It’s been four straight days of 100 degree weather, so the theme of this week’s SOS is “heat.”
Remember, if you want a shout-out, let me know!
Movies: Body Heat, directed by Lawrence Kasdan, 1981, USA.
Body Heat was one of the first R-rated movies I saw, and it had a tremendous impact upon me. As kids we used to go to the video rental section of the supermarket (this was before Blockbuster - I’m aging myself here), and we’d always stray towards the cartoons and science fiction like Space Camp and E.T.. But one day we went to the store with one of my sister’s friends, who was 18, and she was cool and let us pick out R-rated films to see. We picked out two films: James Cameron’s Terminator and Lawrence Kasdan’s Body Heat. Our lives were forever changed after that.
While at that time I was familiar with nudity (I lived in a Hindu household with statues of gods and goddesses that were topless, so breasts were never a foreign thing to me), I had never seen sex onscreen. Sure, there was the garden variety smooching on network television, but I’d never seen two people, y’know, go at it. I remember seeing Body Heat and having my jaw drop to the floor. One for Kathleen Turner’s insanely gorgeous everything and the other for the sheer raw power of the film, its actors, and its environment. I was too young to understand the dark nature of the crime noir genre, nor did I have the ability to process the film from a filmmaking standpoint, but what I always remembered was the film’s depiction of heat. Tanned bodies glistened with carnal sweat, everything in the world was perpetually saturated, and the temperature, both literally and metaphorically, was always at a boiling point. Watching Body Heat felt like standing in the middle of a hot and humid bayou with a scorchingly beautiful girl running her hand up your thigh.
When bodies melt into one.
I saw the film again almost fifteen years later, and while the intensity of heat remained the same as when I was a kid, I really began to appreciate the film’s cinematic beauty. It’s a wicked script, staying very true to the rules of noir, populated by nary a single trustworthy character. It’s a fantastic slice of American filmmaking at its best, from a time when major studios and actors were unafraid to go to some very dark and demented places, and when mainstream audiences rewarded these bold filmmakers with their patronage. A must see.
Music: Red Zone by DJ RASHAD.
Hot summer days in Chicago means a lot of things - days at the beach, music festivals, hot dogs and italian beef, and JUKING. While Chicago is often noted for its blues and jazz roots, often overlooked is its contribution to global dance culture. Chicago was the birthplace of house music - in 1984 Jesse Saunders signaled the death of disco with the release of his single “On and On” which featured a mesmerizing 4/4 beat and elements that sounded more like Kraftwerk than Donna Summer. House music exploded thereafter, providing the roots of American dance and pop music. With the rise of hip-hop and European techno, house music saw a precipitous declined, and the along with it went the electronic music scene of Chicago.
Until recently however when a group of young musicians in Chicago banded together and started creating music for new form of dance that was emerging on the South Side. This was a highly technical and complex form of hip-hop dancing called ‘footwork,’ and it needed music that was rickety and pounding, sounds that could at the time only be found in classic Detroit techno and European IDM. These elements were combined and Juke was born, and it’s the hottest thing going in the dance world. A weekend on the South Side is filled with arcane electronic sounds bumping from pop-up dance clubs where kids battle it out. It’s aggressive, chaotic and bassy as fuck. Chicago’s music has always been rooted in house music, but with talents like DJ Rashad blowing up globally, the city’s poised to reclaim its title as the electronic music capital of the world. And that’s not hyperbole or me trying to represent - you need to see it for yourself. Shit is hot.
Funding: Consideration, a feature by V Prasad.
Prasad is an old friend who’s one of the most insanely talented writers that I know. When he’s not writing brilliant produced scripts he’s teaching screenwriting in the film program at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Consideration marks his maiden venture as a director, and it’s a poignant mix of the realities that many students face in their struggles to pay for college. It’s about a young woman who finds a website that links female students to “sugar daddys” who help pay for college. Now I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey but knowing Prasad this film won’t be anything like it, as he’s a very sensible and sensitive filmmaker. Please show him some support!
Contribute to the Consideration Kickstarter campaign HERE.
Trailers: Wu-Tang Vs. The Golden Phoenix, directed by RZA.
RZA’s got the incredible looking The Man With the Iron Fists coming out, but this is the movie I really want him to make. I’ll have to be happy with this trailer. Nah, fuck it. Bring on the Iron Fists!
Blogs / websites worth checking out (with Twitter links, if available):
What’s On Earth, a climate change blog by NASA..
All this heat combined with the freakishly mild winter further reinforces the fact that climate change and global warming is very real, and we’re to blame for it. This site by the good people at NASA - who are probably the foremost authorities on our atmosphere - have been running an amazing blog resource for all things climate change. As with most government websites its horribly under publicized, but that doesn’t make it any less amazing. Required knowledge, and easy to digest.
When I’ve had a rough day in scorching heat, nothing cools me down like seeing a sea otter play in the water. I’ve been making a daily stop on this blog for almost a year now, and it never lets me down.
The perfect cure for blistering heat, this is a fantastic blog that serves as an easy-to-follow guide to make ice cream, gelato and sorbets at home. Some weird stuff too, like Guinness ice cream!
Remember, if you want to get a shout out, you gotta let me know!
Shout Out Sunday Archive:June 24, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 3, 2012
May 20, 2012
May 6, 2012
April 29, 2012
April 22, 2012
April 15, 2012
April 8, 2012
April 1, 2012
March 25, 2012
March 18, 2012
March 11, 2012
March 4, 2012
February 26, 2012
February 19, 2012