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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sausagefest on Haight Street

This weekend was tough to beat, and though it went by much too fast (as usual), I think I came out the other end with a new perspective on a number of things, and I finally watched The Eyes of Laura Mars.

This film is awfully disconcerting, mainly because the actors are so good, yet the script is so UNBELIEVABLY bad. In it, Laura Mars (Faye Dunaway) is an eccentric high-fashion photographer who takes shots of scantily-clad models in controversial poses. Glamorous babes lay splayed in pools of blood or viciously catfight while overturned cars burn in the background. Then suddenly, Laura Mars develops the psychic ability to see real murders through the eyes of a killer while the murders are happening. She meets a detective named John (Tommy Lee Jones), who at first doesn't seem to believe in Laura's gift until, suddenly, he does. Decadent models with breasts bared slink around in their underpants. Disco music pulses from New York's hedonistic soul. Faye Dunaway sports a variety of unflattering hats and cumbersome wraps. She sprints down the city streets in high-heeled boots and weird split skirts. Suddenly, she goes for a walk in the woods with the detective, and suddenly, they are madly in love with each other. Her manager with whom she's suddenly very close is murdered, as are the two models who are suddenly lesbians and — suddenly — also very close friends of Laura Mars. Faye Dunaway wrings from this script a masterful scene where she mourns the deaths of her best friends, but soon Laura Mars forgets about them because she's so in love with the detective while being simultaneously terrorized by her own visions, as depicted in the many close-up shots of Faye Dunaway's expressive eyes (see poster, above).

I'd say more, but since you'd never guess the ending, I don't want to spoil it.

But Wait! What About the Sausagefest?



I'll tell you what, it was so cold out last night and S and I had spent much of the afternoon shopping for presents. In search of something to eat and feeling sort of burned out on pizza, we found a place on Haight where they grill a variety of sausages; apple boar, duck and fig, plain old beef, and even vegan. I'm not much of a sausage eater myself, but since the restaurant was fairly empty and the windows were steamed up and lit with a warm yellow glow, in we went to place our orders — two sandwiches "for here." While we waited for our sausages to grill we grabbed a couple of vacant stools near the door, well out of the path to the counter.

I was glad to be in from the damp, nasty street, glad to be able to shut the door behind us. From where we sat we had a great view of the dripping-hot sausages and the orange flames that flared up while they cooked. The restaurant smelled smoky and oily, and there was something homey in the clang of the stainless steel spatula against the charred grill, the scent of fried onion and pepper.

We'd just gotten settled when a couple of men dressed entirely in denim entered the restaurant, leaving the door open to flap in the wind. The draft seeped in through the seams of my coat and I rubbed my arms, praying for the men to finish up so I could slip past them to shut the door. Then several more men spilled in, pushing the door even further open and leaving it that way. After the denim-clad men clarified what they wanted, they backed up until they were standing right in front of our stools. We were completely hemmed in by their massive backs, their shifting buttocks and thick hams. Then two more men entered, and more, and more, and though there were only twelve men in the place at any given time, each man took up the space of three as he shoved up to the counter to order a sausage, or stood in a large block of space facing the grill, or shouldered between the rest of the hulks to plant himself in front of the condiments so no other man could get to them without shoving, too.

Now, what is it about men who so enjoy sausage? Because when our order came up, we — my friend S and I, the only women in the place — had to weave our way between bodies that seemed to have taken root. I mean, even though they could see us coming, not a man in the place was willing to budge.

After struggling around jutting elbows up to the counter to pay, after tripping over a thick network of sprawled legs and clumsy boots, we returned to our stools only to find that the men at whose backs we'd been gazing had planted themselves there in our seats and had apparently turned to oak stumps. So balancing our sandwiches and drinks we strove on to the far end of the restaurant where there were two more empty stools at the end of the row, shoved together in the cramped bit of space that was left, and after clearing the greasy plates and wadded up napkins left by the men who were through with them, we settled into our spot away from the draft seeping in through the door.

Once we'd secured the space that was left to us, we ate in silence while the room full of sausages and men cleared out a little. And once it cleared out and we'd eaten our sandwiches and cleaned up after ourselves as we always do, we realized that we had discovered a well-kept secret: if you, or I, or anyone for that matter is in search of a husband, there's no better place than the sausage restaurant, and it's practically around the corner! O, the romance! It's all so irresistible! You may not know it, but there's plenty of sausage for every woman who wants it, and though she might have to compete with the men to get it (because clearly, men adore eating sausage), what great rewards await us if we are just patient and diligent and stay out of the way!

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20 Comments:

Anonymous S said...

It is true indeed! Sausage = manhood. How could anything created by the oppressor taste so good? I'll tell you! It proves the true superiority of men once and for all!

