Super Bowl Alternatives

This year, I spent Super Bowl weekend at a writing workshop organized by Wild Writing Women. It was amazing how much I learnt, although my brain got fully tempura’d from it. Getting to meet people who have the same interests but different approaches is always fun, inspiring and humbling.

I’d caught a bad cold this past week, and was tempted to bail from the workshop. I’m glad I didn’t. Besides CBS had refused to run’s “Child’s Play” ad anyway, so I really had no excuse to stay home and watch.

In previous years I would do something really unusual during Super Bowl, countering the over-hyped match with anti-hoopla.

One year, I went to see a matinee performance of “Whiskey Chicken.” It was put on by the Asian America Theatre Company in SF starring Dennis Dun, who at that point had achieved a modicum of fame from his appearance in “The Last Emperor.” I went alone, the 49’ers were in the Super Bowl, so everyone I knew and their grandmother was glued to a TV set.

In 2002, I persuaded a friend of mine to go see a movie with me at the Naz in Fremont, reckoning that a Bollywood movie ran as long as the Super Bowl, over 3 hours. Unfortunately, my friend didn’t realise that; two-thirds of the way through the movie, we had to leave because she had to pick up her brother from work. Netflix doesn’t have “Khabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham” yet: when they do I’ll be able to find out in what happy fashion the movie ended.

I have to say, I like watching Bollywood movies mainly for the beautiful, ornate saris or salwar kameezes that the actresses wear in fifty costume changes. Especially during the music-dance video sequences: they’re outfitted like rajinis, but dancing like Janet Jackson. In Hollywood’s closest equivalent: the red-carpet catwalk of movie/music award ceremonies, the designer dresses celebrities wear look like drab dish towels in comparison. Both are vicarious, secret guilty pleasures for me, who is always dressed in monochromatic pants, unremarkable tops, sneakers and ignored hair. Ahhh, to be dressed to the nines, to be traffic-stoppingly beautiful (except during peak commute hours), that would be something.

On the other hand, the fight scenes in Bollywood flicks could do some jazzing up by Yuen Woo Ping, or even Jackie Chan’s third string stunt man. Chinese movie martial arts really have unparalleled artistry.


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