Archive for December, 2011

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Hogmanay Giblet

December 31, 2011

Can I refer to New Year’s Eve as Hogmanay far beyond the bonnie shores of Caledonia? Let’s assume I can. Mah hoose, mah rules and all that.

For the coming year I hope to write far less about arse-to-mouth horror movies and more about censorship. A friendly, albeit impassioned argument in a pub with a friend a few weeks ago has inspired me to articulate my opposition to censorship more fully and at length. I also hope to get some stuff out about post Kim Jong-il North Korea and return to those lighthearted trips to the K-Pop Korner.

There is of course that impending Mayan Eschaton, End of History thing that we’re all plummeting toward like 7 billion merry crash test dummies. That should be sufficient to light a fire under my lazy arse.

Wishing all of you gibbering loons out there , and your hideous families, a Happy New Year!

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Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Gibberonica.
I hope Santa gave you all a lovely treat from his big red sack!

"You made the list, kid!"

 

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K-Pop Korner: IU (아이유) – You & I (너랑 나)

December 23, 2011

Yeah, yeah, Kim Jong-il’s dead and loads of folk are wondering what in gibbery-fuck is going to happen, and there’s a lot of fresh reading and research to be done on that, but let’s just forget all about it for a moment and see what the Korner has in store for us this Kristmas.

Aye, you!

IU (real name: Lee Ji-eun) started her music career in 2008 at the tender age of 15. Although primarily a singer, she is known for doing a substantial bit of acting in Korean TV drama and is notable amongst her peers for being in possession of a decent singing voice. She proves this by occasionally whipping out an acoustic guitar and covering popular contemporary Korean tunes for live studio set broadcasts. IU recently released her second full album, entitled Last Fantasy, the lead single for which has a lengthy and elaborate music video that kind of has a tenuous Christmassy feel to it, hence why it was selected for the Kristmas Korner entry.

This video is about a girl who lives in a big clock tower with her pet goose and an inexplicably unconscious boyfriend. It’s a welcome change to the vast majority of K-Pop videos I’ve subjected myself to, with muted Tim Burton undertones sans the stripes, a smattering of sepia, and the faintest trace of steampunk affectations. I have no idea why the guy is unconscious but I have been assured by teenage girls that he is famous and therefore of inherently great value whatever his status. When not tending at the bedside of her comatose beau, IU diligently busies herself constructing a clockwork device at a workbench that is later revealed to be a clockwork and cylinder-powered, Tardis-esque time machine! (No bullshit folks, I thought that was pretty cool.) After bidding farewell to the benumbed boyfriend, she gathers up her pet goose and departs for the future, her plan to presumably meet up with the guy when he’s recovered and they can be together properly (or so I’ve managed to glean from K-Pop sites and the translated lyrics). Later, we see the now-awake boyfriend shopping in an ornate chocolate shop only to realize, upon turning to leave, that the cashier is none other than his long-lost love IU sporting a grown up hairstyle.

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For Shame

December 21, 2011

Those fortunate enough to have been in my company of late may have heard me lament the extent to which I’ve devoted time on this blog to covering centipede movies and other oddball horror fare. I’ll be looking to redress this in the coming year for, despite the time and energy devoted to these gruesome amusements here, they are by no means the films I take the greatest pleasure in watching and that has been as true this year as it has always been. I’m not a horror fanboy.

One recent film that I’m eagerly anticipating is Steve McQueen’s Shame, starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. I thought it hadn’t yet been released but apparently it opened in limited cinemas in the states on December 2nd. The consensus opinion is that Fassbender is excellent in it as a sex-addicted yuppie in Manhattan steadily fucking his life up with implacably empty promiscuity, and the previews promise a tone that is both intriguingly grim and beautifully composed. Visual artist-turned-director, McQueen, apparently had final cut privilege on the film and refused to change a frame of the sexually explicit content resulting in Shame earning an NC-17 rating in the states. Normally, this rare rating, equivalent to “adults only”, can be a huge obstacle to a film’s commercial success in America (and, ergo, overall) as, astonishingly, both large home movie distribution franchises like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video refuse to stock NC-17 films as a matter of policy and major cinema chains AMC and Regal will not show them. Such policies, of course, are merely cowardly compromises in the face of the bullying and interference by organized religious fundamentalists who seek to control and deny precisely what other people can consume for entertainment. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Kim Jong-il Dead

December 19, 2011

Bye-bye!

