Movieoke: For the closet movie star in each of us
Karaoke is a godsend for every frustrated pop singer who has ever crooned a favorite tune into a bar of soap in the shower. But what many people might not know is that there’s also a karaoke spinoff for the frustrated movie star in each of us.
It’s called Movieoke and it originated in 2003 in a defunct little basement bar/screening room in New York’s East Village called the Den of Cin. There, its film-fanatic founder Anastasia Fite devised an ingenious DVD projection system that allowed movie-star wannabes – amply fueled by a brew or two – to get up in front of a screen showing their favorite film scenes and trot out their best/worst acting chops.
While the Den of Cin has since closed and Movieoke has had its hot and cold spells, it’s still around in various New York venues and has even spread to American cities as diverse as Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Minneapolis.
Billed as “karaoke for movie lovers,” its format is simplicity itself. A movie is projected onto a screen behind a would-be actor or ensemble of actors and onto an alternate monitor which provides subtitles and action cues. The “actors” simply mimic the dialogue and action on screen or improvise their own.
The possibilities are limitless. Among favorite scenes that Fite cites from her days at the Den of Cin are the “No dad, what about you!” dialogue from “The Breakfast Club,” the battle of wits scene from “The Princess Bride” and the runway walk-off scene from “Zoolander.” There’s also the “You can’t handle the truth” dialogue from “A Few Good Men” and the classic Meg Ryan-Billy Crystal exchanges from “When Harry Met Sally.”
More classic favorites include the “You lookin’ at me?” sequence from “Taxi Driver,” the “Maniac” dance scene from “Flashdance” and virtually anything from “Casablanca.”
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