Brittany Howard & Ruby Amanfu: I Wonder/When My Man Comes Home [7” Single]

brittany_ruby

It only takes seconds into hearing this cover of Rodriguez’s “I Wonder” before you will realize one simple fact:  This shit is gold.  The pairing of Alabama Shake’s Brittany Howard and Ruby Amanfu, the stunning vocalists we all heard from Jack White’s song “Love Interpretation” a little while ago, is a match that was clearly made in heaven.  Or in a bar.  A dusty old bar loaded with angels of all different varaties.  Their sultry yet sweet takes on two very different tracks are undeniably breathtaking.

“When My Man Comes Home” is technically the B-Side of the single, but clearly it doesn’t matter.  Both tracks are worthy of spotlight notarity.  There are many things that could be said about this B-Side, but sadly a YouTube comment pulled the rug right out from under me describing the track exactly as I was hoping to print – hipster blues ala Jack White.  Damn you grantzprice, whoever you are!  No matter, the point to make here is that Howard and Amanfu are an illustrious duo with the power to ravish your soul, and steal your heart.  This is unique, charming, and just downright soulful to put it mildly.

Pick up your copy of the 7” vinyl on March 12th from Third Man Records.

David Hogan [Interview]

David Berlin CC

Does anyone remember music videos?  Or to rephrase that, when you could turn on the TV and watch a music video, rather than watching one to the confines of your MacBook?  Chances are that if you were born after 1990, you probably don’t remember that time.  Well dammit, I do!  There was a time when music videos were so exciting, MTV even had a show about making said videos, rather than spilling vile about “guidos” and pregnant teens.  There were amazing videos that earned an abundance of respect.  Video directors reigned king!

And despite even my own pessimism, the still reign as such!  Music videos have actually become even more relevant and true works of art, even if MTV doesn’t care to show them any more.  And few people have mastered the art as well as filmmaker and video producer David Hogan.  David has worked in the arena of music videos for many many years, directing videos for artists like Dave Matthews Band, Carly Simon, Barenaked Ladies, Elton John, Gin Blossoms (one of my personal favorite groups of all time, and the list goes on and on and on.  And his resume in the film world is absolutely impressive as well with credits including action films like film adaptation of the comic book Barb Wire and the Keenan Ivory Wayans fronted hit Most Wanted.  His career is as varied as it is brilliant.  And we are very fortunate enough to steal a few words with David about everything from his historical career, what the future holds, and…..how he knew Elvis?  It’s true!  Check it out, and as always, enjoy!

You have feature film credits for directing the adaptation of the comic book Barb Wire, as well as second unit director for Batman Forever.  Are comic books something you enjoy personally?

Seemed like fun at the time.  And they were.  And the pay wasn’t bad.

davidhogan1You also directed the Keenan Ivory Wayans fronted action film Wanted, and were an Second Unit Director on Alien 3.  Any chance we will see you in the adventure/fantasy world again? 

Unless it was entirely my project, I would prefer other genres. I had very little freedom on that film. Two words: “no fun.”  One word: “misery.”

Would love to do a western, comedy, or fantasy.

You’ve directed music videos for everyone from Shania Twain to Dave Matthews Band and back to Gretchen Wilson.  Is there a particular genre of music you specifically enjoy creating visionary tales for?

I enjoy working with all kinds of music. Blues is my favorite,  but those music videos rarely come along.

I am personally a HUGE fan of Gin Blossoms, and you happen to be the creative mastermind between three of their biggest hit videos.  Can you tell us a bit about what it was like creating these videos?  Any memorable experiences taken from this time?

I really liked their songs. They were nice guys and gave me complete freedom. They didn’t give a shit about music videos – just the music. Great guys.

Is there a genre of music you haven’t gotten into that you would like to?  If so, what genre and why?

Blues, soul, and R&B. Why? I grew  up in Memphis.

Do you fear for the future of music videos in a time where MTV chooses pregnant teens over videos, and YouTube is the only source of viewing?
I think You Tube is a godsend for music videos. It takes all the self-appointed record company experts out of the creative mix.  MTV became a hindrance, with all its arbitrary rules for new artists that didn’t apply to big stars.

What would you say is your most memorable experience in your long and prosperous career?

The opportunity to work with Carly Simon.

 Your incredibly deep and personal documentary Life In A Basket is extremely unique in so many ways.  Even tear-jerking, if you will.  What inspired you to make a film in this manner?

The concept was the late Paul Haggar’s. (Paul and Sheri Sussman were the producers.) Paul worked at Paramount for 54 years, and would see homeless people pushing their carts past the lot day in and day out. His fascination with what was in those baskets, especially items that seemed common to all–long sticks, plastic milk cartons, etc.–was the seed and provided the edifice for the piece. We felt that simply having the subjects explain these items might lead to some insight that might not be garnered by simply asking how they ended up in such harsh circumstances.

