Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Music for Filmbrain

Today's Saturday Music post is a personal one. Well, these posts are all personal. It is THE FUTURIST!'s own personal neurotic blog. However, this post goes out, meta-personally, to Mr. Andrew Grant, film critic, film blogger, the founder and president of the DVD distribution label BENTEN FILMS, and famed Brooklyn misanthrope. As a blogger and internet acquaintance, he is known as Filmbrain. THE FUTURIST! found a kindred spirit in Andrew Grant in many ways. His love of films and the music of Burt Bacharach. He loves his cocktails. He loves the movie NETWORK. He loves Serge Gainsbourg. He has a knack of channeling his rage through fantastic clips of George C. Scott barking like a rabid dog. He dislikes poseurs and sycophants. He has been very friendly to THE FUTURIST! and likes to gossip in a very humorous manner. But, most of all, he parachutes from the dull airline of everyday existence into the great void of despair. It seems, due to not hearing from him at times, that his chute carries him for long distances ... as he wafts along alone, melancholy and listening to the whoooosh of despondent air envelop him ... until his feet, once again, reach the grounds of The Sedate State of Getting By. THE FUTURIST! can understand ... he lives in Utter Despair, N.J., for Pete's Sake!

Mr. Andrew Grant
aka Filmbrain
seen here in an image that
THE FUTURIST!, himself, sees in a similar manner
each morning in his medicine cabinet mirror.

In a few days, Andrew will be leaving Brooklyn and the United States for a new home in Berlin, Germany. THE FUTURIST! wanted to salute the kindred spirit in Andrew by posting a selection from the 1973 film musical version of James Hilton's LOST HORIZON with music by Burt Bacharach. Awhile back, it came to THE FUTURIST!'s attention that Filmbrain (Andrew) has a warm spot in his heart for this failed enterprise ... he even posted a nostalgic look back to his first time seeing the film as a small boy. Read about it here on his blog. THE FUTURIST! owns an LP of this very score himself. If you love Bacaharach and you are a completest, you should own the recording. Anywho, Andrew will be going to a new place, perhaps one that will be his Shangri-La of sorts ... let's hope so. However THE FUTURIST! knows one thing, if he knows anything at all ... melancholy follows you ... everywhere. He will find it packed securely in his luggage. IT has a devious way of being undetected by airport security.

This is the opening number from the film. The trumpets are quite ... impressive.

Please fasten your seat belts.

composed by Burt Bacharach lyrics by Hal David
from the film

Filmbrain loves Serge Gainsbourg. As an added treat, THE FUTURIST! is including this number he found on YouTube. Mr. Gainsbourg, not singing, but playing the piano with cocktail glasses around him, a cigarette smoldering nearby and ... it appears ... that the Maltese Falcon is on the piano top. This is the stuff that dreams are made of.


performed by Serge Gainsbourg

Finally, THE FUTURIST! wishes to include another Bacharach tune in honor of the departing Filmbrain. This inclusion is very metaphysical and full of an odd sense of how THE FUTURIST! feels about Filmbrain's spirit. He has mentioned that he loves the acting of Jack Lemmon, which THE FUTURIST! can understand. AS a child, THE FUTURIST! always wished he was Jack Lemmon. Well, maybe a combination of Mr. Lemmon and George Segal. Two "everyman" type actors whose cinema personalities and problems that a young person, who never had even encountered the very problems he was watching on the screen, seemed to identify with. Strange, yes. Even so, he felt a kinship. THE FUTURIST! loves the following music from the film THE APRIL FOOLS. He has never seen this movie from 1969 which stars Lemmon and Catherine Deneuve, but he has always wanted to ... it's a Lemmon performance he has missed all these years. The music is so beautifully wistful, melancholy and romantic. To THE FUTURIST! it is one of his favorite Bacharach tunes and the music he associates with his sense of Filmbrain.

THE FUTURIST! pictures Filmbrain as a "Jack Lemmon" character. An everyman beset by Life. He is leaving behind the routines and problems of his current existence for foreign shores ... much like the American Lemmon finds solace in the arms of the European Deneuve in the film's storyline. Of course, this is how THE FUTURIST! imagines the "character" of Filmbrain. He could be entirely wrong. But he wants to see him in this manner ... and hopes, in Berlin, Andrew can sport a smile that is akin to the one Lemmon is wearing as he nestles his head against the bosom of the beautiful Deneuve.

Listen and look at that album cover:

composed by Burt Bacharach
from the film

Andrew aka Filmbrain, THE FUTURIST! salutes you today and hopes the best for you in your new environs in Germany. Knowing you as a fine writer and then actually communicating with you via Twitter and emails was a delightful surprise. THE FUTURIST! has learned much from you and has found you to be an intelligent, morose, extremely witty and funny soul. One day, THE FUTURIST! will buy you a cocktail, converse in person and, maybe, as despondent kindred spirits of Utter Despair ... cry together.

Bon Voyage and stay in touch!

Friday, July 30, 2010

How THE FUTURIST! Makes a Dinner Date

Ah, Peter Sellers ...
such an insane psychotic man,
but how very funny you were!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cellphone Movies

THE FUTURIST! recently participated in a Twitter exchange
of creating film title puns or such with names of cellphones
or cellphone reference points. The esteemed Vadim Rizov, writer,
musicologist, film critic, and cynic made a good suggestion.
He wrote that THE FUTURIST! should save these to his
blog in a post. Below are THE FUTURIST!'s creations.









directed by Sprint Eastwood







Thank you, Dear Readers, for bearing through all that!
That's called killing time.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Music with Hope

THE FUTURIST! has been watching Bob Hope movies each weekend since around the end of May. Every Friday, Saturday or Sunday night he tries to make sure he watches one Hope film. He has been watching them in chronological order. He calls it his Weekends with Hope. Of course, he can only watch those available by DVD ... so far he has been successful in keeping this regiment uninterrupted. THE FUTURIST! was never a big Bob Hope fan, but he recently watched an old TONIGHT SHOW rerun with Woody Allen as a guest host and listened to him (as he does in lots of interviews) cite Hope as an early influence on his own early film "character". On this very same rerun, Woody got the chance to have Bob Hope as a guest.

THE FUTURIST! has found these early Bob Hope films to be quite enjoyable. In the very beginning, Hope had not yet formed his definitive movie character ... the Hope we know ... the cowardly, yet full of false bravado, quipster who fancied himself a ladies' man. A conniver with a good heart. You see this character form in THE CAT AND THE CANARY (1939) and even more so in another film he did with Paulette Goddard in 1940 ... THE GHOST BREAKERS. Often, Hope seemed to be ad libbing movie reference metaphors about the action in the story line ... but they were scripted. It was his effortless style that made his lines seem off the cuff. The very early films portray Hope as a greedy opportunist out for himself ... not evil, but an untrustworthy wise ass and usually playing an emcee of sorts.

The song below is from his first film entitled THE BIG BROADCAST OF 1938. The movie actually starred W.C. Fields and a bunch of vaudeville spawned guest stars. It is a crazy quilt of a story involving a race between two giant ocean liners. Hope sings this song with co-star Shirley Ross who plays one of ex-wives. This moment is one of the best scenes in the somewhat pleasantly forgettable film. The tune is catchy and later became Hope's signature song. But, THE FUTURIST! just loves the acting in the scene that transpires as they sing. It is performed like a dramatic moment of insight into the past of these characters. Listen to each line ... the phrasing ... the hand gestures and asides. THE FUTURIST! feels this very scene with song shows the great actor that Hope was in film. And Shirley Ross is just as good.

Listen and watch:

music: Ralph Rainger lyrics: Leo Robin
performed by Bob Hope and Shirley Ross
from the film
THE BIG BROADCAST of 1938 (1938)

Some Don't Like It Hot

Henry, THE FUTURIST!'s 2010 Summer intern, just can't take the heat anymore in Utter Despair. It has been over 90 degrees for weeks ... sweltering and, at most times, quite humid. Yesterday Henry could just take it anymore and seemingly passed out at his desk. THE FUTURIST! felt sorry for him and bought him a bottle of Glacier Vodka. However, he later wondered if the heat exhaustion was feigned. Earlier, THE FUTURIST! had asked Henry to pick up a sport coat from the dry cleaner on his lunch break. Oh, well ... Henry certainly perked up when he saw that bottle of liquor. Even if he was pulling a fast one, it was good to see him smile. He's a nice boy and can really hold his booze well.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


