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November 29, 2019:

A THANKSGIVING MEMORY

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, as things turned out, I stayed home for Thanksgiving due to some allergy issues, which would have been compounded greatly by the Pearl’s lovely cat, Gracie.  I made that decision around one-thirty.  I’d gotten over nine hours of blessed sleep, and once up I did the usual things in the usual ways.  I took my Claritin-D, then took myself over to Gelson’s, where I got some carved turkey slices (about four), some stuffing, some mac-and-cheese, some bagels, some yams, and some gravy, came back home and had a reasonable meal of those items, not really finishing any of them save for the stuffing, but even so I was thoroughly stuffed, mostly from the stuffing.  I relaxed, sneezed, had itchy eyes, but the relaxing and listening to music part did me a world of good.  After a while, I sat on my couch like so much stuffed fish.

Yesterday, I watched the DGA screener of Joker.  I’m not a fan of the DC universe or whatever the HELL that is – I actively dislike every one of those films I’ve seen, but I’d heard this was different.  I was under the impression that this film was a critic’s darling but researching the reviews it was pretty much the opposite – very few all-out raves, some okay ones, and a ton of really bad ones.  Now, it is no secret that I cannot stand the lead actor in this film.  He’s clearly an out-of-control method actor and, for me, I don’t buy a minute of what he does.  For me, it shmacting of the highest order, but other actors LOVE him and his performances, which they find so real and edgy and daring.  He’ll probably win an Oscar for this thing.  In any case, I really hadn’t read all that much about it.  Well, it’s everything I expected it to be and more.  The leading actor is out-of-control in every frame of this film – and according to those who were on the set, he was indeed out-of-control, walking off the set several times.  The ten minutes of the film was interesting enough for me to be interested, but it quickly became a bore.  And then I simply could not believe the director could have the chutzpah to then try and and have this film reference Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy and even having Mr. De Niro basically play the Jerry Lewis role from the latter film.  Well, the director is no Scorsese – later, after I’d finished, I read that the director was, in fact, blatantly copying those two films.  So, that’s the look of the film. It was paced okay, but all the rioting scenes were just obnoxious and despicable, and the movie is just endlessly dreary.  And, of course, they want you to actually feel sorry for this guy because he was bullied and abused.  Well, no.  SPOILER ALERT: And a lot of what is presented as real, of course isn’t.  A sloppy and easy to figure out device.  The director has not an original idea in his head and if I never see another performance by the lead actor it will be too soon.  A Thanksgiving turkey indeed.  Certainly not the worst movie I’ve ever seen but just didn’t care for it.

Then I had a couple of toasted bagels with cream cheese.  I listened to some more music, and then it was back to the couch like so much fish to watch another DGA screener, this one entitled The Aeronauts, a “true” story about a pioneering balloon trip in the mid-1800s.  Once again, it’s everything you’d think it would be – everything – the style, the dialogue, the CGI, the music, all by the numbers, with spunky performances by Eddie Redmayne as the real-life guy who made the trip and Felicity Jones as, well, not a real life character but a completely made up character – in reality, the second person in the balloon was another man.  It’s reasonably short, the CGI is very obvious, at least it was to me, the music does nothing to support the visuals – one can only imagine what a Jerry Goldsmith or John Williams would have done with this film, and whatever it would be would certainly be helpful to this film.  It’s not bad, but it’s just typical and therefore, in the end, unsatisfying.

After that, I listened to more music – the wonderful music of Nikolai Tcherepnin, daddy to composer Alexander Tcherepnin – just fantastic stuff.

Today, I’ll sleep in, hopefully not have allergy issues, I’ll do the usual things, then eat something light, hopefully pick up some packages, then at five I’ll be with the lighting designer to see looks and light cues, which should only take about thirty minutes, since there are so few of them, under ten, I think.  Then at seven we’ll do our run-through after I adjust a couple of things, hopefully with a light-over.

Tomorrow, we begin at three with a tech run-through with complete lights and sound and not stopping.  Then we’ll vacuum whatever needs it, have an hour break, and then we do it all over again, then do fixes for whatever needs fixing.  Sunday is exactly the same thing and then Monday is off.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, sleep in, do things, eat, hopefully pick up packages, look at lighting, then do a run-through.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/Blu and Ray player?  I’ll start – CD, an interesting German composer called Ernst Fischer.  DVD, more DGA screeners.  Your turn.  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, hoping everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving that resulted in a Thanksgiving memory.

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