The Spyglass Chronicles: 08/08/16

Posted: August 8th, 2016 | Filed under: Cinema, Culture, Music, Ruminations, Spyglass Chronicles, TV | 3 Comments »

chronVittorio Storaro, Santo Loquasto “Café Society” Steve Carrell plays a namedropping super agent in 30s Hollywoodland. His deco wood-paneled office is, as my favorite movie critic Libby Gelman-Waxner would say, “to die for.” Kudos Santo Loquasto, head of production design.

The Los Angeles scenes are sun-splashed amber glorious. You can visualize Gloria Swanson lolling by her pool. Cinematographer Vittorio Storaro has again worked his visual magic.

Despite its thin veneer of a plotline — boy falls for girl who is involved with older man, confusion ensues — Woody Allen’s latest is not without its visual charms. The octogenarian is to be forgiven if he doesn’t hit a vein of gold every time out these days. He’s at an advanced age, when most directors have long since given up the chair. But Allen’s keeping a full workload. He’s released a film a year since 1966.

He’s tired. His plot’s a might mundane.

But the flick looks mahvelous.

Lake Street Dive. Iroquois Amphitheater. Rachel Price lorded over the stage like Kathleen Turner’s Matty Walker chewing up and spitting out William Hurt’s Ned Racine in “Body Heat.”

This marvelous quartet is tight, no simple singer and back up, but . . .

. . . with flowing hair and slinky swishy slit white dress as exclamation point, Ms. Price, her voice the best in pop music, commanded all the attention.

Rock a side pony. Indeed.

Wienermobile. Spotted on Shelbyville Road.

Always brings a smile.

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The Last Waltz. Okay, so it’s the 40th anniversary of the Band’s fare the well. At least it will be come Thanksgiving night.

And the star-studded show that night in ’76 is generally acknowledged, at least by many rock enthusiasts with some sense of taste, as the greatest ever.

But, what I don’t get is all these “recreation” gigs. There was one in New Orleans during JazzFest. Others around and about, including obviously one in NYC the other night.

A buddy sent me a video from that gig of “Further Down The Road,” with Bob Weir and a stage full of musicians, none of them named Levon, Garth, Rick, Richard, Robbie or Clapton, who chose that blues classic for his turn on stage. It’s but a flaccid imitation.

What’s the big deal with all these lesser reenactments? No matter how stellar the cast.

Save your money, kids. But a high quality DVD of Martin Scorcese’s film. Lot cheaper. Lot better.

As for the real smackdown — The Last Waltz vs. The T.A.M.I. Show — well that’s a colloquy for another time.

“The Night Time Is The Right Time” Ray Charles. In Scorcese’s “Life Lessons” segment of ’78’s trilogy “New York Stories,” Nick Nolte is Lionel Dobie, an artist of note, mired in a dead end, argument-infused December/ May relationship as usual with a much younger woman, here Paulette, played by Roseanne Arquette.

She stomps out of his loft for good after another screaming imbroglio. Ready to take out his frustrations, hurling oil on a large canvas, he pulls out his paint splattered boombox, and plays this as inspiration.

Oh, Ms. Marjorie Hendricks, how you wail.

Pitch & Catch, Seneca Park. Did those three guys tossing a Rawlings hardball back and forth think it’s the 50s or something?

Billy Bob Pulled Over. Fargo on FX, Season I. The essence of quiet menace.

— c d kaplan


3 Comments on “The Spyglass Chronicles: 08/08/16”

  1. 1 ken said at 7:52 pm on August 8th, 2016:

    I thought Eisenberg morphed easily into the young Woodyesque naif

  2. 2 c d kaplan said at 9:02 pm on August 8th, 2016:

    Just tonight at dinner, a pal and I were discussing that phenomenon. Since all who sit in for young Woody on the screen tend to adopt his peculiar affectations, we wondered whether Allen directed them to do so, or they did naturally because of the way the script is written? Eisenberg’s Woody is especially acute.

  3. 3 c d kaplan said at 9:03 pm on August 8th, 2016:

    By the by, saw those same three guys playing pitch and catch again tonight.

    Willie, Mickey and the Duke?


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