Thursday, July 14, 2011


Song Title: "Little Yurt on the Prairie"
Artist: Kongar-ol Ondar
Search Term: "Yurt"

Thank goodness our major film studios are currently occupied exclusively with slapping together overbearing action films designed to boost sales of established brands of children's products and "reboots" of franchises that came into being six years ago, because it would otherwise be inevitable that someone would greenlight a film based solely on this song's title. It would be an anachronism-packed, 140-minute family comedy in which a band of foolhardy American pioneers takes a wrong turn at Albuquerque, the menfolk stubbornly refuse to ask for directions as the group plods onward, they caulk their wagons and float across the Bering Strait, and wind up settling in southern Siberia. It would star:

--Will Forte as a bumbling but well-meaning widower intent on traveling west to build a new and better life for his teen daughter. At one point the character flees comically from a bear.
--Yvonne Strahovski as a pretty lady traveling with the group ("pretty lady" being the sum of her characterization), who thinks Forte is deplorably stupid until she has a heart-to-heart with Forte's daughter in which the daughter admits that her dad can often be a dork but he's really a good guy. At this point Strahovski and Forte begin a bland courtship.
--Two disposable Disney Channel test tube babies: One as Forte's daughter and one as an attractive Tuvan native the settlers meet upon reaching their ultimate destination. Their innocent flirting proves that love transcends all cultural boundaries. The two actors would briefly date offscreen but have a very public and acrimonious breakup on Twitter a week before the film premieres.
--Christina Applegate as a good-hearted sexpot named Kit or Ric or suchlike. She intends to start a brothel when she reaches California, but when the travel plans go awry, she settles for teaching the local Siberian women how to dress provocatively. (Possibly in a montage set to Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy.") She encourages Forte's daughter to "go for it" when the daughter is shy around her Tuvan crush. She also encourages Forte to "go for it" when he is shy around Strahovski. Applegate's character does not find love herself because she is a loose woman and therefore undeserving of such.
--Dan Fogler as Cookie, dispenser of beans and fart jokes!
--Ian McShane as Forte's grizzled father who dies in the first reel because McShane would wisely not commit to a larger role.
--Dana Delany as Forte's mother, making us all feel very, very old. She thinks Forte is often too hard on his daughter, who Forte needs to realize is blossoming into a young woman and is no longer a little girl. Upon settling in Siberia, Delany stares out at the landscape and wistfully tells the departed McShane, "We made it," at which point a rainbow appears.
--David Cross and Fisher Stevens as hammy Russian merchants the pioneers meet upon crossing the Bering Strait. In promotional interviews, Cross would be excruciatingly defensive about his appearance in the film, while Stevens would endlessly, desperately advocate for a spinoff sequel revolving around his and Cross's characters.

It would be as big a flop as Wagons East and Almost Heroes, and the studio's annual report would list "the unforeseen underperformance of presumed summer tentpole Little Yurt on the Prairie" as a bullet point under the heading "challenges." The studio would receive a $4.8 billion tax refund and be purchased by Comcast, the end.

So this song. It could actually be a snippet of the soundtrack to the above-described film as the camera lingers on a shot of the Siberian landscape. Cowriter David Hoffner has a background in film and television scores, so the pastoral sweep of the music is authentically cinematic. It's so lovely that it would almost be forgettable if the track weren't goosed by the vocals of Tuvan throat singer Kongar-ol Ondar, who adds an incongruous, enchanting drone while wordlessly doubling the melody in his deep vacuum-cleaner-hose voice. It's like nothing else I've ever heard. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a screenplay to write.

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