Evan's Eyes

Web Log Entry #0060, Sunday, April 13, 2003: Day 146

Anchorage Sunrise: 6:46am Sunset: 9:15pm High Temp: 44° Low Temp: 39°

When one thinks of Alaskan culture, images of fur trapping, dog-sled racing, and drinking come to mind. These are indeed real aspects of the local culture, but Alaska has more facets than meet the eye. For example, there is an interest in obscure film and video. The movie section of the paper listed three showings of "Brits and Their Telly," a collection of award-winning British television commercials at a local art film center. I had to go.

Once there, I realized a few things. The film center theater could squeeze in 100 people. This means that of the 300,000 people within driving distance of this theater, 300 or less will see this show. Those who are quick with math may calculate this as 1.8% of the population (those who are slower but more accurate will come up with 0.1%). So the British-TV-loving Alaskans is a SMALL group. However, they all wanted to attend the same showing, so when I arrived, it was sold out. I was #15 on the wait list, so I loitered by the front door, reading the "Upcoming Events" board which consisted completely of events that had already happened.

Perhaps it was luck, or an unexpected blessing by divine forces that like me best. A VERY, VERY nice woman came in with a handful of tickets that she couldn't use (something about not wanting teenagers to see the racier bits). Standing by the door, I was in a prime spot to buy one of her tickets (okay, I admit I checked to see if it was REALLY for today's showing, not because I'm paranoid, but the nice lady might have been confused). It was good. I was in.

When I entered the theater, the pre-show music was Monty Python's "It's Christmas in Heaven." I was ecstatic. I've been Monty-Python deprived up here, and listening to a collection of songs from the various Monty Python episodes and movies was a perfect pre-show appetizer. I was a little disappointed that the other people in the theater were talking and not listening in attentive silence, but I guess they didn't know any better. Maybe they all have the CD at home.

While I enjoy television, I despise most commercials. These, however, were really good. The funny ones were a riot, the PSA-type were quite compelling (although it's a little weird to be in an audience chortling through a sequence of ads, then the next ad starts, the audience is ready to laugh, and it turns out to be a public service announcement on the importance of wearing seatbelts, demonstrated by a frighteningly realistic depiction of a teenager bouncing around the inside of a vehicle in a multi-car collision. We all went quiet for a bit). All in all an enjoyable show, especially the lingerie ad with a blonde model riding a velvet-covered mechanical bull that was WAY better than any Victoria's Secret commercial I've ever seen. I wonder if she goes to Pilates classes?

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© 2003 Evan M. Nichols