Sunday, May 06, 2012

The Week in Entertainment

DVD: The Big Year, which I absolutely love. Jack Black and Steve Martin have good chemistry, and when Black's character goes into the woods with his father, it's really sweet. Owen Wilson really catches the desperate emptiness of his character. Plus, of course, birds!

TV: Finished catching up on Grimm - I do like this show. "Do you need some help?" "Sort of. Monroe... bring a shovel." And Monroe's "I'm here! I got it! Am I too late? Oh; no, I can't be too late because you're still alive." Just because they were on, and I'd never seen the last two, I watched Airport, Airport 1975, and Airport '77. The last one hardly merited the title, since no airport was even involved. The middle one was painfully bad, though, and Charlton Heston's character, from the depth of over forty years, was just a jerk. Flower Drum Song - I know I've seen it before, but I have to admit I'd forgotten huge chunks of it - especially the big ballet number (what was it with those 'stop-the-story-for-a-dream-sequence-ballet' things back then?) but in fact the whole Helen sub-plot. Joyful Noise which had some good singing, but (and yes, it's stupid to watch a movie about church choirs and not expect it, so call me stupid) way too full of god talk.

Read: The Father Thing, a short by Philip K. Dick, quite creepy. William Maxwell's So Long, See You Tomorrow which was extraordinary. The Golden Slipper : and other problems for Violet Strange and Lost Man's Lane, by Anna Katherine Green. Started Brian Switek's Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature, good so far.



At 1:32 AM, May 07, 2012 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Rodgers & Hammerstein were probably just repeating the "dream sequence" ballet formula they created in "Oklahoma!"

Of course such ballets arguably date back to French opera. In the 19th century the Paris Opera REQUIRED every opera they staged to contain a ballet (in the 4th of 5 acts, typically) in which the plot lines all came to a standstill. Woe betide any opera composed without one: they refused to stage it unless/until the composer wrote ballet music to add to the performance; this was demanded even of Verdi's operas.


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