Monday, May 31, 2010


Micro Loup from Richard McGuire on Vimeo.

Richard McGuire's "Micro Loup" is one of those brilliant little shorts that seems to come out of nowhere. Unless, of course, you're familiar with his long, strange career. The cartoonist behind the incredible six page comic Here, which is one of the most inventive bits of concentrated narrative I can think of. Playing bass in Liquid Liquidtoo, and then getting sampled for White Lines. And this strange kind of almost film career.

Everything he does seems to touch on these formal plays, tricks of style that come off as either effortless and charming (Micro Loup) or absolutely devastating (Here). In every case they're kind of brilliant, the sort of unassuming brilliance we could all use a lot more of. Of course, that sort of thing doesn't make one rich, and that may be a reason he only has a handful of work for his years in the field. Children's Books aside, of course.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Stingray Sam

Cory McAbee is an interesting figure, to be sure. The main talent behind the 1990s Alt-Rock cult band (cult band or never made its, tough call, this one) The Billy Nayer Show, he also directed one of the more overlooked American films of the last decade or two. The American Astronaut", released in 2001, is kinda like an American Guy Maddin film, trading the latter's Eurocentrism and decadence for a much more American sense of iconography and tone. It did alright, and you'll still hear people talking about it now and then, to a point, but it seems like the victim of an International Film Culture that just doesn't prize this kind of (willful) eccentricity.

So what did he do? Position the next film on the web. "Stingray Sam" did get taken around to some theatrical screenings, but its made up of a series of episodes, perfect for streaming on the web. The first two are free, the rest you have to buy, with a DVD option if you get real excited. It's all on his website, I guess.

I still feel really ambivalent about this kind of thing, this method of viewing and selling movies - I really dislike the Webisode concept, even if ninety percent of my disgust comes from the word Webisode. What he seems to have done right, and what we should all think about and try to emulate, is make an entirely "scalable" work; it can be chopped up into parts, screened on Youtube or the big screen, turned into a live performance or a soundtrack album, and the interior sense of the work as its own thing would not be ruined or diminished.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Short Film For Thursday

I've been thinking about short films a lot, recently; they really are a kind of red-headed step child of film, aren't they? Mostly because there's so little way to make money off of them , they are usually made early in a director's career, and then abandoned for success or failure. There are a few exceptions, of course - Raoul Ruiz springs to mind, and his incredible "The Film to Come" is available to watch here , though sadly without English subtitles.

The film above is by the Portuguese director Joao Cesar Monteiro, well towards the end of his life (that's him starring). I think it's an almost perfect short, elegantly packing a world of experience into less than three minutes. I'm glad the internet has given a home to this sort of thing, even if it has been cast adrift onto the lonely waters of Youtube, or whatever strained metaphor seems to fit.

Monday, May 17, 2010

NYC Video Art

Every now and then I post some of Peter Shapiro's work on this blog. Peter is a NYC based video artist who I met working a corporate job. I always enjoy talking to Peter about new digital technologies which he is very knowledgeable about. He is always looking for something smaller and cheaper, without sacrificing video quality, for his run and gun tactics. I remember when we were watching a video shot on a Casio DSLR. It was a majestic slow motion shot of pigeons flying up into the air off the sidewalk, and Peter just began to clap and yell "Bravo!" in a tech server room with three people. Here are some of his videos that I have been into....

Friday, May 14, 2010


Astro Club Blonde is playing at 9 pm the UC Lounge in the Lower East Side. There will be 2 for 1 drink specials until 10 pm. So, I would recommend being ready to double fist a few. And as always you can listen to their stuff HERE and see some videos HERE and HERE. The band is also currently working on their next music video, so that is something to look forward to I suppose. The info is below...

Starts at 9 pm ($10 to get in)
NY, NY 10002

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Here is a little short, excuse me, an award winning short from a Parkslope/Gowanus illustrator, James Blagden. The film is called Dock Ellis and the LSD No-No. The film uses audio from an interview with Dock Ellis, a pitcher who claims to have pitched a no hitter in the 70's while under the influence of LSD and bennies. James Blagden's illustrations in the film are pretty amazing, but you should check out his site HERE and take a look at some of his other work. Living in Parkslope on the border of Gowanus, I frequently take strolls through the industrial lands near the Gowanus canal and wonder where the artists are working in this area. Glad to know we got a guy like this around.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


A good friend of mine, Rob Nevulis, recently released his first solo album, DOWNSIZING.
I remember seeing him in his basement with all his recording equipment set up and thinking, "What is this kid up to?" He has been working hard at this album for a while and it's all paying off. I have to say I am impressed with his pop sensibilities and think he has found the sound he was looking for. Rob has been going to school at SUNY Buffalo and has been involved in multiple bands, but only recently has he started a solo recording project. (Who needs a band now anyways?) I think it would also be safe to say that this is some of the best stuff to come out of Buffalo, NY in a while. So, give the kid some support and check him out at iTunes and all the usual spots.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Behind The Scenes of Night Shift

Here is a behind the scenes peak at ASTRO CLUB BLONDE's new music video NIGHT SHIFT.