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Entries in Waiting for Guffman (3)

Thursday
Oct132016

This Is The Day Before The Show, Y'all

by Daniel Crooke

In honor of Christopher Guest’s long overdue return to the mockumentary – the costumed cheerleader saga Mascots, hit Netflix at midnight – let’s take a moment to celebrate some of the most indelible characters in his filmography. This collection of ordinary folks in extraordinarily amusing niches – small town actors with big city dreams, obsessive dog owners, outdated folk musicians, awards show hopefuls – could easily be milked for laughs through condescending jabs. Instead Guest and his repertory cohort of improvisational comics imbue their creations with rich empathy and heartfelt humor, no matter how ludicrous their worlds. This marks theirs as a distinctly humanist cinema that revels in personal idiosyncrasies rather than repelling from them, and chooses ironic optimism over sarcastic defeat. While refreshingly full-bodied, they’re, above all else, very funny.

For me, all roads lead back to Libby Mae Brown, the spirited, slack-jawed (low-fat or non-fat) Blizzard queen from Waiting for Guffman, the first of Parker Posey's slamdunk soul-searchers in Guest’s company films. Who among us wouldn't like to meet some guys, some Italian guys, and watch TV and stuff? But the competition is stiff and the runners up are numerous; the distant loss of Catherine O’Hara’s Mickey Crabbe in A Mighty Wind tugs at the heartstrings between laughs while (runner-up at the 2001 National Society of Film Critics Awards for Best Supporting Actor) Fred Willard’s class clown motor-mouth in Best In Show surely pioneered the archetype of lucid and silly sports announcers for performers such as Jason Bateman or Elizabeth Banks. And then there’s always Guest’s own restless dreamer Corky St. Clair, the community theater iconoclast who pops up in Mascots for a second time.

Of all the peculiar characters in the Christopher Guest universe, which is your favorite? The one that most fuels your stool boom, if you will.

Thursday
Aug152013

Morning Truth Tell: Parker Posey Gives Best Deleted Scene of All Time

It was recently announced that Kiernan Shipka nabbed her first big post Mad Men gig. She'll play the lead role in a Lifetime TV's remake of Flowers in the Attic [src]. "Who's on top and who's on bottom now?!?" But the only thing I can ever think of when I hear Flowers in the Attic is the genius of Parker Posey, who famously lampooned both the incestuous book and bad acting in an audition sequence for Waiting For Guffman that she wrote herself.

Sadly this scene seems to have been removed from the internet altogether which does not alter the truth that it is the single greatest deleted scene of all time or at least the funniest "bad acting audition" ever recorded for the cinema and brought to us on the magical soon to be archaic DVD machines. (And lord knows there is an abundance of competition since bad audition montages are a total cliché.)

Live this truth. Carry it with you today.

Thursday
Jul072011

I Vant To Link Your Blooooog

Frankly My Dear what's behind the Dreamworks Paramount animation split? It is all the panda's fault?
Playbill God help us all. Suri Cruise is making her first movie appearance in the musical Rock of Ages (2012). 
Daily Beast Were Waiting For Guffman's Corky St. Clair and Marcus Bachmann "Separated at Birth". oh lol, good hearty life-affirming lol. 

Cinema Blend OMG first images from Amy Heckerling's Vamps with Alicia Silverstone, Krysten Ritter and Sigourney Weaver, though no one has fangs! Remember when we thought that movie might get Michelle Pfeiffer? Sigh. Good times. So glad SigWeavie got it if we couldn't have La Pfeiff. Speaking of vampires, if you haven't checked out the latest True Blood episode review, please do.

Old Hollywood Notable moments in pre code history: The Sign of the Cross
IndieWire wonders if James Marsh (Project Nim) is the new Werner Herzog, equally at home in documentary and narrative worlds.
Towleroad P.S. I really liked that film, the Nim documentary (and more links if you just can't get enough.)

Finally... thanks to Super Punch for pointing out this old proposal for a Batgirl costume (in the Alicia Silverstone days). The illustrator Miles Teves was proud of this.

I regret that my idea of the cut-out Bat symbol window on the chest, showing a little skin and cleavage, didn't survive into the final suit. I thought it was kind of clever, and added just the right amount of wholesome flirtiness to the character.

But he knew it wouldn't work for Silverstone's proportions. More at his website.