11 hours ago
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
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.
Says kara at 11:00 AM