whoo hoo hoo ooh

I'm going to write a song called "My Ex-Girlfriend Just Got A Movie Into Sundance."

Not today. Today I'm just going to skulk around, maybe eat some Oreos. But one of these days. A bittersweet pop anthem. With lots of defiant "whoo hoo hoos" in it. Oh yeah.

A big Michael Bolton day.

So while watching football today I saw 2 Michael Bolton references in the space of 3 commercials. The first ad was for the Ford Focus (or "Vehicle-Mounted MP3 Player" as the ad would apparently like you to think of it) in which one guy mocked the other guy for having "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You" on his car stereo. Then followed another Ford ad. Then there was an Etrade ad set, again, to "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You," not even sung by Michael Bolton but covered by some histrionic throat-wrenching man-diva who sounded almost exactly like Michael Bolton.

I mean, how did this HAPPEN? Now the advertisers are using our own collective embarassment over the Michael Bolton Era against us? Both ads were ironically riffing on the song as the syrupy embodiment of cheese, not as "the cool song that makes you want to buy the Ipod because it will somehow enable you to find out what the song is."

But on the flipside....whenever I hear the big MB wail, I'm reminded of that night in I was DJing in a foreigner bar in Taiwan, and my slightly-drunk Pakistani youth-hostel-mate staggered over to my little booth and said, trembling, "Come ON man! GIVE me the Michael Bolton!"

Unfortunately, I didn't have any to play. But those were some good times.

Lars & The Real Girl

Sometimes it is awesome to see a movie from the front row of the theater. On Friday night I went with a friend to see "Lars & The Real Girl" in Pasadena. Due to my parking ineptitude, we got there late and ended up in the last two adjoining seats, in the front row of a small packed house.

The only two movies I'd seen previously from this position were the first "Mission: Impossible" and "He Got Game." both of them fairly cutty, stylized and loud. At close range, the audiovisual effect was headache-inducing. I think MTV was invented for its venue, that is, the TV, and experiencing that style on a screen that is very much larger than you and very near your head is probably not healthful.

But seeing "Lars" down in the front was fantastic. There was something about seeing these HUGE heads enact these very small sad/funny moments that was really compelling. There is no flashy editing, and there are enough long takes to let the eye wander around on that vast plain of screen, and explore, and get lost. It probably is my new favorite movie anyways, because it's wonderfully written, acted, filmed, and all that stuff, but I suspect that on a smaller screen, at a safe distance, it would be less whelming, more easily confused with all the other bittersweet indie movies. But because it was way too close, its intimate ordinariness was really uplifting, it was like a rock concert of ordinariness: long pauses, pores and all.