I moderated this last week the first multiple-film discussion of the newly-conceived (with the Denver Public Library’s film committee) “Cinema Club” where three or more films are “assigned” for an end-of-month clip show, analysis, and chat about the films by themselves and in sequence. Topic for the first series was “Modern Love” with the films Edward Scissorhands, Punch-Drunk Love, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Drove down with an old pal-o-mine who presented me a photocopy of the box of a product endorsed by Smokey Robinson (of Miracles fame): red beans and rice frozen dinner – and it’s a lot scarier than you’d imagine with a tagline, “The Soul is in the Bowl” that strikes my ears as really, really menacing. Soylent Beans is people. Between the mesmeric blue eyes and the questionable content of celebrity-endorsed food stuffs (what’s with the American Gothic vibe of Newman’s Own anyway?), I felt several moments of real temptation before its awful frozen majesty.
Here's something to think about: most woeful or unfortunate celebrity endorsements or, even better, real or fictional celebrity and merchandise tie-ins you'd like to see. Mad Magazine? Eat yer heart out.
The discussion went well though, scheduled in the middle of a weekday, attendance was sparse. Of note: a woman came in late, delivered a scary, rambling diatribe in which I think she was ultimately blaming the makers of Entrapment for “perpetrating a crime” on her in a tenement in Jackson, MI a decade or so ago, because she had been asked by someone to write a film review of it. She left after a while, but not before making a few arcane gestures with her hands, sighing heavily, and indicating that she’d only seen one of the three films up for dissection. Mental illness is a scary thing – especially when it’s front row, left, and about five feet away from my throat.
Same sort of program being proposed for a local coffee shop - it's the kind of thing that could become a kind of thing, if you know what I mean.
Also moderated a quickie discussion-following-screening of All About Eve - one of the most overrated screenplays in history, I think, but possessed of another invaluable turn by the inimitable George Sanders. Someone should talk about the curse of the film as two of the folks, Sanders and “second Eve” Phoebe, Barbara Bates, killed themselves.
Went to blissfully closed screenings for Neil Young: Heart of Gold, Night Watch, and the new Robert Towne flick Ask the Dust. I’m on record for the first, will hold my counsel for the last (though the review has been logged to prevent corruption should I interview the man), and as for the Russian vampire flick?
It’s well and truly dreadful. On the bright side, though, looks like I might have a scheduling conflict this week that prevents me from seeing the Tim Allen Shaggy Dog flick.
Avoided watching any of the Winter Olympics with the same dedication that I will apply to avoiding the Oscar telecast next month – and caught a look at Terry Zwigoff’s newest: Art School Confidential. I’m going to try to see it again before I write on it which is not, after all, necessarily an endorsement.
Hoping to do a blog-only review of Jonathan Demme’s Swimming to Cambodia this week – maybe sometime just before Bill’s last Class of 1984 contest. Speaking of frame-grabs, here’s mine: