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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Doing the Cannes Cannes

The Cannes Film Festival is in full swing now, and films from around the world are playing on the big screen at the Riviera. Here are a few of the lesser-known selections, rare and unusual films that probably won't play in the cinemas of the U.S. or Britain.

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Blue Desire of a Sun-Drenched Yacht Upside Down in the Myrtle Waters of the Meditteranean Sea beside My Lunch of Kalamata Olives and Espresso - Lina Wertmuller's newest film is an international co-production about a female Italian director's quest to deliver the most outlandishly long film title ever. I don't mean to give away the ending, but the lead character succeeds beyond her wildest dreams in the first five minutes of the film (the opening credits), then spends the rest of the picture indulging in her balaclava fetish and proclaiming loudly during her opium binges that George W. Bush is the Anti-Christ. Screenplay by Lina Wertmuller and Sean Penn.

War, Murder, Death, Destruction, and More War - An initmate drama by unknown German director Hans Orffdermerchdize, this film examines the interminably slow mental breakdown of an enlisted man who has seen too much horror and tragedy in his time as a submarine cook. Starring Bruno Ganz as the submariner who has a way with omelets, and Danny DeVito as a lobster named Frank. Screenplay by Max Speebek, from his novel War, Murder, Death, Destruction and A Lobster Named Frank.

Demon Cowboy Samurai - Japanese auteur Takeshi Miike's latest bloodbath of a film. No synopsis is available, but from what I could tell from the trailer, the film appears to be the story of a young samurai warrior who has every single part of his body cut off in slow-motion, except for his right nipple. Reportedly this film was inspired by both Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Yentl. Co-written by Quentin Tarantino and Barbara Streisand.

Cheap Sex in a Cablecar over the Alps - Some French film with loads of NC-17 rated behaviour. I normally don't view such films and couldn't get into this one anyway as it was standing room only. Thank heavens the French are so much more sophisticated about sex than the rest of us, or more people might have been trampled on than the 40 or so who were when the cinema doors opened. I hear Roger Ebert gave it a big thumbs up though. No, that wasn't a euphemism. From a previously unknown screenplay by Woody Harrelson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Genghis Khan.

What Is This Film About? Help Me Out Here! - Italian neo-neorealist Dounoima Biggafraudi's new epic about a young man, disillusioned with society, religion, capitalism, people, and everything else except sex and drugs. He goes into a catatonic trance in the opening scene and spends the rest of his life as an ashtray. One of the few films with the actual ability to suck the physical life from its audiences. Lars Von Trier called it "touching", but Jean Luc Godard claimed, in his careful, analytical way, that the film "really sucks." The leading candidate for the Palme D'Or of course. Written by no one in particular.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Frequent Flyer Miles from Hell

CNN reports that London-based consultancy Skytrax has just released a list of the world's 10 best airports and lounges. Not surprisingly, London Gatwick did not make the top ten owing to its "facilities more suited to sheep-herding than world-class travel...sniff, sniff".

We here at DOUI are very interested in travel. As some of you know, one of our associates, the inestimable Stew Miller, has been traveling with his family at Disney World this week. (For those of you who were there, Stew was the one on top of the geodesic dome in Epcot, with the major pants malfunction.)

So, allow us to offer our list of the world worst airports and lounges. These are places you wouldn't want to be caught dead in for a five hour layover, or where you might just be caught dead if you have a five hour layover.

10. Medellin International Airport, Colombia - The Cartel Lounge. This exclusive lounge is actually quite luxurious and opulent. It contains saunas, hot tubs, bikini-clad professional massusses (massussi, whatever the plural is), massive world-class restaurants and bars, and baggage carts made of solid gold. Unfortunately, the clientele are all drug-trafficers with violent rivalries against one another. So that guy lounging in the hot tub next to you hasn't been snorkling without a hose for 40 minutes. He is, in fact, suenendo con los pescados...which explains the unusual bald spot on the very back of his head.

