Close-ups of the performers and important actions, and the camerawork of a technician wearing a helmet-mounted camera, appear on a video monitor off to the side of the main screen. As the party progresses, and he gets drunker, the interest gets more and more intense. The fourth edition sphinx gains combat bonuses if you do this, or can't answer its riddle. Evolution of Plymouth St. Nobleman briefly getting attention Nobleman covered in pearls Nobleman expected to receive his king Nobleman expected to throttle King Nobleman from Balmoral or Dinnet? In The Flesh by Jordan Wiebe theboywhocouldfly A man and a woman have a discussion about their dietary differences and things go from bad to worse to eww. The Order of the Stick Enor:
Not everything over there is fully functional yet, and the internal links still point to this blog, and will for the indefinite future. So all the old material will be left here for archival purposes, with comments turned off. Too often they thought they were in the service of stability, but later found out that was not the case. Norway is one of the smallest countries in the world, and one of the largest contributors to the Palestinian Authority PA and others, with annual donations of over Million NOK.
Especially since the current left-wing Labor government took office in , the donations have exploded. What are these sums spent on? Recently the remuneration for suicide bombers was tripled. Those who have carried out the worst attacks against innocent civilians receive the highest pay. Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center figures from show that Palestinians have conducted 25, terrorist attacks, suicide attacks leading to 1, dead Israelis and 7, wounded between and Fatah conducted acts of terrorism in alone, according to Terrorism Review.
Many more foreign hostages than originally reported were taken by the Al Qaeda terrorists at the Amenas gas plant in Algeria. The Algerian government says that out of were freed, and some sources say that 30 or more hostages were killed.
The British government offered the Algerians manpower, equipment, and expert assistance to expedite the resolution of the crisis, but was refused. American, British, and French nationals are thought to be among the dead.
In other news, the latest figures from Angola indicate that at least , Chinese nationals have migrated to the country. The Angolan government says that work permits were issued for the Chinese to assist with development projects.
To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post. Thanks to Andy Bostom, C. Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post rather than with the news articles so that they are more easily accessible.
Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible.
Further research and verification are left to the reader. Vienna is the most fully enriched location, and seems to be in roughly the same situation as Oslo. Many thanks to Hermes for the translation from Unzensuriert. The number of pupils with a first language other than German has doubled from to The doubling in the number of multilingual students is evident in virtually all provinces in Austria. The Styrian province is the only outlier, where the number of children with a different native language has tripled from about 5, to 16, The nationwide statistics conceals the dramatic developments in Vienna, because German is hardly spoken in the primary schools of the federal capital.
For a complete listing of previous enrichment news, see The Cultural Enrichment Archives. Scroll down for other posts that have appeared since Wednesday. Certain posts at Gates of Vienna, among them those by Takuan Seiyo, tend to attract the attention and comments of people who are preoccupied with the Jews. I generally delete such comments without publishing them. Before I deleted it, I sent it to Takuan, just to show him what was coming in. He suggested that I go ahead and post it, followed by his response.
Some interesting points, a lot of waffle and some errors. Top class, modern historians now regard that figure as grotesquely disproportionate. It is one of the most successful internationsal businesses of all time. You have the temerity to post this kind of Nazi apologist garbage in a comments thread of an article by a writer whose gentile grandparents had been murdered in a concentration camp and whose gentile mother spent two years in a labor-extermination camp, was a state witness in the post-war trial of its commandant, and relayed her wartime experiences to this writer directly.
Moreover, a writer who was born and grew up one hour by car from Auschwitz and three kilometers from the plant where the firm Hoch und Tiefbau AG had built the crematoria for that camp.
In which, alone, 2. Moreover, you desecrate the memory of Witold Pilecki plus other Polish officer escapees from Auschwitz who produced written reports, e. I am omitting here reports by Jewish escapees, for example the Vrba-Wetzler report, as well as the fate of the Jewish part of my family during the war, so as to skirt the whole specious Joooos-tainted-it aspect of your comment.
The lowest for Auschwitz, for instance by the Polish historian Franciszek Piper , cites 1. The highest figure cited for Auschwitz is 4 million. However, much has happened since it went up, including the Blogger outage. Scroll down for a report on that. More new posts will be added below this one. The essay below is the conclusion of the ninth part in a series by Takuan Seiyo. See the list at the bottom of this post for links to the previous installments.
The Answer is Yes is a lovely composition by Jane Hall , wife of the legendary jazz guitarist, Jim Hall , who passed away Tuesday, 10 December , having just turned 83 on 4 December. There are few musicians who have touched me as deeply as this stupendous guitarist.
He had a deeply melodic sense; his understated solos were matched only by his brilliant capacity at interplay with the many legends with whom he performed and recorded. I feel as if I've lost a friend, one that I never met, but whose music touched my heart and soul in ways that only a truly personal relationship could. Just a cursory look at " My Favorite Songs " reveals the extent of the impact his musical legacy has made on my life. For example and this is just a sampling of Hall recordings mentioned therein: Hall and the legendary pianist Bill Evans [see my entry on 4 December ]; " Concierto de Aranjuez " [YouTube link] is the title track from the album " Concierto ," an inspired jazz interpretation of the second movement of the great Rodrigo composition with an all-star line-up, arranged by Don Sebesky.
Also from that album is my absolutely all-time favorite jazz instrumental rendition of the Cole Porter gem, " You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To " [YouTube link], which features a seamless series of solos and utterly breathtaking interplay by Hall on guitar , Paul Desmond on alto saxophone , Chet Baker on trumpet , Roland Hanna on piano , Ron Carter on bass and Steve Gadd on drums [featured on 22 January ].
