Sneak Peek scene from “Toronto Alice”

The Tweedles & Alice in conversation.

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Deviant Desires: Erotic Grotesque Nonsense in Japanese Horror Films (upcoming lecture)

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Hey Gentle Readers! I’m giving a lecture at the Royal Cinema (in Toronto) as part of The Black Museum: Lurid Lectures for the Morbidly Curious in May. I will be showing clips from five Japanese films, a few of which are rare, under-the-radar gems of “ero guro nansensu”. Details here: http://theblackmuseum.com/?p=1494

The interwar years in Japan were a time of rapid modernization and social change. It was also a time of economic hardship and, as the fascists rose to power, increasingly repressive politics. During these difficult times, a popular cultural phenomena flourished. Dubbed by the Japanese media as “ero-guro-nansensu” (or, “erotic-grotesque-nonsense”), this movement rejected the narrow standards of conventional morality insisted upon by the fascists, and instead celebrated the deviant, the bizarre and the ridiculous. The stories of Edogawa Rampo, the first writer of the modern mystery in Japan, were wildly popular during these turbulent years. It is Rampo who best captured the darkly erotic and transgressive spirit of “ero-guro”, and his legacy has lasted until present day in Japan.

This lecture will focus on five films, three of which are adaptations of Rampo stories: Horrors of Malformed Men (1969), Teruo Ishii’s gloriously schlocky, psychedelic mashup of Rampo-with-butoh, Blind Beast (1969), Yasuzô Masumura’s lurid tale of sexual obsession and sadomasochism, and Koji Wakamatsu’s strongly anti-nationalist Caterpillar (2010). Other films to be discussed will include Nagisa Oshima’s infamous art film In The Realm of the Senses (1976) — described by film critic Ian Buruma as “perhaps the only intelligent hardcore porno film ever made” — and the seldom seen, and equally controversial, anime film Midori – the Girl in the Freak Show (1992).

May 13, 2015 at 9:15pm
The Royal Cinema, 608 College St, Toronto
Cost: $12 advance / $15 at the door

 

 

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Filed under Art musings and other great profundities, Horror Films 101

Isn’t it Nekromantik?

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Film still from the quintessential “video nasty”, NEKROMANTIK (1987). Directed by Jorg Buttgereit. Banned from North America until recent years.

On Valentine’s Day, try to be with someone you love. Failing that, dig up an old friend.

 

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Toronto Alice update, January 2015.

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Baby, it’s cold outside. Good time of the year to hide out in one’s basement studio, making things move a little bit at a time. After a very busy Fall term at my teaching jobs, I’ve settled down a bit with a lighter course load for the Winter. This is very good news for my Toronto Alice animation project, which is now back in progress. Only 01:27 done thus far, but we’re getting there.

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Lady Lazarus Blog: 2014 in review!

It was a record year at Lady Lazarus: dying is an art. I received 63,000 views, which makes 2014 my busiest year ever. Also nice to see that, according to the stats counter, the blog post that received the most visits was the one dedicated to my last animated project, Domestikia, Chapter 3: La Petite Mort. Yay!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 63,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Season’s Greetings from Lady Lazarus

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Season’s Greetings from Lady Lazarus. And now, a photo of The Cure building a snowman, because Robert Smith. #gothsinthesnow.

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Now you know your ABCs…

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My illustrated alphabet book for adults, aptly titled My Alphabet of Anxieties & Desires, is available in soft cover and eBook format. Buy it for yourself or send it to someone you love (or want to) for Christmas. http://blur.by/12n9r1u.

Also available from the Apple store: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/id582540445

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