Pay Attention to This Dream You Are Having

[Video: TED Talk by the puppeteers behind the War Horse stage production. The play was originally based on a children’s book by Michael Morpurgo, and was itself adapted into a very successful film by Steven Spielberg. Having seen this talk, but neither the play nor the film, I can’t imagine the imagery was much improved by using real horses. See the additional note at the foot of this post.]

From whiskey river (italicized passage):

…my definition of magic in the human personality, in fiction and in poetry, is the ultimate level of attentiveness. Nearly everyone goes through life with the same potential perceptions and baggage, whether it’s marriage, children, education, or unhappy childhoods, whatever; and when I say attentiveness I don’t mean just to reality, but to what’s exponentially possible in reality. I don’t think, for instance, that Marquez is pushing it in One Hundred Years of Solitude—that was simply his sense of reality. The critics call this “magic realism,” but they don’t understand the Latin world at all. Just take a trip to Brazil. Go into the jungle and take a look around. This old Chippewa I know—he’s about seventy-five years old—said to me, “Did you know that there are people who don’t know that every tree is different from every other tree?” This amazed him. Or don’t know that a nation has a soul as well as a history, or that the ground has ghosts that stay in one area. All this is true, but why are people incapable of ascribing to the natural world the kind of mystery that they think they are somehow deserving of but have never reached?

(Jim Harrison [source])

…and:

Being a Person

Be a person here. Stand by the river, invoke
the owls. Invoke winter, then spring.
Let any season that wants to come here make its own
call. After that sound goes away, wait.

A slow bubble rises through the earth
and begins to include sky, stars, all space,
even the outracing, expanding thought.
Come back and hear the little sound again.

Suddenly this dream you are having matches
everyone’s dream, and the result is the world.
If a different call came there wouldn’t be any
world, or you, or the river, or the owls calling.

How you stand here is important. How you
listen for the next things to happen. How you breathe.

(William Stafford [source])

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Near-Misses: Time Lapse

[Trailer (not too-too spoilery) for Time Lapse]

Here in post-Hermine North Florida, over the last couple days we’ve relished the chance to rediscover the small pleasures of civilized life. Surely among the least consequential of such pleasures, we can count the discovery of recent films we had added to our streaming watchlist(s), and then promptly forgot. 2014’s Time Lapse, director Bradley King’s debut feature, falls into that category for me.

The genre: science-fiction/thriller. Sub-genre: low to modestly budgeted.

It presents a sort of time-travel scenario, except that no people (or animals, inanimate objects, or anything else) actually travel in time. Here, the central conceit is that some kind of metaphorical line can be cast into the future, and brought back to the present with a bit of reality firmly caught on the hook…

I’m guessing about the film’s budget, based on these observations:

  • There’s scarcely anything like a special effect or green-screen CGI in evidence. (The closest thing may be the very basic opening titles sequence, and maybe you can count the exotic prop to which I’ll introduce you in a moment.)
  • The action takes place in a very limited number of settings: a rented room; the rented room across a sidewalk; a storage facility (mostly a single storage locker there).
  • All dialogue and action is performed by a vaguely familiar but nothing like “big name” youthful cast, almost entirely consisting of three actors. (The only one I recognized by name was Danielle Panabaker. John Rhys-Davies has a very small cameo role, but I had to read about the film afterward to know it was him.)

A quick plot overview, emphasis on spoiler-avoidance:

The time is roughly present-day. A young man, named Finn, works as “building manager” (read: janitor in residence) for a small complex of small rental apartments. He shares his own apartment with his girlfriend Callie (an aspiring writer, sort of) and his best friend Jasper (an unemployed but fitfully “flush” gambler, specializing in greyhound racing).

The 'Time Lapse' cameraWhile investigating (on behalf of the complex’s owner) an elderly tenant who seems to have gone missing, the trio discover in his apartment a very strange and mysterious object (shown at right; click for a larger version). While they watch, the device suddenly clicks and whirs, and from a slot dispenses one of those old Polaroid-style instant photos.

(Indeed, they discover a cache of unexposed Polaroid film cartridges in the apartment, and one entire wall is taken up by exposed photos, apparently having been mounted there by the missing tenant.)

Because this “camera” is huge and bolted to the floor, it always photographs the same subject, from the same angle, over and over, at 24-hour intervals. But after the shutter clicks — flashing that green glow just once — the image that comes out depicts that subject as it will exist in 24 hours.

