Category Archives: Alt


St. Patrick’s Day is a video by local artist Dolan Chorng, completed on St. Patrick’s Day, 2013 in San Francisco. 


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Screen Shot 2013-01-22 at 9.39.54 PM

1. Get invited to a dinner party your friends are hosting. Text the hosts asking if they would like you to pick up a film at Le Video for later. When one of them texts back Samurai Cop understand that this is not a joke. You may think that it is, but it’s not. They want you to go into Le Video and ask the cashier for Samurai Cop. They want you to embark on an adventure.

2. When you enter Le Video check your text to make sure the film is actually called Samurai Cop and not Karate Cop for if you ask for Karate Cop, you will feel like a fool and walk out of the store filled with a shame that you will carry with you for many years to come.

3. When you do ask for Samurai Cop, the first cashier will pause to think if they have it, while the second one will quickly say in a whisper: “Upstairs. Action.” You know then that he has seen this movie more than once, and probably more than twice.

4. When you slip the DVD out from its hiding place, marvel at its cover. It’s a hand-drawn cop holding a bloody samurai sword in one hand, and an even bloodier head in the other. Think to yourself, “I think this is good. I think we’ve chosen right.” Then notice the wedding ring on his finger. Samurai Cop is taken. But that’s okay, he wasn’t your type anyway.

5. Pay for the movie. Don’t shop lift! Le Video needs your help. Get a little sad when you realize you have to renew your account and it costs an extra five dollars. Feel poor. Remember to go back to that one Indian place you saw that had a help wanted sign. Look up some other Indian dishes besides naan and tikka masala when you get home. You want to seem qualified.

6. Decide you will make garlic bread for the dinner because people like garlic bread and garlic bread is easy. Get all the ingredients. Bread. Garlic. Butter. Parmesan. Parsley? No, that’s too much. You’re poor, remember? Realize you’ve never made garlic bread before and you and your boyfriend are already roasting the garlic wrong. Decide it doesn’t matter. It will probably be better this way. High-five and feel confident.

7. Show up to your friends house with brownish chunky garlic bread and at least two bottles of wine. Don’t worry, there will be at least one more bottle there.

8. Have a delicious meal with friends and talk expectations. What is a samurai cop? A cop who fights with a sword. Is he Japanese? No. Can he speak Japanese? It says he does on the back of the case. Decide that you should all just wait to watch it. Start talking about how to fry tofu. Apologize to the one guy you didn’t realize was vegan because all you brought was delicious buttery garlic bread. That’s okay. More for you.

9. Drink more. Watch one of your friends play Hotline Miami. Putter in the kitchen. Repeat.

10. Fill your glass. Insert disk. You are now ready to begin.

11. Try to watch the intro with Joe Bob Briggs. Laugh at the beginning because it’s so strange. Then realize it’s too strange and that Joe Bob is actually pretty boring. Skip to the actual film.

12. Realize very quickly that this movie may be one of the worst films you will ever see. Be grateful you just drank a lot of wine.

13. Watch the samurai cop preform only bad karate. Feel better about almost calling the film Karate Cop earlier at Le Video.

14. Realize that Samurai Cop has a black sidekick that the DVD case calls “puckish.” Laugh at this on an off throughout the film.

15. Feel slightly shocked at how sexual the movie is, then grow weary. It is more than once that a dopey-eyed girl will ask Samurai Cop, awkwardly biting her lip, “Would you like to fuck me?” Roll your eyes. Make a joke. If no one laughs make it again: they may not have heard. If after a second time no one laughs just know that it wasn’t funny. Spend the next couple scenes in shame.

16. Laugh at how ridiculous Samurai Cop looks. Extremely tan. Long hair. Small head. Thick neck. Kind of a neanderthal Tarzan. Wonder why he can’t pronounce anything in Japanese and why women are attracted to him. Shrug. Sometimes there are no answers.

