Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Tosh's Picks for the next two weeks
Silent Ozu: (DVD)
Sounds like a machine gun, but it is more powerful than that. Yasujiro Ozu is one of the great Japanese filmmakers..No, one of the great filmmakers in the world. Rarely seen, but much admired the silent era of Ozu’s films are basically dealing with the family unit, and how small things in life can somehow affect the big picture. “I Was Born But…” is a classic look at children doing what they do best – causing chaos!
Ugly Man” by Dennis Cooper
No one writes like Cooper, and the dialogues, which on the surface sound shocking, are actually hysterical. No one captures the gay (or maybe not) male stoned Teenage voice of his characters. Murder? Why not! Or whatever. The beauty of his work is that there is a lot of tenderness, but you have to let it absorb in your system like a fine glass of brandy.
“Big Money” by PG Wodehouse
You want to study writing? Read Wodehouse, and you will get an idea how genius works its magic. 1930’s depression is a great era of suffering and. …humor. This novel by Wodehouse is partly romance, farce, and biting satire on upper scale British life.
“Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom” by Pier Paolo Pasolini. (DVD)
Based on Sade’s writings. Mega-degenerate film of excess and wasted passion during the Italian Fascist era. Sex as seen as a tool of control rather than passion. The great Italian writer/filmmaker’s meditation on sexual perversity and the roots of Fascism.
“Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings” by Marquis De Sade
Sexual energy as a political, aesthetic, and acts of protest against a world that doesn’t realize that they have a penis and vagina. Sade is not only a dirty old man, but a philosopher who understood his times (French Revolution) and place.
“Concrete Island” by JG Ballard
Ballard was one of the few great visionary writers who can capture the horrific dread of everyday life. Imagine you being in a car accident off the side of the freeway, and how would you get back to life. Or life as lived under the Freeway passage. Remarkable nightmare of a novel.
"Nancy Book” by Joe Brainard
The great poet (and artist) obsession on one of the great iconic comic strips of the 50’s Nancy. But Brainard sees Nancy in a very different light. Light witted with a tinge of outrage, Brainard’s work is masterpiece-tastic.
"Girl Factory" by Jim Krusoe
One of the great living American writers, Jim Krusoe tackles the issue of a yogurt shop and manufacturing young ladies in its basement. Witty, funny and profound.
“The Alcoholic” by Jonathan Ames
The God-Like genius of Ames. His graphic novel is hysterical/sad but mostly (really) funny.
The French argues and shows Los Angeles is the art capital of the world. The one essential book to have in your art library.
"Autumn in Peking” by Boris Vian
Dark funny if one mixed the Marx Brothers with an adventure novel. Vian is a superb writer and wit.