According to your website, you are working on a documentary about the King of Rock, Elvis Presley.  Everyone enjoys a good doc about the King.  Tell us, what is going to be particularly interesting about your depiction of Elvis?  Did you have some personal interaction with Elvis himself?

davidhogan2The doc has since evolved into a short.

Yes. My brother and I got to know him when we were kids. We were eight and six when he moved into his first house in Memphis. One day we made the three-mile trek on our bikes and knocked on the door. His mother answered the door, and there sat Elvis, on the couch, shirtless, watching TV. He smiled and pointed at us, “How you boys doin’?” Then his mother said, “You boys leave Elvis alone. He’s tired. He been on the road. Ya’ll go on home.” He always recognized us after that day, always waved or spoke when our paths crossed.

Matthew Mishory [Interview]

Matthew MishoryIn the film industry, there are many folks out there working their asses off for what some people mind consider, nothing.  If a filmmaker isn’t either Woody Allen-esque lo-fi films with huge names attached to it, or 9 figure action/comic book adaptation, so many people are quick to deny them credibility.  Of course most of us know this is crap, but sadly, we probably aren’t most people.  And filmmaker Matthew Mishory is not like most filmmakers.  This is a man who has been compared to Fellini, which is obviously a very bold statement, but one I don’t believe is too far off.  Mishory has developed films that are (as he states) director-driven and actor-centered.  And these are the films that intrigue me the most!

And we were fortunate enough to steal some time with Matthew to discuss his past works, what is next for him, my personal favorite city of Portland, Oregon, and so much more.  Enjoy!

In the early days of your career, you were actually an Assistant Producer on Da Ali G Show, which quite different from your work today.  An chance of seeing you work in the comedy world again?

I would love to direct a comedy, but first I would have to learn to be funny.  Comedy is hard; I am envious of those who do it well.  Of course, nobody does it better than Sascha Baron Cohen.  I was very fortunate to be hired as an assistant on that shoot and to have the opportunity to watch him work.  The “Ali G” set was a masterclass.  I’m a great fan of comedy.  I love the Marx Brothers.  And if I had to take one film along to a desert island it would probably be Woody Allen’s Manhattan.  I would love to make a comedy one day.  I’d like to think I’m waiting for the right script to come along.

How did your rising star of a company, Iconoclastic Features, come about?  How did you come up with the name?

In 2007/2008, an actor friend introduced me to an actor friend, Edward Singletary.  Eddie had just started producing movies, and it turned out we had some of the same ideas about what an independent film could be: director-driven, actor-centered, stylistically bold, and privately financed.  We had matching sets of skills and personal networks and decided to try making some films together, films I would direct featuring Eddie as an actor.  The company was born our of that very simple and humble premise.  The name refers to the sorts of films that matter to us, the ground-breaking films of the European High Art and American Independent film movements.  Those sorts of films had sadly all but disappeared by 2008.  In our own small way, we’re doing our best to revive them.

Have you always been a fan of the legendary actor James Dean?  What inspired you to create Joshua Tree, 1951?

Photo by Ziyan Zang

Photo by Ziyan Zang

Each of my films are very personal.  I grew up haunted by images of James Dean.  Probably the first feature film I ever saw as a very little boy was East of Eden.  My father had come to American as a sixteen-year-old Julliard violin student and learned to speak English by going to the movies.  He saw the Dean films in first run and later showed them to me.  James Dean was quite unlike any other actor who come before (or after).  And while several very traditional biopics had been made about his life, I felt there was room for a non-traditional exploration of the very non-traditional philosophy (and experiences) that made him so extraordinary.

You’re critically acclaimed film Delphinium: A Childhood Portrait of Derek Jarman is a true stylized piece of genius to say the very least.  What was it about Jarman that interested you enough to create a film about him?

I discovered his films as a student, and they have always been very, very special to me.  A few years later, I received Tony Peak’s Jarman biography as a gift.  I had read most of Derek’s published journals, but the Peak biography somehow reiterated to me that there was a fascinating story to tell in Jarman’s childhood.  I have always been interested in the way childhood (and particularly childhood trauma) shapes a life; it has been a theme in each of my films.  With Delphinium, we tried to find the antecedents of Derek’s art, his life, his activism, and his legacy.  That his surviving muse, Keith Collins, gave us permission to shoot at Prospect Cottage in Dungeness made the project all the more special.

I know it’s a bit in the future?  But, can you tell us a bit about Disappear Here?  How did the idea for this project come to life?

