The Gentleman Loser

Thoughts and Musings of a Loser

My mind, as it is so often prone to do, wanders in random directions. One such direction was to the enigmatic director of the box office bitch, Catwoman: Pitof.

So IMDB referes to the following as his “Trade Mark”: Extensive use of CG environments, Use of fast editing, Use of extreme close ups of eyes, and Constantly moving camera. They might have well put down instead, “Bad directing,” and saved those four lines of text. The bad CG and the distracting over-cutting were the faults in the movie Catwoman that stood out beyond the absolutely horrible script.

The director’s real name is Jean-Christophe Comar, but his childhood nickname was Pitof, and for some reason he decided that a name kids called him would be the more professional moniker for his film work.

It is also mentioned that he worked on music videos in the 80′s for Lenny Kravitz, which is obviously is a sign of success considering the vast amount of CD’s that Mr. Kravitz had released in the 80′s.

Granted, I should lay off of him a little bit. Looking through his career it is obvious that he doesn’t have much of a directing background. His work was mainly in FX supervising (however, that makes the poor CGI in Catwoman that much more unforgivable) and apparently is quite accomplished in France and has won many awards. From reading the posts of those who defend him on the IMDB message boards, one can summize that he is an all around nice down-to-earth guy…who insists on being referred to by a dubious one-word name that carries all the pretentiousness of a heavyweight without all of the, well, weight to back it up. One such defender stated that Pitof had the following to say when the subject of his ill-fated Hollywood foray came up:

“I’m no masterful feature director and I won’t hesitate to admit that. I got offered to the film and leaped at the opportunity as I felt it might be ‘once in a lifetime’ and figured “why not?” At least most people on the production felt that the script was of the stereotypical quality expected from marginalized characters. You could not make anything resembling diamond out of that pile of dirt. I tried to get something out it, but that effort was erased by the fact the studio had final cut over the film. Yes, I am to blame still, but it could have never been anything more than okay with that script.”

In light of this, I will admit. If some studio had came to me and asked me to direct Catwoman, I too would consider it a “once in a lifetime” opportunity and accept it despite knowing full well that it was destined for failure. However, since I would already expect it to fail, I would have fun with it. I would have cast Seth Rogan as Catwoman, and there would be no explanation in the movie as to why Catwoman only had breasts in the loosest sense of the word. I would also cameo in it during an unsimulated sex scene where Catwoman would pleasure me orally. During the explanatory dialogue scenes I would increase the amount of cut’s 10-fold by cutting at the end of each syllable. There would be an entire still frame photo animated opening sequence and John Travola would be in it. I would make Catwoman blind, but able to “see” through the use of purring-based sonar JUST LIKE A CAT DOES.

My version of Catwoman would be so bad that no one could possibly call me a bad director without being called out for not understanding cynisism. It worked for Verhoeven.

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So I ran across this little movie a while ago. It comes out August 8th according to the most current IMDB information on it. It’s about a future where people are hooked on surgery (these people are referred to as “scalpel sluts”) like it was some kind of drug, if in fact, they arn’t hooked on the illegal anesthetic Zydrate. There is a company called GeneCo that specialises in providing transplant organs. Good thing too, since there is a worldwide epidemic of organ failure. The thing is, if you can’t keep up on your payments, they send a Repo man out to take back the unpayed “product.” Did I mention that this is all done in full rock opera style? Well it is.

This one looks stunningly strange. It was based off of a stage performance that started in L.A. (big surprise) and ended in New York. The movie version has a lot of odd cameo’s from members of bands including but not limited to Skinny Puppy, Filter, Jane’s Addiction and Bauhaus. Lions Gate is putting this one out, further securing their reputation as being the guys who will release anything regardless of how niche the market might be.

I can’t wait to see this. It seems like the whole gene-punk thing is in now (guess if Gattaca would have been released today it would have been more widely accepted), and there is another movie coming out called The Gene Generation (which immediately makes me think of wonder movies like The Doom Generation) that is about a society where you genetics determine your status in life, so there are “gene hackers” who kill people to steal their genes and get ahead. That one looks very straight-to-video, and Bai Ling’s presence seals that particular deal. Still could be an interesting action movie with a little bit of brains in it though, so I am holding out hope for it.

So I leave you with this. The trailer to the infinitely idiosyncratic Repo – The Genetic Opera:

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Wow. Just wow. See, Billy Idol was the real birth of industrial music and he invented genre cyberpunk, I has the proofz right here. (Did I hear a Front242 sample in there??)

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We had our Spring 48-Hour Film Kabaret and it was as big of a success as I could expect for our spring celebration. This was our first screening in the luxurious Sundance Cinemas.

Sam and I had drawn the theme of “Prop: Ice Cream Cones” on Friday and in short time decided we would make a film about a guy who is at a work meeting with a bunch of ladies. They serve ice cream and the suddenly all the people at the meeting go into this orgy of seductive ice cream eating. Our main character gets a phone call from his wife and ducks into a nearby room. We would cut to him being alone in the room and she asks how things are doing, our main character would sheepishly peer out the doorway to see the ridiculous ice cream orgy was continuing and calmly chock out “Okay.” He would find out his wife will remain out of town, and he decides to take advantage of this situation going on in the boardroom (yeah, he’s a pig), but they are done with their ice cream. So he volunteers to do a snack run, resulting in a montage of purchasing the most phallic looking foods he can find.

Saturday we finalized the script and got the house cleaned. We were banking on a bunch of our friends being available after the Mercury Players production of Compleat Female Stage Beauty had gotten out. We ran to the grocery, filmed the montage and got back only to find that we couldn’t get anyone to come. We postpone the shoot until tomorrow and come up with some plan B and C film ideas.

Mere hours before the screening on Sunday we filmed our B Plot idea. In the morning, we ran to the local Barnes and Noble, and went to the Cliffs Notes rack. We picked a book neither of us had read or seen adaptations of: 1984 (okay, I have read the first chapter). We read the two page summery and then left the store. Armed with a brief reading of the summary, we set out to make a 5-minute film of 1984.

Where did the ice cream cones fit in? The trip to the craft store to buy pipe cleaners and googly eyes that would transform some ice cream cones into the rats that eat Winston’s face. The film was shot with the help of our friend Julie, who conveniently played the character of Julia, in about 3 hours. The audio was horrendous because we didn’t have time to do a proper recording (it would have added too much time to edit because we use an external audio recorder). However, it was funny nonetheless with such lines as “Dear illegal diary, I had that dream again about the rats. I hope they never eat my face,” read in listless monotone. It was beautiful cheese.

The screening itself went off more smoothly than most Kabarets, with the exception of some cropping issues from the projector’s settings being a bit off. That caused us to have to replay some films that had their tops and bottoms chopped off, and that caused us to run a little late. Other than that, it was a great screening, and I look forward to showing them what a big crowd we can bring to the Fall Kabaret this coming November.

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As I walk in, I hear civilized gentry music as Alan! and Caustic take turns reading from books that could only have titles like “HTML & Javascript for Beginners”, “Bible Passages for the Elderly” and “New Employee Orientation Guide for Pasta A-Go-Go.”

This continues for about an eternity. People are talking about grilled cheese sandwiches, I can smell them, but I can’t see the evidence of one anywhere. Then we get what seems like it could be a screwed version of a Public Enemy song mixed with opera music. I’m not sure.

Around the entrance to The Inferno, is a battlefield of toy soldiers. To the left of them, a pile of contraceptives and lube with a sign next to them that says, “These are for Eating.” A deluge of 80′s pop and hair rock spews out of the speakers like bile. I just order more drinks. I curse Nick for telling me about this, and swear that I will murder and eat him. Just then Alan! dumps a pile of bacon off next to me at the bar, I want to partake, but I’m worried about the implications of doing so. I order more drinks instead. Someone is looping the lyrics “Brown Eyed Girl” over and over again while some other song entirely plays on top of it.

…and suddenly it sounds like Santana mixed with The Electric Company. “This is poetry,” I think as I drink my rum and coke and hopes and dreams for a tomorrow that just won’t fucking come.

Death metal becomes the predominate theme as I assume we shift into the “Death Metal Bingo” portion of the night’s entertainments. Bingo cards are handed out, though I do not recall numbers being called. I grab one of the sheets of “My Little Pony” stickers that are left around the bar and put a purple pony on my cell phone. Never question my sexuality. I need to drink more alcohol, so I do. At this point it starts to get a little hazy to me.

There is a Pepsi repairman or something testing the soda dispensers behind the bar. I was wearing a shirt with a faux Pepsi logo, so I thought this funny. This errant though leading me off onto a tangent.

This is a cognitive nightmare. We disseminate. We sort, organize, delineate. Then we masturbate. We classify the orgasm. Carefully measure the ejaculation. We record this. This is the new pornography. We are all the cartographers of the fleshy paths. It is human nature, the nature of nurture. Pixelized pollen from the stamen of the soul. Data, light, sound, static and harmony, the sweat of the subconscious.

Girls are on the dance floor fighting with inflated condoms as the bartender wears a sticker that says “huffing glue is cheap.” What does that mean? Does it mean that glue huffing is not costly or that only cheap people indulge in such pleasures?

I leave the party for awhile, drive down to the Bartell Theatre, get bitten by Pete who is happy with the opening of Compleat Female Stage Beauty. I step into The Mercury Lounge, douchebag DJs and a crowd of kids who are one Abercrombie away from being fratboys. Pipes are being passed around, I decline. I return to The Inferno.

“James Brown is Dead,” blares from the speakers. Indeed he is. All that and more.

I settle into a seat somewhere. I am almost out of cash, so I give the bartender two dollars and ask for whatever that will buy. I get a bottle of PBR. Brown Eyed Girl is played again, I protest. Deaf ears. Time goes by. I call Alan! a Barbecue Fetishist, because he, in fact, is. There are cards all over that ask if you would date, or fuck, Alan! and ask you to circle your answer. Some of them only have the option of “yes” while others lack even that basic facility. I want to smash the little toy soldiers.

The night ends. I sit in my car on the phone, hoping to catch an afterparty. Instead I go home, disappointed, and cook myself some eggs.

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