Monthly Archives: February 2013

“Hairspray” 25th Anniversary Slide Show

Divine and Ricki Lake in John Waters’ “Hairspray” released Feb 25, 1988

Marking the 25th anniversary of John Waters’ original “Hairspray,”  Moviefone’s Gary Susman put together this interesting “where are they now” slide show of the films cast and director.

Sussman:  “The story of a plus-sized teenage girl in early 1960s Baltimore who earns a spot on a local dance TV show, “Hairspray” was only a modest hit at the box office, earning just $8.3 million upon its release 25 years ago this week (on February 26, 1988). However, it has had a tremendous afterlife.”

 Not to mention launching a struggling underground filmmaker into a multi-millionaire celebrity artist/performer/author.  Hairspray’s budget was about $1.5 million, including music, stars, choreography, hefty director, production company, and related above-the-line costs.  According to Waters, he received his first royalty check from the original production just three years ago.  Ah showbiz!  –R. Maier

http://news.moviefone.com/2013/02/25/hairspray-cast-where-are-they-now-john-waters_n_2764916.html?just_reloaded=1#slide=2157830

“Love Letter to Edie” video gets own facebook page

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Love-Letter-to-Edie/414264625333057

 

Outtakes of Jean-Michel Basquait in “New York Beat”-“Downtown 81”

Jean-Michel Basquait tagging in Alphabet City during a shoot for the movie “New York Beat/Downtown 81”

Stumbled across this video today on one of my favorite websites.  I was on these shoots on a cold, windy December day in Alphabet City in 1981.  The shots look like 3rd generation copies of the 16mm workprint.

No sound, because most of the sound was lost during the 15 year post-production odyssey when the whole film was stolen and recovered several times.

In this video’s last scene, Basquait interacts with the film’s production manager, Steve Sabato, whose most difficult task was to get Basquait to show up on time, in the right place, with the right wardrobe and props.  The scene is the ultimate insider  irony, because Steve was in charge of the money, which Basquait was constantly wasting by not showing up.  That he gives Steve a suitcase full of money, and Steve bolts from the scene with a triumphal grin is hysterical and typical of the wit of the director Edo Bertolio and writer Glenn O’Brien.

It sort of sums up whole Downtown 80s NYC art scene where art, of any sort, was pure and money was corrupt.  This might be why it took 20 years to complete the film.

 http://www.americansuburbx.com/2013/02/asx-tv-jean-michel-basquiat-graffiti-wall-at-work-in-the-street.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Americansuburb+%28ASX+%7C+AMERICAN+SUBURB+X+%7C+Photography+%26+Culture%29

How Football Trashes American Culture with the Baltimore Ravens as Prime Suspects

As someone who grew up in Baltimore, though I played soccer as a kid, and so escaped the brainwashing that is American football, I thought I should watch at least a few minutes of the Super Bowl last Sunday.

I saw a few plays where the Ravens’ quarterback hit every pass, SF fumbled the ball, and the Ravens appeared to get two touchdowns in about five minutes.  It seemed more like a lop-sided high-school football game.  Every slightly successful play by either team triggered a disco dance among the players, like they had just discovered penicillin.

I already have dark thoughts about football as a thinly veiled exhibition by highly steroided men in extremely tight pants who can’t keep their hands off each other and whose big thrill is forming writhing daisy chains on the grass.  But it’s probably not that.  I mean, this is prime time American TV fueled by Bud Lite.

And should I mention tatoos?  Now I know why so many people these days want big tats.  They want to be football players too!

So after watching a few minutes before returning to Michael Moore’s autobiography, I catch an  article in Salon.com that could spell redemption for the Ravens, and football.

Now that they’re #1, maybe they could part with a few pennies to support the shuttered Edgar Allan Poe house in Baltimore.  That’s right, author of “The Raven,” whose Baltimore home is less than a mile from the stadium– as “The Raven” flies.  The football team only purloined the name of maybe the best known poem in the English language, for all the threatening symbolism, mystery, and supernatural powers it infers on the players.

Come on Ravens, share the wealth.   If you don’t pony up an endowment to save Baltimore’s Poe House and museum, you should change your bird name to Randy Newman’s Dirty Little Seagulls.  But Randy’s still alive and might sue you.

The Ravens won the game by being bold and brave.  Let’s see them be creative, and honor and preserve the legacy of their literary creator.  Or perhaps some dark and dreary night suddenly there may come a tapping as if someone gently rapping, rapping on that stadium door.

Thanks for the inspiration to:

http://www.salon.com/2013/02/03/are_the_ravens_responsible_for_the_fall_of_the_house_of_edgar_allan_poe/