Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Your Kids Hate You

Directors, Writers and Actors who make aesthetic choices based on their children should stop.

I was leafing through a copy of Entertainment Weekly when I came across an interview with Roman Polanski. In it, he spoke of his desire to make Oliver Twist being directly related to his children. His other films being too violent or too shocking for pre-teens, he wanted to make a little sixty million dollar something that his kids would be allowed to see and might appreciate. Now, honestly, I like Oliver Twist as a book and I think Polanski making it into a movie will probably be pretty darn entertaining. But his impulse to make something for his kids echoes an identical intent to which many filmmakers have attributed their worst choices. There are two reasons no one should involve their kids when making movies:

1) Kids are dumb.

- Sorry, but it's true. They haven't read a lot of books and they haven't seen a lot of the world so generally when they want things, they want dumb things. This isn't terrible. They get smarter. But they start off kind of foolish. I, myself, found it enormously entertaining to eat sticks of butter as a child and throw rocks at barns. If a filmmaker had asked me what type of character I'd like to see in his or her next movie, I would have told them eating butter was awesome, and that the characters should eat a lot of butter and then go have rock-throwing contests and maybe shoot some lasers too. Though I can't back it up with links, I do feel like a few filmmakers have made things based on the likes and dislikes of their children. Jar Jar stepping in poop and saying things like 'Exsqueeze me' sure makes it seem like a child or two were executive producing Episode 1.

2) Your kids will hate you

- When R-rated directors make things for their kids, it just infuriates their children. All kids want to see R-rated films and probably love having a parent who makes dark, edgy stuff. To make one's filmmaking choices more palletable for your children is also a lame way to reach them. Do you think Spielberg's kids are going to grow up and look back on Hook with any fondness? Maybe they'll really respect the guns in E.T. he changed into walkie-talkies. No way. They'll look back on Jaws and Close Encounters and the original E.T. and ignore the times dad compromised a film on their behalf.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Tonight Some Nights Ago

That's me pointing my finger at Jay Leno on August 10th's Tonight Show. I was in mid-joke there and got a nice laugh shortly thereafter. I swear.

My Crying, While Eating co-creator Daniel Engber and myself were flown out to Los Angeles for an appearance on the same show as Seann William Scott and Aqualung as well as some beach games with Stuttering John to talk about our website, Crying While Eating It was a whirlwind of nice hotels, limo rides, pre-show jitters and post-show adrenalin withdrawal. S. W. S. - super friendly. He actually jumped in during our chat a couple times and diffused some awkward moments. Aqualung - damn nice as well in the post-show, on-air meet & greet. While they were playing, we were all standing on the edge of the stage. Truly, I was trying to listen but kept finding myself distracted by my brain's instant replay: "Fuck! Did I say THAT? Man I hope I didn't sound like an idiot," were just a few of the thoughts running through my over-stimulated mind. Still, what little of the song I parsed, I found catchy. Jay Leno - We had a knuckle-cracking contest that he handily won while we shot promos for the show we had just taped. He couldn't believe we hadn't made any money off of our website. I wish I could say I share his disbelief. As I said on the show (after trying it out backstage), we are terrible businessmen. I have now used that joke three times. I will get some new material and report back.

To everyone who watched: Thanks!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

High Time

Yes, it's been a while. Yes, our readership has dwindled to negative numbers (when we post now, people turn off their computers and sit quietly). And yes, it's time to get back on the blogospherical horse.

I'll keep it brief and anecdotal for the moment:

Yesterday, I went to a bachlor party at one of those brazilian churrascaria restaurants out in Queens. Called the Master Grill, it is essentially the equivalent of sitting at the end of a meat processing conveyor belt. Each table gets a wooden peg with a green top and a red top and uses it to signal the need and hunger for more meat from waiters wandering the restaurant or to signal, 'dear god, we're full, please stop bringing said meat to the table.' If you're a fan of gorging yourself and then using excess meat in any number of whimsical table games (How much meat can YOU cram into a wineglass?!?) AND you LOVE the happy birthday song (played at least a dozen times in the two hours we spent there), go here!

Long story short, a friend of mine stole the red and green peg from the restaurant and has thus far been unsuccessful in applying its power to other locations.