Friday, October 12, 2007

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

On Thursday I went to The organ loft for a special sneak preview of the new transfer of Lon Chaney’s 1923 classic, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”. This version will be the best available version of the film when it is released on Tuesday the 16th. After the silent era ended the studios did not think that the silent films had any value so they were either burned, or stuffed in studio vaults where they were improperly stored. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” was one of the unlucky films to be thrown into the fire. It was discovered later as a poor quality 16mm print. 16mm prints were often used in schools or for people’s home use. The trouble is, with most 16mm prints they are cropped in a way that it cuts a portion of the picture out. This is what previous DVD editions were struck from. A 35mm print was discovered and that is what they have used for this new edition. It looks far superior then the 1999 release. The picture is bigger, the speed has been corrected, and it is in the correct color tinting. Some scratches still exists but there are moments of clarity and over all it is a very good print. Lon Chaney was one of the best actors in the silent era. His face held so much expression. You can literally understand a whole world of emotion from one raise of an eyebrow. In the scene when Esmeralda is dancing and Quasimodo turns around in disgust, it is probably one of the most impressive and moving moments in film history. Chaney was a child of deaf mute parents so the man had non-verbal communication down to a T. The organ loft was fun too. It was my first time their and I must say it is amazing. The pipes are all around you; you almost feel as if you have sat down to watch a movie in a giant organ. They are showing Chaney’s version of “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925) next week. I will definitely be there.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Push to shove

Things have been odd. I have felt pretty sad. I’m not sure why, I know people care. I have reached a point in my life where I feel sorta isolated. No one is getting very close to me. Its not always this way I have tried and I seem to always fail. Not sure why but I keep getting pushed away. Maybe I’m too needy perhaps I should back off. Maybe I deserve all this rejection, I don’t know. I just know I am lonely.
I don't mean to sound all "emo" right now. I know this will be okay.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Yesterday! Quite a day yesterday was. I feel almost like I wasted the first part of the day on nothing. I spent four hours on my computer, not doing homework, just wasting time. At one point I saw how much time had passed and became mad at myself. I decided to call my friend Mykul and he suggested we go for a drive. I drove by Mykul’s place and he took over driving. I asked him where we were going and he replied, “north”. Cool, north, wonderful I though. At one point I asked him how far north. “Idaho” was his response. Because the conversation and the music were good I let it fly. We drove through some beautiful scenery. I did not realize how gorgeous places in Utah could be. We drove through Cache Valley and reached the first town in Idaho by nine. We stopped at a gas station, both bought lottery tickets and turned back to go home. Around the beginning of our trip Mykul had mentioned that he needed to move around and get out. I know I felt the same I just did not realize it until it was happening. It is interesting how one can feel like a stranger in his own state. When we got up to Logan I felt like such an alien. I felt as if I were a lonesome traveler. No home no ties. It was truly wonderful. I got to thinking about an old friend named Walter. I have not seen him in over five years; it has been over two years since we spoke. I heard he got married. Perhaps it is time I look him up again.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Superman II

I decided to watch Superman II on Sunday night as nothing else happened that day and I was feeling a bit down. I watched the theatrical version first, then because my day had yet to make a turn around I decided to check out the Richard Donner cut. I had heard about the Richard Donner cut and wanted to see it. Richard Donner was the director who had done the first Superman movie in 1978. He was signed on to do the second movie and was filming the two simultaneously. At one point during the production Donner argued with the producers over their attempts to make the film more “Campy” and it was decided that Richard Donner would be replaced even though Donner had shot over 75% of the sequel. Director Richard Lester replaced Donner and re-shot most of the film. This was done for several reasons. First, according to the Director's Guild rules a director must film more then half the picture to get credit as the director, second Donner's cinematographer, Oscar-winner Geoffrey Unsworth had died so Lester brought his own cinematographer on. I liked both movies ok. I liked Donners concepts better then Lesters. Originally the nuclear explosion that releases the three criminals came from the first movie when superman throws the nuke into space. Also, to prove that Clark Kent is Superman Louis shoots him. We have in this film, a noticeable lack of Marlon Brando. Brando sued for a portion of the profit of the film and won. This pissed off the producers so they had Brando cut from the second film , even though he had been paid already, and replaced his scenes with Elva Mai Hoover, Superman’s mom. I liked the Richard Donner cut. It explained how Superman gets his powers back after he is told there is no returning once he has decided to become mortal. The Donner version would have been a better film then the Lester film ended up being. They are too different as directors. Lester had no respect for the film and decided to change to many things. They should have left Donner on the project. If you are a fan of the Superman movies I’d recommend seeing the Donner cut.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Cafe days and work

I have been thinking back to a few years ago when I lived in Los Angeles. I use to do shows and I really liked it. Here is a pic of me performing at the UBG in Burbank, CA.
At first it got off to a rocky start when my booker was putting me in the wrong venues. But once she figured out what kind of audience I needed, or needed me, it was cool. I have been going back to the guitar allot more lately, writing more songs, spending hours playing. I love it. I want to start playing shows out here. Maybe even form a band. Record a bit too. Cup of Joe does an open mic night every Saturday night from 7:00 to 10:00. I was planning on attending but ended up working last. These are two of the classiest dames I work with. Melissa and Mac
Work can be cool; also a drag. But it is amazing the places we can find comfort if we just keep ourselves open to it.