FLANNELSTALGIE – Rob Zombie & Marilyn Manson Tour Together in Fall

Easily the most obvious pairing of 90’s shock-horror Rock stars. Here’s a link to the tour dates on the Reverend’s site.

This should be a great show, each artist places high values on great productions. This will SM’s boycott of the 1stBankCenter since the whole Radiohead ticket bullshit from earlier in the year.

The venue also has two Bob Dylan shows coming in October along with the always fantastic Cirque Du Soleil.


Flannelstalgie…New Term for 90’s Nostaligia

Flannels = 90’s American popculutre

Nostalgie = German word for nostalgia

The term is an homage to Ostalgie = a nostalgic love of East Germany

Recognizing that American pop culture is stuck in a deep, deep love of nostalgia (currently burrowing very deep into the 80’s) we here at Smokin Monkey are going ahead of the nostalgia curve and diving into the world of GenX, grunge rock and Saved by the Bell.

Today’s Flannelstalgie – The Return of No Doubt

Pollock’s MURAL (1943) – UPDATED 7/28

Recently visited the Des Moines Art Center – a true hidden cultural gem in Iowa – to see Jackson Pollock’s MURAL which was commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim back before he was famous.


It is big. Almost 180 square feet big. Bigger than a lot of studio apartments in NYC, almost a 1/3 of the size of my apartment. And it was to be hung in Peggy’s foyer, although it ended up covering an entire wall.

After spending a considerable amount of time taking it in from many different angles, I discovered this article a few days later making a claim that ol’ JP wrote his name in this piece. Sweet.

As for a formal analysis I think one needs to see it several times to get a true impression. The overall feeling of movement on a flat, 2D surface is very present in this work. I had only ever seen easel-sized Pollocks before this and was curious to see one of his heroic sized ones. I dare say there’s a lot going on in the painting, one can see all kinds of faces and images throughout the work. When you let your eyes float from the foreground to the background it’s almost like you extra images in between, as if there are spectral images locked into the painting.

UPDATE – Looks like I got to see MURAL just a few months before it leaves the great state of Iowa for a few years to head out to LA to get some conservation work done on it. Then it’s gonna get an LA show in 2014. Must go see that.

Read the article here.

Review: ‘Margaret’

I held out seeing “Margaret” until the extended cut. We really had no choice here in Denver as no theater bothered to show it despite some assurances from our good friends at the DFS that they were gonna get it for a week.

Verdict? It’s a big sloppy mess of movie that is enthralling and pretty damn close to a masterpiece. Close.

One thing this movie does that is so damn refreshing is that once it establishes it’s inciting incident – a horrific bus accident that might have been caused by Lisa Cohen (Anna Paquin shown above looking  distressed) – it doesn’t take the conventional approach and follow the resolution of the accident to its conclusion straightaway. Instead we get a daily look into Lisa’s life as she struggles to deal with all of the emotions that ripple out from her dawning consciousness that there is a whole wide world out there that is not 100% enamored or concered with Lisa Cohen. This point is hammered home by Emily (Jeannie Berlin) who plays the best friend of the bus accident victim when she gets into a fairly heated argument with Lisa where she tells her that all of the people involved are real people “… this isn’t an opera! And we are not all supporting characters to the drama of your amazing life!” Several scenes take place in an opera, including a pivotal scene with Lisa very late in the movie.

“Margaret” doesn’t just focus its three hours on Lisa alone, which would’ve been a real problem as she is a fairly precocious and conceited young gal who argues with anyone and everyone she can find. She becomes histrionic and tiresome at times not unlike most teens who fancy that they know how the big wide world works without ever having been in said world. Lisa’s not-that-great mom Joan (J Cameron-Smith) lingers around the edges showing just how Lisa learned some of her poor coping skills for the world and living in her own fantasy world of her acting & dating Jean Reno (who did seem a bit miscast). There’s a few scenes of Lisa’s distant (in many senses of the word) father who lives in California and doles out advice for which the ramifications don’t effect him other than via the phone. There is also a little brother and doting best friend to Lisa who play pretty minor roles too. Well, the more you look at it, Lisa is pretty much the main focus, let’s just say that there’s enough smaller roles played by Matt Damon, Kieran Culkin, Allsion Janey, Mark Ruffalo and Matthew Broderick to sort of balance out Lisa’s struggles.


