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Monday, August 25, 2014

Dick Powell was on TV this morning acting in a movie about song plagiarism... he played a well-spoken music composer whose piano performance of a classical melody gets lifted from him, from behind his back via Dictaphone, and a lyricist sets it and credits him as the composer.  The estate of the dead composer brings Dick to court where the judge is pre-occupied with his own compositions from hasty pudding college days. It turns out that the deceased composer lifted the melody from a prior composer whose work is in the public domain.  After dismissing the case the judge hums a familiar classical theme as his own and asks Dick if he thinks it has potential.  Dick identifies it as Beethoven's.

Thanks to reruns of Busby Berkley's Warner Brothers musicals, Mr. Powell's energetic ingenue had long-ago transfigured into a unique and lovable individual.  He sings beautifully and his performances are, to say the least, "informed."  He does have depth and his own story is that he always wanted to be taken seriously.  As Philip Marlowe In Murder My Sweet and other Dmytryk noir films he proved that was no longer the juvenile...

The more I thought of him the more I admired him.  To learn about his later career I defaulted to Wikipedia, where words connect, and learned that he only lived 58 years, until 1963.  During that time he contributed to radio, television, movies, as a producer, director, actor, singer and dancer.  Why when he died was he still so young?

As did John Wayne and more than a third of the cast and crew of The Conqueror, which Dick Powell directed on location in St. George, Utah, Dick Powell died of cancer

So an alleged "turkey" of a movie from 1956, in which John Wayne precedes Omar Shariff as cinema's Gengis Khan, was filmed "upwind" of (160 miles from) a nuclear testing site in Nye County Nevada.

Well, that's the sad story of Dick Powell.  He was exposed to the fall-out from nuclear bombs.  There may be a question about radiating particles causing cancers, but statistics support the answer yes.  All we can do (as a species) is adapt.

and be inspired by the work of Dick Powell....   

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The 19th Lower East Side Festival of the Arts, keep track here...through one person's attendance and participation...  I opened the Friday Evening in the Cabaret, solo.   Sam was there, thank you! so I can find out what I did later.  Then saw Dr. Sue's Daphne/Apollo excerpt.  There was some disguised identity as they prepared the chariot for morning, and she noted later that Helios was also a, or the, sun god, in the Great Greek God Nature-Personification Religion we today call myth.  Yes I was on the edge of my seat when she concluded, somehow connecting Apollo and Daphne as young boy chariot passenger with the Daedelus Icarus flight.  And she presented alone... Sue Sloan, David Sloan's cousin? David is the MC with a dickensian presence.  He appeared in the Nicholas Nicholby excerpt upstairs.  After Dr. Sue I went upstairs to the Johnson and obtained a third row aisle seat and felt I had to stay, because James Rado came on after the rap dancers who accurately interacted vocally with recordings.  Was that reallly the Rod Rodgers Dance Company?  I missed Ben Harburg but heard in the lobby a recording of How are Things in Glocca Mora.  Steve Bogardus was perhaps with him... from the Falsetto cast recordings?  James Rado sings effortlessly stylishly and accurately.  He couldn't hit a wrong or false note.  His phrasing is his own but it is perfect for the lyric and music.  He had help from the tuxedoed flyswatter... Great to see a swatter on stage.  Who came back to join him in the irving berlin you're just in love... you're not sick, no... that's a theme echoed and catharicized by Epstein and Hassan, who were more loving than ever.  Hassan's singing is beautiful.  He has a Malkovich presence.  They warned us of the love police in all of us.... and the love risk was further echoed by Tammy Grimes reminding as if we needed it and I do need it... The Rose Song, like the rose itself, is a gift from God.  It's the ones afraid of dying who never learn to live (It's the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live...).  I was crying.   So I saw The Cell, hard times, also exploring interracial relationships in the five points... recorded accompaniment... ok.   Dixon Place J Chen training the devil... Fantastic interaction.  Nicholas Nickleby was ok... I could not handle the ghost I miss the most... the fellow later sang from the Pearl Fishers Thank you.  That's Douglas McDonnell...  Uh, Native American song dance percussion costumes hoops... Forgive my unconscious existence but this meant everything to me.  The American Indian!  It's a reminder of what a great heritage this country has, completely unrelated to me.  and my imagining of connecting with it naturally involves natural hallucinogens.  It's a haunted country.  We're living on top of them.   Their power is eternal and evolving.  I love them and am humbled by them.  Oh, they're hosting  one of the nation's top 10 pow wows in the Queens Farm Museum this July... Please I'm crying....Butoh couple with beautiful music.  Bob Lyness Katherine Adamenko..   Louisa Bradshaw and Gregory Nissen have some great cabaret thing going.  and they played original songs.   Then downstias with Cathie Boruch speaking in a stand up style.  Definitive Yiddish theater song performance by Arthur Abrams...Stan Baker, Anne Pasquale and Schizophrenia in the household... Stan Baker Better than Ever... Voice, Channelling... beautiful.  with guests...Bob Havemeyer and Steve? Weber... Ellen Steier with Francesse.  Micha Lazare with Fitz who ended the night.   Oh, yes, Lindsay Davis alternated with Omar Bustamante the various bad dates...cute.  touching upon reality... 

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Saw your epoch there that you posted with Mr. DiMaio; just curious as to what year that night have been and what kind of camera you were using at the time ?

the 2 minute close to the edge epoch?... there's obviously a third person there... who? based on the zoom and the over-exposure I'm sure the super 8mm film cartridge went through an eumig film-o-sound... (send the cassette tape in with developing) had a zoom lens and auto exposure that needed a battery...I have less than zero recollection of this... there is no editing, no film reversing, it runs as shot... I added two stills, slowed down two shots, added titles and added a song by a friend who passed away on the subway tracks...the film runs through as shot... I'm going to suggest here a set of dogma rules on these movie recoveries...

Dogma Rules on Digital Film Transfers:
Allow the movie to play back sequentially, as it rolls out of the film reel.
Do not remove any segments.(Yes to removing white stills that are the result of the camera shutter remaining open at rest.)
Yes, add titles, captions, narration, music.
Yes, freeze frames
Yes, adjust speed of frames per second.
Good luck recovering the cassette tapes that recorded sound during filming.