For what were those summer days we shared, in truth, when I could not sleep, so anxious was I for the next hot morning, afternoon, and night? When I lived like a neurasthenic, when on getting up each morning in that revolting tenement, I was happy because the air baking over those asphalt roofs, which still bore the puddles of the thunderstorm the night before, was incandescent with heat, and the street below adorned with Puerto Ricans walking down the sidewalk with their shirts dangling from their pockets. Those weeks in midsummer when I got on the subway at night to ride back and forth beneath the city meeting drunken soldiers trying to get back to Fort Dix, and queens as haughty as Cleopatra coming back from a night in the bars where they had refused everyone; nights so warm, so beautiful, I could not close my eyes. What was that ragged, jagged craziness, when we could live a whole summer on a cheap song played on WNJR, but the pride of life? It was all in our demented minds, it had to be. The greatest drug of all, my dear, was not one of those pills in so many colors that you took over the years, was not the opium, the hash you smoked in houses at the beach, or the speed or smack you shot up in Sutherland's apartment, no, it wasn't any of these. It was the city, darling, it was the city, unreal city, the city itself ..
Sunday, October 5, 2014
First of all, this is not a porn film. If you're looking for that, go elsewhere. Rather, it is a gem of Canadian post-modern cinema, a low budget send-up of the creative process at work - and a woefully neglected film. Crime Wave is the brain-child of John Paizs, who now works as Director-in-residence at the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto.
Back in the late 1980s, living up in northern Ontario, I found this film at my local video store. I was in university and I had recently been reading up on The Winnipeg Film Group, who were breaking the conventions of what Canadians knew as 'Canadian cinema' at the time.
The film itself had a hard time being seen, as much as it had been hailed as a refreshing and ground-breaking comedy. Through a legal clause in the distributor's contract the film was shelved, so it went mostly unwatched in cinemas. The video company that took up the reins to copy it renamed it (in order for it not to be confused with a big budget American film of the same name by Sam Raimi in the same year, 1985). Crime Wave became The Big Crime Wave and Cinema Group Home Video went out of business about six months later. You can still find it on VHS, but it has never been formatted to disk commercially.
I hadn't seen it for 25 years when I recently got a burning desire to see it again. I bought a VHS copy on eBay and set about finding someone to reformat it to DVD for me (my old VHS player has gone to heaven).
If you have an open mind, enjoy spoof and parody and camp and biting comedy, feel free to click the link below. I'm not sure how long I will be able to retain this link before I get an email telling me to cease. But then, this film is in a kind of limbo - so maybe never. I am only trying to get it out there (again). I am not a pirate, I am a disseminator of culture :)