It’s an interesting premise — a sort of technology-based clairvoyance. And because they come to believe that the image captured should depict things as they will (and not just may) be, their task becomes not to change the future, but to guarantee that it comes to pass exactly as shown…

Aside from the general premise, I most appreciated that the plot remained unpredictable and surprising for me right up until the very end. (About a third of the way into the film, I decided I knew how it was going to develop. I could not have been more wrong — and the film allowed me to be wrong almost all the way to the conclusion.)

So why just a “near-miss” film? This may not even qualify as a quibble, but the plot hinges on something which the characters notice, but fail to follow up on. I noticed it at the same time, in fact.

Yet (a) the screenwriters skillfully managed to divert my attention from this significant factoid, and (b) one of the characters, it happens, did follow up on it. So maybe “near-miss” is a stingy adjective after all. Time Lapse may not be a “great” film — not a blockbuster, not a film likely to resonate through motion-picture history. But it was a consistently watchable and well-crafted movie. The gods know, we can always use more of those, too.

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Attentive to Sights Unseen

Slide from 'What Alice Saw' presentation

[Image: a slide from the New Zealand Ministry of Education’s presentation What Alice Saw, by Don Long. (And no, it wasn’t that Alice, and she didn’t see the takahē-that-wasn’t down a rabbit-hole.) For more information, see the complete presentation (it’s brief, and not a difficult read).]

From whiskey river:

Swimming

Some nights, I rise from the latest excuse for
Why not stay awhile, usually that hour when
the coyotes roam the streets as if they’ve always
owned the place and had come back inspecting now
for damage. But what hasn’t been damaged? History
here means a history of storms rushing the trees
for so long, their bowed shapes seem a kind of star —
worth trusting, I mean, as in how the helmsman,
steering home, knows what star to lean on. Do
people, anymore, even say helmsman? Everything
in waves, or at least wave-like, as when another’s
suffering, being greater, displaces our own, or
I understand it should, which is meant to be
different, I’m sure of it, from that pleasure
Lucretius speaks of, in witnessing from land
a ship foundering at sea, though more and more
it all seems related. I love the nights here. I love
the jetty’s black ghost-finger, how it calms
the harbor, how the fog hanging stranded just
above the water is fog, finally, not the left-behind
parts of those questions from which I half-wish
I could school my mind, desperate cargo,
to keep a little distance. An old map from when
this place was first settled shows monsters
everywhere, once the shore gives out — it can still
feel like that: I dive in, and they rise like faithfulness
itself, watery pallbearers heading seaward, and
I the raft they steady. It seems there’s no turning back.

(Carl Phillips [source])

and:

Recently I was walking to the park and, as I dropped the letter I was carrying into the mailbox, I was stilled by the notion, almost a prediction, that I would find a reindeer, a really tiny one, the size of, say, a lemon. This is the way the image came to me: it “popped in” (maybe fell? down from some nest?). Maybe the weather, a very cool June afternoon, encouraged the image’s weird arrival. I attempted to exchange the reindeer for something more seasonal, more discernibly trinkety and likely to surface (clover, penny, bottle cap), but the reindeer was stubborn. It was meaning to be found.

I suppose I might dig around a bit, psyche-wise, and find the reindeer representing/standing in for something delicate and hidden, meaningful in some way I cannot yet understand.

Along the way there were white tulips so robust they reached to my waist. I saw some kind of evergreen whose uppermost branch shot out, like a hooked cane, into clear sky. Pink azaleas were dulling to brown and looked more like colonies of coral. And the place the reindeer sprang from, that swampy, rampant, tundral field, offered this image, too: a cleanly flensed frog. Now the two images were overlapping, the frog’s empurpled and milky-blue, skinned legs — and the whole and intact tiny-frog-sized reindeer.

Then came the smell of gingerbread, though maybe I’m misidentifying some flower’s perfume, and while this whole sensation/ eidolon/charm wasn’t about winter at all, many wintry things kept adding up.

To what, though? To what?

I am of two minds about knowing.

What if I thought about the images differently: simply, that they exist. Are out there embedded in shifting forms, and enter me, the moment’s site of odd happenings. No irritable reaching, just Hello, Reindeer. Hello, Frog. Your absolute smallness. Your unexplained blues. All fact and reason just let go of.

These images are meaningful/I have no idea what these images mean. And what do I get if I push these very real-but-odd pictures up against the nothing-in-hand?