Back in , in his liner notes to the CD re-release of "Concierto," Steve Futterman articulates what I've always felt: When Hall, Desmond, and Baker intertwine in contrapuntal conversation on the Porter song, for instance, "they sound like the same soloist playing three separate instruments"; " Down the Line " [YouTube link; from Hall's album " Commitment "] is a paean of sorts to Bill Evans's classic " Conversations with Myself "; on this composition, Hall overdubs his electric guitar with the acoustic guitar sounds of the handmade instrument designed by Jimmy D'Aquisto , who carried on the craft of his great teacher: John D'Angelico [see my entry of 30 January ]; and finally, " Scrapple from the Apple " [YouTube link] from one of the greatest live recordings ever put to vinyl: The last time I saw Hall perform live was at a loving concert in which he participated in tribute to another legendary guitarist: Alas, if there is a band in Heaven, I know not.
But if we are to question whether that band just added one class act to its divine personnel, clearly "The Answer is Yes. Apollo 13 "Re-Entry and Splashdown" [YouTube link], music by James Horner , is an appropriate way to honor the brilliant composer who passed away tragically on 22 June in a plane crash. The film , directed by Ron Howard , and starring Tom Hanks , is a tribute to the rational human spirit,which triumphs against all odds.
This particular cue gives us a glimpse of Horner's manner of exhibiting the central theme of a film score through a prism of variations that both reflect and propel the action on screen.
He did this through over soundtracks , from " Aliens " to " Titanic ," an unforgettable legacy to the art of the score. As a 9-year old Aquarian , I fell in love with the recording the first time I heard it. Check out The 5th Dimension recording on YouTube and each song performed separately by the original Broadway cast: Are You For Real? Maybe you're an angel in disguise?
It was heard in the film of the same title. Listen to it once, and hum the catchy chorus for days Chick also recorded this for solo piano on his album " Expressions ," with vibes player Gary Burton for " Native Sense: It's from a short-lived ABC television drama , but for me, it's another feather in the cap of the guy who wrote " Invitation ," one of my absolutely favorite songs In addition to the film rendition YouTube link , check out this concert performance on YouTube, which features singer Christopher Cross and Dudley Moore , who played the title character in the film, and who was a magnificently talented musician as well.
I have no clue how the remake of this movie will be, but the original with Moore , Liza Minelli , and Best Supporting Actor John Gielgud remains a classic.
Listen here to an audio clip of this classic Kenton tune. As Long as I'm Singin' features the words and music of Bobby Darin , who was born on this date in Recorded in , it was one of those songs that went unreleased in Darin's tragically short lifetime he died at the age of The song can also be heard on the soundtrack to the Kevin Spacey-biopic of Darin , " Beyond the Sea.
Check it out on YouTube [May 14, ]. Dooley Wilson , "Sam" in the movie, plays it, and plays it again even if " Play it Again, Sam " is never actually uttered by Bogie. Speaking of "time," this is officially Leap Year Day , when, every four years, we add a day to our calendar.
And it's also the end of Film Music February , our month-long tribute to film music. Take a look at two Dooley Wilson YouTube moments here and here. And check out instrumental versions by jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli and classical guitarist John Williams. Here's lookin' at you, kid. A-Tisket A-Tasket , a traditional nursery rhyme first recorded in the late nineteenth century, was the basis for the million-selling hit by Ella Fitzgerald with the Chick Webb Orchestra [YouTube link] in Lyrically embellished by Al Feldman and Ella herself, this is the song that got our Centenary Songstress off to a swinging start.
Today we begin our mini-tribute to the First Lady of Song , as we move toward the th anniversary of her birth on April 25th. Today, one hears it during a cat food commercial. But it has been recorded by many artists , including Glenn Miller , Celine Dion , and, of course, Etta James audio clips at those links.
Attention , words and music by Jacob Kasher and Charlie Puth , the young man with a "Vanilla Ice" eyebrow and impressive vocal beat-box skills [YouTube link], was released in April , and has since climbed into the Top 20 in more than 20 countries. The song has touches of funk and soul; as a video single [YouTube link], I had hardly noticed it.
He also performd the song on " The Voice " and at the Wind Music Awards in Italy where he also takes a nice solo [YouTube links], but my favorite version remains the one on Fallon's show with The Roots. It's a summer dance track with a really cool vibe [YouTube link]. Check out the original single version as well as one of its many covers in later years, including a rendition by Sha Na Na heard at the Woodstock Festival [YouTube link] and that of Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids , who perform it on the soundtrack as "Herby and the Heartbeats" to the George Lucas film , " American Graffiti " [YouTube film clip].
It is also featured in the final scene of the film, " It's a Wonderful Life. And bring in the new year with health and happiness! Avalon features the music of Vincent Rose and the lyrics of G. And on this date, in , Benny Goodman performed this tune with his classic quartet, live, on stage, in the famous Carnegie Hall concert.
Given the fact that today also happens to be Martin Luther King Day , it is all the more appropriate to celebrate the Goodman legacy in music. For years, Goodman featured both black players and white players in his various bands; a person's race mattered not. All that mattered was the person's ability to make great music. Goodman's Carnegie Hall concert continued his policy of racial integration in jazz. As for the history of this particular tune: In , Puccini actually won a suit against the writers, claiming that the melody was derived from " E Lucevan le Stelle.
Away in a Manger is a title that pertains to many songs , including the standard version , with lovely music based on " Mueller " by James Ramsey Murray check out a Johnny Mathis audio clip of this version here.
One very fine instrumental, orchestral version of this was recorded by the Living Strings , played traditionally during hour 2 of the WPIX Channel 11 Yule Log , something I grew up with. Check out the audio link for the album " The Joy of Christmas. It is another charming seasonal favorite. From its opening overture to the "Toyland" centerpiece and the "March of the Toys," the themes of this Herbert operetta always leave a lump in my throat.
I first heard these themes as a child when I saw the classic Laurel and Hardy film , " March of the Wooden Soldiers.
