This is belated blogging because of a certain Icelandic volcano ruining everyone’s fun. Last week’s nasty bit of anti-PR seemed to cause a little buzz, which is odd, because I wrote it in about 20 minutes and was too ashamed to mention it was up until the following day. Break your balls with something that offers more substance than just a mean-spirited outburst and you go balsa wood on the page views. Strange. Still, you’ve got to up something, and this entry is trying to minimise the rant factor, and because of jet lag constraints, it’ll be light on words too. For some, there’s a get out if inspiration never materializes – plunder another site’s lookbook jpegs? LIFE’s archive shots? An obvious movie poster homage?
For me, being a Criterion dickrider of some magnitude, any interesting Criterion DVD/Blu-ray on the way is fair game for this site. Especially when they’re working through Terry Zwigoff’s catalogue – elegant, beautifully executed, loving. enlightening looks at two subjects in the shape of 1985’s ‘Louie Bluie’ and 1995’s ‘Crumb’ – if you haven’t seen ‘Crumb’ then you’re a tool. And you’re 25% more of a dick if you grabbed the Supreme pieces but aren’t familiar with the often disturbing but absorbing portrayal of Robert Crumb’s deeply peculiar mid ’90s home life. Criterion are dropping remastered discs of both films this August. Were the 50 minutes of ‘Crumb’ out-takes on the last US Special Edition DVD release?
The release of ‘Louie Bluie’ is the best news though, with this film, with Zwigoff getting his Les Blank on and offering a study of artist, musician, poet and eccentric Howard Armstrong who passed away in 2003 at a decent age. It’s a brilliant film that’s been hard to get hold of up to now. It’s curious to see a film switch from tape-to-taped, bit torrented limbo to suddenly laying your hands of a smartly packaged digital outing for a documentary. This duo will be getting grabbed alongside the recent ‘Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight’ disc.
Also related and recommended, is the more recent PBS documentary on Armstrong, ‘Sweet Old Song’ – and seeing as we incurred Les Blank’s name, ‘Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe’ just because this is a pro Herzog zone – it isn’t the best of Blank’s work, but it does involve the boiling and eating of a shoe by a man who never fails to entertain. Check the video here.