I’m too distracted today, so it’s a brief update. One distraction is the wave of voyeuristic “everyday carry” images flooding the internet — Hypebeast is going in with some celebrity hauls and it was good to see both team WAH and E-40 repped on the Fader’s ‘The Things I Carry‘ section, but the sheer wave of gun and knife related forum threads asking about an EDC are staggering and with Tumblr and Pinterest seemingly hungry for blades and firearms, it offers a wealth of imagery for internet gangsters to right-click heist. These forums (sample topic “I shot at a human being multiple times…”) are full of daily pocket armouries and the ever-popular www.everyday-carry.com is particularly knife-centric, but I like the focus on a murdered out aesthetic balance to these tools and the editor’s commentary on each entry. HB talk backers who obsess over Mr. Ben Baller’s weaponry would lose their minds at the hauls showcased elsewhere. I hope these folks don’t absent-mindedly try to get these EDCs through the metal detectors next time they’re off on holiday.
I blogged about the misfortunes of Akinyele last year (as well as a ‘Vagina Dineakinyekle.r’ reissue that hasn’t happened yet) and quietly worried about the current status of Ak, having exited Interscope and Jive and been missing in action musically since the early 2000s. So what’s he doing? Slinging CDs outside stores in NYC, despite less and less individuals having a CD drive in their possession? Talking about a comeback? Nope — Akinyele is apparently rich, having backed the Lollypops strip club in Las Vegas and taking $5 million in its first week. It’s not quite as vast a switch in occupation as Tracey Lee becoming a Lawyer, but as with Lee’s departure from music, it’s enough to slap the smirk off anybody giving them the where-are-they-now? milk carton treatment. As an Ak fan, I’m happy to hear that there was a happy ending (not that kind of happy ending — at least I don’t think it’s that kind of establishment) for this artist.
Post ‘Boardwalk Empire’ there seems to have been a green light on period gangster flicks and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead. I’m not anticipating a boom in period clothing cues and a wealth of 1930s/40s and 50s themed magazine covers, product designs and promo materials (Crista Flanagan in ‘Playboy’ was excellent but the wave of 1960s themed things that followed for subsequent ‘Mad Men’ seasons became increasingly wearying) that will probably pour out nearer the release dates.
Representing for the depression era John Hillcoat’s ‘Lawless’ arrives in August and adapts Matt Bondurant’s excellent ‘The Wettest County in the World’ with Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy and Guy Pearce with a haircut you could set your watch by. It might have had lukewarm Cannes reviews, but the fact somebody compared it to an early 1970s Roger Corman crime flick is no bad thing – Scorcese’s ‘Boxcar Bertha,’ anybody? I’m expecting some gangster gothic visuals with bursts of ultra violence, even if Shia LeBeouf has yet to convince me. ‘Gangster Squad’s trashy looks and all-star cast reeks of De Palma’s ‘The Untouchables’ (a good thing, incidentally) with ‘Zombieland’s director, Sean Penn pulling faces and the increasingly excellent Nick Nolte in a post-war battle of good and evil.
It’s strange to think that a 2012 adaptation of ‘Cogan’s Trade’ is the first Hollywood adaptation of a George V. Higgins book since 1970’s ‘The Friends of Eddie Coyle’ (one of my favourite crime films, as documented several times on this site alongside my respect for Steven Keats and his sunglasses in it), but with Andrew Dominik directing (apparently the original cut was 150 minutes, which comes as no surprise, given the length of his earlier film, ‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford’) but the lack of Nick Cave on musical duties this time (though he scored and wrote the ‘Lawless’ screenplay for fellow Antipodean, Mr Hillcoat) and crappy name change to ‘Killing Them Softly’ isn’t a strong look. As I understand, the Boston setting remains, but I’m not sure whether a tooled up Brad Pitt will be cracking skulls in a 1974 setting like the novel. We’ll find out when the film arrives in September.
Despite the test footage floating around for a while (I posted it here well over a year ago), it looks like ‘Ice Man,’ the Richard Kuklinski biopic is still going ahead with Michael Shannon, James Franco and, um, David Schwimmer involved. Presumably it’s a 1970s and 1980s period piece, but I’m not up on director and co-writer Ariel Vromen’s work. A couple of posters have appeared but little else. Done right, this film could be uneasily brutal and a mob flick that veers into horror territory, to rid us of the wacky, chatty post-Tarantino hit man altogether. Or it could be a straight-to-Blu-ray affair. I find it difficult to comprehend that even the loosest adaptation of Kuklinski’s “confessions” could be anything less than watchable though.
On a more sombre note, I was sad to hear of the passing of my Nottingham Trent University housemate from 1996-1999, Mr. Lee Davies. A kind-hearted guy and fellow Smiths/Morrissey fan who often attempted to convince me that ‘Maladjusted’ was underrated, made me a bizarre birthday meal of tinned octopus once and taught me that Gibraltar wasn’t a city in Spain, the very fact he came to check I hadn’t choked on my own vomit during a food/alcohol poisoning bout of sickness in late 1997 remains appreciated, because it’s the little gestures that define character. My thoughts are with his wife, daughter and family — this one’s for you Lee.