Cannibals, iPhone Movies, and a Kaufman vacation

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What happens when you are stranded on a desert Island with Lloyd Kaufman and his family?

It was Christmas morning, and we found ourselves stranded on an island off the cost of Tunisia.  As the cars piled up around us with no ferries to the mainland, the intensity heightened.

Six people, three hours, four hundred cars, one iPhone and no Tunisian Ferries later, we had two choices: we could eat someone to live, or we could make a movie!

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TURNING THE TABLES ON DAD or, directorial debut bossing around Lloyd Kaufman!

EXCITING NEWS! 

We turned the tables on old POPS! for the first time in the history of celluloid, WE directed and filmed DAD, LLOYD KAUFMAN in the new web series ‘RARE BIRDS of FASHION!’

Lloyd Kaufman in RARE BIRDS of FASHION

“Rare Birds of Fashion” is a new comedy web series written and directed by Lily Hayes Kaufman, about BRENDA (Jackie Zebrowski) and ALIX (Haley Rawson) two ambitious entrepreneurs who launch a plus size fashion line.  Meet Brenda:  http://goo.gl/pzSoH9
Jackie Zebrowski, Haley Rawson, Stephanie Gibson, Christopher Chwee, Anne Gottlieb, Nancy Opel, Zoë Geltman
Written & Directed by Lily Hayes Kaufman
Cinematography: Charlotte Kaufman
Created by Lily Hayes Kaufman, Jackie Schwartz
Produced by Patricia S. Kaufman
Production co: SATURDAY CANDY FILMS

This is a true family production.  Directed by one of us daughters Lily Hayes, and filmed by another one of us daughters Charlotte with a third one of us daughters Lisbeth on the still camera and the fourth one of us daughters (ahem, the beautiful WIFE! and Mother of the three daughters, Pat) Producing the whole shebang!)

so check out ‘RARE BIRDS of FASHION’

https://www.indiegogo.com/project/rare-birds-of-fashion/embedded/8208897

the day @lloydkaufman took over Instagram

Instagram was my safe zone.  It was my world I could disappear into after a long day of work where I always knew I could find comfort and solace in miniature pugs that look like ET

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or baby ducklings nestling with golden retrievers or fluffy Boo puppies snuggling with rubber duckies in a bathtub.

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And then came the day when my world was shattered.  I opened my Instagram to find the shocking news:  my dad had joined instagram and @lloydkaufman was taking it by storm, he had tagged me in a charming photo reuniting me with my long lost sister, Melvina — the resemblance is uncanny.  Goodbye puppies and fluffy kittens, life as I knew it will never be the same.   So go ahead, follow him.  Everyone else already is…

Reunited with Long Lost Melvina

Reunited with Long Lost Melvina

Gravity, Nebraska, 12 Years a Slave… CLASS OF NUKE EM HIGH?!

We kicked off 2014 to premiering Troma’s ‘Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. 1’ at the Museum  of Modern Art.    Yup! The MoMA selected ‘Return to Nuke Em High’ for it’s CONTENDERS series, a selection of films the museum’s film department determines to be “a contender for lasting historical significance.” That’s right folks, there we were, a Troma film, directed by dad, Lloyd Kaufman, sandwiched in between ‘Gravity’ ’12 Years a Slave’, ‘Blue is The Warmest Color’ and ‘Nebraska’  I don’t think Alfonso Cuaron’s screening ended with a live Bollywood Dance…

In case you missed it, check out Kurt McVey’s awesome piece in Interview Magazine: WHEN TROMA MET MOMA

When Troma went to MoMA

ABOVE, L-R: RETURN TO NUKE EM HIGH: VOL. 1’S STARS CATHERINE CORCORAN, ASTA PAREDES, AND DIRECTOR LLOYD KAUFMAN. PHOTO BY VENTIKO, TAKEN AT LA LUZ IN BROOKLYN.

 

 

Nuclear Ikura – Behind the scenes with Toxie in retro Japan

In the depths of the rat infested Troma Basement, we uncovered this archival Japanese TV behind the scenes special, featuring THE TOXIC AVENGER II filmed on location in Tokyo.

