Archive for January, 2011

Wayback archives#1 Asian Eye

Posted in Daily flow on January 31, 2011 by twm68

This post is dedicated to the memory of a god among men, the one and only Don Knotts. Some might have called him Barney Fife, while others called him Ralph Furley. However you slice it, he was one of the most unexpected and unassuming celebrities to come down the pike. He was as far from Sinatra as you could get,but had a charm and charisma all his own. Sure the guy always had that look on his mug like he just had a prostate exam, and eyes like two boiled eggs bulging out of the sockets, but all joking aside Don was one of a kind. He could never fail to make you crack a smile with a dumb assed goofy stare, or that gait  like he had spaghetti legs

Even if you’re the average purveyor of film, you owe it to yourself to catch one of his gems that always played on Sunday afternoons. The Incredible Mr Limpet, The Ghost and Mr Chicken , The Private Eyes, The Prize Fighter.  We’re not talking world class cinema here my friends, as most of Don’s films were shot for Saturday matinée screenings for general audiences, but it doesn’t matter. After ingesting a steady stream of extremities in genre fare, Don’s film were always a breath of fresh air. Sure the might have been a tinge of cheese wafting in the ether,but it was all in good clean fun.

The thing about Don that was amazing was that he carved out a unique niche for himself in both movies and on television. Right up until he died he was still doing voice overs for children’s cartoons

Someone once told me that Jim Varney (aka Ernest) was the modern day Don, and that’s like saying a starving artist is the modern day Van Goh. It boils down to a simple equation. You either grew up with the man, and understand how much of a cultural icon he was, or it will go right over your head like a 747…

RIP Barney…..

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Alright professor peabody, we’re going to kick things off by firing up the way back machine, and re-printing some vintage reviews of time gone by.  The writing might be a little sub par and stilted, but for those you willing to endure
strap yourselves in.

I was living in Toronto briefly in the early 90’s, and crossed paths with many fellow rabid cinephiles, some I still know to this day. One of the few I knew who was always scouring Chinatown and Suspect video for new sights was Colin Geddes. Colin was always on the ball about the latest Asian fare, and eventually put out a two issue fanzine called ‘Asian Eye’. it was definately a labor of love,and if more content could be packed into those two issues, I don’t know how.

After renting my share of Asian gems courtesy of Suspect, and catching a few Saturday night screenings at the long lost ‘Pearl’ in Chinatown, Colin asked me to write a piece for Asian Eye. I sat down at a typewriter and cranked out a piece, and that was it. I had the bite, and this was my first step in writing and reviewing, so take it as you may…

review written in 1993

SEX AND ZEN -1993

DIRECTOR: Michael Mak

WITH: Amy Yip, Isabella Chow, Lawrence Ng, Kent Cheng, Lo Leih, Carrie Ng

One of the first things that attracted me to the world of Asian films was the fact that everything is totally over the top, and it just wasn’t action films either. Old stories are given new twists, and many scenes and situations are presented that would stupefy most North American audiences. With many of the films the filmmakers have wound up creating genres of their own.

Sex And Zen isn’t your average skin flick like the title suggests. A man isn’t satisfied with the size of his penis and has it lopped off and replaced with a horse’s crank; two women decide to tag team a flute and another woman takes the creative approach and paints pictures on the floor by holding the paintbrush in her vagina. Many would think the film might run along the lines of Tokyo Decadence,but that’s not the case.

Sex And Zen is loosely based on The Carnal Prayer Mat, a work of Chinese literature banned for 350 years. it’s all about a young monk, and his adventures of trying to bed as many women as he can. At the start of the film it almost becomes an Asian version of the British ‘Carry On’ movies. By the midpoint you start feeling like your watching HK pervy version of Henry and June.

There are many twisted sex scenes in Sex and Zen and they nicely wind up being tied together by the price each character ends up paying for screwing around.

All in all the film is hard to pin down. There’s not enough ‘raw’ material to classify it as porn. even though some scenes are highly erotic. It’s also hard to look at as a straight comedy as it may be a bit too twisted for some.

If you have an appetite for a literary twisted sex comedy with a bit of, ‘sweet and sour pork’ on the side then Sex And Zen will satisfy

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Apparently  after the success of Sex and Zen in 93, and it’s subsequent two sequels, HK is rolling out ‘Sex and Zen:3D’, in 2011. One can only imagine from the trailer that the skeezers in the theaters will be working overtime with the ‘fists of fury’.  Let’s hope they also leave the 3d fluids at home outside of the screenings, where they don’t belong.

