Don't Fret — There Are Pictures at the Bottom

Every Friday I make it a point to cruise over to www.dustedmagazine.com, because: “Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists.” At the top of this week's list by O'Death is the soundtrack from “Holy Mountain.” It's a Jodorowsky film, beloved by his fans second only to “El Topo.” I saw “Holy Mountain” once, maybe 15 years ago on a muddy VHS tape. The visuals were, of course, stunning, the sort of stuff that never really leaves your head. But for some reason, I didn't recall the music (probably because the copy was so poor, I kept the sound low). I decided to do a Google search and see if the soundtrack was ever re-released on CD. What I discovered was a cool blog called Dinosaur Gardens. In the archives was some info about the music to “Holy Mountain.” In fact, all 19 tracks were uploaded and linked to the page. The guy running the website, so it seems, had lifted the music off a VHS copy (and he apologizes as to the sound quality). It's great stuff. And as I was trying to subscribe to the RSS feed (which the blog seems not to have), I read some of the more recent entries. There was a bit about some of Mo Tucker's solo stuff she made after the Velvet Underground broke up. I think I had only heard two songs from her solo work, an A and B track off a vinyl single I don't seem to have any more. But, on Dinosaur Gardens, I found all 9 tracks of Maureen Tucker's 1981 LP, “Playin' Possum.” I'm listening to it right now. Beautiful lo-fi work. It reminds me of other folks who recorded in their living rooms, like Bobby Fuller and Chris Knox.

The last two weeks I have been running myself ragged on two film events I'm planning. The fact that there is money involved in each job comes as a mixed blessing. It will help keep the creditors at bay, which is good. But the downside is that I need to show tangible results. I'm used to running my own productions, and answering only to myself. Sure, there would be deadlines, and there would be other people who I would find myself collaborating with, but the projects started and stopped with me. If no one liked what I was doing, fuck it. You switched on the Erik-Bosse-show, and if you don't like it, change channels, why don't'cha? But now I find myself in a subordinate position. Well, more like a go-between. I have autonomy, but only to a point. I have to answer to the people running these non-profit groups. It would be different if these were more traditional jobs. I could just leave my opinions at home (in theory), and do the work. But with these current gigs, I've been ostensibly brought in because I have a certain expertise (if not in event planning, at least in knowing many of the local players in the film world), and I guess I feel an added pressure to protect my rep.

And my rep (not to mention my street cred) is legendary in this city. If in doubt, check my blog.

“You know me, my name's Erik Bosse.” (Cue aw-shucks Max Fischer grin from the opening of “Rushmore.”)

This is my summer of film event planning. Last year I had my autumn of film festival pro bono work, so I guess things are looking up. Yeah? Well, I dunno.

After the first week of June I'll have the Meet the Maker event behind me. And by the end of July, I will be done with the Josiah student fest. And then I have to get moving on the 48 Hour Film Project. That will be over — all the paperwork filed and done with — by the end of August.

So, by September, I'm hoping for a big-ass vacation. Or, ideally, just liquidate all my possessions, stick out my thumb on Interstate Whatever, and find a whole new life.

Erin, a fellow crew-member from “Leftovers,” had answered a random questionnaire and posted it through the MySpace bulletin network. It had to do with people on her “friends lists.” For my name, she was supposed to use three words to describe me. One of her words was “busy.” The other two words favorably stroked my ego, and so I just looked at that “busy” comment with vague perplexity and moved on. But, as the days went by, I realized she was right. First off, she only knows me from what nonsense I spouted off on the film set, and what I writ in my blog. And, hell, I WAS working my ass off. I might not have a traditional job. But I am in constant motion. This is truly bizarre for such a lazy person as myself.

True, I enjoy about half of the projects, the volunteer work, and the etcetera that I do. But I haven't felt truly good about anything I've worked on since a year ago, when I spent a wonderful and productive month in Mexico working on the Loco doc.

The weird thing is that I'm finally on IMDB … and I'm not doing a little jig and shouting for the world to hear.

For the uninitiated, that's Internet Movie DataBase. Before the advent of the internet (“tell us more, gramps!”) all important movie info came through the annual hardback book, “Screen World” (aka “John Willis Screen World Annual…”). Every year my father (owner of a bookstore) would give my sister the newest edition. I always read through it. It listed all the major studio pictures, here and abroad, with a synopsis and full credits — cast and crew. Pre-internet movie reviewers used these resource books to make them sound like know-it-all geniuses. And then came the internet. And IMDB. Click over to the site. Wondering why you loved “Conan the Destroyer” so much? Bingo. It was shot by the same guy who was the Director of Photography for “Rambo: First Blood Part II.”

But, levity aside, IMDB is still managing to function as a discriminating database for folks working in the film industry. Only films which have found distribution or found their way into a film festival are eligible (and I'm sure there are nuances within these parameters). Anyway, because a feature I worked on last year made it into a film festival, I am in that damn database. I'd name the film, but the writer/director/producer/star was not thrilled with my candor as I blogged about that particular production, so, I've decided to follow this individual's wishes and not be a part of the “promotion” of this film. Silly me, I thought (as Monty Python quoted from Wilde or Shaw or Whistler, or someone) that the only thing worse than being talked about was not being talked about.

I know that when Robin gets Leftovers into the festivals, I'll get another listing in IMDB. And that's good.

This is akin (almost) to getting published in the Screen World of yore.

When I was a kid in Dallas, I had the Granada Theater in walking distance. It was my cinema education. The Granada was a repertory theater and they played everything cool. Silent movies, foreign classics, new(ish) works from abroad, cult favorites, documentaries, animation, et al. It wasn't until later that I realized that every town didn't have something like the Granada.

If you had told me then that I would have been included in the future's version of “Screen World,” I'd've peed my pants.

But now I can relate to a scene in the Simpsons. Bart is helping out with Krusty the Clown's TV show. He's a wide-eyed kid, amazed to be working in the “industry.” Kid and clown walk through a sound-stage. A sour guy standing at a TV camera removes the cigar from his lips and mutters, to no one, “I wish I was dead.” Krusty turns to Bart and says, “Don't listen to him — this is a dream factory.”

Yeah. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

But I wish I could find that youthful enthusiasm again.

I don't want to be another Jack Cardiff, leaving for posterity such shit work that features Conan and Rambo (well, maybe he's a bad example — he DID shoot “The African Queen” … sorry for being so rough, Jack).

The other day I was whining to Russ about finding myself holding the foul end of the stick so often. After holding his tongue until I had vented, he asked, “Well, Erik, you have heard of perceived value, right?”

Yeah, yeah.

So I'm trying to seem less like a whiny, impoverished, schmo. In fact, after getting a few checks from some production work, and feeling semi-flush, I decided to fill up my gas tank. I've been putting in five and ten dollars at a time. The low fuel light was on, so I stopped at the cheaper Citgo station near me (my tenuous support for Prez Chavez), and I gave the guy in the booth my credit card. “I'm filling it up.” Shit, I haven't said nor done that in half a year.

64 dollars. And I quote my sister: “Thank you George and Dick.”

I'm hoping a certain Ms. Pelosi is considering putting a certain something back on the table. And, dammit, it was never hers to take off that table.

To change the tone, here are several photos from my neighborhood. Click on the thumbnails for bigger images.













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