As I write this, we are about five hours before Super Bowl kickoff. For a bunch of reasons, I?m just not very excited about watching it today. In the context of the virus and all that is happing, it just does not seem that important. The best part was spending time with good friends and, while we will, can, still do that on zoom, it is, of course, not the same. The only snacks we will have are our own, darn.
There are several parts of the Super Bowl experience: the game itself, the commercials, the puppy bowl, and the halftime extravaganza. I have not watched much of the halftime show for a few years. It?s like a Vegas show on a field?high production value with little substance, from music acts that I usually don?t care about.
When the puppy bowl started, I thought it was great, but it has worn out its novelty (however Adopt don’t shop). The ads used to be a real highlight. It was like the Sundance film festival for commercials, especially during the dot com era. There was an absurdity to commercials. It was like something never seen in the history of TV commercials. The great spots were often more discussed than the game itself. Off the top of my head, I can?t think of one great commercial in the last few years.
As for the game itself, there is some hope. The story of young vs. old quarterback and the love-hate (mostly hate) relationship for Tom Brady will fuel some interest but divorced from the hated Patriots, it?s not the same. My only real interest in the game is my good friend MB, who is a major Chiefs? fan. Were it not for that and spending time with my friends, I might skip the hype machine altogether.
Boy, I sound like a grumpy old man. Sorry about that.
Cinematic Conversations Last week?s discussion ofMankwas insightful, and as often happens in these, went in places I was not expecting. If you missed it, it?s worth a watch.
This week we will be joined by Gordon Smith, local film guru, to discussThe Last Picture Show,which is on Amazon. I?m sorry that it?s not free onAmazonPrime,but it?s inexpensive ($2.99). I haven?t seen this film since it came out in 1971 (a good year for cinema). This is the film that made Peter Bogdanovich a household name. I?m very much looking forward to seeing this again. Ya know, whenever you watch a film, you bring your worldview, mood, taste, and own mishigas of the moment with you. In 1971, I was 18 years old; my world view and my life experience is so different, now. It will be fascinating to see how I react, so tune in on Thursday night and see.
Recommendations One of the films I wish I had seen at Sundance wasJudas and the Black Messiah. Here is the description: ?Offered a plea deal by the FBI, William O?Neil Infiltrates the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party to gather intelligence on chairman Fred Hampton.? It reminds me of the section of MLK/FBI about the FBI gathering informants. At the time, I thought that could make a film in itself, and here it is. Speaking ofMLK/FBI,we will have Sam Pollard later in the month.
Again, I recommend the Undermain?sThings Missing/Missed.Some other films to check out In and of Itself on Hulu. On Amazon Prime check out Sam Green?s, Weather Underground.
Petercan be seenalong with Bart Weiss Artistic Director of Dallas VideoFest and 3 Stars Jewish Cinema, Ferne Pearlstein ( director ofThe Last Laugh), fellow 3 Star members and filmmaker Cynthia Salzman Mondell and Allen Mondell, P Sharon Pucker Rivo Executive Director National Center for Jewish Film talking aboutHester Street
The event is FREE but spaces are limited. RSVP email@example.com reserve your opportunity to streamEpisode 4 from January 31 to February 13, 2021, and join the follow-up live conversation viaZoom on Wednesday, February 17, at 7:00 PM Central.