Baby Be Mine , words and music by Rod Temperton , is Track 2 on the stupendous Michael Jackson album , " Thriller ," which was released on this date, 30 years ago. This recording predates " Spice of Life ," but both songs have that same sweet Temperton groove. Listen to the track on YouTube. We also enjoyed seeing Prince do this classic in concert. Baby It's Cold Outside features the words and music of the great Frank Loesser , who was born years ago today. This Academy Award winner was heard in the film, " Neptune's Daughter ," but it always makes me think of the Christmas season.
It has been recorded by many artists. Back in the U. It's a quintessential Independence Day song. Check out the original Chuck Berry version and a hit Linda Ronstadt version as well. The two of them did a live version on the occasion of Berry's sixtieth birthday, with Keith Richards on backup vocals [YouTube links].
I have visited Skinner's music before; it is familiar to horror fans the world over for many of those great Universal monster films , from " The Wolf Man " to " Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. The lovely theme here was written for the film based on the Fannie Hurst novel starring Susan Hayward , and co-starring John Gavin and Vera Miles , who, just one year before this film, co-starred in Hitchcock's " Psycho. It's Monday, but the summer solstice arrives in Brooklyn at 6: What truth in that title, for summer brings us all "back to life.
This party will continue until the Saturday before the Autumnal Equinox on September 22nd. I'm doing this because I still have a humongous vinyl collection of favorite dance hits, having been a mobile DJ in the s, playing everything from senior proms to Bar Mitzvahs! And here's a special nod to the Cleveland Cavaliers , who came "back to life," down 3 games to 1, to take Game 7 and win the NBA championship!
Bad , words and music by Michael Jackson , is the title track to MJ's " Bad " album, which, on this date twenty-five years ago , debuted atop the Billboard album chart. The video, directed by Martin Scorsese , features choreography that is a paean to the great musical, " West Side Story.
The original music video was filmed at the Brooklyn subway station at Hoyt-Schermerhorn. And the track includes a hot solo by one of my all-time favorite jazz organ players, Jimmy Smith.
Check out the single version , the extended version , the famous medley with "Hot Stuff" and a nice live cover version by Jamiroquai [YouTube links]. Baker Street features the words, lyrics, and performance of Gerry Rafferty , who passed away on 4 January Spotlighting the saxophone of Raphael Ravenscroft , it's a late 70s pop gem. Check out the full Rafferty version on YouTube and, among the many covers of this song, one by the Foo Fighters. But the song was inspired by the film.
The Ballad of Thelonious Monk , words and music by Jimmy Rowles with a little help from Jimmy McHugh , is a tribute to the legendary, lovably off-center jazz pianist, who was born on this date in and who actually passed away on my 22nd birthday, 17 February The most hilarious and joyous rendition of this was performed by that wonderful interpretive jazz songstress Carmen McRae , recorded live at Donte's in Los Angeles , California in for her album " The Great American Songbook ," with a group that included Rowles on piano, Joe Pass on guitar, bassist Chuck Domanico , and drummer Chuck Flores.
Rowles's tune is a country-and-western paean to a jazz master [YouTube link]. We'll be tributing the Monk for a few days here at Notablog.
On Facebook, I posted this preface to today's Song of the Day: On July 6th, I posted a Notablog tribute to a dear friend, Murray Franck , who passed away on the 2nd. And I want to thank all of those who posted or reacted on list or off to the sad news. But Murray always got a kick out of the fact that I had this penchant for launching Notablog "Song of the Day" entries to celebrate genres as diverse as jazz, film scores, classical, rock, disco, and today's pop music.
Nothing would have bothered him more than my ceasing such tributes in the wake of his death. He would chuckle when I'd talk to him about my days as a mobile DJ, playing everything from Bar Mitzvahs to weddings, reunions, and proms. So I won't miss a beat from this year's annual Summer Dance Series, and will continue with the first of two songs planned for this weekend: Barbara Allen is an ageless folksong whose origins go back to the 17th century.
It has been performed in countless permutations by chamber groups and singers from every genre of music. I remember it today, on Christmas Eve , because it is featured so prominently in poignant scenes of the film version of " A Christmas Carol ," with the incomparable Alastair Sim. For an equally poignant instrumental rendition, check out the audio clip on a very special album, " Christmas Jazz Guitar ," by the terrific jazz guitarist Jack Wilkins.
Meanwhile, don't forget to track Santa Claus! Basin Street Blues , music by Spencer Williams , lyrics by trombonists Jack Teagarden and Glenn Miller , has been recorded by so many great jazz artists through the years.
But today, we highlight a classic version by the late great Dixieland trumpeter Al Hirt and the late, great Dixieland clarinetist Pete Fountain. Check out the official music video [YouTube link]. And my sister , my cousins , and I made the cover of Long Island's Newsday in a photo showing me holding up a sign of greeting as high as any 7-year old kid coul d. Tonight, they'll be lots of people holding up Emmy Awards in the Primetime broadcast. Tomorrow, I'll have one more encore TV theme, in honor of one of the greatest musicians who ever lived, now gone.
But tonight, check out the Emmys. Check out this song and the scene in which it unfolds as well as a rockin' Shep Pettibone 12" dance remix [YouTube].
And so concludes our mini-tribute to Prince's film music repertoire. This song can be described as "viral"; if you listen to it, prepare to be infected by its rhythmic, melodic hook. The Beast from 20, Fathoms "Monster Does Manhattan" [sample clip at that link], composed by David Buttolph for the film, is one of the defining and most influential film soundtracks for the whole sub-genre of " Monster Movies ," which feature giant monsters stomping on contemporary cities everything from King-sized giant apes and Atomic Age-reawakened dinosaurs to mutant ants and tarantulas.
