Category Archives: Out of the Past

The Return of Jesse Pinkman

Confirmed at last!

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie written and directed by Vince Gilligan, will premiere on Netflix on 11 October 2019.

Here’s the first trailer:

The promo is set in the offices of the Drug Enforcement Agency, and if you look closely, you’ll see framed photographs of DEA agents Hank Schrader and Steven Gomez on the office wall. Inside, low-level meth dealer (and surprisingly talented keyboard player) Skinny Pete is being interrogated by DEA agents about the location of Jesse Pinkman. He graciously declines to cooperate.

Netflix reportedly did not plan to announce the movie this early, but leaks, including a fake web page for El Camino, started showing up on Reddit yesterday, forcing the company’s hand.

Aaron Paul returns as Jesse, There’s no word yet about which, if any, of the other Breaking Bad cast members will appear in the movie. That probably depends on Vince Gilligan’s use of flashbacks, since so many of Breaking Bad’s characters wound up dead.

I’ve already cleared my calendar for Friday, 11 October 2019.

Here’s the poster:

Advertisements

More about That Incredible Wallpaper at the V&A

Here’s a bit more by and about Fallen Fruit, aka David Allen Burns and Austin Young, who created the fantastic wallpaper for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s “FOOD: Bigger than the Plate” exhibition, which runs through 20 October 2019. The artists drew their inspiration from images in the V&A’s massive collection of prints.

Detail from "Fruits from the Garden and the Field"

Detail from “Fruits from the Garden and the Field”

Here’s a video from the artists:


And here’s a PDF containing 321 pages about Fallen Fruits’ larger, long-range goals,  notes on the V&A show, and lots of amateur collages.

90210 Revisited

I missed it!

I lost track of time and completely forgot that tonight was the premiere of Fox’s BH90210 miniseries. Even worse, I can’t find the show playing on any of my video-on-demand accounts, as if it’s, I don’t know, 1990 or something, so I’ll have no idea what happened in the first episode unless I can find somebody who videotaped it. Hope they have VHS.

But having no idea what I’m talking about has never stopped me from posting here in the past, so what follows are my thoughts on the Return to 90210.

As I’ve previously written, I’ve always blamed Beverly Hills, 90210 and the even more horrendous Saved by the Bell for making the Millenials the way they are. Those two shows were originally broadcast at the exact point in time when gullible young Millenials—and are there any other kind?—were in search of role models, and at their most suggestible.

It’s no coincidence that the Peach Pit’s specialty of the house was avocado toast.

But enough about the past.

Unfortunately, the new version of 90210 is without the one actor who held the original show together. I’m referring, of course, to Joe E. Tata,* aka Nat Bussichio, the owner and operator of the Peach Pit.

You probably thought I was referring to someone else. And you’d have a point: Where is Tiffani-Amber Thiessen? I wouldn’t be surprised if someone made a surprise guest appearance in a later episode. Maybe she’ll bring Screech along for a visit.

And what about Carly Reynolds, played by Hilary Swank, who was reportedly dropped from the show because her performance wasn’t up to 90210 standards? I haven’t heard much about her since she left the show, and I’ve always wondered what became of her. Did she ever do any more acting?

Also MIA,  Jim and Cindy Walsh, who are probably still in Hong Kong, leading the demonstrations against the oppressors on the mainland.

Anyhow, since I missed the first episode, I have no idea whether the producers used the plot outline I’d submitted for their consideration.

In my version, which may have been slightly influenced by the fact that I’d recently binged on 16 slasher movies on Netflix, we discover that Scott Scanlon, David’s friend in the first season, survived his famous gun accident, but was left horribly disfigured, and was sent to a Mexican sanatorium by his guilt-ridden parents. While there, he met two other patients undergoing court-ordered therapy: Dylan’s deranged stalker, Emily Valentine, and the embittered and violent Ray Pruit, Donna’s abusive ex-boyfriend. The three of them escape together and hide out in the attic of the Peach Pit, where they plot revenge and design scary facemasks. One by one, the main BH90210 characters meet grisly fates, until there’s no one left except for The Last Girl….

It’s gotta be Shannen Doherty, right?

I mean, who else stands a chance. Not Brian Austin Green. Not The Ziering, that’s for sure.

if you saw the premiere, I’d love to hear from you about how close I came to the final product.


*If Tori Spelling had married Joe E. Tata, she’d be Tori Tata. If Tiffani-Amber Thiessen had married Joe E. Tata, she’d be T.A.T. Tata.

“Infinite Space” at ARTECHOUSE

“Infinite Space, the first major retrospective of the work of award-winning, Los-Angeles-based, Turkish-born artist Refik Anadol, invites visitors to open their senses to the endless transformation and infinite possibilities at the intersection of man and machine.”
—from the program notes

That quote got me thinking about the endless transformation and infinite possibilities at the intersection of me and my vacuum cleaner, but perhaps I was taking it too literally.

The current environment in the main room at ARTECHOUSE suffered from a long, dull opening sequence that drove many of us from the room. It was only later that the artist gave us a taste of the mesmerizing beauty that keeps us coming back to the venue:

The walls in ARTECHOUSE’s main room are 30-feet high, so the video is best viewed full screen.

The real fun at this show was in the Infinity Rooms in the side galleries, where mirrored, angled walls created a high tech funhouse effect. Seeing two people who look vaguely familiar simultaneously approaching you from a corridor on your right and from a side hall on your left, and then realizing that they’re both you, is a wonderfully disorienting experience.*

If you wanted, you could be a one-person chorus line.

Two’s company, four’s a crowd.
Look closer. There are only four people in this picture.

“Infinite Space” will run through 2 September 2019.


The Lady From Shanghai
That Scene from Orson Welles’ 1947 film noir.


*Even though those two people are considerably older and heavier than you are.

Happy birthday, Queen Victoria!

Victoria, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India, was born on 24 May 1819, 200 years ago today.

That was “Victoria” by the Kinks, from the album Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire). Queen Victoria had been dead for 68 years when the Kinks recorded the song in 1969. Another couple of decades, and “Victoria” will be closer in time to the Victorian Age than to our own brave new world. Boats against the current….

“Canada to India
Australia to Cornwall
Singapore to Hong Kong
From the West to the East
From to the rich to the poor
Victoria loved them all.”

If you pay close attention to the lyrics, you might catch hints of the band’s signature working-class rage peeking through all the exaltation, but we’ll ignore that for now. Victoria’s bicentennial gives good Anglophiles everywhere a reason to celebrate, from the West to the East.


Home Again

In lesser news, I’m back from beautifully gloomy Budapest, and ready to resume posting.

I dined well, and you’re gonna hear all about it.

New Tales of the City

“When I first got off the bus years ago, I had the strangest feeling that I’d come home.”
—Laura Linney as Mary Ann Singleton in Tales of the City

Oh, yes, Mary Ann, in this you are not unique. The first time I was in San Francisco, I had exactly the same feeling.*

And now, thanks to Netflix, we’re going home again.

“inspired by the books of Armistead Maupin, the new Netflix Limited Series Tales of the City begins a new chapter in the beloved story. Mary Ann (Laura Linney) returns to present-day San Francisco and is reunited with her daughter Shawna (Ellen Page) and ex-husband Brian (Paul Gross), twenty years after leaving them behind to pursue her career. Fleeing the midlife crisis that her picture-perfect Connecticut life created, Mary Ann is quickly drawn back into the orbit of Anna Madrigal (Olympia Dukakis), her chosen family and a new generation of queer young residents living at 28 Barbary Lane.”

Tales of the City had its start as a three-times-a-week serial in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Author Armistead Maupin mixed real and (mainly) fictional characters to capture the essence of San Francisco in the 1970s.  Maupin succeeded in doing for The City what Tom Wolfe failed to do for New York in Bonfire of the Vanities, probably the most overrated novel of the late 20th century. The column became must-read material, and a cult was born.

The first novelization of the serial was published in 1978, followed by five more volumes published at two-year intervals, with three more books released after a 20-year gap.

In 1993, Channel 4 (UK) turned the first book into a superb miniseries, which was shown on PBS in the US in early 1994. Here’s the trailer:

Good news! That original series is currently streaming on Acorn.

The new series will be released on Netflix on 7  June  2019.


Bonus Track

The great Laura Linney makes an uncredited appearance in this video for the also-great Aimee Mann. Watch closely, and see if you can spot her.


* Granted, I also had exactly the same feeling the first time I was in London, and the first time I was in Paris. Never had it in my own hometown,  though, for some reason….

North Bergen High School’s Alien. The Story Just Keeps Getting Better

Remember the North Bergen (New Jersey) High School production of Alien that went viral last month? After audience members posted a few key scenes from the play to YouTube, it was praised by everyone from Phil Murphy, the Governor of New Jersey, to Ridley Scott, director of the original film, and Sigourney Weaver, who starred as Ripley in the Aliens movies. Scott was so impressed that he donated $5,000 so that the North Bergen kids could stage it again for a limited run. The encore production opened Friday night.

Guess who showed up to surprise the cast and crew, and to introduce the performance.


Redditor Gato1980 posted this video of Friday’s full performance:

Gato1980 also posted the timestamps for key scenes: The Face-hugger scene is at 29:00, the Chest-burster scene is at 48:30, the alien reveal is at 54:08, the alien attack scene is at 1:10:45, and Sigourney outro is at 1:24:50.