... how do you set up a proper Tea Party?
THE FUTURIST! would like to invite a few friends over
for a Summer afternoon social.
Please tell him how to arrange the most adequate
setting for comfort and friendliness.
Also, can liquor be substituted for the tea?
No need to grimace. It was just a question.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday Music that Makes You want to Dance while You are Driving a Car even if You Don't Usually Dance

Last Saturday, driving in his car on the way to the safety of his home, THE FUTURIST! was trying to shut out all outside environmental distractions. It was terribly hot that day and he had the automobile air conditioning on full blast. His mood was a bit dampened by a dreary day making money and he needed to hear some music ... some audible distraction. Natalie Dessay's rendition of Mozart's aria from Zaide was in the glove compartment for CD insertion ... as was a The Smiths compilation burned on a disc by a friend ... some Vampire Weekend ... there was a soundtrack compilation of Fellini films by Nino Rota ... a Marshall Crenshaw best of ... Disc 3 from a Burt Bacaharach box set ... but none fit his mood. So, THE FUTURIST! turned on the radio and tuned into National Public Radio. He was audibly placed in the mid-sentence of an interview on some music show wherein the host was asking questions of a some performer. THE FUTURIST! had no idea who this was or what the show was ... but after a few inquiries and laughs the host played a piece of music by the guest. When it began, the happy vibe that emanated from the stereo speakers in THE FUTURIST!'s car enveloped him and he took another turn around the block before he entered his driveway. The song was still continuing, so instead of sitting in the car to finish listening (due to neighbors having a social backyard event and staring at him sitting in his car like a mannequin feeling this feeling of elation come over him and making his body react in an almost physical way to the beat) he jumped from the car and ran into his abode, up a flight of stairs to his quarters and turned on his stereo to hear the conclusion and the answer to who the artist or artists were and the title of the tune. The answer is below.


performed by The Apples in Stereo

There was an actual music video to this song, but it is lengthy
and bookended with an acting job by Elijah Wood ...
THE FUTURIST! found it a bit annoying, so this inert video was selected

Thursday, July 15, 2010

David Quin's "Top 5 List of Shows that Defined My Sense of Humour"

Mr. David Quin
enjoying the pleasant environs
and people of his native Scotland.

It's been awhile since THE FUTURIST! has posted a friendly correspondent or FRIEND OF THE FUTURIST! Top 5 List. Today, another list comes your way directly from Scotland from the always whimsical Mr. David Quin, who has appeared on this blog before ... regarding NUT CRACKING.

Mr. Quin came to THE FUTURIST!'s attention through quite a circuitous route. For some odd, but perfectly splendid, reason THE FUTURIST! has many correspondents from Ireland and Scotland. Mr. Quin came way of the wonderful Amber Wilkinson who writes for EYE FOR FILM. Ms. Wilkinson encountered THE FUTURIST! through Twitter and this led to Mr. Quin.

Discovering Mr. Quin is akin to the sensation that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle must have felt tingle through his portly body after he received those sepia tinged photographs of forest fairies ... photos supplied by a sweet little English girl in 1917. Those photos were proven to be a hoax, but the same can not be said concerning Mr. Quin.

He is the real deal ... a Scottish (over 6 foot) slightly bearded bespectacled sprite who dashes about the streets and green hills of Peebles (his town of residence) living an inexplicable life of carefree shenanigans. His work as a some kind of theater office promotions employee occupies most of his week, but each day he draws a bewitching breath bears mystery to THE FUTURIST! ... what else does he do? He writes of insomnia, his love of Doctor Who, his new cardigan, World Cup Soccer (or football, as he calls it) and his excursions taking jaunts climbing hills ... and photographing the hills. He has the kind of life THE FUTURIST! dreams about ... no cares ... frolicking ... visiting pubs ... wearing cardigans. Yes ... dreams about ... only dreams. And his town of Peebles seems to be the anti-Utter Despair, N.J. Just read this wikipedia description:

Peebles is a burgh in the committee area of Tweeddale, in the Scottish Borders, lying on the River Tweed ... The town is surrounded by hill country on all sides and is therefore an attractive centre for the hillwalker ... In 2005, a study by the New Economics Foundation ranked Peebles as the best town in Scotland (second best in the UK, after Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire) for range of independent shops and 'home town identity.

