The Fiasco Brothers Watch a Movie (with Professor Mortis): Brand Upon the Brain

Turned out that I did not manage to repeat my experiment with doing a series of Fall blog posts that totally would stand up in court against a claim of copyright infringement by the lovely Carol Borden since they were not trying to be her amazing Spookoween write-ups. At all. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not still watching movies!  While I continue to be a parent and have joined the dreaded ranks of library administrators, I am, in fact, always watching movies.  If you want to read some mini-reviews, I highly recommend checking out my Letterboxd stream.   League member Sean Frost continues to run a podcast with the inestimable Tim Lehnerer-The Fiasco Brothers Watch a Movie. Sean and Tim, the titular Fiasco Brothers, discuss a new movie every other week, chosen randomly from their own list of possible titles.

Not having a podcast of my own and not genetically blessed with the ability to shut up, I of course wanted to join the pair to talk about a movie and they booked me to discuss Death Wish 3 (one of our former Movies of the Day) on Episode 9 of The Fiasco Brothers Watch a Movie: My Roscoe Goes Ka-Chee.  Awesome times were had, and when they were setting up their second season, I was invited to pick a movie…and, again, I picked a former Movie-of-the-Day, Brand Upon the Brain.  You can listen to Episode 47: Rube Goldberg Machine of Despair below….and you can also read my review from ten years ago (so that’s where I got that list of Maddin themes from!).  Will I return to writing here regularly?  Honestly, chances are greater that I’ll show up on the Fiasco Brothers again first but you never know…and until I totally give up the ghost you can not tell.

This Month: The Professor’s Fall Journal

squashes close up macro grass

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on

Once Halloween horror movie viewing was a seasonal treat because this was the one time each year a wide variety of spooky content was available. Horror fans like yours truly savored every morsel from networks, local channels and then limited cable offerings. To recapture the excitement seasonal schedules once caused we make lists, participate in challenges, and create of our own personal 31 Days of Horror or Halloween (among other schemes) on social media.  I’m always tempted by Hubrisween, the one created by BMMB ex-pats (probably one of the damned Fiasco Brothers!)* which consists of posting 26 reviews in October, with the titles covering the alphabet.  I’m also tempted by Hoop-Tober, with it’s complicated structure and demands, and maybe next year I’ll do it-if I remember before doing my own Fall Horror Binge Plan, which has an equally complex set of rules intended to insure I experience the full breadth of horror while finally crossing off some titles from the endless “list”. I could reveal them all, Hoop-Tober style, but I don’t actually expect anyone to join with me….look at that name for staters! Fall Horror Binge lacks romance as a title, but it is very American in it’s directness and gluttony!

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The End…or a New Beginning?

Swimming off into the sunset

I mentioned in my Father’s Day post that I became a father over the last year.  It might not surprise you, but this means that I have far less time to both watch about and write about movies.  Running a Movie of the Day series, even with a lot of wonderful help from the rest of the team here, was hard even before MicroMort was born (indeed, I suspect the only reason I was able to do as much of the work I did the first year we were running the series was because the Baroness was living in another town during the week for work).  We managed to do the series for four years-two years with a new movie every day, two years with gaps and entries recycled from previous years.  I’ve enjoyed it, but, quite frankly, readership has declined, not increased over these last two years of Movie of the Day.  It is really hard to see those numbers and summon up the energy to keep writing. Despite the fresh energy from the League writing team, am pretty burned out at this point (and, to be honest, the number of movies I’ve seen that I would like to feature but haven’t gets smaller each year we do this)!

Sleep now

So what does this mean for this blog?  Well, first off, I’ve talked with the rest of the writers and made sure they know they are free to write reviews, movie lists, thoughts about movies-really, anything they would like to write that’s movie related is welcome here. I myself would like to get back to the occasional movie review or list or musings post.  So don’t unfollow the blog, twitter account or Facebook page just yet-though we aren’t going to post every day, we will also not be going away entirely.  In the meantime, I thank all of our readers for their time, eyes, and feedback over the years and I hope you’ll stick around to see what we do next.  As to my writers, thanks to everyone who contributed posts, with special thanks to David “Mr. Invisible” Cole for his help keeping the site going in 2011-2012, for his help setting up our social media accounts and for encouraging me to run a Movie of the Day series in the first place!  Thanks to Bellabone, who wrote more of our posts than any other author behind David and I, and who encouraged me to see out the last year rather than awkwardly ending it early.  Thank you everyone who’s read and commented; I hope you’ve all enjoyed our picks-it was our pleasure telling you about the movies!

