Embarrassing Movies Made By Famous Musicians
There's no reason a person can't be talented in more than one way. For instance, acclaimed actors Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman were also tremendous basketball players. However, there are some artists who go from genius to lunatic as soon as they change mediums. Here are some talented musicians you've probably heard of who made bizarre, pretentious movies you almost certainly haven't.
Daft Punk's Nightmarish, Dialogue-Free Art House Film
Daft Punk is the most successful musical robot duo to ever bleep and bloop. But in the same way that your toaster oven makes a terrible sex toy, Daft Punk's robotic music-making did not translate well to a second purpose. Ten years ago, a music video shoot grew out of control and turned into an hour-long film about how much they wanted to become "human." It's called Electroma, and it is exactly how a robot would artistically represent the word "excruciating." The entire thing is here, if you want to watch it and tell the very passing of time to fuck itself:
What you notice when the film starts is what's missing: music. Daft Punk did not make a soundtrack for this, and instead let it clunk along to the sound of ambient noise, Curtis Mayfield, and Todd Rundgren. There's not a single word of dialogue, either. Viewers are expected to follow along by art alone, a communication technique that varies wildly depending on how smart you're pretending to be.
If you're ten years behind on your pretentious art films, spoilers lie ahead. Electroma is set in some dimension in which everyone is a Daft Punk robot -- who are not much different from quiet people in motorcycle helmets.
The black and silver helmets are a metaphor for race, probably.
Daft Punk goes into a lab, where they get human head disguises poured over their helmets. It's an art film, so this was almost certainly meant to have some deep meaning about duality or deceit. Instead, it ends up looking like puppets brought to life by drunk witches.
"I'd better get this package to the robot post offi- Wha!? Human Greg Kinnear and Human Mr. Spock!?"
In most films about robots disguising themselves as humans, something awesome would happen by now. This movie goes a different direction, and we're introduced to the film's main adversary: the plastic-melting temperatures of the American West.
So now we know what Greg Kinnear will look like after a fire.
The robot townspeople are strongly against stroke-faced melt humans walking among them, so they chase Daft Punk out of town. They hike into the desert, and it should be noted that these two sentences represent the entirety of 20 minutes of the film. Siberian robot faces melt off faster than this movie's pace. Finally, the film ends like most robot romances: with a murder-suicide. Both robots are dead after a series of events with little consequence or sense. Roll credits.
The film flailed at art like a sack full of chimpanzees. But even if you approach it on its intended level, it seems like Electroma's message is "Try to stand out, but kill yourself if it doesn't work." The movie was such a flop that even the art film lovers of Cannes couldn't make it to the end. Daft Punk hasn't quite given up on it, though. Maybe marketing to fetishists who can only get off on soul-crushing boredom, they plan to release an expanded 10th anniversary edition through Tidal.
So if you needed any more excuses to not buy Tidal ...
Kanye West's Film That's Only Viewable On Seven Simultaneous Screens
Like most rapper-producers, Kanye West has pursued jobs as a fashion designer, shoe maker, and actor. Unfortunately, that list also includes writer/director. He made a short film called Cruel Summer, inspired by a music compilation from his label of the same name. It features a cast of rap stars, Aziz Ansari, and West himself, and follows a sports car thief who falls in love with a blind Middle Eastern princess. But he can't have her unless he can beat three challenges from her dad, one of which involves restoring her eyesight.
"You cannot date her unless you have the powers of Jesus."
The concept was crazy, but a reasonable amount of crazy. Which wasn't enough crazy for Kanye. So he spread the film across seven individual screens, with each one showing a piece of a scene, or different perspectives of the same one. Or to put it another way, it's a movie recreating what it's like to read about something in The Wall Street Journal and then discuss it with your parents who saw it on Fox News. And in case you're thinking that this filmmaking gimmick sounds deep and interesting, here's Kanye's reasoning for it: "[viewer minds will] put the screens back together the way you can put memories together, the way that happens throughout the day and it all links back up." So it's not so much "I'm an artistic genius" as much as it is "I have ADD and too many televisions in my home."
When it came time to premiere the movie at the Cannes Film Festival, he erected a pyramid tent to serve as the theater, because everything Kanye West does is exactly what ancient alien travelers would have done.
And it looks like something you'd be indoctrinated in.
Here's what's really crazy: For all the absurdity and pretentiousness surrounding Cruel Summer, the people who actually saw this hydra of a film thought it was pretty good (though they were probably relieved to find that they hadn't inadvertently joined Kanye's apocalyptic suicide cult just by entering that tent). Given that there aren't seven-screened theaters at any local multiplexes, the rest of us may never get a chance to judge for ourselves. But if sepscreened pyramid televisions start showing up in electronic stores, then we'll know which asshole is responsible.
Neil Young's Ridiculous, Drug-Addled Comedy
Neil Young likes to use his music to advance causes. Like freedom of expression, or in his most recent album, "Suck my balls, Monsanto and Starbucks." Well, in the 1980s, Young tried to express his thoughts on the dangers of nuclear power with a slapstick comedy he directed and starred in called Human Highway. It is flawlessly pure madness, but stranger than those words can describe. Watch it here:
The film is set in a small town with only two buildings: a gas station / diner and a nuclear power plant staffed by the band Devo. This includes Devo's mascot, Booji Boy, a grown man in a hideous baby mask with a voice that sounds like air escaping a sex doll. He seems to speak entirely in the last words of people Neil Young watched die of hallucinogenic overdoses.