(Lia Purpura [source])

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Present But Unaccounted For

'Absence,' by Derrick Tyson on Flickr

[Image: “Absence,” by Derrick Tyson on Flickr. (Used here under a Creative Commons license.)]

From whiskey river:

Sometimes I get mail for people who lived in my home before I did, and sometimes my own body seems like a home through which successive people have passed like tenants, leaving behind memories, habits, scars, skills, and other souvenirs.

(Rebecca Solnit [source])

and:

We are not idealized wild things.

We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all.

(Joan Didion [source])

and:

Standing Alone

Empty skies. And beyond, one hawk.
Between river banks, two white gulls
Drift and flutter. Fit for an easy kill,
To and fro, they follow contentment.

Dew shrouds grasses. Spiderwebs are still
Not gathered in. The purpose driving
Heaven become human now, I stand where
Uncounted sorrows begin beginning alone.

(Tu Fu [source])

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Those Happy-Go-Lucky Poor Folks: “A Couple of Swells”

Schell's Hobo Band

[Image: “Schell’s Hobo Band,” formed in 1948 as a side project of Schell’s Brewery in New Ulm, Minnesota. The band itself has been successful enough that it now has its own Facebook page.]

[Don’t know what this is? See the series introduction here.]

Pop culture has always offered plenty of examples of our “Happy-Go-Lucky Poor Folks” theme. Some of these examples cross over into racial stereotyping, for obvious reasons: race and social class (at least in the U.S.) are all bound up together. What better way to assuage our cultural guilt about slavery than to claim that its victims are somehow not doing that badly after all?

But then there’s the old image of the hobo — the tramp — as a figure of fun. And it had nothing to do with race, only with the character’s hilariously déclassé lot in life. He (it was almost always a he) just seemed so unsophisticated, so silly, y’know? This stereotype was reinforced by much older cultural symbols, particularly that of the circus or stage clown.

Think Emmett Kelly, both father and son: even though they appealed to the audience’s sympathy, their first objective was laughter (however soft and gentle). “Look at the hobo,” the subtext went, “trying to sweep the spotlight off the stage! Doesn’t he know you can’t do that?”

'Saturday Evening Post' cover by Norman Rockwell (August 18, 1928)A little weirdly to our eyes and ears, maybe, one thing which seems to have struck people as especially amusing “back in the day” was the very fact of the hobo’s poverty. That they didn’t have two coins to rub together — gosh, how could we possibly take them seriously?

Consider Norman Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post cover at right (click to enlarge to full cover). This tramp probably (despite his belly size) hasn’t eaten pie for years. But look — he can steal a freshly baked one! And look — the baker’s dog will bite him on the bottom! What fun! (You could almost imagine this fellow sitting at fireside in a clearing in a forest, sharing the pie with his friends and regaling them with the comical story.)

(Yeah, I know: the geometry/physics here seem more than a little off: the dog shouldn’t be perfectly horizontal, even if he’s holding on tightly enough to be flying along behind the running tramp.)

Critically, though, this cover appeared in the Post in August, 1928 — just a little over a year before the onset of the Great Depression. Thereafter, with “real people” suddenly reduced to the social stature of hobos, coincidentally the jokes fell flat. These weren’t random outliers in the populace: they were friends and family…

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Things to Keep

'Gripped,' by user s2ublack (Stewart Black) on Flickr

[Image: “Gripped,” by user s2ublack (Stewart Black) on Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons license.]

From whiskey river:

Necessities

1

A map of the world. Not the one in the atlas,
but the one in our heads, the one we keep coloring in.
With the blue thread of the river by which we grew up.
The green smear of the woods we first made love in.
The yellow city we thought was our future.
The red highways not traveled, the green ones
with their missed exits, the black side roads
which took us where we had not meant to go.
The high peaks, recorded by relatives,
though we prefer certain unmarked elevations,
the private alps no one knows we have climbed.
The careful boundaries we draw and erase.
And always, around the edges,
the opaque wash of blue, concealing
the drop-off they have stepped into before us,
singly, mapless, not looking back.

2

The illusion of progress. Imagine our lives without it:
tape measures rolled back, yardsticks chopped off.
Wheels turning but going nowhere.
Paintings flat, with no vanishing point.
The plots of all novels circular;
page numbers reversing themselves past the middle.
The mountaintop no longer a goal,
merely the point between ascent and descent.
All streets looping back on themselves;
life as a beckoning road an absurd idea.
Our children refusing to grow out of their childhoods;
the years refusing to drag themselves
toward the new century.
And hope, the puppy that bounds ahead,
no longer a household animal.

