Friday, March 28, 2014

Jerry Seinfeld Standup special (1998)

Only a few months after the Seinfeld finale, Jerry Seinfeld did an HBO special, supposedly as part of retiring some of his older material. For an HBO standup show, he kept the material remarkably clean, and still he got huge laughs. Because he can. I don't know of anyone else who does standup this funny. Download recommended.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lee vs. Grant (2011) Documentary by the History Channel.

Ken Burns CIVIL WAR Documentary was taken down before I could post the whole thing. Here's a substitute, before I move on to lighter fare. Not nearly as absorbing or lively. Narrated by Johnathan Frakes. Ken Burns' CIVIL WAR can still be searched out on youtube, but I'm damned if I'm going to post it, if there's a chance that's what's alerting the copyright police. Find it yourself, and download it while you can.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Tick (2001) Short-lived superhero comedy on Fox, All Nine Episodes!

Another entertaining superhero parody,starring Patrick Warburton, who shows himself here to be a better actor than I ever gave him credit for. The live action "Tick" was a followup to a successful animated adaption of an indie comic book. Sadly, the show only lasted for nine episodes, less than half a season. Happily, all nine episodes are on YouTube From Wikipedia:
The Tick is an American sitcom based on the character Tick from the comic book of the same name. It aired on Fox in late 2001 and was produced by Columbia TriStar Television. With a pilot airing on November 8, the series ran nine episodes on broadcast television. It was released to DVD in 2003.
Starring Patrick Warburton as the Tick, David Burke as Arthur, Nestor Carbonell as Bat Manuel, Liz Vassey as Captain Liberty
There's more information on the wikipedia page. Click on the link above. Here's a couple more episodes



American Exerience: "THE LOBOTOMIST" (2008)

Vezi mai multe din Documentare, Science & Tech pe

 This is one of my favorite documentaries. Dr. Walter Freeman (1895-1972) created the psycho-surgery technique known as the "trans-orbital lobotomy", going in under the eyeball, instead of through the front of the skull. This made lobotomies relatively safe and about as non-invasive as brain surgery could be. Doctor Freeman then went about the business of promoting lobotomy as a medical solution to a whole range of emotional, behavioral and social problems-- with tragic results.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Private Practices, the Story of a Sex Surrogate (1985 documentary, NSFW)

I saw this documentary 25 years ago, and, at the time, I was quite moved.
From Wikipedia:

A sexual surrogate, sometimes called a surrogate partner, is a member of a sex therapy team consisting of client(s), supervising therapist, and surrogate. Some couples attend sexual surrogacy sessions together, while some people (either single or in a couple) attend them alone. The surrogate engages in education and often intimate physical contact and/or sexual activity with clients to achieve a therapeutic goal. Masters and Johnson introduced the practice in their textbook on Human Sexual Inadequacy, published in 1970.

In 1985, Maureen Sullivan was a Sex Surrogate. She allowed filmmaker Kirby Dick to record every aspect of the thearpy of two patients, who were given therapy free of charge in exchange for their consent. From The Wikipedia article about the film.
Private Practices focuses on sex surrogate Maureen Sullivan and two of her clients. Kipper, a 25-year-old college student, has had little sexual experience with women and seeks help overcoming his shyness. John, a 45-year-old divorcee, believes that his sexual inadequacies are preventing him from finding a new partner. Sullivan works with these men in an attempt to improve their body image, relationship skills, and sexual satisfaction. The film also shows how these patients interact with their friends, family members, and therapists. Many scenes focus on Sullivan, who discusses her history as a surrogate and describes her own relationship difficulties. In one scene, she and her brother confront their father about his abusive behavior and unwillingness to accept Maureen's career choice.

There's a lot in here about Maureen's own relationship issues, and she comes across as almost as wounded and vulnerable as her painfully awkward clients. For Maureen, this seems to have been a trust issue, as if she couldn't ask her clients to make their intimate relationship issues open to public scrutiny without making herself equally vulnerable.

 This is the only version of this film that I could find online find without a pay wall or a membership wall, and it's been cut extensively, about 15 minutes shorter than the other versions, but the nudity and scenes of intimate sexuality that I remember from the late 80s seem to be largely intact. However it's the emotional intensity of the participants that make this film worth watching, and worth remembering.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Legendary Concert: The TAMI Show (1964)

I've been reading about this concert film for years, especially the performance by James Brown, and now its on YouTube!  Interrnet, you've done it again!

