Funeral Parade of Roses – Underground 60’s Japanese LGTBQ film

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This has become one of my favorite films recently because I feel it was before its time and I think it’s an important film to see if you’re lgtbq. It covers gay culture along with the typical 60’s hippie/drug era and shows you what Japanese culture was back then to young adults. It’s a drama along with some psychological tendencies. It gained it’s popularity when Stanley Kubrick said that it was a huge inspiration for him when he made A Clockwork Orange. It came out in !969 and was directed by Toshio Matsumoto.

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(photos from kpiarz.tumblr.com)

It’s about a cross dresser named Eddie and follows their trials with them and other cross dressers and gay people in Tokyo. Eddie deals with their hateful mother and another drag queen that despises them all while dealing with the booming hippie culture of the 1960’s.

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(Eddie pictured above)

Eddie is played by a legendary Japanese gay performer, Peter. He gained his popularity for his androgynous appearance and for being a singer, dancer, and actor.

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What surprised me is how gory it got. The very last five minutes can be graphic to those who are squeamish, but honestly it just made me love the film even more. The end scene really reminded me of one of the ending scenes in Helter Skelter (2012) with Erika Sawajiri. If you’ve seen that, you’ll know what I’m talking about. There is also a scene where Eddie catches his mother with a lover and stabs them repeatedly.

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This film is also styled in a documentary sorta way. Many people are asked throughout the film about being gay or cross dressing or about the drugs they do.

This film is dark, it’s exciting, and it’s relevant. If you are in need of a strange film to see, or you’re a big fan of Japanese culture, you should give this a look. The best part is that it’s on Youtube! Click the link to view it.

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Has anyone else seen it? I’m always open to movie recommendations and discussions.

A random thing I thought was funny was this warning I saw about the film on IMBD.
tumblr_nd1tqglMWS1rv2109o1_500Oh no us gay people are soooooo scary. Those damn spooky gays. ANYWAY, I just thought that warning was ridiculous.

NEW Indie gay comedy “THE GAYS” review with NYC film maker T.S. SLAUGHTER interview

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Producer Paul Serrano recently brought this movie to my attention, a quirky comedy about gay parents and their adventures with bringing up their two sons. It’s the second film by writer/director T.S. Slaughter.

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Boy, this film was wild from start to finish. The film tells its story through flash backs, with one of the sons telling his story in a bar to a random stranger in the nineties. It’s Slaughter’s satirical take on television sitcoms from past decades. Rod Gay (Frank Holliday) and Bob Gay-Paris (Chris Tanner)  are like the “gay mentors you never had.” They raise their two children, Tommy (Flip Jorgensen) and Alex (Mike Russnak), to be the best homosexuals by giving them…intriguing lessons and advice to “empower the boys to bend the world over, lube it up, and snap one off!” Yes, you’ve heard correctly. What I enjoyed about the film was the John Waters feel it has. It’s campy, has memorable but crazy characters, and very raunchy humor. It’s really in your face.
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I can see it becoming a cult classic in twenty years. Now, there are some over the top gross scenes (like the birthing part, oh god). The film does get pornographic at a few parts, but if you like hot naked men (like I do) then you really won’t mind it. The words, “tranny” and “fag” are mentioned a couple times. It all depends on how you view those kinds of things. Other than that, it was a fun watch. I’m looking forward to Slaughter’s and the actors’ future projects.

What do you guys think?

I was lucky enough to interview T.S. Slaughter and ask him what the hell was going through his mind when he made this. What could have inspired him? How’d he select the right people for these parts?

Hyde: Something about the film seemed very John Waters-esque, which I liked. Is he an inspiration to you?

Slaughter: “Very much so. Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Desperate Living are among my favorite films of all time. He is the original gay badass of underground film. I especially admire his talent for coming up with memorable, quotable lines and really offbeat characters.”

Hyde: What kinds of things inspire you to make films about LGTBQ culture?

