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December 30, 2017:


Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, we need us some end of 2017 and beginning of 2018 miracles around these here parts or it’s not going to be a pretty start to the New Year and it sure would be swell if the start to the New Year was pretty, so send some extra strong most excellent vibes and xylophones for said miracles. I must now write these here notes in a hurry because she of the Evil Eye will be here all too soon and I must try to get a decent night’s beauty sleep.

Yesterday was both irritating (and strongly so), and nice, in equal parts. I only got six hours of sleep, got up, answered e-mails and had the first irritant almost immediately – since it was the biggest of them, at least it was out of the way early. Then the garage helper arrived and began organizing the shelving units – a lot of work, as every box that was not labeled has to be opened so it gets labeled and onto the shelves. She did a very good job of beginning that process, working around three hours. Whilst she was doing that, I was in the house working a lot at the piano, doing the Levi script conforming, and other work on the computer and trying to start some liner notes for our first release of 2018.

Then we took a lunch break at Islands (very close to the new house) – we both had bacon cheeseburgers and fries, very, very yummilicious. Then I picked up no mail or packages, then came back home. She worked another thirty minutes before mom picked her up. Then we got the nice news that the Robby Awards nominations were out – Levi is up for three awards: Marc Ginsburg for Best Actor, student Morgan Gannes for Best Costume Design, and the Sherman Brothers for Best Score. And two Kritzerland shows are up for Best Cabaret. That perked the day up, certainly. Then I did more work at the piano, then on the computer, and finally I sat on the couch like so much fish.

Last night, I finished watching Billy Wilder’s The Apartment. Folks, they just don’t know how to write like this anymore – they don’t know how to act like this anymore, or direct like this anymore. It’s a perfect movie, Wilder-wise, and he’s made his share of perfect movies. The dialogue remains razor-sharp, and the tone of the film walks the line between comedy and drama perfectly, sometimes from line to line. I’m sure in the world of today there will be more than a few idiots who will have their Facebook moral outrage at the plot and behavior of the men in the film, but, you know, it was 1960, not now, oh outraged Facebook nincompoops. You know, I watch certain actors today – can’t understand a damn word they say, or they’re the other breed, the Daniel Day-Lewis and Christian Bale breed, where it’s really all about them – the machinations they go through to “get” to their performance – it’s laughable and pitiful, at least for me it is. And then you watch the effortlessness of Jack Lemmon – you can understand every word, he’s lovable, I’m sure he didn’t spend months finding his character or any of that crap – he showed up and did his damn job and he had a wonderful director there to guide him. And Shirley MacLaine – just pure magic – no whispering, no schmacting, now GIVE ME AN OSCAR ACTING, just real, adorable, heartbreaking, and stunning. What a performance. But everyone in the film is perfect, from the cad of Fred MacMurray to Edie Adams’ vengeful secretary to the executives who use the titular apartment, to Hope Holiday as Marge, to Jack Kruschen as the next door neighbor/doctor. It is laugh out loud funny one second and the next you’re staring in disbelief at the behavior of MacMurray, or the incredible tightrope walk of what Miss MacLaine attempts to do. It’s just a fantastic movie straight down the line. I saw it at the Stadium Theater in 1960. It won a whole slew of Oscars, including one for Best Picture, but neither Lemmon nor MacLaine won – but just look at the five best actor nominees and tell me that any of the actors today are as good as any of these five: Lemmon, Laurence Olivier, Trevor Howard, Spencer Tracy, and the winner, Burt Lancaster. There are few today who belong in that rarefied company.

There was a previous Blu-ray that I wasn’t that fond of and in fact hadn’t watched all of. This new 4K transfer is a huge improvement – it’s luscious, showing off Joseph LaShelle’s gorgeous black-and-white scope photography beautifully. There are some extras that really weren’t of much interest to me, but it is the extras that get my only complaint – the sound level for the film is perfect – the extras are 10 to 20db louder – it’s just amateur night to do that and completely unnecessary. We shouldn’t have to suddenly leap to our volume control to turn it down. But the movie and transfer is the thing, and this is highly recommended by the likes of me. Unfortunately, Amazon or Arrow really screwed up, with Amazon US cancelling a ton of orders due to being shorted by Arrow – I thankfully got mine. Of course the vultures immediately appeared and are trying to flip the extras they bought for sickeningly high prices. Those people will have karma problems, trust me, or at least they should. Shame on them.

After that, I listened to music and relaxed a bit, ate a few snacks, and that was that.

Today I’ll be up early for she of the Evil Eye. I’m not going anywhere, but will go do stuff in the garage or work at the computer. There were bunches of Blu-rays I hadn’t watched and I have to find that box so I can finally give them a look-see. Then Doug Haverty and I are going to see the matinee of some musical review in the west Valley. I’m sure I’ll eat at some point, hopefully pick up some packages, hopefully get a miracle of some sort, and then I’ll be in for the evening.

Tomorrow I’ll be home, I’ll have something to eat at some point, most likely I’ll make some tuna pasta salad as I happen to have those ingredients. And then we have our Annual New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Bash right here at haineshisway.com – the only partay you need. We’ll ring in the New Year at East Coast time and then again at midnight my time. I will do my usual contemplation thing prior to midnight, the first time doing it in this new house. And then on Monday morning I will begin writing what I hope will be my new novel. That is something I always look forward to doing and I’m especially looking forward to where this book takes me. Then on Tuesday we have our first Kritzerland rehearsal, another on Thursday, otherwise there are meetings and meals and I’ll be writing every day, of course.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do stuff in the garage, see a matinee, eat, hopefully pick up packages, and then relax. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite Billy Wilder movies? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, always happy to see a brilliant, classic movie, Wilder-wise.

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