Here’s April’s progress report video. It’s a day late, but technically I finished it yesterday, right on time (hence the “see you in May” comment at the end).
I think this could be the best editing job I’ve done yet. The intro in particular turned out better than I was expecting. I just started cutting up a bunch of stuff and throwing it together, and it had the strange effect of making that new song seem a little more interesting that it is. Almost none of the subtitles I added have anything at all to do with what the characters in Abel Ferrara’s The Driller Killer are actually saying, with the exception of the bit where he asks a cab driver to keep the meter running. I just added a bunch of random things for fun. It’s almost like a real music video! Hooray for chopping up films that have fallen into the public domain, I say.
The Driller Killer is an interesting glimpse at very early Abel. A lot of the themes that would figure prominently in his later work are there already (inner turmoil, Jesus, death, redemption or a complete lack thereof), and the movie has an interesting, grimy feel to it. Some Bach via Wurlitzer electric piano on the soundtrack is a nice little touch. It’s not a masterpiece by any means — it can’t seem to decide whether it wants to be an exploitation/slasher flick or a low-rent art film — and some of the acting is really bad…but that seems somehow appropriate.
Baybi Day is almost painfully beautiful, and I thought she did a good job playing that “somewhat dimwitted but well-meaning, sort of, sometimes” kind of character. I was positive I’d seen her in other movies, but it turns out this was the only thing she ever did in the realm of cinema. It’s a shame, because she had a face for the movies. It’s also amusing to see Ferrara himself in a starring role, under or over-emoting depending on what’s going on inside his character’s head.
From what I’ve read, Abel’s commentary track on the DVD is pretty amusing. He spends most of the movie’s run-time making fun of it and himself. Evidently he fell for Baybi too. According to the IMDb trivia section, she was asked to return to Ferrara’s fray for Bad Lieutenant and declined (it isn’t clear why). It would have been interesting to see what part she would have played in that film.
Perversion for Profit is, as the end credits say, a scary-as-hell propaganda film from 1965. It was meant to be an exposé of the evils inherent in literature and pornographic/nude images, but the great irony is that in its homophobic, Bible-humping absurdity it’s far more offensive than any of its targets ever could have been. I left out most of the really offensive parts. I used a few little bits of this in an earlier progress report video some months back, but there were too many great moments ripe for context-warping that I missed the first time around, so I felt a need to bring it back for an encore. This time George Putnam really gets to shine.
I usually seem to end up looking pretty serious whenever I’m addressing the camera, and I might look even more humourless here than usual. I think it’s just because I’m talking off the top of my head and trying to keep track of what I want to mention, hoping it comes out of my mouth making some amount of sense. This one is a few minutes longer than the last progress report, though I say at the end it feels a little short. to me Just goes to show that Iggy Pop was right about the TV eye.
Also, I didn’t even realize this until after I finished editing the whole thing, but after I sing, “Nobody loves you, baby…” during the opening song, there’s a quick shot of Baybi. Kind of a neat little coincidence.