Hosted by Jan and Dean, featuring everything from teen pp idols to garage bands to the greatest live acts in history,  it's the perfect mix of show business professionalism and raw rock and roll energy. This video is owned by the mouldering corpse of Dick Clark, so I'd recommend downloading this before somebody takes it down.

From Wikipedia:
T.A.M.I. Show is a 1964 concert film released by American International Pictures. It includes performances by numerous popular rock and roll and R&B musicians from the United States and England. The concert was held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on October 28 and 29, 1964. Free tickets were distributed to local high school students. The acronym "T.A.M.I." was used inconsistently in the show's publicity to mean both "Teenage Awards Music International" and "Teen Age Music International". The best footage from each of the two concert dates was edited into the film, which was released on December 29, 1964. Jan and Dean emceed the event and performed its theme song, "Here They Come (From All Over the World)" written by Los Angeles composers P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri. Jack Nitzsche was the show's music director. The film was shot by director Steve Binder and his crew from The Steve Allen Show, using a precursor to High Definition television called "Electronovision" invented by the self-taught "electronics whiz," Bill Sargent. The film was the second of a handful of productions that used the system.[1] By capturing more than 800 lines of resolution at 25 frame/s, the video could be converted to film via kinescope recording with sufficiently enhanced resolution to allow big-screen enlargement. It is considered one of the seminal events in the pioneering of music films, and more importantly, the later concept of music videos.
Performers: The Barbarians, The Beach Boys, Chuck Berry ,James Brown and The Famous Flames, Marvin Gaye (with backing vocals by The Blossoms),Gerry & the Pacemakers, Lesley Gore, Jan and Dean, Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, The Rolling Stones, and The Supremes.

 I'm still taking it in, but my favorite part so far is seeing the Barbarians perform "Hey Little Bird", featuring a terrific performance by their legendary one-handed drummer, Victor "Moulty" Moulton  .

Moulty became a sort of a cult figure after the autobiographical single "Moulty" was rereleased on the classic "Nuggets" compilation in 1972.  With good natured innocence, Moulty  talks about overcoming adversity after "my accident".  (According to wikipedia, he lost his hand in an explosion when he was 14.)

I first heard "Moulty" in the 1980s, and ever since then , I've felt a real affection for this young man, and to finally get to see his joy in playing the drums is a real treat.

Moulton kept bringing the Barbarians back with new lineups during the seventies ande nineties, without much success, but I like to thing he continued to have a great time.  I thin I may have found him on Google, running a carpet cleaning service in Massachusetts. 

Hope he found that real girl, the one who really loves him.  But either way, I'm sure he don't need no pity!

A couple more Highlights:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Homicide: The Movie (2000)

A reunion/finale of Homicide: Life Of the Streets, one of the greatest cop shows of all time.
Retired police lieutenant Al Giardello is running for mayor on a platform of drug legalization and seems to be the front-runner when he is suddenly shot at a press conference, by an unseen gunman. Unconscious, he is rushed to the hospital. In a montage sequence, each of the detectives who used to work for him during the show's 7-year run learns of the shooting and rushes to the squad room. While some of the detectives are still working Homicide, most have either quit the force, retired, or transferred to other departments. Particular attention is paid to Frank Pembleton, who is now working as a college professor, and Mike Giardello, who has quit the FBI and is now working as a uniformed officer.
Cast: Yaphet Kotto, Melissa Leo, Kyle Secor, Clark Johnson, Richard Belzer, Andre Braugher, Ned Beatty, Reed Diamond, Megan Russert, Isabella Hofmann, Peter Gerety, Jon Seda, Callie Thorne, Michelle Forbes, Giancarlo Esposito Max Perlich, Jon Polito, Daniel Baldwin

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Apollo 12 Uncensored

From Wikipedia:
Apollo 12 was the sixth manned flight in the United States Apollo program and the second to land on the Moon (an H type mission). It was launched on November 14, 1969 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, four months after Apollo 11. Mission commander Charles "Pete" Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan L. Bean performed just over one day and seven hours of lunar surface activity while Command Module Pilot Richard F. Gordon remained in lunar orbit.
The landing site for the mission was located in the southeastern portion of the Ocean of Storms. Unlike the first landing on Apollo 11, Conrad and Bean achieved a precise landing at their expected location, the site of the Surveyor 3 unmanned probe, which had landed on April 20, 1967. They carried the first color television camera to the lunar surface on an Apollo flight, but transmission was lost after Bean accidentally destroyed the camera by pointing it at the Sun. On one of two moonwalks, they visited the Surveyor, and removed some parts for return to Earth. The mission ended on November 24 with a successful splashdown.