Yikes, I was planning to put a few words up here about the death of Christopher Hitchens but looks like events have taken a rather dramatic turn in my neck of the woods. Breaking news coming from north of the 38th parallel and hitting the rest of the world is that the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, died on Saturday, December 17th 2011.

North Korean State TV says Kim Jong-il has died

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il died Saturday on a train trip, a tearful state television announcer, dressed in black, reported Monday.

The announcer said that the 69-year old had died of physical and mental over-work on his way to give “field guidance.”

He had suffered a stroke in 2008, but appeared to have recovered.

It’s a tad too early to tell what any of this is going to mean but hopefully we aren’t going to see some crazed, random attack as a propaganda exercise to solidify the position of his son, heir apparent Kim Jong-un. I’ll try to update this post as and when I know more.

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The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)

December 15, 2011

This one probably needs no introduction. When Tom Six announced his intention to make a sequel to his notorious 2009 body horror film, The Human Centipede (First Sequence), he promised that the follow-up would contain “all the blood and shit” that was largely absent from the first film. Filmed in the UK, and made with a mostly British cast, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) not only fulfills the director’s promise, but also delivers what is essentially another elaborate joke lurking mischievously behind the facade of a gross horror flick. As documented here at length, the BBFC initially refused a certificate for the centi-sequel, citing what they felt was the excessive sexual violence and potentially illegal obscenity of the film, with the result that it couldn’t then be legally supplied anywhere in the UK (a de facto ban), before eventually relenting on this decision and granting it an 18 certificate following a substantial 2 minutes and 47 seconds of demanded cuts. It’s difficult to imagine that this tabloid-scandal sideshow did anything other than bestow free publicity on Six’s demented product but it is worth noting that the BBFC seems to have missed the crucial joke running throughout a film that, in all things, is hardly subtle. That joke being how ridiculous the notion is that someone would actually try to make their own human centipede after being inspired to do so by a horror film. Tom Six, in turn, was reportedly motivated to realize this idea after being repeatedly asked by journalists following the release of The Human Centipede if he feared his film may cause copycat behaviour amongst the viewing public, an idea so ludicrous he opted to parody it at length in his sequel. In doing so, he also quite deliberately chose to rebuke the horror fanboys and critics who pointed out the extent to which the first film was actually lacking in visceral shocks and gory imagery by stuffing the new movie with a truly inordinate amount of bizarre violence and explosive shit-shocks. Easily one of the single most absurd movies ever made, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) may work as a grotesque 90 minute prank, but it offers up very little in the way of a satisfying film experience.

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Impeded

December 13, 2011

Destined as I was to bring word to you all of the centi-sequel, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), it is with a heavy heart that I must also sound a note of defeat. For not only am I late to the party on this, but I also had to settle for a censored version of the film, despite earlier expressing a confident belief (here) that I wouldn’t have to and later railing against the British censors defiantly and virulently (here). I can’t help feeling that they won, the bastards, not only by forcing me to settle for a film that has been cut “for my own good” but also by suckering me into watching two utterly shit horror movies that they also refused to certify, Grotesque and Murder Set Pieces. I hunted down and viewed those turds purely out of what I now recognize as an ill-judged sense of last-gasp adolescent rebellion so in future I shall be satisfied to simply assert my right to watch any old trash I please rather than actively putting that right into practice. Due to lax blogging habits, I also neglected to mention here that the British Board of Film Censors performed a U-turn on their decision not to grant The Human Centipede II a certificate and instead passed it with substantial cuts to what they deemed the most objectionable scenes. At present, this version of the film appears to be the only one currently available to view and, in conclusion, fuck the BBFC.

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