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February 13, 2009 / merlisser

Movie roundup: Towncraft, Supersize Me, and Hubert Selby Jr.:It’ll Be Better Tomorrow

TOWNCRAFT

I vividly remember the first time I saw Slingblade. It was a matinee showing in a five screen movie theater in Dupont Circle (Washington DC). I remember scaring the other viewers because of my giggling. The movie itself wasn’t necessarily humorous but there were moments in that movie that were so quintessentially Arkansan and so represented Arkansans and people I knew that I couldn’t help but laugh in recognition.

This feeling of recognition was one I also felt while watching Towncraft.

Towncraft is about the punk scene in the late 80s/early 90s in Little Rock Arkansas. Apparently, one of the cool things to do during that time was start your own punk band or make a zine about the punk bands. Many fourteen and fifteen year old boys and girls began playing in bands. Eventually, venues began to open up for them to play. One guy opened up his own record store. They began making their own records and going on tour —All before they finished high school.

Of course, like all things involving high school kids, the bands break up and the musicians make new bands. This means that each time you see a person talking, s/he has a different band name under his or her face. That was amusing to me.

Several of the bands went to larger cities to try and make it. Some made albums. One guy, Jason White, is now a guitarist for Green Day. This movie is more about people being true to art than actually making. It’s also a nostalgic trip down memory lane for anyone who’s around Arkansas.

Amazingly enough these were my peers. Some of them I have met. Some of the people on the edges on this scene were friends of mine. I’ve seen some of these bands live.

The movie also has a companion website that has all sorts of goodies.

Supersize Me

Holy Shit! This movie scared me. It’s a simple premise. Morgan Spurlock decides that he’s going to eat nothing but McDonald’s food for 30 days. He’s also going to only walk the average number of steps as an “average American.” He manages to gain a truckload of weight. He gets liver damage. He develops heart palpitations and one doctor even demands around day 20 that he stop this diet.

All on McDonald’s burgers, fries, chicken nuggets, and shakes.

Hubert Selby Jr.: It’ll Be Better Tomorrow

Hubert Selby Jr. is known as the author of Requiem for a Dream and Last Exit to Brooklyn. This documentary includes interviews with Selby, his friends, the makers of Requiem for a Dream and Last Exit to Brooklyn, Henry Rollins, and a whole host of other people who have been influenced by the author. Selby, like his characters, endured a life of illness and heroin addiction.

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