Monthly Archives: April 2003

Real Deal

Monday’s praise of The Real Cancun brought the predictable “You’re kidding, right?” from a well-meaning friend. Now, we make no excuses for our love of all things reality, but the barb got us a little down. So with glee we see that Greg admits to being a “reluctant fan” of the film, and points us to a delicious Joel Stein review in Time. Stein nails part of why this film works:

The Real Cancun also succeeds as a teen comedy. “We grew up seeing the Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello movies, and that would seem so corny now,” says producer Murray. “There are moments in this movie that if they were scripted, they would feel corny, but when they’re real, they don’t.” If Alan, the teetotaler virgin who is transformed by a few shots of tequila into the nerd king of Cancun, were a written character, he would be a lame archetype. Instead he is hilariously compelling. Sure, we know his newfound popularity is mostly owing to his having a film crew in tow, but we’re willing to ignore the Heisenberg uncertainty principle here. If the movie is shot like a documentary, we’re willing to pretend it’s a documentary no matter how staged it is.

Compared to, say, A Mighty Wind, The Real Cancun delivers you into a subculture with far greater glee. And, I think it works because it captures something too seldom seen on film these days: a genuine sense of what it feels like to have a good time, in the timeless Dazed and Confused vein.
· Cue the Tequila []
· On The Real The Real Cancun []

Photo Update

The photograph newly gracing this page (above) was shot by the proprietor of this space looking north-east from the 20th floor of the new Surface Hotel on Rivington Street in late March, 2003. For those who’ve asked us during the last month whether we’d ever get around to posting these images, we reply: Yes, yes. This week. We promise.

A New Presence

“So, do you have an RSS feed?” Mr. Denton asked us in conversation a few months back. “What’s an RSS feed?” we replied, childlike and innocent. “Ah,” he laughed. “That’s the difference between San Francisco and New York. In San Francisco, RSS is all anyone can talk about. But here in New York, people like you don’t even know what it is.”

The good news: We still don’t grok RSS. But now, as part of the general spring cleaning unveiled today that we’ve brought to bear on this old Presence, we’re offering not just one but two RSS feeds. Spiffy, no? Add that to other new innovations, and we’re finally catching up to the West Coast civilized world.

For instance, there’s the fully redesigned Below 14th (our food and drink sideblog), now with user comments that we hope will achieve the level of civil debate so often seen on Citysearch. Posts can now viewed by neighborhood, which thus far has only served to point out the obvious (we write a tad too much about the Lower East Side). And there’s the generally new vibe for this page, as well, which “seeks to preserve the best of the old while exploiting the best of the new.”

All this, of course, is thanks to Movable Type, which we’re embracing for the first time. (Where has it been all our lives?) A tip of the fedora, too, to JCN, who got us going with MT (and still found time to help JVG randomize his comic strip). Thanks, too, to Fictional Company for continued excellence in blog hosting.

And so, with apologies for this colophon, we now return you to your regularly scheduled Web Presence.

More Wisdom

What better use for a beautiful spring Sunday than to catch a pseudoreality/reality doubleheader of A Mighty Wind and The Real Cancun? MBS and I ambled into the Loews Kips Bay (the only theater in Manhattan showing both films) at 3:15pm and came out the other side at 7:15. A Mighty Wind had a few good chuckles, but couldn’t compete with the next movie on our bill. Yes, The Real Cancun was laugh out loud hilarious. People in our theater were literally cheering along. All hail Bunim-Murray!
· Loews Cineplex Kips Bay Theater []

Film School Update

Attending the reading of CBD‘s MFA thesis screenplay at NYU tonight. To my mind, the prĂ©cis is absolute genius:


The pretzel vendor from Boston who became a strawberry vendor at Wimbledon.

The strawberry vendor who became a ball boy.

The ball boy who defied a nation.

$5 says monkeys will somehow be involved.