Friday, November 27, 2009


For anyone querying why there's another Pravda post so precipitatively soon after the last, well firstly, it's a scientific fact that you can never have enough truth in your life; secondly, these are especially irresistible stories to which to surrender your time; and thirdly, I've little better else to do this Friday evening.

Man Eats His Mother And Says He Dislikes Her Fatty Meat
Offspring are so fucking ungrateful. Sergey Gavrilov, 27, decides to strangle his mum when she refused him beer money after his latest prison release. So, after blowing the remains of her paltry pension on booze and fruit machines, and using her frozen cadaver as food supply to cook soups and pasta sauces, this scumbag has the audacity to rue his not being born to a prize Aberdeen Angus cow.

Now Vodka Can Be Consumed As Food
People make far too much fuss about the ingredients of food, don't they? I mean, if it was only nutrition that mattered, all your meals could just be mixed with a food blender and served poured into your mug as a yummy puree. Like a bairn. So, count me in, I'm all in favour of vodka served on a plate, even if it does taste like an IKEA dinner candle.

Emotional Romanian President Becomes Hitman To Win More Popularity
The seeming sensationalism of the headline gets it about right. You see, in politics, popularity is gained because of, not despite, scandals. This Basescu guy not only looks like a lost child of Silvio Berlusconi's, but has clearly learnt well from his spiritual, ahem, godfather; what do you bet, in the expectation of snagging a few more votes, he deliberately left that mobile phone on?



The Fourth Kind (**)
the experiment of having hoaxed stock footage side-by-side with an acted drama is fatally undermined by the director's frantically self-conscious overstylising: annoying edits, revolving camera shots, incoherent Dan Brown-esque plot developments, and a cheesy soundtrack - the creepy documentary bits are superbly executed, if only Osunsanmi had had the courage to ditch the Hollywoodisms

Keep The River On Your Right (****)
it isn't a modern cannibal tale (not that I wasn't attracted by the promise of that), but a tale of that rarest of things: a man with his own mind and following his own star - remarkably heartwarming and uplifting

Fish Tank (**)
typical British kitchen sink drama is requisitely depressing with some great performances - however, personally, as with movies like A Taste Of Honey, Trainspotting, and almost anything by Ken Loach et al, my issue is with the implicit dishonesty: it's a covert middle-class misrepresentation of chav culture sold to you as naturalistic

Chambre Des Morts (*)
this kicks off with moderate promise but soon gets excruciatingly bogged down in endlessly dreary uncharismatic policework, merely to unravel the ridiculous multiple plot threads, all of which are tedious and implausible in the extreme

Private Lessons (****)
a wonderful Hollywood oddity from 1984 featuring a sub-Nabokovian parallel universe where we enjoy a sublime masterclass in advanced tartdom by the delectable Sylvia Kristel

Moon (*)
incredibly lightweight scifi effort - at best Moon would have made a reasonable short, but this 90 minutes of totally ludicrous plot devices and padding has no mystery and a horribly tidy cop-out ending

American Swing (**)
far easier to spend ten minutes reading a Wikipedia article than wade through this tediously compiled documentary of NYC randoms talking about their sex lives in the 70s interpolated with barely relevant archive clips; and not enough Jamie Gillis

(500) Days of Summer (*)
I do like a good romantic comedy - unfortunately, this is neither good, romantic, nor comedic, and incredibly, it features characters even more wooden than the acting


Monday, November 23, 2009


Nobody does sex worse than the UK.

When you combine the complexes derived from the legendarily endemic British prudery, vacuous sexual ignorance, deprived opportunity, and covert sublimated desires, you end up with manifestations like the ugly Sun and News Of The World tabloids, the phoney 'sex' shops and clubs in London's Soho, TV watersheds, and arts censorship. The UK's so-called porn industry is, likewise, a complete sham - and when the awful Channel 4 decided to do a documentary series entitled The Dark Side Of Porn, you fear the worst. (Comments on each episode continue below.)

So, yes, they'll titillate you with enough erotic promise to want to watch it - then either deliver nothing, or worse, a fucking lecture on why sex in its various manifestations is so wrong. And like the ugly sweating repressed hypocrites they are, you know they've got semi-hard-ons under the table whilst addressing you in this patronising yet eminently uninformed tone. Whilst watching that shocking scene just one more time to see if it's really as offensive as they first thought. Whilst betraying that enduring paternalist attitude that women could not possibly have extreme sexual impulses of their own.

Thanks to greater integration with the far more enlightened European continent, and the internet's obliteration of the UK gatekeepers' powers, encouragingly it seems that current generations have been largely freed from these hang-ups. Nowadays, young people might be far more focused on their weekly ethanol binges than getting laid, but at least they're not prigs.

And it does seem to have become a generational issue. I know that from my own bittersweet experiences making music over the years, and also something addressed in other posts (KILLING FOR CULTURE - BLACK METAL PENCIL - NOSTALGIE DE LA BOUE).

Me And My Slaves
this study concerns a pint-sized peroxided punk who laughably calls himself a BDSM 'master' - if we'd got more of the fucked-up childhood sexual anecdotes, along with deeper questioning into his weird belief in Jesus, then this would have been far better

Searching For Animal Farm
the poignant story of Bodil Joensen, and her extraodinary relationship with animals, is the focus of this edition - unfortunately anglo-prudery contaminates the entire documentary in its most judgmental and ignorant form; Headpress's David Kerekes gets completely outed as a grade A prig, something to which his writing often alluded

Hunting For Emmanuelle
Sylvia Kristel is an amazing woman: remarkably beautiful and intelligent, with a singularly attractive energy - in this documentary about the groundbreaking original Emmanuelle, she reflects on its making and subsequent events in her life; the excruciatingly beautiful Emmanuelle theme by Pierre Bachelet forms the backdrop to this respectful study into the movie's cultural impact, tainted only by the inclusion of the reactionary opinions of that soulless old biddy, columnist Polly Toynbee

Debbie Does Dallas Uncovered
the presuppositions of the inherent 'dangers' of porn are all over this look at what was just another oh-so-boring porn flick: it's amazing how easily and lazily accepted the docu's producers' notions are that participating in making porn, watching porn, buying/selling porn, all have negative consequences (other than sheer tedium) - what tenuous faith they have in human life that the viewing of DDD, or the participation in the making of, could have such devastatingly far-reaching consequences

Porn Shutdown
a black male porn star goes to Brazil, contracts HIV, and you have the perfect exercise for Channel 4 to darkly propagate the evils of the mainstream porn industry (ironically, one as moralistic and reactionary as any other, especially in the US) - it's like the sensationalist 80s reporting of AIDS all over again, so conveniently does it serve the prudes' agenda; somehow, extraordinarily, the fucktard narrator seamlessly conflates this with the deleterious effects of our being exposed to 'gonzo' porn

Diary Of A Porn Virgin
Amateur Porn
I call bullshit on both these two fake documentaries which seem to be by the same UK production company - the subjects are all just trashy floundering wannabes that are desperate to be on TV, one way or another; also features plenty of the usual myths about the evils of porn

Death Of A Pornstar
a character study into the curious case of Lolo Ferrari, she of the monstrously large lips/boobs - it's a sad tale, and her long-term partner Eric Vigne might be a bit sleazy (and so what if he is?), however I don't accept the programme's sinister insinuations that he had anything directly to do with her death

Does Snuff Exist?
predictably here, all the myths and prejudices come out in full force; the programme makers, the arch-prudes, the institutions of censorship, authorities such as the FBI, all unite as one, all desperate clinging to the hope that such a thing as 'snuff' exists - they rationalise it hard because they need it so bad, just like the illusory Communists under the bed, just like the Al Qaida mirage, it's the existence of the evil without which gives little reason to live

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


It doesn't really matter what newspaper you read, on or offline, tabloid or broadsheet: it's the same tired old ignorant hashed up nonsense scheduled by a lazy diary system. The sum of drunken journalistic dinner-table tittle-tattle. If you want real news, look no further than Pravda.

Paranormal Alien Cloud Hovers Over Moscow
Are you, like me, a sucker for these kinds of stories? Any headline with the word 'paranormal', 'alien', or even dare I say, 'cloud' - let alone 'hovering over Moscow'. Totally irresistible. The pay-off is usually no more than a blurry/grainy highly suspicious polaroid of someone suspending a button on a thread in front of the lens. The accompanying video, on this occasion, is awesome - don't miss out.

Mice Do Not Love Cheese
A highly entertaining list of common myths about animals which highlight the enduring potency of inherited human ignorance more than anything. But really, who would have thought a snail had 25,000 gnashers? Nightmarish.

The Black Archaeologists
This story about 'tomb raiders' conducting independent excavations at WWII sites is unfortunately light on detail, but no less fascinating for that. Thanks to Channel 4 and the BBC, we tend to think of archaeologists as strange bearded anoraks painstakingly sifting through dry soil to find little more than Roman coins, Anglo-Saxon trinkets,
and shards of Greek vases.

And it's this last example which goes back to my opening issue regarding the extraordinary laziness of Western journalism and media: there are an infinite number of amazingly fascinating subcultural worlds within our own society, and of which the vast part is made, all of which are completely overlooked for the endless regurgitating of the stale familiarities. Similarly, we're also used to editorial content being within an extremely narrow range of freedom of expression. One of the most refreshing aspects of Pravda's site is its openness to a real variety of opinions, with much I don't share agreement, yet genuinely celebrate its presence.


Monday, November 02, 2009


Two good, three bad.

Daisy Diamond (*****)
the talent Staho showed in previous flawed low-budget attempts comes to glorious fruition here in the superb and extremely powerful Daisy Diamond; this will drag you to the depths of hopelessness and despair and depression, but then deliver where the lightweight Moodysson merely promises only to disappoint; and all of us Bergman fans have something to be smug about again

Saw VI (*****)
a complex 90 minutes wrapping up many of the series' loose ends is also the most gruesomely violent of the lot; the twisted inverted morality plays are at the usual exquisite standard, and there's so much more of the wonderfully badass Tobin Bell to enjoy this time around

Paranormal Activity (*)
this supernaturally dreary movie is cynically aimed at the Living TV Most Haunted crowd: those who believe in ghosts and ouija boards and inexplicable breezes in your living room

Couples Retreat (*)
a two-hour chortle-free zone

My Sister's Keeper (**)