With SCANNERS, David Cronenberg plunges us into one of his most terrifying and thrilling sci-fi worlds. After a man with extraordinary—and frighteningly destructive—telepathic abilities is nabbed by agents from a mysterious rogue corporation, he discovers he is far from the only possessor of such strange powers, and that some of the other “scanners” have their minds set on world domination, while others are trying to stop them. A trademark Cronenberg combination of the visceral and the cerebral, this phenomenally gruesome and provocative film about the expanses and limits of the human mind was the Canadian director’s breakout hit in the United States.

Tonight I spoke to my dad on the phone, and he regaled me with an anecdote about how once, many years ago, a tow truck driver had angrily pointed his finger in my dad’s face. This gesture was a tremendous slight to him, as I imagine it is for most people in Western civilization. And then he said something that sent a chill down my spine. He said that he had told the driver: “You’d best get that finger out of my face right this second or else I’m going to break it.”

It shook me because my dad had inadvertently paraphrased a line from a literary hero of my own creation, being the seven-foot-tall super-soldier called Gritt Calhoon. I have written about Gritt many times. He stars in three tremendously stupid and insane books I have written. Like my dad, Gritt will not suffer a finger in his face. In my forthcoming novella (lol), GRITT CALHOON AND THE BLOODBATH BENEATH MOUNT TERROR, a finger-pointing confrontation takes place, albeit a more benign one.

To wit:

The old man smiled. He poured a beer from the tap and held it aloft. With his other hand he pointed his index finger at Gritt. “For you, my friend,” he said. “Drink up, and be glad.”

Little did the old man know, pointing a finger at Gritt Calhoon was often a fatal mistake.

“Ya best git that fanger out my face,” Gritt barked, tensing his thighs to the rhythm of the bongo drums he heard inside his head—an old death march number from his time as a POW on the moon of Ananke. The dark melody which only he could hear had been droning on ceaselessly inside his skull for decades. “Unless yer itchin to have one less fanger, that is.” Gritt spaced out just then. He remembered a chili dog he’d eaten fifteen years before.

The old man did not waver. He stood there smiling, still holding the beer. Foam crept over the side of the glass and down onto his brittle fingers.

Wut’s this old shit stain up tew? thought Gritt. This wily ol dog ’n his fuckin kinship with all mankind. Hell, I ain’t gunna fuckin pretend I ain’t at least a li’l bit curious ‘bout what makes a man’s heart smile. . . .

“All right, all right,” said Gritt finally, squinting at the man with bloodshot eyes. “I’ll drink yer stinkin beer and eat yer lousy meat, if’n it’ll gitcha ta put that there fanger away. ’N jus eff-why-eye, last man who pointed a fanger at me done got his nuts shipped back to Kansas in a dirty diaper.” Gritted grunted and offered no further explanation.

Yeeeaaaaahhhhh!!! I guess I really am my father’s son after all.

I guess one of the “”themes”” of this book is father / son relationships. I know that sounds insane, given the bewildering passage you have just read, but it’s true. It was a beautiful accident that this theme emerged. I mean, Gritt is haunted by many thousands of nightmares that play out in his head, and chiefly among them is the death of his beloved son, Andronicus “Andy” Trebuchet Calhoon. He’s got a complex. You’ll see!

(Would you read 130 more pages of stuff like this?? I guess we’ll all find out soon.)

Anyway . . . love you, Dad~

man when i get my next apartment this is gonna be me

The jaw-dropping set pieces fly fast and furious in Jackie Chan’s breathtakingly inventive martial-arts comedy, a smash hit that made him a worldwide icon of daredevil action spectacle. The director/star/one-man stunt machine plays Ka-Kui, a Hong Kong police inspector who goes rogue to bring down a drug kingpin and protect the case’s star witness (Chinese cinema legend Brigitte Lin) from retribution. Packed wall-to-wall with charmingly goofball slapstick and astoundingly acrobatic fight choreography—including an epic shopping-mall melee of flying fists and shattered glass—Police Story set a new standard for rock-’em-sock-’em mayhem that would influence a generation of filmmakers from Hong Kong to Hollywood.

John Cassavetes puts his distinctive spin on the screwball comedy in this endearingly offbeat odd-couple romance. Just when Minnie (Gena Rowlands) thinks she’ll never fall in love again, she meets Seymour Moskowitz (Seymour Cassel), a misfit parking-lot attendant who ardently pursues her. Throwing caution to the wind, Minnie embarks on a wildly romantic, tumultuous, and painful courtship that—as always in the cinema of Cassavetes—exposes the gloriously messy extremes of human relationships.

The Hustler is a 1961 American CinemaScope drama film directed by Robert Rossen from Walter Tevis’s 1959 novel of the same name, adapted for the screen by Rossen and Sidney Carroll. It tells the story of small-time pool hustler “Fast” Eddie Felson and his desire to break into the “major league” of professional hustling and high-stakes wagering by high-rollers that follows it. He throws his raw talent and ambition up against the best player in the country, seeking to best the legendary pool player “Minnesota Fats”. After initially losing to Fats and getting involved with unscrupulous manager Bert Gordon, Eddie returns to try again, but only after paying a terrible personal price.

Five cities. Five taxicabs. A multitude of strangers in the night. Jim Jarmusch assembled an extraordinary international cast of actors (including Gena Rowlands, Winona Ryder, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Béatrice Dalle, and Roberto Benigni) for this quintet of transitory tales of urban displacement and existential angst, all staged as encounters between cabbies and their fares. Spanning time zones, continents, and languages, NIGHT ON EARTH winds its course through scenes of uproarious comedy, nocturnal poetry, and somber fatalism, set to a moody soundtrack by Tom Waits. Jarmusch’s lovingly askew view of humanity from the passenger seat makes for one of his most charming and beloved films, a freewheeling showcase for the cosmopolitan range of his imagination.