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23rd March 2014


Senses of Cinema – The Gleaners and Varda: The 2013 AFI FEST & American Film Market →

"Another director surviving his hard-earned fame is Tobe Hooper, the director of classic horror/gory films such as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Eaten Alive (1977), The Funhouse (1981), and the hugely successful Poltergeist (1982).  In the 1990s, Hooper directed a number of “bad” films with a faithful cult audience, switching back and forth between the slasher and the sci-fi genre.  He made a number of television films and experienced more than once the purgatory of straight-to-DVD (or video) releases.  Born in 1943, Hooper is both an American original and an American icon, whose singularity of vision wove in and out the zeitgeist at different moments.  His first dabbling with Middle Eastern financing was the Cairo-based (and poorly received) Night Terrors (1995).  The question here is whether it is possible to adapt the horror genre to cultures that didn’t produce it before — a question more poignant in countries where “culture” is often artificially produced by a moneyed ruling class - divorced from the habits and tastes of the rest of the population.”

"Poorly received by Western critics after its premiere at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Djinn may demand novel criterions to be judged.”

[Djinn] displays the hand of a master who has nothing to prove and now believes that less is more, with a certain kind of foreigner’s restraint…”

Bérénice Reynaud on Senses of Cinema reviewing Hooper’s Djinn

Tagged: tobe hooperdjinn

16th March 2014

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Bask in Hooper and the Art of Pleasantry

Hooper’s interviews are always a kick in the way of a pleasant formality: one knows what to expect, and they always abide.  Thus the kick of amused self-satisfaction.  Always a series of half-memories, amiable sound bytes bent over backwards for, small fallacies - unintentional - and pleasant affirmations (intentional).  The friendliest sort of self-deprecation… an endearing, thoughtless frankness; redaction-free self-confessions worthy of much admiration.

Words repeat themselves across interviews.  He tells the interviewers what they want — resulting in talking points cropping up verbatim in interview after interview.  It’s a new sort of artist’s statement: pleasantry beyond the boundaries of pleasantry.  His work reflects it. 

The crumbs of original and intrepid thoughts he does manage to muster up in each interview, though, are unmistakeably his and reflective of him: artistic, genuine, and somewhat inarticulate - or, beyond the necessity of aptitude - in their genuineness.

He’s making the rounds at the SXSW Festival, links and highlights below:

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Tagged: Tobe Hooper

15th January 2014

Video reblogged from LIFEFORCE minuto a minuto with 6 notes

Neat.  In Spain, a book written on Lifeforce!

"Lifeforce: Minuto a minuto"

An experiment of literature and criticism apparently - the 111 minute running time (PAL playback, I assume…) of Lifeforce assigned by minute to 111 authors, compiled into a free form book of prose.  (Released last year; official info here.)

Tagged: lifeforce

14th October 2013

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Filmmaker Tobe Hooper & Songwriter Joanna Newsom: A Comparison

This will be one of my more indulgent, perhaps inaccessibly autogenous and self-serving posts (arising entirely within myself, an idea without the influence or cue from any outside source or held observance).  Self-fondling, perhaps [this is why it is in the ANNEX]: a comparison between two artists that happen to hold the highest ranks in my esteem (in their respective, entirely unrelated fields), Tobe Hooper and the music artist Joanna Newsom.

They have nothing in common in any outwardly observable or literally apparent extent.  But I sense they share a common realm in their respective art-making, a philosophical and idiosyncratic realm that makes quite relateable their self-fashioned oeuvres and approach to the creation of “art pieces.”

This is not for the dashboard (or even to clutter up our ANNEX main page). Read after the break only if you want to know and read rambling on Tobe Hooper and Joanna Newsom that presupposes interest in both. :)

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4th September 2013

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“One reason I got into movies was I watched this film [Goodbye Charlie, Vincente Minnelli, 1964]… There was one moment where I kind of just left my body. It’s hard to explain, but I just was mesmerized. It was just one strange moment. Why in the hell did I feel that? If I could take that 2 seconds and extend that, have an audience interact in such a way that they will kind of go into that world, and if there’s a way I could make that last 5 minutes or 10 minutes or most of the film. I’m still working on that. I’ve pulled that off a couple of times.”

Tobe Hooper

Interview / January 24, 2013

4th September 2013

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Transmutation in Minnelli.
Meet Me in St. Louis (1948)

Transmutation in Minnelli.

Meet Me in St. Louis (1948)

Tagged: Vincente MinnelliMeet Me in St. Louis

16th June 2013


Lifeforce | Blu-ray Review | Slant Magazine →

Lifeforce Blu-ray Review by Chuck Bowen
"On paper, there’s really no way that this hodgepodge of tones and intentions should be remotely coherent, but the filmmaker manages to hold everything together with a quietly fluid authority.
"Many people who know Lifeforce at all probably do so for May’s conspicuous nudity, a ploy that might be distasteful in a lesser director’s hands…
"… Tom struggles with the question of how much of himself he wants to give to Space Girl, and whether or not she justifies the sacrifice—a question that’s decidedly answered in a hot, gothic sex scene that Bava would’ve surely applauded.
In retrospect, the film’s chilly reception in North America might not be much of a mystery, as Hooper appeared to be telling his fans that there’s more to life than guy’s stuff, and that eventually a man must put away evasive self-absorptions—an assertion that beats as the heart underneath Lifeforce's amusing horror-movie antics.”

Taken from a high-definition restoration that director Tobe Hooper personally oversaw, Lifeforce looks better than ever, boasting a rich and varied color palette that fulfills the director’s intentions of mounting a gorgeous space gothic.

See more at:

Tagged: Tobe Hooperlifeforce

12th May 2013

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THE FUNHOUSE BLOG: Amy vs. The Monster →

The Funhouse's excellent climax gets a post!

"Stripped of its hide, the belly of the beast is a stark contrast to the peacock plumage upstairs, all rusted metal and steel. Only the impersonal brutality remains. For a horror film about imprisonment in a phony horror world, this is a more understated ‘Man behind the curtain.’ I’ve always thought of it as representing the hidden, ugly soul of the funhouse’s newly dead owner The Barker - still chugging along ‘alive’ without him."


"From this blunder begins the chain of events leading The Monster to his death… Her act of aggression was a reactionary, temporary flinch. No arc of feminine empowerment through violent retribution or ingenuity. Fate’s good and bad fortunes play Amy’s drama to its conclusion."

Tagged: The FunhouseThe Funhouse BlogTobe Hooper

20th April 2013


Lucky McKee’s “Masters of Horror” episode Sick Girl

Tagged: spoilerssrry

20th April 2013


Lucky McKee’s “Masters of Horror” episode Sick Girl

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