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March 4, 2018:

A REAL RIP-SNORTER

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, it is Sunday, a day of rest and yet people are coming here to do a little work session, so rest will not happen until after that. Well, that opening was a rip-snorter, wasn’t it? That really got the old adrenaline going, didn’t it? That really got the heart pumping and the nose running, didn’t it? I’m trying to recover from the excitement of it. I don’t know if I can top that, frankly, but I shall endeavor to.

First of all, this is the day of our Annual Oscar Bash and since I am without the ability to watch it on the TV I will rely on the reports here, unless someone knows of a free way to stream it on the line. But since I have nothing but apathy about the Oscars and their lack of attention to Wonderstruck, with Academy and DGA members simply refusing to watch the DVDs they were sent, I’m not concerned if I just get good reports here.

Yesterday was a bit of a day. I did get perhaps a bit over eight hours of sleep, which I needed. I was awakened first by the doorbell – some woman and her daughter trying to sell me some Jesus. Then I went back to bed for another hour. Once up, I did the usual up things, ascertained that there was no mail, thankfully didn’t have to deal with any merde due to the weekend, listened to a bunch of music, worked at the piano, and then after his matinee, Doug Haverty came over to her the song I recently finished, which he seemed to really like a lot, so that was nice. Then we went to Hamburger Hamlet for the meal o’ the day – I had the number 11, a bacon cheeseburger – they’re not huge – and Those Potatoes as my side – a bit of hash browns with sour cream, and it was all yummilicious. After that, I came home and sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched the final two hours of Mr. Stanley Kubrick’s motion picture, Barry Lyndon. You’ll recall me saying I’d never gotten all the way through it, but as I watched I was remembering scenes so I checked our archives and sure enough I did watch it all the way through when the previous Blu-ray came out in 2011. I raved about both picture and transfer back then. I enjoyed seeing it again – I have to say the performances are just wonderful from just about everyone, and I have no problems with Mr. O’Neal. The photography is amazing and the period details are just stunning. Each sequence looks like a painting and Mr. Kubrick’s way of filming this picture is striking and always interesting (a huge number of shots that start close and pull back to reveal the entire setting). The music is well suited to the film and masterly arranged by composer/conductor Leonard Rosenman. As I said, I raved about the previous Blu-ray transfer, which for its time looked great to me. But this new transfer, a 4K affair from the camera negative with all the latest transfer equipment and such really bests that older transfer by quite a bit. While not night and day, everything improves in the new transfer – detail, contrast, and most especially color – it’s all subtle but the cumulative effect of all the improvements is quite large. It’s a very leisurely paced three-hour film, but it’s fun to see that after all these current films that bombard you with junk every three seconds. No CGI, just great filmmaking by a idiosyncratic director who was never less than interesting, and frequently brilliant.

After that, I listened to more music, went to Ralph’s to get some stuff so I can eat home this week, and then just relaxed. One interesting thing from this past week – because of the York Theater doing Subways are for Sleeping for their Musicals in Mufti series, we had a serious run on the CD, which I have up on Amazon at list price. We sold all but one copy – pretty amazing. I’m sending the new helper to the storage place to see if there’s another box there, hiding somewhere. I originally had about 200 of them so I’m hoping there will be another box. But the really astonishing thing to me is that so many “collectors” and lovers of show music have never picked up a CD that’s been around since 2001. Go know.

Today, I have a work session at eleven – it won’t go too long, then I’ll make something to eat, and then hunker down for our Annual Oscar Bash – this is the only place to be – the most fun Oscar partay on all the Internet and always a wild and wooly and wooly and wild time.

Tomorrow is our first Kritzerland rehearsal, and the rest of the week will be approving the book galley and getting it off to the printers, our second rehearsal, meetings and meals, our stumble-through, then sound check and show – that is if I can only survive the week and don’t get buried by the merde. So, send some excellent vibes and xylophones this way – we surely need another miracle.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, have a brief work session, eat, and attend our Annual Oscar Bash. 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 hit the road to dreamland, happy to have written some rip-snorting notes.

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