Friday, October 10, 2014

Halloween -- THE DEAD LIVE!

It's Tribute Day in Tess's world!

[HUGE grin]

I'm still at my daughter's house in Texas, so don't have access to my extensive collection of DVDs and VHS tapes ("boughten" as well as copied from television over the last three decades).  If Netflix or Amazon prime don't offer them, i have to either do without or buy them (adding to L's collection).  So, wanting to share The Raven (a Roger Corman flick) with the grandchildren, i went ahead and ordered it.  It came yesterday....

The outstanding feature that a lot of DVDs offer is the "commentary" opportunity, in which students of filmography discuss interesting aspects of careers and production notes, and sometimes legendary film-makers themselves comment on these iconic works of art.  I have learned a great deal more about the fine points of movie messages than i ever picked up myself, because NOBODY can have the range of side-experience that can illuminate literature (and i consider film to be a visual form of literature) with complete understanding.

Cavorting about on the stage in this movie are four consumate artists, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, and Jack Nicholson in one of his early roles.  All i can say is ... WOW.  Indeed -- ARTISTS.  When one only watches certain popular films without knowing anything about the actors' range of experience, one easily takes their talents for granted.  An awful lot of modern acting just does not achieve this kind of mastery.*

The Raven is a COMEDY.  World-class actors making ART out of a rather ridiculous farce....

Today, we are fortunate in a myriad of ways!  One of them is to be able to preserve PERFORMANCE art -- and it's only been around for about a hundred years.  Have you ever wondered what it was like to SEE AND HEAR Shadespeare performing his own works?  Beethoven playing his own compositions?  We can only imagine and marvel.

But we CAN experience amazing talents like these actors, and musicians of the quality of Ian Anderson, Keith Emerson, Rachmaninov, Perlman, etc.  It's a waste of an important resource if we DON'T, and the neglect of an important aspect of our own mental capacities.

Thanks to "modern" recording capabilities, great people who have left the earth-plane can still be appreciated in all their glory.  :-)  ...and Halloween seems to be a most appropriate time to make observation of it!

*  my grandchildren watch a good deal of the Disney Channel -- GAG.  read line, mug for the camera, wait for laugh-track fill-in....  this is not acting -- at least, it's not art.  even i can perform at this level.


  1. The world or art, artists and performance of all types. We are blessed to be able to enjoy and experience - what are we without it?

    All the best Jan

  2. I'm not a huge movie buff, but two of the best DVD commentaries I've heard have been the ones for Gosford Park (English country house mystery/drama) by Julien Fellowes (the screenwriter and guy behind Downton Abbey) and for The Talented Mr. Ripley (psychological thriller) by the director Anthony Minghella.

    1. no matter the movie, if I enjoyed it, I enjoy the commentaries! :-) but as I say, I consider movies to be subset of literature ... and I LOVE literatue!

  3. I caught the last half of Christopher Plummer's amazing performance as John Barrymore a few mos ago - your reminder just prompted me to ORDER THE DVD!!!