by Sam Juliano
Halloween is around the corner, and those festive for the day have been getting a head start by displaying their unique garb on local and city streets, and at night club parties. There seems to be more costume stores open than ever before, though one wonders what they do for business for most of the year. In the metropolitan area leaves have finally began to turn, what with frosty evenings and a slow evacuation of the elements that have conspired to keep some summer residue hanging around. The family paid a visit on Sunday to Clinton Place in Hackensack, New Jersey, an enclave where residents have faithfully maintained a Halloween tradition, decking out their homes with awesome decorations for many years. The WitD sidebar is properly adored, courtesy as always to the incomparable Dee Dee. The World Series is shaping out to be a real humdinger, with the Cards holding a 2 to 1 edge as of this writing. Game 4 is set for 8:00 Sunday night. The football fans who root for the Giants have a glimmer of hope, as the team has now won two games after losing the first half dozen.
My very good friend, filmmaker and musician Jason Giampietro sent me an IM this afternoon with the sad news of the passing of Velvet Underground icon Lou Reed, who died in Manhattan at the age of 70. Reed (I know, a racist label has maligned him) was a singular talent, one of the true geniuses of the rock era. Giampietro, who went as far as to tell me that he thought Velvet Underground were his second favorites behind the Beatles, was in a melancholic mood, and clearly like so many, was deeply moved by this lamentable news.
The weekly voting has ended after almost 20 months and many won’t soon forget their regular appearances to do their thing each and every Sunday. Began and executed by Allan Fish, and ably assisted by the ever-enthusiastic Joel Bocko and that ball of energy Dean Treadway, this long-running project will go down as one of the site’s greatest accomplishments. The spectacular round-up was published on Sunday.
The western countdown continues to move forward, with 20 entries now in the books. Page views remain extremely impressive, and comments are at least holding their own. The writers continue to bring their A game to the endeavor.
An unexpected sell out on Saturday night prevented Lucille and I from taking in the three-hour Cannes winner, BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR at the IFC, but plans are in place to see it later tonight (Monday). Otherwise, I finished the indescribably superlative BREAKING BAD at home, with the final four episodes raising the bar for this magisterial show. Lucille and I also (with the kids for the two horror films) watched three films in theaters over the past week:
Black Sunday ***** (Friday night) Jersey City Loews movie palace
The Bride of Frankenstein ***** (Sunday morning) Film Forum
I Am Divine **** (Saturday night) Cinema Village
The cult icon Divine (Harris Glen Milstead) was the focus of a new documentary by Jeffrey Schwarz, that combines interviews with his mother, close friends and Waters (with some welcome clips featuring the great Edith Massey) and various taped conversations with Divine, tracing his early years and later stardom. His girth, his addiction to pot, his eating shit on the set of Pink Flamingos and his larger than life persona made this a keeper, and an essential documentary for Divine and Waters’ fans.
Both James Whale’s THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN and Mario Bava’s BLACK SUNDAY have been talked about on these pages numerous times, but it’s always a treat to see them again on the big screen. The giant Loews Jersey City mega-screen, particularly, was a great way to take in Bava’s vampire classic, though THE BRIDE at the Film Forum can never be short changed either.