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September 25, 2007 at 1:00 am ET
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DC On DVD: “I’m Keith Hernandez” Movie

Fuck The Bronx Is Burning, get yourself a copy of this DVD instead.ESPN’s The Bronx Is Burning is coming out on DVD Tuesday.

Don’t waste your time or money — it sucks.

Instead send an email to: robot@robperri.com to request a copy of I’m Keith Hernandez, Rob Perri’s 19 minute cinematic mini-masterpiece.

I did — I emailed to request my copy, and it arrived at my local post office in less than a week (perhaps sped along by my mentioning that I was a member of the sporting press) — and I was blown away.

It’s amazing what a difference archival footage makes in the hands of an artist instead of the slimy mandibles of corporate greedhead hacks.

I’m Keith Hernandez bills itself thusly:

 

Part baseball documentary, part anti drug film, part socio-political satire, I’M KEITH HERNANDEZ utilizes a version of Hernandez life as a vehicle to discuss how male identity is shaped by TV/film, sports, advertising, and pornography. By examining the aforementioned types of media in conjunction with Lacan’s “Mirror Theory”, a clearer picture of masculinity emerges. As part of this discourse, the physical attribute of the mustache is explored as a symbol of male virility. Other topics include the Iran/Contra Affair and the resulting “Crack Explosion”, celebrity obsessed culture, and the subtleties of children’s television programming.”

If Perri had stuck to facts, I’m Keith Hernandez would be the slickest sports documentary I’ve ever seen.

But the film is more than just an admixture of at times indistinguishable fictions, facts, fabrications, and fornications*.

Besides being breathtakingly entertaining, I’m Keith Hernandez does an excellent job of framing its central question — How and why is Keith Hernandez a celebrity?

It presents Keith Hernandez as a Gatzby-esque demigod, born of his own self-belief. [The Fitzgerald quote I'm thinking of is:

"The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God—a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that—and he must be about His Father’s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end."]

Does Keith Hernandez have the mystique he does because he, of all Mets, was on Seinfeld? Or was he, of all Mets, on Seinfeld because he already had the mystique?

Why was he able to emerge from drugs and scandal with his health, freedom and reputation all unscathed, when others were far less fortunate? (Although he did have to finish his career in Cleveland.)

Why is he attractive to the Elaines and Jerrys of this world? Is it his paradoxical ability to be both dorky and dark?

Is it the Tom Selleck/porn star mustache?

Is it the sex appeal of someone who really shouldn’t be successful or sexy, yet somehow certainly is?

Is he really able to do anything simply by reminding himself “I’m Keith Hernandez,” or is that just something we all desperately want to believe?

***

Linky pinky:

I heard about the film through this Village Voice article. (Incidentally, The Voice is really picking up its coverage of the (’86) Mets, a week after that article they interviewed Ron Darling about John Coltrane. (The Voice‘s website also has more of the interview with director Perri.

*See the Mets logo in a very uncomfortable place! (No, not the back of a Volkswagen!)

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5 Responses to “DC On DVD: “I’m Keith Hernandez” Movie”
  1. bc twins fan says:

    “*See the Mets logo in a very uncomfortable place! (No, not the back of a Volkswagen!)”

    I think that is the first Mall Rats reference I have ever seen.

  2. the mayor says:

    i lost my virginity during this movie! chixdigit!

  3. Drano says:

    Hernandez might be the only living thing that could kick Chuck Norris’ ass.

  4. Drano says:

    And that includes a great white shark.

  5. Tony D says:

    When i saw this, the boner it gave me actually broke through the bottom of my popcorn bucket.

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