Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sandwiches of New England: Part III

I seem to be compiling a video record of myself eating my favorite sandwiches. I don't know when this started, but I remember in La Paz getting a torta de pollo on a grilled sweet bread roll and eating it with peppers on the beach and that was just about heaven for me. There's a video of that and I think that started my video review of sandwiches. There was a sandwich in San Francisco that was delicious too, I think it was called the Fo'Shizzle. It was a turkey club basically but I paid $2 extra for a cool name. Shaws makes one called "The Barnyard" and it doesn't cost more that $4.
Here's a home specialty that I make from time to time when I am feeling like haute cuisine. Croissant, grilled or toasted, fried egg or scrambled, usually a slice of swiss but I am reducing my cheese intake, and some ham. I eat ham instead of bacon because it's just easier to cook but if you are a bacon junkie then that works too.
I don't know if these kinds of videos are unintentionally repulsive or if I'm making some kind of political statement on the grotesqueness of America by eating on camera. You know, eating on camera is actually one of the biggest no nos in hollywood. Some actors will refuse to do it, like doing a scene without a makeup artist. There is no good way to look good eating food. A few exceptions occur with, I think, Brando eating some food in Godfather, but even in Goodfellas, food was everywhere, BUT NO ONE WAS EATING. There's a good reason for that because first of all it screws up the continuity of the amount of food on the table during one take to the next. See? There was one movie in Westwood I worked around and my job was to get Chinese food (Yes, that qualifies as a movie task) and the Chinese food was abundant because it had to be refilled any time someone took a bite or else they would spit the food out. You can't eat the food because it usually sits on a table for hours while light crews spill hydraulic fluid on the carpet of an associate producer's apartment. But when the director says "action" you have to pretend to LOVE the food. And if you have to do ten takes of a scene where you shovel pad thai into your mouth you see how any reputable actor would reject such an idea.
(That reminds me of a great great scene in Crimes and Misdemeanors by Woody Allen where he and Diane Keaton are watching...I forget the movie...it's like Singing in the Rain...anyway, they are eating Indian Food. Actually, eating it and talking with food in their mouths. Very very rare and that scene is an example of what it takes to make eating look like part of the scene: two experienced actors and a great director and a scene that is actually about bonding and how these two are comfortable around each other. So I guess, I'm comfortable around you to share my eating food with you.)
Anyway, that film I worked on will never be seen by anyone because not only was a black man forcing a white woman to sniff his leather glove, but the characters ate food at dinner. It was softcore porn destined for Hungary hotels. Awful. One of the worst scenes in cinema history in my opinion is in the movie 6 days 7 nights with Anne Heche and Harrison Ford. They catch a bird or ostrich and cook it and eat it and in the fire with grease on his face and as he laughingly shovels food into his face with his fingers, Ford plunges to the depths of humiliation. If you can think of another scene where Ford puts food in his mouth then let me know. It's rare is all I can tell you...for good reason. I don't think a person eats a single thing in all 6 movies of the Star Wars saga...except for Jaba the Hut eating that little lizard thing.

So, I think intentionally eating on camera is my statement of protest against the convention of showing people never eating. And also a statement on what it means to be an American. I'm eating. This is the man in the van eating food. We're going back to basics. Yes, it's a review of sandwiches, which is esoteric enough, but he will actually devour these sandwiches on camera without even trying to appear dignified. Food will fall out of his lips and he will suck it back in. It is grotesque and funny. But mostly, it is Warhol-esque because it is is performance art of me eating. I mean, if you want crazy then I'll give you crazy.
It's like, if someone asked you what you did yesterday you could say, "I watched a video of someone eating an egg sandwich." And that is a very funny statement.
"Why was he eating the egg sandwich?"
"He is reviewing sandwiches of the northeast. He eats them on camera and talks about them as he eats them."
"IS anything special about the sandwiches?"
"Nothing. Most of the time you can't understand what he is saying because his mouth is full. He rambles and eats. It's rather grotesque. He ate a meatball sub in front of a recently burned out hotel. All he could talk about was the marinara sauce."
"I'm intrigued. What's the link?"

See? It breaks down some kind of traditionally accepted norm of eating in private and recording and distributing worthwhile content. This is not worthwhile! NOTHING ABOUT THIS IS WORTHWHILE! It is my statement of irrationality. If someone asked me what I did this morning and I said, "Made a video of myself eating a sandwich." this is obviously absurd. And that is how I feel about everything these days.
So, this is part III. Part I was way back when I got the moes and bread box sub and ate them before the police rolled up on me. Then I had the meatball sub which is still fond in my memory.
And here is the croissant egg sandwich.
Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.