Gabbed a bit with Steve Kuusisto the other day. He was calling from the deep freezes of Iowa where he teaches and where he and I met a hundred years ago. As it often does, our conversation drifted to the important things in life. For instance, he who yam what he yam. Popeye the Sailor Man.
We’re both fans.
Be glad you weren’t listening in.
Steve and I can’t talk about Popeye without both of us cracking ourselves up with our dueling Popeye impressions, and neither of ours is all that good.
It’s worse for eavesdroppers when we talk about the Three Stooges.
Back when we were at the University of Iowa together, Iowa’s basketball team had a player named Jeff Moe. Pretty good guard. Drafted by the Utah Jazz but as far as I know never played for them. Watching games on TV, Steve and I couldn’t wait for the inevitable moment when the announcer said, “Moe’s got the ball.” At that point one or the other of us or both together would start in. “And Moe passes to Larry. Larry shovels it to Curly. Curly goes in for the lay-up and…he’s fouled. ‘OH, a wiseguy, eh?’”
It would go on, and on downhill from there.
We didn’t get around to the Stooges this time. Reason we were talking about Popeye anyway was that Steve had called to cast his vote for what movies to include in the upcoming First Ever I Hate Robert Altman Virtual Film Fest, which as I posted last month is going to be held right here, on this blog starting Thursday night, January 14, 2010.
Steve’s choice was Secret Honor, which, frankly, I think he chose because it allowed him to do his Richard Nixon impression.
Steve has never seen Popeye. I have. Didn’t care for it. But it has some votes for the film fest and could wind up on the schedule if it gets enough more.
So here’s your chance. Vote for Popeye or not.
So far the schedule’s shaping up to include California Split, Thieves Like Us, and The Player. Secret Honor and Buffalo Bill and the Indians are both in the running and I’m thinking of doing them together in an Altman Fucks Around with History Night.
Two of the films a lot of people have let me know they’d like discussed, Brewster McCloud and Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean are not available on DVD, which is a crying shame. Neither is HEALTH. I don’t know if that’s a crying shame because I’ve never seen it. Nobody has. I don’t think even Altman himself got to see it.
Right now, Nashville and A Wedding are vying for a spot and there’s been votes for Cookie’s Fortune, an underrated and underseen late Altman that I think is far better than Gosford Park, which is a leading contender for inclusion.
So please chime in with your choice. Don’t feel you have to pick from any of the ones I’ve mentioned. There are plenty of dark horses in the running. Steve also voted for Three Women and, if I was voting, I’d pick Gingerbread Man or Dr T and the Women.
Here’s Altman’s filmography.
Please let me know. I’d like to have the schedule set by the beginning of next week.
And don’t shy away from Popeye just because I might start talking like him.
“Well, blow me down!”
Or worsk, laughing like him.
“Ack ack ack ack ack!”
Or even worsker than the worsk, singing like him: