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November 14, 2008:

THE BELLY BUTTON

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, this week has flown by, like a gazelle in search of its belly button. And November is almost half over. And this year is almost done. I have never in all my born days seen a year go by this fast, have you? In any case, it’s Friday and I do believe I’m going to take it easy today. I’m going to attempt to do everything I need to do by noon, and then the rest of the day will be mine all mine. That way I can relax and smell the roses or the coffee or the cream cheese and lox. Speaking of lox, yesterday was yet another long and winding day that just went on and on. I got up early after an annoyingly annoying dream. I had a bunch of e-mails to respond to, which I did, and then I did the long jog in the new shoes, which my feet are still trying to get used to. I had more e-mails upon my return, and I responded to those. I then realized I hadn’t entered a whole slew of little changes into the Nudie Musical script, so I went back to page one and made sure everything got entered. Then I had to insert the new song into its sequence. In so doing, I ended up cutting a little bit of dialogue that I never liked in the film, and making everything smoother. It took about two hours to do it and I reread it and it’s pretty good now – I think I’ll end up doing a few little nips and tucks and additions to it, now that I see the flow of it. I won’t do that until David reads it and gives me his thoughts. Hopefully this weekend he’ll do ten or twenty more pages. By then, I was starving, so I went to Gelson’s and got three chicken tenders and two of their excellent egg rolls, and that was my meal o’ the day. I picked up some mail and a package, and also shipped several packages. I then came home, had some telephonic calls, did some Bacharach business, and then finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I managed to watch two count them two motion pictures on DVD, plus the Jacques Demy segment of the omnibus film Seven Capital Sins. The first motion picture on DVD was entitled Chase A Crooked Shadow, a Brit thriller starring Richard Todd, Anne Baxter, and the ubiquitous Herbert Lom. It’s a nifty little Gaslight variation, with good performances and a few surprising twists along the way. In fact, I really didn’t see the ending coming, but once it came I went back and saw that the writers absolutely did not play fair. Still, a very enjoyable film. The region 2 DVD transfer is full frame when it should be widescreen, but the quality is fine. I then watched Mr. Demy’s segment of Seven Capital Sins – his was entitled Lust. It was a kicky and amusing little twenty minutes, shot in gorgeous black and white scope by the great Henri Decae, with a grand score by the grand Michel Legrand, and it featured a young Jean Louis Trintingnant. I then watched the second motion picture on DVD, which was entitled Partir Revinir, un film de Claude Lelouch. I’ve made no secret about my fondness for Mr. Lelouch’s films. He’s made a lot of them and of those I’ve seen I’ve loved about ninety percent. Partir Revinir is another wonderful Lelouch bit of magic. It’s story is so cleverly set up, and even though Lelouch’s films can be confusing in their first ten or twenty minutes, if you just surrender yourself, you get with it very quickly. The film is subtitled “a love story for piano, orchestra, and camera” and that’s the truth. The piano plays an important part in the film, as does Rachmaninov’s second piano concerto, which underscores whole long sections of the film brilliantly. There’s something hypnotic and mesmerizing about the way in which the images and music work together without ever being artsy or pretentious – it’s quite unique. Michel Legrand conducts the onscreen orchestra, and has also written a gorgeous piano-based concerto-like piece for the film. The story, once you get with the film’s back and forth structure, is riveting and compelling, with one late film revelation that was really shocking in its unexpectedness. The actors were all amazing, and the direction was great, with many wonderful touches. The anamorphically enhanced scope transfer on this German DVD (film is in French with English subtitles) looks great. Highly recommended by the likes of me.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below, or maybe we should, like the gazelle, all just click on our collective belly buttons.

I just clicked on my belly button and now I have to use the men’s room. The belly button is an amusing thing. I never even remember I have one and I never notice it. But now I see it and I think it looks weird.

Today I shall be doing a lot of morning stuff – the long jog in the new shoes, several errands and whatnot, and doing some Bacharach business. Then I shall take the rest of the day off and do whatever takes my fancy unless my fancy takes my whatever. I think I’m in a tuna sandwich sort of mood, so I may have that for lunch, since I happen to have all the ingredients.

Tomorrow, she of the Evil Eye will be here bright and early. And I have a lot of stuff to do as soon as she’s gone, and then I’ll be seeing a production of Rabbit Hole at LACC. I’ve never seen the play, but I’ve heard very good things about it. I may try to sup at Bird’s before the show.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do the long jog, do various and sundried errands, do Bacharach business, and eat something fun whilst taking the rest of the day off. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player, and your DVD/video player? I’ll start – CD, the new Philippe Rombi score to a hit French film. It’s not quite as good as his other scores (which I adore), but it’s growing on me. Also, Oscar Peterson and strings, a beautiful 1950s album of standards arranged and conducted by Russ Garcia. DVD, next up may be Jerry Lewis in Visit To A Small Planet, or another Gregory Peck movie from the Peck set. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst we all look at our collective belly buttons and say, “Huh?”

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