10:46 PM

 
Blogger matty said...

I enjoy sausage. ...especially when splayed on a crowded MUNI train taking up two seats while in poorly chosen slacks. HOT!

You know, my father took me to see LAURA MARS when it came out. I remember being so surprised by the ending and not understanding why buses in Beaumont didn't have posters of lesbian vampires on motorcycles selling perfume.

OH! Another fun fact! Faye Dunaway chose to make LAURA MARS to follow up her academy award winning turn in NETWORK. ...Go figure. Tho, I think LAURA MARS made a good deal of money at the time.

Didn't you just love the glam way Faye posed as she took pictures!!?!?! I've been trying to train Alan for years! If only he would do that when he takes a picture. I know I do!

You also failed to mention Barbra singing the rock theme song!!?!? Like, oh my Gawd! That was so important to the movie!!?!?!

I've the soundtrack with the "wild" disco song if you want me to rip it for you -- just in case you have the urge to rip off your clothing and turn buses over in Union Square.

Sometimes I want to do that, but I don't wear fur.

11:29 PM

 
Blogger ginab said...

oh man oh vegan sausage I laughed out loud I nearly choked up a potato chip and I'm not even THERE!

The suddeness of love and slit squirts and switch hitters hitting switches, right there in the Bay area eating sausages; no, around the corner eating sausages.

Dear future man for Ing,

She knows you love sausages, but let her through, allow her in. You won't regret coming home.



-ginab

12:26 PM

 
Anonymous Amander said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1YIT-HINKg

1:55 PM

 
Blogger josh williams said...

I am not going to search for Laura Mars on my DVR your description was probably better than the movie. As for the sausage fest, I have no idea. I am going in for my annual six year physical on Wednesday so I may skip the sausage, lest my Dr think I may have some sort of ailment, relating to some sort of diet issues. I figure I can tell them I am a vegan and they should fire their lab techs.We will see.

7:46 PM

 
Blogger matty said...

Ing - I feel Commander Josh should view LAURA MARS.

...I feel everyone should view it at least once!

9:00 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

S:

The real oppressor is the master of his own sausage.

_______________

Matty:

You don't like those slacks? Hang on a sec, I have to return a Christmas present. . .



Okay, I'm back. You know what I heard? I heard that Laura Mars was originally supposed to star Barbra Streisand but she turned it down because it was "too kinky." What a shame. She could have won the academy award herself, but no, Faye Dunaway had to win it two times in a row!

I did love that pose, and I do believe I've seen Alan striking it on a number of occasions, back at his New York modeling studio.

I'm sorry I forgot to mention the most important part of the entire movie, as I don't think Josh or anyone else reading this really understood what I was trying to say. But Matty, the world is steeped in chaos and turmoil, just as the decadent life of the strange, staid Laura Mars was steeped in chaos, so maybe my omission makes some kind of sense in Some Crazy Way. It was, however, unforgiveable.

I would LOVE it if you would rip me that CD.

I only wear fur when Alan is photographing me while striking that pose. I can't help it. And it feels so good when I'm wearing nothing but my underwear and bra.

____________

ginab:

Oh dear, don't choke! Where's my friend Heimlich when I need him?

Heimlich! Komm heir!

_______________

Amanderer:

Why are parents so mean to their creative children? Why?

________________

Josh:

Oh, no, I could never describe Laura Mars well enough to do it justice. You really have to see it. And I forgot to mention that Barbra Streisand sang the theme song, which really adds a great deal to the weight of this movie and had an awful lot to do with its impact.

Your strategy for staying healthy is a very good one. I'm sure you'll pass with flying colors. If you watch The Eyes of Laura Mars the night before, you'll be in tip-top shape. Stay away from the sausage, Josh! Stay far, far away from the food of the oppressor!

____________

Matty:

You are 100% correct. I'm afraid I might need your help convincing Josh, because even though I pulled the Barbra card, I can't tell if I've broken him. Could you help me out?

9:58 PM

 
Blogger matty said...

Well, I think Commander Josh would greatly appreciate all the uncalled for female and girl on girl nudity! That alone should send Commander Josh to the video store! Tho, I should hope Barbra singing the theme song would do it.

Actually, Babs was supposed to have originally star'd in the movie but it was decided that her then boyfriend (who produced it and later FLASHDANCE bless him!) would do better to stand on his own, but Sony (and he) asked her to record the theme song --- she also took issue with the violence and nudity.

Oh, Barbra!

10:59 PM

 
Blogger matty said...

Wait, why were you wearing only your undies and fur coat last week when we met at Safeway?!?!?!

What is it with you and lettuce anyway? I must figure this out!

11:01 PM

 
Blogger purplesimon said...

