Well, dear readers, how can this month be flying by like a gazelle playing the Warsaw Concerto? We are halfway through January. Why don’t we just say it’s 2009, since it probably will be very soon if this year keeps flying by like a gazelle eating couscous. Speaking of couscous, yesterday was a lovelier than lovely day from start to finish. For example, I got up. That was lovely. I then made a couple of fixes to yesterday’s pages, then I printed them out, got them Xeroxed, and delivered them to my muse Margaret. I then toddled off to a photo replication place with a disc of photos. I chose five shots to have replicated from the screen shots that dear reader Michael Shayne had sent me – all from The Partridge Family and Happy Days. This is the first time I’ll have photos at the Hollywood Collector’s Show from TV shows that people actually know and might remember me from. The man at the photo place thought the quality of the screen shots would print up very nicely indeed. I’ll see proofs tomorrow and the prints will be ready in a week. I ordered fifteen copies of each, and their price was very cheap. I then went across the street and got some lunch at Togo’s. I then came home and ate said lunch. I then finished the last lyric I had to adjust. I then played through the entire score of act one, as I have to play it for Monday’s reading. I then wrote a few pages – I wasn’t going to write any until receiving muse Margaret’s report, but I wanted to get into the chapter so I wrote a little over three pages, which is more than I did last week when waiting for her call. I then did a little other work, and then I finally toddled off to the DGA to see a screening of a motion picture entertainment.
Last night, I saw a screening of a motion picture entertainment entitled Michael Clayton, starring Mr. George Clooney, Mr. Tom Wilkinson, and Miss Tilda Swinton. The film seems to be made up of bits and pieces of many other films – Network, Black Widow, Three Days Of The Condor, some Alan Pakula/Gordon Willis stuff, but somehow writer/director Tony Gilroy makes it work in an entertaining way. He has obviously done his 70s homework and the film looks and smells like a 70s film, both in its photography and its pace, as well as in its non-hip directions. It took me a little while to get into its structural conceit, but once there it kept me interested every step of the way. In fact, I think the film only errs in two ways – I could have lived without quite so much of Michael Clayton’s precocious kid, one of those real “movie” kids that doesn’t really have much relationship to a real kid, and the film’s awful musical score by James Newton Howard, which is nothing more than recycled thumping and New Age tinkling from any number of other Howard scores. Oh, for a Michael Small score, or even a Jerry Fielding or Jerry Goldsmith score. The score certainly doesn’t hurt the film, but it doesn’t help it either. At this point, of the three DGA-nominated films, my nod would go to Mr. Gilroy, who just did a lovely job on his first film. Mr. Clooney is Mr. Clooney and I like him. Mr. Wilkinson does a full-out Peter Finch performance and he’s wonderful. I wasn’t sure about Miss Swinton at all until I realized how much I hated her, meaning her performance was working wonderfully. A really fresh and interesting approach to what could have been a stock character. The film looks great – hallelujah, we have some BLUE in the film, instead of all that bleached out yellow/brown crap they favor today. Again, back in the 70s a film like this would have played for a couple of weeks and no one would have really expected it to be an Oscar contender, but we live in a different world today. In any case, I’m always grateful for a sound design without any loud noises or stupid amplified door slams or flashbulb popping. It’s somewhat fascinating to me that the film didn’t do better at the box-office – it has an okay gross (just under 40 million), but thankfully its budget was quite low (25 million). This is one new film I wouldn’t mind having on DVD.
Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I suddenly have an urge to play the Warsaw Concerto – damn that gazelle.
After the film, I came home and received the phone call from muse Margaret, and it was as nice as last week’s call – she loved what she read, had only one teeny-tiny note, and was very wonderfully specific about certain parts that she especially liked. I was worried about a couple of things, especially one bit where I went on with descriptive prose for about four pages – but she loved that, so that made me very happy indeed.
Today, I shall be writing, of course, and I shall also be taking a break to lunch with Miss Juliana Hansen – she’s thinking about putting together a cabaret show with a friend of hers, so we’re going to talk about it. Then it will be back to writing, then I shall toddle off to the DGA for a screening of the Sean Penn film.
I will also have to play through the act one score every day, to get it into my fingers (especially difficult on a couple of songs where I haven’t done too much musically, other than arranging and fixing chords and occasional notes).
Now wait just a darned minute – let’s all put on our pointy party hats and our colored tights and pantaloons, let’s all break out the cheese slices and the ham chunks, let’s all dance the Hora and the Texas Two-Step, for today is the birthday of dear reader Noel. So, let’s give a big haineshisway.com birthday cheer to dear reader Noel. On the count of three: One, two, three – A BIG HAINESHISWAY.COM BIRTHDAY CHEER TO DEAR READER NOEL!!!
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, write, lunch, write, and see a screening at the DGA. Today’s topic of discussion: I love “light” classical music – pieces like Warsaw Concerto or all of the Leroy Anderson output, or pieces by Eric Coates and various other Brits. What are your all-time favorite “light” classical works? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst we all go to our collective pianos and play the Warsaw Concerto.