Friday, March 26, 2010

THAS: Hooper on the 'Tube & 'Round the Web #1

(1) YouTube:


(3:27-5:54) Hooper reveals a diversity of cinematic influences / favorite directors:
"Oh well, uh, Stanley Kubrick. A Clockwork Orange. Almost… well, every film Kubrick ever made. Um, John Frankenheimer. Seconds and Manchurian Candidate… Robert Wise, made The Haunting… [ ]… And I saw a lot when I was a little boy, on television, late night… Citizen Kane. So Orson Welles, his cinematic style. But also European filmmakers, like Fellini, and Antonioni, and Akira Kurosawa, and Bertolucci. And Dario Argento. And David Lean. Like Dr. Zhivago and of course Lawrence of Arabia. All of David Lean’s movies blew my mind. But I could go on and on about these directors… [ ]… Oh, and listen, I can’t— I must say Hitchcock. Because Hitchcock’s film style - the grammar, the cinematic grammar in which he tells a story - and I totally love the subjective camera. Cutting to the man walking, dollying with him walking down the hallway, then cut to his point-of-view moving. And that influenced a lot of filmmakers.
(6:31-6:42) Regarding Hostel: "It has a friend of mine in it... um... Miike. Takashi Miike."
(6:59 and up) Regarding "Torture Porn": "French horror films... [are] showing our anger..." Hooper praises the tepid French Horror New Wave and its showy sadism, and relays in defense of gorehound posturing the pretty standard reading of the horror genre serving as some sort of psychic social exegesis and cultural floodgate, the same one that hounds and, many say, exhausts Hooper's entire claim to repute, having had made that seminal work of cultural "throw-up" (his analogy - 8:55-9:00) that is TCM.
(8:15) "[Film is] an emotional experience. It should be more about the emotion than the technique of making the movie... It is an emotional medium..."

(2) "Masters of Horror Explore the Art Hidden in the Nightmare"

"Masters of Horror Explore the Art Hidden in the Nightmare" - Transcript of Panel Discussion, with Hooper, Stuart Gordon, William Malone, Wes Craven, and Mick Garris.

"For Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a lot of the exteriors I wanted to have an Andrew Wyeth feeling...

"Also, I had a chance to work with this really great production designer on The Funhouse and we were trying to make the carnival look like Chagall
, with those tones and colors..."

"[...?] homage, several times, to [Edward] Hopper and Maxfield Parrish."

"[Hopper takes] a lot, tonally... in the emotionality of some of the paintings..."

* He then goes on about Van Gogh and his style of "deep strokes" that "cast shadows" and vary in "different lighting."
Video Interviews, Part 2 - Featuring Tobe Hooper, Wes Craven, and Panel Footage

"When I have bad dreams... I dream of architectural dreams."

* He also praises William Malone's new film Parasomnia, compares it to Fellini's Satyricon, and semi-incoherently tries to summarize the semi-incoherent Eggshells.

Cinemachine: 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2' Commentary TrackFor anyone with the wish to become more intimately acquainted with 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2' than ever before, friend of THAS Chip Butty, writer of Cinemachine, has made a special commentary track for TCM 2, loaded with almost as much as you've ever wanted to know about TCM 2 (the limit of complete TCM 2 knowledge, of course, being asymptotic and an unreachable beatitude). Very recommended; the film, flawed as it is, has got the pores to warrant the poring.

(4) Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 @ The Devil's PlaygroundA recent discovery, directed to it by way of Cinemachine: a treasure trove of a fansite for 'TCM 2'. Generally loaded, but provides two most notable artifacts of interest, as pertinent to my personal purposes here on this blog:

* L.M. Kit Carson's original script. The film and its entire creative crew was banded together and forged in the pursuit of the satirical, and that can be no more clearer than by getting a peak at Carson's first draft, all performative satire left in tact. (Also, the L.G. character disappears after he leaves the radio station the night of its besetting. That is, he is not brutalized, carted off to the charnel house, and tossed a weakly consummated dramatic arc with his reunification with Stretch. A bit of a vindication for me, since, as much as I love the L.G. character, I've always felt his scenes in the second half of the film served only to confuse the film, slow it down, dilute and weaken its forward motion and purposes.)
* A transcription of the July 1986 Fangoria article "Tobe Hooper: Chainsaws and Invaders from Mars," in which a young and talkative Hooper discusses Invaders from Mars, the original concept for a Poltergeist sequel before taken out of his and Spielberg's hands, and the unfortunate Lifeforce debacle regarding its theatrical re-edit ("This was business. It wasn't Cannon anyway, it was Tri-Star.").Hooper at the unforeseen peak of salience as a high-profile studio filmmaker.
On remaking Invaders from Mars:

"It was certainly worth doing mostly because I would want to see it. That's a pure enough reason."
On Lifeforce:
"Nudity was an aesthetic need for the piece, it was not gratuitous."

(5) Google Video: "Toolbox Murders: As It Was"A pretty extensive feature-length Making Of documentary and behind-the-scenes goof-off. The whole cast and crew get in on it with directors Kevin Ford and Chris Sivertson (future genre director, catapulted into the B-movie spotlight with his Lindsay Lohan-as-stripper vehicle I Know Who Killed Me), concocting a dorky little pseudo-narrative amidst the behind-the-scenes footage that you may or may not care about.

Watch for a glimpse at the realities of the workaday movie shoot and to see Hooper in action, lording over actor rehearsals and 2nd units and gore/FX units and Adam Gierasch working double-time as actor and bad writer. Most useful in revealing Tobe Hooper's ingratiatingly grating propensity for the word, "Kewl." Not "Cool": "Kewl."