April 25, 2005

Can You Make Pizza Out of Matzo?

matzos.jpeCinecultist's favorite part of Passover is the bitching. "I can't eat bread or rice or pasta or various other things with leaven for eight whole days," we whine. "Feel sorry for us, our people were afflicted." and "mwah, all we really want to eat is a measly piece of pizza." Doesn't that sound fun? Okay, maybe not for the people around us who are listening to yet another discussion of salad for lunch but there's something rejuvenating about getting back to our kvetching roots.

However, on the way home last night from Passover seder in Queens with the Lifshitzs' (thanks for the brisket and Gus's gorky!), we started thinking about all of the classic Passover cinema. Well, actually we couldn't think of any Pesach movies. Does Ten Commandments count? We've never actually seen it but we think there are plagues in there. Although if that's the deciding criteria, we might also call Magnolia a Passover movie, what with the falling frogs and all. Sadly, the self-imposed food restrictions keep making Cinecultist think of Mystic Pizza, the anti-Pesach flick.

All of this mental grappling for Jewish themed movies reminded CC of a Sunday School favorite, The Frisco Kid. For some reason, when our synagogue pedagogues ran out of material on Tu BiShvat and the founding of Israel, they'd turn to the Gene Wilder oeuvre for time-filler. This flick features Wilder as the worst rabbinical student ever, sent West by the council of Rabbis to Gold Rush era San Francisco, where he's supposed to meet his betrothed and his congregation. However, various Wild West hijinks ensue when he meets a hunky, young Harrison Ford who's robbing Wilder's cross country train (if we remember the plot correctly). Anyhow, Ford is a bad guy who later becomes good once he gets to know Wilder, and we recall being highly amused by a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid-ish scene where the two jump off a cliff into a rushing river together. Ford yells "oh shit!" as he goes over, while Wilder screams out "oy vey!" Also, we think we recall a scene wherein Wilder tries to catch a chicken by promising, "I doesn't want to hurt you, I just want to make you kosher." Jewish comic gold, people.

With this in mind, Cinecultist has decided that we're going to mark every Passover with a screening of The Frisco Kid. So just picture us every spring, curled up on the couch covered in matzo cracker crumbs, swigging Dr. Brown's kosher cream soda and guffawing loudly at nebbish little Gene.

Posted by karen at April 25, 2005 8:36 AM