September 30, 2011

“But what kind of plugs?”, I hear you ask, and the juxtaposition of the word “but” alongside “plugs” sets the minds a-racing. I’m not writing about butt plugs, not today anyway, but what fascinating things they are all the same, reader, don’t you agree? The first time I ever heard about such things was the late 90s and they seemed as obscure as they were hilarious. Then, I thought they were chiefly the preserve of adventurous gay men but a few years later (i.e. when I had decent internet access), I realized the damn things were everywhere, and available in all manner of sizes and colours. Butt plugs. We may yet raise an eyebrow and giggle, but fifteen years from now our kids will be waddling around with these things inside them all the live long day and they’ll scoff disdainfully at us for being too square and uptight to understand the then contemporary fashion. By then, there will probably also be butt plug/smartphone hybrids, albeit ones that people my age will be somewhat hesitant to touch.

No, what I really want to do here is plug, as in promote, some interesting and groovy stuff being done by people I know.

First up is The Geek Zodiac presents The Continuum

You remember The Geek Zodiac? I already plugged it here some time ago. Well, the Geek Zodiac got fairly big, it garnered some attention and momentum and creators James Wright and Josh Eckert decided to expand upon the idea. First of all, Josh revamped the design, doing away with copyrighted borrowed images and creating and adding his own original illustrations. The they started selling t-shirts and mugs with the different designs (see the store at the above link). Finally, James decided to bite the butt-plug and develop an original web comic with the 14 characters created from the Geek Zodiac, written by him and illustrated by Josh. The Continuum has just been launched and what has been shown so far looks pretty darn cool. Give it a look at the link.

The next thing I wanted to try to raise whatever awareness I can for is the fundraising campaign for The Library of Burned Books, a very intriguing project from filmmaker Alasdair Beckett-King.

I’m not personally acquainted with the man, but Alasdair and I share a mutual friend and this was brought to my attention through her. After watching the brilliant pitch in the fundraising video I was swiftly seduced into making a donation to the campaign as what looks like a brilliant and noble tale, with a fine literary pedigree, was presented with quite marvelous humour, charm and dedication. As of this writing, there are 23 days left of what was a 40-day campaign to raise funds and it looks like they’re halfway to their goal. I urge anyone reading this to have a look at the link provided and, if you can find it in your means, make a contribution toward the film. If anything, do it for me, because I genuinely want to see this film finished.

Speaking of films, an aspiring filmmaker, NJ Calder, recently completed the low-budget horror flick, Fear Eats the Seoul, that features yours truly as a briefly glimpsed extra sporting monster make-up.

Shot entirely in Seoul, and featuring a Korean and American cast (could be some Canadians in there, too), Fear Eats the Seoul is unique in being possibly the only film to explore the experience of the foreign ESL teacher in Korea within the context of a post-apocalyptic, hostile demon infestation, survival horror. Another friend of mine in Korea was involved in some performance and theatre here and last year she mentioned that her friend Nick needed extras as demons in his horror film. I duly obliged, and spent one rainy night running around dingy back streets of Seoul with latex and red paint all over my face. Good times. This isn’t so much low-budget as no-budget and, having attended the premiere and viewed the end result, I can attest that NJ Calder has crafted an impressive looking scary flick as a piece of proper guerrilla filmmaking. At this stage, I’m not entirely sure about opportunities to view the finished film but updates and info are available on a popular social networking site here.

The final film to bring to everyone’s attention is Silver Tongues, written and directed by Scottish filmmaker Simon Arthur, making his debut full-length feature.

I have the distinct pleasure of being acquainted with Simon first-hand and I am happy to say that I was blown away when I first heard he had completed a film in the states starring Lee Tergesen of Oz, Generation Kill and Wayne’s World fame. Although not close friends, Simon and I had a shared taste in movies and comics and tended to reminisce about Judge Dredd stories in the middle of degenerate flat parties in Glasgow back in the day. He’s a good egg, and a helluva interesting fella, and it is absolutely fucking awesome to see his dedication to his craft realized so. Silver Tongues has been playing in various film festivals since its debut in January of this year and it has been picking up awards and strong reviews across the board, as well as comparisons with David Mamet. (The Guardian’s film critic, Peter Bradshaw, declared it a “success story”.) I haven’t seen it yet, but I am eagerly awaiting an opportunity to check it out. The synopsis available states that the film is a psychological thriller about a couple that travel around different places and subject the hapless people they meet to bouts of mindfuckery by adopting false personalities, a dark and weird hobby that threatens to spiral out of their control. I will have an obvious bias to adore this, but I think it looks indisputably legit and I can’t wait for it.


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