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August 31, 2008:

LABORING UNDER MY IMPRESSIONS

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am laboring under the impression that this is the Labor Day weekend, and that’s the only labor I’m doing, although I am doing an impression of Richard Widmark at the moment – it’s quite good. I also do a good Tammy Grimes. Speaking of Tammy Grimes, yesterday was a very relaxing day in which I did only things I cared to do. I began the day by arising from the bed. That was something I cared to do. Then I went and did the long jog – I can’t say it was something I cared to do but I did it nonetheless. After that, I listened to CDs, showered, did one little bill-paying errand, and then drove over to the Wood of Holly where I visited the dealer rooms at Cinecon. There were actually a lot more dealers than I expected to see, including several I’ve known for years. However, the rooms were very ill attended – one dealer friend basically said it’s been a disaster. I always enjoy looking at the wares and look I did, for about two hours. There were some interesting items, including some original paintings of various actors, which used to hang in Hollywood’s Wattles Mansion. Years ago, I bought one of these paintings, of Gloria Swanson – it hangs in the book room and is really nice. There’s one painting of Laurel and Hardy I’d love to have – it’s gorgeous. It’s not all that much money, but I don’t wish to spend money, so I talked to the dealer and we’re going to see if a trade is possible. I have quite a lot of memorabilia in the closet, so I’m going to pull out a few items and see what we can do, if anything. I did make a tiny purchase of some really inexpensive DVDs and three weekly Variety magazines from 1969. Those are lots of fun to look through, from a time when Variety was fun and not trying to be like Entertainment Weekly and all hip. My favorite article was in the Broadway section – it noted that composer Jerry Herman and book writer Michael Stewart were working on a musical version of Some Like It Hot, only it had to be based on the original source material, which was a German film. They couldn’t use anything from the film because I.A.L. Diamond and Billy Wilder refused to give David Merrick the rights to their script, saying that they might want to remake the film at some undetermined time. As we all know, at some point that changed, as did the creative team, and Sugar was certainly adapted from Diamond and Wilder’s script. Since I was where I was, I stopped by the adjacent California Pizza Kitchen and had a roasted garlic chicken pizza – very filling and very yummilicious and since I’d done the long jog, hopefully not harmful, diet-wise. After that, I came home and sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on DVD entitled Nuits Rouges or, as it was known everywhere else in the world, Shadowman. This was included as a bonus in the Judex set. It was Georges Franju’s final film – done as a mini-series in France, but also as a theatrical film, which was its own thing, and only borrowed certain things from the mini-series. Like Judex, Nuits Rouges was based on a serial by French silent filmmaker Louis Feulliade. The only persons I knew in the cast were Gert (Goldfinger) Frobe, and Josephine Chaplin, daughter of Charlie and Oona. It’s a very odd film – contemporary (as of 1975) but oddly old-fashioned. I think it was Mr. Franju’s only film in color (I could be wrong about that), and I prefer him in black-and-white. The film is quite dream-like and there are lovely things in it, but Judex it’s not. Its story, for me, is contrived, and you don’t really care about any of the characters. The score, which is very eclectic, is credited to Franju, but I think he just chose the pieces and didn’t actually write them – I could be wrong on that, too, but it all sounds like what Tarantino does, finds existing music and tracks it in. I would be very surprised if the longest piece of music in the film wasn’t by Morricone. It’s got Morricone all over it, including the voice of Edda Dell’Orso. I checked the long booklet notes but there wasn’t anything about the music. The transfer, matted to 1:66.1 is really nice, but oddly isn’t anamorphically enhanced like Judex is.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I am currently laboring under the impression of Richard Harris – I do a great Richard Harris.

Today, I may go back to Cinecon, because one of the dealers wanted to buy some Scent Of Mystery CDs. IF I go, I’ll only be there for a little while. Otherwise, I’ll just be listening to CDs, jogging, eating something calorie-friendly but fun, and watching DVDs.

Tomorrow, I shall just be lazy until the partay at Tony Slide and Bob Gitt’s. And then the week begins in earnest, and I have meetings and work sessions and stuff to do, including our first LACCTAA event of the year.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do the long jog, go to Cinecon, listen to CDs, watch DVDs, and eat something fun. 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, whilst I labor under the impression of Sammy Davis, Jr.

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