Mr. Quin is an enigma. A man who seems to live Life with joyous abandon. Yet, oft times, THE FUTURIST! detects some melancholy ... a tinge of loneliness in his later evening writings. This happens to the best of us ... but unlike THE FUTURIST!, who takes sadness to bed at the end of each day and awakes to find it took most of the blanket during the night, David Quin greets each day with wide eyed wonder. He is a very funny fellow with a kind heart and below you shall find his list of comedic influences. THE FUTURIST! especially likes his inclusion of ALAN PARTRIDGE. It is very very funny.


(that's the European way of spelling humor)

(In descending order)

5) Peep Show

Following in the deeply British tradition of sitcoms
about reprehensible, self-loathing characters failing at life,
Peep Show took me a while to get into (I hated it at first)
but it's a wonderful show.

(Clips from THE PEEP SHOW all have disabled embedding barriers.
David wished to show a clip, so THE FUTURIST! will post
the link so you may enjoy a sampling.

4) I'm Alan Partridge

Before trying to break Hollywood, and nearly driving
Owen Wilson to suicide in the process, Steve Coogan was very funny.
His greatest creation found his ideal vehicle in this magnificent sitcom.

3) Brass Eye

I can't think of a blurb for this. It's Chris Morris, he of Four Lions fame, spoofing current affairs with utter perfection, culminating in the-most-controversial-thing-ever, his special on pedophilia.

(Clips from BRASS EYE are, also, *sigh * disabled from embedding.
CLICK HERE for a peek at the show.)

2) This Morning With Richard Not Judy

Richard Herring and Stewart Lee's last whack at the mainstream was this glorious Sunday morning (!) TV sketch show thing, which I discovered at about fourteen. Very set in British 90s culture, but consistently wonderful. See also their previous show ‘Fist of Fun.’

1) The Armando Iannucci Show

Having spent the last ten years or so mocking British TV and politics, Armando Iannucci, recently of In the Loop acclaim, decided in 2001 to have a relaxing time off with this less ambitious project, which satirises the very nature of being alive. Totally sublime.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Imitation is the Sincerest Way to Litigation

Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame will again trod the boards on Broadway in February of 2011 in a revival of the musical HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING. He can sing? They expect such a rampage on the box office, they are already sending out emails for advance tickets.

Anyway, by the looks of this poster art publicity it looks like Radcliffe is in a show entitled HOW TO DRESS LIKE THE FUTURIST! WITHOUT REALLY DISPLAYING THE APPROPRIATE LOOK OF SADNESS.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Nick, How Do You Tie a Bow Tie?

THE FUTURIST! likes English Nick's pixie like appearance
and perfect enunciation. Also, Nick never takes his hands
from behind his back. Is Nick merely a gentleman's gentleman
or has he been handcuffed? Perhaps ... both?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Saturday Music from Sweet Charity

Recently, THE FUTURIST! was brought to mind of a Broadway musical revival of SWEET CHARITY he saw in 2005. The revival starred Christina Applegate and THE FUTURIST! had a bit of trepidation about attending the evening show with two friends. He had agreed to go, but had some reluctance due to seeing a TV star in the famous starring role. Those feelings were dashed after he saw how well Ms. Applegate performed and how enjoyable this musical, based on Fellini's Nights of Cabiria, was as a production and entertainment.

The sequence below is from the 1969 film version of the musical starring Shirley MacLaine and had choreography by Bob Fosse. The number below is entitled THE RICH MAN'S FRUG and is performed when Charity is escorted to a very classy nightclub by an Italian movie star. The dance is lengthy, but it seemed to make this viewer want even more. Performed live, this number is a marvel to witness ... the body movements of the lead female dancer, the robotic odd stork-like strides of the two main male dancers with their cigarettes perfectly poised and the rest of the company in perfectly timed physical syncopation are all pure Bob Fosse moves. The cigarette puffs that emanate from the men's mouths even seemed expertly choreographed.

