Hi, everybody! I’ve been dormant in the old blogosphere (as far as new material on this one, anyway) for nearly a week now, but it’s time to get the old furnace fired up again. Lots to write about, most importantly part three of the Professor Brainerd answers, which will lead IMMEDIATELY into a brand-new quiz to hopefully appease the veterans and snare a whole bunch of new students who have never participated in SLIFR U’s testing programs. And there are several items on deck, new and old, that I’d like to get on-line before too much more dust is allowed to gather on them. I’m imagining that this week will be a very productive and entertaining one at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule.
I didn't get to see Slither over the weekend, and I desperately want to see it before it disappears. But I did make it to the Van Buren Drive-in in Riverside Saturday night with the Southern California Drive-in Movie Society, where I took in a late-night double feature of Spike Lee's terrific, surprisingly muted Inside Man and Dave Chappelle's Block Party, which turned out to be the best movie I've seen so far this year. Speaking as someone not at all in love with hip-hop, the music or the cultural phenomenon, I was completely disarmed by Chappelle's ease and genial mania as host of the movie and of the block party itself, as well as the movie's egalitarian spirit and the multitude of electrifying musical performances that anchor and solidify that spirit. Backed by rock-blues band nonpareil the Roots, the stage pulsates with high-voltage life brought by Mos Def (who proves himself, if you didn't already know from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a snappy comedian here as well), Kanye West, rappers Dead Prez, a reunion of the Fugees, and most startlingly, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott. And Chappelle himself is casually hilarious within director Michel Gondry's equally casual, yet kinetically exciting and vibrant documentary style; Gondry lets the performers shine without extraneous editing trickery or other ostentatious directorial moves, taking it all in with the kind of enthusiasm that translates very well to a viewing audience. Chappelle, recruiting unlikely audience members for his block party from the populace (white as well as black) of his hometown in Ohio, at one point stumbles upon a college marching band, and their genuine joy at being invited to come to New York and participate in the show had me in tears. I had my FM-stereo sound cranked pretty loud at the drive-in Saturday night too; I felt like the movie showed me elements of a musical style that I was in no position or frame of mind to appreciate before. Now I'll be scouring the papers, praying for an Erykah Badu concert, with special guests Dead Prez and the Roots. I can't imagine another movie in 2006 making me feel as good as Dave Chappelle's Block Party did, but if such a beast does come bouncing down the trail, won't I be the lucky one?
Don’t forget, the Angie Dickinson Blog-a-Thon is but a mere two weeks and two days away. And the ideas for new blog-a-thons just keep rolling in. The latest comes from Brian Darr, who will be announcing very soon the date for his proposed Friz Freleng Blog-a-Thon, an idea that has been generating lots of excitement amongst the regular participants in the Blog-a-Thon network. Keep an eye on Brian’s blog Hell on Frisco Bay for more details as they become available.
And Tim Lucas, of Video Watchdog magazine, “the perfectionist’s guide to fantastic video,” is celebrating the 80th birthday of Roger Corman all this week on his own blog, Tim Lucas’ Video WatchBlog. Tim is making an admittedly short-notice call for entries in a Roger Corman Blog-a-Thon to be posted on the actual date of Corman’s 80th birthday, which is this coming Wednesday, April 5.
In Tim’s words, “I realize this is short notice... but I'd like to see a Roger Corman "Blog-A-Thon" this Wednesday. That gives you about as much time as Roger had to make The Little Shop of Horrors. It doesn't have to be ambitious, just post a rough-and-ready blog in the true Corman spirit. It's the least we can all do for a man who has given us 50 years of entertainment; the man who infused exploitation with social commentary; the man who kept Vincent Price and Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre working when no one else would; the man who discovered everybody from Jack Nicholson to James Cameron to Jennifer Love Hewitt; the man who made Dick Miller a star; the man who sent Angie Dickinson the script for Big Bad Mama; the man, when all is said and done, who changed the face of Hollywood… Fellow bloggers, there's the gauntlet. Consider it thrown down. I've got my eye on all of you. Don't make me pluck it out.”
So, in the interest of keeping my my eyesight working properly, such as it is, I’m doing my part to help Tim spread the word on his “rough-and-ready” Blog-a-Thon idea. As always, if you have a blog and would like to particpate, send Tim an e-mail at Tim@videowatchdog.com and let him know what you’re up to. And also, as always, if you have an itch to put down a few words but have no blogspace to call your own, feel free to send your submissions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post it, along with my own modest entry, on Wednesday. The Corman Blog-a-Thon might, in some ways, brush up a little too closely with the Angie Blog-a-Thon for some, but personally I see no conflict of interest—I’ve got a idea that steers way clear of the Angie-Roger connection. (And TLRHB, this might be a good place to go after that drive-in aesthetic idea!)
Roger Corman on Wednesday, and a whole passel of other new goodies coming your way this week on SLIFR-- I went to CostCo this weekend and stocked up on Monster Khaos Energy Drink, so I’m good to go. I hope you are too!