Wednesday, December 20, 2006

couple of months ago i read at reel fanatic quentin tarantino and robert rodriguez have teamed up and are currently in the middle of shooting an homage to trash cinema: grindhouse. the cast is stellar, and the teaser trailer, when it was available [it has since been removed from a number of websites; but the net being what it is i'm sure if you google 'grindhouse' and 'trailer' someone still has it posted], looked outstanding.

the gist is that each director make a mini film, in this case 1 horror, the other eurotrash-style, and put in a number of fake trailers between the 2 movies as an intermission, which would mimic sitting in an old broken down theater watching b-movies from preferably the mid 1970s.

will it succeed? can't say, tho i've watched the teaser several times and they got the tone down right. yet i'm skeptical. both tarantino and rodriguez-- excellent filmmakers both and commited trash cineastes -- recent work underwhelmed me. not dissing them, since both are going straight to the source here, and making a cinema as they would've seen it when they were kids in the '70s.

dvd has been a great boon to film lovers of all types. every movie it seems ever made is being digitized and rediscovered. you don't need to watch a homage to exploitation cinema, you can now buy those films on disc and experience them firsthand. sure, you miss out sitting next to a street person waiting out the cold, or watching some dude go psycho smoking dust.

those days are long gone. i recall the star theater, i even wrote a poem about it. it was a dive on the k st mall, a pedestrian open-air strip of shopping located at the heart of the city. when i knew it the star theater was owned and operated by a chinese family that imported the worst sort of kung fu flick from hong kong. i was 13 yrs old when i first stepped inside. it smelled of popcorn, pot, and piss from the non-working toilets. i studied the posters in its lobby. the chairs were taped together to keep from falling apart. which is what happened one afternoon. one by one the chairs collapsed leaving their occupants bewildered and pissed off. it was funny as hell. and me and my brothers, and the friend who first took us there, laughed our asses off.

the star theater was demolished in the late '80s for the sake of gentrification. k st mall is still a shithole, and because of the demolition the mall, the city, is poorer from the absence of the star theater and its like.


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