Haines Logo Text
Column Archive
April 14, 2020:

SHROUDED IN SECRECY

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, it is 11:28 and I’m quite certain you know where your children are should you have such things as children, but do you know where I am?  Let us put on our thinking caps and see if we can figure out where I am, shall we?  My best guess is that I am sitting here like so much fish writing these here notes where I write them every night.  Well, I’ll be darned – that is a correct guess.  So, now that we know where I am what will we do with that information?  Will we give it to wikileaks?  Will we alert the media?  Will be put it on the Facebook and the Instagram and the Twitter?  Or will we keep it to ourselves and let the world and environs be kept in the dark, whilst we keep everything shrouded in secrecy?  I think we should keep everything shrouded in secrecy because there doesn’t seem to be any secrecy anymore, nor have I found any evidence of a shroud nearby.  In fact, I haven’t heard about a fancy-shmancy shroud since the shroud of Turin and Turin was, of course, Hymie Bagette Turin, who was known far and wide for his amusing shrouds.  If it hasn’t already occurred to anyone, I have no idea what the HELL I’m talking about.  Perhaps I, BK, should be shrouded in secrecy.

Yesterday was another day that certainly went by.  I got about seven and a half hours of sleep, got up, answered e-mails and did some work on the computer, then called the mail place and ascertained that there were three envelopes awaiting me and in said envelopes there were three checks.  So, I moseyed on over to the mail place to gather them up.  Every time I venture out in the motor car there are more and more motor cars on the freeways and streets.  In any case, I picked up the envelopes – one was a royalty check from Concord Theatricals for The Brain from Planet X – I was hoping it would be a bit more, but I’m grateful for anything these days.  The second envelope was from the WGA and contained a residual check for The Faculty – those have been very small, but this one was slightly larger, so that was nice.  The third envelope housed a check from SAG, residuals for Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley.  That one was a whopping fifteen dollars.  Added together they were okay.

I went to the bank, deposited them in the ATM and went to take it all out in cash and was surprised that during a time such as we’re having that it would only let me have a certain amount, with the rest being available today.  What is THAT about?  Everyone should have instant access to any deposits at this point in time.  But nooooo, I’ve got to go back tomorrow, take out the rest and then move it into another account.  I gotta tell you.

I came back home and ordered food via Door Dash from the California Chicken Café.  We used to have that all the time when we were doing albums and using a studio in the Wood of Holly.  I really liked their signature wrap and chicken pasta salad and side Caesar salad.  That’s what I always ordered back then and it’s what I ordered yesterday.  I was immediately disappointed to find that the signature wrap didn’t have a signature on it – I mean, honestly.  But it was quite excellent – chicken, mozzarella cheese, avocado, lettuce, and tomatoes.  They provide a little Eyetalian dressing on the side, but I don’t use it.  The little Caesar was exactly as I remembered and very good.  I saved the chicken pasta salad (which is mixed with 1000-Island dressing) for later.  It was a good choice and not too expensive and arrived right on time.

Then I did some more things on the computer, took a brisk walk for a few blocks, not really seeing many folks outside.  Then I took a fifteen-minute drive.  Once home, I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I finished watching Hotel on a Warner Archive DVD.  Thanks to a dear reader/lurker, who was kind enough to send me a newspaper from Cleveland from when Hotel was playing, I now know and I also know now that I saw it at the Palace Theater, a gorgeous movie palace that played the original Cinerama films. And looking at the newspaper, I also saw The Sand Pebbles and The Bible there.  And my very distinct memory about The Bible is that I slept through most of it. But I loved The Sand Pebbles.  And as you know, I REALLY loved Hotel and had quite a little crush on Miss Catherine Spaak.  I’d watched the first hour the night before, and I loved watching the rest.  I simply never tire of it – there’s just something about the excellent writing (by Wendell Mayes, a great writer), the terrific direction by Richard Quine, the gorgeous photography of Charles Lang, great art direction, well edited by Sam O’Steen who would go on to edit The Graduate.  Rod Taylor was an actor I always thought was underrated – I can’t think of a single movie I didn’t like him in, but especially loved him in The Time Machine, The Birds, Young Cassidy, and Hotel.  Catherine Spaak is stunningly beautiful, but I’m not at all certain we’re hearing her real voice – the entire performance sounds dubbed as it has a different ambience to the other voices.  I’d love to know.  Merle Oberon is fantastic – so moving in this and Michael Rennie is also great as her husband.  Richard Conte is excellent as a hotel detective/blackmailer, Karl Malden is hilarious as a thief who gets such pleasure from stealing that he can’t help but smile as people sleep in the rooms he steals from.  Melvyn Douglas is absolutely perfect as the owner of the hotel, Kevin McCarthy is oily and great as the wannabe buyer who wants to turn it into a “modern” hotel, and a great supporting cast including Carmen MacRae as the lounge singer, Roy Roberts as a desk man, Alfred Ryder as a cop, Harry Hickox (he’s the anvil salesman in the film of The Music Man), and others and all terrific.  The film is obviously of its time (1967), but I found all of its subplots worked perfectly.  And then, tying it all together is the absolutely brilliant score by Johnny Keating.  I wore out several copies of the Warner Bros. stereo album – not a soundtrack but a re-recording – boy would I love to have all the original tracks, too, because there’s much excellent scoring not included on the album. Anyway, if you’ve never seen it it comes highly recommended by the likes of me.

After that, I was still in a Catherine Spaak sort of mood, so I put on Cat o’ Nine Tails, the Dario Argento film.  I saw it last year, but I always enjoy it.  In this one she wears a rather hideous wig and doesn’t have enough to do, and in the English dub, which is the only way to watch the film since you want to hear the real voices of Karl Malden and James Franciscus, but the whole film was made for the English market, as all the actors are mouthing English.  I hope the Spaak dubber isn’t really her and the voice is the complete and total opposite of the voice in Hotel, which is husky and has a French accent, while her voice in Cat is high-pitched and completely American.  I watched about forty minutes and I’ll finish it up tonight, most likely.

Then I ate the chicken pasta salad, which was very good, and then I listened to the Hotel album.  Then it was the French composer Henri Sauguet, whose music I’m just discovering and very much enjoying.  I was searching for harmonica concertos and found a bunch I’d never heard and I actually like every one of them.

Today, let me think – I’ll be up when I’m up, my day will be shrouded in secrecy, but some of the things I’ll do are eat, hopefully pick up some mail and packages, take a walk, bank, take a drive, and then watch and listen.

The rest of the week will, of course, be shrouded in secrecy until it’s not, and tomorrow especially will be interesting as we’re doing a big test to see if something is feasible.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, be up when I’m up, eat, hopefully pick up mail and packages, take a walk, bank, take a drive, and watch and listen.  Today’s topic of discussion: What are your favorite films that have hotels as an important part of the action?  For me, Hotel, Psycho (motel), Vertigo (Judy’s hotel), The Shining, Somewhere in Time, Some Like it Hot, The Bellboy, and the Neil Simon Suite movies.  Your turn.  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have written notes that are shrouded in secrecy and which bring back the much-neglected shroud.

Search BK's Notes Archive:
 
© 2001 - 2020 by Bruce Kimmel. All Rights Reserved