Last night I checked out Flicks From the Hill in the Federal Hill section of Baltimore just outside of the American Visionary Arts Museum.
It’s a really cool museum with all kinds of random art, much of it made out of discarded items, transformed into amazing works.
The other reason why this museum really resonated with me is the fact that a number of artists they feature, are struggling with or have struggled with life long mental illness, incarceration or some really troubled pasts.
I told my date, (yes, the older gentleman) that I appreciated the museum’s transparency about the artist’s illnesses and instead of just brushing off this very fragile and often purposely ignored segment of our community, they see the good in them, even the brilliance and put it on display. These people still have much to offer us, even if we don’t understand them, or we’re even scared of the more negative ways their illnesses manifest. It brought so much more humanity to it.
The odd thing is, while the museum–especially its shop– is totally a freak show filled with the wildest gifts and oddities from all over the world, the respect of the art is very real and is serious business. As a daughter of a mother who is suffering, it touched me on another level that was kind of hard to describe to my date.
That aside, on their movie nights, they waive the $15 admission and you can roam the hodgepodge gratis. So that was pretty cool. They put a large screen on the back of one of their buildings facing a lovely grassy hill that’s part of a neighborhood park. It was a beautiful night and I enjoyed every moment.
Ok. Let’s get back to Elvis.
I guess the movie “Blue Hawaii” was selected because it was the 35th anniversary of his death yesterday.
So I’m in no way dissing the legend to all the fans, but I want to bring up some interesting things I noticed.
The movie begins with a gorgeous woman speeding to the airport in a spunky little red convertible to welcome her man home from a two-year stint overseas for the Army.
Well, Elvis is Elvis and has to make an entrance. As this chick walks up to the plane, like literally as it’s rolling up (which was also hilarious in the post 911 world where we get anal probed prior to boarding and none of our families have even been able to hug us at the gate since Clinton was in office). Elvis is tonguing down as stewardess, I mean flight attendant, I mean, hell this movie was like in the sixties, so a stewardess.
His woman is furious. He flashes her a smile, doesn’t deny what happened, changes the subject, and now his old lady is kissing him too. I don’t even think the dropped food five second rule elapsed. She basically kissed that stewardess too, letting him plant a good one on her. But she’s happy again, and now beaming once he tells her, “Now that’s a kiss.”
I instantly thought of the much hated hip-hop producer and star of reality show Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, Stevie J.
*Background. This dude has a baby’s mother (Mimi) who he claims to love dearly, but he basically screws one of his musical artists he’s developing and claims to love her too. He does this openly. He even got the artist pregnant, but was kind enough to take her to the clinic to abort the child. Classy. He even managed to get BOTH women into counseling with him. At the same time. Yup. Are you seeing the parallels here?
Back to Elvis.
So much like Mimi, Elvis’s woman asks questions she already knows the answer to, like, were you faithful when you were overseas?
Elvis, being the true playa pimp he is, actually went into song about how he was almost faithful, for the most part during his tour of duty, and to a happy up beat version of “Aleuette” no less.
If this ain’t Stevie J. I don’t know what is. But Elvis does it, far, far better!
Like Stevie makes this weird face, looks deep in their eyes, and no matter how disrespected both of these women have been, and even in public, all is well, and this jerk wins again. He doesn’t skip a beat.
Elvis even has this broad singing along providing backup during his, “Yes, I did cheat on you song” at a certain point.
Throughout the movie, Elvis is getting much Hawaiian tourist booty shuffled in his face, and his woman puts on a sourpuss for awhile, when she feels she’s been disrespected and then boom he flashes that smile, sings a song, and she’s singing and dancing along.
I swear Stevie J. watches this move in footie pajamas while eating Lucky Charms.
Another hilarious scene, which is jacked up is while he’s telling his best buddies about one of his overseas jump offs, in song, his woman is wading deep in the ocean because his “I know I effed up while I was gone” gift of a bikini top had drifted back to shore so she was stuck out in the water so she wouldn’t show her fun bags to the men. My date was cracking up and basically blurted, “Elvis is singing a p- story!” When I told him to repeat himself, he wouldn’t. However, he told me those are basically the fireside chats men have about their dalliances with women who are not the women they really love.
To Elvis’ credit, as he’s learning to get himself together and stand on his own two feet, not getting a cushy job for his father’s massive pineapple company, he does start resisting temptation.
When a sticky situation presents itself and it looks like he may have cheated, his woman is almost one foot out the door until she finds proof he didn’t cheat and boom. Elvis kinda sorta asks her to marry him. He even says something slick, like, “You realize that’s a proposal, right?” (Anyone remember Jim Jones’ mumble, non-proposal, shut up ring offering to his long time, long-suffering boo Chrissy from Love and Hip Hop Season One? Anyone?) How romantic.
Then there’s the big, Hawaiian wedding at the end.
In this movie women, tell Elvis they aren’t wearing any panties, and he literally spanks a really bitchy teenage female tourist into non-bitch for the rest of the movie. Like when he said, “You need a good spanking.” The nasty-minded crowd dotted on the lawn went nuts from their blankets and lawn chairs. And as he proceeded to put the spunky blonde over his knee and spank her until the scene faded to black, with her kicking and screaming, the laughter was echoing through the streets at a fever pitch.
Needless to say, I was totally entertained and couldn’t help but think, the man credited with “stealing” from black blues and rock and roll artists, was ahead of his time. The fact that these lusty hip hop artists, are doing the same thing, and it just looks much, much worse, reinforces there is nothing new under the sun and well, Elvis is Elvis and could virtually get away with everything. King indeed. Slick S.O.B.
Stevie J., round up Mimi and Joseline for a movie night, son. Might as well.
All three of yall can learn “Almost, Always True” together.
Please enjoy the old school trailer for “Blue Hawaii” here: