The Mindscape of Alan Moore
In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, the creator of the Watchmen comic book, Alan Moore, said this of the flick getting made from his work: "I will be spitting venom all over it for months to come." If that sounds like the disgruntled bitching of a dilettante who's run up against the ham-fisted ways of the corporate media machine once too often, you'd be half-right. It's also a dozen-word summation of Moore's career aesthetic. Or, more precisely, of Moore's concern for notions like "career." The man behind graphic novels like Constantine, V For Vendetta, From Hell, and, of course, Watchmen, Moore's the guy who almost single-handedly introduced the notion of a comic-book world that was dark, dangerous and delightfully devoid of bright lines of morality. He was also one of the most high-profile comic writers to loudly bristle against the feudal arrangements made between publishers and the men and women who actually create the books that make them money. Moore has decidedly high-minded ideas about the role art and artists play in this world, and throughout The Mindscape of Alan Moore, he's allowed considerable room to expound upon them. Something of a fractured take on a traditional doc, much of Mindscape is taken up by Moore directly addressing the camera, and pontificating about his past, his work, and how it all fits in the big picture. It'd be dreadfully dull, were it not for Moore's "fuck you, we're doing the work of the angels here" attitude, which enlivens the proceedings far more than the clumsy, half-animated interstitials used by the filmmakers to show something, anything, besides Moore's bearded countenance. They needn't have worried; Moore is funny, angry, lofty and articulate in equal measures, and though the viewer fails to ever get a real sense of the birth-to-success trajectory of Moore's life, the conveyance of his philosophies is much more rewarding.
Dear Linda Blair,
We're your biggest fans. It started when you were in The Exorcist (1973) not so long ago. The flick scared the bejeezus out of us and even netted you an Oscar nod. But that was just a start. Any true fan of yours knows the best was still to come. Sure, you floundered a bit when a worthy follow-up to The Exorcist proved impossible — there still isn't a horror flick that rivals it. You didn't let hard times get you down. You weathered a trumped-up drug charge, a romance with Rick James — may he rest in peace — and a questionable layout in Oui magazine. Such woulda killed a lesser actor's career. But, hey — not you. You, Ms. Blair (or may we call you Linda?), are a class act, a true working actress. You did what you had to — you took roles in some super notorious exploitation films in the '80s. Of course, they were beneath you, but a gal's got to do what a gal's got to do, right? (Those mortgage payments come due with surprising regularity.)
One of your best is Savage Streets (1984). Some critics may slag it off as unredeemable trash. But fans know a classic when they see it. You look smokin' hot in your wonderfully tacky '80s garb playing Brenda, a teen vigilante who seeks revenge for the rape of her deaf mute sister. Not only do you brutally bump off low-life scumbags, but you do it in a skin-tight cat suit to boot! Digging you slowly zipping up your curvaceous assets into a locked-and-loaded pose made us squeal! What's more, you had us cheering with every juicy and campy piece of dialogue that rolled from your tongue. You must be thrilled that there's a new two-disc special edition of Savage Streets. It's super-sized with three commentary tracks, plus cast interviews — your refreshingly humble one is a highlight. Now, if they'd only release your women-in-prison flick Chained Heat on DVD. —Paul Knoll
Jules Jordan Video
Chesticle fans take note: There are tits ahead, and plenty of them in this breast-taking, special-edition two-disc set from porn king franchiser Jules Jordan. While Itty Bitty Titty Committee fans may run in fear from this triple-D helping of up-top pulchritude, those who favor maxed-out over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders will be more than satisfied. With stunning talent like Riley Evans, Laylah Diamond, slut-next door Jordan Star and powerhouse boob maven Gianna Michaels on hand, the searing bill is, uh, more than filled.
Sleaze-boss director Erik Everhard offers up three hours-plus of HD-shot action that provides a kink buffet of tease, two-way, three-way and solo action that's not to be missed. Lingerie-clad Gianna stands out in a scene that kicks off with mild bondage and ends with nothing mild whatsoever; anyone who can make it through this chapter without taking hands-on interest should re-examine their favorite hobby.
Particularly of note is African-American pistol Monica Foster (is that really a porn name?) who, though her exquisite, real-life rack is not exactly overflowing, is an utterly breathtaking vision of nastiness. What the hell she's doing in porn is anybody's guess, but let's count our blessings. In summation, dig in, and appreciate these women who suffer tremendous back pain, all for your enjoyment. —Fern LaBott
No, not the horndog album with "Saturday in the Park" and "Feeling Stronger Every Day," unless you count Saturday as Aug. 24, 1968, when Yippies converged on Chicago's Lincoln Park to peacefully protest the war some miles from the Democratic National Convention and "stronger" as the Chicago police in riot gear who came to beat them up each day of the Festival of Life. Using exhaustive news footage and animation to re-create that turbulent week and the ensuing circus trial of the Chicago 8 (defense attorneys William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass round out the number), Chicago 10 sports plenty of news media footage from which to choose. And it shows how complicit the mainstream media has been in underreporting the demonstrations against the Iraq war and that next to dissenters like Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin — who were fearless about looking like fools in the media for peace — we as Americans haven't used much imagination in getting our points across as our oppressors have. That these same crowd-control techniques were recycled at this year's DNC in Denver only demonstrates how this country has continually attempted to turn the time machine back to a pre-Civil Rights America.
Unsung heroes of the film who're seen but don't get a mention: The MC5, who actually played the Festival of Life and braved tear-gas canisters and the National Guard when wussie West Coast bands like the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane didn't appear 'cause they simply chickened out. Up against the wall, motherfucker ... indeed!