As has been previously acknowledged by BlackBook, Ryan Gosling has a band called Dead Man’s Bones. Fittingly for an actor, Gosling inhabits various characters as he sings dramatic songs about stalkers, ghosts, and other spooky subjects. Unfittingly for an actor, his band doesn’t suck. (If only he could’ve sexually transmitted some vocal talent to Scarlett Johansson.) Dead Man’s Bones recently put on a show at New York City’s Le Poisson Rouge, and Pitchfork made a short documentary about it. Behold.
Contrary to what one expects of Pitchfork, the short film’s tone is sincere as it shows what goes into mounting a complicated performance with sets, costumes, variety show and children’s chorus. In fact, sometimes it’s almost too sincere; footage of the kids talking about what a cool, down to earth guy Ryan Gosling is, for example, seems like overkill. Then there is the scene in which Gosling asks a lackey to make one of the weirdos in the “talent show” (a member of a vaguely Dresden Dolls-y cabaret duo) cover her breasts because there are children around. This wouldn’t be so bad but for the fact that he was just talking to her, and was visibly perturbed at the sight of her erect nipples, but was too shy to say anything about it. Depending how big a crush you have on Ryan Gosling, this is either passive aggressive or endearing.
Those harboring a lady-boner for Gosling will find their flames fanned by the Caulfield-esque regard he shows for the kids; at one point he walks around making sure they’ve all eaten. Another adorable moment comes when our man must explain to a would-be talent show crasher why her “Poop Opera” doesn’t fit with the theme. “We try very hard to create a certain vibe,” he says, as gently as possible. And then there is the awesome old yoga contortionist lady. “My roommate is gonna be so jealous that I met you!” she squeals.
This is Spinal Tap this is not, and I wish there were more live concert footage, but it’s definitely interesting enough to merit a viewing. And those who I had at “Ryan Gosling” will surely enjoy it. Just make sure you “enjoy” it responsibly, i.e. not on a plane.