Friday, May 08, 2009


I want to return

I was lucky to catch the encore screening of “Return to the Scene of the Crime”, a project of “This American Life”. It was simply wonderful – one of the best things I've seen on a movie screen in months. I have a man-crush on Ira Glass, and I am not ashamed to admit it. The greatest show is just watching someone do something that is truly their joy. Somehow, he made the business of audio production (talking into a microphone, fiddling with sliders on a mixer) like watching a magician.

Many times, some of us in that theater had to remind ourselves that this was not the original live broadcast of the show from two weeks ago, but a recording. Hell, more than once, some of us clapped, then stopped suddenly when we realized that the performers on stage couldn't hear us. Ira Glass gave a little bow to us, the folks who would be watching the encore. Dan Savage, Mike Birbiglia, and Starlee Kine all have moments that are so emotionally naked, I had take a breath. They pointed me to many books, podcasts, and spoken word albums I will be looking at in the near future.

Joss Whedon made a great showing, playing piano and singing a song from the DVD commentary of “Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog”, called “A Heart... On Sale Now”. A fact I did not know until last night: the entire commentary to Dr. Horrible is, itself, a musical. It is sung in rhyme, and it manages to simultaneously be commentary on Dr. Horrible and writing as a profession.

As an aside, I wanted to add that the people coming for the This American Life screening were mostly ego-crushingly attractive trustfundafarians in their thirties. I wanted to stand at the door and guess which movie each person was there to see:
Hmmmm, Wolverine... Scene of the Crime... Adventureland, maybe?.. Scene... Scene... Oh, those guys are definitely here for Trek...

The outgoing audience buzz for "Star Trek" was very positive. It even managed to capture a non-geek demographic: the young urban male testosterone-cinema buff. Most of the guys coming out from Trek and Wolverine were gargantuans in the fanboy uniform of black gamer and comic book t-shirts. I say that with love; on another night that description would apply to me.

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