Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Da, Da, Doctrine and Covenants?

Well, I got thinking...any other link between Dada and Mormonism?

What about Andy Kaufman?

Here are excerpts from the Slate article "Hot, Dada, and Still Dead":

Hot, Dada, and Still Dead

Man on the Moon puts a happy face on the life and times of Andy Kaufman....

The film does a good job of capturing the contradictions in Kaufman's personality. A devotee of transcendental meditation, he was also prone to temper tantrums, and his stage personae--particularly the sexist wrestler--upset some fellow travelers (in life, as in the movie, the TM movement threw him out at one point). Even though he was earning good money at Taxi, Kaufman took a night job as a busboy. Always trying to purify himself through meditation and a strict vegetarian diet, he was at the same time addicted to chocolate and sex, and he often visited prostitutes....

In its most marked deviation from real life, Man on the Moon provides Kaufman with a kind of feel-good comeback. Earlier in the film, Andy's manager George Shapiro (Danny DeVito), frustrated with his client's self-indulgent performances, tells him that he has to decide whether he's out to entertain the audience or himself. (In life, Shapiro was similarly frustrated.) After being diagnosed with cancer, Carrey's Kaufman decides to do a show at Carnegie Hall. The event is the definition of a crowd pleaser, replete with appearances by the Rockettes, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and Santa Claus (the act isn't entirely without bite; there's also a very funny moment involving a heart attack). And at the end of the evening Kaufman takes the entire audience out for milk and cookies. This all happened in real life--although the Rockettes weren't the real Rockettes and neither was the choir. But the performance took place in 1979, well before Kaufman got sick.

By time-shifting this feel-good scene forward, Man on the Moon relieves the true story of Kaufman's depressing decline.

For more andykaufman

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