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October 19, 2020:

FRENCHING

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much tired fish because I didn’t get much sleep last night – I tried, heaven knows I tried, but I tossed and turned and then when that got old I turned and tossed, got up at six, did stuff on the computer, got back in bed at nine and finally fell asleep and slept until one-thirty or thereabouts, so four-and-a-half hours of sleep, I suppose.  Force quitting my brain has been working like a charm this past couple of weeks, but didn’t work last night, so I tried just powering it down but that didn’t work either.  Too many ideas and things in the cranium last night.  Sometimes you just need to have drainium of the cranium.  Otherwise, I am listening to string quartets by the likes of Ravel, Germaine Tailleferre, and Darius Milhaud, three of my favorites.  I normally don’t care for chamber music much, but each of these quartets are wonderfully melodic and beautifully played, so I’m really enjoying them.  I do love many of the French composers from France, in fact, I love most of them, including Debussy, Francaix, Poulenc, Saint-Saens, Faure, Jean-Michel Damase – all marvelously tuneful and delightful musique.  And, of course, there are all those marvelous French film composers, too, like Georges Delerue, Michel Legrand, Philippe Sarde, Philippe Rombi, Georges Auric, Francis Lai, Vladimir Cosma, Antoine Duhamel, Michel Columbier, Georges van Parys, Jacques Loussier, and occasionally Maurice Jarre in his pre-Lawrence of Arabia days.  My goodness, these here notes are Frenching, aren’t they?  These here notes have become Francophile notes, haven’t they?  Well, to put it this way, the young girls of Rochefort are using the umbrellas of Cherbourg, which makes them breathless, especially Jules and Jim, whose only aim in life is to shoot the piano player, but that would be diabolique, so instead they’re going to fly a red balloon with the children of paradise, and of course they’ll all follow the rules of the game because if they don’t they’ll come to blows, like 400 of them, but the blows wouldn’t be real they’d be a grand illusion but with contempt – such are the wages of fear especially with my uncle who, last year at Marienbad, where he would romp on Sundays and Cybele would be there.  Of course, Claire’s knee was admired by all, especially at playtime on Monsieur Hulot’s holiday, and then that man from Rio showed up but for some reason only had his eyes without a face.  Meanwhile, a band of outsiders contacted Rififi but he was with a belle de jour named Amelie over in Alphaville.  Well, we’ve exhausted THAT, haven’t we?

Yesterday was short due to my erratic sleeping habits.  Once up, I answered e-mails, set up a Zoom rehearsal for our group opening number for Tuesday, and then I made the rest of the farfalle pasta with chopped ground beef, onions, butter, and cheese.  It was really good.  After that, I was full and I was tired and I was also tired and full.  I didn’t feel like doing any work whatsoever, so instead I sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I finished watching Fritz Lang’s Cloak and Dagger, starring Mr. Gary Cooper and Miss Lilli Palmer.  I love Mr. Lang and most but not all of his movies. I’d never seen this one until the Blu-ray came out in 2013 – I thought it merely okay then and think it merely okay now.  The script is not good enough, which is the film’s real problem, along with a bombastic (and not in a good way) and typical Max Steiner score.  Lilli Palmer is delightful in her first film and Cooper is always a favorite.  There are some very good sequences, but it just doesn’t hang together well.  The transfer on this Olive Blu-ray is filled with scratches and dirt but outside of the opticals, which look terrible, it’s reasonably sharp save for a couple of shots that are completely out of focus.

After that, I felt up to doing some work, so I did some futzing and finessing, wrote some new stuff, did some work at the piano and then it was time for the Zoom thing, which was a lot of fun and lasted about ninety minutes.  Then I had some grapes (I’d had an apple earlier) and then these here notes suddenly began Frenching and the rest you know and you know the rest.

Today, I’ll be up when I’m up, I’ll do whatever needs doing, I’ll work on project one, I’ll eat (I’m thinking one frozen chicken pot pie for lunch and one pizza bread or fettucine Alfredo with chicken for dinner – if I do the Alfred that’s 1,040 calories between the two meals and if I do the pizza bread it’s 900 calories – either works), I’ll hopefully pick up some packages and mail, I’ll do a bit of Kritzerland show work, and then I’ll watch, listen, and relax.

Tomorrow is our group Zoom rehearsal thing, and the rest of the week is split with working on project one and the November Kritzerland show and getting the first of our Kritzerland Interview shows in the works.

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, work on project one, eat, hopefully pick up packages and mail, do a bit of Kritzerland show work, and then watch, listen, and relax.  Today’s topic of discussion: Who are your favorite French classical and film composers and what are your favorite French films?  Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy that the notes got some Frenching in.

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