History lesson time. In 1970, The Beatles are broken up and John Lennon is living in New York with Yoko Ono. Lennon is screening his experimental art films at a theatre called the Elgin in the Chelsea district. Naturally, the New York hipster elite show up to see these movies. Not necessarily for the films, but you can smoke pot in the Elgin. One night in December 1970, Lennon screens someone else’s movie at midnight after his are done. It was a Mexican film called El Topo made by a Chilean born director named Alejandro Jodorowsky.
Every once in a while a film is made with a premise that’s so stupid it’s brilliant — Groundhog Day or Terminator for instance. Well step aside Bill Murray and James Cameron because a New Zealeander, Jonathan King, has just out stupided you with Black Sheep. You’ve never heard of him and neither have I. His background is in directing music videos for bands you’ve never heard of in a country I can’t find on a map. Here’s what I do know about New Zealand though:
1) They have a really good rugby team.
If you’re a reader of this magazine (which suggests you possess a certain level of taste) and don’t know who Gregg Araki is then you need to go straight to the video store and begin your education. Responsible for such wacky, gross, sardonic, angst-ridden, beautiful and, according to me, seminal indie flicks as Nowhere and The Doom Generation (which Roger Ebert called a ‘sleazefest’ and granted zero stars), Araki has never shied away from taboo subjects.
Regrettably, I didn’t ask Casey Spooner if he’s wearing a wig in the video for Fischerspooner’s “Just Let Go.” The lead track from the duo’s new album, Odyssey, is a surprisingly beefy number and the video even features humans from earth treating acoustic instruments such as the guitar and the drums with apparent expertise.
Don McKellar is a busy guy. In quantity and quality, McKellar has developed an unparalleled body of work in Canadian cinema. From Roadkill and Highway 61 to The Red Violin and Last Night, McKellar has defined his career by consistently getting involved in some of the best feature films this country has ever produced.