3

Answers to questions, an endless supply.
New ones that startle, old ones that reassure us.
All of them wrong perhaps, but for the moment
solutions, like kisses or surgery.
Rising inflections countered by level voices,
words beginning with w hushed
by declarative sentences. The small, bold sphere
of the period chasing after the hook,
the doubter that walks on water
and treads air and refuses to go away.

4

Evidence that we matter. The crash of the plane
which, at the last moment, we did not take.
The involuntary turn of the head,
which caused the bullet to miss us.
The obscene caller who wakes us at midnight
to the smell of gas. The moon’s
full blessing when we fell in love,
its black mood when it was all over.
Confirm us, we say to the world,
with your weather, your gifts, your warnings,
your ringing telephones, your long, bleak silences.

5

Even now, the old things first things,
which taught us language. Things of day and of night.
Irrational lightning, fickle clouds, the incorruptible moon.
Fire as revolution, grass as the heir
to all revolutions. Snow
as the alphabet of the dead, subtle, undeciphered.
The river as what we wish it to be.
Trees in their humanness, animals in their otherness.
Summits. Chasms. Clearings.
And stars, which gave us the word distance,
so we could name our deepest sadness.

(Lisel Mueller [source])

and:

The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful.

(Milan Kundera [source])

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Small Things Big, Big Things Small

Image from 'Mountains and Molehills, or: Recollections of a Burnt Journal,' by Frank Marryat

[Image: illustration from Mountains and Molehills; or, Recollections of a Burnt Journal (1855), by one Frank Marryat. (Click image to enlarge.) For the complete book in various formats, see the Internet Archive. For more information about this image in particular, see the note at the foot of this post.]

From whiskey river (italicized portion):

The Swan

Across the wide waters
something comes
floating—a slim
and delicate

ship, filled
with white flowers—
and it moves
on its miraculous muscles

as though time didn’t exist,
as though bringing such gifts
to the dry shore
was a happiness

almost beyond bearing.
And now it turns its dark eyes,
it rearranges
the clouds of its wings,

it trails
an elaborate webbed foot,
the color of charcoal.
Soon it will be here.

Oh, what shall I do
when that poppy-colored beak
rests in my hand?
Said Mrs. Blake of the poet:

I miss my husband’s company—
he is so often
in paradise.
Of course! the path to heaven

doesn’t lie down in flat miles.
It’s in the imagination
with which you perceive
this world,

and the gestures
with which you honor it.
Oh, what will I do, what will I say, when those white wings
touch the shore?

(Mary Oliver [source])

and:

Time has no meaning, space and place have no meaning, on this journey. All times can be inhabited, all places visited. In a single day the mind can make a millpond of the oceans. Some people who have never crossed the land they were born on have traveled all over the world. The journey is not linear, it is always back and forth, denying the calendar, the wrinkles and lines of the body. The self is not contained in any moment or any place, but it is only in the intersection of moment and place that the self might, for a moment, be seen vanishing through a door, which disappears at once.

(Jeanette Winterson [source])

and:

Living

The fire in leaf and grass
so green it seems
each summer the last summer.

The wind blowing, the leaves
shivering in the sun,
each day the last day.

A red salamander
so cold and so
easy to catch, dreamily

moves his delicate feet
and long tail. I hold
my hand open for him to go.

Each minute the last minute.

(Denise Levertov [source])

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Midweek Music Break: Harry Belafonte, “Lead Man Holler”

'Island in the Sun' promotional posterPromotional poster for Island in the Sun. Lurid, eh? Note the helpful logo-ish device at the top right, depicting a, y’know, actual island literally in the sun. Just in case you hadn’t already gotten the message!

You may be surprised — as I was — to learn that this week was once designated as “Harry Belafonte — Island in the Sun Week.”

Of course, this wasn’t a true national celebration but a promotional ploy for the film which opened this week in 1957, starring Harry Belafonte (also James Mason, Joan Fontaine, Joan Collins, Dorothy Dandridge, and Michael Rennie). The film needed whatever promotional help it could get, because the Alec Waugh novel it was based on had ignited an uncomfortable firestorm of controversy, especially around the US South.

