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August 29, 2008:

FROU FROU

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I must write these here notes in a hurry because I’m getting up early, jogging early, shipping packages early, and doing errands early. Don’t try and stop me, Horace, please. So, there shall be no frou frou to today’s notes. Is that how you spell frou frou? Or is it fru fru or even frew frew? I like my spelling best so to HELL with the other spellings. There shan’t be any frou frou in these here notes, no padding, no extra filler, just pure unadulterated notes, although I might throw is some adulterated notes just for the HELL of it. Speaking of the HELL of it, yesterday turned out to be a very nice day. I got up quite early, jogged quite early, packaged up items, and then had to be on my way to a morning meeting, which took place at a little jernt in Culver City. No one ate, we all just had something to drink. The meeting was long and good and very positive. During the meeting, Mr. Joel Grey came by our table to say hello, which was fun. After that, I came home, did quite a bit of organizing, went to my mail place and picked up a small package and an unexpected little residual, came home to find another unexpected residual in the home mail box, and then decided to go to La La’s to have their yummilicous double chicken breast with carmelized onions and garlic and a side salad. It was terrific. After that, I went to Hollywood. Since I had an hour to kill, I went to Amoeba and checked out new releases, including a stack of CDs that hadn’t been put out yet. And I found a CD that I never would have been aware of if I hadn’t just luckily thumbed through that batch of CDs that hadn’t been put out yet. And there you have everything that’s wrong with buying music over the Internet – no discovery – no just thumbing through CDs and coming upon one you knew nothing about and which is a total surprise. That’s what kids today and the world today have brought us – no sense of discovery. The album is by someone I’ve never heard of called Danilo Perez, a jazz pianist. The cover was lovely, and as soon as I saw the Claus Ogerman credit it was mine. Mr. Perez is great, and this album is a spiritual cousin to Bill Evans with Symphony Orchestra. It’s all piano, bass, and drums, with symphony orchestra, and Mr. Ogerman has fashioned most of it from classical tunes, along with two standards, including the oddest Lazy Afternoon you’ll ever hear, but one that’s so weirdly hypnotic you can’t take your ears off it. That’s one of two vocal tracks on the CD – sung by a deep-throated Casandra Wilson. One is never sure exactly what key she’s singing in, because the orchestration is ever-shifting and going really unexpected places. It may not be to everyone’s liking, but it sure is unique. The other standard is All Of A Sudden My Heart Sings. The classical tunes are based on themes by Massenet, Rachmaninov, de Falla, Sibelius, etc. and there’s one Ogerman original. A great, great CD, and one I’ll be playing many times during this long and winding Labor Day weekend. After visiting Amoeba, I headed over to Barnsdall Park and met Kevin and Sean. We checked out the theater there, as it’s one of several venues we’re looking at to do their show (and videotape it). I think it’s now between that theater and the El Portal, where we did Kevin’s show. The El Portal is more costly, but it feels more like a theater. I’ll be having a meeting there early next week. After that, I came home and sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on DVD entitled Judex, un film de Georges Franju, starring Channing Pollack and the divoon and hauntingly beautiful Edith Scob. I am a huge fan of Mr. Franju, mostly due to his masterpiece, Les Yeux Sans Visage (Eyes Without A Face), which is one of my all-time favorite films, and one of the great horror movies (and very poetic) in all of cinema. I am almost equally fond of Judex, which heretofore has been one of the hardest of his films to see. It’s the only 16mm print I still own because I’ve never found it on video other than a really poor VHS bootleg tape from the 1980s. Well, the DVD company Eureka in the UK has issued it as part of their Masters of Cinema series and am I thrilled to have it. First of all, it’s in its proper 1:66:1 ratio. Second of all, the transfer is mostly excellent. Third of all, what a great movie. It’s Franju’s affectionate homage to the classic Louis Feuillade silent serial of the same name. But this is pure Franju, with incredibly poetic and haunting imagery from start to finish. Basically, the plot is about an avenger named Judex and his attempts to right some wrongs with an evil and corrupt banker. Edith Scob plays the bankers daughter and she is just the most heartbreakingly beautiful woman with the most gorgeous eyes. She played the disfigured daughter in Eyes Without A Face and she’s just as good here in a much smaller role. If you have a multi-region player, take a chance on this, especially if you know and like Eyes Without A Face. I’ve seen very few of Franju’s other films and really want to see them all. Happily, his last film, Shadowman, is included in this DVD set. Judex also has a great score by Maurice Jarre, back in his early French days when he was a completely unique film composer – no one composed scores like him, and his work on this and Eyes Without A Face is amazing.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because frankly this section has too much frou frou.

As already mentioned, I shall be getting up early, jogging early, shipping packages early, and doing errands early, so that I can spend the rest of the day relaxing. This evening I’ll be attending the opening night of Vanities at the Pasadena Playhouse and, as is my wont, I’ll be going out there early and having a leisurely dinner beforehand. I will, of course, have a full report.

Tomorrow, I’ll probably mosey on over to the Cinecon show at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood. There are always some interesting dealers working there, including several chums.

Tomorrow, I shall probably do nothing, and Monday I’m going to a Labor Day partay at neighbor Tony Slide and Bob Gitt’s home environment. Their partays are always fun and the food is always excellent.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, jog, ship, do errands, and then attend an opening night. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/video player? I’ll start – DVD, Franju’s Shadowman is up next. CD, Danilo Perez and Mr. Ogerman, and the Patti LuPone Gypsy cast album. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst we refrain from having any more frou frou around these here parts.

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