TODAY IN NETWORK AWESOME MAGAZINE
Timothy Misir is a Russia-based Singaporean writer and researcher in urban planning and architecture. He is currently working at The Moscow Times where he is a copy editor and writes for the arts section. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
In the phenomenal “Krusty Gets Canceled” episode of The Simpsons (one of my personal favorites, even if you only consider Bette Midler’s superhuman strength), Krusty, having lost Itchy and Scratchy to a competitor, is forced to resort to Eastern Block animation, namely a strange communist derivative called Worker and Parsite. Needless to say, the kids don’t stick around.
The short is a pretty bold-faced homage to the Russian powerhouse of animation, Soyuzmultfilm, and its many imitators. Formed by Stalin as a reaction to the budding cultural phenomenon of Mickey Mouse, the state-run studio employed an approach eerily similar to a 5-year plan to build Soviet animation into a global power. And power it was. Even today, Soyuzmultfilm is the second largest animation studio in the world. All told, the studio has produced over 1,500 works in its 77 year history...
Kristen Bialik works in public relations in Milwaukee, WI. When she’s not doing that, she’s trying to learn Korean, trying to write short stories, or trying to scheme up ways she can work for Conan O’Brien in Burbank. They’re works in progress.
Shot in Sun Valley, California with $5,000 financed through credit cards, writer-director Donald G. Jackson’s Roller Blade (New World Pictures, 1986) is a 16mm, non-sync sound, hair metal dystopia with maybe-accidental strains of The Holy Mountain(1973, dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky), with a little Road Warrior, a little Alex Cox, a pinch of William Klein.
A few years earlier, Jackson did some pick-up shots with James Cameron for The Terminator, another film that posits a future gone to shit. It was a major theme of the decade. The 1980s had a crime problem. The Cold War still raged with Russia when it was still considered a nuclear threat. Apocalypse narratives satisfied the public’s born-again Christianity and desire for judgement. In Roller Blade, “frontier justice” is meted out when police authority is overwhelmed, getting “tough on crime” the unavoidable -- but secretly enjoyable -- response...