Listen ... and watch:

from the motion picture Sweet Charity (1969)
music by Cy Coleman

A Picture Can Say a 1,000 Lies


THE FUTURIST! hasn't had a good week. There has been some problems with his "work", some dental pain, holiday and birthday parties of pure melancholy and gastro-intestinal distress and now .... blackmail!

IT seems someone has threatened to "internet expose" a photo they claim to be THE TEEN FUTURIST! How distressing. In order to destroy their evil joy in making people believe they are so clever, THE FUTURIST! is posting the above photo (which was sent to him via email). THE FUTURIST! will not corroborate that this is or is NOT a photo of THE TEEN FUTURIST!, but will let you decide ... and let this dastardly blackmailer spin in frustration over being foiled in having his fun.

But, if that IS he pictured above ... well, he certainly had good hair.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Cancer Birthday Salute

A very short astrology song selection from Harvey.
Full of vocal longing and sadness. Could Harvey be a Cancer
and this composition and performance comes from his aching heart?
At the finale, it seems Harvey's full attention is focused on his
dancer/performance artist who is doing an Arabian type of gyration.
Has he finally noticed her after all these songs?

Is this love?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

El Grande BOOM Fireworks Controversy

THE FUTURIST!'s favorite 4th of July Fireworks suppliers are Silver Fish Lupez and his partner Juan Estaban "The Blue Gila Monster" Santiango. The boys own El Grande BOOM Fireworks in Passaic County, NJ. When haiku called to ask if there would be any pyrotechnic activity in Utter Despair this holiday, THE FUTURIST! told him he had heard that Silver Fish had had a run-in with a rival fireworks company and things got a bit physical. It seems he was targeted for physical assault one night at their warehouse.

Last week there was an "industrial accident" that resulted in a blaze that engulfed their inventory. Silver Fish and Juan Estaben are only selling Roman Candles this year in The Utter Despair Strip Mall Parking lot. They promise revenge on their rivals who seem to have joined forces with Aztec Mummies and Robots to get a choke hold on all future retail explosive sales in the outlying NJ area. Silver Fish was quoted with the following declaration: "Monsters! Aliens and Criminals! You will all die! No one can defeat me and Blue Gila Monster! NO ONE! You will be crushed! And all Roman Candles and Sparklers are on sale in bulk this week in West Side parking Lot of Utter Despair Strip Mall. Free Frozen Fruit Ice with every $10 purchase. Just knock on back of truck door!"

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saturday Music for Faded Summer Memories

AS stated in another (or other) music posts, THE FUTURIST! is not fully musically knowledgeable. He knows who The Beach Boys are and has heard a lot of their very iconic tunes. But he had never heard their PET SOUNDS recording.

When he was about 17 years old, THE TEEN FUTURIST! and his friend John decided to co-write a movie script outline of a fabulous horror tale they concocted. John was a very morose, yet talented young man who made clever and fascinating stop action clay animation movies in his Utter Despair house basement. He eventually won The NJ Young Filmmakers Award in High School. THE TEEN FUTURIST! remembers watching the first preview of the movie before his friend submitted it for nomination.

As is the case with young fertile minds that glow with optimism and dreams of having every idea sprout and magically become reality like a glorious tree for all to admire, THE TEEN FUTURIST! and his friend laughed and plotted and radiated with the desire to CREATE! THE FUTURIST! recalls their enthusiasm, their talking over each with their grand plot points and character analysis. The movie idea became a real outline and they dreamed of it being made ... why young John had made an actual movie of clay people moving that lasted 7 minutes! It had musical accompaniment by another friend who played piano. If he could produce a tedious time consuming film that involved snapping a shutter every second for figures to move ... well, an actual film with real people would be a snap!

The horror film idea involved people stranded by snowstorm in a college of the arts in a remote area of New Jersey. It involved a psychotic professor and his ability to use fear as a weapon ... to use the mind to falsely manufacture the worst fears one would have ... and there was romance, ancient fetishes coming to life, religion and humor. It was a grandiose scenario that the young men could and would never accomplish or have the means to do so.

