1. On terminology


    Oh I get it. “Art-horror” is a great term for you to write around the idea that you just like horror films, intellectual cowardice runs deep y’all. There will never be anything more obvious than your shame for liking genre by writing about the respectable end of that being “different”. Of course, we’re in a time period where thoughtful writing about horror movies is at an epic fucking paucity, so I shouldn’t pick at that? But shit like that really just raises disgust in my core. Own it, or shut the fuck up. Just keep justifying yourself for liking something that you feel isn’t accepted by whomever you are writing towards, rather than discussing the tools and effects that genre utilizes that are unique to it. The opposite side of that is if you don’t need to couch everything in genre, instead of the tools of it and how they work. “These are special” why? Because you say so? Am I supposed to trust you? This isn’t just horror this is everything (for example this is a big part of why I don’t write about comics anymore) this is how you keep writing the same thing year after year instead of finding insight, this shit. I am not interested in what you want to canonize, I am interested in why. Your need to elevate bores the living shit out of me. I am not interested in you being a warrior for genre, either. That’s a dead end, and you end up on the side of idiots who can’t discern the difference. No one wants to be on the side of the “superheroes are modern myths” assholes and their ilk across all genres and subgenres. Is this movie a horror film or an art film is a question that only means something if you let it, and finding what is truly horrifying inside of a film, regardless of it’s pitched audience or dvd shelf placement, is what matters. Not that any of this matters, it’s all writing for the sake of discussion, if that. I can see your shame, instead of your passion or disgust, or any feeling worth reading about.

    Your english degree is showing.

    (this started off as tweets about this)

  2. study-group:

    Study Group Magazine #3D

    Four hundred discerning readers and $14,000 just can’t be wrong; in addition to covering most of the publishing costs for the next issues of Farel Dalrymple’s It Will All Hurt and François Vigneault’s Titan as well as Sam Alden’s debut graphic novel Haunter, we’re delighted to announce that the next issue of our hybrid comics/criticism flagship magazine has also been Kickstarted [“™”] in the first stretch-goal stage of our campaign — now, we can cram even more content into issue #3D than we had hoped, at no extra cost to our beloved but largely cash-strapped readers. Instead of the planned 80 pages, #3D is 96 pages! We can only hope that it doesn’t bully its 64-page siblings, issues #1 and #2.

    We’d like to thank all of our supporters for helping us give the new and improved flagship such a boost, and we’re excited to share material from the issue in the next few weeks — but, for now, you can tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell that guy in the comic shop who always smells like a sour-milk smoothie of cumin and yeast and follows you around the store trying to chat if you accidentally make eye contact — tell everyone you encounter that this is the complete rundown of Study Group Magazine #3D’s contents:

    In full living color, we have:

    A slyly brilliant 3D cover by Jim Rugg

    A back cover by SG Godfather Zack Soto

    Comics by Sophie Franz, Pete Toms and Connor Willumsen

    An interview with Ron “D-Pi” Wimberly by Milo George

    An essay on the use of color and texture in Wimberly’s Prince Of Cats by Sarah Horrocks

    In Studygroup’s trademark limited color:

    Comics by Trevor Alixopulos, David King, Mia Schwartz and Benjamin Urkowitz

    An epic double-page illustration by Tyler Landry

    In glorious black and white:

    A haunting B&W short story by Julia Gfrorer & Sean T. Collins

    A profile of comics critic/advocate/editor/publisher Ryan Sands by Rob Clough, and an essay on Rob Schrab & Dan Harmon’s Scud: The Disposable Assassin by Sean Witzke

    A hybrid article/comic about a childhood rape, the Dark Shadows TV show and the sometimes strained relationships between memory/meaning, words/pictures and parents/children, concluding with a comics adaptation of an essay by William S. Burroughs, by James Romberger

    And in the heart of the issue, our reason for numbering it #3D — 19 pages of articles and comics in full-color and classic-red/blue anaglyph 3D [glasses included in every issue]:

    A history/commentary on the rise and fall and rise and fall and rise of stereoscopic art by the issue’s 3D consultant/engineer/SGM MVP, Jason Little, and an essay by Joe McCulloch on Le Dernier Cri’s own 3D anthology, 3DC.