"People haven't figured out what happens when their eyes get bigger than their belly! Like an ostrich who eats his pizza with his head stuck in the sand!" -- A real line from the movie.
As for the plot, it's more of an insane pile of unrelated events than a story, plus music. Neil seems to have given the actors no direction, and they often read lines as if they're from space and haven't seen words chained together in that order before. For instance, instead of "What's on your mind?" a waitress asks "What's on? Your mind?" It creates the feeling that everyone making this movie was high; almost certainly because they were. In fact, Dennis Hopper famously severed a tendon in that actress' hand because he was wrecked on set and playing with a knife.
The film is almost impossible to follow, and it suddenly climaxes with a nuclear apocalypse. The characters respond the same way they respond to everything: insanity. They say lines that no human should ever say outside a stroke, then break into song and dance. Still, there seems to be some perfect combination of drugs that makes the film work, because it went on to become a cult favorite and Young was convinced to put out a director's cut.
No expense was spared on the special effects.
Bob Dylan's Confusing, Four-Hour Epic About Nothing In Particular
Bob Dylan's entire legacy rests on the lyrics he wrote, which sound amazingly poetic and clever even when you're not quite sure what the fuck he's talking about. Unfortunately, Dylan tried the same thing with his movie Renaldo And Clara and ended up creating the most unsatisfying dry hump to ever chafe the art world.
First off, it's impossible to tell what kind of movie it even is. There's footage of Dylan playing concerts with his band, the Rolling Thunder Revue, but there's also tons of documentary footage and interviews. It's like someone taped over something else 50 different times and someone accidentally labeled it "Finished Renaldo And Clara."
And then someone stole a poster from a Mexican soap opera.
Almost accidentally, a story seems to unfold about a musician named Renaldo who's playing in Dylan's band ... despite being played by Bob Dylan. Even though Dylan is also cast as himself, some other guy also plays the role of Bob Dylan. And just for shits and giggles, sometimes Dylan performs in white face paint to "express his inner creative self." The simple act of describing this movie can get you declared legally insane in several states.
"Bob Dylan and several others starring as Bob Dylan in a film by Bob Dylan who sometimes plays a guy in Bob Dylan's band. Arggh! Bob Dylan! Bob Dylan! All words are Bob Dylan!!!"
The rest of the cast is as schizophrenic as the film itself. Dylan's then-wife Sara, Joan Baez, poet Allen Ginsburg, and a horde of influential '60s musicians all make appearances -- some playing several different characters each. It seems to be every thought Bob Dylan has ever had, dumped into a garbage heap and left for dead. And the kicker? It's four hours long. Mercifully, the film's negative press convinced Dylan to turn his director's chair into kindling and make music -- a realm in which his long-winded artistic expression works, even during 13-minute songs about the Titanic.
Bret Michaels Of Poison Made A Psychological Thriller About Capital Punishment
For people over the age of 35, Bret Michaels is best-known as the frontman for Poison, a band that defined the term "hair metal." For people under 35, he's known as the star of the dating reality series Rock Of Love, a show that defined the term "drug-resistant super herpes."
"We beat Valtrex, everyone!"
So you know Bret Michaels as a musician and HPV carrier. Let us introduce you to Bret Michaels, filmmaker. Michaels wrote, starred in, and co-directed a thriller about a convicted killer sentenced to die, called A Letter From Death Row. Incidentally, that's also what he calls it when he has sex without a condom.
"I bet there was another damn STD joke at the end of that paragraph. There are at least 300 women I didn't sleep with in 1987."
The film is heavy-handed with its political motivation, which is hard to take seriously when you know the writer spent a decade wearing lady's lipstick and sharing groupie orifices with C.C. DeVille. Having hundreds of children you don't know about on death row doesn't exactly make you an expert on the subject. Bret Michael's thoughts on capital punishment are something a Poison fan has to suffer through during a blowjob, not something you make a movie about.
The movie co-stars Michaels' buddy Charlie Sheen and, most insanely, his father Martin Sheen as well. The celebrated, legendary actor gets second billing after Bret, because let's face it, Apocalypse Now is no Look What the Cat Dragged In.
Starring "Number Three" on your mother's celebrity free pass list. And Martin Sheen.
The poster calls it a Bret Michaels "Creation," because even the guy putting together promotional materials had trouble calling it a "film." The story is about Michaels' character, Michael, being interviewed in prison. It turns out that he may be innocent after all? Or maybe guilty? Or is it all an elaborate fiction? It's a psychological puzzle movie about subjectivity ... made by the dude from Poison. So some of the situations and dialogue feel clumsy and inauthentic. It's almost as though the writer hadn't spent enough time outside of vaginas to research criminal law and police procedure.
"Stop, I'm a police officer! I'm gonna rock all your holes!"
Famous people going off the deep end is a pretty regular phenomenon. Charlie Sheen immediately jumps to mind, but see who else is on his level in 23 Insane Things Your Favorite Celebrities Believe. Or learn about Honest Abe's previous life slinging spirits in 5 Famous People With Crazy Second Lives Nobody Knows About.
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