This particular film's plot has a fabulous London counterpart, released in After the Beast wreaks havoc in Manhattan, it decides to visit Brooklyn. Still, a little too close for comfort, if you ask this Brooklynite. Jim Farber's recollection gets it right ; this brilliant Quincy Jones -produced album defined a remarkable moment in pop cultural history on so many levels.
Listen here to an audio clip of this classic track, with its scintillating Eddie van Halen electric guitar solo, and watch the video that had a huge impact on pop music. Beautiful Love , the Victor Young romantic ballad lyrics by Egbert Van Alstyne , has been recorded by countless artists. And yet, the version that sticks in my mind is a mysterious instrumental waltz rendering, heard as source music for the Universal Monster Classic, " The Mummy " with Boris Karloff.
Check out the official video and Brown's performance on the VMAs. I can think of no better way to start off than with a song that tells us "It's your life" and to celebrate the love and beauty inside. A happy and healthy to all! Beautiful Sadness , words and music by M. Holdridge, as performed by Jane Olivor on her album, " Chasing Rainbows. Beggin' features the words and music of Bob Gaudio and Peggy Farina.
Listen here to an audio clip of the original and also to a " Jersey Boys " soundtrack rendition. And as the summer season melts into fall, a Happy Autumnal Equinox to one and all the season officially arrived a little after midnight EDT. Beginnings features the words and music of Robert Lamm of the group Chicago , from its jazz-rock fusion heyday. It's one of my favorite Chicago tracks; listen to an audio clip here. And for an alternative jazzy take on this classic track, listen to the Russ Kassoff arrangement for Catherine Dupuis at this link.
Begin the Beguine , words and music by Cole Porter , was one of the biggest hits in the career of the late, great Artie Shaw listen to an audio clip here. And there are vocal versions of this great song too, sung by artists as varied as Ella Fitzgerald audio clip here and Mario Lanza audio clip here. But this remains a Shaw signature tune. Brockert , whose stage name was Teena Marie. I've been a bit 'behind the groove' in getting a Notablog entry up for the new year , so here's wishing health and happiness to all my readers in And, yes, I've been watching the fifth season of the talent show.
This song has been played so much that it essentially grew on me. I now sing along when I hear it on the car radio. Believe , credited to six writers , was performed by Cher , whose recording was Billboard magazine's 1 Hot Single of It was the biggest single of her career, and provided her with her first Grammy Award for " Best Dance Recording ". It is known also for its use of the vocoder though that particular link adds vocoder effects not on the actual recording. Listen to an audio clip of this well-produced dance track here.
A Tale of the Christ "Chariot Race" [YouTube film clip], music by Carl Davis for the restored version , highlights the rousing chariot race from the epic silent version of the famous Lew Wallace novel. Bushman as Messala; they battle it out in one of the finest silent screen action sequences ever filmed.
It is noteworthy that the Oscar champ , with its glorious film score by Miklos Rozsa , has no musical accompaniment for its famed chariot race [YouTube film clip excerpt], which was staged by famed Hollywood stuntman Yakima Canutt.
It was a terrific choice, artistically speaking, because the audience is engulfed by the sounds of the arenaits gruesome violence depicted by the clashing chariots, their riders and horses, and thousands of extras, none of it generated by CGI effects.
A silent film, however, had no such luxury; Carl Davis's soundtrack provides the audience with a dramatic motif that augments the action we view on screen. One other piece of cinema trivia: Arnold Gillespie was an uncredited set designer for the art department.
Both Wyler and Gillespie would go on to win Oscars for the version , in the categories of Directing and Visual Effects , respectively. Ben-Hur "Arrius' Party" [YouTube link], composed by the great Miklos Rozsa , is a sedate but celebratory theme, from my all-time favorite film , the epic , " Ben-Hur. I saw the film again last night , as part of TCM 's " 31 Days of Oscar ," and it remains the greatest " intimate epic " of all time, in my view.
Happy 53rd birthday to me! Ben-Hur "The Battle" audio clip at that link is one of the most rousing cinematic achievements in the Miklos Rozsa film score canon. No tribute would be complete without a nod to my all-time favorite film score. Rozsa's music for the naval battle , an action-packed highlight of the William Wyler-directed "Ben-Hur" , remains one of his great Academy-Award winning cinematic moments.
And so we conclude our Centennial Celebration of the music of Miklos Rozsa on the occasion, today, of his th birthday. Tune in to Turner Classic Movies to see a tribute to Rozsa-scored films throughout the day. Ben Hur "The Burning Desert" [YouTube clip at that link], composed by the one and only Miklos Rozsa , is from my all-time favorite film, the epic known for its colossal naval battles and chariot races, but also for its intimacy and intelligence.
It's been a tradition around these parts to feature a selection from this grandest of symphonic cinematic scores every February 17th. This past year, life has sometimes felt like a struggle across a burning desert; just knowing that the sounds of redemption echo on the next horizon, that the cup of human kindness awaits in the hands of my truly blessed family and loyal friends, is enough to inspire the continuing trek across the many burning deserts to come.
Happy Easter to my family and to all my Greek and Russian Orthodox friends. And our Rozsa Tribute , which began here , comes to a conclusion.
Next year, the tribute will return to mark the Rozsa Centenary! The tribute also begins on the occasion of my 49th birthday Ben-Hur "Friendship" [audio clip at that link], music by Miklos Rozsa , continues an annual tradition , in which I feature a composition from my all-time favorite soundtrack.
I pick this stellar theme today in celebration of my own birthday and in celebration of my friends, those who have given me their love and support over the past year, in good times and in very difficult times too. Today also begins my annual salute to film music.
This year, instead of focusing on selections from my favorite film scores, like today's entry, I will focus on cinematic songs. From tomorrow until the Oscars on March 5, , I will highlight some of my favorite songs from the silver screen, taking a chronological trip down memory lane. Ben-Hur "The Galley" was composed by birthday boy Miklos Rozsa for a classic scene, the rowing of the galley slaves, in this Oscar-winning masterpiece.
