Sunday, June 10, 2012

It's Enlightenment, Man

If you think you hear fingers snapping, it's just beatnik applause for the evening.

Some friends just need to be scooped up and made to go out sometimes and tonight was one of those sometimes.

I took her to Lunch for dinner because she hadn't been and I knew she'd love it.

Make no mistake, it was a little warm in Lunch, but, to be fair, it was a warm day, it's a small place and I'm already sick of over-air conditioned buildings (and it's only June).

Let's just say that I was pleased I didn't need the sweater that I'd brought (just in case).

Seeing as how it was still happy hour, what winos could resist $3.50 glasses when everything on their short list is fair game?

Not us, that's for sure.

I admit, I fell victim to the siren song of Lunch's pulled pork. Yet again.

It was my fifth time there and I never seem to stray far from the pig that dominates the menu.

Why would I?

Bacon and corn griddle cakes loaded with pulled pork and cole slaw delighted as much as they had the first time I'd had the dish.

My friend chose the pecanwood-smoked bacon-wrapped shrimp over stone ground grits once I rhapsodized about the last time I'd had it.

Our server was sweetly attentive, even letting us know ten minutes before happy hour was to end in case we needed more well-priced wine.

We did.

What we didn't have room for was dessert, but that's been the case every time I've been there.

Fat and happy, we left to get some culture and snap ourselves out of the food coma that had descended.

The James River Filmmakers Forum was playing at the Visual Arts Center tonight, which meant five filmmakers were going to show us what they've been up to.

Bruce Spivey's film about the VSU gospel chorale and musician Larry Bland showed the energy and passion of a gospel performance as well as the spiritual awakening such shows represent for some people.

"Asleep in the Chapel" by Mike Buchbauer was a gorgeously-shot film showing a girl showering, dressing and waiting.

When it ended, film teacher Ted Salins commented, "Great film, but it would have been better if you'd picked a more attractive woman."

General laughter ensued since the girl in the film had been lovely.

"Can we see it again?" he said salaciously and hilariously.

Salins was introducing a film made with his first-year film students, "Beatnik Party."

After the third week of classes, he has the students dress and talk like beatniks.

Obviously for college freshmen, this involves a fair amount of research to even discover what a beatnik was.

Lots of sunglasses and nonchalance.

The film began with snapping fingers applauding a performance and went on to use appropriate beatnik slang.

"Blow my top," one said with the indifference of a Beat. "Like wow."

I wasn't in the least surprised that once they got into it, some of the students began to adopt Beat fashion and language outside of class.

Only a square wouldn't get the attraction.

We were told that "Singularium" by Joey Tran and Sean Hambright was shot in a week and took eighteen months to do the special effects.

That tells me that filmmakers have a special kind of patience. But also humor.

The program clarified, "Shawn would like to punch Joey Tran in the kidneys when he isn't looking, then kick him about the had and chest. Joey has it coming."

The story centered on the collapse of the universe and one guy's problem with his girlfriend, who kept clarifying that they weren't getting back together.

Once you break up, there's really no point, even with doom staring you in the face.

The movie's music caught my ear and I found out in the credits that it was done by Prabir, he of Goldrush renown.

Hunter Brumfield's "Biosolid" got played last because, we were told, "It was being redone in the back room at the last minute."

The experimental film left the girls behind us whining,"I don't get it."

But that's the beauty of the James River Filmmakers Forum.

You don't have to "get" all of the films. Or even some of them.

You don't have to like them, either.

It's just a fine opportunity to see what's going on in the local filmmaking community.

From what I saw, praising and dancing. Soaping up of a belly. Repeating girlfriends. A girl eating laundry detergent.

And bongo playing.

Because some things will always be worth snapping your fingers about on a Saturday night.

Dinner at Lunch was one. Local film was another.

And bongo playing, always.

Dig it.


  1. the girls should have listened to "Biosolid"'s narration more closely: Phosphate-based time travel is perfectly ethical.

  2. They should have, but too often people expect to be spoon-fed. I enjoyed the thought-provoking aspects of it.

  3. Thanks for coming out Karen . I always look forward to reading your blog.