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May 5, 2020:

THE MORNING AFTER AND HAPPY ANNIVERSARY

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, there’s got to be a morning after, and yesterday was the morning after the big show.  As morning after’s go, this one was sort of typical, but that happens after every Kritzerland show.  A lot of work in a very concentrated period of time, great elation, and then it’s done and you’re moving on to the next one or the next things.  Isn’t that always the way, though, after any endeavor that involves hard work?  I certainly always have a morning after when I’ve finished a book or a song or whatever.  I have them after a play I’ve directed opens.  I usually feel like I’ve been hit by a truck or I literally have not a jot of energy, but that ultimately goes by and on you go to the next thing.

And so, yesterday was a morning after kind of day.  I did get eight hours of sleep.  As I predicted, I awoke to an unpleasant text that I dealt with as best I could and swiftly so.  Once that was past, the day was actually okay.  I answered e-mails, did a bit of work on the computer, then went to the mail place to pick up a tiny package.  The line of Amazon Returners was out the door and I just wanted to kick every one of them in the butt cheeks.  The only upside is they just leave their package and go.  But some of them have like six packages and each has to be scanned in.  SIX packages, all of which are being returned, to which I say loco en cabeza, baby.  Anyway, I got my package and came right home.

I read lots of wonderful and positive comments about the Kritzerland show, so that was very nice.  I then heated the oven to 400 and when it was at that temperature, I put in a Red Baron pepperoni pizza.  Twenty minutes later the pizza was done, and I was eating it.  It was pretty good for frozen pizza and it was about six pieces but pretty small ones.  I ate it all up and then wanted to vomit on the ground from being full.  But you’ll be relieved to hear that I did not vomit on the ground.

Once that was done, I did a few other things and then I finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I finished watching The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, which I enjoyed.  It would be a nice film to have on Blu-ray in a sparkling new transfer because the photography is quite beautiful.  The DVD transfer is adequate.  I then watched The Ghost Writer for the third time since it came out in 2010.  The first time I saw it was via this very Blu-ray back in 2010.  At that time, I said it was great and immediately one of my favorite Polanski films, right up there with his greats.  I watched it again in 2014 and it was even better and once again I put it right up there with his greats.  And then I watched it again last night and it was even better.  I remembered almost nothing of the plot itself and I just loved every minute of it.  Polanski is simply a great director and while I haven’t loved everything he’s done, for me he’s in the pantheon of the greats with just Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown, The Tenant, and this.  His direction here is a textbook in how to direct a low-key thriller – it’s just brilliantly directed.  The mood, the atmosphere, the sense of dread, the quirkiness, is pure Polanski all the way.  He wrote the script with the author of the novel on which it is based, The Ghost by Robert Harris.

The cast is uniformly perfect, right down to Eli Wallach in his one scene role.  The photography is gloriously glorious and Alexandre Desplat’s score is one of the best scores written in the 2000s. The plot holds the attention and the film’s 128 minutes seem like less than half that.  I cannot recommend this film highly enough.  It got mostly great reviews, and some bad ones from the usual types who review Mr. Polanski’s personal life rather than the film he made.  Those people should be put in the reviewer’s hall of shame.  The transfer from 2010 is excellent, as is the sound.

After that, I had a long telephonic conversation, tried to keep my spirits up, and listened to some music, which is always soothing unless it’s Stravinsky.

At this point, it’s time to celebrate the forty-five-year anniversary of the start of filming on The First Nudie Musical.  Let me repeat that: forty-five-years.  Yes, on May 5 (which was a Monday) 1975, cameras rolled at Producer’s Studio (now Raleigh Studios) and a wild ride ensued.  The shoot was fun, difficult, crazy, and nerve-wracking, but we got the thing done in three weeks, 18 days to be exact.  It was a huge thrill for me, both in starring in it, seeing a script come to life as a film, and co-directing it.  Watching dailies was a trip and a half for me.  I’d only done TV up to then, so seeing myself on the big screen in a movie was absolutely magical to me, since I’d dreamed of being in a movie since I can remember first processing thought.  I’ll never not be proud of the film.  Some love it, some don’t, and none of that matters.  What we, basically a bunch of neophytes, pulled off on a low budget 35mm movie musical is amazing and then having it bought by Paramount, being asked to replace six minutes of the movie with a new scene, which became the most beloved scene in the film, Dancing Dildos, shooting that, cutting it in – just incredible.  But even before that, seeing the very first public preview with the work print and separate sound and hearing screams of laughter was one of the greatest nights of my life.  And so, Happy Anniversary to the little movie that could.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, then try to settle on whether the June Kritzerland will be devoted to one writer, or just have some of it be that writer with other stuff filling it out.  I have at least two cast members in mind, possibly three, so it shouldn’t take too long to figure out the others.  If we end up doing it online again, then I’ll go for a couple more New York folks, since I can call in lots of favors in that regard.  I’ll eat (either pasta here or I’ll bring in some Chinese maybe, like Panda Express), hopefully pick up some packages and mail, and then I’ll do some work at the piano, after which I’ll relax, watch, and listen, not necessarily in that order.

The rest of the week is more of the same – finishing casting, beginning song choices, and getting charts done for the musical I’ve been working on.  There will, of course, be meals, drives, and lots of music, whilst we continue to pray for a modern major miracle, which really needs to happen sooner than later.

Let’s all put on our pointy party hats and our colored tights and pantaloons, let’s all break out the cheese slices and the ham chunks, let’s all dance the Hora or the Twist, for today is the birthday of our very own wonderful dear reader George.  So, let’s give a big haineshisway.com birthday cheer to our very own wonderful dear reader George.  On the count of three: One, two, three – A BIG HAINESHISWAY.COM BIRTHDAY CHEER TO OUR VERY OWN WONDERFUL DEAR READER GEORGE!!!

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, do whatever needs doing, figure out the June Kritzerland show and cast it, hopefully pick up packages, eat, and then watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: When did you first discover or see The First Nudie Musical?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have survived the morning after and to have had a Happy Anniversary.

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