Sleep now

Welcome to World Cup Week!

Pretty restrained fan display

Pretty restrained fan display

If you’re a fan of the World Cup, you know it goes on for more than a week.  In fact, most of the month-long orgy of goals and yellow cards and penalty kicks and crazily attired fans is already over.  Maybe — especially if, as an Anglophone fan, your team has already been knocked out — maybe you’re a little tired of it.  You still love soccer, you still wish you were in Brazil, you just need to watch something different at least one night this week.

Well, that’s why we’re bringing you World Cup Week.  With a selection of movies about soccer and movies about Brazil, you will be able to stay in the World Cup spirit even when the teams aren’t on the pitch.


While you watch, why not take a minute to reminisce about World Cups past and how you became a fan?  My personal World Cup narrative goes back to 1994, when the tournament was hosted in the US.  My friend Evan had an infectious enthusiasm for Gli Azzurri and I started to watch.  As it turned out, the Cup final ended with Italy losing to Brazil in a penalty shootout, so it was a memorable time to watch the Italian team.  I had become quite a fan of the goalkeeper, Gianluca Pagliuca, and when the World Cup came around again four years later I was eager to cheer Italy on again (I was studying Italian and preparing to study abroad there, which made it even more exciting).


Pagliuca defends against Brazil in 1994

By 2002 I had spent time in a couple of European countries so my interest in the Cup was less focused on a single team.  I was on my way to England to visit friends on the day both England and the US were knocked out.  My Spanish friend Pepe hosted an Asian-themed party to watch his nation face the South Korean hosts, only for Spain to lose.  By the final I was in Germany visiting my friend Josh as the Germans lost to Brazil.  Memorable celebrations by the Germans showed me how much it means to a European country to come even second in the Cup; but more than that I learned I was pretty bad luck!

My son would totally root for this guy

My son would totally root for this guy

In 2006 I was living in a professor’s attic for free, so I didn’t watch much television and even the Cup had to suffer.  Then in 2010 I had a weeks-old infant.  He had napped next to my husband as Boston won the Stanley Cup in his first days of life, so I didn’t feel too bad seeking out air conditioning and World Cup coverage by taking my baby to Irish pubs for lunch.  Now he’s four, and his favorite teams seem to be A. the goalkeepers B. the referees or C. any team wearing red.  I guess it’s all about fashion for today’s young fans.

How did you come to love World Cup?  Have you ever been to Brazil?  Hit us up in the comments section.

Changes in 2013

David Cole and I have written Movie of the Day entries for the last two years, over 700 entries.  When I started the project, it was 2010, and when I published the first Movie of the Day, The Thin Man, I was two months ahead in my Movie of the Day entries.  I started falling behind fast enough that I accepted David’s offer to become my “God-Damned Partner!” by July of 2011.  Even with two of us writing Movie of the Days, we’re starting to run up against some problems:  we’ve often featured the movies that first spring to mind on any particular day already, we’re running out of good reasons to feature movies, and the sheer time commitment.

This year, therefore, we’re going to try some new things.  While we won’t quit doing Movies of the Day altogether, there won’t be a Movie of the Day every day.  We’ll have Movies of the Day when we have good ideas, movies we’d like to showcase, and, most often, movies that occur on that particular day.  We’re also going to repeat some of the movies that we’ve featured in the past that occur on a particular date, as it was the original reason I started doing the Movie of the Day in the first place! We’re hoping that with less entries to write we’ll be able to offer up an occasional review again (remember when we wrote those?), as well as some posts about movies that are neither reviews or Movies of the Day (what a concept!).  Who knows, maybe we’ll even make some lists.

We appreciate all of our readers (we especially like when you comment, hint, hint), and we hope that you’ll stick with us.  Here’s to a great 2013!

Movie of the Day 2012

Well, now that we’re in the last month of 2011, it’s time to start selecting and writing next year’s movies.  Before we do, however, we’d love your feedback.  What did you like about the Movie of the Day feature?  What would you like to see more or less of?  What would you change?  One change we are planning is to include “alternate choices”, especially when a former Movie of the Day is a perfect fit.

  What was your favorite Movie of the Day?

As always, we thank you for reading, and for your sharing our work on your own blogs and with your friends.  Here’s to another great year!