Darren Aronofsky’s latest motion picture is sure to launch a thousand film school theses, so allow this to become one of your citations! Mother! is a tricky film to talk about because, much like FILLER!, every sentence will look wrong unless you manage to place the title at the end. Then it just looks like you’re shouting, which is preferable to not knowing where punctuation goes. After the The Wages Of Cinema podcast collaboreview (They let me discuss a movie that’s not based on a comic book or sci-fi!), it’ll be all SPOILERS. The story is fairly simple, but it’s stuffed to the gills with so many metaphors & ambiguous themes. The most nonspoilery synopsis I can give is “Renowned poet Javier Bardem invites creepy strangers into his giant house much to the chagrin of his devoted yet neglected wife, Jennifer Lawrence.” The characters are credited with descriptions, so I can just refer to the cast by their real names with impunity. It’s a movie that transcends its pretension by going all out.
I’m happy to say that Preacher season two is an improvement over the first. The great stuff carries over, the dead weight is mostly gone, the pacing is less languorous, & there’s plenty of added intrigue. AMC even adapted a few of the more outrageous scenes by Ennis & Dillon. If you’d like to remain unspoiled, skip to the end where I bid adieu to one of my favorite YouTube channels.
Generally speaking, I am a proponent of slavish adaptations. I allow more wiggle room for adaptations of corporate properties that’ve had decades to accumulate complexities like The F-Lash & Got Ham?, but creator-driven works ought to be presented faithfully. (Why does neither Dirk Gently TV series directly adapt Douglas Adams’s marvelous books? Why is the screenwriter who completely missed the point of I, Robot allowed to bastardize Caves of Steel next?) I thought television would be a better medium for Preacher than film because it wouldn’t need to abridge as much. So I was dismayed to hear that AMC’s Preacher (at least its first season) would be more of a prequel to the comics.
It is fortuitous, however, that I haven’t gotten around to reading the Vertigo (a DC Comics imprint, whose branding is absent from the TV series) Preacher comics by Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon yet. I certainly know of them thanks to things like Previews & Wizard Magazine. (Back in my day, we had to wait a whole month between spoilers!) So while diehard fans may take umbrage at the liberties taken with their favorite comic book, I’m enjoying the show as it rolls along. It’s not quite right to call it a prequel. Much like Bryan Fuller’s dearly departed Hannibal, this is more of a remix of various elements from the story. In that sense it’s a truer adaptation than something like iZombie, which took the Vertigo comic’s title & basic idea but none of the characters or supernatural cosmology. It hasn’t been lazily grafted onto a police procedural like Lucifer either. At least this adaptation does, however, feel like it’s in the same ballpark as the source material. So this overview will have more TV SPOILERS than comic book SPOILERS.
For a show with Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg at the helm, it’s classier than expected. Breaking Bad’s Sam Catlin may be partially responsible for this. Of course it’s not too classy that it loses its irreverent flavor. It’s full of striking vistas of southern desolation. The cast is the right ratio of pretty : looks like they’re drawn by Steve Dillon. Overall, it works better than I can imagine Sam Mendes’s aborted movie turning out.
One of the big complaints I’ve heard about the show is its lack of tonal consistency. For all I care, tonal consistency can take a long walk off a short pier! Why would I only want one tone? One of the best parts of Preacher is how nonchalantly it flips from one tone & genre to another. Sure, tonal consistency can have its uses in other art, but it’s got no business being forced upon this genre-bender. Unless it has maintained the consistent tone of “Garth Ennis comic” throughout. Cognitive dissonance for the win!
Welcome to Week Two of Matt The Catania! I hope you survive the experience! Since my last post, the site has gone green: Erin go bragh & eco-friendly!
The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose is a book I’ve been working on for years. It’s a Medieval fantasy comedy in twenty-three chapters & an appendix about the humorous misadventures of a 14th Century Franciscan monk named Brother Banenose. Here, let me paint you a picture:
Yes, in addition to writing the novel, I’ve also illustrated parts of it. This particular scene comes straight from the first chapter. This is a book that wastes none of your time in getting to to nocturnal cleaver assaults! Isn’t that what you came here for? The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose is all thriller no filler! (Unless you really like FILLER!, in which case I rescind the previous boast.)
I am a staunch proponent of novels having pictures in them. I don’t understand how society decided that pictures are only fit for children’s books. They’re an extra bastion against seas of of anarchic readers mis-imagining the author’s words. How can authors be so arrogant as to assume their words will be sufficient brainwashing? Doesn’t the literary world realize that if readers are encouraged to use their own imaginations to supplement novels they’ll eventually just dream up free entertainment for themselves causing the fall of Capitalism as we know it? That’s how post-apoctalyptic dystopias happen!
So I hope to include some artwork when The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose is published for mass consumption. (It has been known to cause madness in the beta-readers I foisted it upon. For the sake of marketing, let’s call that a feature.) I have four paintings completed with a fifth in progress. (Are you interested in seeing the preliminary sketches or just the final pieces?) Unfortunately the canvases are all larger than my scanner bed. Any suggestions of where I can get high quality scans of them done? If given the choice would you prefer to see the book embellished with only paintings, only drawings, or a combination of both?
That’s all for now. Bring some friends along next time.
“EH?* Two posts in as many days? But you promised you’d only post once a week! Why would you do this to me?”
Well dear hypothetical reader, it’s like how your doctor tells you to take a double dose of your medicine the first day just to get firmly on the road to recovery. Trying to build a following for a weekly blog is tricksy without enough content to convince visitors to return. So that’s why I’m doubling down on entries. Trust me, I’m a doctor.**
I need to post some substantive content to get you invested in the success of this fledgling blog. I don’t want to lead off with a repost of an article commissioned by another site. The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose is not quite ready for human consumption yet. So my best option is to show you some FILLER!
Feast your eyes upon the award-winning*** short film FILLER! If you already know me then odds are I’ve already forced you to watch it. That’s why you need to forward this blog to people I don’t know so you can all commiserate in regional support groups.
I co-wrote FILLER! with Andrew Birchenough. He, Fred Henry III, Lindsay Tierstein, Kristin Allmer, Tony Lombardo, Mike Dilorenzo, Brenda Belohoubek, Korey Hughes, Jack Gattanella, Casey Walker, Christina Hoffman, Krystle Von Thaden, Matt Rosen, & I graciously agreed to star in for free. (Should I add tags for these fine thespians too?) I ended up directing it despite not being a film student. FILLER! has since gone on to be an incredibly minor Interwuzzle sensation, particularly in The Netherlands. It even has an IMDb page where you can rate it ten stars.
I am inordinately pleased with how FILLER! turned out & the response it has received. There are many more anecdotes I can share about this project. Give me some feedback about what you’d like to know more about in the comments section below. Keep your eyes figuratively peeled for more on FILLER! whenever there’s a slow week. If you’d rather not see any more FILLER!, keep your eyes peeled literally.
*’Eh?’ is a registered trademark of The Commonwealth of Canada.
**Doctor of Jurisprudence. Matt The Catania & its author are not responsible for anyone foolish enough to use this blog as a medical resource.
*** First Prize in the Alternative Film Category at the 2008 William Paterson University Film Festival