Wednesday, September 14, 2016

"On The Go... In A Place Where There Is Virtually No Place To Go"

Final Evening Activities Tally:

Four movies, one concert, one “Harvest Festival” and a ball game.  Plus one “out to dinner.”  Eight "nights out" out of nine. 

So much for “slowing down in Indiana.”

What can I tell you? 

The concert, I already mentioned – two “sixties” stalwarts swapping memorable anecdotes and singing up a storm.  Far from the least amazing part of the evening was that the performance lasted more than two-and-a-half hours without intermission and neither of the septuagenarian participants felt the necessity to pee.  I had to go for the last forty-five minutes.  Thus explaining my booing the encores.        

The local “Harvest Festival”?  For the celebratory dinner, they served pizza topped with vegetables grown in the farm’s multiple surrounding gardens. There was also a hayride, the hay-bale stacked wagon pulled not by a horse – except for chickens the farm included no animals – but by a tractor, shuttling us around, visiting burgeoning vegetables destined to someday top pizzas.

And while I’m on the “food destiny” trajectory – wait.  Lemme say this first.

When it comes to selecting movies to see when we’re in Indiana, we completely abandon our aesthetic standards.  Ergo, the first film we attended at the Michigan City multiplex:

Sausage Party.

At any one time, there are fourteen movies playing at the AMC Showplace Michigan City 14.  We picked Sausage Party.  So you can imagine what else was playing.

Over the years this blog has offered numerous examples of anthropomorphic shenanigans, animals imputed with human characteristics.  Sausage Party makes the natural “leap”:  imputing human characteristics to supermarket comestibles. 

It is almost like we are “creatively conjoined.”  I have written about the rejected clothes I didn’t pack on vacations being furious at me for not taking them along.  How far is that from a misshapen frankfurter looking for a soft bun to fit into?

Sausage Party’s “Big Reveal” is that food gets eaten.  Well yea-ahhh!  What exactly is the message they’re promoting?  “Don’t eat food?” 

I imagine a posse of “high” Hollywood filmmakers enjoying a “post-bong” or whatever dinner and out-of-the-blue one of them suddenly blurts:  “Wait!  What if… the food – like the food we are eating right now, you know? – has no ideee-ah… what happens after leaving the supermarket – and they don’t, right?, so it’s real - and the-en… they find out!    

I have always wondered, when you come up with an idea while you’re on drugs, do you retain any semblance of critical judgment?  Or does everything sound like a great idea for a movie?  There ought to be some “illicit substance“ counterpart to the “Designated Driver” saying, “I think that’s the ‘weed’ talking.”  But there isn’t.  They just make the damn movie.

Now, to substantiate my total lack of cinematic snobbery, I will confess that I was equally disenchanted by the micro-budgeted The American Side, playing at the twenty-miles-from-the-multiplex independent Vickers Theatre, whose apparent mandate is screening movies nobody else has ever heard of. 

Plus Woody Allen movies.  Who people have heard of, but no longer go see.

As a surprise bonus, The American Side’s writer/director and co-writer/lead actor appeared afterwards for an audience Q and A. 

Okay.  Check out the writer/director’s rationalization for the hyper-complicated plotting of this “noirish homage.

WRITER/DIRECTOR:  A man came up to me after a screening and said, ‘I saw it twice.  And I got all of it.’”

That’s great.  But what if you see the film once?

The other flicks we saw were Jason Bourne – which, if you like movies where people fall off the top of five-floor buildings and don’t get hurt is your kind of picture – and, back at the Vickers Theatre, The Fits, about an inner city, school-age dance troupe stricken with inexplicable “Mass Hysteria.”  (They experience epileptic-like “fits.”) 

There was a genuine sweetness to The Fits that kind of got to me, especially knowing that the entire movie was shot for $187,000, which, I believe, matches the catering budget for Jason Bourne.  Or is that just the desserts?

Dinner at Café Gulistan?  You only have to know this:

If you are passing through southwestern Michigan and feel a sudden craving for authentic Kurdish cuisine, you cannot possibly do better than Café Gulistan.  You want hamburgers – go to Redamak’s.   Ispanak and kavurmaCafé Gulistan.

The ballgame, I shall leave for another time.

A Brief Backstory:  For fifteen years we were part owners of the “A”-ball franchise in South Bend.  This would be our first return visit after selling the team.

You know the saying, “You can’t go home again”?  That’s wrong.  It’s a free country; you can go anywhere you want.

You certainly can go home again.  The question, asked retrospectively after you do:

“Was that really a good idea?”

The Answer:  Tomorrow.          

Don’t you just love “cliff hangers”?

1 comment:

Frank said...

I won't be watching Sausage Party now you've given away the surprise ending. Cheers.