Saturday, September 20, 2008

Much to my Father-in-Law's Shagrin...

...I attended a Celine Dion concert--the Take a Chance World Tour 2008.

HOW? (the why is obvious, opinions about Celine are pretty strong, either you're there or you're not)

My friend Jed and I had our "crit" sessions the same day, which meant the presentation of both the film I directed, PAS DE DEUX, and the film that I produced, which Jed directed, BENNY BLACK, in front of panels of 3 faculty members (not the same ones). They were baffling experiences for the most part and the end result was--yes, there were some truthful comments, but for the most part the feedback was something that maybe could have helped 8 months ago when the scripts were being developed, but there was nothing that could help shape the current projects for recutting or reshoots or anything--it was basically "well, this is the film you SHOULD have made (insert whatever fleeting thoughts you have here)"--so...that's what the real world is like blah-dee-blah, artists have to have tough skin blah-dee-blah--they really should say something that informs the current presentation--it was a problem I saw in 95% of the crit sessions I attended. Ah well, my meeting with the professional editor was grounded and thought-provoking, and actually applied to my existing project and helped me gain new insight into ways of reshaping the story--so the part I needed to learn for THIS film happened two weeks ago, whereas there are some things I can think about NEXT time I make a short that were said in the crit--or if they build a time machine I can tell my past self what I really need to be working on instead of what I made. Evident faults aside, I am happy with the film and now time to move on...

...As Jed and I were exiting Dodge Hall he said "Well, we're going to a Celine Dion concert tonight at Madison Square Garden." I said (only partially in jest) "really?--I'm jealous--if you have any extra tickets let me know." (As in free club suite tickets from Kate's work).

Well--a couple hours later I get a phone call from Jed--I thought he wanted to discuss the series of unfortunate events that happened earlier that day--well, no, he said "I have good news and bad news--we have one extra ticket--that's all." Before I could respond, Brecken was sitting by and knew what was being discussed--she said "You have to go..."--I didn't know what to say, since I have secretly been wanting to see Celine in concert for several years now (in spite of making fun of her and doing impressions of her in the 90s--which eventually led to my appreciating her--it's a thing I have, I usually make fun of things until suddenly I become attached to them--it has happened with Destiny's Child, Reba--the show, the Twilight Series--things somewhat embarrassing to admit that feel like a confession or that seem to merit an explanation when I admit them--like now).

So I said yes--I went--I ate coconut shrimp, chicken fingers, brownies, and drank soda and juice from the all-you-can-eat buffet in the club suite. I watched Celine's corny French-Canadian popstar antics (my favorite being the chest-pounding-point-to-the-ceiling-bite-her-thumb-and-wiggle-it-at-the audience move and the part where she skipped around the stage singing "We Will Rock You" surrounded by a bunch of dancers all huddled and jumping around in crazy poses, and then she points to the big boxes covered with screens where three faces appear and she says "Yes, ladies and gentlemen--Queen...I would like to dedicate this song to the lead singer Freddy Mercury...THE SHOW MUST GO ON"--I laughed so hard I cried).

But seriously--she is one of the most talented performers I have ever seen--she doesn't miss a beat or a note, her range and breath control is mind-boggling, and her passion, albeit strange and alien-like in manifestation, is sincere. The show itself is quite an amazing spectacle technically, and I called Brecken 7 times to listen to some of the old favorites--even, are you ready for it? Yep-- "My Heart Will Go On" --which was my number one make-fun-of-Celine hit in 1997/98 for those of you who attended the LLHS talent show.

Can you believe it? And it was free--FREE. Jed and I agreed that it was a nice distraction for the day. We also agreed that the stage set-up looked like the Death Star set from Empire Strikes Back (minus the treadmills used for cool running-in-place and sideways sliding moves).

Thanks friends. Would I do it again? Indeed, I would. So sue me.


Kevin said...

Those crazy French Canadians.

"J’espère que tu as passé un weekend très fun." (that's French Canadian for "I hope you had a fun weekend.")

Bret said...

Hello fellow East Coasters- I know Jed and Kate. I was friends with Kate my sophomore year at BYU. I ran into them in SLC a couple of months ago. Small world. I would have gone to Celine in a heart beat.