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Friday, May 05, 2006

Rapt in the Closet

Just in case you haven't had the chance to see everyone's fave R&B singin' alleged pedophile R. Kelly's musical Trapped in the Closet: Chapters 1-12, this is an official reminder to go out and rent it. A while ago intrepid journalist/DVD masochist Christie brought this over and a bunch of us watched it... while drinking, of course. The Internet buzz is true, as it's one of the most unintentionally hilarious cinematic stinkbugs to smear the pop-culture windshield in a while.

Imagine: a 12-part music video detailing – with unprecedented soap-operatic melodrama – an insane tale of love-triangles (actually, more like love-polygons), gangstas, cops, coming out of the closet (both literally and metaphorically), shoot-outs and midget-related infidelity. Kelly stars in it, narrates it through song, and sings all of the character voices. The best part of is how over-the-top and obvious it is. We see Kelly pull out his berretta as he sings “I pull out my berretta”; a cop car with its light on pulls up behind him and he croons “woo-ah woo-ah woo-ah, here comes a policeman"; a midget appears and he belts out, “It was a midget, a miiid-get!”

The performances are every bit as delirious as the lines, which include, “I pull back the cover and oh, my god: a rubber… rubber… rubber… rubber… / And now I’m like, ‘Well, well, well, what the BOOP is this?’ / A condom in my bed – you better start talkin’ BOOP / Before I take a match and burn this mother-BOOP-er down!” And yes, he actually sings the “BOOPS.”

I was inspired to write a post about it after coming across this hilarious review of the DVD on Amazon:

A surrealist masterpiece, December 6, 2005


Luther Clement "rububula" (new york) - See all my reviews

Trapped in the Closet is a a work of unadulterated, if perhaps unintentional, genius which rests comfortably alongside the work of
Bunuel and Dali. What begins as a stereotypical melodrama quickly escalates into an epic farce which gleefully subverts our conception of what is possible and impossible. Lines like "he's opening the dresser / I pull out my berreta" and "then the midget takes his inhaler out" elevate R. Kelly's meisterwerk into storytelling genius. The subtle touches, like the fact that the midget has asthma, or that the Cop's wife is allergic to cherry pie, are like the details in a Bosch, giving life to the hellscape of modern life and revealing to us, in an age when we find ourselves drawn increasingly apart, that we are all connected in ways which may never be revealed to us, until we are forced into the closet by the unexpected arrival of a one night stand's spouse. R. Kelly's narrative interludes, delivered from inside the closet, remind us of the intent of the artist in orchestrating events, and casts R. Kelly into the mold of a sympathetic but ultimately helpless creator. By revealing to the audience both his control over evetns and his ultimate helplessness, he reminds us strikingly of Humbert Humbert in his asides to the jury.
Also, the most important thing to remember while watching is that R. Kelly peed on a 14 year old girl.

You gotta love that punch-line at the end.

I also found the first five chapters on it on Google video, which you can and should watch here. Plus I discovered a remake of it using the SIMS (part 1; part 2; part 3; part 4; and part 5). And don't forget the South Park parody, hosted in its entirety here.

Although, the Google vid offers a nice taste, the compression is the pits, and the funnier parts of this 43-minute opus (apparently eight more chapters are planned) comes in the later chapters – namely when the asthmatic midget is introduced. Rent it or download it; you'll laugh so hard you’ll piss yourself (hopefully not on a fourteen-year-old girl).


Anonymous eun said...

Oh, God. The Sims re-shoot? Beautiful. Just think how much time it took someone to do that, the hours of dedication...

1:52 AM

Anonymous collin said...

I've been intrigued by this since Fromage 2006 dedicated an entire segment to this sprawling epic of love, loss and the disconnection of modernity.
But not that intrigued.
Though I've never actually heard a song by R-Kelly, I sometimes wish a meteorite would hit him.
In somewhat parallel news, I flipped through my girlfriends high school yearbook last night and found two mass murderers (three each) and one Hustler model.

1:26 PM

Blogger Superdude said...

I looked through my yearbook at Christmas and saw one hell of a hot fat kid.
Also, the South Park R. Kelly spoof/reference is pretty good. It's the episode where Kyle or the other one get tricked into scientology. ANd the Sims redo? That's a whole lotta work, with none of the quirky Sims talking or other oddness thrown in. Crazy-cool and depressing ot think that there's someone out there with that much nerd-power/awesomeness. It's right on that line betwixt the two, methinks.

9:34 PM


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