DAYS FIVE & SIX

Posted January 27, 2005 in
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There's a film up at Sundance called Wall or Mur. I haven't seen it, but I certainly ran into one yesterday.



[MC Welk is "conflicted" about whether to get the kind with pink fur or blue fur to sweeten his winter brief couture.]I'd just dropped by a corporate sponsor's lounge to see if I could get in its special screening of Strangers With Candy last night. Now I don't want this sponsor to think it can get a free plug just for being hospitable, but der autos start with a V and end with a W. While I was there I intended to work on the blog for an hour or two. Honest I did. Then they started screening Motorcycle Diaries and I had this girl Stella Artois in the palm of my hand. Settle down, Beavis, Stella is the name of a beer. And they had teriyaki salmon on skewers, but no pork egg rolls for me because Elijah Muhammed told me How to Eat to Live.



[Amy Sedaris (right) from Strangers With Candy]

Motorcycle Diaries is a beautiful film with wonderful cinematography set in Latin America. It took nine years to make, two years for me to see it, and 2 hours for me to figure out that the protagonist was Che Guevara. That should indicate how au courant I was yesterday. BTW, when someone drops a pretentious French phrase just ignore it. Do not look it up. Do not wonder what it means. Just realize that the author is a poseur and, yesterday, not the sharpest tool in the shed. Maddox.xmission.com might should kick my ass.

Speaking of terminology that needs to be retired, can we stop calling these losers guerrilla filmmakers? Honestly, 33 soldiers and untold innocents died in Iraq today over America #1's idiotic preemptive war. Now I'm not saying I should curb my own sheltered, ignorant, "privileged poor" lifestyle, but you celluloid guerrillas are merely prancing around with your hand-helds, and there is a pun intended.

On a lighter note, the performance by the Rock School kids was amazing. Rock School kids. No not Jack Black's School of Rock, dumbass. These are the genuine article: kids trained to rock the house by Paul Green, who like Gianni, is a Zappa devotee. And they have learned their lesson well. Rock School's not only a school (a film about which screened this week), it's a performing musical collective. Not only is it a school in Chicago, but they are opening a branch in Salt Lake City. So my three-year-son better start working on his calluses if he want to be like RS-lead axe androgyne CJ.

When a seemingly 11-year-old (C.J.) can bust out some of the best lead guitar licks you've ever seen, one is in for a treat. Seriously, they played a cover of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man" that was spot-on, including the crazy-ass syncopated bridge and the hot horn line. It is also a good idea to cover Zeppelin with a teenage female vocalist. Alice Cooper only came out for one song, predictably "School's Out," during which he practically doubled the combined age on the stage, and wasn't decked out or outrageous or anything. Move over, old man. I have seen the future-next to you-several inches shorter than you. Go!

[Rock School took place here at the Music Cafe]



[Audio engineer Bob Abeyta with Alice Cooper in the green room at Plan B]

Yesterday at 9 a.m. I saw a screening of The Squid and the Whale, which is the best examination of modern divorce since Kramer vs. Kramer. Actually, I'm sure there's been something else. I just can't think of it and I'm hoping they might pick up my superlative quotes to use in their ads: Jeff Daniels‚ most real role since Purple Rose of Cairo; indie film-queen (ousting Parkey Posey because she was in Blade: Trinity) Laura Linney's best cry-scene since Love Actually; Co-produced by the Zissou shoemaker Wes Anderson.

I know I'm being sarcastic, but this is a good movie. Jeff Daniels plays an asshole of an author who can't write any more; Laura Linney is flighty and noncommittal and coming into her own as an author, and even banging one of the Baldwin's (William?) who plays a tennis pro. Perhaps the glue that holds it together is the strong performances of the the two sons, Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline, who deal with such issues as plagiarism, masturbation, favoring one parent over the other, and having Anna Paquin, who is delicious as a tart, move in with Dad. Yikes. Director/Screenwriter Noah Baumbach truly exceeded my expectations.

I had very high expectations for Strangers With Candy, but after enjoying the anarchists‚ after-school special format of the TV series, I found the film version to be a little flat. Don't get me wrong: It's intriguing to see what they've done with an R-rating, and the cast is made up of some of the funniest people on the planet, but there is some rehash of material already covered in the series and instead of a better-developed principal (pun) plot, there is the filler of more sight gags and celebrity side performances.

Ian Holm, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Phillip Seymour Hoffman all have more-than-cameo roles, but it is the core of the cast that really delivers the comedy. Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert and Paul Dinello were all at a Q&A (although Sedaris‚ character Gerri Blank seems to prefer T&A) following the screening. Apparently the film almost didn't get made until David Letterman's Worldwide Pants stepped in during the final stages of preproduction. Paul Shaffer also writes some Parker & Stone-style songs with lyrics by Director Dinello and Stephen Colbert, who because of his work on The Daily Show, is my hero. MC Welk out.



[What really happened at the Dog Food Party (tails, orifices, loose bitches) and why MC Welk didn't write about it]