Slaughter: “I really object to the mainstreaming of LGBTQ people that is taking place in the US and Canada in recent years. We are not all warm and cuddly like you see in the media. Many LGBTQ people fought hard for the right to have anonymous sex in bathhouses and tea rooms, to be open about who they are and not ashamed of it, etc. In short: to be accepted as different from average str8s. Many LGBTQ folks feel that sleazy, “irresponsible” (from a middle-class str8 perspective) behavior should be celebrated, not sanitized out of us. That’s why you see such outrageous sights at gay pride parades everywhere: because LGBTQ folks really are different, and they want to celebrate that difference, warts and all.

Gay filmmaking, even indie filmmaking, has come under the same pressures as the rest of LGBTQ culture to be respectable. Well I’m not having it: No sappy coming out stories for me. No sentimental tales of love and tragic loss. I like to push buttons to remind viewers of all stripes that some of us still have an edge.”

Hyde: This movie is really outrageous. How did you come up with the concept for “The Gays,” after your 2007 horror comedy film “Skull & Bones”?

Slaughter: “Indie film-even LGBTQ indie film–has to be outrageous to get noticed, especially if you don’t have the connections to get into mainstream film festivals and a distribution deal with, say, TLA, Strand, or Wolfe. “Skull & Bones” relied on the horror genre (and a trailer that went viral) to get picked up by a Hollywood distributor. The added twists of the killers being gay, sexually predatory, and floridly anti-social sealed the deal!

“The Gays” started with my thinking about how different LGBTQ parents–good and bad parents, because both kinds are surely out there–could potentially be from str8 parents when raising children, now that the notion of gay marriage has become so commonplace. Would they promote the often questionable behavior some LGBTQ folks engage in to their children? Should they? How do you balance street smarts and cynicism with moral and ethical considerations when giving advice to kids? The film idea blossomed from these thoughts and questions.

I am also a huge fan of Bea Arthur, especially how she played Maude in the 70s TV show of that name, so I modeled the mom in “The Gays” on her and added a gender-bending twist. I modeled the dad on my own stern, cynical father.”

Hyde: I heard that the lead actors, Chris Tanner and Frank Holliday, have been well known artists in NYC for years. How did you get them to be in the film and why? 

Slaughter: “I put out a casting call in NYC and Frank answered it. He read for the father and I thought he would be great in the role. But I was having trouble getting anyone to play the mother. I had written the part with the gender-bending actor Alan Rowe Kelly in mind, but Alan wasn’t interested in being in the film. It was Frank who suggested I contact Chris Tanner because he thought Chris could play the mother. Chris came for an audition and I was simply amazed at his talent. Chris, in turn, suggested Mike Russnak as someone who might make a good older son, Alex. He was right! I am so thankful to everyone in the cast and crew for all their hard work, senses of humor, and most of all patience.”

Hyde: What kind of people do you look for to be a part of your movies? How does the process go?

Slaughter: “I seek actors who have few inhibitions: people who can laugh at themselves, at the absurdity of human existence, and especially at the absurdity and banality of middle-class values. Sasha Baron Cohen has been a huge inspiration to me because that is exactly the sort of person he is when he acts, most especially in the hilarious role he created for his comedy “Bruno.”

The process is straightforward: I put out a casting call on various actors’ websites describing the film and the roles needed to be filled. When people respond I send them sides (i.e., the lines they will be speaking and the stage directions) to prepare. Then I hold auditions by having actors read their parts opposite me. I also have the auditions filmed to see how the actors look on camera. That’s important because many who audition have only done theater–not film–before, and film is a really different medium with different requirements from actors.”

Hyde: Can you give us a hint about what your next project might be about?

Slaughter: “I don’t want to say too much, but the most promising current ideas concern (1) a sadistic, closeted drill sergeant or (2) a bullied gay teen who exacts revenge on his tormentors.”

–T.S. Slaughter

I enjoyed interviewing him and it was great to know we shared similar views on things such as how LGTBQ people are portrayed in the mainstream media. If you are curious and want to buy or rent “The Gays,” here is where you can get it. (all photos are from the official site)

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   Support independent film makers!!!!!

Futuristic/Cyberpunk/Dystopian films for Kirameki magazine

What is Cyberpunk? The concept can be traced back to 1927’s Metropolis, and even further than that. It is usually associated with high technology and low lives with advanced science themes. It deals with the corruption of artificial intelligence and how loners handle their dystopic settings. Cyberpunk asks the question, what would happen if man’s creations became too much and rebelled? What if beings from other planets were more powerful and capable than us?

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(Warner Bros, 1982, all rights reserved.)

Blade Runner (1982)
★★★★★ out of five

A precursor and one of the main pioneers to the cyberpunk genre. Based on the 1968 novel, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, it’s set the far distant future of 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Genetically engineered replicates, that can’t be distinguished from regular humans, are created to do dangerous/illegal work around the city. Blade runners are set out in order to destroy the androids since they bring nothing but trouble. Its dark, shadowy, and hazy cinematography emits a nice ominous balance for the dystopian setting. The eerie soundtrack by Vangelis uses plenty of synthesizers to add on the retro-futuristic vibes. A must see for those curious about/or a fan of the cyberpunk genre.

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(Sony Pictures, 2008, all rights reserved)

Tokyo Gore Police (2008)
★★★ out of five

Set in futuristic Tokyo, a scientist has found a way to create a virus that turns people into monstrous creatures that can grow machinery when they lose a limb. An outcast by the name of Ruka, who knows how to dispatch these creatures, agrees to help the police while also trying to figure out who assassinated her father years ago. It’s downright gross and absurd, and while you’re watching it you’ll be confused, but when it’s over you’ll have a feeling of “oh my God, I should watch that again.” It’s one of those films that it’s so bad, it’s an adventure. It’s directed by worldly renown special effects artist Yoshihiro Nishimura, who worked on the Japanese thrillers Suicide Club and Sion Sono. Warning: graphic self harm scenes

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(Triangle Staff, 1998, all rights reserved.)

Serial Experiments Lain (1998)
★★★1/2 out of five

Not a movie, but still an interesting show if you love your mind being screwed. Lain is a young girl and an outcast to her family and peers. When a classmate of hers commits suicide, their spirit comes to her through her computer, telling her that they haven’t really died, but instead have “abandoned their flesh.” This person tries to contact Lain to obsessive amounts and begs her to join them in the internet world. The entire series is Lain slowly going psychotic and “being erased” from existence. The only downside to this series is that there’s just one season.

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(British Lion Films, 1976, all rights reserved.)

The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
★★★★ out of five

Thomas Newton (David Bowie) is a humanoid alien that visits Earth to obtain water to bring home to his dying planet. He gets distracted and meets a reserved girl named Mary-Lou who introduces him to alcohol, sex, and many other Earth customs. He develops addictions and his relationship with Mary is strained. His identity is put on the line when someone figures out what he is and struggles to come clean to Mary-Lou. It’s based on the 1963 novel of the same name. While it didn’t do particularly well on its initial release, it has gained a huge cult status over the years, due to its visually striking imagery and of course the beautiful David Bowie.

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(Toho, 1988, all rights reserved.)

Akira (1988)
★★★★1/2 out of five

Tetsuo Shima is a psychic teenage biker in Tokyo 2019. Akira is an imprisoned boy that developed God-like abilities when the government did awful experiments on him. Tetsuo wants to free Akira but the leader of his biker gang will do anything to prevent it. Thirty-one years earlier, the city is destroyed when World War III begins. When it is rebuilt, it is called Neo-Tokyo and now is an overpopulated industrial city. Akira is considered a huge landmark in Japanese anime and helped increased the popularity of it in America and the cyberpunk culture.

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Be sure to grab the futuristic October issue of Kirameki, which I will be in giving more movie reviews of my top three Cyberpunk films from this list. It comes out October 15th! It’s always fun working with them.

P.S. I have been asked to be involved in a new little project that I will be participating in soon. More details next week!

September Kirameki magazine out now! New Etsy store possibly? and Cyberpunk artwork

The newest issue of Kirameki came out yesterday finally and my movie article was featured.
photo 1               I’m so excited. Hopefully I’ll get to work with Kirameki more in the future. Maybe their next issue… You can buy a copy here. I seriously recommend it. They specialize in all aspects of alternative culture.

Since I’ve had quite a few requests to open an Etsy, I’m seriously considering it. How do you guys feel about Etsy? Should I open a store? I’d be selling artwork and jewelry mostly, like what I have posted around here. Here’s a new necklace I made that I’m planning sell.
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If anybody is interested let me know!

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My current obsession is Cyberpunk. So I painted a robot girl ripping her skin off to reveal her true identity. I really dig how it turned out.

I’ve never had this many lively things happen to me. Hopefully the fun doesn’t stop here. Stay groovy everyone.

Witchy movies!

     Since Halloween is approaching, it’s the perfect time for bizarre movies. One of my favorite genres of films are the ones relating to witches and witchcraft, but not your typical “Blair Witch project” stuff and certainly no Harry Potter. This list includes a variety of witch films and not just the terrifying ones you would expect.

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1. The Craft (1996)
           
           I know this a popular cult film, but I couldn’t resist it since it’s a classic. It begins with a teen that moves to a new school and encounters three witches. She becomes the binding power to help them achieve a whole new level of witchcraft. Of course the more powerful they become the quicker their spells go from innocent to horrific, causing a few deaths along the way. 
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2.  Suspiria (1977)

        Arguably one of the best well made films for its time and an A+ cult classic, Suspiria follows the story of a young woman named Suzy that goes to a prestigious dance academy and finds out its run by witches. With its vibrant color scheme, suspense around every corner, and a creepy soundtrack from Goblin, no wonder it’s received such good ratings. The gore factor can come off cheesy but the deaths are creative which makes up for it I believe considering it has been almost forty years.

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3.  Kiki’s Delivery Service (1988)

           Studio Ghibli makes some of the best animation films ever. This one is a golden one. It’s tells the story of a girl named Kiki that leaves home with her black cat to train to become a witch on her own. After some training, she gains certain powers but loses them when she starts to become depressed. She learns that if she finds her purpose she will gain them again. It’s a beautiful film and it deals with the themes of transitioning into adulthood and dealing with adolescence.

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4. Practical Magic (1998)

         A mixture of dark comedy and romance, this film goes into depth about two sisters (Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman) that belong in a long line of witches. A terrible curse follows the women of the family which makes any man that falls in love with them die tragically. They try to find ways around the curse and accidentally kill one of their boyfriends. His vengeful spirit comes back to terrorize them. It is slightly scarier than what I anticipated at first. 

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5. The Woods (2006)
        
            Set in the mid-sixties after a rebellious teen is sent to an all girl school, she slowly discovers the dark past behind it and finds out she has a special “gift” of her own. Ridiculed by her class mates while dealing with the supernatural force that has taken over the school, she finds out that centuries ago a few girls accused of dabbling in witchcraft were killed and their spirits haunt the woods that surround the school. The build up of suspense throughout the film is great and Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead) co-stars in it.

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Chilling medical Horror/thriller movies

One of my favorite types of movies are medical ones or ones with bits of the medical aspect to it and if they’re horror or suspense, It’s a major plus. A movie that inspired me to write this post was one I saw recently called Helter Skelter.

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Helter Skelter (2012)

    This is a Japanese thriller so you know it’s going to be disturbing and it is. I LOVE the cinematography and the use of red as the main color through out the film. It’s based on the manga of the same name about a star named Lilico that everyone looks up to, even though she’s a stuck-up asshole. She’s obsessed with plastic surgery and when a new star starts to take her place she begins to fall a part, literally and figuratively. 