The perfect wedding between cinematic scoring and film, this composition takes us from "battle speed" to "attack speed" to "ramming speed" in thrilling fashion. It is Rozsa's music that directs the pace here as much as the great director William Wyler. Ben-Hur "Gratus' Entry To Jerusalem" [YouTube link] is a dark, imperial march composed by Miklos Rozsa that begins immediately after " Salute for Gratus " included here as well on a 5-disc edition of the score to my favorite film of all time: In a sprawling Oscar-winning soundtrack filled with grand and diverse themes, Rozsa provides a wide range of emotions, which capture the "soul" of this remarkable film.
It is not without significance that the film has been called the first modern " intimate " epic, one that could stage grand-scale naval battles and real chariot races of widescreen scope without the help or need for CGI , while at the same time exploring the essential depth of its main characters and the intimacy and complexity of their relationships.
Much of the credit goes to Oscar-winning director William Wyler , and the performances he elicited from his actors two of whom brought home Oscar gold: Rozsa's piece captures the coercive imposition of ancient Roman will on Judea, the oppressive character of imperial occupation on a section of the world that, till this day, remains in turmoil.
In any event, it is in keeping with my annual practice of featuring something from " Ben-Hur " on the occasion of my birthday , which always coincides with Film Music February. So I've chosen this muscular piece from Rozsa's greatest, most triumphant symphonic film score , perhaps one of the greatest scores in cinema history. Today also happens to be my birthday; as in and , I choose a track from my favorite film score of all time.
Ben-Hur "Love Theme" [audio clip at that link], music by Miklos Rozsa , is sensitively stated by a solo violin with orchestra. It is a central theme from this William Wyler -directed epic , and one of the romantic highlights of the score and the film. Ben-Hur "The Miracle" [audio clip at that link], music by Miklos Rozsa , is a restatement of the central theme from this magnificent soundtrack, with hallelujah chorus bringing the film to a triumphant finale.
A Happy Easter to all my Eastern Orthodox friends and family! Ben-Hur "The Mother's Love" [YouTube link], composed by Miklos Rozsa , is one of the most melancholy themes from this William Wyler -directed blockbuster , which won a record 11 Oscars , including a well-deserved one for its magnificent score.
Equaled but not surpassed by " Titanic " and " Lord of the Rings: Heston has the distinction of appearing in what is considered to be the last of the "classic" costume epics " The Ten Commandments " and this, the first of the modern intimate "thinking man's" epics " Ben-Hur " , noted for providing deep characterization amidst grand spectacle.
Ironically, in both films, actress Martha Scott played Charlton Heston's mother and today's theme captures "the mother's love" so poignantly. It's become a tradition during my annual film music tribute, which started way back in , to pick a cue on this date, my birthday , from my all-time favorite film and film score and I have no intention of changing that tradition anytime soon.
How appropriate to highlight this selection especially for "the mother's love" that gave me life and nurtured me as I grew to maturity. ET on March 4th. It's the most obvious period at the end of any cinema sentence, since it is still among the most honored films in Oscar history. Ben-Hur "Overture" [YouTube link], composed by Master Maestro Miklos Rozsa , encapsulates all the main thematic content of my favorite soundtrack and film of all time.
It's become a tradition on my birthday to pick a cue from this Academy Award-winning film a total equaled by " Titanic " and the third installment of " Lord of the Rings ," but never surpassed, and neither of those films received Oscars in any of the acting categories. All I know is that I turn 55 today; my loving Dad passed away in , three months short of his 56th birthday.
So I figure if I beat that, I'm good for another Right now, I count my blessings that my eyes open every morning. I count my blessings for the passion of my work and for the love and support of my family and my friends. Cheers to a life worth living. For that reason alone, indeed, I shall " row well, and live. Ben-Hur "Parade of the Charioteers" [audio clip at that link], music by Miklos Rozsa , trumpets the bold and grand arrival of the charioteers before the Great Chariot Race in this all-time Oscar champ its 11 Oscar record is tied with " Titanic " and " Lord of the Rings: Return of the King ".
It acts as a fanfare for a scene rated among the " most thrilling " action sequences ever committed to celluloid , according to the American Film Institute. Ben-Hur "Prelude" [audio clip at that link], music by Miklos Rozsa , announces the main theme from what is probably my favorite film score , composed by one of my favorite composers , for my favorite movie , the film version of the General Lew Wallace novel, starring Oscar-winner Charlton Heston in the title role.
What better way to celebrate my own birthday than with my favorites? It is as if Rozsa captures all the pain of The Passion; it's a classic musical moment in a classic film. Ben-Hur "Roman March" or "Marcia Romana" [YouTube clip at that link], composed by Miklos Rozsa , is one of the master's grandest marches from the grandest of all epics.
Continuing Movie Music Month , this one's for me on my 51st birthday! Ben-Hur "Salute for Gratus" [audio clip at that link] is one of the grandest themes composed by Miklos Rozsa for my favorite film, " Ben-Hur. Ben-Hur "Salute for Messala" [audio clip at that link] is a second cue composed by the legendary Miklos Rozsa , which is heard in the MGM epic upon the arrival of Judah Ben-Hur 's childhood friend , Messala , who has returned to Jerusalem, a tribune of Rome, ready to assume command of the Roman garrison.
To me, despite the flaws and corruptions that have engulfed the soul of the man who becomes Ben-Hur's nemesis, this particular cue, designed to express the requisite regality, also expresses strength of character and certainty of purpose. And it was a cue that never showed up on the umpteen versions of this film's soundtracks that had been released since the film's debut.
That was rectified in by FSM Golden Age Classics , with the release of an utterly definitive 5-CD collection illustrating the complete brilliance of Rozsa's Oscar-winning score , one of the 11 Oscars that remains an Academy Award record tied, but never bested by " Titanic " and " Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ".