9. Siberia International Airport, Russia - The Gulag. There are two simple English words to describe the ambiance of this notorious lounge: Frickin' cold. This is a part of the world where your vodka martini could freeze over if you don't sip it quickly enough. The seats aren't made of stone, they've just frozen that way. Heating units are occasionally repaired or reinstalled in a Quixotic attempt to stifle the vicious mean streak mutha nature has unleashed here. They usually commit suicide by exploding after 15 minutes of futile work. It does, however, give the heavily-clothed airport staff time to thaw out the building and locate passengers from previous layovers of 30 minutes or longer.

8. Antartica International Airport. All right, it's not as cold as Siberia International, and the facilities aren't really that bad. Nothing works though and the service is horrible. Why? Everything is run completely by penguins. Cute little birds, but the flightless, web-footed, fish-snarfing little gits couldn't run a restaurant to save their lives. Example: Everything on the menu is some kind of cold, raw fish. They do attract the odd Japanese tourist looking for rare sashimi.

7. Heraklion International Airport, Crete - The Labyrinth Lounge. A lot of walking. Bring breadcrumbs or a large ball of twine. If a maitre'd approaches whose head is that of a large bull, run for it.

6. Tehran International Airport, Iran - The Ayatollah Lounge. Here you can relax surrounded by dozens of beautiful women. Well, I think they were beautiful...they were covered from head to toe. I think they were women too, although one may have had a beard. Let me just say that the Iranian people are wonderful, generous, and hard-working, but their rulers are some of the weirdest lot I've run across. I won't say any more, lest I wind up like Salman Rushdie.

5. Death Valley International Airport, California, USA. The opposite of Siberia International Airport. The one big advantage: You can still get a hot meal, even if the electricity and gas are off...even at night. Avoid the scorpion and gila monster salad. I don't know what Wolfgang was thinking.

4. Atlantis International Airport, Atlantic Ocean (Somewhere east of Spain and west of New York City). You try going through customs in a deep-sea scuba kit.

3. Khartoum International Airport, Sudan. Not bad unless you're non-Arabic, Christian, animist, European, American, Asian, Black African, non-Muslim, or have a sense of humor. If you fall into any one of those categories, I recommend routing around this airport, unless your idea of a great layover is a permanent one in a shallow grave, accompanied by vigorous physical abuse. Still, if you don't fall into these categories, I hear the couscous isn't half-bad.

2. Hartsfield International Airport, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. This is on anyone's list. The airport's really not so bad as far as amenities go. However, almost every flight involves switching concourses, and traveling from gate to gate is only slightly less arduous than the journey Dante took through the Inferno... and that's only if the inter-concourse train is running. You don't think I'm serious? One time, while switching planes at the airport, I distinctly remember seeing Virgil sitting in the lounge as we entered the concourse. He had a really insensitive smirk on his face for one of the "virtuous non-believers." Also, just above the exit of Concourse A is a large sign that says, "Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Have a Flight Departing from Concourse E."

1. Pyongyang International Airport, North Korea. Wall to wall pictures of the "Beloved Leader". This is what people mean by "the inmates taking over the asylum". Still, if you like high-levels of radiation, malnurished staff, sado-masochism, and dancing, this may just be the place for you, Mr. Hussein. A word of advice though: Under no circumstances should you try the mystery meat.

And they'll have two more, and so on, and so on

Twins Mary Maurer and Melanie Glavich have continued the family tradition by having baby boys on exactly the same day, only 35 minutes apart. The happy mothers, said that it was all a matter of meticulous planning and that the boys would be continuing the tradition when they grew up as well, "if they knew what was good for them."

"Do you know how hard it is to time labor down to the hour?" said Dr. Gingko Kookstrom, a family friend and practicing OB/GYN/Podiatrist. "They were up and down, walking and pushing and comparing centimeters to try to stay together. It was both exhilarating and disgusting!"

The twin moms say that their next goal is to have two sets of twins at the same time, then perhaps triplets if they can work out the immense mathematical calculations and biological engineering involved. "If necessary, we'll move to Massachusetts, where we can get the necessary state assistance."

