Chronicling the creative process for Pop Zeus, the forthcoming Guided By Voices/Bob Pollard tribute comic- including sketches, concepts, finished art and whatever else is in my brain at the moment.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Boy In The Bubble

It's Saturday night and I'm here in my "shitty little apartment" nursing what feels like the beginning of a bad cold. I had an incredibly stressful day at work yesterday (long story that I probably shouldn't tell here). And even though I slept a lot last night, I woke up with a dull headache and decided to take it easy. But I didn't think I was getting sick. So now I'm really annoyed that my weekend is shot. Working so hard that you get sick on the weekend and then recovering just in time to go back to work again is an ironic punishment of the highest order.

The good news is that laying around trying to stay warm is affording me the time to work through my DVD pile. And on Friday night I finally found a copy of Bubble, the new film by Steven Soderbergh. Found at Tower Records in Fisherman's Wharf, the DVD was one of only two left in the shop (I had been struggling to find it since it came out on Tuesday- two other big retailers in the city that I checked were sold out). And my interest was piqued because Robert Pollard did all the music in the film, his first full film soundtrack. Coincidentally enough, this morning I got a Saturday FedEx from my older brother back in New Jersey (he has free reign over his company's FedExs, the lucky bastard!) with an interesting New York Times article about Bob's music in the film.

I've had the cd of the soundtrack for Bubble since September of 2005 (available at Luna Music, in the links over there-->) and it had some pretty good stuff, but wasn't in heavy rotation. The acoustic version of Boxing About was probably my favorite track (the full version of Boxing About is already being played on the Bob solo tour and will be a part of Normal Happiness, a new album). But after seeing the rest of the film this evening, I will definitely be giving it some more time. The sparing use of acoustic guitar tracks of several old and new Bob songs in the film added just the right punch at just the right times. And overall, Bubble is an eerie, daring and extraordinary film and I am so glad I bought it. And it's cool that Bob is involved with this kind of project.

Bubble has a verite, almost documentary feel to it, greatly enhanced by its amazing cast of local non-actors (I am totally in love with Misty Dawn Wilkins, btw). Filmed entirely on location in West Virginia and Ohio, the film starts as a slice of life of working class America. The plot soon evolves into a pretty complex psychodrama who's secrets I will not reveal here. I have been a fan of Soderbergh's going back to Out of Sight and The Limey, one of my all time favorites. And I really cannot recommend Bubble highly enough, especially if you like creepy or dark films and don't mind a more deliberate film pace.

And Bubble totally fits in with the Bob ouvre- taking place in Ohio, centering around ordinary people who work in a doll factory, created quickly with a DYI aesthetic. It's a GBV record come to life- reminding me of the whole Same Place the Fly Got Smashed album, Local Mix-up/Murder Charge, Everyday, The Hard Way, A Proud and Booming Industry among others. It's no wonder Soderbergh thought of Bob for this project. Great stuff... and I better get back to bed, getting groggy. N, small y, big fucking Q!


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