Things We Like: “Vernon, Florida,” Confronting Bears, and Spock’s Ride
Errol Morris’s second film is a frequently hilarious visit with the (mostly elderly male) residents of a small town in the Florida panhandle. It’s a fairly low-key affair as most of the people discuss their lives, religion, and local history. Probably the funniest guy is the obsessive turkey hunter who relates several anecdotes, but the preacher’s sermon on the word “therefore” and the old guy who explains about having a “four-track mind” are some of my all-time favorite scenes in a non-fiction film.
Morris has taken heat for what some perceive as a condescending approach to his subjects, but I don’t see it that way. I get the feeling that he is very fond of all the people he talked to. I’ve lived in lots of rural places and have always enjoyed the stories and lives of the kinds of folks we get to meet in Vernon, and I think it is great that somebody has captured a glimpse into a small-town universe on film. – Spenser Hoyt
The story goes that, one day, Leonard Nimoy’s beloved 1964 Buick Riviera was towed off the Paramount lot while the actor was shooting an episode of the original “Star Trek.” The culprit was William Shatner, who had made a habit of hiding the bicycle Nimoy used to get around the lot, and he wanted to up the ante. (Human pranks are most illogical.) I have no idea if that story is true or not, and frankly, I don’t care. All I do know for certain is that the story has resulted in this photo making its way around the web, and I defy you to tell me that it’s not one of the greatest photos ever taken of a Vulcan and his pimpmobile. – Geoff Carter
Monkey Goggles Klassics: “Confronting Bears” by Marc Carvajal
From October 8, 2009: “This is the time of year when people like to hike and see the changing colors, but this change in season means a change in bear emotional landscapes. Bears are usually friendly and eat mostly insects or fish. But if you confront bears in the wrong season (now), you may be dealing with existential levels of crabbiness. Bears want nothing more than to eat fast before they take an eight month nap. They may settle for an insect, but if you are an easier kill, you might be their first priority.” Read the rest here!