The 1980s were perhaps the last decade lovers of cinematic novelties could duck into an actual movie theater, take a chance on some completely unknown title, and come away maybe one chance out of 10 with something memorably strange, offbeat and cool. The love a lot of people have for a film such as Kathryn Bigelow's vampire thriller Near Dark or Fred Dekker's horror homage Night of the Creeps has much to do with being blindsided by it in some half-dead mall cinema — since surprise, then as now, remains a rare commodity at the movies.
For a lot of ’80s cult-movie fans, such a film is Thom Eberhardt's Night of the Comet, a lovably goofy 1984 horror comedy about a pair of Valley girls (shoulda-been-a-comedy-team Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney) who manage to miss the moment a rare comet passes by the Earth and wipes out civilization (or at least what passes for it in L.A.). There's only one thing to do when most of the world's population is reduced either to ash or bloodthirsty ghouls — hit the malls!
Synths, poofy hair, trying-on-clothes music montage, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" — if it's an ’80s-nostalgia yukfest you want, this definitely fills the bill. But the spunky leads are pretty irresistible, and the movie's laid-back tone and unhurried pace makes it an uncharacteristically cheery entry in the end-of-the-world genre. Think of this as a mashup of I Am Legend and Valley Girl (whose screenwriters Wayne Crawford and Andrew Lane were Comet's producers — watch for a VG poster as a shout-out). As a bonus, there's the brief reunion of Eating Raoul's Mary Woronov and Robert Beltran.
Human consciousness is both a burden and a gift; it enables us to love, to create and to nurture the lives of others around us. But it also brings the knowledge of mortality, the fact that you and everyone you know will, without exception, die. Our time is limited. How one chooses to use that time should be carefully considered. Here is one option:
MTV is extending a select invitation to the Nashville elites who want to star in an unparalleled television project "The Kids Of Nashville."
Yes, the network that brought us reality TV notables like Amanda Lorber, Jamie Gleicher and assorted Finnish stuntmen is inviting you, the Nashville elite, to join those immortal ranks. Are there any other qualifications?
To be considered for a starring role in "The Kids of Nashville" you need to show us that you are instantly adored, super hot, and a superstar with lots of drama going on in your life.
I see. Anything else?
Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens
Where: Logue's Black Raven Emporium
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30
Wanna see a semi-porn variation on Our Town scripted by a pseudonymous Roger Ebert?
A better question: Who wouldn’t? Instead of making the scrapped Ebert-scripted Sex Pistols project Who Killed Bambi?, the late Russ Meyer bade farewell to feature filmmaking with this X-rated 1979 smut burlesque, in which a gallery of small-town grotesques leer, ogle and slobber over the director’s harem of zeppelin-endowed leading ladies — chief among them unforgettable marquee names Kitten Natividad and Uschi Digard.
Can Kitten cure her man’s unmanly fixation with rear entry? Can radio faith healer Eufaula Roop increase the signal-to-groin ratio? The answers place the movie somewhere in tone between live-action R. Crumb and a Sex to Sexty comic strip, while Ebert supplies his version of the Stage Manager — Meyer stock-company horndog Stuart Lancaster — with a motor-mouthed spiel paced at the speed of Meyer’s metronomic editing.
Watch the trailer after the jump.
It's practically February, and if you've been paying attention — that is, if you've read these two posts from earlier in the week — you'll know that means it's time to pack a sack lunch and get ready for MoAFT, or the Month of Arty Field Trips. But sit tight! We're not quite there yet, and this weekend offers plenty of art-related hangs that won't require a tank of gas and Google Maps.
• First up: The Frist Center has three new exhibits that open today. Handily, I wrote a preview of each of them in this week's dead-tree edition of the Scene. Soak in a little history, plus some of Nashville-based artist Lain York's newest stick-on vinyl panels. We'll be writing more about all those exhibits in the coming weeks.
Get the whole story here, and check out the most-viewed viral videos from its sources after the jump.
We've already laid the ground work for one road trip this week — the exhibit of Laurel Nakadate's art at Sewanee — but now we're going to have to make plans to day-trip in the other direction: Willie Cole is giving an artist talk at Austin Peay in Clarksville on Feb. 4. Can we just declare February the Month of Arty Field Trips?