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The Evolution Of Bullshit

Posted in Daily flow on January 31, 2011 by twm68

From the beginning of mankind, in caves in the South of France, a  scribe woke up one day with a an itch to carve his piece out on the side of a cave wall, and that he did. And with the first primitive man who had the notion to transcribe his musings to the masses, also came the first, ‘critic’. If anything was going to be acknowledged by the tribe, there had to be someone waiting in the wings ready to piss all over the wall to confirm their dissatisfaction.

While it’s uncertain whether or not our scribe split the critic’s lid with his stone axe, the negative assessment of his work didn’t dissuade  him from truckin on. With his first blurb set in stone, he raised his freak flag high outside his cave for all to see. If  people were rolling through the primeval sprawl of  bedrock and felt the need to drop by to peruse his work, it was all good. On the other hand if it was just their intention to ridicule or to criticize, he could give a popcorn fart for their final Judgements. There would be more cave drawings to come, good or bad, regardless of public opinion. Time proved the scribe to be victorious, as his work became recognized centuries later for it’s historical relevance in modern museums of art, while the final remains of the critics lay encased in the petrified waste of some wild animal long gone extinct.

As history rolled on, and Gutenberg got a hold of things, man began to print his ruminations. Regardless of the medium,he continued to peck out his piece, and the critics followed right behind him always willing to spout off, and with their self assumed importance and authority.

Now, you don’t have to be Aristotle to know that creativity and criticism go together like stink and shit. We’re not here to pontificate, and state the obvious, nor are we here to declare some kind of jihad on critics. Everyone is entitled to their two cents, so long don’t try passing it off as a dollar. Just because you have a wild hair up your ass for Catcher in the Rye, doesn’t mean everyone else is lined up around the block, sold hook line and sinker. There’s a reason it’s called ‘taste’, as some take a liking to liver and onions,while others lean towards broccoli.

There’s a lot of people who continually get off on playing the role of media vultures picking everything apart and then shitting out an opinion.  Regardless of their intent or levels of intellect, they’re still entitled to mount their digital donkeys and chase their internet windmills. Censorship and intolerance are not the answer. In the immortal words of Mark Twain, ‘Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak, because a baby can’t chew it.’. People can say what they need to say, and will continue to do so. It’s up to everyone else to evaluate whether or not those opinions are worth acknowledging. If your aim is true, and your piece comes from either your heart or nether regions, chances are im going to take some kind of notice.

For the two of you out there who have stuck it out thus far, and have managed to feign a modicum of interest, I Ithank you and welcome you.  I’m not going to blow proverbial smoke up anyone’s ass about my intentions with this blog. I’m not trying to subjugate,educate,illuminate,convert,pervert,or sell you amway. The deal with Cinema Satori is a purely selfish one.  The blog is my own personal cathartic cave,  Shriner’s Lodge of sanity, what have you. . Cinema Satori is simply a repository of reviews, and a place to  throw down an indefinite number of words regarding my appreciation of cinema, and world film. Regardless of how you got here, here you are.  All opinions aside, I invite you to pull up a stool, order something cool and wet, and stay awhile. Excuse me for a minute while I pick up my chisel. I need to get back to carving the cave…

Welcome to the lodge – Es Selamu Aleikum!

And so it begins…..

Posted in Daily flow on January 26, 2011 by twm68

First up, I’d like to dedicate this piece to the memory of one Mr Adolph Caesar. The man had a golden throat, and a voice slicker than malt liquor that laid down magic over some of the most vintage exploitation trailers of the seventies. His voice-over work  included  Cleopatra Jones, Superfly, Blacula, JD’s Revenge, Abby  and Dawn of the Dead. He also starred in Norman Mailer’s often overlooked WWII whodunnit, ‘A Soldier’s Story’.

Anyone who grew up in the eighties no doubt heard Caesar’s voice promoting the United Negro College Fund as,  ‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste’.  While a large percentage of art becomes victim to time and obscurity, some things escape these pitfalls, and become ageless. The voice of Adolph Caesar is one of them. The next time you happen to eyeball the Dawn Of The Dead trailer, pour one out for Adolph Caesar.