(The South Carolina legislature threatened to fine any movie theater which showed the film $5,0000. It was banned outright in Memphis. And according to the Turner Classic Movies site, “in New Orleans, the American Legion launched an unsuccessful campaign to halt the film’s screening on the grounds that it ‘contributes to the Communist Party’s aim of creating friction between the races.'” But the protests against it reached at least as far north as Minneapolis. Not that any of this actually hurt its box office much: it was the sixth biggest-earning film of the year.)

So what was the big deal?

If you didn’t know any of the cast, and didn’t know anything about the book, but relied solely on the poster above for information about the film, well, you might still have the question. I mean, look at them: about as homogeneous as it’s possible to be, ethnically speaking.

An illusion, of course, thanks to some artful work with color saturation, lighting, and watercolors. The main character, Harry Belafonte’s David Boyeur, is an up-and-coming black labor leader and politician on the fictional island of Santa Marta, during its transition from English colonial to black rule. (Strike 1 for the film’s chances in the mid-’50s South.) Boyeur develops not-quite-a-relationship with wealthy white socialite Mavis Norman (strike 2), but at least it goes nowhere — ultimately broken off, for both of their noble sakes. (They never quite kiss, even.)

(At least, that’s how the film works out — a hastily cobbled-together outcome, the book having ended with a real Boyeur/Mavis relationship.)

And finally, throw in a handful of other interracial twists: Boyeur’s principal antagonist, white Governor Maxwell Fleury (James Mason), is exposed as the grandson of a black man; Maxwell’s sister Jocelyn (Joan Collins) becomes pregnant, doesn’t want to saddle her white lover with an interracial love child… but is relieved to find out that at least her and Maxwell’s mother was white; and Maxwell’s aide Justin (Stephen Boyd) develops a romance with the mixed-race Margot (Dorothy Dandridge). Indeed, Jocelyn and Margot wind up moving with their lovers to England, where they can perhaps put all the societal judgment behind them. (Strike 3, and maybe by now we’re even working our way into the next inning.)

The film came out while Belafonte was at a popular peak, and featured two songs — the title song, and “Lead Man Holler” — to whose composition he had (at least in theory) contributed. They became two of his biggest hits.

“Lead Man Holler” itself might be called a cadence calypso number: one meant primarily to supply a rhythm to manual laborers working repetitive tasks. It reminds me a lot of some of the call-and-response chants Boy Scout leaders and drum majors, with their charges, used to sing out during parades when I was a kid, e.g.:

You ain’t got no friends on your left!
(Your LEFT!)
You ain’t got no friends on your right!
(Your RIGHT!)
Sound off!
(SOUND off!)
Cadence count!
(CADENCE count!)
One, two, three-four…
(One, two… THREE-FOUR!)

However, various sources I’ve looked out point out that while Boyeur’s singing does guide sugar-cane workers in their jobs, it’s hey, Harry Belafonte up there: almost inexpressibly handsome, gleaming, and (wouldn’t you know it) apparently directing at least part of the rhythmic sing-song at a photo of Joan Fontaine…

Subtext. When it comes to “race” (whatever that is) — at least in the US, especially through a Hollywood filter — there’s always subtext.

[Below, click Play button to begin Lead Man Holler. While audio is playing, volume control appears at left — a row of little vertical bars. This clip is 4:13 long.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

[Lyrics]

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Midweek Music Break: A Science-Fiction Mini-Mix, from Stanley Kubrick

Keir Dullea, in '2001: A Space Odyssey' Malcolm McDowell, in 'A Clockwork Orange'

[Images: Keir Dullea, in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Malcolm McDowell, in A Clockwork Orange]

Stanley Kubrick made two films unabashedly science-fiction in nature: 2001: A Space Odyssey, and A Clockwork Orange. I think they’re both classics, but will concede that 2001 is more commonly listed as such by people who’ve seen both; indeed, Clockwork Orange comes across as a little too, well, repellent for many people.

(Understandable: the film’s protagonist/narrator, Alex, is something of a beastly creature — at once sadistic and self-pitying. That he’s also wry, charming, often quite funny, a victim of circumstances, etc… Well, easy enough to overlook all that if you’re so inclined.)

Whatever one thinks of the films, the soundtracks worked very, very well as veritable works of art in their own right. The one from 2001 appears never to have been released — or at least, is no longer available — as a single collection. Luckily, all or most of it came from individual performances (most/all) which are available, sometimes in slightly different arrangements, by the same artists.

