Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

The power of the blues compelled us: The Blues Brothers at the Bagdad

Is it just me, or was the crowd for last night's screening of The Blues Brothers especially cute?

Maybe it was just me, and the crowds for Cort and Fatboy's Midnight Movies are always cute, and I just was more in the mood (VERY much in the mood) to notice how many people were cute. Thank you, crowd.

This film needs to be shown more in revival, NON-EDITED showings. It holds up epically thirty freakin' years after coming out, and is still hilarious. It played huge to this geek audience. Our crowd was loud and appreciative, cheering almost every cameo (except for Twiggy, who not enough people recognized), clapping to many of the music-and-dance numbers, and happily yelling each time Dan Aykroyd uttered "We're on a mission from God."

It wasn't a dancing crowd, though. Some dancing, but not neatly as much as I'd hoped. Even Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory had far, far more dancing! There may not have been much dancing even when Target for Tomorrow and the Horns of Destruction (the band's MySpace; the band's Twitter; and the band as it appeared on stage last night) were playing pre-film, being brassy in a ska-flavored way. I didn't see enough of the crowd pre-film to be sure, but whatever dancing there was, THERE COULD'VE BEEN MORE. The power of Blues compels you. Or should.

But the crowd was warming up just fine for the film, judging by how the audience popped when our fine hosts Cort Webber and Bobby "Fatboy" Roberts entered right before the screening, dressed (of course) like Jake and Elwood. They weren't the only ones; screening attendee Mike "Culture Pulp" Russell sighted others here and here and here. They announced the Friday, April 2nd film, Kevin Smith's Mallrats (rock!), then got out of the way and started showing The Blues Brothers.

The movie remains (as I wrote when reviewing Blues Brothers 2000 back in 1998) "an industrial comedy, full of steel and steely glares," which is phrasing I've always liked. It manages to be simultaneously deadpan and loud. It makes car crashes funny. It subtly rearranges the world so it seems the events could happen, from being able to book and fill up a benefit concert that quickly to what happens to the Nazi car*. (Speaking of making fun of Nazis, the film changed a real Nazi group's name from National Socialist White People's Party to "American Socialist White People's Party" so its acronym would sound like "asswipe." Take that, Nazis!) The energy stuck with the crowd through a break in the film, where footage boiled away and the film broke when the band got to the country and western bar. The last time film broke at a Cort and Fatboy screening was the notorious first screening of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but this time the people of the Bagdad got the film spliced and going again. It took about 10 minutes to get the film restarted, and the audience's energy was still there as the film got crazier. There was still a lot of energy in the crowd at 1:30 when it ended and people filed out.

And people were still cute. Again, I noticed that a lot this time. *thinks of the cute* *floats off to happy place*



* When I first read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and read the scene where the sperm whale falls out of the sky, I realized that I pictured the whale's final landing much like the Nazi car's final landing. Some twenty years later when the Hitchhiker's film actually happened, the film-whale's final landing indeed looked rather like the Nazi car's final landing.
Tags: midnight movies, portland
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