Monthly Archives: August 2010


Bank holiday should be a time of partying and socializing. But it’s not. It’s documentary and interview transcription time, perhaps with a press release draft thrown in for good measure. This is because I am an introverted misanthrope who forgot what it’s like to have fun. There’s some decent full-length documentaries out there at the moment, either drifting around online or cropping up at festivals globally. It would be nice If I could—hand on heart—claim that the best documentaries I’ve watched in the last year or so weren’t ‘Not Quite Hollywood’—the superior account of Australian b-movie cinema—or ‘Never Sleep Again’, the four-hour ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ history that kept me gripped for the duration. But they were.

Those productions tapped into the same kind of super-nerdery pineal gland (‘From Beyond’ stays classic) that makes my heart palpitate when I see the work of the scarily talented Olly Moss—pure, undiluted fanboy instinct. The 2000 IFC documentary ‘American Nightmare’ had a huge effect on me, but 1984’s ‘Terror in the Aisles’—less an exploration, more a horror film “best of”—melted my brain as a child. It introduced me to ‘The Brood’ and ‘Ms. 45’. For that, I’m eternally grateful. Rights issues keep it from DVD, but it can be found as a Japanese laserdisc with the awesome title, ‘That’s Shock!’.

‘Nightmares In Red, White and Blue’ retreads what much of ‘American Nightmare’ did, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Good slasher footage, some fresh talking heads, including the mighty Larry Cohen and a fast pace, plus some stranger choices of spotlight makes it worth a watch if you’re faintly interested in the subject matter. It also reminded me of the ‘Stuff’ throwups (pun semi-intended) in that film that are better than the usual cinema graffiti of the time (SPIT, fall back) and the “Can’t get enough of The Stuff” advert briefly showed some youths cavorting in front of Bill Blast’s ‘Sky’s the Limit’ piece. Another reason to rate Larry Cohen’s work. Based on the book, ‘Nightmares…’ does a better job in its adaptation than ‘American Hardcore’ did a few years back.

If you’re looking for more documentaries on esoteric topics, I’m getting excited about the release of ‘Vagabondo!’ about maverick folk singer and Brooklynite Vince Martin. A montage of photos of the old New York (as seen above) by the brilliant Robert Otter seals the deal on this one. I know little of Vince, and that’s what makes this such an appetising proposition.

‘Machete Maidens Unleashed’ tells the rarely told story of the no-holds-barred Filipino b-movie industry up to the early ’80s. ‘Not Quite Hollywood’s Mark Hartley is the man behind this one, and naturally, I’m expecting big things from it. The only thing that could top the Ozploitation lack of taste is the Pinoy approach to budget cinema.

On one of my typical unrelated notes, I can’t help but think I may have downplayed my discovery of the Nike Air Mag (aka. the McFly) patent on Google back in February a little too much. It’s got the internet going nuts this week, yet I seemed to shrug it off, more excited by some other, more trivial matter. Honesty, I get more excited by footage of Donald Pleasance mispronouncing Ed Gein’s surname in a lurid horror showcase.

And once again, Supreme have pulled it out the bag by creating some ill little trinkets to complement some serious sweats and outerwear this season. They’ve played with scorpions and heroin-packaging nods on apparel before, but a real dead scorpion encased in plastic had me inexplicably hyped. Like all the brand’s best pieces it taps into some reference-laden part of my psyche, but this reminded me of a plastic letter-opener with a small crab encased in it at my grandparents’ home that I was obsessed with as a toddler. As you may or may not have noted, I’m still easily pleased.


While many were acting as if Clarks as a street-level style statement was non-existent in Jamaica before Vybz Kartel gave them extensive shout outs, we knew better. Seeing as a UK PR company operating on Originals’s behalf excitedly forwarded a press release, evidently the brand was delighted too. ‘Clarks 3’ was the one though, busting out the ‘Wallabee Riddim’ that Wayne Marshall ripped through for ‘Mr Shotta’ the tune that set off the summer, right up to its soggy finale. What was even more interesting is that in videos where Vybz professed his Clarks love and heft of collection, he opted to wear last year’s underrated Clarks Originals Cobra model in burgundy. It’s not a model to all tastes, but these are infinitely preferable (bar that nasty heel branding) to any daft patent/shiny/ineptly collaborated versions of the Wallabee. Plus they’re made from ballistic nylon too. Too progressive for the masses though, who—it would seem—would prefer a techy moc-toed mockery from bigger sportswear brands instead.

