I’m happy to report that I’ve officially hung my wee shingle on the media industrial complex having moved into new offices on Broadway this past week. Here, among other enterprises, I produce a range of media and entertainments, including the very words that comprise this column. Now, if anyone inquires about my whereabouts, you may say that I’m a Broadway producer.
Of course, gags that conflate the Broadways (ours and theirs) have been around longer than Sonoma’s first vintage. These include references to the “Great Wine Way” in lieu of NYC’s “Great White Way,” which was named for the lights of the theater marquees and arc lamps that lined the streets. Of course, I prefer our sobriquet – given my druthers, I’d always trade “light” for “light-headed.” I’ve also heard Broadway described as Sonoma’s Champs-Élysées, which I suppose would make City Hall the Arc de Triomphe. Though there is no tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the hall, as there is under the Arc in Paris, there is a recycle bin with plenty of “dead soldiers” in it. I know, because I put them there following a picnic in the Plaza during last week’s film festival. My gang of journos, filmmakers and otherwise blithe spirits retired there briefly after our protracted screening earlier in the afternoon. Kudos to homegrown filmmaker Mike Lee, who took the “Special Jury Prize Local Short” for his teen-drinking morality tale, “The D.D.” That Lee, who I believe is under 21, received a magnum of Gundlach Bundschu 2004 Rhine Farm Vineyard Merlot is just one of the many ironies I enjoyed during the festival (the other being the parties from which filmmakers were turned away, because, alas, it’s a film festival). Fortunately, the paparazzi are my pals so whenever a volunteer bouncer tried to bulldog me from an entering, a shooter was there to kindly ask them to get out of her shot. Once inside, we the media and filmmakers had to hide our badges (colored hot pink and electric blue, respectively, the better to track us, my dear) so as to blend with the patrons whose badges were a “sober gray.” As one popular gadfly snarked of the preceding adjectives, only one was actually accurate. I begged to differ and she called me a sycophant, but before I could counter my karmic comeuppance arrived in the form of radio personality Raul Gallyot who drenched me with a glass of viognier while trying to squeeze his way back to the wine line.
It was alright, I needed a drink, even if it was on my coat. I had just experienced 22 minutes of “La Palilalie,” an experimental film by Jacques Bollot, which was described in the program as “the result of a process reading into the consequences of the digital way of thinking. This declining mode of thinking remodels old metaphysics into natural science. Palilalia, is the most refined pattern of repetition, where many types of opinion vectors have learned to appreciate these qualities, probably following the post modernist trends of depreciatory constructions.” I have no idea what this means, however, I can say the film’s incessant and repetitive visual motifs and distorted computer voices succeeded in tripping out the audience such that Jesse Levine texted me that Sarah Duran had become “brainwashed.” This, dare I say, was Bollot’s point (if not brainwashing Duran in particular, then the audience in general). Bravo. And permit me to say, that Jacques Bollot is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life. Perhaps I can get him a deal on Broadway. Make that off Broadway, you know, like the Champs-Élysées.