Sunday, December 12, 2010

Some Unseen Noble Fizzy Journeys

This weekend at Unseen Films I've had a John Cusack double is a write-up of War, Inc., a 2008 film which was a "spiritual sequel" to the brilliant 1997 black comedy, and one of my favorite films of all time, Grosse Pointe Blank. Both feature Cusack playing an assassin trying to redeem himself, learning that life is more precious than he once thought, although the surroundings that his characters find himself in are vastly different in both films. In a bizarre way, both films are actually romantic comedies, although much of the romance is buried behind dead bodies piling up all around, and the characters are certainly VERY flawed individuals...which kinda makes them easier to relate to. They are also redemption films, and about the journeys the characters take to get to their redemption. And speaking of journey...

Lately I've been telling the story of my recent trip back to NYC, but I can see that I'm not going to have enough time to be able to get to the next part of that today, so I think it's time to present the next part in my series of my other writings for Unseen Films. We continue with the comedic adventures of the brilliant Ross Noble, the English stand-up comedian whose lightning quick mind and highly entertaining physical bits make for compelling watching. This time around we look at his 4th offering on DVD, Fizzy Logic...

"Sorry, I forgot to warn you at the start; if you haven't seen me before, there will be tangents." Along those lines, the secret to Ross Noble's style of comedy isn't what he's telling, but how (and for how long) he tells it. Most of his show is riffing off the top of his head about things he's gleaned from chatting with audience members (in this case, you'll meet Randy Pan, the highly flammable wolf, amongst others). But in the course of these talks, he's reminded of things that have happened to him that he wants to relate to the audience. If you're someone who likes instant gratification in your stories, don't waste your time with Noble. Usually, sometime within an hour or so of beginning a story, Noble will get around to finishing it. But it isn't about the finishing of the story. It's all about the journey Noble's mind takes to get there that is so fascinating to watch.

In "Fizzy Logic", filmed in Canberra, Australia in March 2007, Noble relates...eventually...his run-ins with customs agents in Dubai and New Zealand, his interactions with children in Morocco, and the most dangerous thing about riding a motorcycle thru Australia. His descriptions of the Emu, a large Australian bird, border on genius ("A 6 foot feather-duster with suicidal tendencies" is probably the best). And the 15 minute closing of the show that starts with being hit on the head by a falling owl is a perfect example of the brilliance of Noble's technique. The sequence is completely about the set-up, and the way his mind can adapt and flow and adjust to anything thrown his way. Once again, Noble's body races to keep up with his mind in this show, as he is a very active and animated physical performer throughout the entire performance. A truly compelling performer of insane proportions.

While not as over-stuffed as the "Randomist" DVD package (how could anything possibly be?!?), the "Fizzy Logic" 2 DVD set by no means skimps on extras. The main show, with the encore, approaches 2 & 1/2 hours, there is another commentary track by Noble, along with a documentary of his New Zealand leg of this tour. The second disc contains 6 other shows from the UK portion ot the tour, and a 7th "official bootleg", only viewable by correctly answering a quiz about where the other 6 shows were shot. This is completely worth the asking price, and a fascinating look into the mind of an amazing thinker.

Blog Post Soundtrack; Clutch (live), Deftones, Deep Purple (live), obviously some Ross Noble somewhere, and whatever I was listening to when I wrote up the Fizzy Logic piece originally

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