Friday, June 10, 2005

The Future Is Flux

First things first: Viacom's MTV has never managed to rise above anything other than a channel that was after CBS and in front of the USA Network on my cable system, a station where this particular train did not and would not stop. This has always been the case, since its inception in the early 1980s.1 But hey, this is Virginia, and we always have an exception. ("My Lord Your Honor, the rule in Queen Elizabeth's Case is more accurately applied here, rather than the more modern rule adopted in 1700...") For a brief moment, in the mid-to-late 1990s, MTV managed to catch my attention for a short while. What monumentous occasion produced this? Three things, House of Style, Beavis and Butt-head, and Aeon Flux. The first was, of course, for Cindy Crawford, first introduced to me by way of Denis Leary. The second was simple appeal to the more base, coarse, and downright malevolent humor lurking beneath the surface of all young men. The disruptive effect of screaming, "I am the great Cornholio" in what's supposed to be a serious setting cannot be overstated. That leaves us with, as it was once put, Frau Flux.2 I vaguely remember Liquid Television, on which a variety of Aeon Flux shorts by Peter Chung aired. Thinking back on it, I was probably drawn into the fact that they were animated, involved copious amounts of gunplay and random violence, plus (usually) a skyrocketing body count. It didn't hurt that Frau Flux wasn't so bad looking, but more on that later. The program was later extended into its own series, with a more or less coherent plot, detailing the adventures of Aeon Flux, a combination assassin/spy. Getting any deeper into would require a lot more space, which I don't intend to do. Keeping track of the plot on any other level than Aeon versus Trevor Goodchild (head of the more-or-less enemy state and Aeon's occasional, er, companion) would require a degree in the inner working of Stanley Kubrick's mind. Like I said, difficult to follow from episode to episode. Strange and off-the-wall themes pervaded every episode, along with some fetishistic behavior that I didn't much care for at the time. Tongues in the ear are not my forte, you see. Anyways. The program suffered the fate of every program that I like, and was not renewed. A few years intervened, and then I managed to get the more-or-less complete series on VHS from something called 'Amazon.com'.3 I coughed up for a copy of the MTV-produced book tie-in, and then eventually law school intervened, disconnecting me from the world of Aeon Flux forever. Or so I thought. Fast forward to 2005. I've heard vague rumors of an Aeon Flux movie in production, but I shrug them off. Comes now a copy of that dreadful rag Entertainment Weekly in a trial subscription someone signed me up for.4 I'm idly flipping through the thing when something approximately like this shows up. Lo, it was Charlize Theron as Aeon Flux herself. Charlize Theron is an actress of which I've maintained a slight interest since seeing her in Mighty Joe Young and Men of Honor.5 On the other hand, I would never have considered her for the part of Aeon Flux. In fact, about the only actress I'd consider for it is Lara Flynn Boyle. However, you go into production with the actress that you have, not the actress that you want, to paraphrase Donald H. Rumsfeld. That leaves us with Miss Theron and a movie in post-production. Therefore, I suggest that if you've got an interest in the property, point your browser over to aeonflux.com, where there are a few things to do courtesy of Flash. Me, I got the wallpaper. For better or for worse, I'll probably be ambling into the theaters on this one, if only to perhaps relive part of the pre-war era, where I didn't have a care in the world other than the next race or the next paper that was due. Heck, the movie couldn't possibly be any worse than Stealth.6 That which does not kill us makes us stranger. Tip of the Wisconsin hat to Swanky Conservative. ---- 1 Cyndi Lauper & Captain Lou Albano fail when measured against the General Lee, Airwolf, and the Knight Industries Two Thousand, you see. In the more modern era, vintage Liz Phair, Sheryl Crow, and Lisa Gerrard might manage to win out. However, much like the number of Frenchmen required to defend Paris, who knows? It's never been tried. Ha ha. 2 Yes, I own a copy of The Herodotus File. I hope nobody ever finds it; that's arguably one of the things I'd rather not have to explain. Nobody would believe that it wasn't some sort of pseudo-fetish mag. Meanwhile, a continuing injustice in the world is that Jessica Simpson's reality series is on DVD, and nobody's compiled all the Aeon Flux episodes for DVD. Perhaps MTV will pull its collective cranium out of its ventral cavity and do that to coincide with the theatrical release. That is, if they can do something other than drag down the culture, for once. 3 Either Das Boot on VHS or the Aeon Flux set were among the first purchases I ever made from Mr. Bezos' little kiosk. Go figure. 4 In the words of Wolverine from an ad for Damage Control, "Somebody dies!" 5 Hey, she's blond haired, blue eyed, and is a product of the ruins of the British Empire. What's not to like? She also did well in a turn as Britt Ekland in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, one of the most depressing movies that I think I've ever watched. Geoffrey Rush, however, managed to cement his place as one of my more favorite actors with this production. "Walsinghaaaaam!" 6 Since this picture is almost certain to have a political angle, I expect several juvenile and poorly-veiled jabs at either George W. Bush and/or the Republican Party in general, courtesy of those political sophisticates at MTV. I never thought I'd long for the days of that annoying Tabitha Soren or that creepy-looking Kurt Loder. At the same time, it would mean the return of Serena Altschul, who wasn't all that bad looking. In other news, I want the ninety seconds or so of my life back that the trailer for Stealth attached to Revenge of the Sith has stolen.

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