Most Extreme Primate
I was in the shower the other day, listening to the radio, and U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” came on. From Joshua Tree. I started getting really into it, and thinking, “Man, this is a great song. No! This is the perfect song!” Like singing along really loud and thinking, seriously, there is nothing wrong this song. Then it ended and Pearl Jam’s “Better Man” came on, and I was still singing along, but then I started to think, this song’s really not that great. And then it was gone. I wondered if maybe my affection for the U2 song was a fancy of the moment, and maybe this is what life is like for manic-depressives.
Screenwriter David Mamet was on the radio the other day and he was talking about almost mathematic perfection in a good movie. His best example was Galaxy Quest. It’s a good movie, for those skeptical. The U2 song is totally like a Galaxy Quest of pop songs. Elton John’s “Your Song” is another one. I heard the other day that Elton John wrote that song when he was like 15. It’s like songs like that are so resonant they wrote themselves, like they never didn’t exist.
I watched a lot of good movies lately. “Children of Men” was so good, it freaked me out a little bit. The movie’s magic trick is that the dystopian future backdrop is immaculate and realistic, but barely addressed directly. There’s a consistent undercurrent that piece by piece, global economy destroyed itself until the world became a mix of totalitarian governments and revolutionary sects. It didn’t seem like science fiction at all. It was documentary, more real than reality. It’s filmed in endless tracking shots with orchestrated action sequences unfolding throughout single takes. You have to see it to appreciate it. It made me sincerely terrified about the future.
Fast Food Nation seemed cartoonish in comparison, but had similar jarring revelations about flawed capitalism. And funny too. Bruce Willis and Kris Kristofferson are unlikely highlights.
Comedians of Comedy is a documentary about Patton Oswalt’s tour with Brian Posehn, Zach Galifianakis and Maria Bamford. They go to small rock clubs and bars instead of tacky comedy clubs. It’s a lot like David Cross’ “Let America Laugh.” There’s a great part that follows them into a Portland comic book store on new comics day. They sit in the car and gush over their purchases and get embarassed in front of the camera.
I also watched “MXP,” or Most Extreme Primate, on TV the other day. It’s the sequel to MVP, Most Valuable Primate, in which a chimp is really good at hockey. It’s actually the third in a trilogy with Most Vertical Primate, where Jack is really good at skateboarding. MXP is about snowboarding. It actually shows a real chimp snowboarding for long scenes with punk music in the background. And there’s some shit about the monkey’s teenage friend coping with divorce or something like that. But MXP is like porn, you don’t really watch it for the story. MXP is probably the Galaxy Quest of movies about animals playing sports.