Laura Mars. Weirdly I watched the same movie this weekend on some cable channel late at night when I was up with crying babe. It put her to sleep (the dialogue) but kept me awake (the acting).

I don't like sausage. Sorry. I know what goes in them. Plus, I'm vegetarian.

Oh, and Matty's comment cracked me up. As they always do!

purplesimon out...

6:08 AM

 
Blogger ginab said...

yeah! Si's a vegetarian!!! yeah!!! (serious!).

-ginab

3:11 PM

 
Blogger Ticharu said...

It's the detective in the bedroom with a sausage! :)

7:45 AM

 
Blogger matty said...

Oh, no! I think the detective is in the drawing room with the candle stick!

Ing! Watch out, but strike a pose!

9:23 AM

 
Blogger ginab said...

The sleeping 'man' is such a cracker. If he were to pull his thumb like he wants to, like he's aimed to but he's sleeping, it'd go snap! and it'd scare the wet chest out of all the people on the train who before him and his cracker were thinking about their own lives and about sausages and about the 'men' who eat sausages and about the men who long to eat fresh sausage, and about the detective with the keys to curtain number 2.

2:45 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

matty:

No, I think Josh is a nice boy. I believe he would rent the movie mainly for the Barbra song, and to imagine the masterpiece this film might have been if only she weren't so prudish about the nudity (Faye Dunaway showed only her thighs, by the way, while Barbra, as we all know, was quite generous about showing her ass), and so sensible about the violence.

____________

matty:

I don't do lettuce. Spinach, arugula, watercress? Yes. That was an arugula. And I can't help myself. Arugula makes me lose my head. It's sooooo sexy. I'm bummed that the stoopid SF police have banned me from the Castro Safeway, but the arugula will prevail and there are many other outlets in which to catfight in my garterbelt and fur coat. My hair is so fluffy these days!

____________

ginab:

AND he's one of the good men! If it weren't for the guys who leave comments here, I'd think they were all sausage-eaters, for real!

_____________

ticharu!!!

I was wondering how the heck you were doing! Do you think Laura Mars was so easily seduced by the detective's sausage? How can a woman be such a brilliant photographer and have such amazing psychic abilities and yet be so blind?

_______________

matty:

I am posing just around the corner, in wait, and when he advances with his silly candlestick I will spring on him with my butterfly net. If only Laura Mars were here, she could capture the whole thing and publish it in Esquire. Believe me, it's going to look great.

Oops, I better run and hide. I can hear him approaching. . .

______________

ginab:

"Cracker," yes. I saw a couple of them on BART today. One of them actually turned all the way around in his seat to watch me walk by and sit down behind him. Shudder. He looked like a huge drag to me, but you know, he might have a daughter who loves him very much, or at least I really hope he does. I hope someone loves him dearly. I guess that's what I was thinking about today on BART, though while I walked to BART I was mostly preoccupied and distracted.

How are you, ginab? I'm sore from yoga. My shoulders are TIGHT!

6:58 PM

 
Blogger sage said...

I hope they had good mustard

and also saurkraut (or at least fried onions and peppers)

but eating sausage there doesn't sound appealing.

9:24 PM

 
Blogger josh williams said...

I remember when the movie came out, my uncle told me it was not that good. I have also divorced myself from video stores so my only hope is to catch it on DVR . I will watch this movie, but only under my terms.
When it appears on the tube I'll do a search but my Uncle told me when it was first in the theaters that is was not that good.
I am still alive so my physical must have worked. Now I have to wait another six years to see if I am in suitable health to be living.

7:57 PM

 
Blogger atomicelroy said...

A Canadian artist Janet Cardiff who does audio art has a weirdly cool web site based on that movie, it about surveillance. check it out...
http://www.eyesoflaura.org/

Gerry Crimble,
elroy.

9:08 PM

 
Blogger matty said...

Uh, oh. ...I just tag'd you!

...but it is fitting as you'll be leaving for Hell this weekend!

1:55 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

sage:

No, I didn't think you were a sausage-eater. I didn't venture over to the mustard side; I played it safe with ketchup or catsup or whatever you call it these days.

____________
Josh:

Well, what kind of movies did your uncle enjoy? You need to put these things in perspective, man, perspective!

What is a DVR? Digital video rrrrrrrrrrrr. . .ecorder? I'm sorry about the divorce, but don't let it embitter you. One thing that might help you get through it is to watch The Eyes of Laura Mars. You'll never need another checkup. I'm glad that you had a good, refreshing physical and that you are feeling healthy. Stay that way!

___________________

Gerry:

Thanks for the crimble, and same to you! I haven't had much of a chance to examine that odd site, but I think I kind of love it. Woah!

___________________

Matty:

Oy, okay, here I go then.

8:20 PM

 

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