Home > Arts and Entertainment, The Boulevardier > ‘UP IN SMOKE” AT ART THEATRE TONIGHT: HELP DISTRICT WEEKLY’S UNPAID FREELANCERS WITH A HAZY TRIP DOWN MEMORY LAME

‘UP IN SMOKE” AT ART THEATRE TONIGHT: HELP DISTRICT WEEKLY’S UNPAID FREELANCERS WITH A HAZY TRIP DOWN MEMORY LAME

CHONG & CHEECH

How did 420—otherwise translated as April 20 or 4/20…or more to the point, today—become known internationally as the day to celebrate the healing/relaxing/inspiring/cotton-mouthing/squinty-eying/Snoop-Dogging characteristics of cannabis? Why do we so anxiously await Fatty Tuesday?

Contrary to many myths, 420 has nothing to do with police code for pot-smoking, the number of active chemicals in marijuana, Hitler’s birthday, the Columbine shooting or tea-time in Amsterdam.

It’s because Ellen Griley, editor of The District Weekly until its owners suddenly folded it last month and left most freelancers unpaid, chose 420—or April 20 or 4/20…or more to the point, tonight—as the date of an Art Theatre benefit for those freelancers: a screening of Cheech & Chong’s 1978 hilarious cannabis comedy classic, “Up In Smoke.”

I think that’s right, anyway. That is, I think “Up In Smoke is hilarious. I know I was laughing. Of course, it was 30 years ago and I was pretty swaddled.

But there’s no question that “Up In Smoke” has been influential—a jumping-off point for a genre of films that runs from a series of less-and-less-funny sequels by Cheech & Chong through the red-eyed social commentary of Richard Linklater’s “Slacker” (1991) and “Dazed and Confused” (1993), the skewy art of the Coen Brothers’ “The Big Lebowski”(1998), early star vehicles for Sean Penn (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” 1982), Dave Chappelle (“Half-Baked,” 1998) and Ashton Kutcher (“Dude, Where’s My Car?” 2001), and maybe even the weirdly sweet romance between Brenda Blethyn and Craig Ferguson (“Saving Grace” (2000), right up to most everything made by Judd Apatow, not including “Pineapple Express” (2008), which people forget was directed by David Gordon Greene.

And speaking of “Pineapple Express,” here’s how my favorite movie critic—Peter Rainer of the Christian Science Monitor—reviewed it: “As these things go, ‘Pineapple Express’ is fitfully amusing but not up to the level of, say, Cheech and Chong’s ‘Up in Smoke.’”

So there, dude.

CHEECH & CHONG’S “UP IN SMOKE,” A BENEFIT FOR UNPAID FREELANCERS OF  THE DISTRICT WEEKLY  THE ART THEATRE • 2025 E FOURTH  ST • LONG BEACH 90814 • 562.438.5435 • TUES, APRIL 20 9PM • $10 • THEARTTHEATRELONGBEACH.COM

Advertisements
  1. Ellen Griley
    April 19, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Hey guys (sorry Dave, I was asleep when you called this morning)! Just want to clarify that Logan Crow of Mondo Celluloid approached ME and generously offered the ticket sales of this screening to our freelancers. Logan is one of the people in this city who TRULY makes me excited about the future of Long Beach and so I need to give credit where it is due. This was his idea 100%.

    In addition, Se and Shea of {open} have also offered 20% of their sales before the screening to support the freelancer cause, so GO BUY A BOOK! (Or a CD! Or a shirt! Or whatever you can afford!) And there will be an after party at the Prospector hosted by DJ Oldboy (aka Chris Lynch) featuring THE LITTLEST VIKING (Whittier, CA)LE SWITCH (Los Angeles, CA) FONZIE (Orange County, CA) and THE ZINFIDELS (Orange County, CA). A portion of the door (cover is $5) will also go to the freelancers.

    NONE of this could have ever happened without people approaching me after hearing that I was hoping to plan some fundraisers. I am overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity on exhibit here. Please do what you can to support!

    • Howardx
      April 19, 2010 at 5:56 pm

      daves not here man…..

      • April 19, 2010 at 6:15 pm

        Thanks, Howard, I was wondering how to work that in.

        • Howardx
          April 20, 2010 at 6:57 am

          i was surprised to find that someone else hadnt already done it!

          • April 20, 2010 at 7:49 am

            That simple phrase has echoed through my life for, I’m thinking, nearly 40 years.

  2. Gordana
    April 19, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Here’s hoping you get a great crowd! For folks who can’t attend, but want to help, where can contributions be mailed?

  3. Ellen Griley
    April 19, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Gordana: All people who can’t attend can e-mail me (egriley AT gmail.com) and I can give you info where to send donations. Thank you!!!

  4. Howardx
    April 20, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Dave Wielenga :That simple phrase has echoed through my life for, I’m thinking, nearly 40 years.

    now that i see how much you enjoy it i’ll make sure and use it here often;)

  5. April 21, 2010 at 8:24 am

    I wanted to be there and couldn’t. Hope you made a ton. Thanks for the e-mail–will definitely contact you.

  6. Joe Mack
    June 17, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I grew up in the 60’s and loved “Up in Smoke”! Though a Musician, I never smoked pot.

    I needed to calm down and preferred booze.

    As I get older, I find I’m (just naturally) calming down.

    It’s either physical-changes, or (maybe) it’s just a sign of ennui.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: