Director Tony Scott died today. If that’s not enough of a bummer, he committed suicide by jumping off The Vincent Thomas Bridge.
Fuck. I’m genuinely sorry to break the news to you. It was certainly bizarre and shitty news to receive. Tony Scott is dead. And it’s awful to think about.
Instead of obsessing over and speculating on why he would do such a thing, let’s take a moment and a few hundred words to remember the awesome movies this British-born director made and their part in helping to build a genre that is now an American tradition.
Scott left behind numerous icons of badass cinema such as, Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop 2, Crimson Tide, Days of Thunder, The Last Boy Scout, Enemy of the State, Man On Fire, and most notably, True Romance, his most acceptional and well-rounded film.
(Note: I haven’t seen them all, but you can bet I’ll get around to it.)
Many attribute the film’s greatness to the fact that it was written by Quentin Tarantino (who may or may not have subtly or blatantly taken much of it from Roger Avary), but there is a controlled, human element to the film that Tarantino’s superb direction would never have been able achieve. Tony Scott took a great script and turned it into a masterpiece of modern narrative cinema. And in my opinion, the excellent films of his brother, Ridley Scott – movies that tend to be more involved, epic, emotionally weighty, and much, much more revered – do not hold a candle to how full, rich and complete True Romance is.
Odds are the death of Tony Scott, a semi-known B-movie, popcorn flick director isn’t going to mean much to most people, but film nerds, action aficionados, and popcorn lovers everywhere will surely feel that, even though Tony’s heyday of 80′s action has long since been over, an era has ended tonight.
Say what you will about his later films, but unlike many filmmakers, Tony Scott never seemed to slow down. In fact, stylistically, he seemed to accelerate. Visually, his later films were always an intense and enjoyable sight to see. Perhaps they could be overwrought or decadent with in-your-face cuts, color saturation, canted angles, and unnecessary subtitles flying around (Man On Fire and his short film, Beat The Devil come to mind) – but, man, sometimes you just need to lick the frosting off the cake.
Anthony Scott was a damn frosting artist, and for that, he will always have the love, admiration, and respect of The Whiteman Brothers.
Ghost (1990) is a great film — don’t get me wrong. It’s got a lot of heart and tension and supernature in it. But let’s face it: Ghost (1990) is not perfect. It’s CLOSE, but it’s not quite there. This is why Chrisjof thought it would be a good idea to audition for it. Add some zest to the dish.
You might say, “Chrisjof, how in the heck are you planning on being in Ghost (1990) when it is 2012 out here?!”
And the obvious answer is: the magic of motion pictures, babe. Anything can happen. Didn’t you see Jurassic Park (1993) or Shallow Hal (2001), huh?
Magic, babe. Pure magic.
In this audition tape, Chrisjof is hoping to be cast as the role of Patrick Swayze’s character — you know the one. The ghost-ish one. With the good hair.
Please watch this painstaking performance, and share it with your friends. If we get this thing going viral, we might be able to change some minds in Hollywood, and the next thing you know, you’ll be popping in the Ghost (1990) DVD cassette and Chrisjof will be getting freaky with Demi Moore and that moist, moist pottery.
Well, let’s get into it:
“I can’t believe I’m a fuckin’ ghoster-strudel!” — Sam “Patrick Swayze” Wheat in Ghost (1990)
It’s not really for anyone to say. Do I lose sleep because I think too much? Or do I think too much because I have trouble falling sleep? It’s not really for anyone to say. Do I lose sleep…. or do I think too much….
Sometimes when I’m waiting for sleep I think of something. Somethings the something reminds me of something else and so on. Other times, the something will remind me of itself and so on in a circle. Both are responsible for not fall asleep sooner in that they go on for mile. Miles of the heart.
The only tested and proven method for impeding either from internal means is to break the thought, take one shard of the thought, and stuff it into a box. A one dimensional box. A frame really. And I see how it might want to continue its story into yet another frame until its a panel or two long and some form of resolution can be interpreted through the instance of a realization. Whatever the arc may be, sleep comes easier when I’ve gone over it.
Silence of satisfaction.
When the waking comes, I can never remember any of the words or images, save for slim slivers that lead to nothing, but frustration. Instead of writing or doodling them down on paper when they are fresh, I convince myself I’ll remember them if I think about it while still lying in bed. The only thin I can remember is that they are brilliant. Should I sacrifice sleep to be a known genius? Or should I be a closeted genius who is more rested?
