Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Last Days of Bloggie May.

Okay, so I missed another day. I been busy! These floors aren't gonna sweep themselves, fer cryin out loud!

I just watched The Last Days of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes--or skimmed through it, to be honest, as there's only so much astrology/numerology/holistic healing nonsense I can take. It wasn't bad, but the mystical element was a bunch of hooey, even more so after reading up on the facts, which are somewhat misrepresented by the film. Frankly, far from being other-worldly, it's an all-too-familiar story.

Lopes filmed herself and her new band as they spent a month in Honduras getting their act together, so to speak. To sum the whole thing up, she was a troubled gal who couldn't handle her notoriety, a dramatic attention-seeker who was probably not as talented as she was led to believe. Don't get me wrong, she seemed like a nice enough person, quite lovely even, but the many gifts we are told she possessed are simply not on display. She rapped and danced well, but her lyrics and art were fairly pedestrian, and the instrumental abilities she claimed are never evident in the film.

For someone who had spent as much time in rehab and therapy as she had, and who seems to have considered herself quite introspective and revealing, her explanations of her bad behavior and many arrests (including for the burning of her boyfriend's mansion) are shallow and lacking responsibility--lots of excuses and talk of her alternate personalities, "Nikki" and "Nina." She even shows off the words she carved into her forearm on different occasions with a sort of pride, as if the acts testified to her passion rather than her self-destructiveness.

The only part of the documentary that really left an impression on me is the final week of filming, because it's also the final week of her life. Her van, driven by her assistant, hits and kills a boy. (I have since read that the accident actually occurred on April 6th, more than two weeks before Lopes' death, but in the documentary it isn't presented until the end--I suppose for greater dramatic impact.) Because the boy's name was Lopez, she believes that a spirit is after her and snuffed the boy by mistake. A creepy coincidence, to be sure, but I'm guessing that randomly picking out a Lopez in Honduras is like picking out a Miller in Amish country. (Hell, in the 1990 US Census, Lopez ranked 32nd among most-common names.)

Part of her premonition rationalization has to do with the weird (but non-specific) dreams she'd been having, which the skeptic in me would guess were really attributable to her bizarre diet, consisting mainly of herbal cleansing drinks that apparently smelled like diarrhea. (Her band is even shown sneaking off to a market for junk food because they can't stand the crap she's been feeding them.) The film makes it seem as if the dreams precede the boy's death, but upon reading the facts, this doesn't appear entirely accurate. Most of the scenes with Lopes relating the dreams must have been filmed between the two accidents.

The last scene in Honduras shows the actual last scene of Lopes' life. The horrifying action freezes just as she loses control of her vehicle, which rolled into a ditch, killing her and injuring members of the band. Incredibly, seconds before the accident, Lopes is holding some sort of flat tin (containing decks of cards, perhaps) with the Coca-Cola logo prominently displayed. She holds it steady for the camera, which films from the passenger seat, while gazing seductively (and for way too long) into the lens, a pose she strikes many times during the movie. It looks like she's trying to mimic an advertisement, or maybe dropping in some product placement in hopes that Coke will fund the filming. (She is pretty much broke at this point, and has just had to pay for hospital and funeral bills, not to mention the cost of dragging her huge entourage to Central America.) When someone in the back seat asks to see the tin, Lopes hands it to her, and that's when the swerving begins.

One has to wonder if the camera was rolling during the accident that killed the child, and, if so, was there any attention-diverting horseplay going on inside the van. Apparently, the accident was never actually reported to the police, and no formal investigation was conducted, so I doubt any film was confiscated. In the reports I have read, the boy is described as simply walking--not running--into the path of the van.

Of course, you never really get the full story from even the most detailed documentary, and, as mentioned, I fast-forwarded quite a bit so my take on the flim is lacking. But the lessons to be had in all of this, as I see it? If you must shill, don't do it so shamelessly... and keep both eyes on the road.

Check out May 2007 for the follow-up, the title is something like "The Fault Lies Not in our Stars." I've been trying to make a link to that post but Blogger is being a total turd about it...

2 Comments:

Blogger Brian Kunath said...

I need another personality that I can trot out to suggest a depth and artistry I lack. Worked for Lopez, Roseanne, Anne Heche. Who else? Sean Young? Rosie?

Welcome home, Gutcho!

Mon May 21, 08:09:00 PM 2007  
Blogger psaur said...

Jesus, I almost forgot about Gutcho. That would be the perfect alter-ego for you, as I don't think he ever actually appeared in one of our videos. There was lots of talk about him being in the "Grandpa's a Mean Old Bastard" sequel, but if we ever commenced filming, for whatever reason I can't remember it. I only seem to recall Gutcho emerging to squeal the name of the matador in the picture on our wall. Holy crap--was the matador's name Lopez? That would bring the whole thing together in an eerily meaningless way...

Mon May 21, 10:38:00 PM 2007  

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