Saturday, May 26, 2007

Woody Allen directed my birthday get together.

Music: Nuggets

The martini glasses shown bright (in black and white), the T.M.N.T discussion was brewing, and the whole room revolved around us in the corner. We had our pseudo-intellectual debates, but masked them in such topics as "Horror Movies" so that we could criticize pseudo-intellectuals moments later. We didn't need dates or drugs- but that's not to say those nights aren't just as exciting.

My drink theme, as per usual, consisted of the two I knew from television and film. The John Dorian Appletini (easy on the 'tini), the Lebowski White Russian- then a collection of feminine shots between glasses of Light beer. My drink count for the night was a staggering number, not quite hitting the teens but lingering in the double digits. I have to say- that 'Wet Pussy' has an incredible flavor.

The names in attendance were Brian Garcia, Jake Sprague, Casey Andreen, Anthony Saunders, Josh Wood, and we Scampoli brothers- with cameos by Carlos, DDP, Corey, and my nameless lookalike. People with cameos don't get last names.

Of course as the night grows older the drinks begin to spill and voices travel farther. We all managed to leave at reasonable AM hours without harm. The final bill was close to $250, divided between two servers- birthday boy drinks for free.

Everybody is in good health, and great humor. They haven't missed a beat in the lost five months. It's great to get my face back into the mix after the lengthy separation. I've missed these men.

One topic that came up last night was the state of film- the times of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Secret Of The Ooze vs. the times of T.M.N.T. A conversation sparked by a group of people bringing up and arguing over T.M.N.T, who had in turn never ever seen it (yes I was part of that no holds barred debate).

The typical stance was 'everything is a remake, nothings original anymore!' The Scampoli stance was- film has become more intelligent since that late 80s period, and overall better films are made now, you just have to look a little harder, etc. It was all wrapped up in a turtle bow- "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may not have been a remake, but it was based on a comic book and was still awful,"- with a Vanilla Ice exclamation point coming later.

By no means were any of us claiming that these Turtles films defined this or that era, it was just an easy assessment, and we had green martinis on the table. There was also a sub-argument over which Turtles film was less credible as far as it being made solely for commercial reasons- queue Vanilla Ice exclamation point.

We all came to terms with the fact that Shaun Of The Dead and Squid & The Whale are just a couple of examples of intelligent, modern, great film making. It was obviously not a disagreement over box office mojo- more of an acknowledgment that great film and television still exist. Most people are too busy complaining over the reality shows or the summer popcorn flicks to find the incredible achievements which have been buried beneath it all. Meanwhile we're losing whatever Veronica Mars' are left in this world.

It all came to an end when the unfocused "everything is remakes!" side forgot their argument and began to bring up great films from the late 90s (Fight Club, The Big Lebowski). Both sides agreed on the grey area, and a toast was made.

Though this blog doesn't really attract a wide reader base outside of the five people who have the link, I'm interested in reading some comments on this topic. Favorite film era? Favorite films?

The more I thought about this after the fact, I realized Raging Bull, Star Wars, Annie Hall, Manhattan and a wide array of great films came from that late 70s to late 80s decade. I still stand firmly behind the point that today's great films were made then, but the future's great films are being produced now. Time will separate them.

That is one example of the night's bizarre conversation. I'll get into the blasphemous Vince Young Madden cover another time.

For those wondering, I think I was able to recapture Sweet Jane- at least as a behind-the-wheel song. There is an indescribable emotion that can only exist after hearing this:

And, everyone who ever had a heart
They wouldn't turn around and break it
And anyone who ever played a part

Oh wouldn't turn around and hate it!

Sweet Jane! Whoa-oh-oh!

After the barroom shenanigans we grabbed some food (nothing makes me hungrier than alcohol) and I finally watched the latest Office. The decision to increase the show to an hour is great, in my opinion. If they can make the jump from an Undeclared to a Freaks & Geeks, then it has some serious potential to shatter the UK Office. Reading that statement now, I laugh. Anything is possible I guess.

Today is a day off with no plans. I count on a Sweet Jane drive and possibly a movie showing.

In closing, I recommend everybody find a way to listen to Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era. It is a four disc set of underground 60's band's one hit wonders and lesser known tracks. There's a lot of fuzzy organ and Mick Jagger impersonating- though I get more enjoyment out of this than any Rolling Stones release. A lot of the songs are instantly recognizable, a lot are covers, and all of them offer something. I've already stumbled across a handful of groups I will seek out the full albums of.

One group, Mouse, in particular, are said to do "Highway 61 Revisited Era Bob Dylan" better than the man himself.

I discovered this due to the words of Phil Wilcox. Check out his ramblings, he's got the most entertaining entries on Livejournal.

Five Thousand.


Anonymous said...

happy birthday, cupcake!!!


Kevin said...

I was wondering when you were gonna say that, Amanda.


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