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Watching

Video Digest: September 28, 2007

The best supergroup anti-drug car-chase videos featuring Alan Thicke that you've ever seen, reviewed by Llew Hinkes: LSD education; National Geographic meets stadium rock; the aesthetics of cocaine; supergroups to the rescue; Paris racing; Alan Thicke as promised.

Like revenge fantasies, anti-drug videos are a creative bonanza for those visionaries who know how to exploit both sides of an issue; righteous indignation at the social ills while simultaneously indulging in their lurid details ills. There’s a treasure trove of anti-LSD educational films out there that depend on a quick simulated psychedelic experience to inform the youth so they know what to avoid.

If you were a filmmaker stuck making bland instructional videos that are forced down the necks of bored schoolchildren, some visual garage psychedelia could supply a great opportunity to actually exploit this filmcraft for once. This is essentially the history of B-movies in the U.S.—carnivals that would show National Geographic nature films of topless Polynesian women as stag reels and anti-LSD films with the same oil-drip special effects as an Electric Butterfly concert.

Sadly the crack epidemic of the ‘80s didn’t provide the same cinematic possibilities. Because the aesthetics of cocaine abuse share much of popular culture, there’s not much room for exploitation. At that point it had already permeated everything, from Miami Vice on down to Fleetwood Mac, so the logical next step had to applied: a musical supergroup of semi-celebrities.

Is there anything musical supergroups can’t do? If the RIAA had their druthers about them, I imagine they’d be putting together a supergroup right this very minute to combat the scourge of internet music piracy. Maybe an updated rap-metal version of “Don’t copy that Floppy” would work? The Linkin Park breakdown alone would be worth the price of admission.

This video of Claude Lelouch driving like a very controlled madman at ungodly speeds through the streets of Paris has been at the back of my mind for the better part of a week. There’s something so calm and collected about the whole process. This is what games like Gran Turismo try to emulate, but these efforts are best left in the hands of professionals.

I have a lot of ideas for movies (ask me!) that will never, and should never, be made. Really, they’re only theoretical pieces meant only for art-house audiences who still won’t “get it,” which is the only real reason to make a movie in the first place. Then when I’m rich and famous I can look back on those peons and laugh in their faces that they couldn’t realize the genius in my presentation of Alan Thicke rapping the pledge of allegiance in Urdu, the poor savages.



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