Bleats

Some Hipster Filmmaker Decided To Release His Indie Music Documentary On VHS Only

So, anyone actually got a video player?

As a bearded, bespectacled lefty sort I generally find complaints about insufferable hipsters a little close to home – but the news that the maker of a documentary about the world’s most achingly indie record label is making said film available only by renting it on VHS makes me want to cry into my artisanal microbrew.

This guy feels the same.

The label in question is Elephant 6 – which started up as a collective of a bunch of friends to live together, share equipment and play on each other’s stuff in Denver, Colorado, in 1991.

And all indie-cool aside, they formed goddamn amazing bands including Olivia Tremor Control, the Apples in Stereo and Neutral Milk Hotel.

Yes, it’s a real band. Not just a joke on Parks and Recreation.

Anyway: Chad Stockfleth started making a documentary about the label/musical collective/friendship group five years ago, now entitled A Future History Of: The Elephant 6 Recording Co.

This film has now been completed, and you can watch it. If you pick up a flyer at record stores around Portland, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles and other selected US cities.

Once you have the flyer, according to Pitchfork, you can get the number for the Elephant 6 Video Rental Club, who will give you instructions which eventually ends with you being sent the video cassette in the mail.

That package also contains as a “library card” to sign when the tape is mailed back, and a fresh flyer the renter is to put up in their ‘hood.

So yes, this is all offensively twee. But it’s also kind of perfect for the weirdly out-of-time music of the bands themselves.

Anyway, at the risk of looking even more hipster, now I just want to find a VHS player and watch this documentary. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get on my fixie and play In The Aeroplane Over The Sea on wax cylinder (vinyl is SO mainstream, you guys…).

80s Classic St Elmo’s Fire Is Getting A Series And They Might As Well Cast The Ageless Rob Lowe As A Teen Again

As long as it has that song as the theme we're totally on board.

St Elmo’s Fire is getting a series, which is exciting news for people that remember the 80s and probably not even a thing for anyone else.

That’s not entirely unreasonable since it was an eighties film which is better remembered for who was in it, which was every young star of the period, than the plot or setting which was… um, a place with some… people, who did… stuff?

It did, however, have an awesome theme which sounds like the 80s was compressed and turned into a single song.

Yet it was the archetypical 80s teen film, starring a fair slab of the Hollywood “brat pack” of the day: Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and… um, Mare Winningham. Think The Breakfast Club, but about three years later – and the titular Fire is the name of the bar out at which they hang.

The film is actually about a bunch of recent graduates getting adult responsibilities and growing up, from back when recent graduates did that. Although some magnificent person slipped this not-entirely-accurate line into the Wikipedia description:

I’m not saying it wouldn’t improve the film, mind.

Anyways: it’s getting a TV series, obviously, since we live in an epoch where everything is a remake, a reboot, a sequel, a prequel or some terrifying hybrid of all four.

US network NBC has it in development with CSI/Drop Dead Diva‘s Josh Berman writing the thing. And hell, they could just cast the eerily ageless Rob Lowe right back into the Billy Hicks role.

For a start, they presumably know his number since Parks and Recreation was a NBC joint. And also, just look at him. Dude is clearly a vampire, just like Paul Rudd.

HOW DO YOU NOT AGE, SORCERER?

Honestly, the only thing that’s changed in the last thirty-four years is his hairstyle. And there are still members of Duran Duran around who can tease it back to his ’85 glory, surely?

Anyway, we think a show in which young people deal with the pressures of adulthood and fighting every night against Rob Lowe and his vast undead armies of the night would be one hell of a show.

There's A Very Good Reason Why This Classic Disney Film Won't Get A Modern Remake

Some nostalgia is worth neglecting.

It seems as though Disney are working their way through the film archives finding classic properties which they can remake, update, live-action or put photorealistic lions into.

However, there’s one Disney film which won’t be getting a modern remake, though. And that is 1946’s Song of the South.

Because it’s pretty goddamn racist.

Defenders exist, of course. The film is set in the 1870s, when slavery was no longer a thing (although it in no way makes that clear); it has a black actor in the lead (James Baskett as Uncle Remus), and the live action plot focusses on adorable tow-headed tyke Johnny who reveres Remus and immediately befriends Toby (the ur-example of “I have a black friend!”); and so HOW IS THAT RACIST?

It’s arguably well intentioned for its time, but even so: all the black characters are cartoonishly happy with their lot as economically inferior to their white bosses on the plantation, all the while remaining cheerfully deferential to the white characters, speaking in broken ebonics and a strong message about there being a Way Things Should Be where everyone is happy with their lot.

It even has the Magical Black Person trope, when Uncle Remus’ sonorous tones are what awakens Johnny from his post bull-attack coma. There’s a lot going on.

As it happens, Baskett didn’t get to attend the Atlanta premiere of the film in which he starred: not because he wasn’t invited by Disney, but because no local hotel would let him stay.

In the wake of all this Disney have quietly disowned the film. it won’t be on the Disney+ service, it’s the only Disney film never to get a blu-ray or DVD release, and it last saw a cinema for its controversial 40th anniversary screening in 1986.

Still, the film lives on as the Splash Mountain ride (based on the Brer Rabbit sections of the film) and in the Oscar winning song ‘Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah’, which is now forever ruined for you.

And it could be argued that the far-more-on-tone Disney film Zootopia is kinda-sorta a remake of the film, taking the rabbit and fox characters and explicitly addressing the issue of race.

Oh god. If that Cats movie is successful we’re going to see a live action Zootopia, aren’t we? Sexy rabbits and all.

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