Archive for May, 2006

Chuck Palahniuk

May 31, 2006
Title:  Stranger than Fiction
 Chuck Palahniuk
Genre:  Non-Fiction
From Chuck Palahniuk’s world has always been, well, different from yours and mine. The pieces that comprise Stranger than Fiction, his first nonfiction collection, prove just how different, in ways both highly entertaining and deeply unsettling. Included are encounters with alternative culture heroes Marilyn Manson and Juliette Lewis; the peculiar wages of fame attendant on the big-budget film production of the movie Fight Club; life as an assembly-line drivetrain installer by day, hospice volunteer driver by night; the really peculiar lives of submariners; the really violent world (and mangled ears) of college wrestlers; the underground world of iron-pumping anabolic-steroid gobblers; the immensely upsetting circumstances of his father’s murder and the trial of his killer-each essay or vignette offers a unique facet of existence as lived in and/or observed by one of our most flagrantly daring and original literary talents.

Title:  Choke
 Chuck Palahniuk
Genre:  Fiction
From Chuck’s fourth novel Choke tells the story of Victor Mancini, self-proclaimed sex addict and fake restaurant choker. Turning regular diner patrons into instant “heros,” Victor fakes his way through life, earning funds to keep his old mother from death’s door.

Choke took a more behind-the-scenes path to movie production limbo. Meaning, the first we heard is all we’ve heard. Nothing much seems to have changed for better or for worse. Bandeira Entertainment, production company behind such films as Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem For A Dream, has the option. But so far the only person publicly attached is screenwriter Clark Gregg (What Lies Beneath). He has delivered a script which everyone is happy with, and which they’re ready to move on.

Still, despite this drought of news, Chuck has been quoted as repeatedly saying that, if any of his books was to see the light of film next, it would be Choke. So keeping quiet on this production must be doing the boys at Bandeira Entertainment something right. With production supposedly slated to begin any day now, we’re strangely left with only the below media.

Choke short film


Title:  Fight Club
 Chuck Palahniuk
Genre:  Fiction
From ChuckPalahniuk.netThe Palahniuk fan is divided into two classes. Those who have seen Fight Club. And those are going to. For those of you that have seen it, you understand the tone of this page and know why we’re so passionate about this film. We call ourselves a cult here because that’s exactly the type of unity that Fight Club caused among so many movie-goers. So even though is an “author site,” this section is dedicated solely to the movie that helped kick start all of this into motion in the first place. It stands alone as a website all in it’s own. So we hope you enjoy the time we’ve put into it.Fight Club is a movie that defied…..defined…..just plain out shook the barriers of our past millennium…it came out just at the right time and movie historians that study it years from now will call it a landmark in film for what was to come in the 21st Century. You won’t know what to call it.. You won’t know how to explain it. All you will know is that it got under your skin. Tyler Durden has shown you the way.

In Tyler we trust…
In Fincher we witness…
In Fight Club we bleed…


May 30, 2006


Genre:  Drama / Mystery
Directed by: 
Rian Johnson
Starring:  Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emilie de Ravin, Lukas Haas, Nora Zehetner

From Wikipedia

Brick combines neo-noir and high school genres through dialogue, cinematography, and repetition of specific scenes from [film noir] classics. In case the gap between modern high school students and the film noir heroes of the 1940s and 50s is too big of a jump, Johnson ages his characters through classic language and non-traditional dress.Brick’s cinematography is very reminiscent of classic noir regarding the use of light and photographic angles, but the color has more in common with American Beauty than other neo-noir films like Chinatown.

Stylistically, the most apparent of its film noir references surfaces by way of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks TV series. This is portrayed using themes of a dead high school teen, an exploration of the sinister underbelly of a small town, clues revealed through dreams or even visual references to the ceiling fan etc.

The dialogue of the film draws as its source detective slang of the 1930s (or ripped out of a Dashiell Hammett novel). This is not ironic, rather it is a serious, straightfaced style integral to the film’s aesthetic. Despite being set in the present day (viz. the presence of cell phones, Rubik’s Cubes, etc.), this method of conversing is presented as a normal mode of speech. At some viewings of the movie, a small pamphlet was available which explained the slang used in the movie. In addition, the “ripped paper” series of movie posters feature a line of dialogue from the film which takes advantage of it. In spite of its Californian high school setting, the characters of Brick wear a mix of modern teenage and classic noir clothing. This is most apparent in the shoes of the characters and may be used to bring back the feeling of classic noir (the shoes tend to be highlighted during particularly noir moments) or to age the characters.

