austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Looking around, talking to clowns

So, Cinematic Titanic: this one was at Princeton, a showing I planned to go to last year but skipped in order to go see the one in Manhattan with my brother; that one he skipped out on, so I had to see it with friends of his instead. I made do. Possibly it's lucky I missed last year's show here, as they decided which really bad movie to riff by Internet Poll and, according to Joel, came up with the same movie --- The Alien Factor --- as last year. (According to the open thread on mst3kinfo.com, that was a joke. I guess you had to be there both times to get it.) Still, it was one of the live-performance-on-DVD episodes that I bought in the gift shop before the movie started.

The warm-up, by each of the Titanics and Gruber each got their own little bits. I liked best Mary Jo Pehl's ``Performance Scrapbooking'', but Pehl has this talent for stealing scenes. Also, Trace Beaulieu read from his book of Silly Rhymes For Belligerent Children, though what I really mostly thought is how much he's getting to look like Commander Data these days. Joel Hodgson is having kind of the same thing go on, too. It's weird.

The movie, starring what looks like the Vídeo Brinquedo [1] ripoff version of the SCTV cast, is about alien monsters killing small-town locals by really bad editing, and it's admirable for the way it captures all sorts of hilariously awkward body language. It's one thing to read lines badly, but it takes a really talented actor-director-editor pair to make sure the character stands badly. Also, the movie cops look like the villains from every Mark Trail adventure ever. There's an ending, which makes for a nice change of pace, and it could have been made into a tragic or an ironic ending if it didn't seem to have been thought of on the spot while they were filming the last scene so it wasn't given the chance to signify anything.

[1] You know, the folks who made Ratatoing and What's Up? Balloon To The Rescue and other such classics for the Grandma Doesn't See Why We Have To Go To The Theater When They Have The Movie Out Right Here In Rite-Aid Already market.

The venue, the McCarter Theater at Princeton University, is really quite nice and I had box seats, right up front, where I could stare at Joel's shoulder, making the performance nearly two percent more awkward than it needed to be. It was a little tricky to get there, because we received about 640 inches of rain Saturday, with the occasional flash of lightning, and the rain managed to vary its severity so that whatever speed the windshield wipers were set on, was soon wrong. Also one bridge that Google Maps recommended I take to get there more directly turned out to be closed for complete rebuilding, so, good thing I brought my iPad and could route around this problem.

Trivia: Through the 1840s and 1850s despite the turmoil in China and India, British stocks of tea never dropped below a nine months' supply. Source: Tea: Addiction, Exploitation, and Empire, Roy Moxham.

Currently Reading: The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind The World's Favorite Soft Drink, Michael Blanding.

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