25 years before Al Gore makes Climate Change cool, my dad is taking his shirt off to talk about the global warming.  Why don’t you try that, President Obama?

It’s ultra cool, retro hip, and toxerific. Plus, see clips from a rare Press Conference with a shirtless Lloyd Kaufman!  Talk about sushi, you don’t even need to speak Japanese to enjoy this.

 

THOSE TOTORO CREAM PUFFS

I was minding my own  business, checking out little modern day warm and fuzzy baking website cutestfood.com, (Sure, I’ve got my blood, vomit and foam at the mouth recipes down, but maybe I have a secret yearning to develop a clean cut Martha Stewart side too)  and I’m scrolling through adorable ideas for baking kitten shapped shaped macaroons, growing heart shaped lemons, cappuccinos for your loved ones with a heart in the foam, Fashionista Louboutin stiletto shaped cupcakes, and then…. TOTORO CREAM PUFFS punches me in the face.

Are you kidding me?? This is not the time and place to show me TOTORO CREAM PUFFS.  First of all, what are TOTORO and CREAM PUFFS even doing together.  Secondly, this reminds me what my dad went through with TOTORO.

Hayao Miyazaki is an incredible Japanese animator, and MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO was the first Miyazaki film to be widely released in the US, and it was released by TROMA!   If you know Miyazaki’s work, you know that’s pretty unbelieveably cool, and if you were me, a 12 year old girl attending a preppy girl school, this was EVEN COOLER because FINALLY I was going to have a movie I could show all my friends.  A nice kid-friendly animated cartoon!  No Boobs, no cursing, just good plain clean animated fun.

To us wide eyed kids, the premier was awesome at a big fancy theater in midtown Manhattan, all three of us kids, dressed up in our best smocked dresses. We had seen the screener a million times at home, and sang the song I remember to this day “To-to-ro, Totooorooo… To-to-ro…”

Now, I don’t know the details, I was only a small pigtailed girl at the time, but sure enough Totoro was stolen from the good people at Troma soon enough.  Totoro was a great movie, so good in fact, that the big studios circled around from afar at first, scaring off everyone else.  Then they inched closer.  They hovered over the theaters, circling, salivating as they glimpsed the movie, but they kept circling, and waiting, scaring away everyone.   Then when no one was looking, and unbeknownst to Troma, they swooped in and scooped up the entire Miyazaki library in their long dirty talons, Totoro included.

The deal was announced in the NYTimes, one year before TROMA’s license expired! In fact, according to THIS 1995 NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE  “His [Miyazaki] biggest success in the United States has been “My Neighbor Totoro,” about two girls befriended by a plump, mythical creature.”  but there was no mention of dad or TROMA anywhere.

I was so revved up just by the little sight of the TOTORO CREAM PUFFS that I had to call dad to talk to him about this Tromatic event we had been through.

“Disney bought the library but we still had a year on our deal” he recalled “but when they announced in the newspapers they used the artwork, so when we went to the cartoon network, or other television networks, they said ‘hey, what are you trying to pull here? Disney owns Totoro!

Those studio cream puffs. 

“Now you know,” he continued, “for 40 years, we have specialized in doing alot of hard work and making no money, so thanks to Disney we continued this work.”

After this all happened I also remember, dad was so upset with Children’s movies that he locked himself in our family room and watched over and over again the opening scene to  SGT. Kabukiman NYPD, where two of us kids are  skewered to death…

You can guess what happens next… or find out for yourself!

WATCH TROMA’s SGT KABUKIMAN NYPD! 

Toxie Teaches Bjarni Gautur about Censorship, the Environment and having a great Mom

TOXIC CRUSADER Bjarni Gautur writes about GROWING UP TOXIC on Marvel Toxic Avenger comics and Crusaders to working for LLOYD:  Life lessons learned from the Toxic Avenger about censorship, the environment and the importance of having a good mom!

