This Recording

In Which Molly Reminisces About The Boys Of ’97 by Molly Lambert
July 19, 2007, 6:02 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

In More Innocent, Pre-J. Lo Times

by Molly Lambert

“You know, I always thought Matt Damon was kind of a Streisand, but he’s rocking the shit in this one!”


Apparently Miramax golden boys and Oscar winning screenwriters Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are finally “writing” another movie.

Here they are surfing with their hot wives in Hawaii, where they are on a “writing sabbatical” to work on their new screenplay.

living the dream

Hollywood lore has it that Good Will Hunting was heavily rewritten, like unrecognizably, by William Goldman. If you remember back to the interviews Damfleck did (I do) they were always telling people that the movie was originally about a math genius janitor who becomes a rocket scientist for NASA. Now that sounds like a movie two out of work actors from Boston would write.

And naturally Robin Williams was improvising in every scene. He doesn’t know how not to. It’s getting very sad, and it’s the very saddest when clowns cry. This may tie back in to my fear of circus horror.

William Goldman is credited with the phrase (regarding film) “nobody knows anything,” which is spoken at some point by some person in every documentary about film ever made. Goldman wrote/adapted Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men, The Princess Bride, and Misery. None too shabby.

But he’s also responsible, along with director Lawrence Kasdan, for Dreamcatcher, which is not only the worst Stephen King adaptation ever, it may be the worst film in history. Imagine all the elements of a good Stephen King story. Boyhood trauma, car wrecks, Magical Negroes (quintessential M.N. Morgan Freeman riffing on Colonel Kurtz), and spiritual forces, possibly alien in nature.


Now wrap them around a story involving Donnie Wahlberg as a M.R. (Magical Retard) and tape worm monsters that are swallowed and then (fatally) shat out by actors like Jason Lee and Timothy Olyphant and you will have this cinematic abortion.


Anyway, the point is, Damon and Affleck won the screenwriting Oscar a decade ago. But you know who should’ve won instead? P.T. Anderson for fucking Boogie Nights!

hipsters at the oscars

Studio City, respect

Now there was a solid gold script. But Boogie Nights is such a perfectly fluid unification of film elements, you barely even notice the great script. P.T. Anderson dropped out of film school and made films with the viewer’s knowledge that was the hallmark of the third wave indie directors of the nineties. He’s friends with Quentin Tarantino, which makes sense because they’re both Southern California natives and total video store geeks.

cool neck beard

Here’s hoping There Will Be Blood lives up to its sweet trailer.

P.T. Anderson’s father was a Cleveland TV personality known as Ghoulardi, a beatnik goofball who hosted a late night horror and sci-fi movies show.

Ghoulardi: Probably A Pretty Cool Dad

Apparently Ghoulardi was a big influence on the eighties “Weird Midwest” music movement. Bands like Devo, Pere Ubu, and the Cramps were fans.

Speaking of early modernist TV personalities. Ernie Kovacs pioneered surrealist sketch comedy.


Ernie as poet Percy Dovetonsils

a Percy Dovetonsils poem:

The Moon

The moon is full of craters
It has some mountains too,
But because there are no people,
No one goes to the Zoo.

His influence shows up in things like Kids In the Hall, Mr. Show, and the work of Spike Jonze, who presumably named himself after other early TV comedic personality, Spike Jones.


The Many Faces Of Ernie Kovacs

Kovacs also invented a lot of camera tricks and effects that are still commonly used in TV. He understood that TV was a medium with its own unique strengths and helped push the visual aspects of the artform.


Classic Sketch “The Nairobi Trio”

The Bob Seger System: Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man
Jorge Ben: Chove Chuva

Did you know Sacha Baron Cohen has a brother named Erran, who performs world music under the name Zohar and scored Borat? And how about their cousin Simon, the esteemed autism researcher? Ashkenazi Intelligence?.

Speaking of which, who is the cuter swarthy foreign comedian with a super hot accent?



Or Jemaine from HBO summer hit Flight of the Conchords?


Tough call!

Molly Lambert is the senior contributor to this recording. Respect.

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12 Comments so far
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This post was just too cool. Fantastic shotgun elements, ping-ponging and pinballing, hitting all the hot spots and ringing all the buzzers and bells. Fascinating content and visuals. Princess Fiona anyone? Kovacs and “Rambling Gambling Man,” wow! When will this album be re-released? Check out Glen Frey’s first recorded performance on background vocals. Also check out the great version by Black Oak Arkansas. Well done.

Comment by r

I object to these overly sexualized pictures of Sacha and Jemaine.

And if I have to correct your spelling of Jemaine again, I will be forced to play the song “She-Wolf” and address it to you.

Also, Dreamcatcher is maybe the most underrated movie of all time. It’s a clusterfuck because no one had any idea what they’re doing, but I mean, Thomas Jane, people! Has no one seen Arrested Development!

Comment by alexcarnevale

Neck beards are so IN this year. Turtlenecks are out.

Comment by Greg

[...] Molly went in the time machine back to 1997. [...]

Pingback by Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Sitting Here Listening to This Recording

[...] finishing Punch-Drunk Love in 2002, Boogie Nights director Paul Thomas Anderson found himself fumbling for a follow-up. ”I was really sick of the way I was writing,” [...]

Pingback by In Which We Discuss Various Movies We Are Intrigued By « Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Sitting Here Listening to This Recording

[...] am telling you, someone cast this man in a Harry Nilsson biopic stat. Does P.T. Anderson have a next project lined up yet? This is a golden opportunity to strike while the iron’s [...]

Pingback by In Which We See Nothing Shameful About Watching Cruel Intentions 3 « This Recording

[...] Chove Chuva  [...]

Pingback by Warm Ur Heart Up with : Jorge Ben! « Musica Religia

[...] Molly went in the time machine back to 1997. [...]

Pingback by In Which We Have To Wait Another Month For Our Greatest Fear To Be Realized « This Recording

[...] When people tell you how they’re going to say “fuck it” to life and move to some other city or country and then you see them three months later at a party and they’re all “o, hai,” Alex’s crush on Ayn Rand, when Alex threatens to make a list of “The top 10 Women Of All Time” and asks for help because he can’t come up with 10, culture-bound syndromes, fanfic, Ernie Kovacs [...]

Pingback by In Which We Stop Feeling Sorry For Ourselves And Learn to Laugh Again « This Recording

Regarding your quote from Percy Dovetonsils, the last line is actually “No one goes to the loo.” The “loo” is a British slang for the toilet. Remember, Jack Paar was censored at this time for making the reference about a “water closet”.

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