    Comics by Chris Cilla, Kim Deitch, Jason Little, Malachi Ward and Dan Zettwoch

    Written tributes to the late King of 3D, Ray Zone, by Mary Fleener, Melinda Gebbie and Alan Moore, with an introduction/appreciation by the editors

    A short interview with Kim Deitch about Mr. Zone and 3D, by Chris Duffy, featuring never-before-published 3D material from Deitch’s There’s No Business Like Show Business


    If you don’t want this issue, then you are insane. There’s no other explanation. You could wait and pray that your local store orders SGM#3D, or you can take control of your life and order the issue, and/or other fine SG publications, right now right here until the 26th.

    (via Study Group Magazine #3D | STUDYGROUP blog)

  3. Took me 2 years to frame it but it is finally up. Tony 4 life.

  4. Hey you, there’s a new movie podcast by Tucker Stone and I up over at the Factual Opinion. This week on Travis Bickle on the Riviera: we discuss the new Captain America: A Winter’s Tale movie that people won”t shut up about, the Schindler’s List jokes in Grand Budapest Hotel, one of us saw The Raid 2, what Russ Meyer was doing during the Normandy Invasion, and go hard-sell on why we love Noah.

    Tell your friends, force it on your enemies, review the fucking thing on itunes, CHECK THAT SHIT OUT.

    You can download episodes directly from itunes and rss.

    A N G E L W A R Z F O R E V E R Z

  5. Over at The Factual Opinion, there is a new episode of the world’s only movie podcast, Travis Bickle on the Riviera. This week, guest Nate Patrin joins to talk about Bill Murray in Quick Change, Across 110th St, that Save the Cat asshole, Deliverance, Dario Argento’s The Five Days, Primer, and Two Lane Blacktop. Check it out. 

    You can also download episodes directly from itunes and rss.

  6. Over at the Factual Opinion, Tucker Stone and I have recorded a brand new Travis Bickle on the Riviera episode for you. This week the only movie podcast in the world covers: John Boorman’s Exorcist 2: The Heretic & Zardoz, Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, Eraser, Return to Paradise, the new season of Hannibal, how insane Noah sounds, and a detour into the idea of “shocking character deaths”.

    Check it out, telll somebody, Paul Reiser Lives.

    You can download episodes directly from itunes and rss.


  7. Public Catalog of Shame - Movies watched in March 2014

    In order this time, doing research for a thing, never sleeping, this is it for this month. See also - Tucker’s, Morgan’s, David’s, and mine from last month.


    1. Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (1922), dir. Fritz Lang
    2. Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933), dir. Fritz Lang
    3. Blood For Dracula/Andy Warhol’s Dracula (1974), dir. Paul Morrisey
    4. True Detective ep 7, 8 (2014), dir. Cary Fukunaga
    5. Revolver - UK theatrical cut (2005), dir. Guy Ritchie
    6. Kill List (2011), dir. Ben Wheatley
    7. Prison on Fire (1987), dir. Ringo Lam
    8. 30 for 30 - The Birth of Big Air (2010), dir. Jeff Tremaine
    9. 30 for 30 - Muhammad & Larry (2009), dir. Bradley Kaplan & Albert Maysles
    10. Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970), dir. Elio Petri
    11. Full Contact (1992), dir. Ringo Lam
    12. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), dir. Robert Weine
    13. The Black Cat (1981), dir. Lucio Fulci
    14. Culloden (1964), dir. Peter Watkins
    15. The Five Days (1973), dir. Dario Argento
    16. M (1931), dir. Fritz Lang
    17. City on Fire (1987), dir. Ringo Lam
    18. "The Black Cat" section from Two Evil Eyes (1990), dir. Dario Argento
    19. Demons (1985), dir. Lamberto Bava
    20. Legally Blonde (2001), dir. Robert Luketic
    21. Rabid Dogs (1974), dir. Mario Bava
    22. Demons 2 (1986), dir. Lamberto Bava
    23. Suspiria (1977), dir. Dario Argento
    24. Cat o’Nine Tails (1971), dir. Dario Argento
    25. Need For Speed (2014), dir. Scott Waugh
    26. A Blade in the Dark (1983), dir. Lamberto Bava
    27. Shock (1977), dir. Mario Bava
    28. The Psychic (1977), dir. Lucio Fulci
    29. Rio Bravo w/John Carpenter commentary (1959), dir. Howard Hawks
    30. Kingdom of Heaven - director’s cut (2005), dir. Ridley Scott
    31. Across 110th Street (197 ), dir. Barry Shear
    32. Macabre (198 ), dif. Lamberto  Bava
    33. Not Quite Hollywood (2008), dir. Mark Hartley
    34. Quick Change (1990), dir. Howard Franklin & Bill Murray
    35. Psycho II (1983), dir. Richard Franklin
    36. Smokin’ Aces (2007), dir. Joe Carnahan
    37. Dario Argento: An Eye for Horror (2000), dir. Leon Ferguson
    38. Trauma (1993), dir. Dario Argento.
    39. Wheels on Meals (1984), dir. Sammo Hung
    40. The Man From Hong Kong (1975), dir. Brian Trenchard-Smith
    41. Deliverance (1972), dir. John Boorman
    42. Zardoz (1974), dir. John Boorman
    43. Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), dir. John Boorman

