly retarded daughter in her mid-30's. They lived in an old mansion that had seen better days except for the numerous raccoons that had now occupied parts of it. The documentary had no narration. It was pretty simple with the camera people just being there and filming things as they happened. Some people who saw it thouhgt that it was aimless and depressing but it showed that in many ways the aunt and her daughter were much happier and far more better adjusted in life than there other remotely related relatives.

FROM: CJ Lucia
DATE: Tuesday May 14, 2002 -- 12:16:30 pm
Teenager very interested in rare cult classics. I have the Peter Jackson Three (Dead Alive, Meet The Feebles, Bad Taste) All highly reccomended. Gross, gory, and full of subtle wit. Just ordered "Even Dwarfs" and a weird french film called Buffet Froid. Anyone seen it?

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday May 14, 2002 -- 5:09:46 pm
Haven't seen that one, CJ, but let me know what you think of Even Dwarfs...

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