Since the beginning of Notablog, I've highlighted many cues from this soundtrack. Of this, one can be certain: On February 17th of any year, you'll find a "Ben-Hur" selection: It's my 54th birthday, after all, and it allows me to offer an annual salute to my all-time favorite movie and my all-time favorite score. From my favorite movie , the version of " Ben-Hur ," these selections can be sampled from the soundtrack album here. This is, to my knowledge, the only suite I have heard that is different from any other pieces I have already highlighted from the soundtrack of my all-time favorite film.
But what makes it so very special is that it features the composer himself conducting the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in It is a special treat to see this man so alive with the music of the score that remains his crowning achievement.
It is a true genius that we honor today [pdf link to my Rozsa essay] on the th anniversary of his birth [YouTube documentary on Rozsa]. Tomorrow, we begin a week-long Centenary Tribute to another musical legend from an entirely different genre. Just don't drop your brown and yellow basket because within a week, it'll be filled with the glory of Ella.
It's a tradition during Film Music February to pick a cue from my all-time favorite film , on this particular day because it's my birthday! This ain't birthday party musicno victory parade or parade of the charioteers! But it shows another thematic side of the grandest symphonic film score ever written by one of my all-time favorite composers. And while you're at it, check out 10 Famous Lines from this Oscar champ [YouTube link]though at least four classic lines are missing: So row well and live!
On Facebook, I wrote the following preface: Today's entry in my film music series comes from an epic story of struggle and redemption with which I've always identified.
And it's a custom I've developed, every February 17th since , to choose a cue from the glorious Miklos Rozsa score to my all-time favorite film, "Ben-Hur," which made its debut at the Loew's State Theatre in New York City on November 18, , just a day over 3 months before my birth in Perhaps I fell in love with the film before I was even bo rn, since Mom saw it around the Christmas holidays, but one thing is certain: I actually first fell in love with the soundtrack to this film, playing it over and over on the ol' Victrola for a good 5 or 6 years prior to seeing the MGM Oscar champ for the first time on its tenth anniversary re-release , which began its run on June 18, at the Palace Theatre in NYC, the Overture, Intermission, and Entr' Acte still intact.
I should add that the re-release ran in 70 mm through November 5, , in preparation for the 70 mm showing of " Goodbye, Mr. The lobby of the Palace was already adorned with Roberto Gari's famous portrait of Judy Garland , in the wake of Garland's death on June 22, Garland having given a series of legendary performances at the theatre. And as is also traditional around here, the Movie Music begins on my birthday I turn 48 today!
This regal composition is one of Rozsa 's best. My favorite version is by Wes Montgomery on his masterpiece album, " Boss Guitar " audio clip at that link. Its groove was so distinctive to its era that, 20 years later, it opened the soundtrack to the film, " Boogie Nights " listen to an audio clip here. The "Best Picture" showed us some of the horrific, lingering physical and psychological effects of war even so-called "good wars" on those who survive it.
The Best Supporting Actor , Harold Russell , also received an honorary award for "bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans. One philosopher from whose work I have learned much , apparently despised this film and " It's a Wonderful Life " for shame! I could write a few articles about how far she missed the mark like I did for " A Christmas Carol " and " Ben-Hur " , but, suffice it to say, sometimes you can appreciate works of art on many different levels, even if some mixed premises ooze into the script.
This film came out a year after the end of the most horrific war in human history, one that this particular philosopher opposed. But there's a reason the American public responded to the film. The struggles of its survivng veterans were palpable and resonated with its war weary audience. One of the aspects of this film that got well deserved recognition was Friedhofer's soundtrack. And for that, Bravo, Maestro! Johnson and James Torme , son of the late, great jazz singer Mel Torme.
Today is young Torme's 42nd birthday , and I'd like to highlight a few tracks from that fine album both today and tomorrow. Check out this Torme-penned track , with its melodic line and rhythmic feel [YouTube link]. Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered , a great Rodgers and Hart tune from " Pal Joey ," kicks off our mini-tribute in honor of Halloween week okay, so the song has nothing to do with witches and goblins, even if it has "bewitched" in the title While the original mix is classic Blige, nothing compares to the scalding Moto Blanco dance remix audio clips at those links.
And if it weren't for the relationship forged between Wyler and Heston in this film, Chuck would never have gone on to Oscar glory in " Ben-Hur. Listen to an audio clip of this classic house track here. It has been played by country and jazz artists alike.
Billie Jean , music, lyrics, and performance by Michael Jackson , was one of the biggest hits from one of the biggest selling albums of all time, " Thriller " check out audio clip at that link. Its video also made a big splash at MTV. Like so many others, I saw Jackson perform this classic song live, with his famous moonwalk , at the 25th anniversary tribute to Motown back on May 16, But not even that compared to his live performance of it at The Garden , where I saw him in on the " Jacksons' Victory Tour ," and, especially, in , on his solo " Bad Tour.
And happy birthday to fellow MJ fan, Abe. With clever rapping by McCoy and the smooth vocals of Bruno Mars , I can't think of a more appropriate song to feature on a day when the country is crazy for the Mega Millions Lottery , with the largest jackpot in history now roaring past half-a-billion bucks.
Hey, You Never Know! So while you're waiting for the winning numbers, check out the music video to this cool song , a Danyo Wallem remix Explicit Content Warning! Bim-Bom , written by Joao Gilberto , has been recorded by many artists. Listen to audio clips of various renditions of this lively Brazilian tune: Birdland was composed by Joe Zawinul , the keyboardist of the jazz-fusion group Weather Report , which recorded it for their seventh studio album, " Heavy Weather " Named after one of the great 52nd Street jazz clubs in New York City , which took its name from the nickname of be bop pioneer, alto saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker , it became a landmark Grammy-nominated jazz-fusion track.
But the Grammy Award went to The Manhattan Transfer a few years later, for their jazz vocalese version of the celebrated track. The lyrics for the track were written by Jon Hendricks of the always-fascinating vocalese group, Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross , though Eddie Jefferson had started writing lyrics for the piece before his untimely death. The Manhattan Transfer version appears on my favorite album of theirs: Check out the original instrumental classic by Weather Report and the equally classic vocalese version by The Manhattan Transfer [YouTube links].
But today is the birthday of Ol' Blue Eyes , who himself was deeply influenced by jazz and the blues. I wanted him to be a bully and a jerk". He cast the lead actress, Angela Jones , in Pulp Fiction and later backed the filmmakers' production of a feature-length version of Curdled.
Released in the United States in October , the picture was a critical and commercial success. In January , the Pulp Fiction script was complete. Tarantino and his producer, Lawrence Bender , brought the script to Jersey Film. Before even seeing Reservoir Dogs , Jersey had attempted to sign Tarantino for his next project. The deal gave A Band Apart , Bender and Tarantino's newly formed production company, initial financing and office facilities; Jersey got a share of the project and the right to shop the script to a studio.
He characterizes the studio's position: It makes no sense. Someone's dead and then they're alive. It's too long, violent, and unfilmable. So I thought, 'That's that! Bender brought the script to Miramax , the formerly independent studio that had recently been acquired by Disney.
Though he had recently appeared in several big-budget flops, he was still a major overseas draw. Principal photography commenced on September 20, I wanted it to look like an epic.
The reason we use it is that it creates an almost no-grain image, it's lustrous. It's the closest thing we have to 50s Technicolor. One of his pop totems, Fruit Brute , a long-discontinued General Mills cereal, also returned from the earlier film. No film score was composed for Pulp Fiction ; Quentin Tarantino instead used an eclectic assortment of surf music , rock and roll , soul , and pop songs.
Dick Dale 's rendition of " Misirlou " plays during the opening credits. Tarantino chose surf music as the basic musical style for the film, but not, he insists, because of its association with surfing culture: It sounds like rock and roll spaghetti Western music. Lovelace also appeared in the film as Laura, a waitress; she reprises the role in Jackie Brown. The album peaked on the Billboard chart at number Estella Tincknell describes how the particular combination of well-known and obscure recordings helps establish the film as a "self-consciously 'cool' text.
The Weinsteins "hit the beach like commandos", bringing the picture's entire cast over. Todd McCarthy called Pulp Fiction a "spectacularly entertaining piece of pop culture It's like, all of a sudden, 'I gotta watch this I gotta pay attention.
It's actually fun to watch an audience in some ways chase after a movie. The New York Times published its review the day of the opening. Janet Maslin called the film a "triumphant, cleverly disorienting journey through a demimonde that springs entirely from Mr.
Tarantino's ripe imagination, a landscape of danger, shock, hilarity and vibrant local color As Peter Biskind describes, "It was not platformed, that is, it did not open in a handful of theaters and roll out slowly as word of mouth built, the traditional way of releasing an indie film ; it went wide immediately, into 1, theaters. Miramax played with the issue in its marketing campaign: In Britain, where it opened a week after its U. Overall, the film attained exceptionally high ratings among U.
The website's critical consensus reads, "One of the most influential films of the s, Pulp Fiction is a delirious post-modern mix of neo-noir thrills, pitch-black humor, and pop-culture touchstones".
The response of major American film reviewers was widely favorable. It dares Hollywood films to be this smart about going this far. If good directors accept Tarantino's implicit challenge, the movie theater could again be a great place to live in.
I'm not sure I've ever encountered a filmmaker who combined discipline and control with sheer wild-ass joy the way that Tarantino does. The Los Angeles Times was one of the few major news outlets to publish a negative review on the film's opening weekend. Kenneth Turan wrote, "The writer-director appears to be straining for his effects. Some sequences, especially one involving bondage harnesses and homosexual rape, have the uncomfortable feeling of creative desperation, of someone who's afraid of losing his reputation scrambling for any way to offend sensibilities.
While not panning the film, Stanley Kauffmann of The New Republic felt that "the way that [it] has been so widely ravened up and drooled over verges on the disgusting. Pulp Fiction nourishes, abets, cultural slumming. Debate about the film spread beyond the review pages.
Violence was often the theme. In The Washington Post , Donna Britt described how she was happy not to see Pulp Fiction on a recent weekend and thus avoid "discussing the rousing scene in which a gunshot sprays somebody's brains around a car interior".
In the Chicago Tribune , Todd Boyd argued that the word's recurrence "has the ability to signify the ultimate level of hipness for white males who have historically used their perception of black masculinity as the embodiment of cool". Only in this age could a writer as talented as Tarantino produce artworks so vacuous, so entirely stripped of any politics, metaphysics, or moral interest. At the 52nd Golden Globe Awards , Tarantino, named as sole recipient of the Best Screenplay honor, failed to mention Avary in his acceptance speech.
Travolta, Jackson, and Thurman were each nominated as well for the 1st Screen Actors Guild Awards , presented on February 25, but none took home the honor.
Pulp Fiction quickly came to be regarded as one of the most significant films of its era. Each film shook up a tired, bloated movie industry and used a world of lively lowlifes to reflect how dull other movies had become.
And that, I predict, will be the ultimate honor for Pulp Fiction. Like all great films, it criticizes other movies. And that the parody or alteration of that film creates a new form, a different experience for the audience. In a widely covered speech on May 31, , Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole attacked the American entertainment industry for peddling "nightmares of depravity".