    Film Books

    1. Re-Agitator by Tom Mes
    2. Deep Focus: They Live by Jonathan Lethem (re-read)
    3. Men, Women & Chainsaws by Carol J Clover (still reading, currently in the section on class division in rape/revenge films)
  8. twiststreet:

    My first cartoon!  Lester!  McCullochMcMillan!  Stone!  Witzke!

    I made a 4+ minute long animated cartoon.  It’s the first time I ever tried to make an animated cartoon (or Japanimation as I prefer to call it), so: you know. I like comics more than cartoons so it took me a while to figure out that the drawings should move.  But still, technically speaking I made a cartoon, so mission accomplished…?  Featuring the (immense) vocal talents of Comic Criticism in North America! Holy shit, how great are the voices?  I could go on and on. For example, vowels?  They all knew how to pronounce vowels!  I underestimated them, and then who had egg on their face?  Me!  I was completely egg-faced by these dudes, and you will be, too or maybe you will not be— I don’t know you, we’re complete strangers.  

    Drawings and music by me, with the exception of a public domain recording of Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischutz - Act III. Entracte.  Which is my jaaaaaam.

    SPOILERS!  I made two cartoons— I made a second “episode”, and the second one will be completed and online in the future (maybe not in April, maybe not in May, but someday, and then for the rest of your short life!)

    Watch it on Youtube!  Because I’m too lazy to set up a Vimeo Account!



  9. Anonymous asked: Do you write essays/articles anywhere these days? I always enjoyed your stuff on your website/Grantland.


    Thanks, yeah, I’m not writing a lot of that type of thing these days.

    I do the podcast every week, and I know very few people listen to it, but that’s what I’m focusing on these days instead of short essays. Outside of the podcast, I’m writing other things that aren’t going online. After a long time writing for free, or almost for free (the Grantland articles being the exception because that was a capital letters Real Job but only one-offs), it gets really demeaning in relation to the effort involved and I’m not interested in doing it anymore. Also, I am 100% not interested in writing about comics and writing for people who only want to read about comics. I’m done, I’ve learned my lesson.

    I have had some interviews go up with comics artists - recently the one with Fiffe I was super happy with. And I wrote half of this Best Movies of 2013 list with Tucker a few months ago. Also the John Carpenter Halloween special episode of the show was a pretty heavy undertaking and it isn’t writing, but I don’t care because it was great and I am proud of it. There’s been a series of longrunning intricately stupid Gwyneth Paltrow jokes on twitter.

    I’m going to have some writing in the new Studygroup Magazine (I had one in the last issue as well) and I have a short that is going to be published in an upcoming issue of Prophet with Ian MacEwan and Sloane Leong part of which was put online last year, I am very excited about that. That is my favorite comic in the world. And I’m working on some longer form criticism that I have no idea when it’s going to see the light of day.

    I know none of this is regular essays but this is where I’m at right now, I appreciate you asking.

  10. Hey everybody, there’s a brand new episode of the world’s only podcast where people discuss movies. This week on Travis Bickle on the Riviera, Tucker Stone and I talk: Need For Speed, 3 Days to Kill, Takashi Miike’s Imprint, Mario Bava’s Rabid Dogs, Tony Scott’s Unstoppable, the Fargo tv show, recent episodes of Person of Interest, and finally the truly amazing Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion. We also give each other the most shit we’ve ever given one another, come up with a name for our listeners (spoiler alert you will not like it), and talk about being a Kitty Kat.

    Check it out, tell your friends, and always remember — Paul Reiser lives.

    You can also download episodes directly from itunes or rss. Review the fucking thing on itunes if you feel so inclined.