Sunday, March 18, 2007

Friends of the Experience #6

Hearty thanks to Chris, Kevin, Adam K, Daniel and Ben who all helped out in the March Fundraiser.

Chris teaches cinema studies in Philly. He told me he's never written before because he doesn't like Moulin Rouge! That gave me a good chuckle.
I do like Far From Heaven, which I've taught in a few classes here and there (I teach cinema studies courses for freshmen). Actually, I swallowed my pride and used Moulin Rouge in a class once, come to think of it, so perhaps I'm responsible for some Nathaniel-level aficionados despite myself.
Moulin Rouge! has sneaky ways of collecting more fans. It always does. We are legion.

Kevin is right here in NY and send kind words about the blog. He opted for a shout out to a favorite character rather than a film
My iconic movie character is Doralee Rhodes from 9 to 5 . I have vivid memories of catching the movie on TV as a kid as being immediately obsessed with Dolly's amiable Southern charm and her natural ease onscreen. (I've since become a Dolly fanatic and made the pilgrimage to Dollywood twice.) "I'll change you from a rooster to a hen with one shot!" Priceless.
I love Dolly too. One of my close friends is from Nashville and we are always vaguely planning a pilgrimage ourselves --I've never been. Sadly this intended travellin' party always falls through because so many other friends want to go. Trying to corral several people for a simultaneous cross country trip = challenging.

Daniel in California spotlights an unusual choice as a favorite but I can totally get behind it
one that always comes to mind is Flirting With Disaster. It's so thoroughly screwball; as it moves along, you think it couldn't possibly get any more ridiculous and then it tops itself. So much great, witty banter. Then there's the cast... could they have gathered a better group of actors to play such eccentric characters? I think not. Mary Tyler Moore and Lily Tomlin are especially killer. One of the myriad I love through and through and watch time and time again.
Flirting is an underseen gem. Very high laugh to running time ratio and smart guffaws to be had. I love that Daniel referenced screwball because comedy did not always mean cheap and dumb. David O'Russell has such a gift for sharp sophisticated laughs that don't get lose their comedic edge on second viewing (see also: I Heart Huckabees)
Adam K will be familiar to you as an active commenter and from the blog Crumb by Crumb. The favorite film he wanted noted...
I'd go for Thelma & Louise, but you talk about that one enough already. Ditto Tootsie. So I think, for this specific purpose, my favorite film will be The Witches, which is one of those little cult/personal favorites that I feel like no one loves as much as I. I rediscovered it with my much younger sister several years ago, and it became a staple of our sibling bonding time. Anjelica Huston is brill, obviously. Plus, the music, writing and direction are all just top notch for this sort of demented children's film.
I've only seen The Witches once myself and remember loving Anjelica Huston (FTR she would win my retro Gold Medal for 1990 for The Grifters with The Witches as the "and..." portion of that honor)

Ben calls the UK home and, like Adam, has asked that I review a personal favorite
I'm going to have to go for something which celebrates British Film Making, independent movie making, Oscar and my actress predictions and also a smattering of gay characterisations. It must be John Schlesinger's Darling.
I take all requests seriously (helps cut brainstorming time) but when you help out with that little bit extra, your wish is my command. Command Reviews coming soon for All That Jazz, Darling, The Witches as well as a look at Geraldine Page (a couple of people gave me more than one option so I'm still deciding on the others)

Questions for Comments...
Are you secretly a Moulin Rouge! hater? If so, how can we convert you?
Why are so few comedies as smart as those old screwballs?
Have you ever been to Dollywood? If so, please share. I really want to go...

5 comments:

Alanna said...

I'm not a secret Moulin Rouge hater; I'm out and proud. There will be no converting me. I'm a fundamentalist hater.

Anonymous said...

I've never been to Dollywood, but my sister-in-law once worked for Dolly as her personal shopper. Dolly's assistant (her sister) would distribute hand-written notes with items for my sister-in-law to buy.

Once she had listed pink flamingo lawn ornaments - written out to the side - "I know those are kinda trashy, but I'm a trashy kinda girl!"

Classic Dolly!

adam k. said...

I am not an MR! hater, I don't know why the quality of comedies has declined, and I've never been to Dollywood. But I just wanted to say that everyone needs to see The Witches. The witch convention scene is one of THE great scenes in all of cinema. Not even kidding.

Anonymous said...

C'mon someone please explain the problem with the comedies. I'm the anonymous who expressed discontent with the Knocked Up trailer earlier. Thank you to Kamikaze Camel - I'm honored to get a kind response from a hottie. And thank you also for the disparaging concern for my well-being from some other guy whose name I don't remember. I'll give it a second chance, but the trailer remains bad, despite the lovely Ms. Heigl. In any case, the responses got me thinking about how the big comedies of the last few years have left me thinking I'm way out in left field. Wedding Crashers? Mostly pretty dull. 40YOV? Carell is hilarious, but otherwise not. that. great. I rooted for LMS last month simply because it was a a rare (American-made) heartwarming, actually funny and not preposterous adult comedy. Someone please do some research. Why aren't there more Muriel's Weddings? The last good really one before LMS was Monster-in-Law, and thank god Jane Fonda was willing to go there. And i guess since I've started commenting, I'll have to introduce myself properly in FotE #7 or higher.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Now I'm getting compliments on other people's blogs. I'm not even bribing this guy!

On the matter of comedies... well, the fact that Wedding Crashers, 40-Year-Old Virgin and others like it are successful is because teenage boys (and teenage boys at heart) will go see these movies no matter what decade it is (these sort of movies aren't just a recent trend). But, there just doesn't seem to be enough willingness to seperate R-rated comedies from comedies merely aimed at adults. It seems that some just think because it's rated R then it's more "adult", but despite the rating, they're still targeted at younger audiences.

I'm not sure if that makes sense. So I'll explain it differently.

There are plenty of adult-centric R-rated comedies, but they're still aimed at younger audiences. Studios can claim they're making adult comedies because of the R rating, when that's really not the case. These same studios seem almost reluctant to make comedies (R rated or not) aimed at actual older audiences, which are lucrative. I mean, Wild Hogs is apparently awful, but it was aimed at older audiences and they're starved for laughs so it's a hit. Same for The Devil Wears Prada. It was a comedy aimed squarely at women, not 13-year-old girls.

I still don't think I make sense, but my brain hurts so I ain't explaining it again.