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Monday, January 26, 2004

 

Dada? What does that mean again?




Thursday January 22 Celebrate Chinese New Year by grabbing a musical instrument, noisemaker or a washtub and spoon, and make some noise at DADA DADA DADA Night at the Clinton Street Theater. What could be more dada than the audience performing the soundtrack to great films from the dada and surrealist masters? Every year brings a bigger and weirder crowd. Fist fights are narrowly avoided.

Musical instruments? Surrealism? Potential fist-fights? Like I could miss something like this.

Unfortunately, Dada Night ended was a disappointment. Only seventy or so people turned out and they were not appropriately drunk and rowdy. Something like this should probably be held on a weekend. Still, maybe my expectations were set too high.

Practically everyone in attendance had a musical instrument, ranging from trombones to keyboards to slide-whistles. They weren't afraid to use them. Over avant garde shorts usually only shown in film history classes, the audience made as much noise as possible while talking back to screen. The highlight was Felix Woos Whoopee. In it, Felix gets raging drunk and hallucinates that buildings and everyday objects are trying to kill him.

The audience also went crazy for An Andalusian Dog, a short film written by Salvador Dali. At the Paris premiere in 1929, Luis Buñuel, the director, hid behind the screen with stones in his pockets for fear of being attacked by the confused audience. The opening sequence, involving a razor blade and an eyeball, still scares the hell out of people today. If you're curious for more info, click here. Consider yourself warned.

If the Clinton does this again next year, here's hoping they have an open bar. And lasers and smoke machines. They make everything better.

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