A Tale of Two Kitties

I’m heading to New York tomorrow for that grant panel. Dinner with Corigliano tomorrow night, and then the panel starts at 9:30am on Wednesday. That’s 9:30 Eastern time. This means I’ll be up by 8:15, so I can get all dolled up for the panel. That’s 8:15 Eastern time. I usually don’t get up at 8:15 Pacific time. (I know, I know. I can feel your sympathy from here.) Needless to say, after getting up at 5:15am my time, I may be a bit slap-happy at this panel. I’m not exactly a morning person. (I’m tempted to link to that gawd-awful Garfield cartoon of… ah, what the hell.)

AEJ and I watched “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” on Friday night, and I’m only slightly-ashamed to admit that I absolutely loved it. Yeah, it’s a French musical from 1964, and I loved it. To quote the writer of this blog, “I will now gouge my own eyes out.”

It’s more of an opera than a musical, which would normally translate to “I am so bored, please kill me,” but the music — by Michel Legrand — is just perfect throughout. There’s jazz, bop, lush epic ballads, all beautifully written. I almost never notice lyrics when I listen to songs — at least not initially — so I actually was more aware of the text when I had to read the translation. It’s a little weird at first, as the lyrics are really just a sung screenplay. There’s no rhyming, and no verse. It’s sung dialogue like, “would you tune-up this gentleman’s Mercedes before you leave?” and (also in the auto shop where the film begins) “that little rattling noise is normal.” And the path the story takes… Well, it’s believable and realistic, not forced and cliched. (It’s a movie that could only come from France — and I say that not to discourage you from watching it.) We got it from Netflix, but I loved it so much, I immediately ordered both the soundtrack and the DVD. I also ripped one particularly gorgeous scene from the DVD, so I can listen to it on the plane tomorrow. (The MP3 is right here, at least until I receive a cease and desist order.) Plus, the film looks wicked-cool. It’s worth renting just for the set design. If you have any sort of soul, no matter how black and dead it has become, you should watch “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” — even if you still insist on using the term Freedom Fries.

This’ll probably be the only entry until I get back on Friday. I’ll try to post a big ol’ photo entry upon my return. In the meantime, if you need performance materials for something, the soonest I can fill an order will be Monday the 18th, and I’ll be largely unreachable until then. Just know that I’ll be missing you.

But I leave you with one more taste of Garfield, courtesy the JoshReads blog.
Enjoy. (I wanted to post the second comic directly, but I was told it might be a little much.)


devin says

"Umbrellas" is one of the best films ever! I saw it for the first time ten years ago and I rent it now every couple of years to make sure I still have a heart.

Other movies that make me feel this way:
"Singing in the Rain"
"The Red Balloon"

Zephan says

Umbrellas is one of the most important movies in the history of musical theatre cinema. the colors, sets, music, and singing are near perfect. a theatre by me, Two River Theater Co from Red Bank, NJ, did a stage adaptation last fall. it was visually stunning, not to mention romantic.

Cathy says

Speaking of performance needs, our request to play "Strange Humors" got 2nd draw for BOA NCBF. :( We may not get to play it at all if the first band (of 3) doesn't drop it from the list. Poo!

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