On this episode, I am joined by fellow Smug Film contributors John D’Amico and Jenna Ipcar. We discuss the movies that got us into movies, and were our gateway into obsession. As always, we go on tangents along the way, take a quick break for a movie joke by comedian Anthony Kapfer, and then close the show with questions from our mailbag.
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I’ve told this story a billion times so this time I’m going to try to include some more details. When my late grandpa, Tom Easton, was ten years old, he saw Fantasia in the theater. He always wanted to be a cartoonist but his dad was cold and distant and thought cartoons were for kids and no way to make a living. But despite that lack of encouragement, Tom did some cool things. He avoided combat in the Korean War by teaching art on base and drawing army posters. Continue reading My First Feature Film Is Almost Done
Future generations won’t know the joy of driving to a Blockbuster and picking out a rental (or rentals) for the weekend. It was an inconvenient life, but nostalgia erases that. Waxing romantic on it now makes me exhale in deep wistful wonder, my heart full of bliss. Video stores fostered my burgeoning cinephilia in the late nineties, and provided some of the best memories of my life.
Sometime in the year 2000, I went to the movies, and I don’t even remember what I ended up seeing because one of the previews left such a profound mark on me that what followed has been erased from my memory. The preview was for Under the Tuscan Sun, and when it came on all I could think was, ”who the fuck would ever want to see this movie?”. That moment crystalized my understanding of the irrelevant.
The movies on this list are not famously bad like Plan 9 From Outer Space. And they’re not notorious flops like Ishtar and Bonfire of the Vanities. In fact, there’s nothing remotely memorable about them. They just sort of exist, but it’s hard to believe they do, because nobody talks about them. In a way, they’re much worse than awesomely bad triumphs like The Room and Troll 2, because those movies at least found an audience. These movies are so wholly uninteresting in every way that they aren’t even worth making fun of.
Jack has one of the rarest jobs on earth—he’s a working director in Hollywood. The DGA represents just over 14,000 directors. They say in SAG about 5% of the union is working—I’d probably halve that when talking about the DGA. And remember, for every one of those 14,000 there is literally thousands upon thousands of people dying to get in. Directing is an elusive job, everybody knows a director makes a movie but almost nobody—lay people and cinephiles alike—really have any idea about what the job actually entails. Continue reading An Interview with B-Movie Filmmaker Jack Perez