Saturday, October 30, 2010

Horrific 31st from Marijuana Movie Night

Alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, public sex, threesomes, bondage, submission, water sports, blood, brains, boobs or whatever your poison of choice is, have a Happy Halloween. Thanks to the Daughters of Darkness for inspiring my baser desires and instincts for sin.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Salute to Drunks - The Lost Iron Man Weekend

"I'm not a drinker, I'm a drunk," shouts Ray Milan's Don Birnam, raising the booze flag and shaking it hard. Sadly, this was one of the best lines in this film. Even though this film was made in 1945, the anti-alcohol propaganda theme is so overwhelming and out-of-whack, I had to double-check my dates. I had to ask myself if there was such a strong anti-alcohol sentiment the year the war ended or was the current studio head at Paramount Pictures a teetotaler? This film was directed by the great Billy Wilder, but has the same tone as another film which came out in 1936. Beware the bottle. Beware the devil's weed.

The Lost Weekend ended with Don going to write a book about his bender and completely stop drinking put a damper on our night. The end of a Marijuana Movie Night should be stoned and happy, but we found ourselves a little drunk, baked and ambivalent. For contrast, modern day context, and some color, we decided to put on the first Iron Man movie. Tony Stark saved our evening. And for the record, if I am going to be a fucking superhero, he is the kind of booze-aholic I want to be: rich, arrogant, successful, genius, arms manufacturer with a heart of scotch. God bless America!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Salute to Drunks - The Thin Man Series

The Thin Man was a detective novel Dashiell Hammett wrote which spawned six movies based around the characters of Nick & Nora Charles. Nick is a ex-New York detective who is a retired private eye. His wife is a bored, wealthy California socialite who loves the mysteries the two of them subsequently end up stumbling into and encourages Nick to solve. They have some of the best banter in film history and they love, love, LOVE to drink. Not only do they make it look good, alcohol is never vilified as a killer, but a perfectly good hobby (I couldn't agree more). Put your highballs together for some classy partaking.

On a topical side note, Johnny Depp is working to redevelop a new version of The Thin Man.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Salute to Drunks - Days of Wine and Roses

Meet Joe Clay (Jack Lemon). He's a single guy working a public relations job in San Francisco. His job consists of collecting women of a looser disposition for his clients and getting tanked at their events. In other words, life is good. That is until he meets Kristen Arnesen (Lee Remick) one evening. She is a secretary of one of his accounts and doesn't drink. They go out on a few dates and he introduces her to his favorite hobbies: bars & booze. Their love flourishes, they get married and drink happily ever after. That is until the party almost comes to a screeching halt when baby comes along, but Joe is determined to keep the love alive. He reminds her of the good times when they first started seeing each other. So they get the winning team back together - him, her and a house full of alcohol. Even with a kid, they are going to do it all.

Of course, soon after this, Joe loses his job and gets so strung out he ends up in the hospital a few times (once in a straight jacket) with the DTs while Kristen get loaded and almost burns up their apartment, furniture, kid and all. Before we know it, Alcoholics Anonymous (Boo! Hiss!) shows its sanctamous face. Joe ends up dragged into meetings by a sponsor and going sober while the wife keeps the faith and continues to party. Who doesn't like gin straight out the bottle? You've come a long way, baby.

The film does end on a upbeat note (spoiler alert) with Joe staring out the window at a blinking neon bar sign down the block as we fade to black. I was inspired enough by this story to call in sick for the rest of my work day and start drinking. This is a feel good film that inspires!

Monday, October 18, 2010

We Love Booze! (A Salute to Drunks)

Drunkards unite! This week, I pop some Cook's Champagne and crack open some canned beer in my appreciation of drunk men, women and children throughout the world. I will be working through some of my favorite inebriated films. My favorite boozing characters are often tragic, usually funny, but always fun at being fucked up. These folks would be the best people to drink around with their dedication to making sure my glass never got dry and (hopefully) assure I don't choke on my (or anyone else's) vomit.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Back to The Holy Mountain

I will not go so far as to say that the avant-garde is dead, however rigor mortis has set in. Thankfully, experimental films are still being made, but the fringe movement has become a whisper. Maybe I am not searching hard enough or it's gone into hiding. Between the devolution of the world economy (not yet for you, China) and a culture inundated with reality shows (fuck you, Jersey Shore) and fiction-like news broadcasts (you depress me, Fox News), I'd want to go away too. It is times like these where Marijuana Movie Night quietly lights up a joint and retreats to the past, perhaps to escape for a little while.

In 1973, Alejandro Jodorowsk's The Holy Mountain played in a variety of international film festivals and showed in limited release in New York and San Francisco. Since that time, it has gone on to an infamous and cult status and is as much of a fixture for midnight movies as the Rocky Horror Picture Show or A Boy & His Dog. From start to finish, The Holy Mountain assaults its viewer with shocking visuals, hallucinatory imagery, religious and spiritual allegorical combination run amuck and an ending which turns the tables on the audience in a manner which would have made the Situationists proud. We were told the revolution would not be televised because in 1973 it was on the big screen. Leave Avatar off your queue and challenge yourself with this amazing picture. Faint of stomach and mind need not apply.