Archive for May, 2007

Bertrand Russell’s Paradox and King Tubby

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Does the barber who shaves those and only those people who don’t shave themselves shave himself? Only Zen master King Tubby knows the true answer.

Alex Ross’s “Film score top 10”

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Alex Ross is right when he says it’s hard to think of a great Hollywood film score written for a comedy.

Bernard Herrmann did the score for Hitchcock’s The Trouble with Harry, which is definitely a comedy. I watched the movie on TV in Madison, Wisconsin one afternoon when I was going to school there, but I don’t remember much about the score. All I remember is that the movie was quite funny and Shirley MacLaine was quite young and attractive in it.

Of course, The Simpsons isn’t a movie, but the music by Alf Clausen (and the theme by Danny Elfman) is quite good.

I’ve never seen Airplane!, but, if the music by Elmer Bernstein is one-eighth as good as his score for To Kill a Mockingbird, then it’s quite good.

Which brings up the question: Could a brilliant score for a total screwball comedy ever really be accepted as being brilliant? As brilliant as the score to Vertigo or Psycho is considered to be? A lot of comedic film scores really only show their brilliance when listened to in conjunction with the film. A good example of this is the hard-sync scores for Who Framed Roger Rabbit (by Alan Silvestri) and Carl Stalling’s brilliant work on the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes shorts.

Petal Pusher by Laurie Lindeen

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

Riding your bike and reading books from the public library.

This morning I finished reading Laurie Lindeen‘s beautiful and moving (in parts) and laughing-so-hard-milk-snorts-out-your-nostrils funny (in other parts) new book, Petal Pusher. I wanted to quote some of the funny parts, but I gave my copy to my girlfriend, as a gift, immediately after finishing it and it’s over at her apartment right now (and I’m not), etc. But, anyway…

You’ll probably get your own ‘message’ from the book, because it’s about a lot of things (and the author’s writing is too intelligent for it to be the type of book that would overtly have a single ‘high-concept’ message, anyway). But, to me, it was about the fact that maybe you can go home again. Maybe home is just things like reading books and riding your bike around with a friend, and not doing the things that make you feel bad in the long run. Maybe home is the things you did when you were a kid when you were happy (more or less, relatively speaking (relative to the complicated, messy, decidedly non-happy corner you might have painted yourself into now as a so-called adult)).

But, that’s not exactly what the book is about. It’s about a lot of things and it’s not something some moron blogger (my name is Paul) can summarize in 500 words. So, just read the book for yourself, because it’s super good.