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It’s starts off with the quote “laughters and screams sound very much alike.” Hauntingly true…

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Re-animator (1985)

    Ok, most of you have probably already seen this since it’s a cult classic but oh well there’s still tons of people out there that haven’t seen how rad this movie is. Based on the H.P. Lovecraft story, Herbert West–Reanimator, this movie gives it a more comedy twist. It starts with a young scientist that creates a serum to bring his dead professor back to life and gets carried away. 

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He starts claiming he can “defeat” death but instead he turns his patients into killer zombies. 
Yeah it’s cheesy, but definitely worth a watch.

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American Mary (2012)

   Love body modification? This is a great film. The story starts off with a young,struggling, college student named Mary that wants to become a surgeon. To earn extra money she turns to stripping. After she’s accepted there, they immediately find out that she’s attending med school and ask her to perform on someone in the back of the club. She hesitantly agrees and is paid well. A stripper finds out about her work and introduces her to the body mod community but she doesn’t want any part of that. Until one of her professors rape her and she decides to get revenge by practicing her surgeon/modification skills on him. Warning, it’s graphic and gory.

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Excision (2012)

    A delusional high school girl with an interest in the medical field and blood goes to extremes to impress her mother that hates her and save her sister that has cystic fibrosis. One of the most screwed up films I’ve seen. This film knows how to be terrifying and hilarious at the same time, something I didn’t expect… Her strongly detailed fantasies only make it more creepy but I loved it. Only thing I disliked is how the ending was. It felt rushed and left everything too open but i found it funny because it’s ridiculous how crazy the main character is. John Waters is in this film too!

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LGTBQ cult films galore and a new glam rock outfit

Cult films are the best films ever, usually they’re low budget and have a limited release but these few of my favorites are amazing because they focuse on LGTBQ culture which isn’t represented enough in media.
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1. Breakfast on Pluto (2005)
This film has such a special place in my heart. In the 1970’s an Irish transgender woman by the name of ”Kitten” follows a glam rock band on the road while trying to figure out her gender identity and find her mother that abandoned her when she was young. It’s heart breaking, but also light and has a fun atmosphere to it. Cillian Murphy (who plays Kitten) is beautiful in this.
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I dare you to look me in the eye and say all of Kitten’s outfits aren’t perfect.

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2. Gypsy 83 (2001)
Perfect perfect perfect Goth movie. A gay teen and his older friend go on a road trip to the Night Of A Thousand Stevies, a festival dedicated to Stevie Nicks fans. It’s a typical coming of age film but that doesn’t lessen the enjoyment of it.
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I never knew I needed a lunch box this much.

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3. Paris Is Burning (1990)
One of the best documentaries out there about LGTBQ history. Filmed around the years of 1986-1989, it focuses on the LGTBQ culture around NYC and the golden age of NYC drag balls. It discusses the origin of voguing and explains the racism, homophobia, poverty, and AIDS the subjects dealt with.

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Everybody wants to make an impression, some mark upon the world. Then you think, you’ve made a mark on the world if you just get through it, and a few people remember your name. Then you’ve left a mark. You don’t have to bend the whole world. I think it’s better to just enjoy it. Pay your dues, and just enjoy it. If you shoot a arrow and it goes real high, hooray for you.”

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4. Hedwig and The Angry Inch (2001)
Drag queens and punk rock, what more do you need?? Hedwig is a troubled soul that had a botched sex operation in order to marry the man she loved. He left her and now depressed and lonely she starts a band and tours the country singing about her life. She meets a Jesus freak named Tommy and turns him into a bigger rock star than she is and again she’s betrayed.
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The plot line, outfits, and soundtrack is incredible and original.

With today’s outfit I was kinda going for something Marc Bolan inspired so I had this blue jacket I got from a local thrift store and threw it on with my home made t-shirt.

“Evil, wicked, mean, and nasty” comes from Steppenwolf lyrics.
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Jesus, everything is too blue.