The film is a star vehicle for the young actor James Duke Mason, grandson of the great James Mason, star of Lolita.  Duke had seen Joshua Tree and approached me about a collaboration.  He had a sense of what sort of film he wanted for his first project, and this is what we came up with.  The film is a political thriller that deals with notions of privacy in a digital age.  We were inspired by the commercial thrillers of the 1980s and the paranoia films of the 70s.

Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming film Portland?

We’ve been trying to make Portland for years.  Hopefully we’ll get it done in 2013/14.  As you know, the word conveys both a city and an idea.  I thought it might make a simple, evocative title.

Matthew Mishory3So, what else does the future hold Matthew Mishory?  Are there any untouched grounds you are looking to sweep?

Tomorrow I’m off to Istanbul, Belgrade, and Transilvania to direct a promo trailer for the South East European Film Festival.  Filmmaking is a terrible way to earn a living but a great way to see the world.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

The latest Jens Lekman album.  It was playing as I opened this email.

Richard Riehle [Interview]

Richard Riehle

Richard Riehle is one of those actors that you just know.  He is instantly recognizable with a frame and mustache that makes him an obvious choice for a Santa Claus character (which he has done, most recently in A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas) or a cop (The Odd Couple II).  But even with this sort of typecasting in mind, it is the versatility of this fine actor that is so impressive.  Most people are going to remember Richard for his hilarious supporting role in the film that epitomized the hilarity of slackerdom, Office Space, in which almost stole the show with his “Jump to Conclusions” mat, that I wish actually existed.  But on a personal level, Richard Riehle will always be Principal Beasley from one of my favorite films as a kid, Jury Duty with Pauly Shore (don’t judge me hipsters, I was 10 years old!).  This is an actor who is always recognizable in my book, and a great talent with almost 300 television film credits to his name.  His work ethic is amazing, and his talent is the same.  And we were fortunate to steal some time with Mr. Riehle, and grill him about the world of acting, Office Space, and much more.  Enjoy!

You are one of the busiests character players in Hollywood right now.  What motivates you to work just so damn hard?

It doesn’t seem to me that I’m working hard at all. I really enjoy what I’m doing and hardly think of it as work. Every project is a new adventure that I eagerly look forward to.I love working with new people; experiencing new processes and ideas; and exploring new characters stories and situations; and if I’m lucky doing this in new places around the world.”Work” is a blast, and usually more interesting and fun than day to day existence.

We’ve watched your stellar performances in comedy, action, horror, and so on.  What is your favorite genre to work in? 

My favorite genre is the one I’m working in at the moment. And I love shifting from one to another. You learn more about each genre by experiencing it from the prospect of the genre you’ve just been working in, or the one you are preparing to work in.It makes for a more interesting character or project if you can find some comedy while doing horror, some serious underpinning for knockabout farce, or some thoughtful character work in an action/adventure piece.

You are a man of the theatre as will as the screen.  Tell us, have you ever had a truly embarassing moment on stage, or witnessed something extremely embarassing?

How much space do you have for embarrassing theatre moments. I’ve gone up in the middle of a 2 page Shakespearean monologue, when all I could think to do was beat on the only other actor on stage until I remembered the next line. That was in front of 1200 people. Or falling asleep on stage and snoring.

I understand you are fluent in German.  You have been in more films than I could possibly remember, so tell us, has your German fluency help you in the acting world? 

I shot a film this week about the childhood of Charles Bukowski, playing Bukowski’s grandfather, who was meant to be a German emigre, so my background in German allowed me to use a German accent,and throw in a German word or two at the audition and in the filming. The 2nd film I got cast in was as a German speaking Gold Rush bar owner, and we shot a scene in Growth in which I had a phone conversation in German. Neither made the final cut.Richard Riehle3

What was the dynamic like shooting the now cult favorite Office Space Did you get to keep the Jump To Conclusions mat?

Office Space was a great experience from beginning through its still continuing life. Mike Judge took his time casting the film then told us we’d be going to Austin for 25 shooting days, his hometown, where no suits would be looking over our shoulders. We’d have to work hard to get everything, but at the end of the day he’d introduce us to some of his favorite restaurants and music spots. Mike did his role the first day, giving us all a clear sense of what he was going for.

Mike wrote a great screenplay, and was a wonderful director, making the set a fun place to be.

He put together a terrific group of people who enjoyed spending time together both on and off the set. He knew exactly what he wanted, and was clear in describing it. I couldn’t have had a better time working on it, and to this day people still stop me and tell me it’s their favorite movie. And I have no idea what happened to the jump to conclusions mat, I swear.

I’ve noticed that you already have quite a few projects coming out this year?  Can you tell us a bit about what we will be seeing you in this year?  Especially the mysterious modern day thriller Friend Request?

It’s always hard to tell when a film will be released, whether it will be in theaters or on cable or DVD or streaming, or even what it will be called. Friend Request was fun to shoot around Salt Lake City, and evidently went well enough that they’re already in preproduction for Friend Request 2. And one of the producers is putting together a terrific Western that I hope he’ll use me in. I did a Western last year called Dead Man’s Burden starring Clare Bowen who’s now one of he leads in Nashville. It turned out great and was screened at the LA Film Festival. And I did another social network film, Death By Facebook, a dark comedy(aren’t they all?). Did a double/triple cross film with Ray Liotta; Scribbler, based on a graphic novel in which I have a scene with Gena Gershon and a boa constrictor; Obsession with James Duvall about a hedonistic reporter; and Lovesick with Matt LaBlanc about a relationphobe. Any of them could appear in the near or distant future.

Richard Riehle2If you could portray any famous Revolutionary War era figure, who would it be?

Benjamin Franklin would probably be the Revolutionary War figure I would have liked to have been. He got to participate in most of the important events of the day, but never had to be responsible giving him time and opportunity to tinker with things that interested him, inventing, writing newspapers and almanacs, creating the postal service and libraries, even flying a kite. Meanwhile, enjoying all the good things in life, wine, women, and song throughout the new country and Europe.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

The last thing that made me smile was waking up this morning, having made it through the night, with all the possibilities of a new day.

Lisa Loeb [Interview]

LISA_BW7

Lisa Loeb is a woman who really needs no introduction.  She is the brilliant singer/songwriter who is easily recognizable for her black rimmed sunglasses, brilliant song writing capabilities, and her hit song from the 90’s, “Stay”.  And twenty years later, Lisa is just a beautiful and talented as she was when we first laid eyes on her.  Time has had nothing on this brilliant musician.  She continues to put out amazing records on a consistent basis and is widely respected as one of the finest musicians in the folk and indie rock world.  “Stay” has become a staple in the world of music, film, and even karaoke (the latter might be contested, but seriously, doesn’t every one try this song at least once?).

Lisa Loeb came out of nowhere, really.  She was the first artist to ever have a number one single without being signed to a label when her friend Ethan Hawke (who we should be entirely ass kissing for showing us the power of the Loeb) convince Ben Stiller to use “Stay” for the end credits and soundtrack of the 1994 hit indie film Reality Bites.  Like most people, this was about the time I learned who Lisa Loeb was.  Reality Bites is, and will always be, a film that consistently makes my Top 5 films of all time list, varying in order.  I actually have a fond memory of walking into my living room as a child when my father was watching the film.  He told me I probably wouldn’t like it because, you know, I was 9 years old.  But, the challenge was accepted, and I love the hell out of that movie even at such a young age.  And I remember when the film ended, and that beautiful break up/make up song came on, and I was hooked.  I would later beg for a copy of her album Tails, and have been hooked every since.

So, you can imagine how much of an honor it is to have Lisa Loeb agree to share a few words with us and to have her join the Trainwreck’d Society family.  It would behoove me to inform you fine readers that I was incredibly nervous, just getting an e-mail from her publicist.  But, the end result was absolutely fantastic as we discussed what Lisa has been up to, how she likes the life of being a mom, and how such a sweet lady managed to cover Ozzy Osbourne and become a horror film star.  So sit back and enjoy a few words with the absolutely legendary Lisa Loeb!

Can you recall a certain moment when you realized you wanted to be a musician?  Did you ever have dreams to do anything else?

I think the moment I felt like a musician was in acting school abroad in England during a high school summer.  I played guitar in my dorm room, and other kids came by to say hello and hang out.  When someone asked me for a recording of one of my original songs, then I felt like I was a musician.  Although I’d been performing forever and even writing for a few years, all of a sudden my songs existed as things outside of myself.

I have dreams to be a groovy songwriter who sits in a room by the beach, just creating all day and painting, dancing, playing guitar and piano.  I also would like to be a psychologist.  Sometimes I dream that I’ll hang out one day or one week or one month or year and just figure out what I really, really want to do…

You grew up in a world engulfed in the medical world in Texas, but became a literature major/acoustic guitar strumming artist.  Were your parents supportive of your choice to become a musician?  Are they fans of your work?  

My father is a physician, but there was always a lot of music around the house.  My father played piano and all of us kids (my older brother, younger sister, and younger brother, and I) all learned to play instruments.  We often listened to all kinds of records, ranging from Queen to Classical music to musical theater.  My parents were a little nervous about my decision, but luckily I started getting professional interest and opportunities early enough after college for them not to go on for too long… although my mother does still ask sometimes if I want to go back to school do something else.

Your songs are normally sweet, soft, and melodic.  Quite the opposite from Ozzy Osbourne….so, how did you become involved with Bat Head Soup?  What made you want to do this project?

I became involved through Dweezil Zappa, who was doing cover songs on Bruce Kulick’s cover song album projects.  Dweezil thought it would be an interesting, surprising thing for me to sing “Goodbye to Romance,” and Bruce finally agreed.   It was a cool contrast to what you’d normally hear on an Ozzy album!

Also what seemed like quite a leap was your role in a the remake of Tom Holland’s Fright Night and a few other horror films?  Are you a big fan of horror films?  Is there a darker side of Lisa Loeb than we know?

I did see every horror film that came out when I was in High School- my group of friends were on a horror film kick from the gruesome to the kitschy.   I actually get really scared now when I see horror films, but as an actor, I thought it would be fun to play a high school kid’s mom in a film!

LISA_BW8On the topic of films, your songs have had regular appearances in films and television.  What would you say is the silliest or zaniest use of one of your songs in a film or television show?

Recently there was an entire episode of the TV show Workaholics written around my song “Stay”.  It was pretty hilarious, albeit raunchy.  I had to text my mother not to watch that one.

Can you tell us a bit about The Camp Lisa Project?  What inspired you to create this foundation?

I loved summer camp growing up and so when I did my second kids’ album, I decided to share my summer camp experience through music from summer camp as well as new songs I made with Michelle Lewis and Dan Petty inspired by summer camp in the 70’s and 80’s.  Summer camp was where I started really performing with an acoustic guitar, on stage or sing-alongs in the cabin and by the lake.  I thought I could share this feeling through music, but then realized I’d like to help send kids to camp, so I started the Camp Lisa Foundation and now send kids to camp through S.C.O.P.E., an organization based on the East Coast who sends kids to camp who normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to go.  It really enriches a young person’s life, teaches them to be a leader and part of the community and it’s fun!

You developed your first children’s album many years before you were a mother yourself.  What made you want to create Catch The Moon?

Barnes and Noble gave me the opportunity to make an album that was different from my normal records and I’d always wanted to make a kids record like Carol King’s record, Really Rosie.  It was a record for kids that sounded like a grownup record.  I asked Elizabeth Mitchell, my old college roommate/band mate to make the record with me since she was already making amazing kids records and we hadn’t worked together in a long time.

For a mother with two small children, you still manage to be one of the hardest working woman in music/show biz…how do you do it?  Is it a struggle to keep a family life going and continue on with your career?

I am able to do what I do with the help of my husband, the nanny, and my team who keep me organized for the most part.  Often I look back at the day and am amazed at how much I got to do and still spend a lot of important time with my kids and husband. Other days, I look back and wonder when am I going to learn how to really balance it all and use my time wisely.

If you could perform next to any female singer from the early Jazz era, who would it be?

I’d love to perform next to Julie London.  She’s always been a favorite singer in my family.  She’s cool, romantic, has a great sense of humor and also seriousness in her singing.

LISA_BW6What does the future hold for Lisa Loeb?

Today it’s a voice over audition, a walk around the block, kissing my 8 month old son, doing a princess puzzle with my three year old and a night out with my husband.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

 Seeing my daughter at dance class tip-toeing around the room catching bubbles while my son crawled down the hall to welcome the other moms and nannies at the dance school.

Got To Have Seoul Part 1 [Travelogue]

seoul1So the time finally came!  I started a Travelogue section to this site because I figured I would have plenty of time to roam around here in the land of the morning calm, and I wanted to share the experience with you, the dear readers.  But there was one thing I forgot to factor in…..it gets unnecessarily cold here in Korea!  And this coming from a guy who spent 5 years on the prairie in the Midwest, so yes, I know cold.

The extreme cold, and  the typical excuse of “working too much” left me basically stagnant here at Osan, and to the night life of Songtan.  Which isn’t nearly as drastic as it sounds, as I have actually managed to have a few good moments even without getting too far away from the immediate area.  I joined a pool league, for one.  Which has found downing bottles of soju and pints of beer at an unflattering amount, and basically having a real good time with like-minded neanderthals who could care less about winning, and more about enjoying a Thursday night whilst letting off some steam.  Beyond the pool league, I have spent a great deal of time at the fore mentioned VFW listening to and swapping stories with some old guys who have been around the world and back, committing hilarious sins and manifestations of self-realization all the way.  We play cards, we laugh, we drink.  So, yeah, it’s not so bad.

tim burton1But dammit was I excited to get out and go!  And go I did.  I received the word the base was hosting a tour to The Seoul Museum of Arts and The Seoul National Museum.  Finally, I was headed to the big city.  To be in South Korea for almost four months and never stepping foot in the country’s largest city has been absolutely absurd.  So it was basically about damn time.  And to top it off, the featured exhibit at The Seoul Museum of Arts was on the acclaimed filmmaker and artist Tim Burton.  Now, I am not the biggest Tim Burton fan, I do enjoy much of his work, but I am a huge film buff so this felt pretty perfect.  And it certainly was intriguing to say the least.