Pulp Fiction was soon associated with his charges concerning gratuitous violence. Dole had not, in fact, mentioned the film; he cited two less celebrated movies based on Tarantino screenplays, Natural Born Killers and True Romance. Paula Rabinowitz expresses the general film industry opinion that Pulp Fiction "simultaneously resurrected John Travolta and film noir". Less than a year after the picture's release, British critic Jon Ronson attended the National Film School 's end-of-semester screenings and assessed the impact: Not since Citizen Kane has one man appeared from relative obscurity to redefine the art of moviemaking.
Its impact on Hollywood was deeper still. According to Variety , the trajectory of Pulp Fiction from Cannes launch to commercial smash "forever altered the game" of so-called independent cinema. Once the studios realized that they could exploit the economies of small scale, they more or less gave up buying or remaking the films themselves, and either bought the distributors, as Disney had Miramax, or started their own And its impact was even broader than that. It has been described as a "major cultural event", an "international phenomenon" that influenced television, music, literature, and advertising.
Several scenes and images from the film achieved iconic status; in , Entertainment Weekly declared, "You'd be hard-pressed, by now, to name a moment from Quentin Tarantino's film that isn't iconic. In , BBC News reported that "London transport workers have painted over an iconic mural by 'guerrilla artist' Banksy Jackson and John Travolta clutching bananas instead of guns. One of the more notable homages to Jules "Biblical" quote was one Jackson himself played a part in, near the end of 's Captain America: The Winter Soldier , Jackson's character Col.
Nick Fury , presumed dead, visits his own gravestone, on which, below Fury's name is inscribed "The path of the righteous man Pulp Fiction now appears in several critical assessments of all-time great films. In , Entertainment Weekly named it the best film of the past quarter-century. A Empire poll combining the opinions of readers, movie industry professionals, and critics named Pulp Fiction the ninth-best film of all time.
Tarantino has stated that he originally planned "to do a Black Mask movie", referring to the magazine largely responsible for popularizing hardboiled detective fiction. Both dealt heavily in the realm of improbable coincidences and cruel cosmic jokes, a realm that Pulp Fiction makes its own. He suggests that Leonard's "rich dialogue" is reflected in Tarantino's "popular-culture-strewn jive"; he also points to the acute, extremely dark sense of humor Leonard applies to the realm of violence as a source of inspiration.
Robert Kolker sees the "flourishes, the apparent witty banality of the dialogue, the goofy fracturing of temporality [as] a patina over a pastiche. Mean Streets [; directed by Martin Scorsese , who loved Pulp Fiction and the way the film was told. The movie's host of pop culture allusions, ranging from the famous image of Marilyn Monroe 's skirt flying up over a subway grating to Jules addressing a soon-to-be victim as " Flock of Seagulls " because of his haircut,  have led many critics to discuss it within the framework of postmodernism.
Describing the film in as Tarantino's "postmodern masterpiece He characterizes its convoluted narrative technique as "postmodern tricksiness". She proposes that it "can be seen as effecting her resurrection from the dead, simultaneously recalling and undermining the Gothic convention of the vampire's stake.
On this model, the referencing of previous aesthetic forms and styles moves beyond Conard asks, "[W]hat is the film about? Pulp Fiction unmasks the macho myth by making it laughable and deheroicizes the power trip glorified by standard Hollywood violence. There is no nudity and no violence directed against women Where Stone sees a celebration, Kolker finds a vacuum: That's why Pulp Fiction was so popular.
Not because all audiences got all or any of its references to Scorsese and Kubrick, but because the narrative and spatial structure of the film never threatened to go beyond themselves into signification.
Giroux argues that Tarantino "empties violence of any critical social consequences, offering viewers only the immediacy of shock, humor, and irony-without-insight as elements of mediation. None of these elements gets beyond the seduction of voyeuristic gazing Regarding the violence and nihilism in the film, Pamela Demory has suggested that Pulp Fiction should be seen in light of the short stories of Flannery O'Connor ,  which likewise feature "religious elements, banality, and violence with grotesque humor.
Pulp Fiction is full of homages to other movies. According to the filmmaker;. Everybody thinks that I wrote this scene just to have John Travolta dancing. But the scene existed before John Travolta was cast. But once he was cast, it was like, "Great. We get to see John dance. My favorite musical sequences have always been in Godard, because they just come out of nowhere. It's so infectious, so friendly.
And the fact that it's not a musical, but he's stopping the movie to have a musical sequence, makes it all the more sweet. Jerome Charyn argues that, beyond "all the better", Travolta's presence is essential to the power of the scene, and of the film:. Travolta's entire career becomes " backstory ", the myth of a movie star who has fallen out of favor, but still resides in our memory as the king of disco.
We keep waiting for him to shed his paunch, put on a white polyester suit, and enter the Odyssey club in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where he will dance for us and never, never stop.
Daniel Day-Lewis couldn't have woken such a powerful longing in us. He isn't part of America's own mad cosmology Tony Manero [is] an angel sitting on Vince's shoulder Estella Tincknell notes that while the "diner setting seems to be a simulacrum of a 'fifties' restaurant The 'past' thus becomes a more general 'pastness' in which the stylistic signifiers of various decades are loaded in to a single moment.
The pivotal moment in which Marsellus crosses the street in front of Butch's car and notices him evokes the scene in which Marion Crane's boss sees her under similar circumstances in Psycho When Butch decides to rescue Marsellus, in Glyn White's words, "he finds a trove of items with film-hero resonances".
At the conclusion of the scene, a portentous line of Marsellus' echoes one from the crime drama Charley Varrick , directed by another of Tarantino's heroes, Don Siegel ; the name of the character who speaks it there is Maynard. That's definitely the one to beat in that particular category! Neil Fulwood focuses on Butch's weapon selection, writing, "Here, Tarantino's love of movies is at its most open and nonjudgemental, tipping a nod to the noble and the notorious, as well as sending up his own reputation as an enfant terrible of movie violence.