Have a Little Faith in “Kumaré”

Have a Little Faith in “Kumaré” (photo)

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It’s a provocative question: what gives a spiritual leader any more holy than the rest of us? It was that question that prompted Vikram Gandhi to create his film “Kumaré” in which Gandhi plays a fictional religious guru named, yes, Kumaré. Disturbed by the commercialization of yoga in America and the proliferation of charlatans posing as holy men, Gandhi conceived a “Borat”-style performance art piece. He grew his hair and beard, threw on a fake Indian accent, and became Sri Kumaré, the leader of an imagined spiritual movement that preaches the same philosophy that Gandhi set out to prove with the film: that all of us are equally spiritual and don’t need a guru to tell us what to do. Gandhi and company decamped to Phoenix and installed themselves in the local yoga scene; before long, Kumaré was acquiring followers who were coming to him for guidance and advice.

“Kumaré” is a fascinating film. Sometimes it’s very funny; other times it’s downright troubling. Gandhi and his crew are perpetrating an enormous hoax on everyone and unlike the people Sacha Baron Cohen was punking in “Borat,” these aren’t racist bigots: they’re sweet-natured, emotionally damaged people who are just looking to improve their lives. That uncomfortable tension is very much present in the film, though. As Gandhi grows closer and closer to his disciples, he struggles with his secret and how to reveal it. In the end, Gandhi may end up proving the very beliefs he initially set out to debunk.

It’s a conversation starter, for sure. So we had lots to talk about when Gandhi and producer Bryan Carmel stopped by the Crossroads House for a chat. We dove into these issues, as well as some of the technical challenges of maintaining the Kumaré facade. And then at the end, they slapped a temporary tattoo on me which still hasn’t washed off. Maybe the guy has spiritual powers after all.

Part 1:

Part 2:

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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