Monday, January 24, 2011

More Theodora Keogh rare finds....

Two strange photo covers on these paperbacks of novels by Theodora Keogh.
I have long been fascinated with this author who I wrote to only a few years before her death. Some pictures of Theodora from my collection can be found here, as well as art by her husband at the time she was writing: Theodora Keogh link

Here is a photo of my favorite book by the author: The Tattooed Heart. The back cover has a nice photo of Theodora. I mailed this copy to Theodora and she was kind enough to sign and inscribe it for me.

Also recently found an old issue of The Paris Review (#4) that has a story by James Leo Herlihy illustrated by Tom Keogh as well as an ad for a restaurant that he illustrated. Definitely a good issue, I particularly enjoyed the amusing interview with author Irwin Shaw. It made me want to read his books.

Another obscure writer I have been somewhat obsessed with lately is William Gohm.
He wrote two novellas in 1960 that were published in hardcover only by Greenwich Books. I know absolutely nothing about this writer...but his simple writing and straightforward stories make a lot of sense to me. If I was ever to make a film, it might just be an adaptation of either of these. The titles are:
Illegal Entry
After a brief search on the internet, it looks like I might have the only copy of Junky available anywhere. Junky is a tragic love story about a man who works in a junkyard who falls in love with a wealthy woman who loves to race cars.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Against camp!

Definiton of Camp: something so outrageously artificial, affected, inappropriate, or out-of-date as to be considered amusing ....


sensibility wherein something is appealling because of its bad taste and ironic value.

I genuinely love old movies and used to have a passion for seeing them in the movie theater. But I can hardly do that anymore. Camp has ruined it. In whatever city I live in, there always tends to be a sort of "mondo" night at the independent cinema. This has become a gathering of people who like to make fun of a movie Mystery Science Theater 3000 style. Claiming that "it's so bad it's good".
I have been lured into these gathering places for the chance to see some of my favorite films on the big screen such as Caged Heat, Slumber Party Massacre 2 and Q: The Winged Serpent. I am not sorry to say that I think all of these are excellent pictures because they all represent a very individualistic creative vision. They should not be written off as exploitation.

Often, these screenings have a curator who introduces the movie by slamming it and setting it up to be laughed at. I can't tell you how much this annoys me. What makes these guys think they're so smart that they could publicly ridicule a creative endeavor? Filmmaking is no easy business. If you are still talking about a film 20 or 30 years later, it most definitely is not bad. If something is "so bad it's good", it's not's just GOOD. Why it's "so bad it's good" to a viewer is that it doesn't fit inside their parameters of what filmmaking should be. To me camp is the equivalent of a mob of talentless people who know very little about creativity...making fun of a creative endeavor somehow makes them feel good about themselves. Well, this makes me angry. There is so much to love about cinema. If you don't like something, why bother with it? To me, camp is ultimately obnoxious and insulting.

The next time I get excited about a screening, I'll have to pass. While I've always imagined it is better to see a film on a large screen with an interested audience, I can't seem to stomach the laughter in all the wrong places. Even when the movie is not billed as camp, like a recent screening of Tootsie I've seen, the audience howls and laughs at the outdated fashion rather than the actual jokes in the film. I would like to surround myself with others who appreciate art, rather than sabotage it.

I'm sticking with video for now.