Thursday, August 13, 2009

Feeling Good; Feeling Groovy

Last weekend was one of culture.

I attended a script reading; I attended a film festival; I attended a concert.

Writing that just now made me curious, so I looked up “attend” on the ol’ Webster.

'From Latin “attendere,” literally to stretch to, from.'

Maybe I’m attending myself thin these days.

The reading was a private affair, but I can tell you that we had a good time. I got to read the part of an old, black man. Typecast as usual.

That’s me at the Film Fest with friend Graham, film star Joel, love of my life Catherine, film star Shon, and film star Karen.

The fest was the Feel Good Film Festival. Had friends involved in a film that was one of the three screenings that night – so Catherine and I were ready to sit through two pieces of dreck.

Oh, for those that don’t go to film festivals, when several movies are shown in a cluster, on average 2 out of 3 are unwatchable. It’s just a general rule for artsy festivals.

Art is like brussel sprouts, no one will believe it is good for you if it tastes good.

So film fests sprinkle in healthy doses of bad flicks among their good films to keep the museumy street cred up.

Except Feel Good didn’t get the memo, because all three movies were very good.

Two shorts – “Charlie Thistle,” a marvelous look at color coming into dystopia; and “Whose Dog Is It Anyway?” a charmer about a reluctant dog owner.

And a feature, JESUS PEOPLE. I know the folks that wrote it, as well as several of the actors. So I went in expecting a good time.

(I should clarify – the people I know are good at what they do. Just because I know people involved in a project doesn’t guarantee a good time – not everyone I know is skillful at what they do. Hence I have mastered the phrases, “Well, that was interesting,” and “Wow. Really. I mean… Wow.”)

JESUS PEOPLE did not require any such post-show maneuvering – it was very entertaining, and quite well done. A mockumentary about the world’s worst Christian pop band (think THIS IS SPINAL TAP), the film is very funny (painfully so at times – a little too familiar).

It is also moving in parts (especially in the performances of Joel McCrary and Karen Whipple), and sweet (the budding forbidden romance between the documentary subject and the documentary producer – priceless).

The two bowls – Hollywood Bowl (not even in the nosebleed seats) and the cozier Starlight.

The weekend was capped with a picnic on the lawn of the Starlight Bowl in Burbank –although our quiet evening kept getting interrupted by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy insisting on playing songs and getting us to sing along.

Geez, give a band a venue, and the just insist on entertaining. Go figure.

Hi-dee hi-dee hi-dee hi.

Just my thoughts,



David Goulet said...

Christian Spinal Tap, eh? I pitched that once. But mine was more along the lines of "what if a Gene Simmons-type, washed up rocker tried to make a comeback but the only band that he can find that will take him in on is an 80's Christian rock act (think Stryper) also on a comeback trail."

Gene Simmons fronting Stryper? That's gold Gerry, gold!

gilliebean said...

I wanted to go see Jesus People but I was otherwise engaged that night. I'm so excited for them!

Gaffney said...

David -- puts me in mind of the South Park ep where one of the kids starts a Christian pop band because it is easier to make sales. Rather than write new songs, he just took love songs and put the name Jesus where the girl's name would have gone.

David Goulet said...


Yeah, I'd heard of that ep. It may have been inspired by the criticisms laid on Evanescence, accused of promoting themselves as a Christian band then doing a "we are not a Christian band" when secular success was afoot.

Big fish - small pond syndrome.

Janet said...

Re: What to say when the work is less than stellar: Orson Welles' standard response to such a situation was, "There are no words."