mardi 14 juin 2011

filming othello/filming lindon/work in progress

orson welles et son plus vieil ami, micheál macliammóir (othello)
le film d'alain cavalier n'a qu'un équivalent au cinema: filming othello, le plus welles, un film oublié en forme de testament minuscule, bricolé à partir de ses dialogues d'ivrognes shakespeariens avec micheál macliammóir(1899-1978), l'un de ses plus anciens amis, celui qui joue iago dans l'othello original..
ils parlent, ils boivent, ils mangent, et ils "théorisent" chemin faisant ce qui reste de la vie (et du cinéma); pas grand chose apparemment, mais ce "quelque chose" est sacrément vivant dans les yeux du vieux welles ...

orson welles inventait en direct, sans en avoir l'air, un art absolu de la mise en scène .... une manière de dire comme çà, en passant: regardez le magicien que je suis, plus fort que tout hollywood, je vous colle deux ou trois morceaux de plans, tournés à six ou neuf mois de distance, dans deux pays différents, en prenant pour suture, pour raccord, une simple bouteille de vin .. "
il y a dans pater (ce filming lindon rigolo, politique, bavard, gourmand, dont le programme minimal est d'éviter -tout en le suscitant- que la langue de l'acteur lindon ne fourche) et surtout dans la dernière séquence, une scène deux fois filmée, la seconde fois en champ contre champ, une rigueur de moine même pas défroqué .... c'est l'anti-roi bégue, en somme ...
cette virtuosité modeste, bricolée, de pater est la seule leçon de cinéma qui me fasse venir les larmes aux yeux, car
il s'agit d'un art, d'usine évidemment, qui n'existe plus ...
If we do meet again, why we shall smile/If not, why then this parting was well made (brutus à cassius dans jules césar .... c'était la citation shakespearienne favorite de l'ami daney)

lundi 13 juin 2011

jack owens/or skip james?

hard times killing floor, one and two (1959/1962)..... /jack owens ... please compare to skip james' original version (1930)/two great artists from bentonia hills, mississippi

hey, look at young bobby dylan ...

The Coen Bros. have an urge for going to the New York folk scene

the Coen Bros told an audience at New York's Lincoln Center earlier this month that they were working on a music-related film, but didn't offer many specifics.

Now a clearer picture is emerging on the subject of that movie: the Greenwich Village folk scene partly through the eyes of its larger-than-life patriarch.

According to a source who was briefed on the project but who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on their behalf, the Coen Bros. are working on a script that's loosely based on the life of Dave van Ronk, a legendary musician who presided over New York city's iconoclastic coffeehouse period of the mid-20th century.

mensah, c'est ça/highlife

et mensah with victor olaiyah/the "evil genius" and the godfather of ghganaian highlife join forces on this fabulous gem ... (1983)

greatest highlife from accra (ghana, 1953)/films d'occasion prod

jack teagarden sings willard robison

old folks/in a little waterfront café/country boy blues, ultimate masterpieces written by willard robison, and sung by an oldand sick jack teagarden, who would die a mere few months later .... from his ultimate masterpiece, think well of me (1962), ultimate hommage to his old friend willard robison, the closest that ever came to hoagy carmichael (willard robison's biography plus music is now on june 13)

peggy lee sings willard robison ....

don't smoke in bed/a cottage for sale, two of the fabulously simple hoagycarmichaelian songs written and composed by willard robison

filming hoagy (1)

hoagy carmichael's original vocal version for stardust .... (around 1935, his first recorded version was purely instrumental)/bing crosby's original version of the song, with the famous john scott trotter orchestra(1930 or 1931)

willie nelson's classic country pop best seller (and the best version ever, with its django/country incredible sound .... maybe)

filming pater

vincent lindon parlait de pater dimanche au 20 heures de laurent delahousse, sur FR2, une belle leçon d'intelligence, de modestie ... d'enthousiasme, de clarté, de cinéma .... ..... une leçon de vie aussi ... (et c'est vrai qu'on mange tout le temps dans pater, plus encore qu'on ne parle ... tout comme dans son film jumeau, filming othello ...)

