TBT: Sexy. Kinetic. Thriller.

 "Strange Days" (1995)

Pre-Millennial Tension: “Strange Days” (1995)

Our TBT is dedicated to “Strange Days” (1995), the “sexy kinetic thriller” and feminist gem which was directed by Kathryn Bigelow and co-written by two dudes, James Cameron and Jay Cocks (insert joke here). The film portrays a perilous time when violence and lawlessness were rampant and technology was used to satisfy society’s desperate quest for escapism and most base urges. Sound familiar?

As leading lady Mace, Angela Bassett is a thing of wonder and beauty. She’s gorgeous, strong, smart, sexy and self-possessed.
Angela Bassett in "Strange Days"Angela Bassett in "Strange Days"

Juliette Lewis in "Strange Days"

Juliette Lewis in “Strange Days”

A raw, pre-Licks Juliette Lewis is Faith, the dysfunctional flipside of Mace: a tragically beautiful hot mess. Both women are doing their best to navigate what many thought would be the ‘end of days’ — New Year’s Eve 1999.

And of course, Ralph Fiennes is….damned fine (even as an oily virtual reality dealer). There are also  plenty of hot character performances by thespians who later became well-known faces: Vincent D’Onofrio (where Brooklyn at?); Tom Sizemore, Glenn Plummer (in a brilliant and timely turn as militant rapper Jeriko One), William Fichtner, Josef Summer, Richard Edson and Canadian Michael Wincott.

There’s a lot going on here. Social turmoil, police brutality, technology, the economy, race, America’s general agitation on the eve of the new millennium. This dystopian thriller is smarter and more interesting story than a lot of what we see lately. First off, it’s set in an Los Angeles that actually looks like L.A.: multi-cultural and multi-racial….throughout the film, not just the scenes of poverty or violence. The fact that there is a militant rapper whose gripes with the system are presented as legit seems astounding in retrospect. (The film was released only 17 days after the verdict in O.J. Simpson’s trial.) Last but not least, this film represents the best of feminism — that which shows women as they really are: are equally capable of the best and worst of what it is to be human.

Director Kathryn Bigelow

Director Kathryn Bigelow

Alien Daddy: H.R. Giger (1940 – 2014)

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PHALLIC DURESS by H.R. Giger

Swiss surrealist artist H.R. Giger was a king of erotomechancis. This man’s mind….wow.

HR Giger_nubian_queen

NUBIAN QUEEN by H.R. Giger

He created the iconic alien of the ‘Alien’ film franchise, created murals for the Alien prequel ‘Prometheus,’ among other very cool work in films and music (including album artwork for many and even a custom microphone stand for Jonathon Davis of the band Korn). His vision of biomechanics made the relationship between (wo)man and machine incredibly sexy, dripping with the promise of inhuman pleasure. In a 1979 interview, Giger said: “My paintings seem to make the strongest impression on people who are, well, who are crazy. If they like my work they are creative … or they are crazy.” Count me in.

Enjoy the next leg of your adventure, Mr. Giger.

 

How Star Wars Ruined Sci-Fi

Star Wars

It’s been a long slide downhill since the original….

If you care about sci-fi, check out this piece entitled “How Star Wars Ruined Sci-Fi.” It’s one of the best op-ed pieces I’ve read in a minute. Big up to this writer for so eloquently and insightfully discussing the demise of sci-fi film and the slippery slope of commercialism that has transformed the very chromosomes of the American film industry — particularly science fiction. Yes, there is a business that supports film — but do not get it twisted: filmmaking is an art.

I give the writer, Lewis Beale, even more love for not only shouting out Octavia Butler, but also for pointing out the insanity of her work and the work of other top-notch sci-fi novelists (like Joe Halderman’s The Forever War) not being adapted to film because they’re ‘too smart’ and don’t fit into Hollywood’s moronically simplistic sci-fi lexicon of CGI, weapons battles and tired archetypes. Can I get a witness?

I have two things to say: a new day is dawning…and sci-fi 4eva!

GODSPEED: Catch the Vibe

We are moving ever forward with the sci-fi feature film called Godspeed. It’s not your grandmother’s science fiction but this project is coming together quite nicely.

We’ll let the pictures do the talking.

GODSPEED: an independent sci-fi feature film. Celia C. Peters, Writer + Director, Gina Charbonnet, Producer.

Her Is Gorgeous

Her-2013-Love-Story-Movie

Joaquin Phoenix rocks the house in “Her”

How intimate are you and your technology? Do you trust it? Do you need it? Do you want it — even miss it — when you’re away from it? Now imagine that your technology felt the same things for you….and more. Could you….would you…..cross that line?

Her is a intriguing, visionary look at the next level of humanity’s relationship with tech. Take it from CyberGeek #1, Spike Jonze and his cast did their thing — they created an eloquent, realistic, tech-driven near-future sci-fi flick that’s actually all about the human heart and soul. This one will stick in your head, especially if you’re listening toward the end. (Oh, and BTW: do not let the corny commercial throw you off.)

Blade-Runner-2-Rachael

Sean Young as Rachael in the classic, “Blade Runner”

Last but not least, here are a few other movies starring the world’s most lovable robots.

ROXË15: Update!

You’re probably wondering:
Where in the world is Roxë?

A new voice in science fiction

Roxë15: A sci fi short film

We are thrilled to report that as you read these words,
Roxë15 is in the very capable hands of superb editor Lamont Jack Pearley!
YAAAAAY!

Lamont Jack Pearley

He’s very serious about editing: Lamont Jack Pearley

Jack (who’s also a fantastic filmmaker in his own right) has edited for Bloomberg Business Week and City Lights Media, worked production with Upright Citizens Brigade and in the documentary world — not to mention his work producing, directing and editing his films and Web series. We’re amped that he is now slicing, dicing and cutting Roxë15 into the future-forward visual journey it’s destined to be. Our ETA for the finished film? Early 2014. After Jack does his thing, we still have a couple more post-production bases to cover before prime time…..but baby, we are well on our way.

Stay tuned!

Tragically Perverted: The Thirsty Barfly

Meet The Barfly, played by NYC actor Michael Kaplan in sci-fi short film Roxë15.
BARFLY_point_edit

The Barfly can usually be found at the end of the bar in Tranzit, the high-tech dive where Roxë makes her daily bread. He  is the quintessential mid-21st century man: disgruntled, full of rage and more than anything, THIRSTY — because like most people in the America of 2051, he can’t afford water — let alone a drink. The Barfly represents many future Americans: bled dry and mad about it. Somewhere along the way, he’s decided to take it out on Roxë….but she’s not having it.

Hear what the actor has to say about the low-life he plays so well:

WE HAVE 3 DAYS LEFT IN OUR INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN.
If you want to see a new and different possible future, help make it happen.
Become a backer at any level. Today’s a great day for it!
http://igg.me/at/roxe15/x/1502

And oh yeah — in real life, Michael is a really cool guy and an illmatic actor. Keep up with him.
FB: Michael.Kaplan