Wednesday, November 26, 2014
"Helping children be better is relatively easy. Fixing broken adults is a lot harder."
With these words, Rob Figley, the "Swinging Santa", gets at the heart of what I Am Santa Claus is about.
The film chronicles the year of five men who perform the beloved mythological holiday hero, Santa Claus, during the Christmas season. Their lives revolve around this eagerly anticipated time of year, those precious two months essential to their financial and emotional livelihoods.
With honesty and respect (and a great sense of endearing humor), director Tommy Avallone doesn't simply give viewers a glimpse behind the proverbial curtain, he gently holds the curtain open for you and invites you into a fascinating Santa Claus-themed world populated by fascinating individuals.
Not only will you walk away from the film with a deeper understanding of the practicalities of life as a Santa (these men spend their days like anyone else; they look for work, they try to pay bills, they have long-distance relationships, they support their families, they meet at conventions, and they struggle to get contracts from agents), you will walk away with a deeper understanding of humanity, and why the Santa Claus character is such a universally beloved, inspirational idol.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
(NOTE: BE SURE TO VISIT THE NEW HOME OF THIS BLOG AT www.workofwrestling.com)
“I’m laying in a pool of blood. This is the greatest feeling in the world."
You might read that quote and be unsettled, maybe even concerned for the individual who spoke it.
But, if you listen to Stone Cold Steve Austin call his WrestleMania 13 match, and especially if you watch the match while you listen to his call, when it comes time for Austin to speak those powerful words, you will understand that, “I’m laying in a pool of blood…this is the greatest feeling in the world” is nothing more than the satisfaction one experiences when they’ve done their job exceedingly well and accomplished something very few ever could.
Austin explains, "It was something I looked forward to anytime a booker or promoter asked me, because I enjoyed getting color in a match. I'm not condoning cutting or any other silly stuff, but with respect to pro-wrestling back in that time period, I enjoyed bleeding when it was time to bleed. And it was Bret Hart's idea to bring color into the match."
"Getting color" is a time-honored tradition in pro-wrestling where the athletic performers will cut themselves or their fellow performer with hidden razor blades so as to enhance the drama of the fight. In the case of this match, the color not only enhances the drama, it helps elevate the match to a place of violent beauty.
Austin's words, "this is the greatest feeling in the world", come to represent the satisfaction of a group of individuals working together to create a masterpiece; a true work of art that is as worthy of representation in the halls of the most prestigious museums on this planet as any famous sculpture, painting, or art installation.
From the moment Austin enters the arena through a wall of breaking glass to the moment he slowly ambles out of sight, an incredibly complex story is told by a collection of incredibly talented people - all of whom want you to believe in pro-wrestling.
I do not use the word “masterpiece” lightly.