“There aren’t too many guys with rings from each team.’’
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
I haven't really bothered too much with unrelated trivia so far, but here it is. There is a new independent film out that actually looks quite brilliant. It's a movie about a subject matter that transcends the subject matter. Granted it's been done before. For instance, I'm reminded of a friend of mine who has made a documentary about JAWS fans. He can't sell it because he'd either need to buy the licensing to all the JAWS clips he features in the film -- or he has to sell it to the studio for less than what he put into it. I've often joked that I ought to make "THE MAKING OF The Shark Is Still Working." And then sell that to JAWS fans instead.
I read JAWS as a kid and saw the movie and was afraid to swim in the ocean for a whole summer. I was even afraid to swim in Lake Winnipesaukee (since it's less than 200 miles from Martha's Vineyard). I am not a JAWS fanatic. I don't think it's one of the greatest movies of all time. But if you've ever been a fan of anything and you like JAWS, then you can identify with this film about the fans of JAWS. I'd like to one day actually buy it and watch it.
They interviewed Peter Benchley, Stephen Spielberg and Richard Dreyfuss. They actually got Roy Scheider to narrate it and got the original trailer voice to narrate their trailer! And now they can't release it! I mean, c'mon!
What could be more frustrating? How about making a movie about a Red Sox fan who loves the Red Sox more than his fiancée and can't get married until he forsakes the hope of Red Sox ever winning the World Series. He lives in the North End, by the way, a few blocks from The Boston Worship Center, a church I attended twice a week for three years. And he works as a public school teacher. The movie is actually based on a British film by the same name about a teacher who loves the soccer team Arsenal. Same plot different location. The details don't matter. It's a story within a story. It's transcendent and archetypal.
Then, just as they were about to release the movie, the Red Sox won the World Series! Then they had to reshoot the whole ending!
If you ever watched in shock and awe as Cher or Marisa Tomei stood at the podium at the Oscars with the award for best actress (for a romantic comedy no less!) you realize what a travesty it is that the Farrelly Brothers never won the Oscar for Fever Pitch. They should have had a special category for "cosmic irony" or something like that just for them.
You don't have to be a Red Sox fan to appreciate the theme of the film. You just have to at one time have had an obsession about something not human -- something you love that can never love you back that always breaks your heart. In the end, when you let go of false hope and you realize that there are more important things in life, hope springs eternal and all your wildest dreams come true.
Here's the ending of the British version:
Not taking anything away from Arsenal fans, but there is nothing like a game at Fenway. Even though there are no YouTube versions of the "Special Red Sox Extended Version" of the American film, you can get a little taste of what Fenway is like by watching this:
Then comes Do It Again - a documentary by Boston Globe Reporter about making a documentary (a story within a story within a story) about his attempt to get the rock group The Kinks back together. It has all the same elements of the above and more. The guy's name is Geoff Edgers. Like the character in Fever Pitch, he's my alter ego.
To fully get the following review of his film, first you have to watch this YouTube video.
It's really expensive to make a film -- even an Indie film -- and Edgers uses Kinks songs that have licensing fees. So Geoff Edgers is doing what my JAWS fanatic friend is doing. He's shopping the film around at film festivals and hoping to create enough of a buzz to have it distributed and make some money. Or at least break even. He's been nice enough to correspond with me via email. This is what I wrote to him:
Do you do the same thing I do every morning?
Come into work, sit down at my desk with a cup of black coffee, check email, check the Globe sports page, check Dave Emlen's Unofficial Kinks site hoping for an announcement of a concert I can see, a link to a new video or interview ... or better ... a REUNION ANNOUNCEMENT!
I had tickets to see Dave Davies at the Bull Run in Shirley, I was so sure that this was the precursor, the trial run.
I live in Florida now (I grew up in Framingham and saw the Kinks in concert 4 years in a row when I was in college) so I had airfare from Tampa to Manchester NH. Even after I heard the concert was canceled (postponed?) the airfare reticketing fee was so expensive ($150) that I made the trip anyway. I got to visit family, but it was an empty trip into the cold with a long layover through Cleveland on the return.
Thanks for letting me vent. Very few other people would understand.
What do I have to do to see your film?
- Jay Rogers
Hey Jay... Great message. And I was going to that show, except I live in Boston so it wasn't as financially painful. As for seeing our film, here's the deal... I've applied to a couple of Florida Film Festivals. If we get in, we could be in Palm Springs and Sarasota as early as April. If we don't, we could be waiting for Fort. Lauderdale in Oct. Of course, maybe you want to hit the road to Cleveland (March 26/27), North Carolina, Atlanta, Nashville or DC (all in April.) We also play Bermuda May 20.
I worked at the Middlesex News back in the '90s so maybe you actually got the paper I was on back then.
Review by– Sam Strangeways
Quest: Geoff Edgers (right) in "Do It Again."
Do It Again, directed by Robert Patton-Spruill
Tonight at the Speciality Cinema at 9.15 p.m. and Monday at 3.45 p.m.
Geoff Edgers is a reporter on the Boston Globe whose 40th birthday is fast approaching and who wants to do something big and vital before he truly hits middle age.
He sets himself what anyone with a reasonable knowledge of 1960s British rock music would probably describe as Mission Impossible: getting the original members of The Kinks back together.
The bad blood between Ray Davies and his brother Dave which finally caused the band to implode in the early 1990s is legendary.
But Edgers, a huge fan who thinks The Kinks are underrated, is convinced he can pull it off.
The idea is a neat device for a documentary which is really about a man reluctantly waving goodbye to his youth and trying to fulfil at least some of his own musical ambitions.
Edgers is not entirely likeable there's a touch of the arrogant waster about him but that only adds to the enjoyment of the film.
His wife is a perfect foil to this and we see her reminding him about the bills they have to pay before he sets off on his adventure and describing his obsession with the elder Davies brother with weary resignation.
Thanks to his newspaper credentials, Edgers manages to set up interviews with various famous fans of The Kinks. Sting and REM's Peter Buck probably the best known among them.
He takes his guitar to each meeting and manages to persuade (almost all) the musicians to play a favourite Kinks song with him. There is something a little cringeworthy about this, but also something rather sweet.
Edgers was in a local band in Boston in his younger days and he can certainly strum and sing decently.
Kinks fans will really enjoy watching these impromptu covers that director Robert Patton-Spruill captured on film as well as seeing the expressions of the artists when asked to take part.
As the film progresses, I found myself warming to Edgers. OK, so he doesn't want to change the world and his quest is a bit daft, but if successful it would bring a lot of pleasure to a lot of people.
There is a really touching interview with Dave Davies, whom he tracks down in England and who has been ill recently.
He talks about his fractured relationship with his brother but won't articulate in front of the cameras what Ray would have to say to him there is clearly something he could say to bring the original band back together.
The fact that he is nowhere to be seen at a Kinks convention in London, where Ray takes to the stage with a different incarnation of the group, is really sad.
Before Edgers sets off for the UK, his young daughter tells him he must buy her a lobster dinner if he fails in his challenge.
You'll have to see the movie to find out if The Kinks Do It Again as in their 1985 song or if she gets her meal.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
It turns out that Irish tenor, Ronan Tynan, is not an anti-Semite, even though, much to the chagrin of Yankee fans, he was banished from Yankee Stadium due to a misunderstood remark. He's not even a "anti-dentite" for crying out loud!
To add insult to irony, he'll sing "God Bless America" in Fenway on opening day when the arrogant ones in pinstripes are in town. Just to add just a little tarnish to that 27th trophy! No doubt he'll get a ten minute standing ovation. The one thing I actually liked about Yankee Stadium ("the house that Hank built") is now coming to Boston just in time for St. Paddy's Day!
Here's a story almost too odd to be believed.
Scorned by New York, tenor regains a voice