We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Tuesday, March 30. 2010
- "Authentic" classical music, with original instruments and strict constructionists directing (eg John Eliot Gardiner) was popular over the past couple of decades. Interesting too. But is it time to Forsake Authenticity?
- I am having a good time going through Jacquetta Hawkes' The Atlas of Early Man: The Rise of Man Across the Globe, From 35,000 B.C. to A.D. 500 With Over 1,000 Maps And Illustrations. It is structured like a timeline so you can see what was going on across the globe with civilization and pre-civilization during different periods.
- No Christian heroes, please.
- I have been advised to watch Ridley Scott's 2005 Kingdom of Heaven. Anybody seen it?
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:06 | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (0)
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I watched Kingdom of Heaven and gave it three stars on Netflix. It ain't all that great. Saladin wins.
Here is my review of Kingdom of Heaven. In a word, tried too hard to be inoffensive:
Bird Dog, I can't find a contact email here. Can you write to me?
I can only say that I thoroughly enjoy listening to Beethoven: 9 Symphonies - Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique / Gardiner. Not that I haven't enjoyed most any orchestration of Beethoven, but I find that one extraordinarily pleasant. I even forgive the Froggish orchestra.
The most exciting performance of a Beethoven string quartet I've ever heard was by the "Classical Quartet" on late "period" instruments. I really felt like a car-crash was about to come at every moment, but they managed to keep it in tune and didn't destroy any fiddles. I never really understood how radical Beethoven was for his time before hearing that. That said, it is the recordings from the Julliard or Emerson that get more play on my stereo.
Is this a backlash against authentic "historically informed performance"? No. No one of note seriously argues that Mozart should only be played on originals or replicas of the instruments from Mozart's day. There are far more genuine baroque string instruments set up in modern style than there are "baroqued" ones reverted to their original. The big orchestras sometimes plays Haydn with really pared down forces appropriate to the original period and sometimes with a normal-size chamber orchestra. The performances are different in character but both styles are appreciated.
Is this some new approach? No. Musicians in popular forms have always taken the tunes and orchestrations and made them their own.
Amazon lets you preview the recording:
Wodehouse and DeVries!
I have found a home.
Had to move last year from a house to an apartment.
Library of 3,000 had to be reduced to 1,000.
Guess who made the cut?
I've seen Kingdom of Heaven the director's cut and the theatrical cut. In many ways two different films. The studio butchered Ridley Scott's original film because they didn't think audiences would sit for a film for longer than two hours. The Theatrical cut bombed and is a mish-mash which only confuses.
Then I saw the Director's Cut on DVD and was blown away- I loved it. Liam Neeson has a larger role, the motivations of the characters are clearer and it's a much more thoughtful film. In my opinion the theatrical cut did indeed go out of it's way to not offend by removing quite a bit- but the Director's Cut is a superior film.
Anyone who continually looks for liberal sentiment and refuses to watch anything that leans that way will not see a lot of movies. Even as someone who is more conservative or traditional, I believe the best movies that hold more "traditional" outlooks on life are more subtle also- beating one about the head with something is no way to enjoy a outing to the cineplex. Unless it is over the top offensive or ridiculous in its political preaching, the story, characters and writing will tell the tale if a movie is worth seeing or not.
Woodhouse is wonderful to read anytime, in case someone worries one must be sick before reading him. Illness, in other words, is not a precondition. He is the best of all writers.
BD - I'd agree with JC (his friends just call him "Loopy"), up above. Definitely make sure you get the 'director's cut'. On the other hand, if it's been "recommended", then your expectations might be set too high. I wouldn't say there's anything particularly 'memorable' about the flick, but it's a good yarn with some terrific battle scenes and a pretty cool bad guy. Like 'Avatar', trying to read politics into it is a colossal, hyperbolic waste of time. Just enjoy it for what it is.
Ridley Scott is a great director - I mean, come on, you gotta love "Alien", "Blade Runner", etc., but I agree with JC and Doc Mercury - the extended version is MUCH superior to the theatrical release. And it's period correct.
If you are looking for recommendations though, I HIGHLY - as in REALLY HIGHLY recommend his first film - "The Duellists" - an outstanding film, historically correct right down to the details of fencing for pete's sake.
With respect to authenticity of classical music, I must get you a copy of "Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major" or "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - 1787) performed by Paul O'Neil of Trans Siberian Orchestra fame and some friends - rock n' roll meets classical and frankly it's terrific.
I also have some interesting jazz performed on period instruments of the time - like lauds, lutes of various tunings, bouzouki (Greek and Irish), etc. Really interesting stuff.
Never got into Wodehouse - I've read his "Jeeves" and "Castle" novels, but never really warmed up to him - his characters seem like plug in components of really bad sit coms and act like buffoons. Frankly, I find those who claim Wodehouse as "entertaining" a tad pretentious.
I find Terry Pratchett and his "Discworld" series fun for sick time reading.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :>)
As long as you aren't looking for history, KOH is fine. It'd serve your time better to get Rodney Stark's book, God's Battalions for a first rate history of the Crusades.
You are on the money, sir- my pals call me "Loopy" but my wife calls me somethin' else altogether. :)
By the way, I wanted to tell you I've been enjoying your NCIS posts- I couldn't agree more- it's one of my all time favorite shows, and since I was a big JAG fan, I've actually watched since the JAG two parter that introduced it. Some of the best characters for television have eminated from Bellesario's Production- the whole crew at NCIS, Harm and Mac in JAG, Thomas Magnum, Sam and Al from Quantum Leap- just good old fashioned know how with great characters and great writing that brings it altogether.
I'm reading my way through the Discworld books now (5 down, about 30 to go). Funny, clever, and very entertaining. It's not really a "series" in the usual sense in that you can pretty much start anywhere. "The Color of Magic" and "The Light Fantastic" are the first two books and form one continuous story. "Mort" is probably the best of the ones I've read so far. You could start there, as it's an easy read and stands alone (as far as I know). I have also read a couple of books by Christopher Moore, and though he tends to look down his nose at "flyover country", his stuff is pretty funny.