I was watching The Dead Zone via Hulu.com this afternoon. It’s a pretty crappy movie. Basically, I was jonesing for a good Christopher Walken film, and I’d never seen this one. Now, first off, I find Stephen King’s writing to be absolutely unreadable. His syntax is flat and repetitive; his characters are two-dimensional and I don’t care about them; he can convey neither tension within the plot nor identification of the reader with any characters of other narrative elements. How he’s achieved his worshipful status is beyond me. But then again, I fail to understand how anyone could have cast a vote for Geo. Bush. Add to that, I’ve never managed to warm to David Cronenberg. His early films are cluttered with uninspired cinematography and inelegant editing. The aesthetics were meager, and I can only assume he never hired an art department. Now, his later films, are much better–they’re well shot, skillfully edited, and, as far as I’m concerned, their strengths lie in impressive art design. The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, Crash, and Spider, were all great films to look at, but none of them were particularly good movies. Not that I should be expecting much. Cronenberg is basically the Canadian Brian De Palma, another horribly mundane director who manages, inexplicably, to make many people quite excited. So, let’s return to the real reason anyone would watch The Dead Zone: Christopher Walken. I shouldn’t have even bothered. When the best performance in your star-studded movie is Tom Skerritt, it might be time for you to reexamine how you go about directing your actors. Basically, we just get one decent scene where Walken does what we want him to do–make us uncomfortable. It’s in the middle of the second act. I perked up, and then I realized it wasn’t really a new development, just a lucky accident. Oh, well. I guess I’ll just get Communion from Netflix–that’s grade-A Walken, where’s he’s chewing the scenery like some errant ravenous goat wandered in to the topiary festival.
This morning I walked the two blocks to the little pocket park at Crofton and Constance, you know, where I shot Deborah’s film the previous day. The park had its official grand opening. There was live music, muffins and coffee, and even a big red ribbon which was eventually cut with a pair of huge novelty scissors.
There were a few local artists. Oscar Alvarado was there, out walking the family dog. His brother, Robert Alvarado was there. I saw Jenny Brown, I believe. Barbara Jackson was in attendance. I think I saw Betty Ward. I’m sure there were more.
There were several speakers. One, Tommy Adkisson (a Bexar County Commissioner) was rather long-winded, though quite amusing and informative. And when his time was up, they brought up Mary Alice Cisneros, the councilwoman for district 1, where the park is located–in fact, my district. Now I don’t know a lot about Mary Alice, but, at least today, she embraced brevity. I don’t think she spoke more than 20 words. Fine with me. I don’t care for blather. But so truncated was her “speech” than when fellow city council member David Medina, Jr. came up to say a few words, I was so hoping he’d give us something like:
“Wow, Mary Alice! Just, wow! I don’t think I can follow THAT!”
But, no he just took the podium said a goodly amount of sweet platitudes. What I found interesting was when he suggested that we consider the new Eagleland foot bridge, visible a quarter-mile away, just over his shoulder. He explained that that bridge was officially within district 5, his domain.
Oh, yeah? What do you know? I didn’t know the boundary was so close.
After the ribbon-cutting I headed back home. I’m not a home-owner; I’m very suspicious of gentrification; and personally I think that this lovely corner of my neighborhood was just as beautiful (if not more so) before this renovation project. But who am I too throw cold water on a giddy neighbor civic circle-jerk.
CAM stands for Contemporary Arts Month. It’s a San Antonio tradition which has been going on for, as I understand, 25 years.
The CAM folks have decided to move the month from July (one of my favorite months– sunny and warm and filled with all sorts of possibilities!) to March (a cold, wet, drab time of the year, filled with more winter misery than spring giddiness). I suppose they have a reason, I just don’t know what it is….
Today was the first official event of CAM 2010 (or was it the first unofficial event of CAM 2010?). I’m talking about the Rebirth of CAM Parade. It began at 4pm near Roosevelt Park. That’s just a short stroll from Brackenridge High School; In fact, it’s a nice short walk from my house. I left at 3:40 and got there early. I walked along the new portion of the River Walk–the Eagleland extension.
I was a bit taken aback on how small the event was. Maybe 45 people showed up. There was no one from any of the TV stations. Though I understand there was at least one person from the print news.
Even though I wished there had been more people in attendance and that there was a greater level of energy and passion, it was still good fun. Perfect weather. And I got to see some luminaries of the local art scene–friends, acquaintances, people who I know yet who never seem to know me, and even, I suspect, a couple of enemies. Let’s see, I recall seeing Leslie Raymond and Jason Jay Steven (of course), Chuck Ramirez (showing a bit of leg), Rick Frederick, Anne Wallace, Cruz Ortiz, Rick and Angela Martinez (of Slab Cinema fame), Oscar Alvarado, ST Shimi, and, well, I know there were other people who I know or know of whom I’m forgetting.
People were out with their kids, dogs, bicycles. We all paraded along the new river walk path to Blue Star.
Here’s a link to a YouTube video a shot and hastily “edited.”
And, of course, some photos:
Earlier tonight I received a call from George Cisneros. He was over at the URBAN-15 Studios. He told me that a small film crew from LA was over there, needing assistance. Could I pop over and help out with their brainstorming session? I was vegging out to a bad 1950s monster movie on Netflix on-demand, so, I said, sure.
It’s just a three minute drive, and soon I was in the large kitchen at URBAN-15 drinking tea and eating grapefruit at the island counter with George and Catherine, as well as the artist Vincent Valdez and two young guys from California. It seems they are involved in a short video which is supposed to screen this Saturday. There were some technical issues which were concerning them. Neither George nor I were able to help them with our personal resources (mine being meager, and George’s being allocated to some serious current projects). All we could do was to fish through our contact lists and try and give them names and numbers of people who might be able to help.
