I wasn’t in New York at the time myself, but I’ve heard on numerous occasions that after the towers fell on 9/11, many UCB people immediately congregated at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. That was just where they thought to go; it was second nature for them to walk in that direction. And…
“Because comedy isn’t competitive warfare with one winner, it’s a team effort, and when one wins, we all win.” Word.
We’ll mis you Chris Kelly. From the first time you sat in our sketch class with Ari Voukydis, until today, I’ve been a fan. You are a positive force in the world of comedy in NYC, and at the UCB. When you move to LA, there will be a shift in this energy. Shows will continue to be funny, but it will take time to fill the gap you’ll leave in the comedy world of New York.
Tonight Kirk and I went to see a movie by Kaneto Shindo at the BAM Rose Cinema: Naked Island. Very few people know of him. If you talk about Japanese filmmakers, people will talk to you most likely about Kurosawa, sometimes even about Ozu, but never about Shindo. As a matter of facts, when you see the Wikipedia pages for these three, the two former are much more elaborate than the latter. I discovered Shindo in my early teens, when I was watching old movies late on Friday and Sunday nights on French television. My mom never protested, not even on Sunday Nights - she knew that I needed this. It was part of me growing up artistically and personality wise.
I watched a lot of TV, but I watched it to learn, to absorb as much art as possible. Any ways, I discovered Shindo with Onibaba, which is a sexual and violent tale fo two women who kill to survive… I won’t tell you more than it involved magic, and swords and nudity and it’s awesome and it was released in 1964 in Japan.
From the day I discovered Shindo, I felt that he was”mine.” He was MY Japanese director of choice.
Tonight, Benicio Del Toro said the EXACT SAME THING at the BAM. He discovered Shindo with Onibaba, and then moved on to some of Shindo’s other movies. Naked Island is VERY DIFFERENT from Onibaba; yet, some of the themes are universal: Survival, Pain, Poverty, Resilience… What I feel when I watch a Shindo is really hard to express. On the big screen, these feelings are exacerbated. I always wanted to keep those to myself, yet sharing them is rewarding and satisfactory, especially with someone as enamored with Japan as I am (Kirk is maybe even more than me). Naked Island turned me inside out, upside down - I was literally bawling in the theather but had to keep it quiet and under wrap (there was a talk with Benicio Del Toro and Mr. Shindo’s sun after the movie). I don’t know how I kept it in but now it needs to pour out - it’s a mix of sadness, and hope, and helplessness in the face of life’s adversities, and acceptance and courage to fight and move forward… very mixed and powerful feelings.
If you are looking for me next week, I’ll be at the BAM to watch some of his other movies on the big screen (Children of Hiroshima, Onibaba, and his final work at the age of 99 Postcard). I’ll also be an emotional mess. Go see Shindo-son’s movies or you will be missing out on something amazing, and on a powerful and overpowering emotional experience.
“In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people’s home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!”—
Schmukler Twins - My All Female Harold Team... It's Ridiculous...
How much I love this team. Ridiculous. Also ridiculous how beautiful, intelligent and funny these ladies are. I can’t believe I am lucky enough to be on this team. Every time I see this video I made, I get chills to see my name and picture among these ladies. Ridiculous.