My favorite Troma memory is probably when I got to meet Lloyd Kaufman for the first time. I grew up watching the Toxic Crusaders and reading the Marvel imprinted comic books (that were really censored when they were published in Sweden) and I fell in love with the great messages they were bringing forward into the cartoon medium. I loved the environmental message that the stories had as well as taking away the vanity of beauty. Most cartoons, even those who talked about the environment like Captain Planet, had things as far sighted with how the good guys looked good and the bad guys looked bad, so I can’t even talk about how awesome it was seeing hideously deformed mutants of superhuman size and strength be the good guys. With Toxie’s mom, of course. I still think more super heroes need the support of a good mom.

But I am getting off track. After a life of Toxic Crusaders in my youth, I learned of the actual Toxie movie at the age of 10, and finally got the chance to watch it 13, alongside the rest of the trilogy and I was Troma-hooked. Despite living in Iceland during my teen years, I ordered films off eBay and Amazon in order to make a Troma collection and during my first trip to the US in 2005 (for my 16th birthday) I ransacked a local Virgin (superstore) and bought their entire Troma stock of 20 movies, I would continue to do so during every trip I took to the US, fill my ratio of Troma related merchandise.

But in 2005, which was the first time I could really start building up my Troma collection, was also the time I got a letter from a Troma employee asking me if I wanted to play Toxie during the first Icelandic Independent International Film Festival. I was very lucky getting said letter because being a part of the generation that was born with the Internet, I found a way to send e-mails to everyone I wanted to talk to, despite social statuses or how big they were. Sometimes I would get replies, sometimes not. Lloyd Kaufman, Michael Herz and the Troma Team always answered my e-mails, even when I was 13 giving them bad plots to upcoming movies. It could have been an e-mail about me going to the bathroom but I would always get a very positive reply from Troma, telling me how awesome it was to hear from me.

And now, because of my e-mails I had sent in hopes of getting some more Troma films to Iceland (so that more people in Iceland could enjoy them), I was a candidate to help Lloyd during his trip to my hometown. I the first time I met him I think was at the screening of the first Toxic Avenger, the local cinema downtown had given the festival it’s biggest screen. I had brought a lot of friends whom I had introduced to Troma, and then suddenly while talking just how awesome this was, a small man walked in whom I had only seen in DVD intros and special features on his movies. There he was. The man who has inspired me more then even he knew.

When I was three years old. I had already decided want I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to make movies, cartoons and comic books. All featuring the same social commentary that Toxic Crusaders had. My dad told me that cartoons had environmental messages in hopes that the next generation wouldn’t be as bad as the generation before them and I felt that this was a worthy cause, teach by entertain. Kaufman was the hero when it came to this. Having obscene comedies always filled with actual good messages. Over the years, he had become one of the greatest heroes in my life.

And there he was, just walking into the theater. He came in alone, without introduction, just walked right in, something I wouldn’t expect from someone of his caliber. I felt like we were dealing with royalty, if my friend hadn’t pointed out that he just walked into the door, I wouldn’t even have noticed him.

I was the first to walk up to him, still in shock that I was actually meeting my idol, I might have actually scared him during out first initial meeting seeing that I just stared at him without saying anything. Finally I raised my hand as fast as I could so I could shake is and tried to introduce myself while stuttering and telling him how awesome he was. There were so many questions I wanted to ask him, stories I had heard about the films, little things I was curious about, but they were all arriving in my head at the same time, I didn’t know what to say. All I could say is how big of a fan I was.

Lloyd nodded, went into his man purse and pulled out a DVD for me. This would be our relationship for the next five days during the festival. I would try to conjure up some of the many questions I had about Troma, while he would tell me and my friends jokes as he would keep giving us DVD’s, very happy at the loyal fanbase that had brewed up here in Iceland and then we would walk in together to see a Troma film. Despite Lloyd introducing most of the Troma films and me being at most of the screenings. I only played Toxie once.

During the first screening of the 1984 cult classic in Iceland. Lloyd did an amazing speech on how the idea for the movie came and had a Q&A afterward, he had directed me on how I should act before we started and I tried to do it was well as possible. I didn’t want to screw anything up, but I was nervous. I had one line. A roar. I was suppose to roar when Lloyd asked me if there was anything that he forgot to mention, I did it right on que, and people laughed and clapped. The exact moment I did it I felt that I didn’t do it well enough, but everyone seemed to be happy, so I decided to join them with that emotion, wasn’t hard, seeing that I was standing next to one of the greatest directors of our time.

