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November 6, 2008:

THE COSTCO EXPERIENCE

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am now the proud owner of two huge vats of Prego spaghetti sauce, ten rolls of packing tape, three huge bottles of Heinz 57 ketchup, thirty-six packs of fruit chewies, twenty Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches, two huge things of caffeine free Diet Coke (thirty-six cans per thing), thirty-six bottles of water, six jars of Knott’s Berry Farm jellies and jams, four packages of English muffins, and 500 aspirin tablets. Yes, I have been to Costco. If one wants these sort of quantities, I must say the price is right. For example, the thirty-six packs of fruit chewies (or whatever they are) were $5.99. Can’t beat that. The two huge vats of spaghetti sauce were $9.98. If one bought the equivalents of these at Gelson’s one would be spending more than four times the dough. And thankfully, it wasn’t even that crowded in the store. They have so much stuff there, that one must ignore most of it or one would be buying way too much food in huge quantities. Of what I bought, I’m especially looking forward to taking the 500 aspirin tablets. And that was my Costco experience of the day. Prior to that, I was awakened at six in the morning by a telephonic call from UPS saying my package was on the correct truck. I went back to sleep only to be awakened at eight o’clock by another call from UPS saying my package was on the correct truck. I got up, did the long jog, ate a little breakfast over at The Studio CafĂ©, and then spent a couple of hours doing the postage on a whole mess o’ boxes. Those are now all ready for the CDs to be put into them and then shipped. After that, I did the Costco Experience (I was there for about ninety minutes), and then I picked up a couple of packages from the mail place. I asked the gal there to double check to see if there were any others, as several overseas packages are overdue. She said there wasn’t. Five minutes later she left a message (that I didn’t get until late in the evening) saying there was a DHL package for me – which means it was there and I could have gotten it when I was there if she’d only looked a little harder. This happens all the time over there and it’s very annoying. After that, I came home, made myself an English muffin with some Knott’s Berry Farm boysenberry jam, and then I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on DVD entitled Mirage. Mirage is part of the new Gregory Peck box set from Universal Studios. I first saw Mirage about a month before it actually opened, at a sneak preview at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, USA. I loved the film and saw it three or four times during its original run. I bought it when it came out on laserdisc, and I transferred the laserdisc to DVD many years ago. But this is its first official DVD release and I was thrilled it finally came out. The film still works for me, thanks to a strong story (from a novel called Fallen Angel by Walter Ericson, which is a pseudonym for author Howard Fast), and a very good screenplay from Peter Stone. The director is the excellent Edward Dmytryk, and in addition to Peck, the film has a great cast, which includes Diane Baker, Walter Matthau (who steals the film from everyone), George Kennedy, Jack Weston, Kevin McCarthy, and many others. It’s not a perfect film – the performance of Robert H. Harris as a psychiatrist is so over the top that it’s really quite irritating, and the final ten minutes where everything is explained cannot quite deliver the goods – but for most of its running time it’s an excellent film. It’s baffling, it’s funny, it’s violent and always manages to keep the viewer on edge. I’m not thrilled with the transfer, which looks video-based and old. Yes, it’s in its proper ratio and enhanced for widescreen TVs, but it’s not sharp enough, it’s way too grainy at times (the film has really good black-and-white photography), and it’s just not very pleasing, which is a real shame since it’s the film in this set I was most hoping would look great. Still, if you’ve never seen Mirage, I recommend it highly.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because after doing all that postage and lugging those huge items from Costco, I’m quite tired and need my beauty sleep.

Today, I shall get up early and do the long jog, then I have a little meeting with Druxy about his show, and then I’ll pick up the package I could have picked up yesterday – I have no idea which overdue overseas package it is. I then will spend the rest of the day doing some Nudie Musical work and trying to get the producer of the Bacharach benefit to purchase my airline ticket and discuss where I’ll be staying. I’ll also continue trying to lock up a few more people for the show.

Tomorrow, I’m actually taking the day off. I have no plans at all and I’m going to keep it that way, because the weekend is pretty busy now, and Monday CDs arrive and that’s a huge shipping day, and I have meetings and meals and shows and all sorts of things next week. On this Saturday evening I’ll also be attending the opening night of a new production of Silk Stockings.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do the long jog, have a meeting, pick up packages, write, and do some benefit business. Today’s topic of discussion: I don’t think we’ve ever done a topic about motion picture photography. So, here goes – what are your all-time favorite motion pictures in terms of photography – even if you don’t love the movie, which movies are the most beautifully photographed, both black and white and color – which are the most ravishing, the most artful, the most adventurous? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I try to recover from the heavy lifting of The Costco Experience.

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