A reader writes:
Discussion has been going in and out on your blog about your or OGIC’s or whoever’s five favorite things–books, movies, records, etc. I believe you sort of answered the movie question but haven’t yet addressed any other categories. Here’s another party question that I kind of like: What is your quirkiest favorite? Something you love that (seemingly) no one else gets.
That’s a great question, and I wish I had a great answer, but the sad fact is that the rest of the world always seems to catch up with my aesthetic idiosyncrasies sooner or later, usually sooner. I guess I’m just not cool enough, or maybe too centric.
The only thing that comes to mind off the top of my head (something went wrong halfway through that last clause, but you know what I mean) is W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings, a long-forgotten 1975 movie about a small-time country band. The stars are Burt Reynolds, Art Carney, and Ned Beatty. It was written by Tom Rickman, a hack whose other films include Tuesdays with Morrie and The Reagans (as well as one very good Walter Matthau picture, The Laughing Policeman), and directed by John G. Avildsen, a hack whose other films include The Karate Kid and Rocky V. W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings used to turn up on TV every once in a while, but I haven’t seen it in years, and it isn’t even available on videocassette, much less DVD. I absolutely adore it, at least in retrospect, in part because it reminds me of my own idyllic days as the bass player in a small-time country band. Reynolds is fabulously charming, Carney and Beatty (and everybody else in the cast, for that matter) dead solid perfect. As if all that weren’t enough, there’s even a scene shot in the back room of Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville, right across the street from the stage door of the Ryman Auditorium, where I sat and watched the Grand Ole Opry on a hot summer night 31 years ago. Et in Arcadia ego!
I suppose I can’t recommend W.W. in good faith to cinephiles who haven’t eaten a whole lot of truck-stop chicken-fried steak washed down with Dr. Pepper, but any reader of “About Last Night” who can send me a pirated copy will nonetheless earn my undying gratitude.
What about you, OGIC? Got any quirky faves you’d care to acknowledge?