Isaac Hayes' "Gonna Get Some" Cornish Game Hens w/Wild Rice Stuffing
Had a rough week last week. Caught a respiratory infection from breathing too much smoke and ash in the air from the wildfires, combined with a bad allergy attack, that pretty much turned into a bronchitis. I was down for like five days. But then had to get better because it was ACLfest last weekend here in Austin. I only caught a couple of acts - Manu Chao (at an after show), Black Dub, Stevie Wonder, and Randy Newman (at a separate ACL taping). But that's all I really needed to see.
Now yesterday was the first day of this year's Fantastic Fest, so I thought it appropriate to feature one of my favorite genre films of all time. It's also part two of the September New York double bill. And boy do I love this movie. John Carpenter has sadly been relegated, I think, to being lionized by only genre film fans. And his films - statements about the times he lived in disguised as genre films - as far as I'm concerned, should be studied more seriously.
While this film was made in 1980, Carpenter first wrote the script in 1974, right after Scorsese made Mean Streets. (If I were going to make this a triple bill, the 3rd movie would be The Warriors, for sure.) So yeah, New York was a tough place in the late 70's and early 80's. A park like Union Square - which today is filled at night with people walking their dogs and playing chess - was considered utterly unsafe to enter once darkness came. That Carpenter - and audiences at that time - could believe New York City could shut down and be re-purposed as a maximum security prison - was not so much science fiction. In one interview as it was being released, when Carpenter explains that New York has been turned into such a prison in the film's future-present, the British fanzine reporter quips: "Isn't it one already?" I got to see some crazy s#!t when I was growing up, I tell you. But more on this later....