Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Blogging Break

Been a bit busy and tired this week, so I'm taking a break today. I should return tomorrow. Maybe Friday night. We'll see. And no, I haven't forgotten to update the blog rolls for the Axis of Weevil and the Rocky Top Brigades. Really, I promise. Check's in the mail; no, it's not broken; I'll respect you tomorrow; all the girls do it....

Quick bit of content for you: I saw the DVD of "A Mighty Wind" last night. So/so movie; like the last two from this bunch ("Waiting For Guffman" and "Best Of Show") but slightly weaker in the jokes department. Even with a solid plot structure, it still manages to be a tiny bit flaccid. I guess it helps a lot to be a folkie and I'm not.

Some of the actors seem a bit tired; some are at the limits of their improv ability and it shows. That said, kudos to Parker Posey, who maintains a relentlessly perky attitude throughout which had to be brutally taxing to maintain; to Jane Lynch, who makes chipper maturity look sexy; to John Michael Higgins, who plays her husband with equal parts religious fervor and wary fear; and most of all to Eugene Levy, who gives a career performance.

Levy plays a burned-out space case who lost it when his duo partner (Catherine O'Hara, also great) fell out of love with him and broke up the team. He usually plays his character, Mitch, as baffled (think a confused Jerry Garcia channelling Gordon Lightfoot) and a little scared. But when he practices again with Mickey (O'Hara), you suddenly see the man he was: confident, wise, a bit controlling. Sometimes, during their songs, he shoots this bemused, paternalistic, loving look at Mickey that is so perfect, it takes your breath away. Then the song ends and the mentally damaged Mitch returns with a sudden shocked look. And you laugh. When he predictably wanders off right before the performance, his excuse why is both charming and surprising. Damn, he's great.

Not only that, but the songs of the movie are terrific! "Do What The Good Book Says" is Christian religiosity made absurd, but eerily familiar. "A Mighty Wind," the movie-closing anthem sung by everyone, actually is a rousing tune, not unlike "This Land Is Your Land," but with slyly twisted lyrics. ("A mighty wind blows you and me.") Guaranteed that you'll tap your toes to this one and want to join in. The Mitch & Mickey songs are suprisingly beautiful. The parody is the inherent sappiness of "our love is forever and perfect." But the songs really will tug your heart and the music doesn't disappoint.

The real surprise, though, can be found in the DVD extras. Look under "Television Performances" for the Folksmen tune "Children of the Sun." From their disastrous "electric" era, it is still a perfect evocation of the late Sixties. The lyrics are the solemn "listen to your children you square parents" kind that sounds so silly today, but the song is a note-perfect wonder. The melody soars, the chords hit the right minor note at the right moment, the guitars chime and ring. Very Byrdsian, in a way. It's almost worth the whole DVD price alone.

Anyway, later on, y'all. Be good or be careful.

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