Saturday, 26 July 2008

What do dead men wear?

One has been tagged. First time. By Sorlil (see Poetry in Progress). This is all a bit thoroughly modern for me but here we go with 'My most recent purchases of a book, a film, and a sound recording (with accompanying information)'. I will not be tagging anyone but if any of you want to add your list in my guest, as ever.

1. Book
To be honest I get books out of those crazy old things called libraries most often. I do buy quite a lot of books as presents for other people but the last book I bought for me was the Richard Brautigan 'Willard and his bowling trophies'(1976) that I picked up second-hand and wrote about a few blogs ago. At the moment I am mainly reading books that I have swapped with bloggers and myspacers and other writers for copies of mine. It is a veritable literary swapshop (but Edmonds free) and it's been really interesting - some people are keen to swap, some aren't (their loss, hah!). Speaking of books, I had my Montrose launch party last night and it was fantastic (full report later...I think...may even put a photo up).

2. Film
This one's easy. I very rarely buy DVDs but the other week I had a craving for 'Cabaret'(1972) - old Liza Minnelli and all. It was a weird thing...first I'd done that life-summed-up-in-7-words and discovered that one of my words was 'cabaret' (I was a bit surprised by the realisation at first but then it made perfect sense). Then I was thinking about the film 'Rich & Famous'(1981) that I used to love when I was a teenager (it's about two female friends who both end up being writers - one critically successful, one commercially). I was considering 'Rich & Famous' for that tag list of films (see Ken Armstrong a while back) and and when I looked it up on t'internet I was reminded that it was a remake of a film called 'Old Acquaintance'(1943) and that that in turn was originally a play by one John van Druten (1901-1957). Van Druten also wrote the play 'I am a Camera' that was one of the texts used to create the wonder that is the musical film 'Cabaret'... so that was a weird old pattern of belinked lovely things.
I watched 'Cabaret' with my Mum the other night (one goose step too far for my beloved, I'm afraid) and we loved it (why wouldn't we?). 'Come hear the music play...' Yes, please.

P.S. If anyone is a film expert...I have been wondering for ages about a black and white film I remember watching as a child. It was about a woman who was so obsessed with her husband (I think it was her husband) that she killed everyone else in his life. At one point she pushes a boy (a disabled boy I think) into a lake from a rowing boat and near the end of the film she pushes a pregnant woman (her sister?) downstairs and ends up in court. Does anyone know what this film is called? It made a really strong impression on me but I have never come across it since. I'm hoping it wasn't a dream...

3. CD/Music
I buy so many CDs that it's hard to keep track of which was the last one I bought. Again I've been getting a lot of swaps (and some great ones!) but I was involved in the purchase of a Bob Marley CD the other day ('Legend - the best of Bob Marley and the Wailers'). I've never owned any Bob Marley recordings before (though I used to listen to my brother's double vinyl LP 'Babylon by Bus' many years ago) and I thought it was time I did something about that. When I did all that blogging about singers a while back Marley was one of the names that a couple of folk mentioned and I remembered that I really liked his voice but hadn't listened to it for years. Plus I try to listen to a good variety of music but in the last couple of years I have gone a bit UK/USA/Canada folk music crazy and I wanted to try and keep things... mixed-up. It's such a recent purchase this CD that I haven't even listened to it yet. There have been a lot of visitors and trips out and it hasn't quite seemed like Marley time yet. I will get to it. I will be jammin' before the week's out.

So that's my three - talented (but dead) men involved in all of them. Over to you.


Sorlil said...

I was becoming a fan of libraries since recently rejoining my local one but having to pay a £7.50 fine for 3 one-month-overdue books last week put an end to that! I'm useless at taking my books back in on time and resent paying a ridiculously over-priced fine!

I love that Bob Marley cd, one of my all-time favs!

smith3000 said...

Hey Foxy,
The last book I bought, the first for some time I'm afraid to say (still working my way through shelves of freebies)was Mark E Smith's revealing, fascinating and hilarious autobiography, Renegade: The Lives And Tales of Mark E Smith. Anyone with the slightest interest in the wonderful and frightening world of the Fall should read it. It's great.

The lady in my life bought me a load of Kurt Vonnegut Jnr novels and short story collections for my birthday. I've just started reading Slaughterhouse 5 again. It's a joy.

The last DVD I bought was, I think, Sleuth with Larry Olivier and Michael Caine. They really don't make them like that anymore. Great performances, brilliant script, plot twists aplenty - marvellous.

The last bit of music I bought was in Barcelona, where I bought an album by Aphrodite's Child (a Greek prog-rock band featuring a very young Vangelis and, at one point, Demi Roussos). Apparently David Mancuso used to play a track off it, called Babylon, at his Loft parties. It's actually a bit rubbish ...

Good to hear you're finally getting on the Marley thing!

Rachel Fox said...

Sorlil...does your library not have the facility to renew online? I use that often when I forget to take stuff in.

Smithy, were you in Barcelona? I don't think you've mentioned that before...


Sorlil said...

fraid not, I've got no excuse - I live five minutes walk from the library! lol

Ken Armstrong said...

I love 'Cabaret' so much, I have a whole post done on it for months but never got around to putting it up yet.

Although the film is great, I much favour the Broadway revival which sprung from the 90's Donmar Warehouse Production and which starred the wonderful Alan Cumming as the best MC ever!

The criticism of Liza was that she was simply too good a singer to play Sally Bowles - Sally was meant to be only an average belter but Liza took it way beyond that.

I love libraries too - my local is a great place.

hope said...

With gas so high, the Library has also become my best friend. However, the last book I purchased was by some poet named Rachel Fox. ;) Somehow I don't think this one needs explaining. In case she insists I pick another, the one before that was an audio CD, "Shutter Island" by Dennis Lehane. He wrote "Mystic River", which the film was based on, so you know the genre from that..but the ending still surprised me. It's also just been made into a film but when I went online to check the cast of characters, I spent a lot of time shaking my head and thinking I'd be a much better casting agent.

My aunt is in a nursing home but has me order her DVDS, so I pretty much get to watch hers. The last one I watched was "Definitely, Maybe". An in-the-process-of-getting-a-divorce Dad is telling his daughter a bedtime story about 3 women he dated. He changes the names and let's her pick which one was her Mom. My favorite line was this 9 year old girl looking at him so innocently and asking, "Dad, what's the boy word for slut?"

Music...I think Andrea Bocelli's "Amor", in Spanish. Kinda fun to hear Stevie Wonder trying to sing in a foreign language. I'm such a sap, "Besame Mucho" is my favorite.

Fiendish said...

Nicey nice post, Rachel. Wish I could help you on the black & white movie, but I have no idea. Funny how these things stick with us, though.

Could I steal this for a new blog post? I'm just going to go ahead and do that, and hope for your approval :)

Rachel Fox said...

Ken - looking forward to your 'Cabaret' post. I just love Liza's singing in the film...I'm not sure I could bear it now without. And I love her look - so not the typical movie star look, so odd. I'm not sure she was acting (she seems very similar in real life) but she really was at her best in that film. Unlucky to peak so soon? Maybe for her...not for us.

Hope - glad to hear you're reading such high quality books!

Fiendish - look forward to reading your post too.


smith3000 said...

You must be the only person in the world who I haven't told about our trip to Barcelona. I'm sure you'll be pleased to know it is as beautiful, sexy and exciting as ever. Check the blog for the full story - I updated my previous piece on the city in the travel section. Pix soon!

Jim Murdoch said...

Okay, I had to think about all this.

That last book I've bought was When I Was Five I Killed Myself by Howard Buten. It's an odd little book on many levels: a) it's half the size of a normal book, b) it has footnotes on just about every page having been translated and c) it's written in a child's voice. All in all something worth checking out but I've not read it yet.

The last CD was The Concerto Project Vol. II which contains Philip Glass's Second Piano Concerto and his Harpsichord Concerto. I don't think I've listened to it all yet – I think I was called away for tea – but I'll like it. I pretty much love everything this guy does. I just wish he wasn't so damn prolific. Vol. III is out already plus at least another four CDs I've not got.

The last DVD was Snow Cake which features Sigourney Weaver as an autistic woman. Once again I've not seen it yet and it's been lying on the unit for weeks. We're very bad. And I've still not watched a couple from Xmas! Where does the time fly?

Colin Will said...

Book: Mandy Haggith's Paper Trails - the true cost of paper.

Film/DVD: The Lost World of Tibet

Music: I bought John McLaughlin's Floating Point & Rachel Unthank's The Bairns on the same day.

Rachel Fox said...

Interesting lists, Jim and Colin. Let us know how you get on with the Weaver film, Jim, it's one I would probably find my way to eventually. And Colin - I hope I helped you find your way to the Unthanks...or maybe you were already a fan. It'll be interesting to see if they can be the first 'token folkies' to win the Mercury prize this year. I'm not sure it would necessarily be the best thing for them but 'The Bairns' is a brilliant album. I love all of it but 'Blackbird' and the Robert Wyatt cover 'Sea Song' are two of my favourite tracks. I sing along to the lyrics 'you're not alone' at the top of my voice!

Colin Will said...

Hi Rachel. It's a really good CD. I like a lot of Northumbrian music - used to listen to Billy Pigg playing N. pipes, and now Kathryn Tickell has inherited his mantle. Very fond of Watersons too.