What movie was that...?

21 January 2012

Conan O'Brien Can't Stop

First of all, let me apologize for the dead air on OMFBC, but I was on my honeymoon. Desolee.

directed by Rodman Flender

Okay. Rodman Flender is no P. T. Anderson (Flender’s highest achievement is Idle friggin’ Hands), and his doc chops carry no flash and pizzazz, but his glimpse into the world of late night host Conan O’Brien is both telling and astonishing. And hilarious. Can’t Stop was filmed during O’Brien’s involuntary hiatus from television by way of the actions of a-hole NBC television execs, and as O’Brien develops and ultimately embarks on a relatively grueling national tour, what Flender captures behind the scenes is the most telling. As O’Brien performs for his audience of friends, family, and coworkers (in addition to his actual packed house performances), complains about not having a time off one minute then organizes a secret show on one of his only days off, we see a man with serious issues struggling with a compulsion that seems, somehow, very familiar. As a film, Can’t Stop is nothing special, but as a character study, it’s a must see, a portrait of a fanatic unwilling to draw the line between business and pleasure, private and public, a man full of paradoxical desires who refuses to reconcile these two worlds. Yeesh. It seems the more behind the scenes comedy docs I watch, the more I discover how truly dysfunctional and dark comedy is.

2 comments:

  1. Welcome back BC I hope married life is treating you well.

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  2. Thanks Paul. Married life is the business, as they say. I love it. How goes the world of film appreciation in your neck of the woods? I'm sure you hear this all the time, but I sure do miss OTRA. I was watching Hard Times the other night and thought of you. Two-Lane is on the menu tonight, and I'm thinking of making it a double feature with Thunder Road or White Lightning.

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