Thursday, February 05, 2009

My One Sentence Review of Slumdog Millionaire (Note to Fox Searchlight: Please Make Checks Payable to Disco:Very)

If you only see one movie this year involving a man kissing a woman’s disfiguring scar as a means of magically erasing a lifetime of being sexually enslaved by cartoonish thugs who seem to have stepped out of a story from a Disney film, then see Slumdog Millionaire!

Most of My Heroes Don't Appear on No Stamps

Now that more of my pop culture icons are dying off, I've come to the slow realization that the artists who most changed my life are the least likely to have their passing mentioned on any mainstream TV shows.

Case in point: this morning, still in a daze over the untimely death of Lux Interior, I switched on The Today Show expecting them to do a little retrospective video piece on his life. What the fuck was I thinking??? Somehow I equated my enormous affection for Lux with the amount of popularity his death would receive in the dominant culture.

This has led me to conceive of a formula to articulate just how important a dead celebrity was in my life: if the newly-deceased artist garners no mention on the network news, they are truly one of my all-time favorite musical heroes. If the deceased artist garners video tributes on every channel--with sad tinkly music underneath--this means they are one of my sworn enemies.

When Iggy Pop dies, there will be no mention on mainstream news. Ergo, he is one of my all-time favorite musical heroes.

When Billy Joel dies, there will be retrospective videos all over the fucking place. Ergo, I hate his guts.

When Exene Cervenka dies, there will be no mention on mainstream news.

When Joni Mitchell dies, there will be retrospective videos all over the fucking place, doubtless with one of her sappy ballads played underneath.

Daniel Johnston? No mention.

Paul Simon? Non-stop video tributes.

Bob Mould? No mention.

Stevie Nicks? Non-stop video tributes.

Mick Collins? All-time favorite hero.

Joan Baez? Non-stop video tributes.

Mark E. Smith? All-time favorite hero.

Kim Gordon? All-time favorite hero.

Captain Beefheart? All-time favorite hero.

You can play this game at home yourself. All you have to do is wait for a celebrity to die. Usually, the wait isn't very long.

PS: Rest in peace, Lux. You will be missed.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Going to See Revolutionary Road During the Superbowl: A Play in Three Acts

Prologue: An empty movie theatre. Four 50-something women enter the theatre as the lights dim for the feature presentation. Three of the women take their seats; the fourth women is overheard announcing to her friends that "she prefers to stand during the beginning of a movie."

Several previews are played, along with commercials, announcements urging the audience to shut off all electronic devices, etc. Eventually, the movie begins. The fourth women continues standing through the first 10 minutes of it.

Act One

[The scene is a mid-1950's upper-middle class suburb in Connecticut.]

Leonardo DiCaprio: My name is Frank Wheeler. I am named thusly because I speak in a frank fashion and, like the wheel on a car, I roll along day after day without a thought as to where I am going.

Kate Winslet: My name is April Wheeler. Like the month after which I am named, I represent growth and renewal. It would be a shame if my blossoming were to be cut short before my petals had a chance to bloom.

Leonardo DiCaprio: Although I am newly-married with a family, living in a pristine upper-middle class home and working my way up the corporate ladder, I feel my life is stifled and my dreams unrealized.

Kate Winslet: Let's give in to your long-time aspirations and move our family to Paris. We will buck the patriarchal socio-economic system of the mid-50's by making you the house husband while I, the woman, trot off to work each morning.

Leonardo DiCaprio: This drastic new lifestyle will truly put us on...a revolutionary road.

Act Two

Kathy Bates: I am Helen Givings. I am thus named because I am very giving. Although I am merely the realtor who sold Frank and April their idyllic mid-50's dream house many years ago, I will be forcing my way into the story quite often, usually at a point when our newlyweds are in emotional disarray, which occurs about every 4 minutes.

[To Frank and April] I would like to make a bizarre demand and insist upon bringing along my emotionally disabled son John Givings to your next dinner party. Although he was just released from a mental hospital and is given to frequent outbursts of screaming and derisive comments, I can't possibly see what could go wrong with having him attend a fancy-dress dinner in your home.

[We now see a dinner party at Frank and April's pristine pastel-colored dining room.]

John Givings: [To Frank and April] Because I am a social retard and therefore not hindered by the same social constraints as you, I am uniquely qualified to give voice to the churning discord of your counterfeit relationship. By definition, I am insane, but by the standards of your violent and unsettling marriage, I might actually be the most sensible character in the entire movie because I dare to speak the truth which you conveniently sweep under the carpet of your idyllic mid-50's upper-middle class home.

[Skip ahead 90 minutes.]

Leonardo DiCarpio: April's blossoming has been cut short before her petals had a chance to bloom!

Act Three

[Disco:Very is seen on the theatre floor, vomiting.]