Thursday, August 9, 2018

Movie Review: Five Fingers for Marseilles (2017)

Five Fingers for Marseilles (2017) - South Africa - Western Thriller - Not Rated
Directed by Michael Matthews
Written by Sean Drummond
Starring Vuyo Dabula, Zethu Dlomo, Kenneth Nkosi, Jerry Mofokeng, Mduduzi Mabaso, Lizwi Vilakazi, Hamilton Dhlamini, Dean Fourie, Kenneth Fok, Anthony Oseyemi, Warren Masemola, Garth Breytenbach, Aubrey Poolo, Brendon Daniels

A compelling film filled with stunning sights and sounds that from opening shot to final frame moves like an unstoppable locomotive.

Five boys in the township of Marseilles in South Africa form a pact to fight against the corrupt police oppression. They call themselves the Five Fingers, vowing not to become like their oppressors. But one day one of them crosses a new line in defending one of their own resulting in the death of two police officers. A self-imposed exile from Marseilles for him leads to a life of crime and violence, until some 20 years later he returns to Marseilles, a stranger, in what seems on the outside to have won the fight against oppression. But what lurks within, even within themselves, is a greater threat than what they overcame. Will he and his brothers in the Five Fingers be able to stand together... or apart?

Struggle is a word for many of us that we can only imagine... for others, that word is life. Oppression is a privileged tool of conquerors and raiders throughout history. Keeping people in check with brutality and despoiling of their property and goods is a significant part of that history and of colonization. The oppressors may have brought their names and infused their ways on a people, but within churns a spirit that was there long before they came. Dress them in different clothes, teach them a new language, a different religion, but inside people know who they are and that can't be taken away.

Opening upon a simple shot of the plains, the air is brisk, the sky is clear and a crackle in a voice sets the tone for what will follow. The narrative is a delight of sight and sound, not telling its story but revealing it. Filled with character and stylings, and permeated with a dynamic soundtrack ticking the mood, unveiled before the viewers eyes and ears is a visceral symphony. A contemporary western set in South Africa it is, but you haven't seen this before.

The story itself is highly allegorical. Most potent of these is the Christ figure represented by the central protagonist of the story, Tau, as well themes of crucifixion and resurrection. Ironically, central to the antagonist is one of entrenched legacy. The mixing of a western with socio-political and spiritual themes dates back to the beginnings of cinema. Perhaps that's why this seems such a good fit for Five Fingers for Marseilles.

For me the final act fizzles a bit. Yet it ups its pace at the same time, so it's give for take. From opening frame to closing shot Five Fingers for Marseilles is consistent in its delivery. So compelling it is that it grabs you by the [please insert preferred genitals here] and doesn't let go. A complete story it is, but just as ambiguous in places it is that too. This works well for it as I can't tell you what you should make of this. Five Fingers for Marseilles provides the ingredients for you to savor for yourself.

Five Fingers for Marseilles features a wonderful South African cast, and obviously a skilled crew. Sight and sound are beautiful to behold. The music throughout is tempestuous. It is subtitled, but this keeps the film text in check as even with reading the dialogue you can get a feel for what the actor is saying without having to understand the words.

My Rating: 5 Fingers

You can find out more on the film's official Facebook and Twitter pages.

Watch the official trailer on YouTube.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

An Interview with Bigfoot Erotica Author Virginia Wade

Some of the damnedest things come out in politics. Most especially with this current administration we've had strippers and playmates and pussy grabbing... oh my!

But Bigfoot erotica?

A congressional race in the state of Virginia and a candidate named Cockburn (really?!) tweets about her opponent and his alleged interest in Bigfoot porn with a picture taken from his Instagram page (now private) of a Bigfoot with an enormous and censored... shall we say organ?

Of course social media ran with this, myself included. And of course with the number of news articles popping up online about this, many can't help but mention Virginia Wade, the best known author of Bigfoot erotica with 16 books in her Cum for Bigfoot series alone. And naturally I couldn't help (honest, ah couldn't) but chide her about being a bad influence on politicians.

For those of you not familiar with Virginia Wade the author, let me introduce you to her.

Virginia is, or has been, a stay at home mom of two children, now grown. She is also a mother of an autistic child which any mother of an autistic child can relate to. Brought up as an army brat her childhood and teen years were spent in many places, but now she makes Colorado her home. Her father helps out in editing her writings while her mother, a German teacher, has translated her writings.

Writing can be profitable for a good writer who not only finds their niche but also gets out and promotes themselves. "Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door", a saying attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson in part is true, but should be appended "but only if you tell them about it."

