Friday, July 14, 2006

George Saundersland Blips the Big Screen

There is a scene early on in the film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang that to me brings to life the sort of commercial you might see in a George Saunders short story. Harmony is describing to Harry the only evidence of her acting career -- a fairly popular beer commercial...

Harmony: You know the one with the bear. And it goes well, I prefer Genaros --

Harry: Genaros! But I’m a bear, what do I know? I suck the heads off fish.

Later we are treated to the actual commercial, with its stilted surrealism and a suitably low-rent CGI bear. In the ad, the bear bursts from a huge cake, two bottles of beer in each hand, which he proceeds to toss to the Bavarian crowd around him. Then the bear crams a fish into his mouth, and yes, sucks its head off. As the commercial ends, Harmony giggles bemusedly and turns to the camera to give us a “what-are-you-gonna-do” shrug.