Beth Lesser’s ‘Dancehall’ book is laden with crepe-soled, British masterpieces worn right— but you knew that already and picked up the book didn’t you? Unless you were preoccupied with Aryan-looking bookworms sullenly wandering the grounds of US universities when it came to inspirational photo tomes. It’s interesting that the Wallabee was born in the late ’60s in an attempt to clone a similar model from Germany’s Viking brand. Viking was a big brand in Jamaica anyway, and to my knowledge, had a late ’80s/early ’90s boom with Chipie-clad rudeboys round my way. Bally shoes played their part too, and one of the best-dressed in dancehall was Supercat, as immortalized on the 1986 ‘Boops’ LP. A gloriously ostentatious image with a fantastic bit of dressing and some superior footwear, it was a foolish omission from last week’s shoe-centric entry.

The man’s career would survive into the ’90s with tales of killing in self-defence, remixes that ushered the dawn of the Bad Boy era and a few minutes in which he even made Kriss Kross’s ‘jump’ sound hard. Take a look and listen to the album. He’s a baller. You’re not at all a baller.

Having just sussed out the scanner – previous grey area evaded for fear it could instigate blog-laziness and through old-fashioned technophobia, the opportunity to upload the best jail picture of all time arose. Robert Mitchum in prison blues but Cordovan shoes during his short stint in a county jail following a 1948 weed bust. I’ve written about the topic before, but this is a seriously strong look from head to toe. Next time you’re mean-mugging for a herb photographer friend in double denim and brogues, just bear in mind that someone did it better 52 years prior. Without really trying.


…or entertainment’s getting more extreme. Possibly a mix of the two. Having had my psyche fist-fucked by ‘A Serbian Film’ a few weeks back (incidentally, in terms of performances and cinematography the film is excellent. That’s what makes it so effective), I’ve been aware that perhaps I do have limitations when it comes to cinema. I hate to be the “that scene” man—but to describe what showed me that I have limits like some ultraviolent version of Clarence Odbody, proving that decades of cinematic carnage haven’t left me so emotionally dead that I can’t be offended—on this blog would land me in trouble. Just know that you’ll emerge from a viewing feeling wrong. Very, very wrong.

Reading the ‘Crossed’ sequel, the Garth Ennis-free ‘Crossed: Family Values’, I’ve found myself a little shocked too. here’s the thing though—it’s a horror story, so its job is to horrify me. Like some ungodly mix of ‘The War Zone’ s incest theme, ‘Wise Blood’s southern gothic and Romero’s ‘The Crazies’, whereas ‘The Walking Dead’ is getting an AMC television outing, this won’t. Ever. The third issue culminates with unspeakable scenes to match the madness Srdjan Spasojevic brought to the screen. It really does take it there. Again, it’s curiously refreshing to find out that my moral core is operational.

Years ago, my benchmark for disturbing funnybook status was Miracleman #15. Kid Miracleman’s destruction of London and Miracleman’s solution to the problem at the comic’s conclusion messed with my head for years. Alan Moore went all out, and John Totleben’s artwork was as close to Bosch’s depiction of hell as ever resided in my polybagged stack. I found myself returning to the issue to gawp, yet 22 years on, I’m left trying to forget the events that David Lapham and Javier Barrano have conjured up. Like I said, I’m getting old. Both books do their job remarkably well. Still no sign of the ’80s ‘Miracleman’ reprints. i wouldn’t want to direct you to a link to each issue as a CBZ download or ‘owt like that…

A couple of spreads stand out. There’s nothing like a heavily detailed scene of horror to take me back to a misspent childhood. After my media diet of the last month or so, ‘Miracleman’s armless mother figure seems almost quaint.

This week has been all about stroke books. Not that kind. We’re talking letterforms and the history of letter design. Revisiting Ian Lynam’s fine ‘Parallel Strokes’ for typeface insight, and finally delving into the 2005 UK translation of Gerrit Noordzij’s 1985 essay, ‘The Stroke’, breaking down the qualities of letters, it’s been interesting to look beyond the explicit meanings of each word and letter in an attempt to understand the design and spacing that makes up the paragraphs of drivel I pump out on the regular. A fair proportion goes sailing way above my oversized cranium, but I’m enjoying the pretty pictures in Noorddzij’s book regardless.