The movie definitely has an allegorical bent to it, which at times seems fairly liberal what with its Lincoln Center scenes and upper-class school for Lisa but they are not shown in a completely sympathetic light. The idea of the bus being driven by a cowboy-hat wearer who escapes punishment for killing a lady is not quite a critique of W as the driver is lower class, not a wealthy scion like W. Lisa’s crusade to get him fired sure feels like a typical fix-it-all liberal type, especially as she can be so righteous at times she turns into a caricature. But you know what? Life is like that, it’s messy, it does not adhere to a three-act structure and we sure as hell don’t all end up redeeming characters who are changed by a situation for the betterment of our soul. Does Lisa change after this journey? Yes, but not in a specific feel good way where the causality of all events fit into a nice, neat narrative. Lisa has the scales removed from her eyes several times yet you do get the feeling that she’s not quite buying the changes as she thinks that society is pretty screwed up and the justice she finally seeks against the bus driver backfires on her. The whole ‘you can lead a horse to water’ thing springs to mind as we see Lisa attempt to negotiate the adult world all around her.

The Koyaanisquatsi– like shots of New York residents and skyline were great grace notes dropped into the story. A nice touch that combined well with the film as each person or building hints at all of the stories of everyone’s lives sitting there waiting to be connected or not to each other. I don’t think you can fault this movie’s ambitions one bit. More filmmakers need to be this brave, that’s for sure.

In the end, once the film has finished and there’s been some time to process thoughts, you do get the nagging feeling that the movie demands to be rewatched very soon. For a three hour movie this is high praise as there are so many good movies just waiting to be discovered it seems almost decadent to spend another three hours with such a strident (haha) lead character.

Now anyone who loves the movies knows this film has a troubled production history – feel free to Google it and see what we mean – but to this reviewer that stuff doesn’t really matter now that the film is out there in a director’s cut which clocks in around three hours and a 150 minute version which we did not watch.

Final Verdict – Find the Extended Cut on DVD or Blu-Ray and watch it ASAP.

P.S. – this is the Gerald Manley Hopkins poem that the title comes from and Matthew Broderick’s teacher reads in the film.

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By & by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep & know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

(poem via allpoetry.com)

Happy Birthday Stanley

He would’ve turned 84 today.

Do yourself a favor and go watch one of his films in tribute.

SM is currently enjoying pouring over a book on his photographs that he took from 1945-1950 before he got into the pictures.



Bill Hicks Biopic??

Seriously Mr. Gladiator, if you fuck this movie up there will be a lot of Hicks Fans coming after your Aussie ass, this guy included.

Let’s hope it’s at LEAST on par with Man on the Moon with a touch of Lenny thrown in. Who will play Bill? That is the really tough question….we here at Smokin Monkey will keep you updated on this project.

For those who don’t know who Bill is – start here.

Here’s a great clip of Bill explaining the meaning of it all:

meaning of life

Mile High Cinema – Check it Out….

Hey Hey Smokin MonkeyFans….

We will be putting some pieces up at the superb Mile High Cinema website right here in good ol’ Denver town. Head over there and check it all out, “like” them on that Facebook thingy, twit that shit, do what you gotta do to get the word out.

These were the fine people who helped bring Nacho’s movie Extraterrestrial to town a while back and everyone here at SM thanked them for that. They’ve got another screening coming up too – check it out HERE.

Let’s support this endeavor to help the good people of Denver expand their cinematic palette.

– The Staff at Smokin Monkey