Tickets for our Rock & Roll High School screening on September 23rd (held at the Museum Of Natural History, 1747 Summer Street) will be available starting tomorrow morning at 10 AM at Strange Adventures, 5110 Prince Street, in downtown Halifax! The screening is free, but you will need a ticket to get in as seating is limited. Don’t miss it!
Who are we to argue?
These are the last of the fake VHS covers I created for The Dart Gallery’s Last Exit To Springfield show. The show ended on Monday, but I think there are still a few pieces on exhibit, should you find yourself in downtown Dartmouth over the next few days. Check it out!
One final note—this was an incredibly fun project, but I’m kicking myself for not adding one detail to the box for Help! My Son Is A Nerd: “Features The Hit Single I Do Believe We’re Naked, by Funky See Funky Do.” Era-appropriate and everything, I just thought of it about a week too late. Oh well.
Here’s three more of the bogus VHS covers I created for the Last Exit To Springfield show at The Dart Gallery. Full disclosure—the image for The Boatjacking Of Supership ‘79 was based on the amazing one-sheet for the film Juggernaut, the art for Help! My Son Is A Nerd is a takeoff on the poster for the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Jingle All The Way, and The Bloodening artwork was inspired by the poster for movie that the fake horror film was clearly based on, Village Of The Damned.
There are few things I love more than a stupid undertaking, and this might be the stupidest undertaking I’ve ever under…tooken? Anyway, The Dart Gallery, a cool spot on Portland Street in Dartmouth, is celebrating 25 years of The Simpsons with a crazy art show called Last Exit To Springfield, dedicated to what might well be the best & most influential TV comedy ever made, animated or otherwise. My contribution was a discount bin from the fictional VHS Village video store (remember those?) that the family used to occasionally visit, filled with VHS tapes representing some of the movies that were mentioned over the course of the series. Movie advertising and video box art are something of a passion of mine, so this was less like work and more like a headfirst dive into an already out-of-control obsession. My only regret was that I didn’t have the time or resources to actually make the movies on these tapes. Maybe when the show has been on the air for 50 years?
Also, I know these pictures are kinda garbage, so I plan on posting hi-res versions of the front and back covers of these over the next little while. Or, if you’re in the area, you can see ‘em in person at Dart Gallery, along with the other incredible pieces on display in the show. You won’t be sorry you did, it’s a really fun show filled with impressive, imaginative pieces, and it’s on until the 25th of August.
I’m sure somebody must have done this already, but just in case…here’s a bit of Guardians Of The Galaxy fan art I did over the weekend, inspired by John Alvin’s poster art for Footloose. Kevin Bacon would have made a pretty cool Star-Lord if this movie was made 30 years ago, come to think of it. Here’s hoping GotG has a cool punch-dancing (dance-punching?) sequence, or at the very least, a Bonnie Tyler-accompanied game of chicken—only with spaceships instead of tractors.
Richard Elman’s novelization of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver was a gift from my friend Nathan Boone, one I finally got around to reading this past week. I assume Elman was working from Paul Schrader’s original screenplay rather than the finished film—the rough framework of the story is still there, but a lot of the dialogue and descriptions of characters are different. Elman also delves a bit more into Travis Bickle’s military past, a detail that isn’t discussed much in the movie. Scorsese was wise enough to not lean too heavily on what was, even as early as 1976, a pretty well-worn stereotype. Elman informs his version of Travis with a considerable amount of PTSD, even if it wasn’t called that yet. At the conclusion of his meeting with “travelling salesman” Easy Andy, Travis says of his time in the service, “They’d never get me to go back. Never. They’d have to shoot me first. I’d never go back alive.”
The story is told from Travis’s perspective, often in a jittery, stream-of-consciousness ramble. It reads a bit like Catcher In The Rye as told by Rorschach. There’s one particularly haunting scene, not in the film, where Travis sees a man either falling to his death (presumably a suicide) from a high-rise building. It’s a recurring image that pops up now and again to good effect, embodying Travis’s state of mind and speaking to his own death wish. At 143 pages, composed of chapters that often only last two or three pages, Elman’s Taxi Driver can be read in a sitting or two. Without the accompanying visuals of Scorsese’s hellishly scuzzy, neon-streaked New York, or Robert DeNiro’s iconic performance, though, it’s little more than a lurid pulp thriller. It is, however, a portal right into Travis Bickle’s headspace, if for some reason you actually want to spend any more time in there.