Mr. Cellophane

In a location adjacent to a place in a city of some significance, what comes out of my head is plastered on the walls of this blog.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

My Favorite Themes - Part IV

Score: Black Sunday by John Williams

About the film: A Palestinian terrorist (Marthe Keller) ropes an unhinged Vietnam vet (Bruce Dern) into a plot to kill spectators at the Super Bowl and it falls to an anti-terrorism agent (Robert Shaw) to stop them. I imagine that, in today's touchier-than-a-sunburn-victim post-9/11 climate, this film may no longer be seen as the bit of escapism it was in 1977, but I consider it to be a well-acted, enjoyable and amazingly realistic (if overlong) thriller, well-directed by John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate).

Title: "Main Theme" (pity it's not more original). The theme is a driving melody that gets a major workout in the final reels as the plan is carried out. However, my favorite rendition appears when Major Kabakov (Shaw) discovers that the blimp pilot has been murdered and Capt. Lander (Dern) is above the stadium. The piano is in control here, stomping along with Kabakov (by the way, I must gush about what a cool name this character has) as he rushes down the stadium steps.

Other themes of interest: There is a brilliant one-time melody for the security preparing for a potential attack before the game, as well as a somewhat melancholy theme for Kabakov.

Availability: The score has never been released in full. It mainly exists as a 10:31 suite on the Silva Screen compilation "Close Encounters: the Music of John Williams". It features the preparations music, an exciting suite of the main theme and a rendition of Kabakov's theme. In my opinion, this suite is a damn good representation of the score and is well worth seeking out.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Simply shuperb...

As I groused some time ago, the comic strip "Mutts" was dropped from my paper. Apparently, I'm not the only person in town to enjoy the strip; enough people wrote in to get it back. It returns on the 23rd.

So the system does work.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

This journey is over...

...or, 'Suck it, superstition!'

These last couple of days were spent finalizing one of my most exciting, frustrating, exhilarating and educational undertakings. My video, "A Man for All Seasons" is completed. And that was but one part of this fine day.

Apparently, Media Play is going out of business and their CDs are 60% off...and this includes soundtrack CDs. Walked away with a wonderfully diverse haul; could you imagine buying "Van Helsing" and "Winged Migration" in the same trip?

Then I get back to the city and head to the media arts center where I've been assembling the project for the last seven months. Yesterday, I tried to send it to the host site through Final Cut Pro. No go. That night, an idea hits me, but I keep it in my head; on a day like this, the fates were working overtime, and for something that matters so much to me, I'll be damned if I jinx it. The idea? Import it through iMovie and a digital camera. Had to cut up the finished feature for the sake of transitions, but the basic idea is there. If this is what filmmaking is like...I want more. (The video, by the way, can be found here.

Celebrated my triumph at Friday's. Those Chicken Finger BLTs, while a little tough to chew, are very delicious.

This is, perhaps, one of my best days in a while. Here's to more like it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Nothing to say...

Just wanted to bump that outburst of negativity...unless something happens today to match it.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Of twats and 'Mutts'.

This entry is chock full of blue language, so anyone not old enough to be reading that type of language ought to turn back now.

Something interesting happened at work today. It's a long one, so get comfy. This woman, about 30, comes up to the service desk with about $150 of groceries. Given that she didn't get her 'meat package', she decides to return everything; there wasn't enough money on her food stamps card, apparently. In the midst of ringing out her stuff, she's asking me these questions; 'what do I think of working here?', 'do I have a girlfriend?' I answer some of the questions, but I'm thinking that none of this is her business. People don't come into the store for small talk and I have little, if any, desire to engage in it. Besides, she had two other people with her; she could've talked to them. After everything is rung up, I try to put it back on her card, but it won't go. My supervisor tries to do it, but still, no luck. This goes on for an hour, and in the hour, she starts insulting me; just firing off this stuff. During the refunding, she tried to flirt with me. I wasn't really in the mood to be flirted with; after all, I was trying to ring up $150 of fucking groceries! It's not that she was unattractive; I just don't feel that way toward African-American women...and that's a little unusual, me being an African-American man and all. Not only did it give me a solid reference as to why I gravitate away from women of my own color, but it reminded me of why I truly despise the "Kim Possible" character Bonnie Rockwaller. So nasty, so trampy and so fucking superior. Also, there are two kinds of people who buy that many groceries: people a) with a lot of mouths to feed and b) who are high as a kite. Even allowing for the woman's possible promiscuousness (bitch probably has seven vibrators; one for every day of the week), I doubt she has a big family. In fact, I'd wager the farm that she was high right then and there. Today's lesson, kids: never go shopping while you're high. That's a good way to end up on my shit list.

