Daily Archives: May 24, 2012

Music for the Evening… hee hee hee

Romney Mitt the Demon Barber of Wall Street (music, of course, by Sondheim. lyrics by Roy Zimmerman and Melanie Harby):

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Unfortunately, there are books that will never be made into movies…

Posting earlier about the film version of Kerouac‘s “On The Road” at Cannes got me thinking about the novels I’ve gotten attached to in my life that will never be made into movies. Some of them should be, but, due to author preferences or interpretive difficulty or some other reason, won’t.

The one that comes to mind first is “Catcher in the Rye.” Having been disappointed at the way one of his early short stories was committed to film, Salinger vowed it would never happen again and kept all his remaining work from becoming “properties.” The number of young actors who would have killed to play Holden Caulfield goes beyond counting… and there are certainly directors who would have been willing to commit immense amounts of time to such a project. Can you imagine a Mike Nichols directed “Catcher?”

Thinking of Salinger, it is also a shame that Seymour and Buddy and the rest of the Glass family will never appear on film. No Franny and Zooey.” No “Seymour, an Introduction” (although that would have been a very eccentric film.)

The novels of Thomas Pynchon, especially “V.” and “Gravity’s Rainbow,” although extremely complex and time-line-twisted, would be interesting to film. I would have liked to see John Belushi play Benny Profane. Not gonna happen.

I’m sure you can think of more, of books you would have liked to have seen filmed but that were withheld from the process.

Let me know which ones come to mind.

I guess I’m looking forward to “On The Road” opening in the US

“On The Road”, Jack Kerouac‘s 50s novel brought to the screen by Walter Salles (director of “The Motorcycle Diaries“), opened at Cannes to moderate response. The NY Times felt it was a “muted take on Jack Kerouac’s ecstatic American story” and the audience apparently gave it a polite applause.

From left, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund in “On the Road.”

The film appears more than five decades after the novel’s publication caused a literary sensation and launched a thousand road trips, not to mention innumerable road movies. Earlier directors had attempted to create a film from the work, including Francis Ford Coppola (listed as Executive Producer on the credits… and I believe the one with control of the film rights.)

Salles interviewed poets Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Diane di Prima and Amiri Baraka, who were Kerouac contemporaries. He also interviewed the Kerouac biographers Gerald Nicosia and Barry Gifford, who served as consultants on the film.

Salles spent eight years on the project, five on research alone… including taking the Kerouac/Neil Cassady road trip (the film uses Kerouac’s character names Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty). Characters based on Alan Ginsberg and William S.Boroughs also show up.

I think this is one of those films where I’ll ignore reviews and see for myself.

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, master singer of German art songs, dies at 86.

Fischer-Dieskau & Bernstein

I saw this morning that the famous German baritone Fischer-Dieskau died, and while he doesn’t relate, probably, to my current readers’ album collections, there was a time when I was in college that his voice had me entranced.

D F-D was what was known as a Lieder Singer, a performer of a certain type of folk song. He also performed in Wagnerian operas…famous for his portrayal of Parsifal.

Here’s a sample of D F-D for those who didn’t know his artistry… or for those who do and who will miss him: