Saturday, October 14, 2017

Things Concatenate

The riches available on the Youtube (however shadily, rights-wise) continue to astonish me. I had heard about this film, S*x by S*ondheim (obfuscating the title slightly in case any spiders are trawling to see if it's online - and in this case it even make is seem intriguingly improper, no?) when it came out, but having only Arabic-language satellite-TV at home, hadn't had the chance to see it. If by chance you haven't, grab the opportunity now. If you did, watch it again. It's worth it.

I do think the neo-lounge-act version of "I'm Still Here" at about 49:00 misfires pretty badly (except for one or two marvelous reaction shots from the superannuated extras), but the rest is nearly all gold. It hardly seems credible that one of the creators of an American masterwork like Gypsy (not to mention all his other landmarks) still walks among us, but even in these low days there still are some geniuses left to appreciate. I was lucky enough to meet the man once or twice back in my amanuensis days, and he was always perfectly charming. Listening to and watching him, one sees and hears the cadence and confidence of a vanishing Manhattan - he has the same insouciant air as his onetime collaborators and their coevals - that crisp, amused diction, the little pauses and tilts of the head for emphasis. In a world of uptalk and vocal fry, one does miss that kind of worldly, cosmopolitan mien.

So that was Friday night sorted, and with a glass or three of good Viognier and a terrier on one's lap, very pleasant it was, too. The rest of the weekend looks to be equally low-key, and I don't mind a bit. October to me seems a very good month for home comforts and perhaps indulging, even more than usual, in nostalgia of the kind that prepares one for the long winter to come. Once upon a time I might have preferred dancing 'til dawn, but with morning coming early (on Saturdays I drive the Mister to his office so I can have the car for the day, terribly practical as I get the week's shopping done) and the gym to get to on top of that, an early night and a little TV work perfectly well. Today I'll hit the supermarket and perhaps pop a chicken into the slow-cooker; oh, and the laundry, too. Me who once swung from chandeliers! Ah, but at least, like Miss Campion, I was there. And we're here...

One other joy this week, by the bye, was a new delight from the prolific Mr. Cachianes - if you are a fan of, in no particular order, Miss Judy Collins, the Beatles of Grey Gardens, or heartbreak, you will likely want to experience Nightingales. How is it I'd never heard this song, and how it is that Ed has managed to wring something new and startling from the oft-told tale of those two sad, mad, staunch women?

(The title of this post, in case you're interested, is from a conversation that starts at about 26:00 in the film...)


  1. I'm struck by Sondheim's intelligence watching that. I don't know why, as he'd have to be smart to do what he does. I've read here and there that he's shy, but TV interviews seem to get him out of his shell. Even one conducted by Mike Douglas.

    1. He's enormously articulate, of course, as one would expect of one so obsessed with words and their usage. At the same time, he seems to go through phases of social awkwardness that then vanish when he gets onto a topic that interests or engages him. I wonder if in part he was for a long time wary of being asked awkward questions; even here, in this extended work of more or less adoration, the matter of his personal life is handled with something even daintier than kid gloves.

      And my goodness, hasn't he been all over the map, grooming-wise?

  2. And as things often are, Judy Collins was on my mind a few weeks ago when my friend Perla Batalla came to town with her Leonard Cohen tribute.

  3. Hey- thanks for the kind remarks!


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