Haines Logo Text
Column Archive
February 24, 2008:

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO…

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, and the Oscar goes to… oops (spoo, spelled backwards), even though I know who all the winners are I shan’t spoil it for you. I can only tell you that the winners’ names were delivered to me by two people dressed as gazelles, and I am sworn to secrecy not to reveal them to anyone but six hundred of my closest friends. In any case, tonight is our annual Oscar bash here at haineshisway.com and the festively festive atmosphere is already palpable, oh, yes, it is already palpable (elbaplap, spelled backwards). I personally will dress for the Oscars in a stunning ensemble of a crepe tuxedo with both bow tie and regular tie, a cucumberbund made of actual cucumber, and studs and buttons. Studs And Buttons – that’s the title of my next novel. I am ready to partay and shake my Oscar bootay. Speaking of Oscar bootay, yesterday was a perfectly okay day. I had to leave early in the morning so that she of the Evil Eye could do her handiwork, and upon my return I proofed a few chapters and am heading into the home stretch, on this first go-round of proofing. I also did some work at the piano, and then I attended to some errands and whatnot. I then had a bite to eat, and then I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on DVD entitled Mr. Warmth, The Don Rickles Project, directed by John Landis, and starring Mr. Rickles. I’m not exactly sure what the point of this thing was because I don’t think the filmmaker really had one, other than his adoration of Mr. Rickles. That’s fine, but we don’t really find out too much about him, and so interest wanes too often. Actually, it’s waning outside right now, and it’s really coming down. Where was I? Oh, yes, Mr. Rickles. A lot of the footage is given over to Mr. Rickles’ act, performed in Las Vegas. Then there are a lot of interviews with an odd assortment of people – frankly, I don’t care what the newbies have to say about Mr. Rickles, people like Chris Rock and Susan Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel because, as usual with this self-absorbed generation, their comments are more about themselves than Mr. Rickles. There is some fun stuff with Clint Eastwood, and Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, and Billy Crystal all put in appearances. The most frightening thing in this film is Joan Rivers. What this woman has done to herself is shocking and nauseating and I found it impossible to even look at her. Steve Lawrence has also had some face work done and it’s not too pleasant. Mr. Rickles, who is eighty-two, has had no face work done and looks fine. Bob Newhart is on hand and he’s amusing. The funniest thing in the entire film is the clip showing Mr. Rickles breaking Johnny Carson’s cigarette box while Mr. Carson was away. And then the clip of Carson seeing the broken box and walking across the hall and interrupting Rickles’ taping of CPO Sharkey – gut-wrenchingly funny, and there is simply nothing on TV today that can match that kind of humor. There’s some nice vintage footage, too, and some film clips and the whole thing moves along quickly – I just wish it had had more of a point to it, or a point of view. There’s a second disc of extras, mostly interview footage not used in the final cut of the film – wisely so. I then watched the first thirty minutes of John Doyle’s “production” of Company. While Mr. Doyle’s conceit of actors playing instruments might have worked for Sweeney Todd, it most certainly doesn’t work for Company. Also, I find it fascinating that this man has become a hot and sought after director this late into his life (he’s in his late 60s, I believe). But, he needs to drop this shtick and move on, but I’m afraid that if he does he will simply be discovered as the mediocre talent he seems to be. I mean, forget the instruments for a second and just watch the staging and the musical numbers (he staged those, too) – it’s really not very interesting or good. A prime example of this is the karate scene – I mean, I don’t care about some artsy-fartsy concept of people not being connected – the scene is ludicrous as directed by Mr. Doyle. There’s no life in any of the thirty minutes I saw and let me tell you, this show is bursting with energy and life – it’s in the bloody music, it’s the pulse of the show. And then there are these actors who don’t have any time to create a character or performance because they’re lugging around instruments and having to play them instead of inter-reacting with actual people. I mean, am I supposed to take this show seriously when a man is wheeling around a bass? Sorry, I don’t invest, and therefore the show doesn’t work – at all. Mr. Esparza seems okay but lacks real star quality, or at least has no chance with Mr. Doyle at the helm. The rest of the company of Company seems competent at best. They all seem to be channeling other people or types instead of creating something original. The gal in the karate scene (Sarah, I think is the character’s name) is so Ellen DeGeneres in her readings I found it really distracting. And then there’s the TV “direction” of Lonny Price, who can barely direct for the theater, let alone for TV. It’s very awkwardly shot, with confusing cutting and angles – I actually never had a clear idea of how the set looked from the center. Note to Mr. Price – geography is everything, and without one single establishing shot that showed the stage and the set from a camera far enough back to give us the geography of the stage, well, I just never knew what I was looking at. And Company without a rhythm section is dead in the water, I’m afraid. These new orchestrations are horrid.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I have to be on my way to Anaheim by eight o’clock this morning.

My goodness, I’m all a tingle about tonight’s Oscarcast. I cannot wait to see the attire and hear the smart repartee and see all of our great current stars who hopefully won’t whisper like they do in the movies.

It’s going to be a bit of a crazy day for me. I have to get up very early and make my way to the Chance Theater for a nine o’clock production meeting. I have no idea how long it will last, but if it’s like the last one, probably under two hours. I will then kill some time until the two o’clock performance of Assassins, which I’m very much looking forward to. I don’t really care for the show so I’ll be interested to see their take on it. I’m sure I’ll find a restaurant where I can have a meal before the matinee. Then, as soon as the show is over, I’ll be on my way back to the home environment and I’ll need all your excellent vibes and xylophones for no traffic so that I can be home in time for the five o’clock start of the Oscar show. I’ll have my laptop with me, so if I can get online whilst I’m away I shall post from Anaheim. I doubt if I’ll have time to get food on the way home, so dinner may have to wait until after the show.

It will be interesting to see if we break last year’s amazing number of posts. Meanwhile, I shan’t be mentioning any of the winners prior to the show, so don’t bother asking me, as it’s all very hush-hush and mum’s the word. If I were to post the winners here, the gazelles would be in a LOT of trouble.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, attend an early meeting, eat some lunch, see a matinee, and then hurry home for our annual Oscar Bash here at haineshisway.com. We will, of course, expect full reports on all the pre-show activities, which I shall not be here for, and we will, of course, expect our usual delightfully brash and brazen running commentary during the show. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s free-for-all day, the day in which you dear readers get to make with the topics and we all get to post about them. So, let’s have loads of lovely topics and loads of lovely postings, shall we – and the Oscar goes too…

Search BK's Notes Archive:
 
© 2001 - 2019 by Bruce Kimmel. All Rights Reserved