I admit, I have a weakness for musical montage. One of the earliest things that I learned about filmmaking is that you can’t have set piece after set piece. Take away nothing but the high points and you’re left with a plateau, which is the very definition of boring. Put in some breathers in-between the screamers and whatdyaknow the screamers retain some of their original punch. I take this sharing of internet videos fairly seriously, this is my chance to play with VJ-ing and show you something cool and when I did something like this back in February, I intentionally attempted to space out the musical numbers just a tad. Here I’m afraid, I just didn’t find anything non-musical that really jumped out at me. Any of these as part of a proper piece would work great, but here I’m afraid all the musical stuff will wear you out.
I briefly entertained the idea of including a hard-core hidden camera sex video I saw on Fuct.com; but honestly most of the stuff on Fuct.com is too far down the rabbit hole even for me and it was boring to watch anyway; much too boring to support the meager point I wanted to make in including it. Same with the Steven Colbert roast, which you’ve probably seen already. Other than that, this is pretty much it.
This commercial for the Italian beer Peroni remakes Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, filters out a lot of the irony, even recasting the fleshy Anita Ekberg with your typical stick-of-supermodel, and works terrifically anyway. That works on levels I guess, an unironic remake of La Dolce Vita as a beer commercial; but I suspect madness awaits anybody who skips down that road. As is, let's just admit that they got those titles just right.
Fake movie trailers have become en vogue ever since The Shining Recut, most of them really dreadful. The fairly well-done but stupid Brokeback to the Future created a whole series of imitators, skipping over themselves to make fag jokes about the presumed gay subtext in some of the new classics. However, Ten Things I Hate About Commandments, a trailer that repositions The Ten Commandments as a silly high school comedy a la Never Been Kissed, is the first to really challenge the crown of Shining Recut. There are moments near the end that embarass with their stupidity, but generally speaking this trailer is too sophisticated to go for the easy bait of the film's blatant homo-eroticism. Instead it spins the gayness into a celebration of the boyishness that has become a sexual ideal in the 21st Century. And of course on some level it acts as a fairly on-target critique on DeMille's dialogue and Candy Land cinematography.
Speaking of gays and the Bible, my one calm bit in the storm is this Hannity and Colmes interview with Shirley Phelps Roper, daughter of Fred Phelps who leads the Westboro Baptist Church of Godhatesfags fame. They put her on the air because her church is protesting at soldier's funerals saying that this is how God is showing America that he is displeased. Setting aside questions of how valid this is theologically (if God is showing his wrath by killing soldiers what is Hell for), Roper seems to believe deeply in her cause and is considerably more at peace with herself than either Hannity or Colmes and thoroughly humiliates her interregators. I'm reminded of Oliver Stone's comments about the Geraldo Rivera interview with Charles Manson. If anybody's belief about religion can be proved empirically wrong hers can; but both Hannity and Colmes are too vapid and plastic of talking heads, too full with vanity as to the rightousness of their position, to ever engage her on her level. She comes off as nuts no doubt, but Hannity and Colmes don't have the moral intelligence to provide a viable alternative. God forbid the Antichrist ever have to schedule an interview on the Fox News channel.
And speaking of talking heads and the end of days, this video editing George Bush sidebites into the lyrics of John Lennon's "Imagine" might be the coolest thing I've seen on the Internet in some time. Lennon's fairly straight-forward peace song is transformed into a tragicomic tone poem of nihilism. There are no possessions and no religion in the post-apocalyptic wasteland Bush envisions for America. The video plays like the nation's final twitch of the death nerve. Brilliant protest cinema.
Finally, Faces of Meth is just plain heartbreaking; showing before and after photos of those who found themselves in the lure of the white man's crack. Exploitive toward those photographed, no doubt, but if you place morality of viewing over what can be gained by experiencing it, you've come to the wrong place. What really gets at me is that these aren't attractive people to begin with, but they had something in them goddamit, that's nonetheless destroyed forever. I've always thought it as being a bit of an antidote to pessimism of the Bush Remix video; it's saying that no matter how far down you've gone you still have something to lose to despair.
I apologize for the speed of Ebaums and the political ramnifications of using them. Most other sites hosting the video include a really stupid chaser that always killed the mood for me.