Wednesday 30 Jul
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OKG Newsletter

Topic: making

Every Night the Trees Disappear: Werner Herzog and the Making of Heart of Glass

News flash: Herzog film shoots are unconventional.


Rod Lott
By the off chance you read Alan Greenberg’s Every Night the Trees Disappear nearly 40 years ago this new, retooled, hardcover edition from Chicago Review Press is the one to get. It’s unlike any behind-the-scenes film book you’ve ever read.
Monday, May 7, 2012


It’s less suspense and more family plot in this muddled biopic of the master of suspense.


Phil Bacharach
Alfred Hitchcock was more than the master of suspense. The director of such landmark motion pictures as Rear Window and Vertigo was instrumental in devising the language of modern film. As such, it seems a cruel irony that a movie about him would be made by decidedly lesser filmmakers.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Skate it

OKG7 things to do

Gazette staff
Making downtown Edmond chillier for a second year, the Edmond Outdoor Ice Rink has returned! Located at Festival Market, 30 W. First, the rink is open daily through Jan. 6, 2013. Tickets are $5 for kids 5 and under, $5 for adults bringing their own skates, and $8 for those big people who don’t. Call 274-1638 or visit

Daily, ongoing

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

‘The Devils’ made me do it

Read any good books lately? About movies, that is?

When I’m not watching movies, there are few things I like doing more than reading about them. Luckily, the weeks leading up to the holidays brought three brand-spanking-new ones to my desk for my reading and reviewing pleasure.

Should you forgo a few matinees and time from your Netflix Instant Queue to consume the words they hold within? You’ll know in a matter of minutes ...

Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils
Richard Crouse
ECW Press

The sign of a good “making of” book is if it’s compelling even if you’ve never seen the film whose production it documents. Such is the case with Richard Crouse’s Raising Hell, covering the shooting and subsequent public skewering of 1971’s The Devils.

While director Ken Russell (Altered States, Tommy, Lisztomania, Trapped Ashes) had his troubles with oft-blitzed leading man Oliver Reed, the real storm rolled in after the film was released. After all, would you expect a historical horror epic that combines Christianity with sexuality to be controversial? Of course!

With a mix of his own reporting and other sources, Canada-based film critic Crouse paints an intriguing portrait of the events both on-set and off. One actress quips, “Have you ever tried writhing sexually for 10 hours at a time? Try it one day. It’s not easy.” The real tumult arrived once word of its content — particularly a “rape of Christ” sequence — leaked; while branded with the X rating in England, it somehow scored an R in good ol’ America, yet that hardly resulted in big box office.

Today, Warner Bros. still hasn’t released The Devils in any post-VHS format, at least not uncensored. Other than locating a *cough* torrent *cough*, reading Crouse’s book may be the next best thing. While it’s not on the masterful level of Julie Salamon’s The Devil’s Candy, it is a fascinating read that peels back the veil on the Hollywood studio system and those mavericks who, God bless ’em, attempt to shake it up every once in a while.  

Queue Tips: Discovering Your Next Great Movie
Rob Christopher
Huron Street Press

With tens of thousands of titles available at your fingertips at home, it’s easy to forget that your local libraries are a viable outlet for renting movies. (Hell, these days, they may boast a better selection than dying dog Blockbuster Video.) I think I’ve only rented one there, because back in 2004, my wife and I needed some instructional video to teach our kids about how that bump got in Mommy’s belly. Therefore, one free VHS rental later, animation narrated by Howie Mandel taught our kids about the birds and the bees, but all I remember is him referring to the orgasm as a “really big tickle.”

That’s a roundabout way of getting to Queue Tips, a fun paperback published by an imprint of the American Library Association and edited by Chicago critic Rob Christopher.

Sticking to no particular number, he and his guests tick off recommendations for unusual romances, disaster flicks, Nicolas Cage vehicles, Westerns that aren’t Westerns, unconventional Christmas films, half-good flops and more. Novelist Barry Gifford (Wild at Heart) offers his choices for “late-night spooky films,” while Saturday Night Live vet Julia Sweeney simply discusses random titles that were on her mind.

You can build up quite a “to see” list of your own, but even if you’ve seen a majority of the works referenced, the presentation is lively enough for rediscovery. I have one big complaint: It’s too damn short! Lists about movies can be a blast, and the 24 here are just that ... but 24 is not quite enough to satiate my addiction.

Contemporary Erotic Cinema
Douglas Keesey
Kamera Books

SEX! And now that I have your attention, you might want to read an entire book about it, or at least movies that deal directly with "it," and rather frankly at that.

California film/lit professor Douglas Keesey digs through decades upon decades of blue movies and smutty skinema for flick-by-flick examinations of more than 100 examples. Divided into specific fetishes themes like incest, gay, anal or Nazis, he discusses the acts and themes present — often in all their glory — in The Reader, Porky’s, Boogie Nights and even Team America: World Police.

It's certainly not for the prude, and the full-color photo section in the middle should be kept from young, prying eyes. Speaking of eyes, I sure got some strange looks as I read the book while waiting in line to vote in the presidential election. USA! USA!

While his mini-essays can verge on the pretentious, I cannot deny reading every page. I’m just not sure I learned anything beyond what movies I can go without seeing for life, as many entries end with having raised more questions than providing any answers. Often, he literally closes with a question, i.e. “We see them in their all, but do we really know them?” or “Is the man insufficient just because the woman enjoys her own sex?”

You be the judge, I guess. It’s certainly not taxing study. —Rod Lott

Hey! Read This:
Horror Films book review     
Lisztomania DVD review   
Phallic Frenzy: Ken Russell and His Films book review    
Samurai Films book review   
Trapped Ashes DVD review   

by Rod Lott 01.08.2013 1 year ago
at 05:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Laugh it

OKG7 things to do

Gazette staff
We’re not making this up: The Li’l Holi-Gay Hangover Show promises “a night of battling sperm, bouncing bisexuals ... and a devilish trip to gay hell.” The 21-and-up sketch collection stages at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (and again Jan. 25-26), with dinner at 6 p.m. beforehand, at The Boom, 2218 N.W. 39th. Tickets are $15. Call 286- 9298 or visit

Friday-Saturday, ongoing

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Street it

OKG7 things to do

Gazette staff
Elmo’s been making news lately for all the wrong reasons, so let’s just focus on the positives, shall we? He and his pals will appear in seven shows from Friday to Sunday for Sesame Street Live: Can’t Stop Singing. And we can tell you how to get, how to get to Sesame Street: Head to Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens. Tickets are $11-$60. Call 602-8500 or visit


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Film it

OKG7 things to do

Gazette staff

Perhaps making amends for last year’s Lola Versus, actress Greta Gerwig assumes screenwriting duties as well for Frances Ha, directed by Noah Baumbach (Greenberg). The critically acclaimed indie comedy about a young woman in New York City screens at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch. Tickets are $7-$9. Call 236-3100 or visit


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Make it

OKG7 things to do

Gazette staff

The only thing better than making it is taking it. Thankfully, there’s a winter class in which you can do both. Make & Take features nail and string art creation for adults and kids alike. The workshop is from 1-4 p.m. Saturday at Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd. in State Fair Park. Admission is free. Call 951-0000 or visit


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Stop Making Sense

OKG7 things to do

Gazette staff

There are concert movies, and there’s Stop Making Sense. The 1984 film, directed by Jonathan Demme, documented a series of Talking Heads performances for the ages, and 30 years later, it’s still an aural and visual experience unlike any other. Enjoy it on the big screen 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive. Tickets are $5-$9. Call 236-3100 or visit


Wednesday, July 30, 2014