Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Calm Before ‘The Tree of Life’

By Paul Maher 28 May 2010

It’s the film that some claim say drove Days of Heaven director Terrence Malick into seclusion for 20 years after ambitiously helming pre-production on a screenplay titled Q in the summer of 1978. When he returned to the director’s helm to complete The Thin Red Line 20 years later, it was as though he merely checked out for a quick cigarette before stepping back in and returning to work as normal.

Q, a 250-page script that playwright/actor Sam Shepard called “brilliant, but virtually unfilmable” was to be peopled by multiple characters amid a Middle Eastern location set during World War I. Malick hired an assistant to scout potential locations, dispatching second unit cameramen around the globe to capture naturalistic scenes that would somehow seem convincing enough (in a pre-CGI-era) to pass for prehistoric earth. Malick also had Francesco Lupica on the back-burner, hiring him to create a spacey film-score of sonorous chimes and drones. Lupica was a Venice Beach musician known for conjuring hippy trance sessions with his Cosmic Beam Experience (whom Malick would visit for private concerts after stressful days of dealing with Paramount and the tension of uneasy film crew members, the request always the same—“Francesco, I need me some beam.”). He prepared the ‘score’ before finding out that Malick had disappeared. He did not hear from the filmmaker again until 1997, when he was sought out to contribute to his new film.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanks to Matt for the great game at the ACC tonight. A bit of luck landed me in a seat watching my second Leafs game in four days. Nothing for what? Seven years? Then twice in less than a week.

Of course, after a few minutes of play and the Leafs down 3-0 to the Nashville Predators it didn't look like it was going to be much of a game. Then they went down 4-1. For awhile it seemed like the best part of the game would be the between period shenanigans involving young women in short skirts being hurled like human bowling balls over the ice. You're already thinking it's game over. It would be easy to think so. I've never known the Leafs to be a big come back team so who would blame us to think it was going to be long night. Yet what a night it was - 12 minutes of penalties for the Preds later and the Leafs have tied it up - then they have a perfectly good goal called back and they still have enough old time gettup and go to find the go ahead goal. A win. 5-4, after being down 4-1. A thing of beauty on a horrible night.

Posted via email from peter's preposterous posterous

Monday, November 01, 2010

Out, Out! 

Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas

Lately we've had squirrels in the attic. Not metaphorically, but really. Maybe furry little critters are all cute and cuddly in Muppet form when they're playing in a jug band trying to earn a little extra scratch for Christmas, but that's a one time thing and besides, they weren't real and they were otters so the likelihood of them in my attic is next to nil. These were real, live, scratching, chewing and gnashing squirrels. Their rodent teeth and nails scratched and clawed their way into our sleep. I mistakenly thought the damn things had entered our walls via our neighbour's but as I was talking to him about it, we saw the lil' bastards scamper along the eaves trough and disappear into our soffit.
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Seen in October 

Terence Stamp in Stephen Frears' The Hit. Image via The Criterion Collection

Mad Men, Season 4 cont'd
Will SCDP survive the season? I have a feeling Don Draper will rise again. No double entendre intended.

Boardwalk Empire, season 1
Somewhere deep down in my brain is something forcing me to call this show all the wrong names - Empire Boulevard, Boulevard Empire, Empire Boardwalk etc. I'm not sure I buy Steve Buscemi as the powerful & conniving Nucky Thompson - he seems more weary than fierce. Still, the series has incredible production values, rich characters and plenty of potential.

Bored to Death, season 2
Light and witty as a well stirred Manhattan. Throughly enjoying this bijoux amuse-bouche or whatever you call those fancy schmancy little appetizers you get at highfalutin restaurants.
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