The Seoul Museum of Arts is a building that seems to have been intentionally left at its original stature unlike the majority of the architecture in the city which seems to be as modern as humanly possible.  The extent in which the museum went to honor Tim Burton was extremely impressive.  From the exterior arrangements, to the interior world they created that looked like the Mad Hatter and Willy Wonka had a candy coated orgy with a few Oompa Loompas the night before, and destroyed, well, a museum.  The abundance of artifacts from Burton’s childhood, beginning years as an artist, and his film works was pretty impressive as well.  It was simply spellbinding to realize that Tim Burton has been a kooky and cerebral character almost from the day he was born.  The display mostly consisted of his art work, including several pieces of clay sculptures used in many of tim burton2his films.  But, there was Planet Hollywood like displays of some artifacts to include Michael Keaton’s rubber mask he wore in both of the Batman films Burton directed when he revitalized the imagine of the Dark Knight in the late 80’s.  The prized piece, in my opinion, where a set of 4 of the extremely creepy prop eye balls from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, designed by Trainwreck’d Society alumn, Stephen Chiodo.  Overall, a very impressive showing, and I left knowing far more about a man I didn’t even realize I wanted to know about.  Definitely worth the trip.

But, as amazing as the exhibit was, the group I was with was allotted far more time than I could personally spend wandering around.  I also have an undiagnosed nervous condition that springs up in crowds.  Especially when it felt as though half the population of Seoul was walking around me, and I was getting in the way of all of their photograph opportunities.  So I decided to take the last hour of our allotted time to simply stroll around a few of the blocks around the museum.  The buildings surrounding the museum where quite different from the old museum itself.  The skyscrapers in this section of town alone rivaled those of major U.S. cities like Chicago or NYC.  The sidewalks for filled with strolling daytrotters who managed to make me feel like a giant because their naturally small stature.  Coffee shops and small boutiques as well as liquor stores and 7 Elevens and even more liquor stores lined the streets.  Just as you would expect from any large city, I manage to walk mast at least two Starbucks, three 7 Elevens, and two Dunkin Donuts (for all of you east coast readers).  I was only out and about for an hour, but I truly believe that got a reasonably good feel for the city.  The “progress” of capitalism was evident all around me, especially when you remember that this ground was a war zone just sixty years ago, about a hundred miles north lies one of the most deserted and starved lands on the planet.  Here’s to hoping such quick success doesn’t leave the South Korean in over their heads and struggling again.

tim burton3We stopped for lunch in an area known as Itaewon, which is nothing more than Songtan on steroids with cleaner streets and bars you can’t smoke in.  I found a little dive bar called Dilinger’s for a pint of Cass and overpriced cheese sticks.  It almost scares me how much I am not concerned about how much a loner I tend to be.  I have n qualms with dining alone in a new city.  Less distractions.

I ate quickly so I could explore a bit before the next stop.  When I stepped out of the bar, I head loud music coming from an alley way and decided if I am going to wonder, I might as well see what was going on that required live music.  I approached a small square with a few tents and gaggle of Korean men standing around large pieces of carpet.  It turned out that the music was coming solely from a laptop hooked to giant speakers and the men were playing some kind of game involving four sticks, about eight inches long, that the threw onto the carpet.  What was the goal in this game?  Not a damn clue.  But dammit if they got extremely excited when they did something right, even though I had no idea what they had done.  One man seemed to have had a couple of bottles of Soju for breakfast, but man was he having fun dancing with his self to the beat of the Korean pop music echoing in the background.  Certainly looked like fun, but I had double back to get to the bus.  But not before I decided to spend the last of my won on some Korean Barbie dolls.  You know, typical dad shit.  I also noticed an English book store cleverly titled What The Book?  It was a massive second story store with thousands upon thousands of paperbacks lining the walls.  I seriously could have spent days rummaging, but alas my bus was waiting.

national museum2The pure mass of the Seoul National Museum is almost indescribable.  The girth and excessive spanning of land in which this giant temple of even older temples is something that a photograph simple can not portray properly.  And one step inside and the utterly impressive decorative sites within the building is magnificent as well.  This is a 3 story building, with each story containing as much art, sculptures, and artifacts as an average sized full museum in itself.  In fact, the magnitude of the building led me to realize that there was no way I was going to be able to check out the entire place, I decided to limit myself to the Buddhist Art section (very interesting, and extremely old pieces of work) and to a stroll around the building which had an impressive man-made lake, a beautiful scenery, and a collection of ancient temples lining a long court yard.  Wandering the exterior of the museum ate up the majority my allotted time.  I did manage to share a cigarette with some of the local employees who surprisingly enough manage to get some English out pretty well, embarrassing me for my lack of any Korean.  They were fun and cheerful, and made me feel amazingly old by their energy.  But, they were a fine batch of young kids, and probably the highlight of the trip.

