INTERVIEW WITH HARVEY AWARD NOMINEE HOWARD WHACKOWICZ! DECENSORTIZED! SEPTEMBER 11! MAILBAG!
All contents © 2000-2001, Rick Trembles
UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION STRICTLY FORBIDDEN
September 27, 2001
INTERVIEW WITH HARVEY AWARD NOMINEE HOWARD WHACKOWICZ!
September 20, 2001
DECENSORTIZED! (Pictured below: storyboard panel of soldiers emitting from vagina in Decensortized. Also, this week I added a short B&W animated loop to Snubdom's front page of one of Decensortized's principal characters; "bite your tongue!" taken from a flipbook I made nearly 20 years ago)
Decensortized is a personal animation project I started working on in the late eighties & am still trying to complete despite having dropped the ball over the years. Small monies received by work incentive programs went into various developmental phases, resulting in a full 16MM B&W line test, sound-synched to a song of the same name by my band The American Devices (email me for video copies). As materials for cel animation became increasingly obsolete over the nineties, I had to take a more economically feasible digital approach to the completion of Decensortized & am presently still retooling my stacks of drawings & notes to meet these demands. One of these decades it'll all come to fruition. What follows is a synopsis to Decensortized.
PART A: TITLES & ESTABLISHING SHOT OF FIRST SCENE
Out from a green background, a red sphere entering from a center-frame vanishing point fills the screen in unison with the music. Inside the sphere are the words "AMERICAN DEVICES" signifying that the conception, artwork, lyrics & music were provided by this musical group. Once on screen long enough to read, this sphere vanishes, to be replaced in the same manner by another red sphere containing the title of the song & film: "DECENSORTIZED." Camera pans up above this sphere (leaving it behind), until distant mountaintops come into view. Camera pans right & settles on a junkyard scrap heap. Amongst the debris is a lone flower struggling to grow out of the cracks of a large cement block & a discarded crucifix shaped like the head of a penis. Underneath it, the word "BURN" is displayed in sculpted block letters.
PART B: INTRODUCTION OF PROTAGONIST & SYMBOL OF FOREBODING
"Iddy-biddy power loving liberator, doing you & me a favor. In this institute of harm avoidance, hurting's just an intuitive annoyance, not always mutually synchronized..."
Cut to principal character cautiously poking her head out from behind some boulders nearby. She squirms from her hiding place & runs out frame left. She's only partially clothed as if she'd been in a scuffle. Breasts exposed, wearing only a conservative looking dress, she dashes into the previous scrap heap location, relieved she can pause for a moment & catch her breath. Camera zooms in towards her head as she huffs and puffs. Cut to a repetition of the same scrap heap sphere appearance as the titles sequence, but this time without writing accompanying it. This same red sphere (approximately five feet in diameter) emerges from behind the same large cement block to face the girl. She's taken only slightly by surprise because this isn't what she's running from. She remains seated while the stationary sphere begins to drip as if sweating or melting (corresponding to the sounds of droplets already in the soundtrack). The sphere metamorphoses into abstract, cyclical repetitions of shapes & colors. This startles the girl somewhat but she remains seated until the metamorphosis becomes more violent & finally explodes intestinal viscera throughout the surroundings. Girl runs out frame left. The first appearance of the metamorphosing spherical "symbol of foreboding" (called as such, because things seem to go from bad to worse during, or shortly after its presence) is its most explicit. As a warning to the girl, it literally "opens up" at the end of the metamorphosis, self-destructing into a mess of internal organs before her. The sphere is sending out a general warning to no avail.
PART C: VICTIMIZATION OF PROTAGONIST BY MILITARY PERSONNEL GONE AWRY
"And so we ask not for confessions of any personal recessions beneficial or bourgeois, but that we all be equalized... Liberation, liberation, liberation... Liberate me!"
Girl peeks nervously out from behind a hill. Beside her are the skeletal remains of lynching victims hanging from a tree. Camera zooms back, following her hurriedly running downhill & into discarded maze-like trenches to hide. After peeking around she inches her way through, but unbeknownst to her, a decrepit, zombie-like soldier has caught on to her whereabouts. He follows her undetected from behind, through the trenches, & pounces. Struggling to free herself from his grip, she loses her dress. She kicks him away with one lethal blow, runs fully nude across the terrain & jumps into her new hiding place, another tiny scrap heap. In the foreground, 2 soldiers lounge around killing time, perched atop city ruins. The hollowed out, tilted remains of a four-story building loom in the distance. Girl inches her head up from the heap to spy on the soldiers. Numb from boredom, they drink, yawn, blink, light & smoke cigarettes to pass the time. Cut to close-up of one of the soldiers lip-synching to the song lyrics occurring at that moment: "Liberation, liberation, liberation..." Once he finishes vocalizing, he proceeds to nonchalantly bite his own tongue off & the disembodied piece of flesh spins towards the camera, filling the screen with pink in time for the lyrics: "Liberate me!" Girl sneaks across ruins behind unaware soldiers (camera pan following her) to the side of a house that's still intact & hides behind a garbage pail below a window. From the window appears a relatively harmless looking derelict offering her a helping hand. He pulls her inside just as a soldier walks out from behind the house on a routine check. Soldier snoops around, finds nothing & exits frame right.
PART D: ABDUCTION OF PROTAGONIST BY DERELICT & REAPPEARANCE OF FOREBODING SYMBOL
"And at your disposal are sensations of generic stock penetrations groping at some sort of duty memory. Instead keep on sustaining compensation & redefine some dedication & all the while do not prolong puberty so free & strong... Liberation, liberation, liberation... Liberate me!"
In one long take, the camera zooms inside window offering us a glimpse of derelict's habitat. We begin in the messy & cramped kitchen, table for one & dirty dishes festering. Camera slowly (as if cautiously) pans left past front door. Unopened junk-mail litters the floor. This takes us into the television viewing area, where video cassettes, rotten half-eaten junk food packages & alcoholic beverages litter the well-lived-in area immediately surrounding the TV set & chair. We follow a video wire to the next room to find derelict adjusting a tripod-mounted video camera aimed at the (now constrained) girl's gaping vagina, chained to a bed, struggling & screaming. Torture instruments litter the area, (cat 'o nine tails whip & surgical instruments). A camera zoom into the derelict's face ends as a close-up of him lip-synching the exact same lyrics the bored soldier in a previous scene sang: "Liberation, liberation, liberation..." Once he finishes vocalizing, he also proceeds to nonchalantly bite his own tongue off. The disembodied piece of flesh spins towards the camera, filling the screen with pink in time for the lyrics: "Liberate me!" Cut back to a long shot of the same circumstance, but with the derelict now videotaping his cunnilingus rape of the girl. As this occurs in animated cycles, a small spermatozoa tadpole-shaped creature circles overhead. It spins until an approximately one-foot-in-diameter version of the title sphere appears to metamorphose in exactly the same way it did back at the scrap heap earlier (but many times, over & over, & without exploding). The metamorphosis itself recalls the likes of the division of a zygote. Camera zooms into an extreme close-up of the cunnilingus rape, then zooms back out minus any cuts to reveal the borders of the TV set that this is simultaneously occurring on in the derelict's living room. As the camera keeps zooming out, we see the derelict adjusting the same TV set he's appearing on in real time. He sits down to watch himself from his favorite chair. Camera zooms back into TV set just beyond its borders at close-up of cunnilingus rape & then zooms back out to reveal the derelict's rape is simultaneously being performed on pages depicting genitalia from a pornographic magazine centerfold come to life (while the same keeps occurring on TV in front of him). The rapists' compulsion to document these violations suggests that the girl may no longer be necessary once the footage has been collected. The series of repetitious zooms in & out the perimeters of the TV monitor's borders playing the close-up sexual footage suggests that time has frozen, the passage of time has no effect on him (committing it in real time, recreating it to watch on video, then simulating it utilizing the pages of a sex magazine, & finally back to the initial rape until his abduction). Zoom back into TV set beyond borders to close-up cunnilingus to see the derelict's head get abruptly yanked from vaginal area out of frame. Once he's out of the way, out the actual vagina come running endless troops of tiny armed soldiers.
PART E: ARRESTATION & ASSASSINATION OF PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS & REAPPEARANCE OF FOREBODING SYMBOL
"Neuter-lize my cerebellum with your quality truth serum. Decensortized, decensortized... And so this will provide us less, much less, yeah, newfangled morals to confess, much less, yeah, not always mutually synchronized. Why second guess & go defend what's best unseen, be more than willing to make room for what's obscene... Liberation, liberation, liberation..."
Cut to derelict standing beside bound girl, handcuffed & abducted by two life-sized soldiers. They shove him around a bit until one of them walks him through his home, exiting front door. Cut to the other soldier doing the same thing with the girl. They're led back to the side of the house blindfolded. As they're both placed against the wall, the spermatozoa tadpole creature hovers overhead & once again metamorphoses repeatedly. The firing squad readies their aim as close-up of derelict & girl shows them singing in unison lip-synching lyrics: "Liberation, liberation..." Zoom in towards soldiers as they fire at both derelict & girl, making a mockery of conventional punitive endings.