This rush of research was instigated by my good friend Mr. BJ Betts releasing his ‘Street Shop Lettering Version 4.0’ font guide, with flash and accompanying booklet. He might look thugged-out, but Mr. Betts has ludicrous skills with lettering. It got a first look at The Reference Council courtesy of my buddy Nick Schonberger. There’s more tattoos than ever out there, and the warm weather brought it out in force. Bad lettering is a fucking plague, and Betts has the solution.

Michael Corrente’s film ‘Loosies’, set for release in 2011 looks set to have lots of soul-searching, NYC underground settings, and, best of all, a cast that includes Vincent Gallo, Joe Pantoliano and William Forsythe. If that causes you no joy whatsoever, I suggest you exit this blog immediately. It’s worth mentioning at this juncture, that I still can’t understand the excitement around ‘The Wackness’. Ben Kingsley certainly didn’t deserve a Razzle for it, but it’s an overrated nostalgia trip regardless. Please god, let ‘Loosies’ bring back the spirit of Toback’s ‘Fingers’…

There’s a lot of sites with a jacket fetish that seem so clueless that they make for car crash reading. The One-upmanship Journal isn’t one of them. Crazy knowledge fused with a clobber fixation makes it the best out there on the topic, and the recent entry on One True Saxon resonated in a major way. The brand doesn’t hold much weight now for substance, you need to head on to Garbstore, where former OTS mainman Ian Paley moved to, but as the One-upmanship entry points out, it was a brand well ahead of its time. I recall a serious case of sweatshirt envy at a raglan sweatshirt with the dog logo on the sleeve while living in Nottingham a decade ago.

The lowkey collaborations, the web presentations and that camo application made it a pioneering brand back in the early ’00s. I recently found a pair of the old OTS shoes that harked back to classic Clarks (is this the Rufus model?). They’ve seen much better days, but these Wallabee remixes were, I believe, made in the Padmore & Barnes factory just prior to its 2003 shutdown on shoe production. The camo suede collar is infinitely superior to any dimwitted, garish Clarks Originals makeups that seem to do the blog round regularly. These were dirt cheap in the sales before the brand seemed to go to the dogs to some degree. Happy days…


Hypocritical miserabilist rants about the proliferation of hiking styles on solemn city residents are about as ubiquitous as the gear itself on those who’ve no intention of conquering any more than the mildest of gradients. So there’s no point segueing into one here. It doesn’t matter how overexposed they get. There’s an intrinsic beauty to the D-ringed boot that’s hard-to-beat. It’s just a shame that the sports footwear industry is intent on “homaging” them at every turn. Still, in researching something that’s yet to be seen, and in conversation with Kish, the subject of greatest album sleeve footwear moments sprang up. On the hiking side, Stephen Stills seemingly had it on lock. The guitarist’s off road styling on 1969’s ‘Crosby, Stills & Nash’ and his eponymous 1970 album’s artwork is both effortless and iconic.

It’s surprising that ‘Free & Easy’ haven’t dedicated an entire album to Stills’s look. Were he to walk into the Rugged Museum, it’s safe to assume the staffers might fall to the ground in reverence. But that’s not the greatest album cover moment for trail footwear. That belongs to some other boys from Texas.

O.G. Style’s ‘I Know How To Play ‘Em!’, harking back to 1991 is the ultimate footwear LP sleeve. It’s easy to assume the east coast was hip-hop’s spiritual home for iconic shoe imagery. That would be incorrect. J. Prince evidently looked after his Rap-A-Lot roster on the sneaker side of things, and this is the best collection amassed in a single cardboard square. The Houston duo’s DJ Big Boss and MC Eric “Original E” Woods rocked matching Nike Baltoros on the front cover, but eyes left for the stern-faced, long coat and hiking boots look. Eagle-eyed fanboys will also note the Jordan VIs at the rear and the Foot Locker LE Air Max 90s on the right. For out-of-towners, there’s something curious about a bunch of men wearing ACG shoes in a Houston ghetto (5th Ward?). The assumption is that the area is a little warmer than say, New York or Washington. But that’s probably just ignorance. Turning to the rear, Big Boss rocks the grey Baltoro, and Eric opts for a Foot Locker LE 90 too, this time in a contrast black and white to his homeboy on the front. He’s also rocking that model in the ‘Catch ‘Em Slippin’ promo.

Closeup courtesy of NTM on the CT forums.

