My first night at the Sarasota Film Festival was the World Cinema Celebration featuring an award for Werner Herzog. (I do understand that there’s a lot of Werner in my first few posts from Sarasota but what can I say? It was “Werner Day” when I got there!) Among the many things that this festival does very well is organize a party. Wednesday night there were 1,400 people in a block-long stretch of downtown Sarasota clamoring for any one of the dozens of free gourmet food samples and rivers of hooch and the only time I had to wait more than a minute or 2 at a food station was for seared tuna. Well, wouldn’t you?
The entertainment was a kick-ass Latin music band and the locals sure got down to it, boogieing the night away. There were certainly some ringers among the crowd (students and teachers from a local dance studio, methinks) and here are three of them. See, I told you it was fun!
The place was both open air and tented (the tent I assume was for noise, since the area hasn’t gotten any significant rain in months) and decorated with flags from dozens of countries, although I spotted no Cuban flag….What!? You KNEW I was gonna look for one! The food, drink and entertainment (a Polynesian dance troupe in addition to the band) was great, and Allison Janney was seen saying, “I’m so glad to be here,” despite the presence of clowns. I hate clowns.
What do I love? Well Sarasota fest board member Keri Nakamoto, for one. Not only is she an absolute sweetheart and jaw-droppingly stunning, but she’s also a great ambassador for the film festival. I mean, who wouldn’t do whatever she asked?
As the evening continued, a rumor began to circulate through the crowd. Word had it that fest director of programming Tom Hall was a pretty fair MC and was thinking about challenging the Munich-born filmmaker to a battle. It seems Hall had heard about the famed German auteur’s early battles in the Bronx with Boogie Down Productions‘ KRS-1. Here Film Threat‘s Chris Gore gives Tom a pep talk before the battle. . “Hey! He’s an old man! How phat can his rhymes be?”
Well, it happened. The battle was ON, yo!
Werner opened with “My Uzi Weighs A Ton” from Public Enemy‘s landmark 1987 album “Yo! Bum Rush The Show” which brought down the house.
Tom countered with the much more fun, crowd pleasing sing along of the Beastie Boys’ 1-2 punch of “Rhymin’ & Stealin'” and “The New Style.”
“Four and three and two and one…”
Werner knew he had to pull something big out, so he and Sabina Sciubba from closing night’s Brazillian Girls did the big steamy on LL Cool J‘s “Doin’ It”:
Werner: “So what cha sayin, I get my swerve on, bring it live, Make it last forever, damn the kitty cat’s tight!”
Sciubba: “I need a rough neck nigga Mandingo in a sec, Who ain’t afraid to pull my hair and spank me from the back”
Knowing he was close to getting served, Tom called Marcie from Peanuts up from the crowd and the two busted out Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde‘s “AM/PM.”
At the end, the judges couldn’t pick a winner, so Werner and Tom did a duet on Double Trouble‘s “Stoop Rap” and “Double Trouble At The Amphitheatre” from the seminal hip hop films Wild Style and called it a draw.
No. Not really.
Man. I gotta lay off the drugs, I think…..
Marcie image © 2005, United Feature Syndicate, Inc. All other pics © 2006, Mark Rabinowitz
Other Rabbi Report entires on Sarasota:
Sarasota-Sun, Sea and…Calamari?
Herzog Comes To Sarasota