The next day I even got Lloyd to have a cameo in my first feature length project. A movie we were going to give to Troma the moment we were finished with it. Seeing that we did it at age 15, it was pretty good, we had a three act storyline, character development, decent gore and LLOYD KAUFMAN in a cameo. But the movie never did get a proper release, which is understandable, it was just made by some 15 year olds.

Charles Dickens once wrote something or other with the words “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” All I know is that I have never experience the ‘worst of times’ since. My days with Troma have always been my ‘best of times’. But, my favorite quote has always been in a rendition of the Bard’s most famous play, my all time favorite quote of course being “They found a peanut of DEATH!”. Great words, from the great masters of our time.

I am now living the dream in Tromaville, working with mr. Kaufman on his latest feature, The Return to the Class of Nuke ‘Em High.

Thank you guys for all the memories and inspirations.

-Bjarni Gautur 

Stay tuned for more to follow from Bjarni on his experience slaving away in Niagara, New York on RETURN TO NUKE ‘EM HIGH we hope!!

It’s Wedding Season at the Movies

Tromemoir Artist and Award winning filmmaker Onur Tukel’s RICHARD’S WEDDING opens this week at reRun Gastropub Theater
Check out the TRAILER: https://vimeo.com/38510145
RICHARD’S WEDDING is premiering in New York on June 1,
2012 and will play for one week at the ReRun Gastropub in Brooklyn.
RICHARD’S WEDDING recently premiered at the 2012 Sarasota Film
Festival where it won a special jury prize for best screenplay.

Trailor: RICHARD’s WEDDING

Where??? All the cool kids are in the know about the hip venue the ReRun Gastropub, but in case you are  an lut of towner looking for aome culture here’s the address:
Ticket Info:
When???
Date and Times:

Tix here: http://richardswedding.eventbrite.com/

You want more?
Onur Tukel (Writer/Director/Actor, “Tuna”) is a writer, director,
author and illustrator who recently co‐starred in the feature film
Septien (Michael Tully, 2011) released by IFC Films/Sundance Selects.
Tukel created 65 pastel and ink drawings for the film, which were
exhibited at the Pennington Gallery in New York in July 2011. His
first children’s book Little Friends was released by Marshall
Cavendish in the spring of 2012. Tukel also stars in Red Flag (Alex
Karpovsky, 2012) which premiere at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival
in June.  Along with Richard’s Wedding, Tukel has directed the feature
films House of Pancakes, Sergio Lapel’s Drawing Blood,
Ding‐a‐ling‐LESS and Sergio Lapel’s The Pigs.
Onur Tukel’s MOST IMPORTANT Film Contribution to humanity: Writer/Director, Troma’s SERGIO LAPEL’S DRAWING BLOOD

Grammy Kaufman – clues to understanding Lloyd

The below article was originally posted on the BREAD & CIE BLOG:   Into the Hearth Of Darkness  (For those who don’t know, our very own uncle, Charles Kaufman, Writer and director of classics including WHEN NATURE CALLS, MOTHERS DAY and of brother of Lloyd Kaufman.

Uncle Charles, as we call him, is the founder of  San Diego famed bakery Bread & Cie, which is hands down the best bread, period. He has since become the Donald Trump of the Baking Industry, growing quite an empire – he’s got alot of Dough!    We follow his blog, and today we learned a lesson about our family Kaufman history…   If you too would like to learn about Grammy Kaufman, check out the below story which originally ran on the Bread & Cie blog.

The story behind Bread & Cie’s challah

Posted by  on April 24, 2012 · Leave a Comment

Bread and Cie challah

Bread & Cie’s six-braid challah

Even though we’re all about rustic European breads here at Bread & Cie, it’s kind of funny that one of our most popular items is challah.

Challah is a soft, sweet braided bread traditionally used for Jewish Sabbath dinners. As a Jewish person who has consumed plenty of challah over the years, I can wholeheartedly say that, yes, ours is the best. (I’m only sorry that it’s not Kosher because I can’t share it with my religious friends.)

