Xan Cassavetes

Iron Man

In March, Evan Kindley asked a compelling question about musicians and their like-minded descendants: “Why is it that the kids of cult folk musicians (e.g. Kristy MacColl, Rufus Wainwright), often go on to respected solo careers while the offspring of major rock stars (e.g., Jakob Dylan, Julian Lennon) are more often one-hit wonders flashes in the pan?” As Kindley and his responders note, there is no scientific basis in this observation, just a sense that the rules of cultural value apply differently when it comes to the offspring of marginal artistic figures – and, seemingly more often than not, those offspring find success in arenas more conventional than their parents. The world of filmmaking is similarly full of dynasties that produce children who seem to inherit opportunities (if not success) not immediately available outsiders. When the American Zoetrope logo introduces Roman Coppola’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, for example, it’s easy to speculate the ways that the Coppola filmmaking legacy, and all its resources, afforded Roman an opportunity he may not have had otherwise. But while one’s status as the son or daughter of an independent, experimental, underground, or avant-garde filmmaker may similarly bear the weight and burden of a famous name, it cannot possibly work the same way in terms of economics and industry-based reputation. Being the offspring of a Filmmakers’ Co-Op co-founder might carry some cultural capital in certain circles, but rarely does that guarantee access to the actual capital needed to make a movie. It’s something […]

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Kiss of the Damned

Kiss of the Damned looks like a daytime soap opera graduated, lived in its parents’ basement for a few years and decided the only career it needed was doing body shots at a dank nightclub. Whether that’s your thing or not, the movie from director Xan Cassavetes can at least be credited with bringing sexy back. It’s funny to think of Twilight as chaste considering some of the bed-breaking imagery the movies gave us, but to a large extent they neutered the baser instincts of the monsters we know and love. None of that’s happening here. The black lingerie-clad bloodsucker whose into BDSM for her own safety makes that perfectly clear. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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