The SilverDocs Film Festival
By Normal Bob Smith
Bob Smith, USA (in case you hadn't already heard) is a documentary directed by Neil Abramson that follows seven different Bob Smiths in hopes of establishing a quintessential, stereotypical, average American "Bob Smith." It far exceeds that goal, establishing the quintessential broken, patriotic, religious American and thereby revealing what "Bob Smith, U.S.A." really means.
1. Bob Smith— A wacky Christian evangelist clown who spreads God's Good News through the art of balloon animals and your basic generic clown gags with a Jesus theme (heart shaped balloon with 'Baby Jesus' written on it, yellow balloon that represents the gold paved roads in Heaven & long purple balloon that reminds the clown of our sin).
2. Bob Smith— A photographer who's childhood crush seems to be the driving force behind a full load of hates, regrets and drinking binges.
3. Bob Smith— A jazz musician in an interracial relationship, and a gospel singer at his church.
4. Bob Smith– A Yoda-wannabe Yogi instructor who's all too eager to climb the highest horse and put forth a myriad of Dr. Phil-esque life lessons that evoke only his own mechanical laughter.
5. Bob Smith— A lovable, carefree atheist devil who tracks back all of his screwy behavior to an overly religious, overbearing mother.
6. Bob Smith— A southern Christian patriot running for sheriff of his small town, and ex country singer who can still get the ladies on the dance floor... at the local Bingo hall.
|A loving moment between Normal Bob and his mother during filming of "Bob Smith, USA"
7. Bob Smith (everyone's favorite)— An 86 year old junk collector on the outskirts of upstate New York with a yard full of broken dreams and a basement full of secret fetishes he's only too happy to share with us all!
Neil Abramson & Me
|Together these seven men reveal an America up to its Canadian border in religious madness. In my opinion one of the most original, hilarious and necessary films to date. Yeah, so I'm the main Bob in the film. What's your point?!? And, okay, sure. I admit it. I have a crush on Neil Abramson. A man. Okay, and he has a gorgeous wife and child with another on the way, so there's that too. But that's neither here nor there. This movie is brilliant and I'm the only one in it who's right. Neil and I have riches none of you could ever understand! *Runs out of room clutching myself and sobbing*
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Bob Smith, USA had it's world premier at the SilverDocs Film Festival, June 2005. The main showing of the movie was Friday night, 9:30. It was sold out, the line going around the block!
The film got such a strong positive reaction (mainly loud, uproarious laughter). And both showings were followed by a Q&A session for the director. Each time I was invited up onto the stage to participate in the Q&A. When Neil was asked if his own spiritual beliefs were altered during filming he replied, "Yes. More in the direction of Normal Bob's, I guess you could say."
But even more interestingly, one man stood up and told me, "You're the only one of the Bob Smith's that I'd want my 18 year old daughter to date!" (Parents take note.)
I'd been told beforehand that Yogi Bob, after seeing the movie, had been completely freaked out by me and my in-his-face atheist agenda. Each of us were invited up onto the stage to meet for the very first time. He immediately strove to gain the upper hand by giving me a hardy slap on the back saying, "I finally get to say I MET SATAN!" Followed by a perfectly annunciated "HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!" (You'll understand what I'm talking about when you see the movie.) I imagine he probably thought that I really do think I'm Satan (or wish I was Satan) so therefore it'd be hilariously patronizing if he referred to me as such. And yeah, it hurt. Who wouldn't be hurt by that? I mean, my heart's not made of bulletproof steel! *sniffle*
Afterwards people actually wanted my autograph and were eager to find out more about what I was up to now.
"This is what I'm up to!" I'd say!
This movie is a really big deal for me!
No joke. I'd love more projects. I need more projects. Email me stuff to do!
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It was really hard to say goodbye to the whole event. Who would have guessed I'd enjoy being spoiled rotten, treated like a celebrity and addressing the public's urgent questions about everything that makes up that which is me? The four and a half hour Chinatown bus ride from DC to NYC was just the bitter reality I needed to bring me back down to earth.
And Neil, I have a little surprise for you! All of us Bob Smiths got together, took a vote and it was unanimous. Neil Abramson, we hereby dub you an honorary Bob Smith from this moment forward! Now you're one of us, Neil!! Forever!! "HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!"