Cool Erudition Never Hurt Nobody in Hollywood


Except Erich Von Stroheim … and Orson Welles … and F. Scott Fitzgerald … and Dalton Trumbo … and James Dean … and Monty Clift … and so on and so forth.

Greetings and salutations* from the Subterranean Beatnik Library poet Gregory Corso discovered in 1955 while hunting wild mushrooms in the catacombs beneath North Beach. Don’t ask; you’ll never find it, but if you’re ever blindfolded and taken to a late-night party in a spot that makes Lex Luthor’s Underground Lair look like Injun Joe’s Cave in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, I’m the chap in the corner with the horned-rim glasses noshing salt peanuts and playing rented bongos. … Don’t bother me unless you’ve got the chops.

Let’s make introductions real easy like: The name’s Murphy Hooker, the game’s to be your primo filter to all things cinematically relevant on the SF film scene. I’m your friendly local Cecil B. Demented meets David Kahane meets Joe Gillis with a razor wit, a stiff collar and scintillatingly sharp verbal axe to shine, so fasten your seatbelts, film nerds and nerdettes, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.* Got it? Gravy … Now on with the show.

Color Me Kubrick

courtesy of

Today’s post revolves around one of my heroes, an American Cinema Master—director Stanley Kubrick, god rest his iconoclastic soul. Color Me Kubrick (now playing on Saturn's outermost ring) is a new release that teams two of my favorite movie men: Stanley Kubrick’s vapor trail and John Malkovich.

Directed by one of Kubrick’s ADs and written by his personal assistant, Color Me tells the story of real life conman Alan Conway who got years of the royal treatment in the '90s by rooking rubes into thinking they were hanging with reclusive director Kubrick. If you’ve ever danced the Hollywood Tango in the City of (D)illusion, then you know something about the art of the con, Conway’s art and the suckers who can’t wait to drink it in.*

Color Me Kubrick

isn’t “Oscar Time” by any means, but it’s a worthy examination of the Star-F’er pathology and an absolutely perfect stage for Malko to be Malko. If you love Kubrick and Malko and come across a theater showing Color Me in the continental United States, consider yourself blessed and duck in for a view.

Blades of Glory

courtesy of

I know. I’m a self-appointed film snot, but as Preston Sturges movies will tell you, sometimes laughter is all we’ve got in this traveling freak show called the U.S. of A. That’s why Blades of Glory (now playing everywhere except Uranus) is worth a mention. Like Bill Murray, Peter Sellers, Gene Wilder, Jim Carrey and Jerry Lewis (psyche) before him, Will Ferrell doesn’t have to execute a triple axle to make us laugh, but it sure is funny to watch him try.

And so it is, and so it was on this fair Tuesday in April 2007. This is Poppa H. signing off. Until we meet again, be bad and get into trouble, baby.*

“Happenings” Round Town:
•    Tuesday (4/17), Wednesday (4/18) – Cremaster 1 & 2 (1996, 1999) Dir. Barney - Red Vic
•    Thursday (4/19) – The Big Lebowski (1998) Dir. Coen Brothers - Red Vic

Volume 1 Footnotes*
•    “Greetings and salutations.” – Heathers (1991): Christian Slater to Winona Ryder.
•    “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.” – All About Eve (1950): Betty Davis to a gaggle of slack-jawed Broadway sycophants.
•     “Drink it in …” – Anchorman (2004): Will Ferrell (as Ron Burgundy) to Christina Applegate by the pale moonlight.
•    “Let’s get into trouble, baby.” – Tapeheads (1988): Soul Train host Don Cornelius (as Hollywood Producer Mo Fuzz) to upstart filmmakers Tim Robbins and John Cusack.

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