Monday, July 04, 2005

Extreme Normal

I happened upon Never Been Thawed in, of all places, Tempe Arizona, in May of this year.

I cannot help but associate Tempe with the LDS Church, because in 1976 I went on a school chorale tour which took many of us into the Tempe homes of Mormon student hosts. It was an interesting experience for our little group of hippies from Berkeley. With two other girls, I stayed one night in the home of a girl our age, also in her Tempe high school choir, who looked like she was modeling her looks on Farrah Fawcett's. Tempe was flat, white bread suburbia. We ate dinner at Pizza and Pipes. Tempe became, in my mind, synonymous with Middle American tastes and culture.

That experience actually threads quite well into the realm of Never Been Thawed, which I saw in a cute little art house theatre (spiffiest, cleanest art house between the Hudson and LA) in downtown Tempe. NBT is about the far reaches of suburban dweebiness. It identifies the strange moment when white bread-ism becomes so intense in its own right that it is in itself radical. The characters are fanatics for FROZEN MEALS and they collect them the way my brother did comic books. There are many tasty subplots and plenty of laughs along the way. (Cast/crew candid shot -- hey, their damn website uses Flash, so I can't kife photos)... give 'em a visit at .

Oh, and about Tempe? This is the most mind-blowingly clean town I have ever visited. For having the big Arizona State University right there like a battleship in dry dock, Tempe manages to be cute, fun, and friendly. We had steak at Monti's historical adobe hacienda, listened to a reggae concert in the park, and took in NBT, which, incidentally, was followed by a concert given by the director and his band, The Christers. The appearing cast members' in-character demeanor was utterly brilliant, to the point that audience members clearly did not totally believe we were seeing actors.

Hope you'll get to see this wacky film!

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