lindon était aussi très bien dans ce soir ou jamais, même si la complicité avec delahousse manque un peu

filming hoagy (2)

my resistance is low (man what a title ...)/jane russell and hoagy carmichael, in las vegas story (piano, backing vocals) ... and hoagy carmichael's version with gordon jenkins' lush arrangement (1951/1952)

willard robison (1894-1968)

he was the closest pianist/singer/bandleader/composer that ever came to hoagy carmichael, but his fame was sort lived ... in fact he's now just known by a few conaisseurs as author of more than ten lovely compositions, let's call them standards, as accomplished in their old fashioned way, as carmichael's very best: rural life, old folks, country melancholy, sensual romance, faithful memories ... there's not any vinyls or cds about him, just rare 78s ... some of them you may listen to on youtube (i'll tell you in 5 or 6 weeks what a new obscure compilation of his 20's work i've just ordered from a small re-releasing record company (superbaton), sounds like ... in the meantime, here's what the book has to say about willard robison ...
willard robison/munequita tango (1927)
Willard Robison was born into a Missouri family with a long line of preachers. He broke with tradition, to the consternation of some family members, and pursued a career in music. But he carried his religious values and the love of small-town, rural America into his songs. He was heavily influenced by Negro spirituals, and his early songs often had religious themes such as Religion in Rhythm, The Devil Is Afraid of Music (which the sheet music calls “a syncopated sermon”), and Truthful Parson Brown which appeared in a 1929 film, The Broadway Melody. He played piano, participated in college musicals, and formed his own band in 1917, The Deep River Boys, which toured the Midwest and Southwest. Paul Whiteman heard Robison in Omaha and signed him to a three-year contract.
In New York Robison recorded piano solos and vocals and made piano rolls for the Duo-Art Company. His singing style was straight-forward--like a Johnny Mercer or Hoagy Carmichael without the southern accent. He also played with Busse’s Buzzards, a group led by Whiteman trumpeter Henry Busse. Robison developed his own radio show, The Deep River Hour, on WOR in New York. By 1931 the show was running three times weekly. He signed a contract with the distinguished William Grant Still, one of the country’s foremost composers often referred to as the Dean of American Negro Composers, to write orchestrations for the band. Trombonist Jack Teagarden, who had played with the band in Kansas City in 1924, occasionally joined them to record. But after seven years Robison felt that commercial demands compromised his music and he quit the radio show.
Robison wrote the theme song for the Jack Tremaine Orchestra, Lonely Acres, and Whiteman’s first theme song, Peaceful Valley. In 1962 Teagarden recorded an album of Robison’s songs entitled Think Well Of Me, and he included two Robison tunes on another late Teagarden album, Mis’ry and the Blues, . In 1976 vocalist Barbara Lea recorded a Robison tribute album, The Devil Is Afraid of Music. The lyrics of the title song express Robison’s optimism: “When there’s music in the heart, you won’t find room for evil.
Robison’s contributions to the jazz standards include Old Folks, written in 1938 with lyricist Dedette Lee Hill, which is the title cut of a Walter Bishop, Jr. CD, and 1929’s A Cottage for Sale, written with lyricist Larry Conley, which became a million seller in 1945 for Billy Eckstine and was memorably recorded by Chris Connor in 1956 (who also recorded Old Folks). In 1948 Peggy Lee had a hit with Don’t Smoke in Bed which was also frequently performed by Nina Simone. The song is variously credited to Robison or to Lee, her husband Dave Barbour, and Robison.
Although Robison often wrote of the simple life, his music was quite sophisticated. His arrangements, in which he often used strings and oboe, had a symphonic flare. He also composed the eight-part American Suite in the ‘20s, Six Studies in Syncopation for piano, and the five-part Rural Revelations.

willard robison,
singing his own composition, the devil is afraid of music (1926),/i'm more than satisfied/for my baby /Bix Beiderbecke (c); Frank Trumbauer (Cms); Don Murray (cl); Frank Signorelli (p); Eddie Lang or ? (bj); Vic Berton (dm/harpophone), The Deep River Quintet (probably the Revellers) (voc) New York, October 20, 1927.

