Tuesday, April 13, 2010

John Cusack Is a Freak

I've always liked John Cusack. I love Say Anything with its iconic scene of Cusack holding a boom box over his head, playing Peter Gabriel's 'In Your Eyes' in an effort to win back the girl he loves. So romantic. Or his hilarious turn as a hitman attending his high school reunion in Grosse Point Blank (which also features a bravura performance from his equally talented sister, Joan). Then there's the brilliant insanity of Being John Malkovich and the almost scary version of Stephen King's 1408. And let's not forget Sixteen Candles or the completely hilarious Better Off Dead ("...and to drink... Peru!"). Currently (and, I think, sadly) he is starring in Hot Tub Time Machine, a movie I have no intention of ever seeing, even when it shows up for free on TBS in about 3 months.

Anyway, Cusack is also currently a guest blogger on BoingBoing, the Science/Sci-Fi/Steampunk/Free -Speech/Arts-and-Crafts/Gadgets/Bananas/Whatever-the-Hell-They-Feel-Like-Posting-About blog run by Science Fiction author Cory Doctorow. Today, Mr. Cusack posted the video I am about to share with you.

If you have seen Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and thought he must have been smoking some primo ganga while making it, I can't even imagine what you will think about Czech animator Jan Svankmejer's take on Lewis Carroll's seminal work of nonsense incarnate. As a long-time Alice aficionado (I once wrote a play called "Through a Looking Glass, Darkly"), I am always excited to find new takes on Reverend Dodgson's allegorical and politically satirical fairy tale. Svankmejer's disturbing stop-motion/live action short is nothing less than brilliant, though as insane as anyone can imagine:

Cusack also links to another Svankmejer short, Meat Love. I'll leave it to you to form your own opinion:

As if I needed another reason to love Cusack, his taste in bizarro filmmaking only cements my admiration of him further (Hot Tub Time Machine not withstanding).

Interestingly, BoingBoing contributor Mark Fraunfelder also posted this piece about the British Library's online version of Carroll's original manuscript, which is available for your perusal and delight, for free. As you may well imagine, Uncle P is ecstatic about this link. Despite owning several versions of both Alice books (including "The Annotated Alice"), this is the first time I've been able to actually see the original book in his own handwriting, complete with his original illustrations. Nonsense just doesn't get better than this.

If you aren't familiar with Mr. Cusack's or Reverend Dodgson's works, I highly suggest you go to Netflix and/or your local library, posthaste. I promise you will be disappointed by neither. And just as a side note, the best concert I ever attended was Peter Gabriel's in the late 80's. I believe my sister will also attest to that fact.

More, anon.

More, anon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget The Grifters.

To my surprise, I've heard very good things about Hot Tub but will still wait for Netflix especially now that I can stream it on my Wii.