What makes this documentary special, in a nice, low-key way, is the fact that they've let the men tell their own story, without a narrator, and their voices and personalities shine through. I was almost 12 years old when Apollo 12 flew, into space the way some kids are into dinosaurs, and Apoolo 12, the second mission to the surface of the moon, always seemed special to me. These men seemed especially likable. Forty years later, it's nice to have my original impression confirmed, in so many words, right in the the beginning, when a writer talked about how much fun these guys had, and that they had been friends even before coming to the space program.

Oh, but here's the interesting thing about that.  Seconds into the mission, during the liftoff of the mammoth Saturn motherfucking Five rocket, right when the power of an A Bomb was being unleashed right under their asses, when the roar is so loud the spacecraft was struck by lighting, causing massive systems shutdown.  The lights   Try to imagine what that must have been like, and then watch these badass testpilot mother laughing about this, because this was their idea of fun. These guys are real honest to God heroes, Authentic American Badasses, bouncing and laughing in the lunar gravity like kids on a trampoline, and as old men 40 years later, laughing about the times they faced down death.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

AN HONEST MAN: The Life of R. Budd Dwyer

Robert Budd Dwyer (November 21, 1939 – January 22, 1987) was an American politician in the state of Pennsylvania. He served from 1971 to 1981 as a Republican member of the Pennsylvania State Senate representing the state's 50th district. He served as the 30th Treasurer of Pennsylvania from January 20, 1981 to January 22, 1987; on that day, Dwyer called a news conference in the Pennsylvania state capital of Harrisburg where he killed himself in front of the gathered reporters with a .357 caliber revolver.[5] Dwyer's suicide was also broadcast to a wide television audience across the state of Pennsylvania.
the early 1980s, Pennsylvania discovered its state workers had overpaid federal taxes due to errors in state withholding. Many accounting firms competed for a multimillion-dollar contract to determine compensation to each employee. In 1986, Dwyer was convicted of receiving a bribe from a California firm trying to gain the contract. Throughout his trial and after his conviction, he maintained that he was innocent of the charge and that he had been framed. Dwyer was scheduled to be sentenced on those charges on January 23, 1987, the day after his suicide.

You've probably seen the footage on the internet. It's easy enough to find, but if you haven't seen it, I don't necessarily recommend it. The ghastly footage of Budd Dwyer's suicide was one of my first obsessions, in the early days of my exposure to the internet. I watched it maybe a hundred times, on shitty dialup video. I wrote a blogpost about it. I briefly corresponded with one of his many friends. Now, finally, someone has cared enough to tell the story, and bring some context and some humanity to the humiliation and the horror. This is not a great documentary, but it's a necessary documentary. The story that seems to emerge suggests that Dwyer may have been the victim of some petty vindictiveness initiated by Richard Thornburgh, then Pennsylvania Governor, and later, Attorney General under the older President Bush. One thing that needs to be understood to put this seemingly mad act into perspective is that, because Dwyer died before he was sentenced, his family received a pension death benefit of 1.28 million dollars. His last act saved them from financial ruin..

Monday, March 10, 2014

Twin Peaks Pilot 1990

NOTE: To get help watching HULU outside the U.S., search GOOGLE! Also, note that even though it says 8 minutes, this is the complete movie-length Twin Peaks Pilot as it ran in 1990, an hour and a half before ads. Oh, yes, there will be ads!
The one and only!

Some will disagree, but I believe that Twin Peaks is one of the most influential TV shows of the 90s, a forerunner to some of the most intriguing television of the past twenty years, including THE X FILES, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, LOST, TRUE BLOOD, and those are just a few of the obvious ones.
Back in the day, I taped these episodes in VHS, and watched them over and over. They look especially gorgeous now, in HULU's hd. Internet, you've done it again!