Portland Comedy: For just about a year now, Chrisjof (who is not Christof Whiteman, but they are similar dudes – I mean, they are only a consonant away from one another) has been performing at stand-up comedy open mic nights at places like Helium, Funhouse Lounge, and the occasional art museum (more on this another time). Chrisjof has expressed disdain toward the term “stand up comedy” and much prefers to think of it as “comedy whilst standing”, but let’s not let that bum us out. Life’s just too short for that shit, man.
This performance was at the Funhouse Lounge, a lovely venue in SE Portland that crams comedy, music, and improvised theater (among other things) into every action-packed week.
Christof Whiteman’s routine takes on very hot-button issues such as Children’s Stores and Fat Babies and Making Fat Babies.
In the immortal words of 2 Unlimited, “Y’all ready for this?!”
Roused from some prevailing half-world or another, they had taken the streets in the dead of night – as dead as the night can get around here, anyway – but they took it gently. It became clear quite early that this was not a protest. Heads nodding or completely down, eyes in a purgatory between sleep and sight, feet dragging and scuffing already scuffed shoes on the asphalt.
What remains do remain in this burlap bindle? What’s so small that it had the chance to be forgotten and kept without attention?
The mob – if one could call it so – grew voluminous within its overarching genre as it passed by this corner or that alley. The collective pace of the collection of stranger-affiliates allowed for a sweeping silent congregation of like-minds and like-bodies who had made temporary beds of the downtown sidewalks.
A piece of glass – sea glass, polished up proper. Don’t know how she made it so far from home. At least one piece of ABC gum, wrapped back in its foil. The other shirt, of course, but what else? What little things made it?
Cars could not pass. Police had begun to assess the situation as far as standing, trailing, and gawking can assess anything so unique yet mundane. There appeared to be no ruckus, and the wonderment that forced itself to strike any onlooker was enough to keep our blue boys scratching their heads and refraining from asking their ready-made questions.
Bottle caps! Nesbitt’s bottle cappers – collector’s items. Rusty thimble. Mustache comb? Ivory mustache comb – or did I go an’ spend it?
Spilling back out onto the sidewalks, the mobilized faction had reached its greatest potential, and then: as they turned onto Main Street, the cloud of rabble dissipated like that of smoke – pace kept, shoes still scraping. What no one knew: it was first annual Homeless Pride Parade. The last marcher remaining held the center of the street until it led him to the riverfront, where he set down, removed his tattered boots, and untied the knotted burlap pouch from the top of his smooth walking stick.
Hmm. Mhmm. Yep. No comb. No, sir. Hmm. Ohhhhh. Yes, sir. The first penny I ever begged! Feels nice. It’s a good rubbin’-penny. Yeah, it’s the little things, alright.
“Love handles will be love-handled when you use Generic Weight Loss Pill MAX. Studies show that over 66% of weight lost is pure fat!”
First of all, that means 67%. It’s too close to 65 to claim that it’s “almost 70%” – they must reserve that sort of claim for studies that show an average of 68%. If it claimed “over 70%”, then maybe it could be all the way up to 72% fat loss, assuming they were looking for a good, strong number divisible by 10 to be “over”, but this isn’t even close to that as on option. There is something desperate in saying, “over 66%”, because it’s a technique relying on the stupidity of its viewers. Either that or it is communicating with the desperation in a person not quite that stupid, but overwhelmed enough with their situation that they actively ignore such a warning.
Secondly, what is responsible for the rest of the weight? Water, sure, a little. Muscle-burning? Bone loss? Whatever is being lost cannot be good. When dealing with a pill that mysteriously removes “weight” from your body, it should absolutely not be trusted when boasting a fat-burning rate that’s anywhere below 80% – and in my mind 80% is still desperate, but not as obviously so. 90% would be the minimum for someone like me to actually use this product, but even numbers in the eighties are such trustworthy, happy numbers when applied to ratio. I think many people – myself not included – would respond well to an 82 or even a confident 88%, which I’d trust over 89% any day.
“…and that is why we are offering you a no-risk 30-day Free Trial when you call in the next ten minutes.”
