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June 10, 2020:

ON THE QT

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to music (a wonderful composer named Eric Zeisl, who I only discovered a week ago via the Tube of You), and wondering how great filmmakers can have an almost decade-long period where they make nothing but misfires, then suddenly, out of the blue, make another masterpiece, or in the case of one particular director, three great movies in a row.  I’m speaking of Blake Edwards, who, when he’s on his game, is one of my favorite directors.  I cut him enormous slack because I love his great movies so much.  But from around 1968 to 1980 Mr. Edwards could do nothing right.  Some of that was his fault, some of it was studio meddling.  Darling Lili was a disaster – a lovely, infuriating disaster still, and Wild Rovers had nice things but was mangled by M-G-M.  But then came the awful The Carey Treatment, the equally awful The Tamarind Seed, followed by Edwards trying to play it safe with three Pink Panther movies in a row, all three of which I find completely unfunny.  And then suddenly we get 10, S.O.B, and Victor/Victoria and he’s back, better than ever.  And after that, with the exception of Micki and Maude, it’s hit and miss, mostly miss until the end of his career.

I offer this up because I watched the new Blu and Ray of The Tamarind Seed last night.  For years, it was almost impossible to see this film.  It was a humungous flop despite the star power of Julie Andrews and Omar Sharif.  Even after having just watched it I really couldn’t recount the plot to you.  It’s basically a dreary Cold War thriller long after the expiry date of such films, but one that’s almost incoherent, impossible to follow, and simply not interesting.  Yes, it looks good, but it just lays there like so much fish.  The best thing about it is the John Barry score, and the Blu-ray transfer is very bright (perhaps too bright), with excellent color.  Watching it just made me want to pull out Experiment in Terror or Breakfast at Tiffany’s or The Pink Panther or A Shot in the Dark and watch the Blake I love.

What the point of all that was I have no idea.  So perhaps I’ll write some notes.  Yesterday was a weird little day.  I did get seven-and-a-half hours of sleep but it didn’t feel like it since I was up four or five times during the night and early morning hours.  Once up, I answered e-mails and did stuff on the computer, had some telephonic calls, set two people for the group number that will open the July Kritzerland, then went and picked up no mail or packages.  After that, I had my second dine-in experience, this one at Jerry’s Deli.  They have the tables distanced and marked – I got my usual booth and the nearest person to me was about forty feet away, maybe more, until five people arrived and decided to sit across the way – still about twenty feet but I found it so odd when they could have basically had any other space all to themselves.  People are idiots, basically.  Thankfully, they sat down as I was in the final stages of my meal.  I walked in with several choices floating around in my mind, food-wise, and I was about to say them when Ritchie, one of my favorites of the wait staff, said, “Grilled hot dog with chili, cheese, and onions?”  I hadn’t even thought of that, and it was an inspired suggestion and I had it and it was fantastic, as were the fries that came with it.  It was nice to be there.

After that, I came right home, did more work on the computer, but I was just feeling logy as can be, so I went and sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on Blu-ray called The Deadly Trap, un film de Rene Clement, starring Faye Dunaway, Frank Langella, and Barbara Parkins.  I enjoy some of Mr. Clement’s movies, especially Rider in the Rain, but The Deadly Trap is just terrible.  I think it barely got a release here.  Dunaway is fine, but Langella is actually terrible, while Barbara Parkins gave the same performance in every film she ever did.  The score by Gilbert Becaud is Francis Lai-light.  The film was shot with so much diffusion you can barely see what’s going on some of the time, and the transfer is a bit brownish for my taste.  I’d been wanting to see the film for years, but what a disappointment.  Then I watched The Tamarind Seed and you already know about that.

After that, I had an English muffin – one side with butter, the other with cream cheese – it was very good.  Then I listened to a classical album containing choral pieces by Franz Waxman and the aforementioned Eric Zeisl.  A wonderful CD it is, too.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll try to set the rest of the folks for the group number, and then I’ll get that track done so everyone can work with it over the next week – that one has to be shot early and gotten to us because the group stuff takes a while to mix and assemble. Then I have to finish choosing songs – I have some chosen already, and I also have to set one other guest star from New York, female.  I’m having trouble deciding who to ask, frankly.  Also, on the QT, I’ve been doing a little something that I’ve wanted to do for the past couple of years and it’s actually turning out really well.  I’ll explain when we’re a little further along.  I’ll eat, hopefully pick up packages, do whatever needs doing, and then watch, listen, and relax.

The rest of the week is more of the same, but mostly getting the July Kritzerland moving along.

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, try to cast the rest of the group number and set our second guest star, choose songs, eat, hopefully pick up packages, have fun doing something on the QT, watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Ask BK Day, the day in which you get to ask me or any dear reader any old question you like and we get to give any old answer we like.  So, let’s have loads of lovely questions and loads of lovely answers and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to be doing something fun on the QT.

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