Because I’m working on a new SF story, I’ve found myself using these soundtracks quite a bit recently. And I thought I’d share a mini-version of the combined lot here, as a Midweek Music Break.

# Composer/Title Film Length
1 R. Straus: Also Sprach Zarathustra 2001 1:47
2 Rossini: The Thieving Magpie Clockwork 5:57
3 Tucker: Overture to the Sun Clockwork 1:47
4 Beethoven: Suicide Scherzo
(9th Symphony, 2nd Movement) (abridged)
Clockwork 3:09
5 R. Straus: The Blue Danube Waltz 2001 11:47
6 Freed/Brown: Singin’ in the Rain Clockwork 2:37

(Note: The playlist goes automatically from start to finish, once you click the little Play button. To skip to the next number, once a song is playing you’ll find a little fast-forward button to the right of its progress meter — and a fast-rewind to the left, for that matter.)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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Midweek Music Break: Miles Davis, Soundtrack to Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud

Jeanne Moreau and Miles Davis

[Image: Jeanne Moreau and Miles Davis]

A couple of days ago I ran across this list of (according to the Guardian) the “Top Ten Film Noir.” It was an interesting selection; I couldn’t recall seeing a a few of them, and one — #7 on the list, 1958’s Lift to the Scaffold — I couldn’t remember even hearing of. Said the Guardian:

Louis Malle’s first fiction feature, based on Noel Calef’s 1956 novel, occupies a very interesting space. It qualifies as film noir for its appropriation of US postwar cinema in its tale of lovers gone bad, but also heralds the imminent arrival of the French new wave. The director was in his mid-20s at the time and clearly using the crime-thriller genre (something he never returned to) as a testing ground and not a strict template. Perhaps that explains why his film is such a melting pot of influences, drawing not only on Hitchcock but also the Master of Suspense’s overseas admirers, including Henri-Georges Clouzot and his Les Diaboliques.

…in the film’s signature sequence [Jeanne Moreau’s character, Florence’s] man fails to turn up, so she walks the streets trying vainly to find him. Filmed on the fly without professional lighting, accompanied only by Miles Davis’s brilliant, melancholy score, these few minutes capture the bleak and beautiful essence of Malle’s film.

When I finally got around to looking it up on Wikipedia, I found (among the usual “much else”) a quote from a reviewer, jazz critic Phil Johnson:

The score by Miles Davis has been described by jazz critic Phil Johnson as “the loneliest trumpet sound you will ever hear, and the model for sad-core music ever since. Hear it and weep.”

(Johnson’s description appears to be pretty much de rigeur in anything posted on the Web about the soundtrack.)

All of which more or less commanded me to hunt the film down. We rarely rent DVDs anymore, preferring the convenience of streaming films and old TV shows. The search took several tries: in the first place, the Guardian‘s piece referred to the film only by its British title; and, in the second, my main resources for streaming films (Netflix and Amazon) currently offer the film only via DVD. (I finally found it to stream on Hulu Plus.)

Although it’s now in the Hulu queue, I haven’t actually seen the film yet. But the Miles Davis score — oh, my. From the first listen, I knew I’d have to post the whole thing this week. It’s not even a half-hour long*; still, if you put it on auto-replay while writing, don’t be surprised to find “guns, dames, and hats” (as the Guardian sums up the genre) creeping into your storyline.

# Title Length
01 Générique  2:48
02 L’Assassinat De Carala  2:09
03 Sur L’Autoroute  2:17
04 Julien Dans L’Ascenseur  2:09
05 Florence Sur Les Champs-Élysées  2:50
06 Dîner Au Motel  3:57
07 Évasion De Julien  0:51
08 Visite Du Vigile  2:03
09 Au Bar Du Petit Bac  2:52
10 Chez Le Photographe Du Motel  3:04

(Note: The playlist goes automatically from start to finish, once you click the little Play button. To skip to the next number, once a song is playing you’ll find a little fast-forward button to the right of its progress meter — and a fast-rewind to the left, for that matter.)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

______________________________

* The ten songs here are as they appeared on the original soundtrack album; they all appear in the film. However, a later release of the album included sixteen additional tracks — alternate takes, sometimes multiples, of the core ten. A recent re-release of the soundtrack (as above) omitted these out-takes, a fact which drives some Amazon reviewers crazy: they feel cheated. Sorry; I myself just cannot get worked up about missing the snippets from the cutting-room floor — not given the score as delivered.

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