Friday, October 6, 2023

Blood Of The Vines - Overlooked Indies With Josh Olson

Pairing‌ ‌wine‌ ‌with‌ ‌movies!‌  ‌See‌ ‌the‌ ‌trailers‌ ‌and‌ ‌hear‌ ‌the‌ ‌fascinating‌ ‌commentary‌ ‌for‌ ‌these‌ ‌movies‌ ‌and‌ ‌many‌ ‌more‌ ‌at‌ ‌Trailers‌ ‌From‌ ‌Hell.‌ This week, we will pair wines with three films that may have escaped your attention, but that caught the eye of TFH guru Josh Olson

While we breeze through the indie films that you may have missed but doubtless remember if you did see them, we will mull over some wine choices to go with them. Hopefully they will not go down as forgotten gems once you have sipped from the chalice, or even once you have guzzled from the bottle. Who am I to judge? 

Gas Food Lodging was written and directed by Allison Anders in 1992. It was a well-received movie, both by critics and by paying customers. I know it was well-received because I was one of those paying customers. It was so popular that I had to sit down front due to getting there late. 

Brother and sister Ione Skye and Donovan Leitch have featured roles in Gas Food Lodging. They are both offspring of the '60s guitar poet Donovan, in case you need some rock'n'roll genealogy before watching a film. Here's some more: Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis also appears in the film, but he is more noticeable on the soundtrack album.  

There is an indie winemaker in southern Oregon, Linda Donovan, who has a line of small-batch wines under the name LDonovan. If you want to visit, she can point you in the direction of Medford's finest food and lodging. 

Here's another nugget from 1992: In the Soup, a comedy directed and co-written by Alexandre Rockwell. Steve Buscemi plays a guy who is toting around a 500-page screenplay, looking for a sir or madam who might be interested in something like that. 

Turns out there is. A guy named Joe, whose day job is gangster. He is played by Seymour Cassel, who honed his indie chops while working with the master, John Cassavetes in the 1960s. 

When a gangster promises to turn your 500-pages into a movie, you should probably try to ease out of a doorway or window as quickly as possible and hope that you didn’t give him your card. 

Michael Franzese makes no bones about admitting that he was once a mob boss. In the Colombo family. He walked away from the position and didn't even have to give up his kneecaps. Now he makes wine using grapes grown in the Ararat region of Armenia. Man, that must be some no-compete clause. He offers a Pinot Noir, a Malbec and a Sauvignon Blanc, all for less than $30.

In 1996, Dan Zukovic wrote, directed and starred in The Last Big Thing. That's the title of a magazine devoted to heaping criticism upon the pop culture of the late 1990s. Yes, I know, it's an easy target. Zukovic shows just how easy over and over. Eventually, he becomes one of his detested icons. That is how it goes for a satirist in La La Land.

Magpie Estates makes an Australian Chardonnay under the name The Next Big Thing. That's quite a pronouncement for a $13 Chardonnay. They say it has enough oak so you'll know it's a Chardonnay even if you don’t know what Chardonnay smells like.

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