15 December 06

Dersu Uzala

I don’t know how I’ve managed to get to be the age I am without ever having seen this film, but we saw it tonight. Numenius found it at the public library.

I’m speechless, pretty much. (And chilled to the bone, but that’s what a windswept tundra will do to a girl.) Images — the tiger, the river, the ice — will stay with me for days.

It seems like Kurosawa’s homage to Eisenstein…

Posted by at 08:59 PM in Music and Film | Link | Comment

3 December 06

Messiah With B Mesons

We went on a day trip to Stanford today — we were invited down by our friends Ian and Katrin to hear her sing with the Stanford Symphonic Chorus in their holiday concert. They performed Dvorak’s Mass in D major followed by excerpts from Handel’s Messiah. The concert was in Stanford’s Memorial Church, an impressive venue right at the heart of campus. Afternoon choral performances are great concerts to go to, and we had a lot of fun at this one.

Beforehand, we met an old friend of mine who is working on his doctorate in experimental particle physics and is now doing his research at the Stanford Linear Accelerator. His graduate program is actually at the University of Wisconsin, but the experiment he’s working on is one of these massive high-energy physics collaborations that involves some 80 different academic institutions.

Posted by at 07:16 PM in Music and Film | Link | Comment

5 August 06

Fragments of Dreams

This evening I walked out the levee, taking my Sony 7600G radio to do a bit of AM band DX fishing, eventually tuning some station at 750 kHz broadcasting sports talk from the Sports Byline network. (They started out with an interview with Larry Dirker, who was talking a bit about the great hitters Rod Carew and Tony Gwynn. The radio station turned out to be in Price, Utah.) Along the way, I heard some musical fragment which put to mind a different musical fragment, kind of melancholic, that I knew was from some movie, but couldn’t place it. It’s always annoying when that happens.

Happily, a few minutes later, I figured it out. It was from Field of Dreams.

Posted by at 10:28 PM in Music and Film | Link | Comment

4 April 06

New Independent Film Venue to Open in Davis

The Varsity Theatre, an Art Deco building that has seen a good few years of mediocre community musicals, is getting a makeover and will re-open on Thursday (they were still laying carpet yesterday when I walked past, so they’re cutting it fine…). A project of two Davis enthusiasts, one of whom owns Mishka’s Cafe just up the street, the theatre will now offer independent films for Davisites who have otherwise had to go to Sacramento for the pleasure.

The opening film—sold out already for the first night—is Thank You For Smoking. I’m eager to see it based on the rave writeup of the titles on Typographica by Stephen Coles.

Posted by at 08:30 PM in Music and Film | Link | Comment

24 November 05

Not For Guys

My mother arrived at lunchtime today. We went to the local Nepalese restaurant for a very good thanksgiving lunch and then dropped Numenius back at home before returning to see Pride and Prejudice.

There were three men in the audience, one of whom walked out.

Posted by at 05:42 PM in Music and Film | Link | Comment [3]

21 November 05

Singing For The Brain

Therapists have been finding that group singing sessions can unlock communication blocks in individuals with dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Posted by at 08:34 PM in Music and Film | Link | Comment

17 November 05

Feline Drinking Songs

This sounds intriguing—a CD of Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers. It just came out and is available now through CD Baby.

Posted by at 10:16 PM in Cats | Link | Comment

2 November 05

Be Obscure Clearly

Those who are fans of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style will be pleased to learn that this classic work has been turned into an operatic song cycle. It received its first performance last month in the reading room of the New York Public Library, the accompaniment performed by the Omit Needless Words Orchestra.

Posted by at 10:03 PM in Music and Film | Link | Comment

24 October 05

Bartók on the Mind

I have no idea why Bela Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra is running through my head right now since it has been a zillion years since I’ve heard the piece, but there you have it. I think I have a tape of it around someplace—will have to dredge it up.

Posted by at 09:04 PM in Music and Film | Link | Comment

23 October 05


I somehow managed to miss Baraka when it first came out, though it undoubtedly played in Cambridge when I was there.

One of the Wildlife Health Center students—the same one who taught us all how to dance salsa back in August—thinks everyone should see this film, so she organized a party around it this evening.

Not unlike Koyanisqaatsi for the developing world, minus the Philip Glass. I’m still reeling from the images: snow monkeys in their bath, monks, temples, clouds, rush hour in Tokyo, baby chickens getting their beaks burned.

Kuwait oil fields on fire.

I think Tamara’s right: everyone should see this.

Posted by at 08:10 PM in Music and Film | Link | Comment

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