Johnny Ray Huston

World Wide Web: Vancouver International Film Festival, Day Two

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My second day at the Vancouver International Film Festival brought white lines of thin girls, silent film shadows, a Unabomber web, and American telemarketing Mubai-style. But before all that, it might be best to begin with life outside the movie theater. It does exist, after all, even if film festival obsessiveness sometimes make it easy to forget.

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Cat's Eye: Vancouver International Film Fest, Day One

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Toronto presents North America's mad mad mad world fall film fest option, while Vancouver gives post-Hollywood cinemaniacs a quieter, more contemplative choice. Thanks to Tony Rayns, who is marking his last year of programming the Vancouver International Film Festival's Dragons & Tigers section and competition, the fest has blazed trails: directors such as Hirokazu Kore-Eda and Jia Zhangke have won early and influential awards here. But there are other secrets about VIFF. One irony: it might be a better showcase of independent movies from the US than any actual US fest. Read more »

Oh the humanity -- and the genius of TV Carnage

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A poodle-permed Rosie O'Donnell horrifying John Ritter? John Walsh in full effect? It's all in a day's tele-trawling for Derrick Beckles, aka Pinky, of TV Carnage. Beckles recently agreed to talk about the madness behind his method for this week's cover story on pixel piracy. Read more »

Oh TV, up yours!

Animal Charm, Bryan Boyce, and TV Carnage chart the outer limits of piracy
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johnny@sfbg.com
Dick Cheney surveys the teeming white crowds at the 2004 Republican National Convention. With their Cheney Rocks! placards and stars-and-stripes Styrofoam hats, these people worship him, but he still looks like he wants to spray them with buckshot. "You're all a bunch of fucking assholes!" he sneers. "You know why? Read more »

The man behind America's Biggest Dick

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Dick Fucking Cheney is uncensored and exceptionally ornery in Bryan Boyce's short video America's Biggest Dick, which someone other than Boyce posted to YouTube, where it's gotten 18,000 views and counting. The popularity of the clip isn't surprising -- it's fucking great. In putting together this week's cover story about TV tweak tactics, I recently spoke with Boyce -- who will be showing new work at Other Cinema soon -- about many of his videos. Read more »

This charming Animal Charmer

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No I'm not taking about the late Crocodile Hunter, I'm talking about Jim Fetterley of the duo Animal Charm. Along with Rich Bott (and occasionally some other friends), Fetterley has been making confounding, perplexing, vexing, hexing, and comically scathing short videos for almost a decade. Read more »

Talking with Girl Talk

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Gregg Gillis, aka Girl Talk, is coming to SF in November. In conjunction with this week's cover stories on audiovisual hijacking, I recently had a phone conversation with him that included a mention of CeCe Peniston. Read more »

Gregg the Ripper

A talk with the man behind the sampled sounds of Girl Talk
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You're walking down the street in the dark. You can hear the steps of a beast with many feet behind you. Every second it's getting closer and bigger. One minute it's got the juicy spirit of a young Biggie Smalls and a waterfall piano melody that inspires visions of a tiny dancer. The next, its Ciara-stamped "O" pulses over the metric bump and grind of an Elastica connection. Just when you think you have its ID down, it changes again, shifting sounds and songs at a rate of a dozen a minute. It's tapping you on the shoulder. It's gotten inside your brain. Read more »

Toronto International Film Festival: Viggo, we love you, yeah yeah yeah

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Celebrity sightings? Michelle Devereaux just spotted God at this year's Toronto International Film Festival:

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Toronto, Wednesday, 12:09am: I have just left the Ryerson Theatre, where I fear I have contracted a serious case of Viggomania — a condition characterized by fever, light-headedness, and general idiocy when Ultimate Man Viggo Mortensen is in the vicinity. Read more »

American lie

This Film Is Not Yet Rated investigates Jack Valenti’s legacy
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johnny@sfbg.com
One of the many refreshing aspects of Kirby Dick's This Film Is Not Yet Rated is that it doesn't focus on an obvious topic. Documentaries have begun reaching more viewers in recent years, but few take on the many-fangled foibles of the Bush era in an imaginative manner. Dick's new film does, in addition to providing a lesson about the intersection between film history and American history, a convergence that isn't as petty or easily dismissed as one might think. This is a smartly comedic private-eye movie with a feminist, even lesbian sensibility. Read more »