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Lamar Odom and the Wondrous Loyalty of the Kardashians

Tuesday night, I laid alone on my tiny couch and browsed the channels till I settled on E!’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians. After a minute of shedding any self-judgement, I seriously thought: If I die tomorrow, I’m OK with having spent the final night of my life watching this. Perhaps it was a form of reality show foreshadowing.

As it turns out, that was probably the last conscious night for basketball player Lamar Odom, the almost ex-husband of the youngest Kardashian, Khloe. His basically lifeless body was found at Dennis Hof’s Love Ranch “brothel” in Nevada. Since then, what I can gather is that he’s in some stage of multiple organ failure.

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Paul Reubens reveals his failed plans for Pee-Wee Chow, undoubtedly the best idea for a cereal ever.

by , posted Feb 27, 09:14 PM

Four Borscht Films Selected for SXSW

THL favorites Borscht Film Festival had four of its projects selected for South by Southwest 2012 Shorts Competition. The following films, all 4 written and directed by Jillian Mayer and Lucas Leyva, will be screened as a part of 12(!) shorts programs


They Paid Money Not To Make A Movie Out Of Stretch Armstrong

I’m going to go down a list of incredibly stupid things I just learned:

  • They made a movie out of the board game Battleship.
  • It has aliens.
  • They paid a lot of money to make a movie out of said board game.
  • They also paid a lot of money to make movies out of other basically meaningless Hasbro properties like Stretch Armstrong.
  • Then they paid a lot of money NOT to make the above referenced inconceivably dumb movies, including Candyland.
  • Someone else then paid money to make a movie out of Candyland
  • … and they stuck Adam Sandler in it.

I’m just going to come out and say it: this country is going to hell.


The Ethics of Demolition Man

demolition man

Check out more of Ric’s brilliance on Hot Dogs and Hellfire.

In 1993, a masterpiece was born. Demolition Man, starring Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, and Sandra Bullock, is a science fiction film based in Utopian San Angeles (a mega city of Southern California), which is about to experience some…problems.

Basic plot summary: John Spartan (Stallone) is cryogenically frozen as part of a punishment for killing a bunch of innocent hostages of Simon Phoenix (Snipes), who also gets frozen as part of a punishment in the near future of 1996, while frozen Southern California transforms into a Utopian land led by omniscient ruler Dr. Raymond Cocteau (Nigel Hawthorn).

After 36 years, Phoenix is up for parole, and after he is defrosted from his icey prison, murders a bunch of motherfuckers. Later we find out that Cocteau revived Phoenix to hunt down a man named Edgar Friendly (Denis Leary), who is the leader of a group of subversive rebels called the Wastelanders, who only want to return to a normal, non-Utopian way of life.

Spartan is then revived from his frozen slumber to capture Phoenix, which he eventually does in a very awesome frozen-head-exploding sort of way, has cyber sex with his sidekick Lenina Huxley (Bullock), and hams up the entire movie in a blaze of fireworks, explosives, and anti-cursing-machine paper-expelling expletives.

And, of course, there’s the whole thing with the 3 sea shells.

That’s Demolition Man on the surface, but is that where the story ends? No way, and call me crazy, but I think there’s a whole 2,600 word essay that I can pull out of this seemingly nonsensical movie.

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MTV Turns 30, I Just Turn Old

It depresses me that I was born the same year MTV went on the air. Every milestone year in my life (15, 20, 25, 30) has been met with an equal milestone for a media outlet whose demographic has consistently shifted downward and whose standards have continually decreased. When I turned 15 this all was fine and dandy as I was then finally graduating into the target age group and was too dumb to know any better. But by 20 not only was I aging out, but the network had nearly completed its transition to teen-oriented lifestyle channel. My brother, 8 years my senior, didn’t have this problem – he was watching it well into his late 20’s without a trace of nostalgia. Now neither of us can watch it and feel anything but depressed.

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I went yesterday and spent the afternoon at the Hard Rock Casino with a group of other chumps waiting around to cheer for Tom Cruise while he gyrated like a rock star. I find him deeply uninteresting, but I went for work, and I waved my hands a bit, and I attempted to suppress my looks of disgust in the hopes that I will be featured for a half a second in the new movie Rock of Ages. Read more about it on the County Grind.

Last week, I watched Harry Shearer’s new film on what really went wrong during Hurricane Katrina, The Big Uneasy. I was lucky enough to be able to ask him follow up with questions on the film. He didn’t seem to like that I asked about the role race played in the events surrounding the storm. I still think George Bush hates black people, but whatever. Here’s the interview I did with him for Miami New Times’ Cultist It will be screening at O Cinema this weekend, check it out.

by , posted Jul 19, 11:26 AM

Celebrate the End of the World with Film

Last man

Are you currently huddled on your couch, shaking under the blankets while awaiting the rapture on Saturday? Why not watch a few end of the world films to pass your final hours? Here are a few lesser known selections for your viewing (dis)pleasure.

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A little gonzo journalism mixed with the Borscht Film Festival

la pageant diva

Okay. So basically this is an article about trying to write an article. It’s weird, a little convoluted, and not for anyone who doesn’t like long blog posts, but it’s sort of explainable and interesting. It involves the Borscht Film Festival, the film La Pageant Diva, and represents a surreal journey through publicity, glamour, image, Miami, alcohol, film, and journalism.

It started the night of the festival.

