McDaniel: Money for ‘Nothing’,‘Nothing’ Funny about Noah: The ‘Something’ Shadyac Was Getting At | Word on the Street
by Douglas McDaniel
Jul 15, 2007 | 435 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Word on the street is old Charlie stole the handle and the train it won’t stop going, no way to slow down.

What other impression can be drawn, without exploding in venomous cursing of your fate, whenever caught in this summer’s Construction Festival?

Sure, you can take the Gondola, rather than sitting in your automobile for the double-dipped big dig, in order to avoid staring at the back of some big rig for half-an-hour or more on the Spur. But the Gondola stats must be up to the mountaintop in slowdowns. Even our Disneyland answer to commuting and congestion is feeling the strain. And stats for mental breakdowns during those frequent stops on the G., too. Especially if you are left to sit and stare with a sense of mystery and wonder at the Town Mountain Village’s attempt to challenge the very mountaintops with more large buildings of their own.

The deconstruction of the Spur, at least, lends some historical accuracy, sending us right back to 1881 – except that today, Butch Cassidy would have hard time making a getaway.

Hollywood allusions are the only way to get through this, period. A skilled magician such as Tom Shadyac, in resurrecting the Noah’s Arc story with Evan Almighty, a $78 million box office hit, tells us a flood is coming – there’s nothing funny about that. Time to build an arc, he projects, moviewise, and there’s nothing funny about that.

Nothing less than epic, biblical imagery can suit us now, or at least cosmic satire. Maybe for his next film, Shadyac can redo George Orwell’s Animal Farm, since raising a mysterious windmill as a public-works project fits here, too.

He could search big, dig deep, look into the old honored myths. He could ask the master architect himself, his symbol affixed to the old Masonic building on main street, with the gargoyle looking down across the park, or consider the idea that the whole point of building Solomon’s Temple wasn’t all that different from creating one giant movie set.

Nothing much is constantly being built in order to amaze, amuse and woo the masses.

Making nothing look like something is the business of set building and, apparently, of arcs. The sacred architecture is all applied there. It’s all an illusion within an illusion, all planted upon this great desert void with a giant eye staring down. But the Egyptians could have organized the Construction Festival better, and we don’t want to go any further down that road: At least nowadays the hours are better.

All Nothing festivarians out there may have a beef about the botched job the mad architect has been doing lately. There is nothing less than the combined lack of local planning, or too much – who knows? Both seem to be going on simultaneously. The big windmill is going up, yes, for mysterious reasons.

As the Creating Something from Nothing Festival is projecting a perfect storm out there, just realize Telluride is making a real big movie now, a $50 million thriller about $50 million arc, and, sorry, the plot doesn’t have to make sense.

Let’s just hope the Nothing Festival gets bigger year after year in order to support this boffo blockbuster smash.

Let’s hope the plot is all leading to something.

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