Well, dear readers, it is very late because I had a YouTube attack and watched about ninety minutes of Martin Short as Jiminy Glick, none of which I’d seen before. I loved the character but these particular interviews had escaped me and they’re hilarious and highly recommended by the likes of me. I worked with him when I produced the cast album of Little Me and he could not have been nicer and he was really pleased that I insisted on so much of the dialogue to show off how great he was in the show. So, I’m laughed out now.
Otherwise yesterday was an okay day, no major problems to deal with for once, but of course we do need the good miracles to keep happening, so there’s that. But it was at least a day of brief respite, other than wasting a lot of time with my insurance company and then my bank. In deducting my monthly payment the new person there deducted double what she was supposed to and I would never have known had I not looked at my online banking and seen it. So, I called on Tuesday when I saw it and they apologized and said they’d already reversed that extra charge and that I should show up yesterday – only it didn’t. I spent one HOUR on hold with the bank, and of course the reversed charge was there but wasn’t going to be credited until midnight and I said that that made no sense to me – they got the money back, why wasn’t it instantly credited, but it’s some federal thing that it can’t post until midnight. I found it all ridiculous.
I got a little over eight hours of sleep, answered e-mails, then got the new book galley and covers to proof. I did, and I also forwarded them to Grant and Doug. I thought it looked great, and so did they, so I signed off and it will now go to the printers and I should have my test soft and hardcover in about a week or so. When I get those, then I can place my order and we’ll have books to ship about seven days after that. So that was all good.
Then I went and picked up a couple of packages and no mail and came back home. I made some Wacky Noodles (only about five or six ounces of pasta) with chicken and that was very good. Then I had my long phone ordeal with the bank, Grant came by for a moment, and then I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.
Last night, I watched two motion pictures on Blu and Ray. The first motion picture was entitled Take the Money and Run, Woody Allen’s first real directorial effort. Back when it came out, audiences ate it up – it was so wacky and hilarious and the gags came like a machine gun, plus it was really the first of what would come to be known as mockumentaries. All these years later, it’s still laugh out loud funny and a classic. Unlike every film that came after Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, this one has an actual score and it’s great one by Marvin Hamlisch, who would also write Allen’s next movie, Bananas. The transfer is certainly average, if that. It’s an old master, clearly, way too soft, with little detail and with color that isn’t quite accurate, i.e. a bit faded. Yes, it was a low-budget film, but not THAT low budget at 1.5 million dollars pre-1970. It could look much, much better, but this is Kino and they put out whatever they’re handed, no matter how bad, whereas Nick Redman’s label Twilight Time actually has the sense to pass on transfers that are not up to snuff. But because other companies then pick up those transfers there’s no chance of a new transfer happening. Anyway, it’s still a very funny film, and despite the barely average transfer, I recommend it.
Then I watched the second motion picture, which was entitled Maigret Sets a Trap, the 1958 French version starring Jean Gabin. I saw it when I was on my Maigret kick back in 2011, but it was a homegrown DVD with terrible quality. This transfer is very nice – good contrast, sharp, but it looks like it may have had some work done on it in terms of the grain, which is pretty much non-existent. However, the film is not presented in its proper ratio – it’s full frame and that is completely wrong, since France went widescreen right from the beginning, way back in 1954 – and one look at the excessive head and foot room will tell anyone with who knows film just how wrong full frame is. And the joke is that Kino (yes, Kino) issued the follow-up film with Gabin and that one is presented at 1.66 – that film was made one year later. Does Kino think that France suddenly went widescreen in 1959 all of a sudden. It’s just stupid and they never bother checking these things – there are experts who know but that seems beyond them. I also watched the first five minutes of Visit to a Small Planet starring Jerry Lewis. Outside of the many opticals it’s a decent-looking transfer, and I’ll watch the rest this very evening.
I had some popcorn and then did some work at the piano, listened to music, watched the Jiminy Glick stuff, and relaxed.
Today is our second Kritzerland rehearsal, which I’m looking forward to, and then I think some of us are going out to eat after the final person finishes. Then I’ll watch stuff and relax.
Not sure what’s happening tomorrow, but Saturday is our stumble-through, and then Sunday is sound check and show, and Monday I have to cast and figure out the April show.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, have a Kritzerland rehearsal, eat, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite Woody Allen films? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have approved the galley and covers and that the book is on its way to the printers.