Needing a break from the long first set, around the Hitchcock Rick Ross short, an underpaid New Times writer named J.J. went to smoke a cigarette and grab a beer. In the hallway, he met this stunning brunette who introduced herself as “being in one of the films.” She had an entourage, a manager, some tall baller-ish looking date, and that fourth wheel that rounds out an entourage, the Turtle character-type. Anyway, J.J. told them he wrote for New Times and they converged on him with handshakes and a card that read “Team Caroline Schwitzky.” The manager said Caroline was on the cover of the Miami New Times a few weeks back. Caroline seemed bored about the whole thing because “her film” La Pageant Diva was on second to last. Her restlessness sort of appealed to J.J., who fancied the girl a lil diva, thus appealing to his inquisitive sensibilities.

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Vice on Borscht, with talk of filling James Franco with Adderall

Miami, dude. You’re fucking cool now. Vice has taken notice. Well, not of you, exactly, but of the Borscht Film Festival. Last week’s festival was a huge success. It really demonstrated cultural progress in a city which often seems to forget what both culture and progress are. A handful of people, mostly in their twenties, managed to produce complex films on limited budgets in a short amount of time, fill the Arsht Center with a Miami audience for THREE hours for shorts that were largely not for the simple-minded or patient. There was film to satisfy every internet critic and show off serious talent.

The article features Jillian Mayer’s creepy video “I Am Your Grandma” and Coral Morphologic’s “Man O War” with sounds by Animal Collective’s Geologist. Read this thing and comment. Let the rest of the New York and L.A. dickheads know that we’re here and doing shit with ourselves besides tanning and saying bro.

I’m reposting this video “Herzog Defends Dade” Lindsay Scoggins because it really never gets old.

Werner Herzog on the Borscht Film Festival from Borscht Film Festival on Vimeo.


You're probably in this video if you went to the Borscht Film Festival

Saturday night, the Arsht Center was packed with people eager to get in on some Borscht Film Festival Miami action. I was tasked with photographing the super long line, and I came up with this little video of you guys (yes, you), waiting to get inside.




All My Children gets axed after 41 years. Liz’s mornings will never be the same. The rest of us can go back to whatever it was we were doing. Edit: Hoover pulls its ads in protest. Insert pun using the word “suck” here.

by , posted Apr 19, 10:14 AM

Borscht Film Festival: watch the trailers and then give them some money

I know how hard it is to raise money, not just because I’m broke, but more because I used to write grants. Also, I have reeeeeaaallly good taste. Put together my empathy and my mind-boggling ability to tell what sucks, and THL posts include things like the Borscht Film Festival’s trailers and Kickstarter links. You’ll also be able to reserve seats for the festival for $20 and some goodies, I believe, starting very soon. We’ll keep you updated.

The Meza Brothers created “Play Dead,” which they described so well, “The cutest zombie apocalypse movie EVER MADE. ‘People want to see Homeward Bound meets a zombie apocalypse, they just don’t know it yet.’ Welcome to the ‘Play Dead.’” They used trained dogs. Trained dogs, they’re adorable and smart, and they need your cash. (I was going to put a Sarah McLaughlin joke in here, but there’s nothing funny about animal cruelty.)
Donate here.

Waverly Films used Miami’s own Otto von Schirach in “Glitch Cuisine.” There’s some good stuff in here. Watch this video, it’s really well edited and we love the eel! Donate here.


Submit your film about Mother Earth to the Rainforest Partnership and meet Richard Linklater


by Farrah Farley

The Onion published How Bad For The Environment Can Throwing Away One Plastic Bottle Be? 30 Million People Wonder over a year ago. Yeah, it’s funny, but the message is one people should have been listening to. It sort of seems no one really cares about the pollution they create except for a handful of hippies and nonprofits (in Austin) and a few “green celebrities” out there concerned in between filming moneymakers.

If you fancy yourself an environmentalist, or, at the very least, want to do something to help others reduce their carbon footprint, consider submitting a short 30 second to 3 minute film for the Second Annual Films for the Forest Fest. FREE to enter, it’s run by the nonprofit Rainforest Partnership and it will be screened in Austin on June 16 in front of a huge audience and 3 well-respected judges: Elizabeth Avellán, Ed Begley Jr., Richard Linklater, and Paul Stekler.

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After filming with Luther Campbell, Borscht Film Festival changes its name to Bosh Film Festival

uncle luke 1

Not sure if y’all heard today, but Miami’s own Borscht Film Festival, changed their name to the Bosh Film Festival after Heat player Chris Bosh agreed to donate 1% of his annual salary to the young filmmakers. After lobbying for the cash for 51 days, the Borscht, or now Bosh kids have found success. I think the right question to ask here is, why the hell not?

Last week, I was lucky enough to visit the set of Jillian Mayer’s collaboration with Luther Campbell The Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke, which will be showing at the festival on April 23 at the Arsht Center. Here are a few pics from my visit taken by both Jillian and I. Jealous?

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Remember when MTV showcased unique and interesting programming? Yeah me neither, at least until I saw this: 20 Greatest Liquid Television Segments. Number 1 was predictable, numbers 2 through 20 I’d almost forgotten existed.

by , posted Mar 8, 07:36 AM

The Old Adage is True: Never Say Never
I'm a Belieber?*

I am nothing if not cynical. And I’m especially cynical about pop music – I have no need for it. I roll my eyes and pretend it doesn’t exist, shutting my ears to it. When invited by friends to see the Justin Bieber movie on opening night there was no question – I would absolutely not be wasting money on that 3D propaganda piece and subjecting my eardrums to toxic overproduced bubblegum noise, even if it warranted a laugh or two. Because Bieber is a sure-fire sign of the impending apocalypse, right? But the event evolved into a girl’s night out, a tongue-in-cheek outing replete with homemade Bieber t-shirts and party games, so I decided to loosen up and give it a whirl. If nothing else I would have dinner, a story and a laugh.

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Carol Burnette Is Just Looking For Love
Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, Screw Valentines Day

Sweet jesus Mickey Rooney!!!

One more post-jump. One that may scar you for life.

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