tangled up in blue (cork, 16 juin)/a hard rain's a gonna fall (london, 18 juin)

tel aviv (3)

blowin' in the wind/like a rolling stone


saw my very first film in two years ... alain cavalier's pater has no equivalent whatsoever, except maybe orson welles' best film, filming othello, made up of dialogues between ageing welles and his irish friend, michael macliammoir (1899-1978), who plays iago in the original othello ....
they drink, talk, drink, and theorize what's left of life and cinema (not much, it seems) ....
... .... et orson welles invente au passage, sans en avoir l'air, un art absolu de la mise en scène .... ce qu'il y a d'extraordinaire chez le vieux welles, c'est cette manière négligée de dire, comme çà, en passant, "regardez le magicien de cinéma que je suis, plus fort que tout hollywood -ce hollywood qui n'a pas voulu de moi- , je vous colle deux ou trois morceaux d'un plan-séquence, tournés à trois, six, ou même à neuf mois de distance, dans deux villes différentes, dans deux pays lointains, en prenant pour seul élément de montage, de raccord, une simple bouteille de vin ... "
cette belle leçon de cinéma (la seule qui me fasse pleurer), et en particulier la dernière séquence, une scène à deux, deux fois filmée, la seconde fois en champ contre champ,est l'essence même de pater, ce filming lindon rigolo, politique, bavard, gourmand, dont le programme minimal a l'art d'éviter -tout en le suscitant- que les langues de lindon/cavalier ne fourchent, le tout avec une rigueur de moine même pas défroqué .... l'anti-roi bégue, en somme ...
insister, quitte à se répéter: cette virtuosité modeste, bricolée de bout en bout, de la séquence ultime de pater n'est rien d'autre que la plus belle leçon de cinéma qui soit, une leçon embuée de larmes évidemment...

louis armstrong beats billie holiday

willow weep for me/best version is not billie holiday's, it's louis armstrong's 1957 fabulous turning around the melody (with oscar peterson, 1957) ... ... took me 45 years to appreciate it (the whole record, louis armstrong meets oscar peterson is one of the best vocal vinyls ever recorded ..)

how bob dylan changed ST JAMES INFIRMARY into BLIND WILLIE MC TELL

rare electric version of blind willie mctell (paris, 1993)///st james infirmary/louis armstrong's original 1929 song that dylan used as melody for blind willie mctell

god's voice

you send me/sam cooke, live/sam cooke's glorious demo (FILMS D'OCCASION)

bonus dieu/ willing to run (1948)/shine on me (1950) by rh harris, sam cooke's only known master (in the soul stirrers, and elsewhere (1948), closest ever living voice to god

king of crooners (bing with a beat)

there were only two authentic crooners (with the exception of anglo/greek/lebanese al bowlly, and some of the great primitive charm singers, russ columbo, gene austin ...): dean martin, and his role model, the one and only bing crosby .... now, you must understand that the greatest ballad singer ever, mr sinatra, NEVER was a crooner ....

bing crosby/dream a lttle dream of me (from his greatest lp; bing with a beat)/FILMS D'OCCASION PRODUCTIONS


just saw
two days in paris ... haven't laughed so much for years ... i just love the way julie delpy woodyallenizes the situations and the dialogues she hears in her head ... it's her own annie hall, only much funnier ... and probably a much better film altogether

black & white (2)

just one of those things/armstrong's 1957 version with oscar peterson (best ever)/lovely billie holiday (1957)/fabulous frank sinatra, live with bill miller (1962)

charlie parker /chet baker

hot house/charlie parker, dizzy gillespie, max roach (1952)/chet baker, arriverderci (1960)

charlie parker plays ... ... and makes fun of coleman hawkins

charlie parker, coleman hawkins/ballad /Celebrity (1950)/ with hank jones (p), ray brown (b), buddy rich (drums)
watch bird's amused expression as he watches hawkins solo, and also how he cuts off the older tenor man's solo ... although the musicians are filmed playing against tracks recorded earlier, it's still a fascinating and rare look at bird on film ...

this wallpaper is the best i could find .....

... as usual, i'd like to know which one you prefer, the old one or the new one?

bob dylan as white minstrel (2)

one more cup of coffee (for the road)/it ain't me babe ..... 1975

gunnar fischer, who has died aged 100 ... ...

Summer With Monika, photographed by Gunnar Fischer
.... .... .... could be said to have created the "look" of ingmar bergman's films, crystallised in three of the director's masterpieces: smiles of a summer night (1955), the Seventh seal and wild strawberries (both 1957) ... from port of call (1948) to the devil's eye (1960), 12 films in all, fischer was able to make visible bergman's visions ... his mentor there was the cinematographer julius jaenzon, who worked with the two great masters of swedish silent cinema, victor sjöström and mauritz stiller ... this put fischer in the direct line of the scandinavian cinematic tradition of the close relationship between the landscape and climate and the psychology of the characters.