I hope it all works out for them. They were all very gracious and clearly know what they’re doing, it’s just that they’re a long way removed from their usual support network. If they get what they need, I can only assume it will be because Vincent Valdez seems to be universally loved here in San Antonio. He’s an extremely accomplished young local artist who, even though he’s moved to LA, continues to come back home and helped to inspire other young San Antonio artists.
Things aren’t looking too swell for the Rev. Phil. His traveling pervy carnival show showcasing films which combine, at first blush, a seemingly incongruent ménage à trois of experimental films, erotica, and bicycles. His Bike Porn road show is slated to hit San Antonio on March 8th, but his planed venue suddenly crapped out. (I don’t know who it was, but it might be a cause for a boycott.) Check him out at his temporary website:
I sent him an email with about four possible venues. However, with his short, exuberant emailed reply this evening, it seems clear he didn’t really read my email. I had made it pretty clear that the venue he thought would save his bacon, was truly unavailable. Actually, with the scattering of typos, I think he’d just enjoyed one too many Mickeys big mouths. My hope is that by the eventual light or day, he’ll reread the email and get on the stick.
I’m beginning to fear there will be no Bike Porn this year. Maybe the Fetish Fairly will climb out of those Velcro restraints and get to work. But time is flying, babe…. Time is flying.
One of the problems of hanging around the San Antonio arts and cultural scene is that there are quite a few people who I know (and because of the free-floating chisme, I feel I know them quite well); yet these folks have never been properly introduced to me, so, actually we don’t truly know one another. Take for example, Agosto Cuellar, one of the very high-profile San Antonio fashion designers. He has no idea who I am. But there he was, late this morning, sitting in the next booth along the wall at Tito’s on S. Alamo. He was talking to a young friend. I sipped a few cups of coffee and enjoyed a couple of breakfast tacos. And while I was making notes in my little composition book to plan out my day, I’d occasionally pause to eavesdrop on what those guys were talking about. Nothing juicy. Just clever and amusing. Tito’s is a nice place for people-watching and people-listening.
After my late breakfast, I headed to C4 to follow my breakfast notes and get some shit done.
It was mostly emails. A few phone calls. I also posted some photos and video on FaceBook. I never used to post this sort of information directly to social media sites. But after watching Venus shoot a video and post it immediately to FaceBook, I’ve begun to question if I really want to post video and photos on specific sites, and then try and find how various blogs, social media sites, etc. handle the embed codes. It always seems to be in flux. What a pain.
The truth is, I hate technology. My new camera shoots a particular flavor of HD video. I can push it and stroke it and modify it by using iMovie (the Bozo the Clown version of video editing software)…but my (admittedly old) professional video editing software I paid a shit-load for, can’t even recognize the files.
If I decided to eschew professionalism, I could just embrace this new camera. Shoot HD. Edit with iMovie. Publish to Vimeo or YouTube or, hell, FaceBook.
But the problem is, I can’t make heads nor tails of iMovie. It’s just nuts. And so, it looks like I need to buy the newest version of FCP. Or, um, I could also “buy” a copy. And by that I mean, steal. Everyone loves a pirate, right?
Okay. The Rev. Phil has found a home for his peripatetic perversity–that traveling Bike Porn show.
It’ll be at C4 Workspace this coming Monday, March 8th. Bike Porn 3: Cycle Bound. Yep, it’s “amateur bicycle erotica.” So, slather that that banana seat with a dose of Armor All, don your ass-less chaps, and pedal out to the historical King William neighborhood. What? Don’t have a bike? Drive. Walk. Take the bus. Come on out. 7pm. 108 King William. Fetish fans don’t be shy. If you’ve a pervy proclivity towards pedal-powered perambulation, well, it looks like you’ve found your Monday evenings entertainment.
See you Monday!
Because I’m the co-chair of the film committee of Luminaria, I’m pushing the responsibilities of my own Luminaria film to the very ragged edge of the deadline.
I shot the footage some time back in a huge HD format. And, really, it looks fantastic. But I need to scale the footage down to a Standard Definition format to edit. And, also, to print to DVD. I’ve been tinkering with various compression parameters off and on for weeks. I’ve finally found an arrangement that looks quite nice. Tonight I converted all the footage. I have my basic plan of attack for the structure. I’ve got my rough settings for some chroma key work. I’ve wrangled some additional images and footage to augment the original footage shot back in late 2009. Also, I have chosen a piece of open source music. This weekend I will layer on additional music and audio effects.
I’m feeling pretty good about the direction I’m going in.
My friend Deborah is opening her studio at Blue Star for this coming First Friday. She’s hanging art created by her Tao study group. She invited me to show some work as well. I was going to do my Virtual I-Ching, but I don’t have time to gather all the video clips. I think I will try to have some of my Luminaria piece put together and project that on the wall of her studio.
If not that, well, I’ll have something.
Come see work by Erik Bosse on March 5, First Friday, at the Blue Star Art Complex. Look for the Keller-Rihn Studio (AKA, the Green Tara Studio), the second floor of Building B.
I’ll close on a photo I took with my iPhone from a bike ride this afternoon. I was out near Mission Espada, sitting on the levy slope above the San Antonio River. I was surrounded by lavender flowers and buzzing bees. It was sunny and warm. I say Spring has begin in San Antonio, March 3rd. So Be It!
And about fucking time.