Watch the trailer

Henry Rollins and Henry Miller

May 13, 2006


Genre:  Spoken Word
Venue:  The Henry Miller Library/ Big Sur CA

I started in San Francisco and picked up Jerri in Campbell near San Jose. Our journey to Big Sur was windy, the road narrow and twisted with spectacular views. We arrived at 6:30pm. We had time before the show, so we stopped at a restaurant nested on a cliff called Nepenthe for for a quick bite, some good wine and a breathtaking view—the perfect setting for two old friends to catch up. Jerri, aka Jerrilene, aka Mabel, is beautiful inside and out, and I’ve missed her so much. It’s been more than a year since we last saw each other, and five years before that. We used to work together back in losAngeles.

After dinner we headed back down the road to the Henry Miller Library, which is a small wood cabin surrounded by lawn, a short wooden fence and a family of tall redwoods. The place was set up for an intimate evening with Henry Rollins. There were rows of folding chairs on the lawn and blankets sprawled out in front of the makeshift stage. The stage was barely six inches tall, and was more like two wood pallets covered by an antique rug. We sat 10 feet away from the stage, so I warned Jerri—not only will we see the sweat of intensity rolling down the man’s face, we’ll be dodging his spit from time to time throughout the show. The sun had not quite set and people were making new friends over beer and wine. The library was open so we took a look around.

I’ll admit, I haven’t read any of Henry Miller’s work, but for the past 10 years I haven’t been the biggest reader, at least not novels. I do remember back in college my roommate Jen was reading Henry and June by Anais Nin. Turns out that Henry was Henry Miller. Some of Henry’s titles I recognized—Tropic of Caner and Tropic of Capricorn. But I couldn’t help but feel like the biggest poser driving three hours to watch a middle-aged punk rock icon rant and rave, while everyone else came to celebrate one of the greatest writers of our time. The show was actually a benefit for the Henry Miller Library. Jerri was not familiar with either Henry. She pulled me aside and said Henry looked so much younger in the email I sent her when I invited her to the show (see above). She didn’t realize Henry Rollins and Henry Miller were two different people. She lives in a bigger bubble than I do. Jerri loves Paris, so she was immediately drawn to Henry Miller’s books. I was reminded of Joni Mitchell’s song “California” — Sitting in a park in Paris, FranceI’ll even kiss a sunset pig

I’ve seen Henry Rollins perform live spoken word four times before, so I knew what to expect. The only thing Jerri knew about him was that he looks like one mean mad motherfucker. I knew Miss Goody-Goody from Silicon Valley was in for a bumpy ride, and I was happy riding shotgun. We were in the second row. It wasn’t quite dark when the show started, but it was eerily quiet, and there was a peaceful glow before it became dark. Magnus Toren, the library director, started by reading passages from what I think was either Black Spring or The Air-Conditioned Nightmare. From that reading, I learned that Miller too rants and raves, but in a very different way. Miller’s vocabulary is way beyond me, but his focus on detail after detail after detail intrigues me. The sun had set and small lights twinkled in the coastside tree-covered darkenss as Rollins took the stage. His voice didn’t echo but instead pierced right through us. Jerri’s shrieks and shrills were music to my ears. I smiled ear-to-ear and took mental pictures of her jaw dropping as Rollins let us have it. I love introducing new people to a Henry Rollins show. But this time, outdoors, that powerful distinct voice in the stillness of Big Sur, under mighty redwoods and a starry sky, it was something else, something very special. 

After the show I grabbed Jerri’s hand and took her past the wooden fence behind the stage. It was pitch black except for a man with a tiny flashlight, and there was a short line of people waiting for autographs. It was our turn at Henry. We shook his sweaty hand. He had his Sharpie ready to sign something and seemed surprised that we weren’t after an autograph. We just wanted to thank him for a good show and ended up talking with him for maybe five minutes. He ran his mouth, and I loved it. That, on top of reconnecting with a dear friend, made the night oh-so-fucking nice.

     I introduced Jerri to Henry Rollins.
     And Henry Rollins introduced me to Henry Miller.

On the drive home, I made some mental notes and promised myself to read at least one Henry Miller book this year. Any recommendations?

Henry Miller Library pictures | About the event | 2.13.61


May 11, 2006


Genre:  Pop—Acoustic set
Venue:  Herbst Theater / San Francisco CA

Acoustic clips, not necessarily from the SF show: