Category Archives: Film

“Energy: A Documentary About Damo Suzuki” Premiered in L.A. at Philosophical Research Society

Auditorium lobby at Philosophical Research Society in Los Feliz, Los Angeles with sign for screeening of "Energy: A Documentary About Damo Suzuki" in foreground and portrait of Manly P. Hall in background.
Energy: A Documentary About Damo Suzuki, premiered in L.A. at Philosophical Research Society on April 13, 2024. Portrait in the background is of PRS founder Manly P. Hall. (Pic: Liz O.)

Energy: A Documentary About Damo Suzuki had its Los Angeles premiere on Saturday, April 13 at the Philosophical Research Society. Fortunately, I was able to attend, so I’m writing this post now to tell you that you should: 1. Seek out Energy and watch it. 2. Go to the Philosophical Research Society. 

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Lost in Time at WHAMMY! Analog Media

Hammerman cartoon starring MC Hammer from 1991 on VHS at Whammy! Analog Media in Echo Park. (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)
At Whammy! Analog Media, I learned that there was an M.C. Hammer cartoon. (Photo: Liz O.)

On a drizzly, Sunday afternoon, I half-forgot about what I was looking for inside WHAMMY! I was semi-crouched in a small aisle, scooting out of the way of passersby while scanning the spines of VHS releases of old cartoons. There was the Charlotte’s Web movie that I still vividly recall seeing multiple times on TV as a kid. (Was it one of the Family Film Festival movies? Do anyone else who spent ‘80s weekends watching KTLA remember?) Two Care Bears cassettes were filed next to something called Buttons & Rusty, which I don’t remember at all. 

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Greed Is an Overlooked Steve Coogan Movie About Fast Fashion and Money

Greed movie starring Steve Coogan directed by Michael Winterbottom

Before The White Lotus, Glass Onion and The Menu eviscerated the ultra-wealthy, there was Greed. Released right around the start of the pandemic, Greed is the story of a billionaire’s 60th birthday party-gone-awry directed by Michael Winterbottom and starring Steve Coogan as the toothy asshole behind a high street empire. It’s tagged as a satire and, in some ways, it is, but the movie is so grounded in the realities of the 21st century global economy that I don’t think that’s quite the right classification. It’s a little too prescient to be a satire and perhaps that, plus its unfortunate early 2020 release date, is why its Rotten Tomatoes score belie how good this movie is.  

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A Der Fan Screening Reminded Me of the Importance of Going to the Movies

R on a TV set in 1982 German film Der Fan.
Seeing Der Fan in a theater beats watching it at home.

There’s a moment in Der Fan, when it’s obvious that something is extremely not right about Simone. A cute, teenage boy who clearly has a thing for the protagonist of this 1982 German film hands her a cassette tape. She rejects the tape so casually that I practically gasped while sitting in the front row of a screening at Alamo Drafthouse

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Phantom of the Paradise Is the ’70s Rock Musical You Need to See

William Finley and T.O.N.T.O. in a scene from Phantom of the Paradise (1974) directed by Brian De Palma with music by Paul Williams
William Finley as Winslow Leach and T.O.N.T.O. in Phantom of the Paradise

On its surface, Phantom of the Paradise, the 1974 sold-my-soul-for-rock-n-roll musical, may not seem like it’s a Brian De Palma film. It’s, essentially, a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera with a meta-dose of Faustian legend, along with touches of The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Count of Monte Cristo. It’s campy, drawing plenty of comparisons to Rocky Horror, the film adaptation of which came out the following year. But, if you stick around to the movie’s final concert scene— and you should— you might have the same reaction that I did, which is, “OMG, Carrie!

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Watch This Now: Falco- Verdammt, wir leben noch!

Falco verdammt wir leben noch Falco biopic

Falco: Verdammt, wir leben noch! is a 2008 Austrian biopic of the late pop singer Falco, released in the U.S. under the title, Falco: The Rise and Fall of an ‘80s Pop Icon. Now, you might be scratching your head and thinking, “There’s a Falco biopic? Why?” In fact, that’s exactly what went through my dumb American brain when I recently learned of the existence of this film.

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