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July 22, 2008:

DON’T CRY FOR ME, ARGENTINA

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, this week is already flying by, like a gazelle with a panty line. In two short days I shall be in New York, New York. I haven’t even let most people know I’m coming, and I must rectify that situation, oh, yes, I must rectify that situation this very day. I’m trying to be prepared – I’ve already pulled out my suitcase and figured out what I need. My clothes are at the dry cleaners and I’ll have them tomorrow afternoon, and I’ve booked a car to the Burbank airport. The latter was very odd, because my long-time car service guy, without telling any of his clients, sold his company to another guy. I have no idea if I should trust this other guy or not, but if he flakes, I’ll just drive to Burbank and leave my car there. As most of you know, change makes me very nervous, so I’m hoping everything goes smoothly. Speaking of smoothly, yesterday was a day that went by rather swiftly. I got up early, did an early morning errand, then jogged for two count them two miles. I then worked at the piano on a new song, then did a bit of work on the computer, then ate a Subway Club for lunch (640 calories, 12 grams of fat), then did more work on the computer, then began to organize things for the trip, did some more errands, and finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Yesterday, I watched the first two-thirds of a motion picture on DVD entitled Evita. I will admit here and now and also now and here that I had never seen the motion picture entitled Evita, nor had I ever seen the stage production entitled Evita. I had, of course, heard the cast album and have recorded several songs from the show. I will say that the film does have the courage of its convictions and is through-sung like the show. I think the film only did okay business, although I think that audiences even ten years ago were not so weird about musicals as they are today. I thought Antonio Banderas was okay, although very difficult to understand. I always enjoy Jonathan Pryce and he, too, is fine here. I have never really cared for Madonna, either as singer or actress, save for her performance in Desperately Seeking Susan. Her singing is too breathy for my taste, especially in this film, which is not about breathy singing. And I never really believed she had the charisma to enchant a nation. She’s just sort of there – she does sing all the notes, and some things are fine, but she just didn’t grab me. Alan Parker’s direction is fine, not too cutty, and the art direction and photography are certainly handsome. But somewhere along the line someone made an incredibly stupid decision and it does the film in. They made the score sound like a pop recording, complete with very heavy reverb, so you never ever believe the vocals are live – they sound washy and overdone and it never allows one to be immersed in the storytelling. Most film musicals don’t process the vocals with reverb – they try to match the setting that the voices are supposed to be singing in – a room, outdoors, wherever. I’ll still finish the DVD, but the film just didn’t really work for me for all the reasons above. And then there’s the DVD, which does the film no favors. It’s non-anamorphic and looks dreadful. Like The Faculty, it’s a little shocking they’ve never revisited this title and done a proper transfer.

What am I, Ebert and Roeper all of a sudden? After watching the first two-thirds of the film, I moseyed on over to La La’s and had a dinner salad that was very tasty and hit the spot. Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below and please, whatever you do, don’t cry for me, Argentina.

Today should be a busy little day. In the morning I have to have a strong chat with my publisher, which should result in my seeing and approving a galley, hopefully by the end of today, but tomorrow at the latest. Then I’ll just have to approve the cover proofs when they’re ready, and then I get the test books, approve them, and then they print. I’m still hoping to have books here no later than four weeks from now. After that, I’m meeting Mr. David Wechter for lunch, and then I have to do some errands and whatnot, and get everything ready for the New York trip.

Tomorrow morning, first thing I do is print out my boarding pass. Then I have left the day pretty open so I can just get my dry cleaning, pack, and relax during the evening and get to bed early.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, have a strong chat with my publisher, jog, have lunch, do errands and whatnot, and then finish watching Evita. Today’s topic of discussion: I know it’s fashionable to not care for Andrew Lloyd Webber these days, but he has written some nice music, so, what are your all-time favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber songs? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, and please do remember, don’t cry for me, Argentina.

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