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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Friday (3/13/09) 5:50pm - ... wherein Peter watches a few videos from Chris Allen.

C. J. has posted a few videos online, and asked me what I thought of them...

It's kind of a tough assessment for me, because Ceej and I have diametrically opposite senses of humor.  He goes heavily into surreal stuff, and most of my jokes are much more cerebral and constructed.  (I still have no idea how we co-wrote a sketch show together.)  Sometimes, when Ceej does something that doesn't work for me, I have to wonder if I'm just not the target audience.

But I figured there's no harm in watching the vids and letting him know what I thought.

1.  "Highly Suspicious"
This is a fanvid for the My Morning Jacket song.  It's pretty random stuff, but it still worked really well for me, I think because Ceej has a good sense of pacing here -- or perhaps, he realizes the *song* has good pacing, and he doesn't screw with a good thing.

We see Ceej in drag lip-syncing the falsetto line of the first 30 seconds or so of the song.  It holds my attention, and then at the exact moment I start getting bored, Ceej #2 shows up to voice the countermelody.  Believe it or not, I can spend a minute just watching Ceej look gruff and lip-sync the words "highly suspicious" over and over again.  The 'Ceej holds up random objects' runner kept working for me, because he just found the most random things to bring to the camera (bowling trophy, paperback of "The Metamorphosis," etc.).

Then when that ran out of funny, we get the air-guitar solo generated in post, which is also novel and fun.

However, in the last minute or so, it loses steam -- it looks like Ceej doesn't have anything more up his sleeve except for the fact that Ceej and Ceej-in-drag are the same person.  That reveal makes for a fun 10 seconds or so, but I'd already sussed out that Ceej was playing both parts at the *start* of the video, so I didn't even get much out of that reveal.

2.  "le squirrel"
Alas, this one didn't really do it for me.  Maybe if I were more familiar with the French avant-garde films that Ceej is riffing off of, I'd relate to it better.

Without that, well... I mean, I tried assessing it as conventional sketch comedy.  In that regard, it has potential.  Sure, there's a lengthy intro, but once we've introduced the man-in-goggles, and the man-in-goggles' wife, we have a pretty good running gag going -- like some combination of Battlestar Galactica and the "world that no man should ever see" from Being John Malkovich.  Maybe we'll see the attempt to catch a squirrel get disturbed by more and more imaginary friends and --

-- oh, no, now it's about something else instead:  a long montage of 'squirrel training'.  Well, it's... intense, I guess, and I'm sure it relates somehow to art films that I'm unfamiliar with.  But I just couldn't find humor in its weirdness.  (Full disclosure:  montages generally make me a bit stabby, these days.)

Ah well.  Moving on:

3.  "Sunshine"
Another fanvid, this one to Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown".  Unfortunately, this one had its audio yanked by the Evil YouTube Police.  I tried playing it simultaneously with a youtube vid of a live performance of the same song, but I probably missed most of the impact of this one.

As it was, I wasn't really interested in what I was watching -- mostly walking around lip-syncing, with occasional flashes of out-of-the-ordinary (Ceej singing from inside a bag, Ceej in drag again).  Still, can't properly assess this one without proper audio.

So, by my reckoning, that's one win, one lose, and one draw.  And I have to give props to Ceej (and jefpeanutbutter, who's been helping out IIRC) for producing a video short *every week* for three weeks running.  I know from experience that this is very very challenging. :)

Mood: [mood icon] impressed · Music: none
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[User Picture]
Date:Friday (3/13/09) 6:14pm
Hey Peter, thanks for the feedback! I'm glad we could muster a little bit of enjoyment for ya! :) Here's Sundown with the audio...
Keep watching every week, ok? We'd love to hear more of what you think, for better or worse!
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[User Picture]
Date:Friday (3/13/09) 6:33pm
Thanks! and will do!
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