17. Keep making jokes until people do laugh. Feel good. You’re so funny! You and your friends are now a regular comedy team. Zings comin’ left and right. Reward yourself with more garlic bread.

18. Get to the part with actual sword fighting. ‘FINALLY’ someone will say. Chuckle. Realize the two men fighting have probably never held a sword. Laugh. They look like children. Then feel a little sad. They look like children. Be glad when they quickly ditch the swords. It was a little too painful to watch.

19. Watch the credits role knowing that a lot wasn’t really resolved. And wait! Samurai Cop isn’t married! And he never cut off a head! Grumble about the deceitful cover.

20. Go to special features. Look at stills. Snicker. Tire. Go to commentary with Robert Z’Dar. See that he’s extremely overweight and sad. Get depressed QUICKLY. Realize you’re about to graduate.Think of the future. See yourself in a button up t-shirt with skulls and flames on it and balding head and small pony-tail. Get depressed. Look around at friends. See them happy and talking. Realize that you all are different from Robert Z’Dar and Samurai Cop. Feel hope. Know that you have a future. Feel relief and also joy for being in a room with such wonderful people. Celebrate with some garlic bread.

21. Return the DVD to Le Video the day that it’s due. Not because you wanted to watch it again, but because you like to live on the edge. Slip it silently into the DVD slot. Wonder where it’s off to next. Wonder where all the people who worked on it are today. Promise yourself you will write something better. Promise yourself you will finish that draft. Promise yourself you will get a job and start saving for your own feature.

22. Enter the store and rent something else. Feel happy that for some reason you’ve never been able to enter a video store without renting something. Embark on another adventure.

-Madeline Mahrer


Filed under Alt, Reviews, SF Local



*from a diary found under my bed at my parents’ house.


TODAY SUCKED!! But I saw a really, really good movie that we got at blockbuster after school. I wanted to see it at the movie theater but it was PG-13 and mom wouldn’t let me go, even though I’m practically 13. I’m in 7th grade, duh. Mom is like this about a lot of things. ANYWAY Mia and I rented it and the guy didn’t ask us if we were 13 so we must look old. Mia’s going to get her nose pierced.

But it’s called A Walk to Remember and it has Mandy Moore in it who is so pretty with brown hair instead of blonde. And a much better actress than pop star. She’s probably going to be really big now. So is Shane West, who played her boyfriend/the bad boy. So so handsome.

What I liked about it was that they seemed like normal teens who had problems (except her problems are WAY worse because she DIED) instead of rich teens in LA. It’s a bit unrealistic that two teens would get married but it was sooooo romantic because it really proved how much he loved her. Granted, he knew she was going to die, so getting married wouldn’t have too much of an effect on his future, but it was her dying wish to get married in the same church that her parents got married in. So that’s pretty noble. I also liked the part where they starred in the school musical and Mandy Moore got dolled up, because they made her pretend to be ugly the rest of the movie…which is what I DIDN’T like.

Just because you’re Christian doesn’t mean you can’t be attractive.

-Samantha Wilson (12)

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower still remains, in my mind, an iconic book which holds a lot of sentimental value in relation to my high school experience. Upon learning that my beloved little lime green-paperback was to be shot as a movie, I was immediately skeptical. However, my roommate and I had both expressed an interest in seeing it, as she’d never read the book. This is the process I went through in my description of seeing Perks, complete with my thoughts on the movie itself, multi-syllable rhyming, and more than a few of my own memories that transpired throughout the campus of my adolescence:

I get a text at 9 p.m.
So I get dressed
As I leave my bed.
Meet my friend
For some new perspective
Through a big
Screen’s  lens. It
Ain’t even a weekend,
But I wanted all the nostalgia
The theater could lend
So I decided to sleep in
The next day. We found
Our seats and paid,
Eager to see this movie
Compare to the pages
Well acquainted by my
High school’s history and
What can I say?
The flick’s a hit with me,
Dips into high school without
The slightest of signaling, it’s
Everything your experience was and wasn’t
Those urban myths aren’t fiction-less,
They just usually happen
To your friend’s cousin. Let’s
Talk about watching your best friend
Date older dudes, or
Maybe that was you
In the soles of those shoes.
It was certainly me. None of those guys
Ever loved me, by any respective measure but
We accept the love we think we deserve
And in the meantime mail one another
Childhood treasures.
Going postal coast-to-coast
Amidst our tide pool’s networks
Just goes to show ,
High tide can be unjust,
That it can, indeed, suck
In high school’s social deserts.
Charlie is a succulent,
Grown in the head
Of the story’s author, writer, and director—
And how often do you find that?
The same personal style imbued
By this Stephen Chbosky dude
For one, gives me pleasure.
For two, makes you feel
Like you’re wearing a
Thick, kitschy sweater:
Simple and quaint,
With its fair share of sweating
You try not to faint
Under the many
Heavy-knitted pressures.
Sweltering, sometimes
You gotta take
Non-permitted measures.
It resonates with me but upsets
This movie’s cast of characters.
I’m talkin’ about
Not kissing your girlfriend
During truth or dare,
Re-evaluating, in the moment,
Your effort’s expenditures.
Alienated by friends’ stares,
Tongue-in-cheek realities
Ensnare your inner instincts
And you feel unprepared,
Pretending at navigation,
Complacently feelin’
Old for your age or your face
But conveniently young just the same.
Tellin’ old you to just stay
On the path you’ve created,
That now you’re well on your way.
And that bright smile,
Of Emma Watts, Son.
Her bulbs have been tightly wound,
Yeah, she’s a bright one.
It’s fun,
Brownies bake you
Til your oven dings “done”
And you were appetized,
Now you’re
Undeniably high,
The room spins openly
As you lose focus and
Hardly mind
Becoming the party’s
Token stoned guy.
Emma’s milkshakes
Bring made-up choices
To a junkyard
And is then like
We weren’t gonna go
That far.” Damn right,
Hadn’t had this much fun
Reading since Bell Jar.
Her letters from Penn
Will start parked cars.
It’s not far-fetched,
To think it hits hard
Interacting with women
When visions of his aunt Helen
Left marks that turn starlit.
So remember this:
When you’re down
On your luck, kid,
Just take to heart this hint:
It’s where the road turns ahead
Within darker bends that
We see humanity’ lantern of beauty.
Social blunders amend smoothly
When we make peace and amends
In the presence of our friends,
Deciding, instead, to take a nightly stand
And dance for the sake of our inner light
Atop moving truck beds.
Charlie’s past projects itself visibly
From scene-to-scene,
Upon his waking life,
And everywhere in-between.
Watching your
Best friend cry
Can mean
Setting aside your own
Victim’s mentality,
Once present in the vicinity,
To instead share intrinsic
Hiding an inner fight openly,
As his mind’s eyes
Remain mystifyingly dry
Can be just our way of coping.
All the above was filmed convincingly.
Frequent camera stops
On typewriters and glass
Coke bottles invoke in me
Lingering afterschool tokens
Of my time emoting
In SoCal jokingly–laughing
Til the tears came and choked me,
Former fears casting me for a role,
No matter how small, as a viewer
to this movie. Perks calls
The well-made shots,
Bares flaws and hey–
No gain no loss. It cares
About being
Glaringly honest,
Declaring this finer thoughtfulness
Through leading characters’
Minor skin problems. It’s
That careful lack
Of makeup as Ezra emanates
Playful relaxedness
Despite his skin’s situation.
I stopped,
At the end, to
Point this out in hindsight
But without contacts,
For that detail’s context,
My roomie was practically
Blind that night.
But even still, after the
Theater’s closing hours,
Cour agreed with me in that
She too was pleased to “see”
The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

-Megan Doak

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