national museum1Overall, the trip was a great success, and I feel as though I finally took the plunge and got out.  More adventures are to come, especially considering the fact that the weather is already so much better.  Spring is upon us, and the adventures can only become greater.  Melissa will be joining me here soon, for a fun filled week of adventure as husband and wife.  I am very excited to introduce my wife to the zany characters of Songtan, experience the night life of this estranged place, and to take her places she may have never thought she would go.  I’m just learning the ropes before her arrival.  Studying, essentially.  That is when the real adventure will begin.

Be the time this episode of the Travelogue series is live, I have already made a return to Seoul, stay tuned for that story in the coming weeks.  For more photos of this trip, be sure to visit the Trainwreck’d Society Facebook Page.

2013 CineMayhem Film Festival [Feature]

Cinemayhem Film FestivalFounded this year as a launch event to kick-off Dread Central’s third annual Indie Horror Month this March by Heather Wixson, producer and horror journalist with DreadCentral.com, CineMayhem will celebrate the past, present and future of independent genre filmmaking at the Muvico Theaters in Thousand Oaks, California on March 2nd and 3rd.

Created as a way to pay homage to and celebrate the spirit of independent filmmaking and those unafraid to take risks with their storytelling, CineMayhem’s diverse and often genre-bending line-up includes advanced screenings of two highly anticipated genre projects including Magnet Releasing’s visceral horror anthology THE ABC’s OF DEATH and Breaking Glass Pictures’ latest thriller K-11 directed by Jules Stewart (CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE, MORTAL KOMBAT) as well as a retro screening of Scott Glosserman’s BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON.

Other new additions to the two-day schedule include the world premiere of Adam Barnick’s brand new music video for Rivulets latest song “How, Who” as well as Drew Daywalt’s latest short MEAT and a special screening of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s 2012 festival favorite RESOLUTION which will be closing out CineMayhem on Sunday evening

CineMayhem will also be hosting the World Premieres of ROADSIDE directed by Eric England (MADISON COUNTY) and the latest short film from Ryan Spindell (KIRKSDALE), THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM as well as the West Coast Premieres of two other short films- Paul Davis’ (BEWARE THE MOON: REMEMBERING AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON) HIM INDOORS and SPLIT THE CHECK by Patrick Rea (NAILBITER).

Other feature films currently selected for the CineMayhem Film Fest include BREATH OF HATE by Sean Cain (SILENT NIGHT, ZOMBIE NIGHT), COLDWATER by Dave Parker (THE HILLS RUN RED) and THE SLEEPER by Justin Russell.

page1image23312
page1image23584

CineMayhem will also be screening several other award-winning short films including FAMILIAR by Zach Green, KILLER KART by James Feeney and FOXES by Lorcan Finnegan.

SATURDAY, MARCH 2nd

BLOCK ONE
12:00 PM- THE SLEEPER (Justin Russell): Alpha Gamma Theta are hosting a party for new pledges for the upcoming year. As the new pledges arrive, so does an uninvited guest. Little do the sisters know someone is watching them in the shadows. As the girls shower, study, eat and sleep the stalker studies the girls. One by one he finds the girls at their most vulnerable and murders them. The police hunt for the missing girls and their killer, but will they find them in time? Or will the girls be forced to fight for their lives.

BLOCK TWO
2:00 PM- BREATH OF HATE (Sean Cain): One last job and Love is out of the erotic escort business. Unfortunately, that final job is for a trio of escaped mental patients who are looking to change the world. One victim at a time. Q&A to Follow

BLOCK THREE
4:15 PM- COLDWATER (Dave Parker): ColdWater is a psychological suspense thriller dealing with one man housesitting unaware of who or what might be with him. Q&A to Follow

BLOCK FOUR
6:30 PM- ROADSIDE (Eric England): Roadside is a high concept thriller that finds Dan Summers and his pregnant wife, Mindy, in a fight for their lives when they are held hostage in their car by an unseen gunman on the side of a desolate mountain road. Their car is running. Their phones are working. But they STILL CAN’T LEAVE. World Premiere! Q&A to Follow

BLOCK FIVE
8:45 PM- THE ABC’S OF DEATH (Jake West, Angela Bettis, Simon Rumley, Tak Sakaguchi, Yoshihiro Nishimura, etc.): Twenty-six directors. Twenty-six ways to die. The ABCs OF DEATH is perhaps the most ambitious anthology film ever conceived with productions spanning fifteen countries and featuring segments directed by over two dozen of the world’s leading talents in contemporary genre film. Inspired by children’s educational books, the motion picture is comprised of twenty-six individual chapters; each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet. The directors were then given free rein in choosing a word to create a story involving death. Provocative, shocking, funny and ultimately confrontational, THE ABCs OF DEATH is the definitive vision of modern horror diversity. Q&A to Follow

CineMayhem Party to be Held Right After THE ABC’S OF DEATH at Bogart’s Bar & Grill inside the Muvico. All CineMayhem attendees may attend.

