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May 1, 2008:

UNO DE MAYO

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I cannot believe it. What is it that I cannot believe? Well, I’ll tell you what it is that I cannot believe because why should I keep such information from the likes of you dear readers? Here is what I cannot believe – April is over and we are now in the fifth month of 2008, uno de Mayo to be exact and I just don’t understand how it’s already the fifth month of 2008, uno de Mayo to be exact. But, let us embrace the fact that it is May and let us all embrace each other and have a group embrace that’s fit to beat the band. What the HELL am I talking about? In any case, it’s May – hello, May. I do hope that May will bring lovely things to all of us, and that it will be a happy month in which we can romp with gay abandon. Speaking of gay abandon, yesterday was not May. No, yesterday was the end of a rather tumultuous but interesting April. I don’t mind the interesting, but I certainly could live without the tumult. Most of April was spent trekking out to the Heim of Ana and working on The Brain From Planet X, eating too much food, having interesting things happen, and a little too much of the aforementioned tumult. But enough about April and more about yesterday. I got up, felt a bit better for a few hours, but then went back to feeling queasy, which I am quite bored of. I went to Teddy and he did his thing with my hair and now it is subtly more thrilling to look at, if you can find it, that is. The ten minute drive to Teddy’s salon took thirty-five minutes because of a horrible amount of traffic on Laurel Canyon – and, as always, for no reason. It wasn’t rush hour or the morning work traffic – it was bloody eleven o’clock. It was more nauseating than my nausea. I then packaged up quite a few orders and took them to the postal office. I then got word that my car was ready to be picked up, so I went to the dealer and picked it up. He did save me some money, basically the tax. But, while the horrifying cost was horrifying, my car is now safe to drive, is running smooth as silk, and they even fixed my rear bumper problem gratis. After that, I did a few more errands and then finally came home and sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I managed to watch three count them three motion pictures on DVD. The first motion picture on DVD was entitled The Watchmaker Of St. Paul, the first film directed by Bertrand Tavernier, starring Mr. Philippe Noiret and Mr. Jean Rochefort, adapted from the novel by Georges Simenon. It’s quite a good little film with a superb performance by the always-great Noiret. It’s about a watchmaker whose son is accused of murder. There’s not much plot, not much happens, but the characters are wonderful and the acting is terrific. The transfer is excellent on this region 2 release. The film also has a spare but good score by Philippe Sarde. I then watched The Red Balloon, un film de Albert Lamorisse, and one of my favorite films of all time that would always be on my dessert island film list. The film runs a brief forty minutes and every single one of those minutes is filled with magic and humor and pathos, all thanks to the storytelling gifts of the director/writer. The ending of the film is one of the greatest in all of cinema – absolutely breathtaking. The director’s son, Pascal, is the star of the film, alongside the titular red balloon. If you’ve never seen this marvelous film (it won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, pretty astonishing for a film that has less than a half-dozen lines of dialogue and is only forty minutes), order it now. And I must make special mention of the great score by Maurice le Roux – it’s beautifully beautiful, and oh for a recording of it, which I fear will never happen. The transfer, while never quite achieving the look of the IB Tech prints, is flawless in its own right. The colors are pretty accurate and they do pop out (just not quite as vividly as IB Tech – nothing can duplicate reds, blues, and greens in IB Tech printing), and the transfer is essentially pristine and a big hurrah to Criterion for doing it up right. Which brings us to our next viewing experience, the other Criterion release and companion to The Red Balloon, Mr. Lamorisse’s White Mane. While a very good short film, it never achieves the formal perfection of The Red Balloon, or even approaches the emotional pull of that film. But, White Mane is beautifully shot and directed and very enjoyable. Why Criterion would release these two titles separately is the enigma here. Yes, they’re bargain-priced, but the rationale behind it is just baffling. They’d both fit on one DVD easily or, if they really wanted them on separate DVDs, why not just issue a two DVD set? It is to wonder.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I am quite overtired and I must get ready for my beauty sleep.

Today, uno de Mayo, I must try to relax in the morning hours, then I’ll have some errands to do, and then I must go to the Heim of Ana for a little supper and then our first public preview, which I’m very excited about. I’ll get to the theater around six to look at a couple of new projections and set pieces, and then run a new line we’re adding, and run one physical comedy bit now that the props are in place. There may or may not be a talkback session with the audience after the show.

Friday is the same routine, and then Saturday is opening night, and I think we’re all ready for that evening. And then, beginning on Monday, it’s back to my novel, entering the first round of proofer fixes so that proofer number two can go to work, and then it will be time for Mr. Geissman to do his book design work. I’m looking forward to that. And it will be back to the musical I’m mentoring and doing an informal read-through of the second act, then beginning the process of doing the staged reading. And I’m going to seriously go back to the Nudie Musical stage version and put up a reading of that some time later this year.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, relax, ship a couple of packages, do a couple of errands, and then have a light meal and attend our first preview – I will, of course, have a full report. Today’s topic of discussion: I have always been a fan of short films and short animated films – what are your all-time favorite short films and short animated films, and that can include classic cartoons from the golden age. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst we all embrace and send excellent vibes and xylophones for a most wonderful May.

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