Friday, June 06, 2008

Guys Who Make Comics Love Sports: David Aja

I have a theory. As a comic book lover and a sports lover, I do not represent any actual massive break in the demographics. My theory is that readers (like myself) and writers and artists of comics love sports. So why not interview the guys who create comic books and see where their prejudices lie, sports-wise?

First up, David Aja, brilliant artist, best known in the states for his work on Iron Fist. David has lived most of his life in Spain, so I figured I would ask him about Spanish Soccer.


Aja doesn't love Basketball, or Baseball, or American Football. He doesn't even give a shit about European Football. To quote the man himself, "Heh, I'm sorry but I must be one of those nerds you talk about, I do not like sports. Yep, neither I do like spanish football, in fact I hate all that stuff, la liga, euro cup... even do not like martial arts, heh."

The artist behind the Brilliant Iron Fist doesn't like Martial Arts! SHOCKING.

But Aja did say he could talk films, and you people know how I love the moving image. And we have been known to enjoy pop cultural pursuits here on this here blog, so here are David Aja's Top 5 movies. David seems to enjoy movies about individuals being crushed by the state.

1) Strike (Eisenstein)--A movie I had never heard of. I'm familiar with Eisenstein, mainly because Battleship Potemkin is considered a technical masterpiece of early cinema. You can't crack a basic book on filmmaking principles without Potemkin rearing its head. According to my research, Strike is about a group of workers going on strike, and getting the shit kicked out of them.

David says*, "Strike is, it is his first film, and it has a lot of experimental stuff, much more fresh than Potemkin I think." The whole movie is on YouTube, in 25 parts. Part one Is Here.

2) The Third Man (Carol Reed)--I was happy to see this on Aja's list. It is my favorite "great" movie of all time. Corruption, murder, American naivete are all themes in a great noir film, with legendary actors, like Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles at their height. Written by Graham Greene, brilliant cinematography, crazily perfect zither soundtrack. It doesn't get better. Opening credits here.

3) A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick)--Aja follows two films about post war nastiness with his first dystopian movie. Based on the incredible novel by Anthony Burgess, Clockwork Orange follows Alex, in an awful future, in which criminality is brainwashed out of young people. When it opened, it was considered shockingly violent. The violence in it is still shocking, because it is filmed in such a stark manner. Trailer here.

David says: "My favorite Kubrick film--2001 and The Killing being around here, too."

4) Blade Runner (Ridley Scott)--Another dystopian movie here. And one of most visually impressive, and most accurate visions of the future. And again, based on a genius novelist's work, this time Phillip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?". Harrison Ford plays Deckard, an employee of the government who is charged with hunting down human-like robots (replicants) who have left their jobs and are attempting to enter human society. He hunts down a group of replicants. It was a huge flop at the time, but great minds have since reconsidered, and recognize it as one of more true visions of our possible future (not so much the humanoid robots, but the cityscapes and the paranoia).

I asked David for his Top 5 movies, and he said this about Blade Runner:

David says: I was thinking of writing in Blade Runner five times.

5) Brazil (Gilliam) --A great film, though not my favorite Gilliam movie (tie: Fisher King/Time Bandits). But we're talking about Aja here, and Brazil fits perfectly with the other four he has picked. Brazil is a dysptopian nightmare with plenty of that Gilliam gallows humor. Great work from DeNiro, Jonathon Pryce, and a never more troubling Michael Palin. Trailer here.

Says David: "Kafka's Josef K as main character in Orwell's 1984, Gilliam directing, what more do you need?"

*quotes modified to translate Spanish English into American USA USA English.

1 comment:

Lucy Rhode said...

I love The Third Man. Strike will have to be watched as it may interest someone who spent two years researching AFSCME and the evil university that must not be named. Though I didn't bleed, I was tearful and sweaty during much of my participant observation.

Keep exploring your theory, Big BM. This was a fun read. Classic Blue. No wonder I have an Internets crush on IDYFT.