PART F: MILITARY PERSONNEL LOOTING REMNANTS & SCHEMATIC ESTABLISHING SHOT OF OVERALL LOCALE INTO CLOSURE OF FILM
Cut to several soldiers looking through pornographic magazines & viewing cunnilingus rape on video in derelict's living room after having rummaged through. Cut to 2 bored soldiers sitting amongst ruins masturbating to the same centerfold the derelict simulated cunnilingus rape on. Images of dispensable derelict & girl immortalized via cunnilingus rape for the same soldiers that did away with them. Gradually zoom out until we see the entire location this scenario took place in: A disembodied chunk of scorched & beaten war-torn earth, about a mile or two wide, floating helplessly in outer-space. Keep zooming out to infinity, until blackness & stars fill screen.
For free MP3 of the song Decensortized, click here (2.89 MB). To download to your computer, right-click link & choose "save target as."
© Rick Trembles, 2001
September 13, 2001
Early morning, September 11, I was putting finishing touches on this week's Purgatory after pulling an all-nighter to meet my deadline. I'd already decided that once I was done I was going to stay up a full 24 hours rather than sleep all day & end up nocturnal again, but as it turns out I didn't need much coffee to beat the topsy-turvies once the news started breaking out. I was glued to the boob tube bug-eyed a good 15 hours watching everything unfold on Canadian TV & conked out after finally hearing from some friends in Manhattan they were OK. I originally wrote several paragraphs for the Blather detailing how my day progressed, like when I realized at one point the news was literally making me tremble as it developed live & the time I panicked & darted to the window looking for a jet flying loudly overhead (all planes in North America were supposed to have been rerouted to Canada & grounded & it was rumored another hijacked plane might be in the air being pursued). But what I wrote read more like an exercise in trying to privately come to terms with events for myself (nerves frazzled). I'll keep it to myself. I can't imagine how people in the vicinities of the attacks are dealing with this.
September 6, 2001
MAILBAG! (Pictured right: The Pyramid has seen better days, I.E. Savage Pencil designed poster I tore off a wall back in '85)
Rob Labelle's account of your gig and "adventure" at the Pyramid Club (in last week's Blather) made me laugh so hard I was crying. The good ole days the Pyramid used to know when it was Drag Queen Central (in the 80's) are long gone. People like John Sex, Rupaul, Lady Bunny, Lypsinka (from the Wigstock movie) were all regulars as well as Rockets Redglare, Stephen Sprouse the designer, Nina Hagen, John Lurie & Patricia Field (the chick who does all the costumes for Sex & The City), the sisters from Manic Panic, some of the actors from Saturday Night Live, & even Malcolm fuckin Forbes went there!! We had a kind of exchange between performers coming up to play at the Beat or Poodles Club (Montreal venues) & we'd play down there. The dump went downhill when people like that Lauren bitch were allowed to take over. In 1984-85-86 when I regularly went to NYC, I used to dance on the bar at the Pyramid for $10 an hour & all the drinks I could handle! Alan Mace (AKA Sister Darling Dimension) was running the place & he made sure everyone had a decent time. He'd even take us shopping the night before & buy us new wigs! He didn't own the club & lived in a dump, but he knew how to treat out of town "performers"& went way out of his way. I did crappy theater there & even "fake" performance "art" that was total bullshit but the place used to embrace artistic expression & respected artists ...soft or hard-core & even paid them! About a year & a half ago I walked up to the door, not sure if I wanted to go in or not, said hello to the doorman & he barked at me immediately something like.... "In or out!! Don't stand in the doorway!!" & there was like 2 people inside. I just snarled back at him & was disgusted at his attitude. What used to be a place for who's whos is now just another what-where! Great story about the stool. How fitting!!! Rob's writing is first class entertainment! Your website is truly a treat!! I will highly recommend it!
Thanks, Ava. I remember wandering into the Pyramid in '85 & the first thing that struck me was the topless/bottomless dancers gyrating in my face on top of the bar. And my jaw dropped when closer inspection revealed them to be chix w/dix, their jiggling shlongs dangling inches away from my head (I guess you weren't working that night). Pre-critics' darlings era SONIC YOUTH happened to be playing that night with Lydia Lunch as guest vocalist. I wanted to give SY a tape of my band & the people running the place showed me to their dressing room no problem. Far cry from being jostled out for the simple crime of gracing their establishment with our presence a decade later (see below).