Friday, March 6, 2009

Virgin Air pt. 1 and THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST (70)

I'm in San Francisco right now. Flew in last night on a Virgin Airlines flight and couldn't have been more surprised/baffled/confused at the sheer, well, sexiness of the flight. If you've grown up over the last twenty years, flying has become more and more an exercise in aggravation. Small seats, unfriendly and unattractive ticket ladies and stewardesses, bad to no food, and a stale sort 80s corporate aesthetic that does nothing to capture the former glamor of the skies. Virgin Airlines, seemingly realizing this, has taken bull by the horns and transformed their flights in to little airborne pockets of modernized youthfulness.

Alex had recommended, as she refers to them, "sexy flights" and in the interim between putting down a ten dollar double whiskey and boarding the plane, I sketched down a few observations about this bizarro world airline:

1. Sexiness is on display from moment one. The ticket counter is a maroon red and it's staffed by relatively youthful people. One guy has corn rows, another is smoothly dressed and coyly giggles as he helps me with my credit card transaction, the third smiles at me and it actually, gulp, feels genuine. Where does Virgin find these folk? I didn't know Sea-Tac had this kind of population.

2. They're playing music at the counter. Not even tinny, four-note renditions of classical favorites, or Muszaked renditions of your favorite Beatles songs - no this is actual, top-40 music blasting from unseen speakers in the walls. Even stranger? It's rap music. Big, bass heavy rap music, rife with curse words and rhymes. It drowns out the shrill protestations of a small, old, angry woman. I'm shocked - attractive people and better than average music? What exactly have I gotten myself in to?

3. Virgin Air doesn't divide their boarding line in to elitist sub-sections dedicated to
'First Class" and "Middle Class" and "Steerage Class", oh no. The good folk at Virgin Air have decided that each and every person, regardless of the amount of money you forked over for your flight actually get to walk across a cheaply thrown down red carpet. Makes me feel like a less attractive Brad Pitt. I'm already excited for the prospect of free Cristal, chunky lines of blow, and beautiful people showering me with compliments.

4. I wonder: when they announce that along with old people, first class and babies, that anyone who "needs a little more time getting on the plane" can I just saunter up and get on the plane claiming that I'm slow? Do I need a disability or a wheel chair or can I just offer that my way of doing things moves at a more retarded tempo and that I might slow up the rest of the plane? I'm trying it ... one of these times.

Alright, I'm going to leave you hanging on the edge of your seat, 'cause this metal bird gets even sexier once I board. Stay tune, "Virgin Air pt. 2" next time.

First off, The Last Temptation of Christ (70) is not the best movie to be watching in small, steel cylinder 30,000 feet off the ground, surrounded by other human beings. There's a lot of nudity and blood shed and screeching noises that found me watching most of the film with my hands wrapped around the screen.

I've seen this film before and it was difficult for me to slog through it the first time, so I thought that forcing it in front of me for two hours on a plane and I might be able to enjoy it. And, to some degree, I have been. It's a passion piece by Martin Scorsese, his look at the life and times of Jesus Christ not as a savior but as a man. Scorsese wanted to make this film for years and years and years but couldn't find a studio edgy or trusting enough for him to make it. In the mean time he put together what's considered to be his worst film (After Hours) and one of my favorites of his, The Color of Money. And like all passion pieces it has some truly strange choices. The music for this epic sword and sandal piece is created by none other than 80s electronica god ... Peter Gabriel. It's a strange sound, stark landscapes matched by slappy funk bass and synth. Can't say it would've been my choice for music but somehow it works.

This is a decidedly arch, decidedly 80s take on the Jesus story and if you're not feeling dour 1980s religious tales I'd turn away from this. I'm not quite done with flick yet and I think it needs to be seen as a whole, so I'll get out my thoughts on it on Monday.

Have a good weekend.

Monday: The Last Temptation of Christ (70)

1 comment:

David said...

If theres anything I know about music, its that slap bass makes it better.