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January 10, 2008:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, this week is flying by, like a gazelle doing a six-count burpee. I gotta tell you. Last week kind of went by nice and easy, but I guess those days are over. Now we’re flying by, like a gazelle with stretch marks. I’ve enjoyed the New Year so far and have been having quite a good time writing. I must tell you of this fascinating thing I found out yesterday. Mr. Pool Man has not come since before Christmas, as he was on vacation. During that time, we had those incredible windy days and nights, and the pool was constantly filled with leaves. I was having to clean the filter several times a day, just pulling out masses of leaves, because when the filter is clogged the leaves in the pool just sit there like so much fish. Anyway, about a week ago, the water of the pool started turning a sickly shade of green, which is not to be confused with the song A Whiter Shade Of Pale. The green just got worse and worse until it looked like Elphaba had been swimming in the pool. I didn’t know if the pump wasn’t working, or the filter was screwed up or what. Well, Mr. Pool Man came and solved The Mystery Of The Green Water. According to him, everything was working just fine, and the chlorine level, while a little low from the two weeks he was gone, was still okay. But, apparently the green from the leaves was the culprit, seeping into the water while they sat there like so much fish. Isn’t that interesting? He cleaned everything, put some more chlorine in the pool and within fifteen minutes the pool was getting back to its normal color. Two hours later, the water looked very inviting. Speaking of inviting, yesterday was a day that occurred yesterday. Once again, I had weird dreams, none of which I can remember, and I got up several times during the evening. I finally fell back asleep at around seven in the morning and then got up at nine. I did some cleanups on the couple of pages I’d written the day before, then began writing new stuff – I didn’t think I was going to get further than five pages, but I finally got on a roll (an onion roll) and ended up doing eight pages. I’m in a fun but difficult section of the book, a section where I have to impart a lot of technical information, but I find all that stuff interesting. I took a break and did some errands and ate some pizza from Quickie’s, and then did the extra pages. I also did some work at the piano smoothing out some music and I made an appointment with Teddy to get kempt. Finally, I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I managed to watch two count them two motion pictures on DVD. The first motion picture on DVD was entitled The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, starring Mr. Alan Arkin and Miss Sondra Locke. I’d always meant to see the film but somehow had never caught up with it. So, it was nice to finally see it, and I must say it’s quite a good little film, with by the numbers direction by Robert Ellis Miller, but terrific performances from all concerned. Mr. Arkin is very subtle and wonderful in his role as the deaf mute Mr. Singer. And Sondra Locke, in her first film role, gives a beautifully nuanced performance – both deserved their Oscar nominations. Chuck McCann is very good as the deaf mute and backwards friend of Mr. Singer. Mr. Singer comes into contact with most of the main characters of the film, and in one way or another helps each see their strengths and weaknesses. The ending of the film is very touching, and the entire film is helped immeasurably by Dave Grusin’s lovely score. Also turning in excellent performances are Stacy Keach, Cicely Tyson, and especially Percy Rodrigues. It’s not a perfect film, but it’s well worth watching and I enjoyed every minute of it. The transfer, as usual with Warners, is too brown – this film was photographed by the great James Wong Howe, who would be turning in his grave if he saw this transfer – milky contrast, not enough blue, and not quite sharp enough in the mid to long shots. I then watched the second motion picture on DVD, which was entitled The Macintosh Man, starring Mr. Paul Newman, Miss Dominique Sanda, Mr. James Mason, Mr. Ian Bannen, Mr. Michael Hordern, and several other excellent character actors, under the direction of John Huston. I have tried to watch this film numerous times and never get past the ten-minute mark. I stuck it out this time and once one gets past the way too convoluted beginning, the film becomes more enjoyable. It doesn’t quite sustain itself and it is ultimately done in by the completely wretched score of Maurice Jarre, one of the most inept scores I’ve ever heard, at least as it works with the film its supposed to be accompanying. It’s got an okay main theme, but that’s all you get – over and over and over and over, and it never works with the visuals. This film, like another Jarre-scored film, Alfred Hitchcock’s Topaz, would probably seem a lot better if it had a Jerry Goldsmith score or a Lalo Schifrin score or a Jerry Fielding score. The Jarre score effectively turns everything to hash. The transfer, while not quite as washed out as The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, could certainly be better, color-wise, although, that said, some parts look better than others.

What am I, Ebert and Roeper all of a sudden? Why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button whilst we ponder the shocking outcome of The Mystery Of The Green Water.

Today, in fact this very morning I shall be getting coifed by Teddy. Coifed By Teddy – that’s the title of my next novel, a story of what really goes on in West Hollywood. After said coifing, I shall return to the home environment and write for the rest of the day. At some point, I’ll take a break, do some errands, and eat some foodstuffs.

I don’t have too much else planned for the end of the week and the weekend – just writing, and errands, and getting ready for our informal reading a week from Monday.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, get coifed by Teddy, write, write some more, do errands, write some more, and eat. Today’s topic of discussion: What film scores do you think are absolute perfection, but very specifically which are so beautifully wedded to the images of the film they accompany that it would be impossible to see the film without them. Conversely, what scores do you think hurt what could be potentially good films by not working with the pace of the film or its images? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst we are secure in our knowledge of the solving of The Mystery Of The Green Water.

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