Since it is Friday, I’m feeling a certain sense of silly relief. Here is the Jalopy Hour. This quirky little film was directed by Jeffery Plansker. I’ve posted about him and some of his other work before.

Plenty of people have claimed to have spotted Elvis. But really, I did see him. He wasn’t picking up his dry cleaning and I didn’t see him at the drive through car wash. Nor was this an apparition of him that had sizzled it’s way onto a slice of bread like Jesus toast. Elvis goes to my gym in Brooklyn. I had never seen him there before, so I guess we are just on different schedules. He looked great and thinner than many of us remember him. He still has a penchant for wearing oversized sunglasses indoors and sports the old zip up suite. I’d say he appeared to be in his late 60’s so the gym is doing him well since he was born in 1935. Honestly. I am not crazy. My girlfriend asked if I noticed him and pointed him out. My jaw dropped. Elvis goes to my gym, holy shit!

 

I recently found myself back in touch with a very talented friend of mine from the art school years with whom I had lost touch. While he always had a rather amusing dry sense of humor, I always thought of him for his natural born musical talent. Flash-forward several years, Michael Sanchez is now bringing his observational humor to the stage as a stand up comedian. Check out this short live performance; the Joy Division joke made me laugh so hard my lungs hurt. Michael’s show has a way of spiraling into an uncomfortable place, as only the best comedy can.

 

The annual Darwin Awards are named posthumously to those who have managed to die in a feat of great stupidity, thereby removing themselves from the gene pool. The 2008 winner was awarded to Reverend Adelir Antonio di Carli who was attempting to fly in the air for 19 hours suspended by 1,000 helium balloons. The reverend was performing the stunt to raise money to build a “spiritual” trucker’s rest stop in Brazil. He went missing for three months when winds carried him in the wrong direction out to sea. Apparently, the idea of lifting people or even cars with helium balloons is not that uncommon.

 

The winter chill is in the air today. It’s that time of the year when the front yards of my neighborhood are transformed into a carnival of tacky holiday decor. No house is complete without an inflatable something or other. But to prove that I am no Grinch or Scrooge, I’ve decided to share a few short film clips to express my holiday cheer.

I believe both Santasm and Warm And Fuzzy Feeling were directed by Mike Kuntz. (NSFW)

 

 

One of my favorite people in the world is a too talented for words animator that I met upon my arrival at art school in New York.  Cameron Baity eventually became my housemate and co-conspirator in a plan to rid the world of all that is bad and replace it with really creative smart stuff. Our home became a sanctuary for other idealists to drink like fish, play chess, and draw until their fingers swelled like sausages or til the sun rose (whichever came first). Our minds were filled with absurdity.

I worked deep into the night on a film about a man who comes to the realization that he is indeed the very fish that lives in his fishbowl. Cameron went to town on a stop-motion film in which his character had an existential discovery of his own; something about sound and growth. The character’s giant mouth was constructed from a metal wrist-watch band. I remember donating my toe nail clippings for the character’s oversized hands. I also can recall a project that was never fully realized. There was an animation that was concerned with an impish character possessing the largest set of testicles you’ve ever seen. He was a trapeze performer forced to perpetually swing or suffer the consequence of being eaten to death by demonic-muscle-men-things that waited below.

We were mostly quixotic in the kinds of work we wanted to make. So I was truly proud when I found out that Cameron recently directed an episode of Moral Orel for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. The series is concerned with a boy whose thirst for church and “soul insurance” is only matched by his father’s desire to spank his behind til it blistered red. Very well done Cam!