Not only is it festooned with the finest in footwear, but ‘I Know How To Play ‘Em!’ is a strong LP that’s up with prime Geto Boys and Convicts for the best early example of Prince’s rap dynasty. Good to hear James again on the intro to Bun B’s excellent ‘Trill O.G.’ Tragically, DJ Big Boss passed away in late 2006 of kidney failure, and Eric Woods died of a brain aneurysm on January 3rd 2008. Mourning should be officially inducted as a hip-hop element, given its prevalence. Currently the rap nation is mourning the demise of the NYC Fat Beats store, despite abandoning it for several years in favour of downloads. That’s the nature of the artform’s fans. O.G. Style deserve more respect, and the passing of both members warrants infinitely more retrospectives. Hunt down the album—listen to the music and respect their footwear savvy.

As a postscript, I’m actually hoping the current poor man’s monsoon season signifies the end of the UK’s summer 2010, so I can put this pile to use after months of inaction…


It’s an aimless blog post, drifting like a boat without a skipper this sunday, as I’m in the midst of writing a lengthy piece about something for someone. All might be revealed. But still the lure of OCD lures me back to WordPress to publish at least something.

It’s been a weird weekend, with the Bespoke I made with the assistance of Mr. Wainwright and Magdi aka. Madgi in NYC’s Mercer Street space getting some E-coverage. Attention is a motherfucker. I was just amused to make an Air Force 1 somehow related to my fixation with Chopper City’s bad suit. It briefly, thanks to the homie Eugene at Hypebeast caused some stirrings. Any plaudits are like getting a high-five for executing a paint-by-numbers with a certain level of proficiency. Any criticisms that I wasted $820 are, ummm… interesting. Gloating is unbecoming so I’ll shut the fuck up. Colourways are fun, and Nike Bespoke is the shit, but we shouldn’t mix colour-ups with actual design skills. One feels like a game of symmetry and the other requires education and/or an innate skill. Still, I’m happy to have made the AF1 I always wanted. Which is kind of the point. Shouts to Nike.

Earlier in the year, Eugene fired some questions my way and I answered them on my BlackBerry (RIP). Eugene is definitely someone whose opinion I respect, and Hypebeast is a juggernaut. With Mr. Kan’s involvement, there’s a superior level of content creation at work. It’s a far cry from the days when I used to make digs at hype sites in news posts. Shit done changed. The interview is here, and if you can make it to page 11, I’ll give you a prize. I frequently bore myself. A good conversation nonetheless. I’m blaming Eugene for the length of it. He opted against a hefty edit and his questions were deeper than crap interrogations.

My opinion on iPads has changed a lot since then. My then-office partner-in-rhyme has defected to Vans Europe and my announcement that I wanted more corporate gigs pretty much came true. It’s pleasantly dated. Like an episode of ‘Tomorrow’s World’ from 1988. This entire industry moves in hamster-years and a lot has changed in mere months. 

As this ghost ship sails along, I feel obliged to recommend the new thriller, ‘Burning Bright’ if you get the option to rent it on the cheap. With Meatloaf as a seller of black market big cats, who ends up causing headaches for a beautiful girl and her severely autistic younger brother stuck in a boarded-up house overnight with a psychotic tiger while a hurricane rages outside, the lack of CGI and some solid set pieces, plus a title that references a William Blake poem, makes it a good use of 85 minutes. As is now-customary, there’s a tactically “vintaged” poster for the film too.

I like a bad situation flick on a budget. ‘Frozen’ and ‘Stuck’ came through. ‘Red Eye’ and ‘P2’ faltered, crumbling under the sheer vertical drop of their high concepts. Anyone else remember the 1981 flick ‘Savage Harvest’ with the lions putting a house under siege? Or the production headache double-act of Klaus Kinski and Oliver Reed in 1981’s ‘Venom’ with the robbery and black mamba snake on the loose (kind of cloned in the crappier 1988 film ‘Fair Game’)? The bad situation thrills of the claustrophobic and downright nasty Mario Bava thieves-in-a-vehicle vehicle ‘Rabid Dogs’ is a masterclass in fucked-up, no-budget tension. On the creature-on-the-loose tip, hopefully ‘Piranha 3D’ will deliver the thrills as well as the leaked levels of salt water gore next week.

