2001, $1.49, at Goodwill on San Fernando in Glendale
First Impression: Brought to you by the letter “J.”
Second Impression: With support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
This DVD allows us to visit again with Ana Caban, who, in a previous video, tried to make us do an exercise called “The Snake,” which I call “Nope.”
To film this workout, Ana and her friend Tara have snuck into a catering banquet hall in between weddings:
Why is the chicken they serve at weddings always so dry and rubbery? They charge like $80 a plate. For that much money they could afford a full-time Baste Boy.
Meanwhile, Tara is taking a break from her role as Dorothy in a regional production of The Wizard of Oz, and yes, she has watched the movie with the sound off while playing The Dark Side of the Moon, and she wishes people would stop asking her that and just compliment her performance instead.
Every time Ana addresses the camera directly, it shifts to a Dutch angle, so it feels like MTV’s Cribs. Other 90’s video tropes include frequently cutting to a grainy, black and white B-roll from a surveillance camera, for that police interrogation feel.
The full name for this form of exercise was originally, “The Pilates Method of Contrology.”
I didn’t make that up. Look:
I heard somewhere that Joseph Pilates invented this exercise to cure his own Rickets. I thought Rickets could only be cured with large doses of Vitamin D. But what do I know? I’m no Baste Boy.
This routine features all the classic Pilates moves, including The Saw. This violently named exercise is done correctly when you reach out your arm and imagine sawing off your pinky toe, then putting it in the basket whenever you are told.
While describing what led her to Pilates, Ana says of a debilitating back injury, “I was on the floor like a dying cockroach,” as she curls up her fingers in a demonstration of rigor mortis.