So the question you might have is what in the heck is a “This American Life Movie Encore.” I wasn’t sure myself until last night. Let me break it down:
This American Life is a radio show, hosted by Ira Glass, that now has a TV show (Showtime), that now has a movie. But the movie last night was actually a live taping of the radio show on stage in NYC last week. How do you host a live movie? Good question. Apparently when they first aired the movie last week, there was a live feed from on stage in NYC to movie theaters across the country. (?!?! wow! Has this ever been done before?) I was unable to attend the live movie, but was free for the encore of the live movie last night. The funny part is that Ira knew there was going to be an encore last week, so he would talk to the audience watching on May 1 (shout outs to the theater where his dad was watching in Baltimore) and then he would talk to the audience on May 14 (Latecomers!). It was really messing with my space-time continuum (see what happens when you watch Star Trek, you start using words like space-time continuum).
The movie had the same format as the radio show: one+ hour split up into acts where 4-5 people are tell their stories and are sometimes interviewed. The theme of this particular show was “Return to the Scene of the Crime”. The stories told in the movie were for the most part excellent, leave that one weird one with Neil Patrick Harris in Dr. Horrible’s Sing A Long blog.
The prologue was about a girl in Florida who had stolen from a convenience store and as part of her punishment, had to return to the store and spend several hours holding up a sign that read, “I stole from this store”. Act one was “D-U-Why?!”, a story by Mike Birbigilia about how he was hit by a drunk driver and then blamed for it because of a carelessly written police report. He ends up owing the drunk driver 12 thousand dollars because he can’t get anyone to listen to him (talk about frustrating). Act Two was a story by Starlee Kine about enjoying being the most popular girl at a rehab center. While she reads the story, there are a series of drawings done on Post-It notes shown on the screen behind her relating to the story. They are the work of Arthur Jones who does the Post-It Note reading series (these are really incredible). The last story is by Dan Savage, who writes a sex column called Savage Love. His story was called “Our Man of Perpetual Sorrow”, and was a story about his issues with the Catholic church before and after his mother’s recent death. Excellent piece, that had us all in tears.
The other kind of interesting thing about last night is that I went to the movie with a good friend of mine and her mom and step-dad. I had talked to her step-dad for a while at a friend’s party a week or two ago and learned that he had just taken a few classes last year to become a DJ at a local station. I told him that this is something that I would love to learn to do and last night he brought a whole folder of contacts and emails, and formats of how to get started. So I am very excited to contact the station and take a beginner course in radio. Think local station with few listeners, not “NANO IN THE MORNING!” : )