Some dickhead called Specter got “up” in the fruitiest way by covering a beautiful old hand-painted sign in east London. Sign painting is an art. Creating “happenings” like this isn’t. It’s just embarrassing.

I hate Specter’s art. I hate wheat poster pricks sullying my view with cut and paste horseshit, haplessly justified by flimsy A-level sociology explanations. If you support this shit you too are part of the problem. Fuck you Specter. Go and risk your life in a train tunnel and cause some real destruction without the art-twat “manifesto”. Or go get educated, then classical on some canvases. Then fuck off. This generation of post-Banksy scum is the art equivalent of a Superdry t-shirt.

Thank god for the good folk of wheatpaste and stencil street art hating superblog HurtYouBad and their crusade against this kind of fuckery. They kindly blessed me with one of their new t-shirt line by the mighty FINSTA, not to be mistaken with the semi-legendary Finsta of grimy rap underdogs Finsta & Bundy. This design reminds me of the lunacy you could get from a local spot via an ad in RAD, and appeals to my love of GHOST and Robert Williams’s handiwork. They’re launch their 5 designs with a fine photoshoot next week, so I’ll leave the full details to the HYB team.


“In these times, you can’t get a job as an executive unless you have the educational background and the opportunity. Now, the fact you don’t have a job as an executive is merely because of the social standing of life.”

Pause. You know what? Hip-hop’s pretty gay. I’m not talking the rumours of green-eyed producers, musclebound ladies men, middle finger issuers and hypemen. The Furious 5 and company’s attire could be dismissed as fruity, but they seemed to be dressing akin to Rick James at the time. Rick’s attire on the front of ‘Street Songs’ is flamboyant, but he’s just paralleling the Prince approach of being so swaggeringly hetro, one can dress like they’re some kind of future-loverman. Nah. As hip-hop veers between curiously conservative and utterly audacious, 2010 is the year it seems to have opted to get even gayer. It even goes beyond Lil ‘B’s ‘Pretty Bitch’ – eccentric as it was, Brandon’s boasts felt as ultra-straight as Prince Rogers Nelson’s self-adulation. It’s in the behaviour that social media is fueling.

Can any other musical form boast an audience this desperate for gossip? Jeezy alludes to Rawse and the entire hip-hop nation gets all theatrically, “Oh no he didn’t!” Even the mildest verses are being scrutinised in the search for the “shots” and joy in perceived slights. Jeezy’s right when he laments that, “Twitter is a muthafucka, by the way.” That hunger for drama is insatiable. Rappers face the camera to address any rumour, scowling soul mates of the Britney meme man. Just as so many gay fashionistas are opting for extreme ink, that neck of thorns is just as likely to be shared by the next southern phenomenon. Amplified levels of toplessness in any press shots up the flamboyance. The quest to give that ink an outing is outing emcees.

Yet even more oddly, hip-hop culture gets even more homophobic and insecure. Cam’Ron and company opened the gates for a retraction after each sentence, but now we’re pausing our way through stop-start conversations. It’s fun, but again, it’s pretty gay. Kanye’s never shied away from the finer things in life, and his current besuited persona, driving the Twitterverse to the point of mania is some executive styling. This can only have ramifications. Just as his big shoe movement and a slimmer denim style had the biters geared up in mismatching, borderline feminine attire, Mr. West is bringing back the suit. Cue Rapidshare rappers everywhere breaking out their big-shouldered funeral suits. Everyone’s the CEO of their label now too. There’s plenty of folk playing at being shot collars on a business level. The mere notion of realness as a sham that revelations of Rick Ross’s past revealed, built on who makes the most mixtapes and has the best ear for a beat, isn’t too far away from the notion of ‘Realness’ espoused in the classic 1990 documentary, ‘Paris is Burning’.

Rap’s rarely been rooted in reality. There’s always been performance, but for a former CO to play kingpin and be as accepted as Armin Tamzarian ultimately was in his Skinner role is the ultimate reinforcement that hip-hop is about that theatrical facade of Realness. Realness in the ball circuit was about convincingly passing as someone else – for example, hardrock posturing, trying to pass as straight. There’s definite parallels. Truth be told, as long as the records are hot, it’s all good, but as the members of the House of Chanel and House of St. Laurent proved, it’s about the escapism of that fakery. Even the designer name fixation that Kanye’s blown up to the point where Jadakiss talks Margiela and Rawse talks Rick Owens bears similarities to their flamboyant theatre of competition.

