Month: October 2012

Of Bonsai and Balance in the New Paracinema Magazine!

The new issue of Paracinema Magazine is now available and I’ve got an article about The Karate Kid and Joseph Campbell’s monomyth in it!It’s not as boring as it sounds!

There are loads of other rad pieces in it, including ones about the subversive British horror and Coppola’s overshadowed masterpiece, The Conversation.

You can order the issue from the Paracinema website or from a few retailers. My MA friends can get it at Newbury Comics or the Red Lion Smoke Shop in Salem. My mom is super proud of me!

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Everything P. Diddy Says in “Hypnotize”

P. Diddy (or Puff Daddy or Sean Combs or whatever) is a very talented producer and businessman. He helped put NY rap back on top after the West Coast took it over and before Southern rappers got really good at making ring tones.

One of the biggest hits produced by Diddy is Biggie’s “Hypnotize.” The music video for it cost more than Terminator 2. Every time the song comes on people rap along with Biggie’s part. Everyone knows every line. Not a lot of people do Diddy’s backup vocals though, which I find criminal. To help encourage more Diddy-a-longs, I’ve posted his lyrics from “Hypnotize” below.

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Johnny Depp’s THE BRAVE

At the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, the directorial debut of Johnny Depp premiered: The Brave. He was wearing a lot less bracelets and rings at the time so handling a movie camera was no problem. Adapted from a novel by mystery writer Gregory Mcdonald (creator of Fletch!), the film is a slow-burning meditation on the importance of family and community and bandanas. To date, it’s the only feature film Depp has directed (he currently has a doc about his spirit animal Keith Richards in the works) and it never played in the USA because Depp was so outraged by the American critical response to the showing at Cannes he vowed never to release it in the states. It’s been released overseas in theaters and on DVD – the version I saw was a rip from the Spanish DVD.

Depp plays Raphael, a Native American who is facing some harsh times, which usually comes with the territory of being a Native. He’s an alcoholic. He can’t provide for his wife and two kids. His rubbish heap community is going to be bulldozed and he can’t do a damn thing about it. Raphael learns of a job opportunity that will put his family on easy street – even if it means he has to die. Marlon Brando is making a snuff film and he wants Raphael to star. *record scratch* Yeah, Raphael agrees to be tortured and killed in a Brando-directed snuff film, in return for $50,000.

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How Ray Bradbury Changed My Life (and Imagination)

(I hate to start this piece in the most boring way possible, but) I grew up in Andover, New Jersey. Nestled in the farmlands and forests of Sussex County, Andover is an old mining town and the polar opposite of the general population’s image of “Dirty Jersey.” Expansive corn fields, forests criss-crossed with streams, and a local hot-spot called Lake Illiff make up most of the geography of my homeland. The neighborhood was a giant nipple feeding my imagination. I lived there until I was 19 when I thought it would be a good idea to go to college.

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