There is no truth to the rumour that Mrs. Maurer and Glavic are themselves conjoined, at least not physically.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Glazer buys Manchester United?

"It was all a big mistake," said Manchester United supporter Ian Rothschild. "We were all ready to protest and demonstrate and boycott games, when the new owner of the club skid-turns into the car park outside Old Trafford in a Ford Gran Torino! A bright red one, with a big stripe down the side!"

Man United supporter Benny Cocxyx added, "He got out of the car, took three steps backwards, then took a flying leap across the bonnet, landed on his bum, slid down to the front of the car and stood there with his arms folded. It was so impressive, we all shouted, 'GOOOOAL!'"

Yes, thousands of Manchester United Football Club fans were scrambling about in a mad panic today, fearing that billionaire Malcolm Glazer, owner of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, had bought out the club. What they didn't realize was that, in reality, the club had been bought by legendary actor Paul Michael Glazer, Starsky, from ABC TV's Starsky and Hutch.

"I like soccer. The Gran Torino's red. Manchester United wear red. I had a few billion in television residuals laying around. It was a natural," said Glazer, wearing shades, a leather jacket, and, despite Britain's stringent anti-gun laws, a shoulder holster carrying an automatic handgun the size of Ryan Giggs.

"This means a complete turnaround from this morning," said Man United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. "One minute, I was trying to figure out how well Manchester United Buccaneers was going to sound, and how quickly we could get orange kits with skull and crossbones. Now, all the new Chairman's told me to do is to work the Gran Torino racing stripe into the jersey, and make sure he, David Soul, and Antonio Fargas have box seats at the midline."

Glazer indicated that Manchester United planned to "blow away" the competition next season. Meanwhile, in a related story, 95% of Manchester residents admit that they have never heard of the television programme Starsky and Hutch.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Look dude! I can see the Capitol from here...

Understandably, Washington D.C. residents were alarmed today when a single-engine plane wandered into restricted airspace over the city. Military jets were duly scrambled and major government buildings quickly evacuated. Fortunately, the plane was not an impending terror plot, but had merely wandered off course and not responded to radio signals. However, in this day and age that's a receipe for a sidewinder enema (not this kind of receipe).

Now that the "all clear" has been sounded, we can all breathe a little easier and recognize this for what it was: an honest mistake. Just to confirm this, DOUI has obtained the voice recorder from the plane in question.* Here it is for your perusal (French for "checking out with one raised eyebrow".) The names have been obscured to protect, well... to protect us from needless legal harassment if you want the honest truth.

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Pilot: Well, we're lost dude. We were doin' fine flying by the sun and the horizon, but I aint got a clue as to where we are now.

Co-Pilot: You're certainly right, dude, number 2. You are cer-tain-ly right.

Pilot: Hey, is that a river down below, man?

Co-Pilot: You're certainly right, dude, number 2. You are cer-

Pilot: Knock it off, already. Chump.

Co-Pilot: Sorry.

Pilot: Yeah, that sure is a river. We can use that to navigate by. We'll follow that into the nearest big town and land at the local airport. Man, this extreme navigating sucks.

(minutes pass... they both stare at the river with fixed beady eyes, waiting for it to reveal its secrets. I'm guessing of course, as it's tape.)

Co-Pilot: Cool! I think I saw a girl in a bikini down there.

Pilot: Shhweeettt, dude! We're gonna have to go water-sking down here one of these days.

Co-Pilot: Hey man, I think we're getting close to a town now. Check out the suburbia, dude.

Pilot: Righteous. Hey, turn on the radio. Maybe we can pick up something.

(an FM radio swtiches on. Weezer is playing. Some song of theirs. Oh, I don't know which song...use your imagination. Something loud.)

Pilot: Perfect! Turn it up dude!

(a loud roaring sound can be heard)

Co-Pilot: Righteous sound man - this plane must have digital satelitte radio!

(more loud roaring sounds)

Pilot: (seriously) Hey dude, I think we're not alone up here.

Co-Pilot: Of course we're not dude, we're here together.

Pilot: No, dork. As in the plane is not alone.

(an F-16 sweeps by at over 600 miles an hour. I can tell by the reverberations. Seriously!)

Co-Pilot: Oh man... do...you... know... what is going on, dude?

Both: We're in the middle of a Thunderbirds show!! Coooool.

Pilot: (abruptly) Dude, Thunderbird number 1 doesn't look happy.

Co-Pilot: What's the pointing down sign mean?

Pilot: Maybe our radio's turned up too high and is interfering with the static triangular frequencies of their oscillation units?

Co-Pilot: Dude, you just made that up.

Pilot: Busted!

Co-Pilot: Hey dude, what's the finger across the throat sign mean?

Pilot: I'm not sure, dude but that can't be good. Maybe we messed up their cool formation or something?

Co-Pilot: Hey man, is that like the Washington Monument straight ahead?

(transmission ends - but only because someone apparently spilled Mountain Dew on the black box.)

* according to a source who may or may not be this author.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Is this why Donald never wears pants?

photo "courtesy" of MSNBC (shhhhh!)

The gay marraige craze continues to sweep the nation as well-known actor-comedian Steve Martin and beloved legend Donald Duck were joined together in an unofficial California ceremony today.

Afterwards, Martin pointed out that he's not even gay. "I just couldn't resist the opportunity to share a part of this amazing duck's life. Plus, the guy is nearly 80. He's bound to kick the bucket soon and leave me with a fortune!"

The wedding was attended by numerous celebrities, including Goofy, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donald Trump, Whoopi Goldberg, Tinky Winky, Cher, Ozzy Ozbourne, and Arianna Huffington, who was later escorted out, as she had no invitation.

In a related story, Daisy Duck filed suit in an Anaheim court against Donald for "breach of promise" extending over fifty years. Mr. Duck could not be reached for comment as he was on his honeymoon at Knottsberry Farms.Posted by Hello

Monday, May 09, 2005

Off in a Huff!

While we at DOUI strive to remain non-political in our choice of topics, primarily for fear of hacking-off half our potential audience (as opposed to our current audience, which is around 7, God bless you all), we do take note of blogs. Well, because that's what we do around here in case you haven't noticed. I saw you roll your eyes, Reader number 4.

Anyway, today saw the release of a new major media blog, The Huffington Report, excuse me, the Huffington Post. While political commentary will no doubt be featured on a blog published by a former candidate for Governor of California (I believe Arianna finshed just ahead of Gary Coleman's bid representing the Anger Party), the most intriguing aspect of this new blog for those of us in the comedy-blogging business is that many well known celebrities will be blogging "off the Huff". Some of Arianna's most well-known catches include Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Cusack, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Mr. Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

The most wonderful thing about blogging is how people who were shortly before leading quiet and private lives, are suddenly free to open themselves up to say pretty much any bleeding thing that enters their heads, no matter how much it sounds like it's the alcohol talking. (I'm only on one beer, so stop laughing, Reader number 6.) Since blogging is so immediate, there's a very good chance that in this case, much of what's said won't even get run by anyone's publicist. That low sandpapery sound you hear is every comedy writer in North America rubbing their hands in glee.

That also means those of us here, on slow days, will have somewhere else to turn to for an easy post or two besides Yahoo!'s Odd News section.

Thanks Arianna! It's like being a kid at Christmas again. Listen, do us a favour and see if you can get Brittney, Justin, and Drew to blog a bit. We have no idea what their politics are but we're sure anything they'd have to say might be smashingly funny.

P.S. I'd ask for William Shatner too, but Arianna doesn't have that kind of clout.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mutha's Day!

I was going to use this opportunity to do a whole slew of "Your Momma's so dumb...etc." jokes just to highlight the general irreverence of the site.

Unfortunately, I'm sick and couldn't remember any good ones. No, the truth is that I remembered that, having a daughter, Mrs. Fando is a mother too (and an amazingly good one at that.) In honour of her, I humbly pre-retract said jokes.

I do love her so.

A Happy Mother's Day to all. Call your mum today, be she at home, in hospital, or in the pen. Tell her you love her. I know I will.