Her better mousetrap is erotica, and more specifically Bigfoot and monster erotica. Known for not only fringe premises like sex with aliens, demons, an assortment of movie monsters, and even a murder mystery where the weapon was a dildo, her trademark fun approach to storytelling and sense of humor brings her readers back.

Fletch: Why Bigfoot? With a variety of potential human companions in erotica, what interested you in writing about Bigfoot instead?

Virginia: I had already written about Tarzan and Jane and my version of Jane Austen, with the Filthy Classics, so it made perfect sense to tackle Bigfoot. It was a crazy idea, and I ran with it.

Fletch: Cryptozoology in essence has been around since cavepeople. Imagining what was beyond the known world, and the creatures that inhabited it, has sparked many a journey. Your Bigfoot fiction most definitely has its readership. Is it this age old curiosity, or what is it, that attracts readers?

Virginia: It might be a healthy curiosity about Bigfoot’s sex life, and what that might entail. He is especially well-endowed, after all. Sex is one of his favorite things, that and food. His needs are few, but they drive him to take risks, especially when it comes to kidnapping young ladies for his pleasure.

Fletch: Porsche and Leonard are the two main characters in your Cum for Bigfoot series. Writers often, if not to some degree always, put a little of themselves into their work.

(1) Are there any inspirations for Porsche and Leonard from your life or people you know?

(2) Considering that question and knowing that, compared to you, your husband is a big guy, has this been an influence, or pointed out to you if it wasn't?

Virginia: I think it’s most women’s wish to have some strong, big guy protect and care for them. Real life expectations might’ve gotten mixed in with the fiction. Leonard, although insatiably horny, always took very good care of his women.

I didn’t model Leonard or Porsche after anyone in particular.

Fletch: Vampires, werewolves, demons, the Invisible Man, you've written erotica involving many of the standards in the monster codex, and of course not so standard too. Kind of like the Universal Monsters of erotica. Have you been influenced by movies in your writings?

Virginia: I’m sure I have. Watching Pride and Prejudice inspired me to want to know how Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy behaved in the bedroom. The Filthy Classics sprang from that.

Fletch: Being I brought up monster movies, your new Sasquatch series brings into being a lab created Sasquatch. A spin on Frankenstein? Why a new Bigfoot series?

Virginia: I wrote it for the fans. It had been years since I had published monster sex, so I wanted to put something new out there that didn’t have anything to do with the original series, yet there would be more Bigfoot sex.

Fletch: Bigfoot and politics. Aside from that run for the presidency in 2015/16 you made*, is Bigfoot erotica being discussed in the light of congressional campaigns, or any political campaign, something you would have ever anticipated?

Virginia: No. I’m as shocked as anyone else that we are mixing politics with monster sex, or maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

*Virginia didn't actually run for president. Another erotica author created a Twitter account and ran a tongue-in-cheek campaign for her.

Fletch: I understand since the political race in Virginia (What a coinkydink!) brought up the subject of Bigfoot erotica that you've been getting some mention in blog articles, tweets (ah swears I don't know who's been doing that), and interview requests. Have you been getting much attention as a result of this?

Virginia: I’ve had several requests for interviews in the last two days. Older interviews I’ve done are swirling around Twitter and other social media sites. Sales are up too!

Fletch: Cum for Bigfoot has been your trademark series with 16 books. It's been a while since number 16. What have you been writing lately?

Virginia: In January I published Namaste with Sasquatch, which is a 4-part series of Bigfoot erotica set at a yoga camp in the Rocky Mountains. A new group of young women discover the pleasures of being kidnapped and seduced by Bigfoot.

You can find Virginia Wade on Twitter and Facebook. Check out her books on Amazon and Smashwords. Her series include Cum for Bigfoot, Namaste with Sasquatch, The Coven, Cum for the Viking and her Stacy stories. Individual titles include Cum for the Invisible Man, Who Killed Cole Custer in the Library with a Dildo?, Bred at Bible Camp, Breeding the Lusty Babysitter, Pride and Penetration, Cum for the Phantom, Cum for the Demon, The Demon in Alice, Crissy's Naughty Daddy, Sweet Melissa, Dirty Preacher Daddy, Island Curves (A BBW Romance) and many others too numerous to mention.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

A Plea for Sanity: Buy a Book

Before the internet there was a wonderful invention called a book. When we needed to know the meaning of a word we looked it up in a dictionary. We could learn about history and the people who populated it in an encyclopedia.

Oh... there's an online encyclopedia for that today? Well those encyclopedias we used were written by people studied in their particular fields, not by Billy Joe Jim Bob Jr. who gets his facts from a bathroom stall.

The internet used to be called the information superhighway, but has more realistically become the misinformation superhighway. Somebody starts a rumor and before the internet when we were kids we could ask our parents if it was true. Somebody starts a rumor online and people gobble it up and accept it as fact, pell mell.

What got me thinking about this was the latest definition floating around the internet about the word "tag" meaning "touch and go". Look it up in a dictionary and you will not see that as a definition. But you will see it floating around online as though it is fact, even though you can just go to the page about it on Snopes to get the lowdown on this latest internet misinformation.

I just wonder where we are headed as a generation brought up on the internet. Our parents would tell us not to get into cars with strangers... and today there is Uber. Somebody would write about someone giving good head on a bathroom stall... and today there is Facebook. And of course with Fox News and a compulsive liar for a president facts just aren't what they used to be.

If you want to know something about a car you ask a mechanic. If you're concerned about your health you go to a doctor. If you want to know about poverty and homelessness you sure as hell don't ask a rich person. But the age old warning of not accepting candy from strangers has faded, and the internet is filled with candy and almost all of it from strangers.

For goodness sake. Don't take your advice from Facebook, Twitter and fools. Look it up. Find it for yourself. A good place to start is in a book or a library... not a bathroom stall.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Indie Film TV: Coming to a Browser Near You... Sort of

Friday Night Indie TV

A new project I'm working on in the vein of my Friday Night 80s Party I used to run. Looking for it to be a six hour block of programming to be tweeted on Friday nights from 6pm to midnight E.S.T. featuring short indie films, web series, and a feature length indie film; all available to watch for free on YouTube, Vimeo or other video sharing sites.

What started this?

Frankly myself becoming sick of network TV. With what seems like a pell mell cancellation of shows and changes in shows without one ounce of regard for the fans, network TV has picked up bad habits from "big retail". Network TV's response of "we don't answer questions about our program changes" (paraphrased) illustrates without a doubt that the viewer does not matter and the viewer is just someone to be played like someone being sold a used car or time share.

There are far more indie filmmakers, and I mean FAR more, than there are big studios. No, indie filmmakers are NOT investment firms that spend millions to make a film strictly for a return and call themselves independents. Indie filmmakers work out of their homes, even rent time in small studios, and investments are small and only offset what they have to spend out of pocket often putting it on a credit card. 

Far more filmmakers are making better and by far more original films than what is coming out of big studios. It may not be as high gloss and CGI filled as what Hollywood wants to force feed you, but all that gloss and CGI is replaced with things like story, heart and sweat.

With all of what is being produced by indie filmmakers, and there is a gargantuan lot that is being produced by indie filmmakers, and ignored by self-ploclaimed Roger Ebert wannabe film critics (and if I hurt anybody's feelings with that... GOOD!), why not organize some of that content into a programming block like TV does?

True. This is not a TV network or channel. But it is a basis that maybe someone else can build on and rather than the usual star and smug filled content big studios and networks want to proffer, they might be able to run with it and provide an indie only web channel. Just a thought.

My initial idea for a block of programming, naturally likely to change, is to have:
1) A horror show/hour featuring several short subjects.
2) A comedy show/hour featuring several short subjects.
3) A non-themed showcase featuring other short subjects.
4) A regular web series episode
5) A full length feature film for the Friday Night Movie of the Week
6) A video podcast review or interview show.

I would also like to fill in gaps with music videos from up and coming indie bands and some retro TV commercials just for fun.

In addition to the block of tweets on Friday nights I also want to set up a blog specifically for the show in which I'll post each week's programming block so you can access it anytime at your leisure.

This is not content exclusive to me. These are shorts and films that you could find on your own if you knew what to search for and where to search. I'm just doing the work in putting it together and hopefully will be able to depend on indie filmmakers to provide me with links to their films I can use. This is simply another way to help promote indie film and at the same time give a finger to network TV.

This will take some time to set up, most especially with my internet being as poor as it is. Right now I'm looking at it being a few months away. I'll keep you updated.

*Addendum - I cannot use VOD, Prime or any other paid or subscription services for this. The idea is to make it like a block of TV programming someone can just tune in and watch. This means free to watch and publicly accessible videos only. The advantage to you as a filmmaker is getting your work seen and also being introduced via this promotion to people who may not be familiar with you or your work.