From Wikipedia:

Twin Peaks is an American television serial drama created by Mark Frost and David Lynch. It follows an investigation headed by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) into the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). Its pilot episode was first broadcast on April 8, 1990, on ABC. Seven more episodes were produced, and the series was renewed for a second season that aired until June 10, 1991. The show's title came from the small, fictional Washington town in which it was set. Exteriors were primarily filmed in the Washington towns of Snoqualmie and North Bend, though additional exteriors were shot in southern California. Most of the interior scenes were shot on standing sets in a San Fernando Valley warehouse.

Twin Peaks became one of the top-rated shows of 1990 and was a critical success both nationally and internationally. It captured a devoted cult fan base and became a part of popular culture that has been referenced in television shows, commercials, comic books, video games, films and song lyrics. Declining viewer ratings led to ABC's insistence that the identity of Laura's murderer be revealed midway through the second season. The series was followed by a 1992 feature film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, which serves as a prequel to the television series.

The pilot episode was ranked No. 25 on TV Guide's 1997 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time, and the series was included in its 2013 list of 60 shows that were "Cancelled Too Soon". The series was ranked No. 45 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time in 2002 and, in 2007, it was listed as one of Time's "Best TV Shows of All-TIME". Twin Peaks placed No. 49 on Entertainment Weekly's "New TV Classics" list and No. 12 in their list of the "25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years".

As with much of Lynch's other work, notably Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks explores the gulf between the veneer of small-town respectability and the seedier layers of life lurking beneath it. As the series progresses, the inner darkness of characters who initially appeared innocent is revealed and they are seen to lead double lives.

Twin Peaks is consistent with Lynch's work as a whole in that it is not easily placed within an established genre. Its unsettling tone and supernatural features are consistent with horror films, but its campy, melodramatic portrayal of quirky characters engaged in morally dubious activities reflects a bizarrely comical parody of American soap operas. Like the rest of Lynch's oeuvre, the show represents an earnest moral inquiry distinguished by both weird humor and a deep vein of surrealism.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mo Rocca: How Doctors Killed President Garfield

NOTE the embed code from isn't working. You can see the video by clicking here.


From wikipedia:
The assassination of President James A. Garfield took place in Washington, D.C. on July 2, 1881, at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station. Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau at 9:30 am, less than four months into Garfield's term as the 20th President of the United States. Garfield died eleven weeks later on September 19, 1881, the second of four Presidents to be assassinated, following Abraham Lincoln and preceding William McKinley and John F. Kennedy. His Vice President, Chester A. Arthur, succeeded Garfield as President. Garfield also lived the longest after the shooting, compared to other presidents. Lincoln and Kennedy died less than a day after being shot, and McKinley died a week later.

Looking for something sexy to post in the popular True Crime category, I was browsing through the hours and hours of documentaries on the murders of Abraham Obvious, and John Fitzgerald You-Know-Who, when I found myself wondering about those other Presidential assassinations. I knew there were others, and I was pretty sure that one of them was William McKinley, about whom I knew nothing more. The one I couldn't name, it turns out, was James Garfield, who had only been President a few months when he was murdered by a delusional psychotic who was angry about not being appointed to a diplomatic office, and convinced that the murder had been ordered by God.   He also believed that a speech that he had written in support of Garfield had determined the election of 1880 in Garfield's favor.

Though most experts today agree that the assassin, Charles J Guiteau, was certainly insane, he was tried in 1881, and executed in 1882, nearly a year to the day from the shooting.  It's also generally agreed that the horrible lingering death of Garfield, due to infection, was was unnecessary, and could have been prevented if the doctors at the time had accepted the germ theory of disease.

In 2009, pieces of the rope used  to hang Guiteau were auctioned off.  You can click here if you want to read a morbid article about some of the weird shit that was done to Guiteau's body after he was executed.


Saturday, March 8, 2014


I found Decktonic in the Free Music Archive, when I was looking for music that I could use legally in my experimental videos. His electronic "dance music from the future" has served me quite well in this regard. I download everything of his that I can get my hands on. It's complex, but he knows when to club you over the head with a single-minded riff. I'm old, I stopped understanding music in the seventies, so don't take my word for it. Check him out.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Damned – The Strange World of José Mojica Marins

From Wikipedia:
Damned – The Strange World of José Mojica Marins (original title: Maldito - O Estranho Mundo de José Mojica Marins) is a 2001 Brazilian documentary film about the life and works of Brazilian filmmaker, director, screenwriter, film and television actor and media personality José Mojica Marins.
The film features Marins (as himself) and his associates and family members recounting episodes of his life and career from childhood to international recognition in later years. The film received the Special Jury Award in Latin American Cinema at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.

I had no idea that this documentary existed.  To a viewer in the US, the no-budget horror films of Brazilian Cult director Jose Mojica Marins are alternately  ridiculous and weirdly convincing, but he's not just a horror director.   This documentary offers a look at Marins in the context of Brazilian cinema.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

THE BEATLES Saturday Morning cartoon show October 14, 1967

From Wikipedia

"The series consisted of short animated stories that essentially were intended to set up the visual illustration of Beatles songs that were played in their entirety. In addition, there were sing along sequences with simpler imagery complementing the full lyrics of particular songs."

"The series became notorious for its static depiction of the band in their early "moptop-and-suit" look as depicted in the live action film, A Hard Day's Night, even though the band moved beyond it during the series' run. The producers did attempt to acknowledge the band members' contemporary appearances with photographs of them in the series' title sequences during its production run."
What was great about the Beatles show was that it was loaded with great Beatles music, and it wasn't just the hits.  Songs like the authentically psychedelic "Tomorrow Never Knows" are considered classics, but in 1967,  you couldn't hear them on the radio,  which was exclusively AM.  I don't know where else a nine year old could have heard them back then.  I loved this show.

The Beatles cartoon show was created by Al Brodax, who later produced the much more ambitious feature animated feature "Yellow Submarine"

Danny Brown - "DIP" (Sampology A/V Remix)


 I was up at six AM, in bed with my laptop, exhausted but unable to sleep because of all the caffeine I'd used to flog myself through the previous day.

I was surfing the Vice YouTube channel, looking for a documentary to post, when I finally passed out at the keyboard.  Woke up at 3 PM and this was on my laptop.

I'm white, and old, and I don't know what this is, but I fucking love it. Listen to those crazy drums! I read in the comments that it was entirely sampled from records bought in India. Of course, we've all read a lot of bullshit in YouTube comments, so I can't vouch for that, but I agree with Trinity Lo-Fi Official that whatever the fuck this is, it is "absolute genious" (sic).

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1975) "Chuckles Bites The Dust"

TV doesn't get more classic than this! The most celebrated episode of one of the most celebrated comedies of the seventies. I can remember watching this 40 years ago, and laughing out loud. Back then, taking on death as a subject for comedy was groundbreaking for a sitcom, and arguably, "Chuckles Bites The Dust" loses a little of its original punch because we're living in an age of more honest humor, thanks in no small part to pioneers like MTM, but it's still a beautifully crafted episode with one of the greatest casts in television history. Betty White was already a TV veteran by the time she became Sue Ann Niven, "The Happy Homemaker" at station WJM, but her original TV show was standard fifties TV fluff. My impression is that it was on the Mary Tyler Moore Show that Betty White became the wickedly funny mature woman that we all know and adore.

Here's a trivia question: In what 1989 film does Jack Nicholson reference this very episode of the Mary Tyler Moore show, and what does he say? Clck on the "Play" button below for a pretty substantial clue.

BONUS: Here's the only only episode that I can remember that contains an actual appearance by the late Chuckles, from Season 1:

Please leave a comment! I'm lonely!

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Wonderland Murders (UK Documentary)

This is the true story that inspired Boogie Nights with Burt Reynolds and Mark Wahlberg, Wonderland with Val Kilmer, and at least one cheesy reenactment show on ID. In the seventies, John Holmes was the most famous male performer in the newly mainstream adult film industry. He eventually became addicted to cocaine, and the addiction led to his involvement in the murder of four people in 1981.

BONUS: From Live Leak, here is the raw police video from the crime scene. Extremely graphic!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

CINEMASSACRE: The Top 40 Shitty Shark Movies

"Look at all these fucking Shark Movies!"

I had no idea this was a thing, until Sharknado became a meme.   But when Sharknado came out last fall, this was already being compiled.

These movies are loud, cheesy, and violent... but most of all, they are utterly ridiculous.  In the movies, Sharks can be as big as whales, they can fly and attack your private jet, they can chase you through the woods, they can have tentacles like an octopus, and of course, they can rain from the sky when the weather gets stormy.