An absense of dark, but

So last night was the big movie screening over at MIT, where they showed Is It Really So Strange. I had pretty high hopes for it and it actually came really close to hitting them.

First though, I had no idea when Bill told me about this that it was in a way tied into the current Cameron Jamie exhibition at the MIT List Visual Arts Center. Also, sometimes I forget that Bill's kind of well known, as he whirled me through the exhibit real quick before the film - it was pretty impressive.

ANYWAY, the film itself was so well done, especially for a music documentary ["the, if you will, "rockumentary""] with no music. That took some settling into, but turned out to work really well - the scene where everyone talks about the first song they heard? No way would that have had the same impact if it had been scored.

Additionally, I still can't remember the first Smiths song I heard [probably "The Headmaster Ritual" but maybe "The Queen is Dead"]. As was outlined in the film, my generation's obsession with The Smiths was more isolated as we all sat in our own bedrooms alone, playing the vinyl over and over. Quickly trading cassette tapes before class to double and triple our growing music libraries. The second wave of fans that this film focuses on are a much more social bunch than we ever were.

And a pretty bunch! I had totally forgotten the whole James Dean/greaser/1950's Americana vibe that was so integral to some of Morrissey's early work. Hands down, my favorite scene was when the director William E. Jones appears on camera to have his hair done into a pompadour. It was the most delicate act to watch.

I think that's where I was a little misguided about this film - that it would be so good, and that it would treat it's subject with such respect. We all know Morrissey fans are a little laughable - but other than the father/son combo there was no one in that movie I could laugh at, and I went in SO ready to point and laugh at the freaks.

ANYWAY, next week there are 2 more events directly related to the Cameron Jamie exhibit - Wednesday's lecture "America's Fascination with Pro-Wrestling", which sounds awesome, but I can't make it, and Thursday's screening of Hell House, another cult-film documentary I've always meant to see but never got around to it.

You know what else I realized with this film? I never owned the first Smiths album. That's an indie kid felony - I'm gonna have to relinquish my safety glasses until that's taken care of.


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