The Elegant Perversity of Dogtooth

Dogtooth, the 2009 Greek film, is not going to be for everyone.  In a sense, it’s a slow dark comedy horror movie, which happens to be a genre I like.  Movies like The Shining, Let There Be Blood, and Drag Me To Hell, all fall into this category for me as well.  There’s a little blood in Dogtooth and if you can’t stomach a few disturbing images, then this is not the movie for you.  Mom, please do not watch this movie.

For me though, Dogtooth does a lot right.  The best thing a movie can do is make me intensely curious about what’s happening and how it’s going to turn out from the very first moment.  Then as the state of things is slowly revealed, retain that sense of total curiosity.  Dogtooth did that.

Families have their own weird myths and in-jokes and this movie kind of takes that idea and blows it out to the highest degree.  Almost the entire movie takes place in a beautiful home out in the boonies of Greece, since the three teenage children who live there are not allowed to leave the premises.  The idea seems sweetly innocent, and indeed the beautiful children play many innocent and beautiful games, even though enduring pain seems to be a common theme of many of them.

As the movie progresses though it becomes clear just how twisted and perverse their upbringing has been, and that the parents are willfully doing it, for whatever reason.  In my opinion though, it never devolves into total slasher nightmare.  These teenagers natural aggression and sexuality just doesn’t have anywhere to go, and it bubbles out in increasingly inappropriate ways.

As you might be able to guess, there are serious sexual overtones, and some of the sexual scenes are pretty explicit.  I doubt this movie would have been able to receive an R rating in the US.  If you liked movies like Secretary, then it’s very possible you’d find this movie hot, in spite of the twisted nature of its sexual rhythm.

It’s on Amazon Prime Video if you wish to watch it.  There is a trailer, but if you’re willing to see it without, I recommend it, since the trailer spoils a bunch of the surprises.  It’s a movie best left to unfold at its own pace.

categories: Films, Reviews
link to this post: Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Ok, Now I Miss Seattle A Little

(excellent photo by Jeremy Hurd used without permission, hopefully there’s forgiveness)

Ok, ok, I’ll admit it. Seattle has its charms. For one thing, I seriously miss The Stranger.  The Village Voice just doesn’t have the same unified snarky voice and dedicated approach to local news.  Sure I can read it online, but I love pulling it’s vibrant cover done by a local artist out of the box and then sitting down to devour it in one sitting with coffee.  Sometimes Savage Love first, sometimes Last Days first.

I miss spaciousness.  Even the major drug store chains in Manhattan are packed in with tiny little inventories and barely enough aisle space for two people to brush past.

I miss beers for five dollars or less.  A seven or eight dollar pint of beer is super normal here.

I miss the hills.  It’s so cool to be on Capitol Hill and look out down Denny and see Queen Anne Hill off in the distance.

I miss everyone looking for a roommate, instead of everyone looking for a place.  When I tell people I’m looking for a place they say, “Are you looking for fee or no fee?”  Like, that’s a thing!  Many apartments here are brokered.  Like, what kind of question is that?  I’m like: I want an apartment.  If someone’s going to ransom it then let’s hear how dear the ransom is!

I even miss the stupid fire dancing and burlesque everywhere.  I’m sure they have that in NYC, but in Seattle all you have to do is play an Aerosmith song and girls suddenly are wearing pasties and spinning fire.

categories: NYC, Seattle
link to this post: Friday, October 14th, 2011

Great New York Signs

Where do I go to get Chinese Qi Gong Tuina?!

Zen like, in the “I have simple tastes, I like only the best” kind of way


Wait, what should I do?

Le French Hot Dog is super sophisticated.  Seriously though, this patisserie is awesome.

Buy three scarves, get a Kung Fu DVD Movie free!


categories: NYC
link to this post: Monday, October 10th, 2011

Video From My NYC Birthday Brother

Met an old Seattle friend. She dragged me home to do kitchen counter-top karaoke with her housemates. (Hi Sunde! (pictured above))

One of them, Thomas had my same birthday (May 9th) and in our drunken YouTube-ings, he brought up this awesome video from the early 70’s of French pop star Adriano Celentano hamming it up to total nonsense in this video. I’ve watched it like a dozen times already.  Turns out this guy has been huge in Italy for 40 years, and he’s been in movies from La Dolce Vita to playing satan in Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ.

Witness the 70’s goodness:



categories: Songs
link to this post: Sunday, October 9th, 2011

NYC Mishaps


Almost everything has gone swimmingly here so far, but not everything.

A list of mishaps in no particular order:

  • I finally decided to pony up and put $50 on a subway card.  Those flimsy little pieces of crap.  It got stuck coming out of the machine and wouldn’t dispense.  Nothing to be done about it.  I just had to fill out some stupid paperwork and try and claim my $50.  I called the phone number and they said they’re backlogged and it takes at least 3 weeks to process the thing.  Maybe it’ll be a nice surprise a month from now.
  • The wonderful person who helped me hustle my stuff into storage dropped my computer from about two feet off the ground.  “Hehehe,” she said, “I’m sure it will be ok.”  It wasn’t.  My computer is totally broken and won’t even load the bios.  Ow.  That one hurt.
  • My old iPhone 3Gs has been chugging along just fine… even after many drops on the head.  I’m trying to make it last until I can buy a 4S, but they still don’t come out for several days.  Now it has almost no battery life, and the headphone jack is broken (I think it stopped working the day Steve Jobs died!) and I’m limping along on no music here in NYC.
  • Nobody is calling me back on apartments.  I’ve called and emailed several places and… crickets.
Otherwise, though, things are going swimmingly.  I’ve been seeing great music, good movies, cool people, and generally just living it up.  And… I’m excited to go to work Monday at Bandwidth Productions.


categories: NYC
link to this post: Saturday, October 8th, 2011

NYC Experiences: Amazing Synchronicity


Everyday, more cool stuff happens than I can even write about. Like, for instance yesterday afternoon I met Steve of the Rising Sun All Stars hip hop collective on the train. He was an earnest guy who told me about the studio they’re building and their show that night.

I told him about Seattle hip hop group Shabazz Palaces and their awesome new album Black Up (I’m going to spread the gospel) and said I’d maybe come to his show after my “friend date”.  Well, a couple hours into the friend date and I randomly run into Steve on the street!  We go see his show (after astoundingly insane opener The Black Fires, pictured above) the All Stars came on and rocked the stage.  It was a perfect end to a perfect day.

categories: NYC
link to this post: Friday, October 7th, 2011

These guys…


After noticing that I was taking photos they called out, “Five dollars!”


categories: NYC
link to this post: Friday, October 7th, 2011

Ok, I’ll admit, the subway is weird and confusing


I struggle to understand its labyrinthine passageways.

categories: NYC
link to this post: Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Cool Places in NYC I


I haven’t eaten at this Manhattan burger joint yet, but I love the sign.


categories: NYC
link to this post: Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Skyscrapers and everything! (A Seattle Sweet Snob moves to New York City)


I’m going to have to change the “Seattle Culture” heading soon since I leaped off a metaphorical cliff and moved to NYC, for any readers who do not know me personally. (Are there any?)

First observation? It’s a lot harder to get a truly good cup of coffee here! I did find at least one nice place in Manhattan where I’m staying though, at Cafe Grumpy. Not bad. Not bad at all. It’s no Vivace though.

I’ve been exploring the Manhattan neighborhoods: Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, etc.

I love the street food. I got a kabab (bbq’d chicken on a stick, in a hot dog bun with BBQ sauce or ketchup) which was serviceable but sadly raw enough to give me salmonella. Then I had “chicken and lamb over rice” with some white sauce on top which was hot, vital and amazing. It’s sort of like arabic teriyaki.

Lastly, my first night in NYC I went to see Portishead at Hammerstein. That was some serious shit. Always wanted to see Beth sing, and I was not disappointed. She did a stripped down no-beat version of Wandering Star that just blew me away! If you have never listened to their newest album, Third, and you like the idea of Portishead a little more abrasive and adventurous, I highly recommend it. They are still a hell of a band after all these years.

categories: Self-Referential
link to this post: Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

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