Wednesday, April 19, 2006

TV: Camp Hollywood (2004)

I stumbled onto this documentary the same way that filmmaker Steve Markle stumbled onto his subject. An aspiring comedian, Markle headed to Hollywood’s Highland Gardens Hotel because that’s where his fellow Canadian performers stayed while trying to break in to show business.

The hotel has a checkered history. Janis Joplin took her fatal overdose there. On the plus side, it’s where Brad Pitt lived for more than year while waiting for his chance.

Staying at the hotel for long stretches at a time are talented wannabes (several of whom have gone on to success), cagey veterans (like the character actors Maury Chaykin and Roy Dotrice, and the writer Gary Indiana), and assorted broken souls. Many who could leave the Gardens end up staying, because the hotel provides what their profession and Los Angeles itself does not: a sense of community.

Sundance Channel will be showing the film, which clocks in at just over an hour, a few more times this month. It’s worth seeking out.

TV: American Idol

So the show makes a practice of booking artists with CDs to promote? Then I know what I want: Morrissey night. Hang the DJ, y’all.

Miscellaneous: *koff*

Eight days and counting. I’ve had worse colds, but none that were this persistent. I had a dose last year that was so bad every time I coughed I saw the baby Jesus.

This time out doesn’t compare. So far I’ve only seen Jim Caviezel, with occasional appearances by Jeffrey (King of Kings) Hunter. Earlier today I glimpsed former Mets outfielder Jesus Alou. I take that as a sign I’m improving.