His education was further developed by his work with the great Danish-born Carl Dreyer on Two People (1945), only his third film as director of photography. Despite the fact that this virtual two-hander, mostly set in an apartment, was disowned by Dreyer, Fischer claimed that it was a turning point in his understanding of stark lighting.

bergman and fischer's first mature collaboration was summer interlude (1950), in which a prima ballerina looks back on the idyllic summer she spent several years before on an island near stockholm with the boy she loved ... the affair comes to an abrupt and tragic end when he is killed in an accident .... fischer's camera wonderfully captures the limpid swedish summer in the early, lyrical love scenes, shifting to more shaded lighting for the present.

even more rapturous was summer with monika (1952), where an irresponsible teenage girl spends her holiday on an island with a young clerk, but gets pregnant and leaves him holding the baby ... bergman sees little hope for these adolescents in the winter of their discontent after a summer made glorious by fischer's camera.

it is no accident that three of bergman's films have "summer" in the title, and many others were set in that season, the only period of happiness for his characters before the encroachment of autumn and reality, the camera brilliantly recording the transient sun-soaked days ... .... sometimes fischer intentionally overexposed the film to achieve a hallucinatory or dreamlike effect, as in wild strawberries ... the shift from past to present, from memory to reality to dream, is signified by sharp contrasts in light. "I brought to Bergman a fantasy-like style," he explained. "It wasn't about making the scenes realistic but more theatrical, like a saga." In The Seventh Seal, whose luminous images derived from early church paintings, the change from one moral world to another is conveyed through lighting: a bright natural light indicates characters at peace, while heavy filters and backlighting indicate moral doubt.

In the sequence when the medieval knight plays chess with Death, Fischer used two powerful lights to throw the actors into sharp relief, which made it appear that the sky had two suns. When criticised for this, he responded: "If you can accept the fact that there is a knight sitting on a beach playing chess with Death, you should be able to accept that the sky has two suns."

Fischer and Bergman parted company after The Devil's Eye, which switched between an extremely theatrical Hell and the realism of a pastor's household, when the director failed to persuade the cinematographer to soften his lighting techniques. "i felt privileged collaborating with bergman," fischer recalled. "he was never indifferent to photography ... he could be upset if he didn't like what he saw ... why our collaboration ended with The Devil's Eye, i don't really know ... realistically it's most likely that he thought sven nykvist was a better photographer." thus began the bergman-nykvist era, the stylistic change demonstrating how influential the two cinematographers were to the director's oeuvre.

away from bergman, fischer worked on more mainstream movies ... for some of these, he was able to use colour, such as the pleasure garden (1961), with a screenplay by bergman, which was among the four films he made with alf kjellin ... one of the rare films on which fischer worked for a non-swedish director was anthony asquith's two living, one dead (1961) a low-key film noir, shot entirely in sweden with a largely british cast (including patrick mcgoohan and virginia mcKenna) but a mostly swedish crew. fischer also experimented with video techniques to record a series of provincial circus acts for jacques tati's parade (1974).

(adapted from the guardian, july 14, 2011)

sea of love

the sea of love/the heptones (long rare version of phil philips original doo wap hit, in 1959)/early sixties (films d'occasion production)

jonathan r./ymg

buzz, buzz, buzz (1978) / young jonathan richman/young marble giants: searching for mr right, colssal youth (1979) /à philippe l. (ordetblog) et ses quatre jonathan si jeunes , si émouvants (buddy holly, elvis presley, young marble giants)

my yiddishe mamma

yossele rosenblatt (1) (around 1930)

leo fuld's oriental version of my yiddishe mama (song starts at 2.50)/régine's own version

andré toussaint's fabulous folky creole version (nassau) ... and an even older yossele rosenblatt's version (around 1929)

al jolson in yiddish (remember the jazz singer, the story told, a jazzy vaudeville singer escapes from his father and his future as cantor .... it was the opposite story ...)

dimanche 12 juin 2011

anita ellis/ellis larkins

i'll be around/anita ellis/ellis larkins trio (from the 1953 film, the joe louis story)
all the songs anita ellis and ellis larkins (he played with mildred bailey, and he's the best pianist for singers) did together are in a record costing a 100 dollars in cd ... i'm trying to find the original vinyl, which is surely less expensive ...

" invraisemblable ou pas, crois-moi, c'est la vérité -et il n'y en a pas deux ..."