MAPS AND LEGENDS - 7
Another week, another look behind the messy works of QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS. It's out in six days. Get your masks, kids! It's almost time!
Here's the first of this week's slices. Yeah, one tomorrow or Friday. Special entry on the day the book ships. Watch for it!
PRINCE OF DARKNESS
I love John Carpenter's films. Not a shock, I'm sure, given my age. I was too young to watch HALLOWEEN and ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 when they first hit (and didn't see the former until cable and the latter until a VHS copy showed up at a local video store and my friends and I were in awe of this legendary object we'd gotten our hands on.) His work in the eighties makes up some of my most treasured films. And I particularly love PRINCE OF DARKNESS for the simple fact that it dared to do something that hadn't really been done before in horror film. It was largely derided at the time it came out, and I didn't think much about it until I saw it again on cable in the late 90s and then again via Netflix. At that point, I became obsessed with it and its concepts of non-linear time and asynchronous transactions. Even if the whole is strange and disjointed at times, the climax in the mirror and the conclusion are absolutely chilling pieces of filmed despair. I thought about this one a lot when working on QONT, from the setting to the atmosphere to the dread and sense of growing and utter wrongness of the film's events. I doubt I came anywhere close to it, but I'm sure you can sense the echoes reverberating.
I'd probably love Chandler even if I didn't love his subject matter. He's a wonderful writer (though even I am not a huge fan of PLAYBACK) and found wonderful ways of describing Los Angeles, which was a place so antithetical to how he presented himself as a person. It's strange that he could become its unofficial creator, but what he had to say about the city, even if derisive and flat-out wrong, came to be a way of seeing the place that infected a lot of minds. Yeah, on lots of subjects, particularly of race and sexual relations, he was of his time and let's leave it at that. But when it came to describing the city and its inhabitants, he was a perfect and judgmental poet.
c.f. the entry on PRINCE OF DARKNESS. I made a typographic joke, one that only one other person has gotten so far. Maybe you'll be the second.
STREETS OF FIRE
You're gonna wonder what this movie is doing here, right? It has nothing to do with LA (again, Chicago is the city in question here, at least I think so). But has a lot to do with texture, with the sense that this is a fictional real place we're seeing. It's not real, but it is amazing. Yes, it's mannered (it's basically a musical, more accurately a longform music video), but it evokes a sense of legend amongst all the cinderblocks and girders.
Another example of simulating disintegration through mechanical reproduction. The symbol in this case is a sigil associated with No Tomorrows in the book. I was aiming to make it look like the sort of grotty and sketchy flyer you might find stuck under your windshield wiper, suggestive symbol on one side and long, cramped screed about how the black helicopters were circling even now, that the forgotten gods of the old times are back and looking for new recruits.