Listen, I’ll have to call you back. Apparently if I call in the next 10 minutes, I can try this garbage out for free. No risk.
Now that it is all over and done with and almost three months have passed, we can talk about it again. It took a lot out of us Whiteman Brothers to fulfill round two of the Leap Year project: 29 Films in 29 Days – this edition aptly referred to as, 29 Wishes in 29 Films in 29 Days. As you probably know (since everybody is talkin’ ’bout it!), in 2008, we embarked upon a nasty little challenge to make a film a day for each of the 29 days in that February. Because we are never content with how thin we may stretch ourselves, we decided that we would do this EVERY leap year – say whaaaaat?
We had the help of some high-concept genie-baby-magic in this round, where in we were granted one wish for each of the days.
Frequently Asked Question: “Yeah, but, like – what was the first wish?”
Frequently Cringed-Over Answer: “It was wishing for more wishes! Which may only slightly be implied. Shut up! Leave us alone! Don’t look at me!”
Over all, the project was a success! Because for One: we made 29 movies in 29 days. Two: we didn’t hate any of them. Three: none of them make us shudder too much. And lucky number Four: we believe this batch far surpassed the original 29 cookies! Success! Hooray! Fuck, we’re tired! By the end of it, we were so spun out on Red Bull and silly jokes that we rode that tension into the following days, not knowing what to do with ourselves. Elation finally did arrive, thank goodness.
To view these puppies, still relatively fresh out of the oven (who doesn’t love a good puppy out of the oven!), here’s the 2012-ers: Be CaReFuL WhAt YoU wIsH fOr!
Charles was pacing as the clock’s hands waved goodnight. He stayed up all night, rehearsing the song to welcome the sun, because he loved her more than anything. However, this love was impure. The happy emotion was sadly stolen out of his miserable hatred of the moon. The moon may be a cool son of a bitch, but he’s still a son of a bitch. Prior to the first rays peaking over the horizon, Charles had involuntarily disappeared into a dream.
The sun whispered in her sultry hiss of a voice, “Where’s my song, baby?”
As she rose a little more, she could see that he was under the spell of sleep. I thought this one really loved me, the sun thought to herself.
“Good night, my sweet Charles….” she said, because she could not speak with tears.
And, like, don’t worry. They totally patched things up the following morning. It was just scary for her for like a second, ya know? Like all of a sudden, boom: he doesn’t give a shit anymore? Charles’ apologized profusely, and she explained that it was an emotional day, and that she like never gets to see him anymore, and Charles was like, “Me too!”, and they were both like, Thank goodness, we’re on the same wave-length!
And then they french kissed and did some on-top-of-the-clothes stuff. And no one ever saw Charles again, which gave the moon an excess of pleasure.
If that damn pooch shits on my lawn one more time, I’m gonna take a shit on him. Mark my words! Next dog log that shows up in my lawn, I’m marching over to that house – gonna walk in without knocking, find that little scoundrel, grab him by the collar, drag him outside, chain his arms and legs to industrial tent pegs stuck in the earth so he can’t move but a wiggle, and I’m gonna pull my sweat pants down and let it drop. It could take hours, but I’ll be down on my haunches, waiting it out, taking as many sick days as the post office will allow, concentrating hard, waiting as long as it takes – down on my haunches, as I believe I said. I’ll wait all goddamn day and all doggone night for that little shitting trespasser to see things my way. Next day, just watch – that lawn out there will look immaculate for once, and that canine trash is gonna be passing by on the other side of the street, afraid and ashamed. He probably won’t shit in any yard on the block, because he’ll remember, yeah, he’ll remember what happens to mutts that gone and messed with the Top Dog.
How do I keep the smoking back to a minimum? So I show the guys the yellow post-it that Gatorbitez left behind for me – may his anti-soul be resting. His guide to life. It’s simple, but profound because of that. How it reads:
every 5 hrs with no smoke
one line of coke
What no one in the gang can understand is that the equalizer sign (the double horizon in between, in the middle) is like trash and treasure. Or, no, it’s all treasure, but the point is: perspective. How I read that shit:
Permission lies within.
For each five hour period with no smoke, I allow myself to steal one purse. It’s called balance. Look it up. And while you’re looking around, go ahead and look inside yourself, too – to see what code courses through your blood tubes, dude.