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June 4, 2008:

THE STUDIO CITY CUCKOOS

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, did you ever want to be like those blonde children in Village Of The Damned? You know, when anyone is annoying you or attempting to cause you grief, your eyes glow and then that causes them to annoy themselves or cause themselves grief? Wouldn’t that be fun? Especially when driving? Yes, I want to be like those little blonde children – I want my eyes to glow and then those annoying little twit drivers will RUE the day, oh, yes, they will RUE the day. I keep thinking it can’t get worse, and yet it gets worse. I believe this is the month when the new LA cell phone law goes into effect, i.e. no holding cell phones whilst driving. And yet today I saw at least three people not only holding their bloody cell phones but TEXTING on them. Yes, you heard that right, dear readers – TEXTING. If only I’d had a blonde wig with me and some eyes that glow, I would have shown them a thing or three. It would have been The Midwich Cuckoos right here in the City of Studio. For those who don’t know, The Midwich Cuckoos is the John Wyndham novel on which Village Of The Damned is based. Well, starting tomorrow I’m getting a blonde wig and glowing eyes and then WATCH OUT for The Studio City Cuckoos. What the HELL am I talking about? Don’t I have notes to write? Shouldn’t they already be posted? But, nooooo, I’m talking about blonde children with glowing eyes and The Studio City Cuckoos. Speaking of The Studio City Cuckoos, yesterday was quite a busy little day in which I did busy little things. I got up early, got some work done, and then toddled off to Mr. Geissman’s for our final fixes. They only took about twenty minutes to enter. Then he designed the back cover and that was that. I came right home, and had a two-and-a-half hour work session, teaching songs for both readings next week. I may be many things, but a musical director is not one of them, and I loathe teaching people music. I get ornery, I hit so many wrong notes that I have no idea how people are supposed to know what to sing, and my back gets really tired and achy sitting that long at the piano. After that, I did several errands. Then I came home and double-checked all the changes we made on a new Xerox copy of the galley. And I’m glad I did because one sentence where we moved a comma from one word to another, Grant inadvertently typed a period – so, I e-mailed him and it’s a two-second fix. Everything else looked splendidly splendid. I sent a pdf of the book to one blurber, and a hard copy is going out this morning to the other. After that, I went over to Quickie’s Pizza and Subs and got a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich and some onion rings, which served as my meal o’ the day. It was ever so yummilicious. And then I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched two count them two motion pictures, one I TIVOd and one on DVD. The first motion picture, the one I TIVOd was entitled The Big Boodle, starring Mr. Errol Flynn. This was a very bad film – extremely low-budget, and Mr. Flynn looks frequently bored or, at other times, completely confused. His character gets beaten up repeatedly, he never gets to retaliate, the plot is almost non-existent, and then it’s over. It’s a shame Mr. Flynn had to take work like this. The director, Richard Wilson, is certainly competent, but not here. The location photography (the entire film was shot in Cuba) is the only redeeming feature of the film, shot by Lee Garmes, a long, long way from his glory days with films like Morocco, Shanghai Express, Jungle Book, Land of the Pharaohs, Nightmare Alley, Portrait Of Jennie and many, many others. He was one of the all-time great cameramen. I then watched a motion picture on DVD entitled Rawhide, starring Mr. Tyrone Power, Miss Susan Hayward, and Mr. Hugh Marlowe. A visit to the usual suspects at the imdb would lead you to believe you’re in for a ten-star western, a classic film. Um, no. No. If I had a blonde wig and glow eyes, I would be casting glances in the direction of each of these “reviewers.” Basically, Rawhide is not very good. Oh, Susan Hayward is always fun to watch, but that’s about it, I’m afraid. The normally great writer, Dudley Nichols, here turns in very ordinary work. Henry Hathaway does his best to enliven the proceedings, but it’s all for naught and naught for all. The shocker of the film is Tyrone Power playing a character who is completely a WUSSBURGER from beginning to end. He’s pushed around, abused, beaten up, and he never gets even with anyone – in fact, the bad guys are all done away with by others. It’s shocking that Fox would have allowed it, actually, as the character is totally emasculated. The musical score by Sol Kaplan doesn’t help things at all. Every time the film cuts to a shot of a stagecoach, no matter what scene it’s coming out of, no matter how tense the action, the band strikes up Oh, Susannah. The transfer is very nice. There are a couple of featurettes, but I cannot watch them anymore for fear of the dreaded Dr. Drew Casper, who gives me nightmares.

What am I, Ebert and Roeper all of a sudden? Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I’m tired and must get my beauty rest for my first day as a blonde with glowing eyes.

Today, I have much to do, but at the moment can’t remember what it is. I have to take the Nudie script in to get it duplicated – that I remember. And, after trying to teach this music yesterday, I really must practice the songs so I can play them better – for both shows. I hadn’t really played any of the songs for the musical I’m mentoring for a couple of months, so they weren’t in my fingers very well. I know I have a bunch of errands and whatnot to do, as well.

Tomorrow, I’ll be organizing the scripts and highlighting what everyone is doing. Friday, I have a music rehearsal here at eleven, and then a two o’clock band rehearsal with our gals over in North Hollywood. I was going to then go to the Friday evening performance of The Brain, but I may rethink that – first off, our Friday audiences, while large, have not been very vocal. Second off, I think I may need a night to relax before the big Saturday charity event. We shall see. I’ll definitely be attending our closing performance on Sunday.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, Xerox a script, work at the piano, get organized, do errands and whatnot. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Ask BK Day, the day in which you get to ask me or any dear reader any old question you like and we get to give any old answer we like. So, let’s have loads of lovely questions and loads of lovely answers and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I put on my blonde wig and glowing eyes and become a Studio City Cuckoo.

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