Millie Kaufman

Grammy Kaufman

Recently, Charles mentioned that the challah recipe was his grandmother’s. I was about to  get all sentimental about it, but he stopped me. Apparently Millie Kaufman wasn’t really all that grandmotherly. She cursed. She ate raw food. She lived in Manhattan. She was no warm, fuzzy sitcom kind of grandma.

But those things sounded pretty awesome to me, so I asked Charles to tell us more about the woman responsible for the San Diego’s best challah.

1. Millie Kaufman, food pioneer

Back in the 1950s, before people worried about eating vegan and growing their own vegetables, Grammy Kaufman was buying organic and baking bread from scratch. She also followed the teachings of Scott Nearing, who (Wikipedia says) was a political activist and advocate of simple living. Millie went to Nearing retreats in Vermont, where they’d spend four hours working in the field, four hours doing something intellectual and four hours engaged in something spiritual. I think I may try to adopt this lifestyle one day.

2. Millie Kaufman, socialist

Charles was about five-years-old when he’d go to Grammy Kaufman’s apartment in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Apparently, Charles’ father was supposed to be visiting with her once a week, but instead he’d drop off his three kids and he’d go off and do his own thing in the city from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Millie had newspapers everywhere and would go on rants about politicians like Richard Nixon and Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Kaufman siblings knew more about Karl Marx before they got out of elementary school than most people know about the socialist philosopher in their lifetime.

3.  Millie Kaufman, baker

In her neighborhood, which, at the time was an extension of Harlem, Millie was known as the “old lady in tennis sneakers.” She was loud and cantankerous and everyone on 103rd Street recognized her. But what temporarily calmed Millie down was feeding her grandkids. She was worried about pesticides and only served them organic meals. And along with baking fresh challah, she’s also responsible for Bread & Cie’s Seedy Multigrain.

4. Charles Kaufman, traditionalist 

Grammy Kaufman passed away when Charles was 8-years-old, but she left behind  her recipes. And once Charles got into the bread business, he experimented with the challah. Instead of making it with three braids, for instance, he made it with six. He added  poppy and sesame seeds. But everything else he kept exactly the same and that’s the challah (and brioche) that we’ve all come to love.

I asked Charles what he his grandmother might say if she knew he was selling her bread all over town.

“She’d take a taste and ask how much I was charging. And after I’d tell her she’d say ,’What, do you want to be the richest man in the cemetery?”

Freaky Friday: Ghost Rider 2 and Fathers Day Premier

Thank god I had just bought a new pair of leather leggings, because what else do you wear to a GHOST RIDER 2: Spirit of Vengeance Party?

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Photo credit: Fangoria.com 

We had been instructed by our role model and GHOST RIDER 2 director Mark Neveldine to wear our Sunday best – Black, Leather, and or something Ghost Rider theme to the big bash FANGORIA mag was hosting at TIMES SCARE.

I thought dad and us kids should ride in on a motorcycle, with our head on fire, but then again, Nicholas Cage was going to be there, and we didn’t want to upstage the big star.  This was his moment in the spot light, Dad’s was up next, just a few hours later, when we would head to…

The New York Premier of FATHERS DAY at the Sunshine Landmark Theater.    From GR2 we all headed down to Houston st. for some more father-daughter bonding over the midnight showing of FATHERS DAY.

Dad and Mark introduced FATHERS DAY, written and directed by Astron-6  a talented Canadian group making bloody miracles on a super low budget.  There was a pretty sweet cameo by Dad, playing… you gussed it, GOD.  A typical Troma film, it’s a warm and light romantic comedy about fathers, a nice little bonding moving any child should see with his or her father.

No, that’s not how it went at all… A deranged killer and rapist is on the loose and has a taste for “Daddy meat.” One man will do any it takes to send the bastard to hell! At no more than two and a half minutes into the film, a man get his PENIS bitten off.

“The latest Troma flick “Father’s Day” is one of the schlock studio’s intentionally bad movies that succeeds a little too well.” 

-Kyle Smith at The New York Post,

Check out his review titled “Your dad will hate it too” here, from The New York Post