"Who do you think you are, the queen of fucking England?"
That's Joe Pesci to Helen Mirren in Love Ranch, a film that takes Mirren about as far as possible from her titular role in 2006's The Queen. She stars as Grace Botempo, co-owner of Nevada's first legal brothel alongside her husband, Pesci's Charlie. The fact that the regal British dame is entirely convincing as an American madam speaks to her impressive versatility.Read more »
While Twihards know Jackson Rathbone from his portrayal of Jasper Hale in the first three Twilights films, Nicola Peltz is a relative newcomer. But both are sure to get a burst of fame with their starring roles in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender, an epic live-action adaptation (out Fri/2) of the animated Nickelodeon series. Rathbone and Peltz play siblings Sokka and Katara, refugees of the water tribe who join forces with Aang (that’d be the last airbender) to save the world. In talking to the actors about their filming experiences, it’s clear they’ve got the sibling rivalry thing down pat: their snarky back-and-forth dominated the conversation.
San Francisco Bay Guardian: I’ve got to start by asking you guys the obvious question, which is if you were familiar with the series Avatar: The Last Airbender before you signed on to the movie.
Nicola Peltz: Yes, I was. I actually have six brothers and a sister, and two of my younger brothers that are seven, we watch the cartoon all the time together. And when I got the role, they literally didn’t believe me. They were like, “You’re lying!” “No, I’m really not!” They’re really excited for me.
Jackson Rathbone: I knew of it, too. I hadn’t seen the entire series, but a lot of my really good friends had, so I told them I was going out for the role, and they were extremely impressed. It was nice to have my friends behind me on this one.
Local filmmaker Scott Boswell may not have set out to make the film he ended up with, but he stands behind the finished product. The Stranger In Usstars Shortbus’ Raphael Barker as Anthony, a young man who moves from Virginia to San Francisco in order to live with his boyfriend Stephen (Scott Cox). When the relationship turns violent, Anthony finds solace in his friendship with Gavin (Adam Perez), an underage street huster. I spoke to Boswell and Barker about the film’s origins, its unique content, and what this year’s San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival says about the future of queer cinema.
San Francisco Bay Guardian: What was your inspiration for The Stranger In Us? Where did the story come from?
Scott Boswell: Ultimately the story ended up being fairly autobiographical. But it started in a different place. Originally — and Raphael knows this because we talked about it — originally, I had intended to do a much more experimental film, kind of a hybrid documentary-narrative, because of my fascination with the Polk Street, Tenderloin area, which I’ve always had since I moved here in the mid ‘90s. I had considered doing a bit of a portrait of the neighborhood, and kind of infusing actors into it, just shooting a lot of footage and seeing what we came up with. There’s a part of me that wishes I had still done that, but in all honesty, I can say that after Raphael expressed some interest in the project, I suddenly felt like it needed to be more narrative in its scope. He didn’t suggest that. It was just my intuition around the project. So I had been talking to him about doing it for months, without even having a complete script, and continued writing it and auditioning actors. Eventually it became much more traditional in terms of its narrative. It became what it is now.
IDOL WORSHIP I'm not going to say the Backstreet Boys made me gay, because no boy band — regardless of how late-1990s dreamy — can change one's sexual orientation. But BSB did act as a barometer for gayness that helped usher me into a newfound understanding of my sexuality. When you're 13 and you'd rather hang out with pretty boy Nick Carter than Catholic schoolgirl Britney Spears, you know something's up.Read more »
A while back, I spoke to filmmaker Travis Mathews about his feature-length project, I Want Your Love. (While tha film is still in development, a demo clip is available for online viewing). In an effort to get another perspective on I Want Your Love, I spoke to Jesse, who appears in the film and in Travis’ other ongoing project, In Their Room. Jesse offered candid reflections and insight into pornography, sex in film, and staying hard throughout a shoot. Spoiler alert: “penis drugs.”
Evolution of Dance (April 2006) One of the first YouTube memes—"Numa Numa" and "Star Wars Kid" predate the site—"Evolution of Dance" remains the most viewed YouTube video of all time. And it's only one man, Judson Laipply, dancing his heart out to a series of pop songs. The video remains a testament to the power of dance — and of making an ass of oneself onstage.Read more »
Travis Mathews is quickly making a name for himself in the San Francisco film scene. A short film culled from his In Their Room series earned him top honors at the Good Vibrations’ Independent Erotic Film Festival last year. Now he’s working on I Want Your Love, a full-length scripted feature. Although Mathews has only completed one demo scene, the project is already generating online buzz. I spoke to Mathews about his inspiration for I Want Your Love and how the short scene fits into the bigger picture.
I’ll say this about the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street: it could have been worse. Yes, it’s pointless and unimaginative and producer Michael Bay should still be ashamed, but I didn’t hate every minute of it. I can’t say the same for Rob Zombie’s dreadful take on Halloween (2007) or the unholy mess that is 2009’s Friday the 13th. Read more »
Before Wes Craven got meta with Scream (1996), he tried his self-referential hand at the Nightmare on Elm Street series. The result was New Nightmare (1994), which reunited Heather Langenkamp and Robert Englund as … Heather Langenkamp and Robert Englund. Also playing themselves: actor John Saxon, writer-director Wes Craven, producer Robert Shaye, and Freddy Krueger. Yep, that’s how he’s credited.
Where was there to go after the dreadful Freddy’s Dead (1991)? Not because of the title’s finality — see also: the so-called Final Chapter (1984) of Friday the 13th — but rather its inescapable shittyness. Part six offered more comedy than horror, with lazy deaths, bad acting, and weak puns — even by Freddy standards. But New Nightmare was a reinvention in the truest sense. It’s a film that, while far from perfect, was well ahead of its time. In fact, Craven pitched it as the plot for part three, but the studio decided against it.
That’s probably for the best. New Nightmare works well when it’s referencing its predecessors: that’s kind of the whole point. Part three would have been too soon — that film could have been clever, but it wouldn’t be full of the Easter eggs that make New Nightmare such a treat for longtime fans. And, yes, I’ve been rewatching these movies for the past week and am, in general, above-average geeky: this film works for me in a way it might not work for others. But I think that’s OK. Scream is broader (and better) because it appeals to fans of all ‘80s horror — New Nightmare is just for Freddy Krueger devotees.
In honor(?) of the new A Nightmare on Elm Street, we're recapping all of the Elms so far. Find more on the Pixel Vision blog.
Here’s some friendly advice — don’t be friends with Alice. She’s a nice girl and all, but she’s kind of a getting-stabbed-to-death magnet. It’s like Greta says in Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989): “The bottom line, Alice, if anyone’s trying to hurt you, supernatural or not, they’re going to have to go through us first.” Yeah, that’s not really a problem for Freddy Krueger, who’s all too happy about dispatching Alice’s friends and lovers. Souls make him strong! Hey, remember when he was just trying to get revenge? In the words of President Barack Obama, “This shit’s getting way too complicated for me.”
Part five of the Nightmare on Elm Street series isn’t all that well-regarded, but I actually like it far more than part four. Lisa Wilcox’s Alice breaks Carol Clover’s “Final Girl” model: she has sex, she gets naked, and she survives — twice! In The Dream Child, she’s transformed from the meek and mousy victim in Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) to a kick-ass mama bear. That’s right, she’s with child. The plot is really silly, though it doesn’t matter. As Cheryl pointed out, by this point in the series we’re mostly watching for the nightmares. And the ones here are great.