From Austin Peay's website:
On February 4th, the Department of Art welcomes artist Willie Cole to APSU as a visiting artist. He will present a public lecture at 5:30 pm in Trahern 401. Cole is best known for assembling and transforming ordinary domestic and used objects such as irons, ironing boards, high-heeled shoes, hair dryers, bicycle parts, wooden matches, lawn jockeys, and other discarded appliances and hardware, into imaginative and powerful works of art and installations.
Start planning for MoAFT by browsing through highlights of Cole's work, including a video of him explaining his series Man, Spirit, Mask, after the jump.
Other stuff happened in this episode, too:
Lukey Dubs, Rayna’s bf, engages in some hot Middle America foreplay by sponsoring a RACECAR with her name and picture on it. He’s throwing a private concert after the race, and she can perform to “announce the drop date.” Superstore magnate Mister Boone is there, and I was like, is this a real guy? Did he invent Boone’s Farm? But no, he is just a stand-in for another Conservative Big Box Empire, and his places are the only places to buy CDs anymore. (You can buy all of the songs featured in this show on iTunes.)
• Photos of your adorable puppy. We will track it down and dust it with ticks.
• Photos of that pretty sunset over the skyline. Our sunsets can kick your sunset's ass.
• Selfies, cell phone photos, celebrity snapshots — basically, anything beginning with the syllable "cel."
And if you're going to submit any of the above, they'd better be the most original, striking, spectacular, eye-popping sunlit-puppy-against-the-skyline selfie ever snapped.
Here are the guidelines we published earlier:
Finalists' shots will appear in the Feb. 27 print edition of the Scene, and two photogs will win a cool $300 each.
The most basic basics:
* You must go to ScenePhotoContest.com to submit your photos
* Submissions will be accepted until Jan. 30
* Each submission costs $5
Please submit up to five photos that speak to your life in Nashville. Participants must live in, and photos must be taken in, Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Robertson, Dickson or Cheatham counties within the past 12 months (Jan. 30, 2013 to present).
Some more specific (and technical) details below:
[Editor's Note: This is the latest installment of 'Notes From the 422nd Annual Wraiths for Writing Conference,' a biweekly series of story and art that artist Amelia Garretson-Persans has created for Country Life. Trace its roots by reading the previous entries.]
After the excitement of the preceding evening, I was glad for the quiet desolation of being indoors during a spring rain. Outside a starling screamed and shook its chimerical coat. Inside it grew darker, then lighter, then darker. On the last day of the conference, I was at a class on arranging other people’s pictures.
“There are classic techniques, like taking all the framed pictures off the wall and placing them face down on the floor. An increasingly popular variation on this is to stack them in some kind of structure — a four-walled room, a pyramid — the important thing is that they are all faced inward. Speaking from a century of experience, I encourage you to experiment beyond these basic tricks. Single someone out for instance. On a coffee table full of photographs, pick out one to place underneath the table and face it so it looks yearningly up at its family. Treat photographs on a wall like paper dolls and make up stories about them. Move them around according to the demands of the story — tear some in half if you have to. Take this set of 6 smiling faces for example — what happens if I …”
Watch this trailer for the documentary 12 O'Clock Boys, scheduled to play just two nights at The Belcourt Feb. 12-13, and see why it's been getting applause when it plays before some of the movies. There was a great piece in last Sunday's Times about the making of the doc, which follows a subculture of Baltimore dirt-bike daredevils (whose nickname comes from popping almost vertical wheelies) as they defy cops and traffic.
The filmmakers risked their lives getting some of these shots — according to the Times, one involved hanging director Lotfy Nathan out the window of a moving truck in the middle of heavy bike traffic — and you'll see why in the trailer above. It looks like exactly the kind of release you'd expect from Oscilloscope Laboratories, the distributor co-founded by the late Beastie Boy Adam Yauch that's put out great recent docs such as Tchoupitoulas and Only the Young.
Incidentally, props to The Belcourt for these two-night Wednesday-Thursday runs that give Nashville a crack at movies that might not play here if they had to fill a week-long slot. Upcoming titles include Michel Gondry's Noam Chomsky documentary Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? (Feb. 5-6) and Ben Wheatley's psychedelic British horror movie A Field in England (Feb. 19-20) — the latter heralded by a money quote from one Martin Scorsese.
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