Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Can You Walk Away From A Fool And His Money?

Q: What do you get when you cross 1/3 of Monty Python with a middle aged Peter Sellers and add a dab of the least talented Beatle?

A: You get
The Magic Christian! You get hijinks at Sotheby's. You get Yul Brenner in drag hitting on Roman Polanski! You get police officers eating parking tickets! You get Mr. Universe tangos! You get fully clothed white people wading through a vat of blood, urine, and cow manure for one pound notes! You get HILARITY!

It must be 15 years since my dad sat me down to watch this horrendously perplexing and inappropriate film as a 12 year old. I was chitterchattering with someone about it the other day and realized I could only remember the very last scene. Soooo, I rented it. Fantastic...I'm telling you. The auction scene put me in giggle fits. GIGGLE FITS. I don't giggle. And I rarely have fits.

So what is this film about, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. Peter Sellers is a middle aged millionaire named Grand with no heir to leave his fortune to. While on a walk through the park one day, he spies a scraggly-looking youth...none other than Ringo Starr (I KNOW) and promptly adopts him. He is dubbed Youngman (Yung-min) Grand, and off the pair of them go, prancing about the country fucking with people. That's essentially it. They fuck with people by seeing what they'll do for money. That's the plot.

But who is the magic christian, you ask? What does the title mean? Well, I'm not about to RUIN it for you, am I? What kind of movie reviewer do you take me for??

My dad is responsible for getting me into culty films like this one. He's always been a huge fan of anything that's out of print. If it's impossible to find...then he's outraged that he can't find it because whatever it was was the greatest example of whatever cinematic example he was trying to give me. He's always appreciated, with great enthusiasm, the opposite of whatever is mainstream and I think that's wonderful.

Well, didn't always think it was wonderful. Sometimes I think he got tired of waiting around for me to grow old enough to share his enthusiam for the "cult classic". As a result, I saw movies like
Easy Rider when I was 10. Monty Python's Life of Brian came even younger. A Clockwork Orange came around 11 or 12. And one fateful Sunday afternoon when I was about 12 or 13, to illustrate two disparate views of the Vietnam War...was the double feature of Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket. I don't think I said much the next day.

But Peter Sellers has always been his favorite. Being There is one of the most quoted films in the household. Well...it's up there with The Pink Panther and Dr. Strangelove, anyway.

Anywho, what was my point? Oh yes...I don't have one.

15 keep(s) me blogging:

froelica said...

I can't wait to have kids, if for no other reason than to screw with their heads and traumatize them with inappropriate movies.
Well done, Kara's dad. I approve.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Yes, your dad is impressive, although I hope the films are not to blame for turning you into Miss Contrary.

As you like cult movies, I wonder what you think of Peter Greenaway's films. Here is an odd one:

Kara said...

fro - well, i don't think he meant to...it was supposed to be more educational than corruptive. and in the end, it worked. but yes...one of the few perks of parenthood, right?

goranas - i don't know who's to blame for that. i am probably the most contrary in the whole family. maybe it's a "youngest" thing.

I've seen Pillow Book...don't remember thinking much more than "this is pretty". and maybe "ewan is hot". But I'll check out the one you suggested and we'll see what happens. It better have Yul Brenner in drag, is all I have to say.

apterix55 said...

And to think I wanted a son! I am SO GLAD we didn't go through with "the operation"!

Ok, next is "Slaughterhaus 5". See it now, then watch it again 30 years from now.

There will be growth in the Spring.

slaghammer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
slaghammer said...

Oh my god, I am your father! Wait, that can’t be, I’ve never seen The Magic Christian… scared me there for a moment. Btw, you are correct, this post is much more to my liking. Now that I have editing rights for blog, see the following roster for your upcoming posts.
- Tools.
- Why dogs are better than cats.
- Mango/Watermelon wine spritzers and Satan, coincidence or conspiracy.
Please provide drafts for authorization three days prior to posting.

Kara said...

apterix - See...only you and I know that the 'Spring' line is from Being There...and that makes me feel like everyone else is much less cool than us. Thanks, dad. Oh, and Slaughterhouse is perched upon the edge of the VCR ready to go. I promise.

slagamous - that's your grecian name. You need to see this movie. It's too bizarre not to be brilliant, you know?

And you do not have editing rights! You have the right to complain, though, and I MAY or MAY NOT listen.

A chuisle said...

i am all about movies no one's seen. i love the list you gave that your father had you watch when you were younger...i feel like it explains so much.

and, i was around the same age when i also watched full metal jacket and apocalypse now.... same situation really. i believe i was silent for a few days as well. crazy grown ups and what they do to us!

Sarah said...

You giggle all the time! What the hell? Remember how you found out you had asthma?

Ian said...

Magic Xtian also has a soundtrack by the most cursed band of all time... Badfinger.

If'n you think that's whacky, you should check out "Skidoo" from the same era. Carol Channing stars as a vixen (!!), and Jackie Gleason has an acid trip where he hallucinates a disembodied Groucho Marx head flying around the room(!!!!!!).

Kara said...

macoosh - so it explains so much, huh? you think my post-traumatic stress disorder is still with me today?

sarah - damnit, woman! i was trying to make a point! but yes, i do...it was lying on my stomach in the living room with you and the gang alternately laughing hysterically and coughing up a lung to Ace Ventura. the end.

ian - I don't watch Carol Channing movies on principle...cause when I was a kid and saw some film where one minute she was singing about jam and the next minute she was a goat. freaked my shit out.

I saw that Badfinger sang the theme song...but did you see who wrote it? Paul McCartney! Poor Ringo, he can't get away.

Orhan Kahn said...

You're going to hate me for not being a fan of the Monty Python genre, aren't you?


Anonymous said...

So, where's your new post, lady. Don't yell at me for not updating, this is old news!

The Future

Jill said...

Jeez, we own almost every movie you mentioned. Except A Clockwork Orange. That one disturbs me.

Your Dad has excellent taste. :)

A chuisle said...

no no no, i think your fantastic sense of humor is still w/ you today. :)