A Mighty Wind -- 10/04/03

We picked up a DVD to watch last night -- A Mighty Wind -- an amusing comedy, one of those fake documentaries. This one is about bringing three popular folk music acts from the past back together for a concert at Town Hall in New York -- The Main Street Singers, one of those large, happy, upbeat groups, except these days they are called The New Main Street Singers (because they are mostly younger replacements) and are performing at minor league amusement parks in Florida -- The Folksmen, three guys, traditional troubador folksingers -- and Mitch and Mickey, folk-singing sweethearts, except they split many years ago, Mitch has recently spent time in a mental hospital and Mickey married a medical supplies salesman and these days sings about catheters at medical equipment trade shows.

The movie is amusing -- never roll-on-the-floor laughing -- but it produces a reasonable quota of smiles and chuckles and is a pleasant evening's entertainment. It has a warm feeling to it: the spoofs of various folk sub-genres are right on target, but these parodies feel as if they are done by people who actually enjoy folk music; this is not a mean-spirited satire. By the way, I am coming more and more to appreciate the work of Eugene Levy (you may know him as the father in the American Pie movies) -- he plays the part of Mitch and also is co-author of the screenplay (along with director Christopher Guest).

Like most movies out on DVD (and this one was just released a few days ago) it has a supply of extra features. Some are the usual stuff -- the theatrical trailer and a collection of deleted scenes (and I didn't need to listen to the commentary to decide that the movie was better off without most of those scenes). I really enjoyed the other extra features. There is the "Public Broadcasting Network" broadcast of the Town Hall Concert. There is also a collection of the television appearances of these groups from back in their glory days. I watched some of them last night after finishing the movie, but was too tired (and feeling too rotten -- I have a cold) to stay up and watch them all. Tonight I intend to watch all of them -- the ones I saw were marvelous.

Woke up feeling rotten. Yesterday's sore throat still with me, plus head congestion for my added enjoyment. Gillian went up to Providence to see Trinity Rep's production of Proof (a play by David Aubern) -- Nancy would like to see it so maybe we'll go to see their Sunday night performance. Depends on how I'm feeling. Meanwhile, I guess I'll go stick this up on the Internet and then see about fixing some dinner.

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