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Day 61: 'Micmacs'


Being in New York at this particular time of year, I only have one thought on the brain - who turned on the freaking heat? It's 6:24 in the evening, and the temperature on TV - and believe me, it feels this way outside - says 102 degrees. 102 degrees? Are you kidding me? Imagine my despair when I walked the 1.2 miles from the Cooper Square Hotel to what I thought was the Angelika Film Center only to realize that I'd written the address down wrong and was stuck at the City Cinemas Village East, where I'd seen everything on the marquee, and I was now 1.9 miles further away from the actual Angelika.

I figured maybe I could grab a cab, but every New York cab driver in the vicinity seemed to have a sixth sense about this goofy guy from out of town who didn't know how to properly hail one. After a quarter mile of unsuccessfully bobbing up and down like an ostrich, I decided to just hightail it on foot to see the screening of Micmacs that was supposed to start in 15 minutes.

Huffing and puffing and pouring out of sweat glands I didn't know I had, I made it with less than three minutes to spare. Either it was the extreme heat, my 3/4 mile dash, or jumping cities every half day, but I admit that the screening blurred in and out of my semi-conscious state of being.

As with every Jean-Pierre Jeunet film to date, especially Amelie and Delicatessen, Micmacs swims in colorful, stylized cinematography. It's the tale of a likeable outcast who's adopted into a family of outcasts (including a human cannonball and a female contortionist who fancies him) after he's accidentaly shot in the head - caught in the crossfire of dueling, villainous arms dealers. What follows is a lyrical, surreal adventure about how these eccentric heroes get even with the baddies. It's good - worth checking out, especially if you're a Jeunet admirer.

Besides the movie, the venue - which reminded me of the Laemmle Monica indie house in Santa Monica, if it were turned into a cineplex with a coffeehouse in the middle - and movies in general are starting to blend into an all-encompassing experience. Midway through Micmacs, I'd forget - where am I? Chicago this morning...New York...or is it Boston? No, it's New York...the hot New York from Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, sans the racial infighting. I'm here for one more day. Thankfully, I'll be inside an air-conditioned theater.

Shoot, actually, the screening tomorrow is outside. Good news for some - at least any New Yorkers who might be reading this blog. Fandango is co-sponsoring Brooklyn's SummerScreen series at McCarran Park, and we'll be there screening the supremely awesome Say Anything. Find me if you are there. If you're down for braving the unseemly temperature, then you most certainly deserve some free Fandango Bucks tickets.


The real Angelika on Houston opposed to the non-existent one on 12th street...

The indoor cafeteria...a perfect place to escape the heat...

And finally, a face I recognize in NYC...

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