By Sherrie Li
By Falling James
By Amanda Lewis
By Amy Nicholson
By Amy Nicholson
By Jennifer Swann
By Scott Foundas
By Sherrie Li
Cox has directed seven features since his post-Walker retreat from Hollywood (including Mexican cop drama Highway Patrolman, which screens on Saturday at the Hammer in a double feature with Sid & Nancy), financed by foreign presales, DVD residuals and, in the case of the 2007 Western Searchers 2.0, producer Roger Corman. Most of these films you've probably not heard of, let alone seen — the Microcinema releases will be the first real exposure for many of them in the U.S.
With no desire to return to the corporate filmmaking fold — give him an opening and he'll rail against former employer Universal and its various subsidiaries — technology has fired up Cox's DIY instincts. His last feature, an unofficial sequel to Repo Man called Repo Chick, was made Spy Kids–style with heavy use of garage green-screen, and allowed him to keep working under the radar and without interference. If he has his way, his next project will be as lo-fi as they come.
"I want to do a film either with Rudy Wurlitzer, who wrote Walker, or with Harry Harrison, who's an American science fiction writer who lives in England," Cox says. "Um, and in either case, I want to do a film with hand puppets."
There's no entry on Straight to Hell in Destroy All Movies!!!, the massive, indispensable new coffee-table/reference book on punk in film edited by Zach Carlson and Bryan Connolly — somewhat inexplicable given that there is an entry on Ishtar, apparently because "a punk can be spotted in a club" in a single scene, not to mention a two-paragraph evisceration of Fight Club, included on the basis of a single character's haircut, but worth it for the compact dismissal of that David Fincher film as "Amelie for dudes."
The book also contains interviews with Cox and his frequent actor/collaborator Dick Rude, Fugazi's Ian MacKaye, filmmakers Lech Kowalski, Dave Markey and Penelope Spheeris, as well as capsules on obvious classics (Jubilee, Rock 'n' Roll High School, Spheeris' Suburbia), questionable dabblings in punk imagery with name-brand actors (Gleaming the Cube, Jawbreaker, Richard Linklater's Suburbia) and assorted arcana (the Crass movie Christ: The Movie, the After School Special The Day My Kid Went Punk).
Cinefamily hosts a weekend-long film series to celebrate the release of the book; highlights include a double feature of Markey's Super-8 portraits on the '80s L.A. underground, The Slog Movie and Desperate Teenage Lovedolls, and a midnight show of Kowalski's rarely screened D.O.A., from a print reportedly dug out of storage at Sage Stallone's house.
NO BRAKES: ALEX COX | Nov. 19-20 | Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum | cinema.ucla.edu
DESTROY ALL MOVIES!!! TWO-DAY PUNK FILM FEST | Nov. 20-21 | Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre | cinefamily.org
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