I WILL EAT YOUR SOUL
I still have a long post to finish about my weekend, but in the meantime, I’m going to ramble about that music video DVD release party from last night. I hate Hollywood parties, mostly because they’re full of Hollywood people. But I was really excited about seeing the videos on a big screen and with an audience, so I forced Drew, who hates Hollywood parties even more, to use his invite to take me there. When we got there, the line stretched around the block. The buzz was that the theater seated 750, and 1,700 people RSVP’ed. If we’d gotten there any later, we wouldn’t have made the cut.
The line moved really slowly, and while we waited, we enjoyed watching which celebrities got to walk right into the theater (i.e., Andy Dick) and who had to wait on line like the rest of us schlubs (i.e., Sarah Silverman). When we finally got up to the front after about half an hour, Drew stopped at the table to check in. I walked right past security without a word and never had to explain myself to anyone. Maybe they thought I was Beck. (My hair was a bit messy last night.)
The Egyptian theater is really nice and has a large section of stadium seating. But as it turned out, all the good seats were reserved for people with “pink tickets” (not us). So we sat on the lower level, where the seats are so close to the screen that they’re tilted upward planetarium-style. Normally I might feel slighted in that situation, but a lot of people worked on those videos, and I was just some lucky Jack who knew somebody who knew somebody who scrounged up some extra invites. Bjork deserves to watch her own work without cramping her neck. I was happy just to be there.
Before the screening, some guy came up and introduced the whole thing. I have no idea who he was, but was really nervous, for which I was grateful. People who enjoy attention are often boring public speakers. When somebody’s anxious, there’s always the tension that they’ll screw up, and that keeps me interested. He spoke for a few minutes, then introduced the directors, Spike Jonze, who looked like an old guy trying to look like a teenager (a look I fully support), Chris Cunningham, whose face was not visible from behind his tousled, shoulder-length black hair (meaning he looked like a music video director is supposed to look) and Michel Gondry, who was so adorable I wanted to take him home and give him a big ball of yarn to play with.
The videos, of course, were amazing, and thankfully, each director tossed a couple of more obscure ones in the mix. I finally got to see Gondry’s video for Cibo Matto’s “Sugar Water” again. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. I had never seen any of Cunningham’s videos before (at least not the ones he showed last night), but the crowd favorite by far was a video he did for Aphex Twin. It was about a bunch of little kids in creepy disfigured old man masks who attack a grandma who’s out walking her dog. Then a devil creature comes out of the TV and screams at her. I kept waiting for the devil creature to eat Grandma or disembowel her or something, but all he did was scream. Whatever. He could’ve done that from inside the TV. If there’s a theme to Chris Cunningham’s work, it’s putting creepy disfigured old man masks on unexpected people, whether it’s little kids or booty-shaking home girls. Interesting, but I’d rather watch Bjork get eaten by a giant teddy bear any day. Gondry’s stuff was easily my favorite. Please, really, can I take him home with me?
There were three stools and three microphones set up at the front of the auditorium, which had us all expecting a Q&A, but when the lights came up, everyone just left and headed to the party. Oh, well. It spared us the usual types of questions at these things: “Hey, you know the part when the devil creature screams at the Grandma? That was cool.” Q&A sessions at events like this tend to be a lot like “The Chris Farley Show”.
The party was the part I was dreading. Drew would know tons of people, and I’d be smiling and saying, “It’s nice to meet you” a lot. It’s not very often nice to meet people, which isn’t a commentary on the people but on the act of meeting itself. Meeting people is hard – at least for me – but you can’t be honest and say, “Hello, I’m uncomfortable meeting you” or “Since we have yet to establish any common interests, I’m struggling to think of something to say” or “I’m deathly afraid that you’ll find me boring and prematurely abandon me for a trip to the bar or the bathroom or a friend you’re pretending to see far, far across the room.” All you can say is “It’s nice to meet you”, which makes you sound phony, which is what makes people hate Hollywood parties, which makes me no better than everyone else. Thanks, but I don’t need to come to parties to realize my limitations as an individual.
Thankfully, with Drew’s droll commentary (Which basically boiled down to three things: “I hate her.” “I hate him.” or “I fucking hate her.”) to keep me entertained, things weren’t too bad. The event was catered by an airline, which was not a good sign, and the menu was all organic, which was even worse. So Drew and I skipped out early and went to Mel’s Diner for a burger.
There were no gift bags on the way out, no freebies, not even for people with pink tickets. So that means I’m going to have to make a Best Buy run today to pick up my copies of the DVDs. I’ll also be picking up the new Tony Hawk game, which comes out today.
Can anyone get me into that party?