Month: July 2015

Roun’s Rants vol. 2: I Hate…

cat pianoI hate weakness because I hate pity; I hate strength because I never have enough; I hate popups that ask you to sign up without moisturizing sweet talk or foreplay; and I hate x-ray procedures where they put a bib on your balls and expect you to “just relax.”

If I lose a testicle, doc, I’ll be waiting for you outside with a big knife!

I hate cross contaminating depression; I hate the linear regularity of meaningless routine; I hate traffic jams, rubberneckers, and slow-ass drivers who insist on driving on the left-goddamn-lanes.

May they all get bone cancer!

I hate baristas who automatically assume I need syrup in my coffee when the default should always be black; I hate the Kaiser Permanente bitch who comes on the radio, deluding perishing old people by telling them to “thrive;” I hate fundamentalists, fatalists, feminists, atheists and any other -ists that have sacred words and ideas that cannot be questoned, scrutinized, mocked, joked about or attacked; but most of all I hate people

who

write like this

because they think it’s

poetry, where in

fact it’s just a

pile of pretentious

shit.

Go suck on a fat baby’s balls, you bastard! (more…)

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Creativity: Interludes of Madness

tuesday-madness-03You look out the window. It’s not yet the end of the world but you can see it from there. You know you’re all alone and no one’s around. Your eyes gleam lunar wild and you lock the door because you start to hear the gremlins and goblins come out. Suddenly you notice that the rug is actually made out of Ewok fur and you hear the cat outside, plotting your demise because you haven’t fed it for two days straight. You feel the rush of natural morphine, seeping and swelling in your veins. You feel the circuitry in your brain sparking and glitching. Soon you begin talking to yourself, arguing and changing sides. You’re sampling again, medicating in darkness, invoking secret passions and fears, and becoming conscious of the level of sex and rage you’ve tried so hard to lock in. But despite all of this you feel safe in the danger because you know that it’s all yours. In fact you think it’s wonderful, freeing and necessary. You hiss and fret and laugh, and soon you’re happily greeting the madness with bared teeth until someone knocks on the door and the shadows slip away. (more…)

Writer’s Block: Finding The Elusive Muse

writers+block_fed465_5042647You thought you had it. Last time you did. Now you got nothing—just booze and chocolate and that asphyxiated worry clutching at your throat.

What the hell happened?

You were on a roll. You had invoked the muse. You had the ever-glitter of fire, gamma and lightning of insight, and the opal and tourmaline of imagination. But now, like cutting a candle’s wick, you suddenly find yourself sitting in the dark. (more…)

The Tarantino Effect: Don’t Leave It To The Judges

qandr-comicon2006

The question came for Robert Rodriguez.

“Do you think it’s still possible for an upcoming filmmaker to go the route you guys went and still be successful?” An aspiring filmmaker asked. It was Comic Con 2006 and “you guys” meant the panel of Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Guillermo Del Toro, and Sam Raimi to name a few—all of whom were once broke, undistinguished, Indie filmmakers.

“That’s a good question,” Robert answered, obviously at a loss for delivering some sort of hopeful advice. “Times have changed.”

But then, Tarantino, who was sitting right next to him, butted in and said, “Uh, make Reservoir Dogs!” Quentin laughed at his own comment and so did Robert. “Actually,” Tarantino added, “I’m not even being a smart ass… you make a goddamn kickass movie, and you can take it all over the fuckin planet earth and everyone’ll know it!”

The audience cheered and applauded.

Robert then defended his stance, stating that things are harder today because there’s just more competition. “Everybody’s got a camera, and everybody can edit, it’s just tough.”

“Yeah, but you know,” Tarantino cut in again. “There’s a lot more competition, but those crappy movies aren’t competition.”

I never forgot that interview. And through the years I’ve heard mixed reactions about what was said at the panel. Some say Tarantino is full of it, that he’s arrogant and vain and he’s really not a good filmmaker. Some even went as far as to say that, the only way to make it in Hollywood is to “suck up to some rich Jews who control the system” etc, etc. I consider such comments weak and insecure, and those who advocate them deserves to be scheduled for a session of chemical castration. I mean these goofballs would have you believe that Tarantino just got lucky, and that luck replaced the daily blood-drip of hard work and dedication. Never mind the fact that the guy once spent three years shooting an independent feature over the weekends by funding it through working in a video store; never mind the fact that he had consistently written and networked and shot with nothing working out for him for ten straight years, and still kept at it; and never mind the fact that he has earned both wealth and acclaim by starting out with no money, no guarantees and no complaints. Furthermore, as for throwing the word “arrogant” around, keep in mind that “arrogance” comes from superficial self-importance and ignorance. If you’re familiar with the indie film scene, you know that this industry is plagued with people who start projects and never follow through. I think we can all agree that Quentin can walk his talk. He knows how to drive that sword to the hilt. Besides, “modesty” might go a long way but let’s not forget that it is also a pretext for insecurity, for fear of backing up what you say you’ll do, and for diffidence in standing by your principles without the support of a crowd, group or organization. But such is the ideology of the hopeful nonparticipant, which goes like this: “As long as the system is corrupt and the people that are in it are also corrupt, then I am not a total failure.” Because at the end of the day, only those who show up and finish what they started get to feast; the rest can hate, complain and fight over the leftovers.

Now I’m far from a Tarantino fanboy (though I regard him as a legitimate, modern great), but his statement assures me. It assures me that the system works and we, as indie creators, still have a chance. Despite all the marketing and the committees and the compromises, I still like to think that the craft, in its most basic state, is still pure. Because to me, a good piece of work is like a knockout.

punch1

A knockout is independent of the referee’s arbitration, score-cards or panel judges. There’s no trial, objections or debate. Irrespective of previous dispositions, biases or whatever, everybody who saw it cannot dispute what just happened. In the same vein, a good film doesn’t need big-budget special effects, a star-studded cast, or film awards; it just needs to be undisputed. It just needs to be good.

As a hungry neophyte coming up, I believe that breaking the difference and passing through the trials from amateur to pro must be the young filmmaker’s priority. Should one attain this in their technique and work ethic, the rest should be promotion.

Don’t hope. Make sure.