One would think that that would be enough for one day, but no. Oh, no. My local newspaper got rid of the comic strip "Mutts". Created by Patrick McDonnell, the strip is a truly heartwarming chronicle of the lives of a dog - Earl - and a cat - Mooch - and their owners. Unbe-fucking-lievable. They get rid of "Mutts", but keep "Curtis" (which is consistently uninteresting when not being idiotic) and "Zits" (whose lead character has slipped into outright insufferability; maybe it's because I'm no longer a teen). So far, this is shaping up to be a very shitty year.

Maybe there's nowhere to go but up, but don't you believe it!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Now you see me...

So, today was New Year's and guess who had to work today? Go on, guess!

Surprisingly (to say nothing of thankfully), the place wasn't quite so busy. People were more than likely sleeping off their hangovers. Let me tell you, if I had been drinking...if I had decided to get drunk...and left the house...and didn't have to work today, I certainly would've been sleeping off my hangover.

Interesting thing at work: during my break, I had a muffin. I started to choke on it a little and coughed up a bit of the apple juice I'd been drinking with it. The only other person there was two seats away, jabbering on a cell phone. After I compose myself, I lick up the juice from the table; no sense letting good juice go to waste, right? And still, the girl yaks away.

So, what's more disturbing: that the girl didn't notice me choking or that the girl didn't notice me lapping up second-hand juice? I'm telling you: my invisibility is driving me nuts.

Another conundrum: if people treat me like I don't exist, do I, in fact, exist? And if I don't, would I have the the power (and, more important, the will) to twist it to my advantage? Would I have the sack to, in fact, play God? Note: I have no desire whatsoever to be God. I would just be playing. No harm ever came from playing, right?

My Favorite Themes - Part III

Score: The Witches of Eastwick by John Williams (so help me God, I really shouldn't have to explain what else he's done)

About the film: Dissatisfied with the relationships they've suffered, three friends (Cher, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer), more or less, conjure up an amazing guy (Jack Nicholson) with something of a devilish streak. This adaptation of John Updike's novel is, by turns, funny, witty, sexy, scary and exciting. An unusual witches' brew, but a very well-acted, good-looking one.

Title: "Daryl Van Horne". Though this score copped an Oscar nomination, it is something of an underrated one. Or maybe, I'm applying that to the theme under review. Williams' villain themes are, more often than not, very enjoyable (Superman's "March of the Villains", "The Imperial March", the Crimebuster's theme from Heartbeeps, Hook's theme). Where was I? Oh, right, "Daryl Van Horne". This is a wonderfully serpentine melody played mainly on what sounds like a harpsichord with electronics in the background. Occasionally, though, Williams will shake things up with strings and winds. I imagine that the Devil (hope I didn't spoil anything) likes to draw things out; to tease and string along. Maybe this is why the slower renditions of the theme work best, like in "Daryl Rejected", where the piano intermingles with strings and harpsichord to really tingle the spine.

Other theme(s) of interest: The incredibly catchy main theme (introduced in the tranquil "The Township of Eastwick") is put through several renditions. Also, there's a beautiful, soaring melody in "The Ballroom Scene" that was practically made for concert performances.

Availability: The Warner Bros. Records CD was released in 1987, when CDs were just hitting the marketplace. The record is very much out-of-print. However, the score is available on a music-only track on the DVD.

Me, myself and I.

Let me tell you a little about my life. I work a fairly easy job, but I hate at least half of the people that come in. I collect film music CDs, but I only listen to a small percentage. I drown my sorrows in junk food and net surfing. I don't have any friends. I'm 24 and I still live at home. I've never even kissed a girl. I have delusions of wanting to be a great filmmaker. People all over treat me like I don't exist. I suffer from superiority and inferiority complexes (though not at the same time).

Why am I telling all of this?

Read the next to last sentence of the previous paragraph.

And just so I don't end the year on a down note...