Friday, September 3, 2010

It feels good being "Lost in the Supermarket"

If I had to make a list of my favorite albums of all time, London Calling would definitely be on it. I hate making lists of favorites and it's super hard for me to pick a favorite anything in music. Even top fives are rough. Top tens, well, maybe - if you hold a gun to my head.

But, if I were to make a list of my favorite albums, London Calling would definitely fall near the top. To me, it represents The Clash at their very best, as well as a sort of the holy grail of music cliffs. It was instrumental in my life because it was a great album that I discovered at the right time, but it also exposed me to a whole bunch of other types of music like rocksteady, dancehall, soul and hip-hop.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wishing it was Gone in 60 Seconds

In my continuing series of movie remakes, I got Gone in 60 Seconds from Netflix the other day. The original film was made by stunt car driver turned filmmaker H. B. 'Toby' Halicki in 1974, with over the top producer Jerry Bruckheimer making a remake in 2000.

Posters for Both Films

I was immediate struck by the DIY nature of the original. It's razor thin plot played second, or maybe even third fiddle, to the 30+ minute chase scene featuring Eleanor, a 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1. At first I found it laughable, but as the film developed, I realized the lack of plot - acting and dialog, too - increased my enjoyment. There was no complicated story to bind up the action.

In spite of it's laughable nature, it's simple and pure. Sure there are lots of over dubbed lines to fill in a loose back story and some cheesy, badly acted scenes to build up the tension, but as an amateur filmmaker, you can learn a lot from Halicki. He was quite economic with his use of space, "sets", locations and personnel - it's honestly quite an achievement.