Saturday

SUNDAY, MARCH 3rd

BLOCK ONE
12:00 PM- CINEMAYHEM SHORTS:
Foxes (Lorcan Finnegan): A young couple trapped in a remote estate of empty houses and shrieking foxes are beckoned from their isolation into a twilight world. A world of the paranormal or perhaps insanity.

Wrong Number (Patrick Rea): Two strangers connect, when a wrong number brings them together. Starring Cinnamon Schultz (Winter’s Bone) and Joicie Appell (Nailbiter). Written by Amber Rapp, Directed by Patrick Rea.

Familiar (Richard Powell): Through a series of tragic events, a middle aged man grows to suspect the negative impulses plaguing his mind may not be his own.

page2image29888
page2image30160
page2image30432
page2image30704
page2image30976
page2image31248
page2image31520
page2image31792
page2image32064
page2image32336
page2image32608

Killer Kart (James Feeney): An evil grows, hiding in plain sight. Just four wheels and a basket, but forged of aluminum in the fires of Hell. Tonight, it will strike, and the closing crew of a small-town grocery store will be thrust into the fight of their lives against the devastation of… The Killer Kart!

West Coast Premiere- Him Indoors (Paul Davis): Gregory Brewster is a serial killer, only problem is, he’s agoraphobic! Facing an impending eviction from his family home, Gregory has a plan that will save him from being subjected to the one thing he’s terrified of… the outside world. Things don’t quite go to plan however, when a surprise visit from his new neighbor finds him in a very awkward situation.

West Coast Premiere- Split the Check (Patrick Rea): See what happens when a waiter refuses to split the check for three annoying couples. Starring Michelle Davidson, Tasha Smith, Erin McGrane, Brad Meehan, Aaron Laue, Jason Miller. Directed by Patrick Rea.

Meat (Drew Daywalt): Two country boys have an encounter with a mythological creature from ages past.

World Premiere- The Root of the Problem (Ryan Spindell): Set in the candy-colored world of 1950s suburbia, a reluctant young housewife suspects that the friendly neighborhood dentist is hiding a horrible secret, but is it just the anesthesia at work or is there something more sinister hiding below the surface? Open up and say AHHHHHHHH!
Q&A to Follow Shorts Block

BLOCK TWO
2:45 PM- CineMayhem Retro Screening of BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON (Scott Glosserman): The next great psycho horror slasher has given a documentary crew exclusive access to his life as he plans his reign of terror over the sleepy town of Glen Echo, all the while deconstructing the conventions and archetypes of the horror genre for them.

BLOCK THREE
4:45 PM- K-11 (Jules Stewart): Like Alice in a brutally violent Wonderland, music executive Ray Saxx, Jr. is trapped in K-11, a very unique part of the Los Angeles County Prison System. He was out cold when he arrived and he has no idea how he got there – all he knows is he needs to get the hell out…alive and intact. To do that Ray must navigate through a maze of drug addled-transvestite- criminal politics with obstacles at every turn. Insane cellmates, corrupt guards and his own issues are just a few of what he’s dealing with while he pieces together his means of release from this dark and dangerous rabbit hole – K-11.

BLOCK FOUR
7:00 PM- RESOLUTION (Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead): In an abandoned cabin on the edge of an Indian reservation, Mike (Peter Cilella) stages a risky intervention to force his friend Chris (Vinny Curran) off meth and into rehab. But what begins as an attempt to save his friend’s life takes an unexpected turn when ominous threats start appearing around the house – and they realize that Chris’s addictions are the least of their worries. One of the most talked-about discoveries of last year’s festival circuit, Resolution is genre- bending horror at its most bone-chilling. Q&A to Follow 

Official sponsors for the 2013 CineMayhem Film Fest include Muvico Theaters (www.muvico.com/Thousand-Oaks-14), Sideshow Collectibles (www.sideshowtoy.com), Magnet Releasing (www.magnetreleasing.com), Scream Factory (www.shoutfactory.com/?q=screamfactory), Dread Central (www.dreadcentral.com) and Breaking Glass Pictures (www.breakingglasspictures.com). To keep up with all the CineMayhem to come this March, fans can follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CineMayhem or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CineMayhemFilmFestival.