The best moment in Jennie Livingston’s masterpiece is the notion of ‘Executive Realness’ where suited participants compete in a walk-off, trying to look as powerful and business-like as possible. Opening a briefcase to reveal paperwork elicits rapturous applause. It’s a momentary attempt to defy the social standing participants have found themselves in, and total role play. At least they’re honest about the performance aspect. The CEO stance and power-tailoring is pure hip-hop. Taz, ‘Ye and Cudi took the look to Paris last year for their infamous, ultra-fly group shot. In fact, ‘Style Wars’ and ‘Paris Is Burning’ are as essential as each other in documenting 1980s New York. There’s a grit to them and that same determination to rise above that occasionally seems utterly doomed. Shit, ‘Paris Is Burning’ is even laden with designer clothing boosts. Again, what’s more hip-hop than that? And what’s more punk rock than CAP or Pepper LaBeija?

Now every blogger’s a fashion guru and 8 out of 10 twats are claiming stylist status, maybe that notion of ‘Executive Realness’ spills beyond the rap realm to other cultures tainted by perpetrators. But that’s a whole other post…


Eric Roberts is great actor, and you should all give him a break like you did me.
Mickey Rourke, Independent Spirit Awards, 2009

That was before my time” is the dismissive mantra of the moron. Guess what? Most good stuff happened before you were born. With a predilection toward the macabre, Hollywood deaths have long been a personal predilection, and it’s on that subject that Mr. Eric Roberts made his name in 1983’s ‘Star 80’. He was good in ‘Raggedy Man’, three years earlier, but as the odious Paul Snider he set himself a precedent that he’s only reached again in ‘The Pope of Greenwich Village’ (crap film, brilliant performances) and ‘Runaway Train’. For that trio, his descent into straight-to-video is moot. Unleashed and fully motivated, he’s one of the greats. Good in both Nolan’s ‘Batman’ visions, apparently, his villain performance in the long-awaited ‘The Expendables’ is depressingly low key. Eric does madman better than the majority.

And he’s going on a reality TV show called ‘Celebrity Rehab’. Say it ain’t so, Eric.

If you’ve never seen Bob Fosse’s ‘Star 80’ about the doomed Playboy bunny Dorothy Stratten, you’re missing a classic. Spotted on TV as an pre-adolescent glumly anticipating a feelgood TV movie with added cleavage, the film’s a bleak masterpiece. Pressured into the business by Snider, her tinpot-svengali of a boyfriend, Stratten achieved some fame before her jealous partner raped her and shot her in the head before tying the body to a bondage bench, almost thirty years ago to the day, engaging in some necrophilia (the latter is based on real reports and thankfully, not depicted in the film) and blowing his own head off. Not a strong look. It’s a tour-de-force of a film that plays out like a car crash at the speed of Marcus Brambilla’s ‘Power’ promo.

Ernest’s granddaughter, Mariel Hemingway is extraordinary, but Roberts’s swearing, scowling, blubbering lunatic turn was robbed of an Oscar. His Snider is the lowlife’s-lowlife — mustachioed, unnecessarily tight suits and all, but his onscreen antics had a major impact on a young viewer. 1981’s ‘Death of a Centerfold’ told the same tale with Jamie-Lee Curtis as the victim, and Bruce Weitz in the Snider role. It wasn’t as good, lacking the edge, the language and the cinematic mastery Bob Fosse possessed. Like many dealing with the whole Stratten affair, the story seems to have affected Fosse deeply, going on the sensitivity of his portrayals, which even extends to the gradually uncoiling villain of the piece.

Oddly, Dorothy’s onetime lover, genius director Peter Bogdanovich, unimpressed by the film, bar Eric’s turn, decided to write a particularly personal true-crime book, ‘The Killing of the Unicorn’ about the case, published in 1985 that’s a little odd. He also married her much younger sister in 1988, and apparently encouraged her to get surgery. He was evidently quite a Dorothy fan. Mariel’s sister Margaux — excellent in ‘Lipstick’ — killed herself in 1996. The whole incident, down to the filmic reconstructions, has a certain heart of darkness that’s fired several imaginations. ‘Star 80’ is the best telling, regardless of sensationalism — from innocent beginnings, to wide-eyed mansion visits, faux-documentary scenes and bookended brutality. Eric’s still got the potential for a performance of equal caliber in him somewhere. Even if his current excesses seem to be occurring off-screen.