Thursday, February 7, 2008

In the Buff!

Who would you rather see in the buff?

Option a: Avant-garde playwright
sporting fishing vest
Option b:
Humorist blogger
sporting tiara

Great news! You don't have to choose. You can see us both in the buff.

Even better news: we will not be naked. Cause the buff we will be in is the Boston Underground Film Festival, which will take place next month at the Brattle Theatre (known to the hard up undergrads in Harvard Square as the place to go on a date with that pretentious guy from discussion section).

Besides being a sporter of fishing vests, Richard Foreman is a freakdog playwright, and I mean freakdog with the highest level of admiration. Discipline is the key for a writers, and good ol' Richard, he gets up every morning and first thing, before he walks the dog or reads the Times or cashes the latest check made out to "Genius" from the MacArthur Foundation, he writes.

He writes dialogue. Not for any particular characters in any particular setting. Just dialogue. Then when he's got about 50 pages writ, he gathers it up and puts it on the internet for the free use of anyone interested in disembodied freakdog dialogue. This being America, home of the freakdog and the brave, a surprising number of people are interested.

One of them is Linda Austin, artistic director of Performance Works Northwest. Every year, PWNW hosts a Richard Foreman festival. Linda chooses a random section from Foreman's journals, lines up a bunch of artists (dancers, poets, etc.), and gives them 10 days to make some work based on the selection.

The performers bring a range of talents to the project. Or at least most of them do. Me and my squeeze the Cheese, we just brought a lot of crap we had lying around the house, and of course my predilection for the digital camera.

Guess which of the following items we did not have in the house before the 10 days of awe:

Hello Kitty head on musclebound transformers body
? Had that.
Two-headed red corduroy cat? Had that.
Sword-shaped letter opener commemorating the Alamo? Had that.
Staghead candle holder? Had that.
Now Serving sign from the California Department of Correction permanently stuck on inmate 66? Had that.

What we didn't have was the goldfish, in either medium (cracker or rubber). But since we wanted to depict a Foreman poem called "The Goldfish King," we ran right out and got them.

With these treasures and our usual collection of plastic astronauts, plastic bison, and of course the head of Farah Fawcett on a pencil, we were able to cast a nice five-minute, four-act video. Although the closing credits did acknowledge, "Some goldfish were eaten in the making of this film."

Anyway, if you have ever wanted to see the marriage of a transgendered Hello Kitty to Farah Fawcett as set to accordion music, then the Boston Underground Film Festival is the place for you. Fishing vest and tiara optional.

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