Art, Music, & Film: October 2005 Archives

Good Advice


Live Like You Were Dying Lyrics - Tim McGraw

I went skydiving
I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denyin'
And he said some day I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin'

Don't know about 2.7 second on a bull named Fu Man Chu: but for the rest--seems like good advice considering it is the truth. The Anglican Divine Jeremy Taylor long ago pointed out that Holy Living and Holy Dying were inextricably united--one informed the other inevitably. So perhaps if we think toward the end, we can extrapolate backward. There isn't a one of us who facing death will say, "I wish I had worked more. I wish I had taken more business trips." And perhaps we should be more aware of that all along the way.

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Koi Mil Gaya

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In Hindi, and probably about 15 other languages because dicipherable English phrases occur frequently throughout. Koi Mil Gaya is India's answer to Close Encounters of the Third Kind and ET. Rohit's father is a scientist who is obssessed with communicating with space aliens. He sets up his computer to do so, but dies in an accident. His son, Rohit, is born brain-damaged and Forrest Gump-like, but in the best Hindi-film tradition capable of lapsing into song for any reason or none whatsoever. Jadoo, the alien, whose name means, (I think) magic, comes down from space and during a routine mission is left behind to afect the life of this young man and his friends. Really, take the plot from ET, dump it in the foothills of the Himalaya or some other extremely scenic mountain range in probably Northern India (I think the name of the town is Kuesali) and voila Koi Mil Gaya.

Somewhere along the line in the movie, there is a song that has the title in its lyrics, but I wasn't paying enough attention at the time, so I didn't capture a translation for you. But suffice to say that the film has an innocent, charming presence with enthusiastic, interesting actors and all of the trappings one has come to expect from Bollywood. I think Bollywood films are rapidly becoming a prime contenders for my favorite brand of foreign film--although the Japanese with their alarming disconnects from Western reality will probably remain ascendant. Indian films also show a sharp disconnect from Western Reality, but there is something joyful and ultimately appealing about them.

It's odd, but I've noted the same strain of "fatedness" without resignation in much of the literature that comes out of India. Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance could have been a real downer, but the sheer force of life and joy of the people who have been horribly treated by life makes it a wonderful celebration of life for me. The same is true of any number of other books and stories I have read of recent date. This form of disconnect from Western cynicism and angst, I find very easy to embrace.

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The List--SF Films

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Seen at both the Anchoress (?) and Siris. As with others, I have bolded the ones I have seen.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!

Back to the Future
Blade Runner
Bride of Frankenstein
Brother From Another Planet
A Clockwork Orange
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Damned
Destination Moon
The Day The Earth Stood Still
Escape From New York
ET: The Extraterrestrial
Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (serial)
The Fly (1985 version)

Forbidden Planet
Ghost in the Shell
The Incredibles
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version)
Jurassic Park
Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior
The Matrix
On the Beach
Planet of the Apes (1968 version)
Solaris (1972 version)

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The Stepford Wives

Terminator 2: Judgement Day
The Thing From Another World
Things to Come
12 Monkeys
28 Days Later
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
2001: A Space Odyssey
(As with Clockwork Orange, people often make the mistake of calling this a science fiction film--while the subject matter may be, the director makes it his own. This is not SF, it is Kubrick.)
La Voyage Dans la Lune
War of the Worlds (1953 version)

What is that 47, 48 of 50? Akira, and Ghost are both anime that I may get around to. And there are some that I am pretty sure I saw, but I wouldn't be placing on this list.

What might I add? Frankenstein, the Original, and not quite as campy progenitor of them all, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Gattaca, for sheer Space Opera Oddity The Fifth Element, Silent Running, and a slew of B Fifties films.


Doesn't appear to have been at The Anchoress. Was it perhaps Julie D, or the Little Professor. My head's aspin with things.

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Hopkins Set to Music


Gerard Manley Hopkins Poems In Musical Adaptations - Demo - Index

For fans of Gerard Manley Hopkins, an array of his poetry styled in different musical fashions. Pied Beauty as gospel/spiritual. Another as jig. Go and enjoy, I'm sure the artists would appreciate it.

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Bollywood Hollywood

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Take Pretty Woman add songs in Hindi and a grandma who spends more time quoting Shakespeare (appropriate or not) than speaking, add some Indian Female impersonators and voilà you have Bollywood Hollywood--a spectacular celebration in song and dance.

I really don't know what to make of this film except that it is so internally self-referential that it raises itself to metacinematic proportions. Does anyone know the origin of Bollywood? Are most films from India filmed in Bombay, or are the major film studios in Bombay?

Anyway, this movie was fast-paced, the English of the actors was accented in such a way that it was a little hard to follow (King of like most of Gosford Park. As I said before all of the musical numbers were in Hindi, and they were lovely. I've decided that if this represents some version of Indian "Pop" culture, I very much like it. I like the blend of instruments and voice even if I haven't a clue what they are singing.


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E-Music from Banshee

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Aliens in This World--Free Opera

Include the following, and a great deal more. Some very interesting materials here.

"Hallelujah Chorus" from The Messiah by Handel. 1916.
Excerpt from Israel in Egypt by Handel. 1888. (The earliest known recorded music in existence.)

"Star Light, Star Bright" from Wizard of the Nile by Victor Herbert. Sung by J.W. Myers. 1896.

"Mattinata" by Ruggiero Leoncavallo, the first song composed especially for the gramophone. Sung by Caruso and accompanied by Leoncavallo.

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The Innocents


One of those early 60's films that were so effectively done--much like The Haunting, and it shares the same fault as The Haunting which is that it collapses the ambiguity into the original and leaves no room for the real questions raised by the original work.

The Innocents is The Turn of the Screw without the framing story. Deborah Kerr plays the governess, and does it superbly. The two children are quite good up to the end. I dare not say more but to state that the movie is completely true to the original work except as I've suggested above.

Turn of the Screw is a much more nuanced and productive work than a similar film The Rocking-Horse Winner. (May not be the title of the film, but that's the title of the D. H. Lawrence short story from which it is made. Both films have as their focus children and their "contact" with the supernatural world. The Turn of the Screw raises the question of whether the problem is located in the supernatural world or in the children themselves or in the mind of the governess. Like The Haunting of Hill House which begs the questions as to whether it is really the house that is haunted or the person, so Turn of the Screw offers this very ambiguous choice. Unfortunately the film unnecessarily collapses the choice and answers the question.

Despite this minor shortcoming, the film is beautifully done. Rich, crisp black and white photography that is never muddy or vague. Not a lot of extra "sountrack" music. A very plain, very stark, very beautifully done film. Highly recommended.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Art, Music, & Film category from October 2005.

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