Thursday, February 17, 2005

Another coincidence

In addition to Hotel Rwanda, last weekend I also caught up with Tarnation, the devastating autobiographical documentary about a young man and his troubled family. (It takes a while for some films to make it to Madison.) I liked it, and I was pleasantly--if that's the right word--surprised when a montage prominently featured tape of the filmmaker, Jonathan Caouette, as an adolescent lipsyncing to the song "Frank Mills" from Hair.

I was surprised because Ereck had introduced me to that song only weeks earlier, when we were driving to Tennessee for the holidays. We were listening to the cast recording of Hair, most of which I'd never heard, and he suggested I brace myself for "Frank Mills." Nothing could have prepared me: the song, sung sweetly by Shelley Plimpton, is a brief, deceptively simple vignette about a Brooklyn boy she loves. It's arresting and heartbreaking, and very different from the rest of the album. In the truck that day I couldn't stop playing the song over and over, and I couldn't stop weeping. Yesterday I got to thinking about it again, and I listened to it twenty or so more times, and sang along--and couldn't stop weeping.

Turns out I'm not the only one who digs that song!

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