As I was sitting here minutes ago swamped with deadlines and in a panic because I didn’t write my Kitsch O’ The Day post yet I got an email from my good friend and reliable Kitsch spotter, Tom Trujillo, telling me that I HAD TO watch this video, “Pardon Me” by Maxine Swaby. My first thought was we finally have a few moments of sunshine here in LA and this video opens up with brightly colored tulips so wouldn’t that be nice? My second thought was this isn’t so bad, a little lethargic perhaps but no big deal.  My third thought was Maxine Swaby is leading me down a very subtle yet precious path of Kitsch because many of her notes hide somewhere under the melody, most of the shots and transitions are too literal interpretations of the lyric, and the energy of everything – Maxine, the shots, the color palette, et al – always stays so even keel you just want to show Ms. Swaby a picture of a clown or something that will make her laugh, give her a big shot of sugar so her hands won’t stay within the 3 inch range she confines them to, anything at all to add little ooooomph to the overall video situation.

This is by no means the kitschiest performance I’ve ever seen but it speaks to a middle of the road way of inducing Kitsch that brings about the undesired effect despite intentions otherwise. So many people say to me I don’t know what kitsch is.   I say to them yes you do, it’s all around you.  Just look at this video.

7 Responses to “Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – “Pardon Me” But Please Watch This Video For Unintentional Excellence In Kitsch”

  1. avant_mom

    so right-on!! multi-layered and subtle kitsch! much appreciated on a dreary winter day in new england.

  2. Heidi Ehrenreich

    ok since I have to begin somewhere, let’s start with the gestures. as a person of many gestures for many reasons, this woman need real help. I must say that her silver nails, which seemed to match her hair(s) were very coordinated. Now, I think she picked the right song, since it was one “hook” repetition and required very little memory. her film … See Moremaker was excellent, since he seemed to repeat film clips as well, so as not to tax his singer.
    Now, I must mention the fashion. I don’t think the angle of the camera capturing her military mini did her any favors( as my sister Jill says to me when I ask “how do I look?” I must say I was curious about her shoes, since at one point, I think it was when she was jogging towards the church, I wondered if she was wearing Nikes.
    I must say, I have had tremendous trouble sleeping, and since ambien has ceased to help, I may use this video again. thank you Dr Willis

  3. Windupkitty

    oh wow. thanks for taking the time to post this and thanks, mr trujillo for sending this to allee!!!

    but i want you to knooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwww!!!

    i love her half sign language half hula dance too, she’s a good communicator!

  4. denny

    I cannot believe this. This video is supreme. I had to go back several times and watch as I was just in awe of her incredible talent. I was overwhelmed by this and like Allee says, there’s a ton going on here. I was enthralled by her hair weaves (I think she got them down on La Cienega) that just seem to take on a life of their own towards the end of this. I absolutely was dying over the eye close up which almost had me looking away cause it frightened me, it was too close. Swag curtains never looked better and I was a bit worried tho when she almost “tapped” her private parts with her stunning hand movements. I bookmarked this video.

  5. James Grissom

    Once I was disabused of the notion that this woman had been my flight attendant on Air Ethiopia, I was able to relax (but not to the extent exemplified by our songstress) and get into the video.

    I think she’s dead.

    I think that she has entered Thanatopsis, and the greenery, the flowers, the enormous, extended hand displaying or beckoning or beseeching, is inducing us to come home, lay down, give in.

    It scares me.

    Finally, I have seen the performer who makes the latter-day Peggy Lee seem like a coed on crack during Homecoming Week. She’s formidable. Implacable, stolid, and determined to crank out that final, flat note.

    Even if it kills us.

    And now we’re all in Thanatopsis.

    Brew some coffee and call me. I’ll talk you out of it.

  6. Ryan Martinez

    I believe Maxine is located in the U.K.

    My reason for believing this is because there’s a shot of her waiting for a train. As it passes her, the “Virgin” moniker is seen on the side of the train.

    My understanding is that Virgin only operates trains in the U.K.

    And yes, if you haven’t figured it out yet, I am currently unemployed and do in fact have a great deal of time on my hands.

    Besides, Ms. Willis is an extraordinary talent and I’d rather read her blog than be on Careerbuilder.