Friday, May 05, 2006

"I'll choke ya to death..."

This past semester at school I had enrolled in a class that had never been offered before: Sex in Literature and Film. Sounds like a fun and interesting and hopefully, er, stimulating coarse, right?

Well, maybe not. In fact, maybe it was unfocused, irritating, and at times, completely ridiculous and embarrassing. Now, when I say embarrassing, I mean for the "professor", a certain Mr. Douglas Brode. Brode's got some serious credentials, and on paper, he seems like the bee's knees, however...

The very first day of class, Brode did the usual "this is what I'm all about". He's done a lot of critical writing on film and has published one novel and has had one screenplay produced. The film is called "Midnight Blue" and was produced for, get this, Playboy Television. I don't know if you're familiar with the kind and quality of movies that were made for the cathode-ray friendly version of everyone's favorite men's magazine, so I'll make it real clear for ya. Imagine a film shot with the budget of a late 80s/early 90s made for TV movie, plus daytime soap opera melodrama, throw in some really, really horrible soundtrack, (the kind that you just know was composed by the same guy that plays Buffet covers at the Hoolighans on Friday and Saturday night, filled to the brim with synth sax and pre programmed bossa beats), and then bookend the whole thing with some gratuitous and unthrilling sex scenes, and you have yourself a B grade T&A flick.

He made us watch this movie. He made us watch this movie, and then with a straight face, told us his main influence was Hitchcock. The only thing that this piece of shit has in common with a Hitchcock film is "Midnight Blue" and "Rear Window" are both two word, three syllable titles.

He wrote a novel too, remember? Guess what we did next for the class?

It's called "The Sweet Prince" and is Brode's take on Hamlet, (Shakespeare is, of coarse, his other main influence). Real quick plot summary: Hamlet is a crossdressing girl, and there is a four way between Hamlet, Ophelia, her brother, and Hamlet's best friend. His book was worse than his movie, essentially a Harlequin romance type thing filled with historical anachronisms. The icing on the cake is that Brode supplanted famous Shakespearian dialog into his book in a completely different context. My personal favorite, after Hammy's uncle is finished defiling Gertrude in the forest, he smells her crotch and says... wait for it.... "There's something rotten in the state of Denmark". I couldn't make this up if I wanted to.

Oblivious to his own foolishness, Brode spent most of the semester relating his work to classics like "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" and "Lolita" and dropping more names than an E! News special. The one good thing about this class is my final paper can be about any movie or film I choose, fulfilling a dream that I've had for some time...

My thesis paper is called, "Arrested Emotional Development in the Fragile Misogynist: Vincent Gallo's Buffalo '66"

Say what you will about Gallo, but I think he's a genius. Sure, he's a self involved asshole, but he makes me laugh and is almost always in character, and that takes commitment. I also recently discovered we have the same preference in transportation, and anyone who doesn't buy petrol is a swell guy in my book.

Buffalo '66 is one of my favorite films, and for a period of time, I would watch it almost daily and began to model my look after Gallo's Billy Brown. You have to admit, he's very sexy in a creepy and greasy kinda way. And both B '66 and Brown Bunny have amazing original soundtracks. It's a shame the John Frusciante stuff wasn't used in Brown Bunny at all.

Gallo's other work as a musician is great, and I wish he would come out with a follow up long player sometime soon. Unfortunately, if we take the length of time between the release of his solo record and the last recordings of his old band Gray as any indication, we might all have to wait another decade for Vincent to lay another slab of pure gold on us.


Blogger Blowjob Bunny said...

would love to read your thesis when you're done with it!

1:50 PM  
Blogger anvilscepe said...

Hey, that story was astounding. Masturbation is for at home pleasure, not something one partakes of in a classroom full of students. It's simply gross. What school do you attend?

10:55 AM  
Blogger mayohumbert said...

A pretend Ivy League School of Arts and Science in the South-East. It used to be an all girls school, but is now co-ed. The evening program is one of the best in the states for adult education, the day school is filled with bratty clones that drive Mercedes SUV's and buy beer with Daddy's platinum card, (I go at night). The campus is beautiful and has one of the best and most liberal minded museums in a good 200 mile radius.
Can you guess the college?

I'll give you one more hint...
Black Flag.

4:52 PM  
Blogger anvilscepe said...

This is really funny - "His screenplay, Midnight Blue, was filmed, and hailed by one reviewer as "the best of the low-budget erotic thrillers."

I remember watching this junk when I was young.

I can't come up with the school. At first I thought Savannah College of Art and Design but the black flag comment threw me off. Hmm, MICA?

2:03 PM  
Blogger mayohumbert said...

who was in Black Flag?
name all of them.

3:10 PM  
Blogger anvilscepe said...

Rollins College in Florida?

6:12 PM  
Blogger mayohumbert said...


6:25 PM  

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