The film had to have music. THE TEEN FUTURIST! thought it would be eccentric to have music of happiness or sounds that were the opposite of what was being experienced by the characters . The Beach Boys came to mind ... happy sunny pop tunes to accompany the horror and snow and sadness. Eureka! They thought they were so clever. John suggested the music on PET SOUNDS. THE TEEN FUTURIST! had never heard the record. John was shocked. He went to find the record among his father's collection and played it for THE TEEN FUTURIST!. The album seemed so melancholy to him ... an echo of times gone by ... a sound of faded memories. And it had a couple of tunes that had no singing ... one is the song you will hear below ... the title tune. They thought this particular song would be excellent final credit music.

The memories of that time seem as faded as the nostalgic aura triggered by Pet Sounds. THE FUTURIST! has not seen John in years ... they lost touch. The movie idea they created was the product of happy young minds that saw no obstacles and knew no limits to creation. THE FUTURIST! does not know what happened to those legal sized yellow sheets of paper with the scribblings of imagination. But, he remembers the story and the elation the process engendered. And this piece of music reproduces the images he and his friend saw on the screen of their minds ... to flicker once again.


performed by The Beach Boys

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Scottish Sport of Nut Cracking

One's loins are always
at peril in the art of Nut Cracking

THE FUTURIST! recently learned of the Old Scottish Gentleman's Sport of Nut Cracking. It was brought to his attention by one of his European correspondents and man crushes David Quin (shown above in the eyeglasses and earthen colored cardigan). THE FUTURIST! always loves to learn of archaic sports or rituals, especially those from the old country. The lovely barren rustic scene above features an abode that inspired Agatha Christie to pen THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES in 1920.

NUT Cracking, as described by Mr. Quin, is similar to the aggressive antler dueling of stags in the wild. Mr. Quin, a young man of vast knowledge and frequent insomnia, explained it as being an unspoken "dare" that one male makes to another. As seen above, Mr Quin and his associate demonstrate what occurs when two males encounter each other on a path and this telepathic message is sent from one primal penis driven brain to another.

THE rules are such ... well, there actually are no rules.

TWO Males walking at opposite ends of any type of walkway can suddenly lunge at each other and attempt to disable the other by applying pressure to their nether regions ... in other words, their testicles. Weapons can not be used ... no baseball bats, tree branches, rolled up daily newspapers, umbrellas or Evian Water Bottles. The lunge must be made by the fist, elbow, shoulder, foot or knee. It is a one strike sport. The first contact must be the conquering blow and disable one of the combatants. Most times, Nut Cracking is seen to occur in the territory of one Male's outlying region of habitat. It has been sighted outside corporate offices during lunch hours and on weekends outside of saloons. Oft times activity outside of gay bars or night clubs can be mistaken for Nut Cracking ... especially if the head butt is used. Please be aware of the surroundings before viewing and then cheering on a "supposed" Nut Cracking match.

THE FUTURIST! was not informed whether Mr. Quin won the above pictured match or whether it was staged for his benefit. THE FUTURIST! did notice that Mr. Quin uses a deft right handed undercut to the other young man's privates accompanied by a facial expression of feral ferocity. One would assume that a growl or roar of intimidation was mated to his thrust. The young chap in blue is using the knee approach, but expert perusal shows that the leg joint doesn't seem to make impact with Mr. Quin's precious family jewels. It seems Quin halted impact with a very smart clenched knee block.

One would assume, then, that Mr. Quin was the vanquisher.
What a man! ... or Man/Child, in Mr. Quin's case.

NUT Cracking has yet to cross the Pond, as they call the Atlantic Ocean in Great Britain.

Poo Trap

Utter Despair is littered with the droppings of canines owned by very inconsiderate citizens. THE FUTURIST! is going to make sure he puts the POO-TRAP on his holiday gift list for his nearest neighbors.

Retro Reclining

Sometimes THE FUTURIST! needs to relax ... bedroom slippers ...
he puts on his smoking jacket ... a nice soothing cocktail on
the coaster next to him ... and he watches oddly edited Youtube
slide shows of retro furniture and decor. Yes ... scoff ... go ahead ...
and go shoot up some heroin to unwind instead. Philistines!

That's the soothing sound of
ISABEL played by Piero Piccioni.
Nice, isn't it?