The Night Watch, which contains the Glorious May 25th reference, is the 6th in the Watch books, but believe me, you’ll get there fast. The comedy is that gentle, observational humor that doesn’t leave anyone bruised (except bullies), and leaves you feeling a bit wiser to the human condition.
Today is a very special day – it’s the Glorious 25th of May!
Back before May the 4th became A Thing, May 25th was Geek Pride Day, where everyone knew where their towel was (Douglas Adams) and were proud of a little thing you got punched for loving – Star Wars. Most importantly, it is a reference to Terry Pratchett’s phenomenal Discworld books.
Did you enjoy Good Omens? Well I have WONDERFUL NEWS!
The date comes from The Night Watch, lauded as one of the best in a series with many bests.
A recent Twitter discussion mentioned the 1990 ABC/Disney production of Phantom of the Opera. At mention of the name, a long-forgotten door blew open within the crumbling, decrepit Memory Palace of mind, and suddenly I was 12 again.
Confession: I’ve never cared much about the Andrew Lloyd Webber production, and this television series is why. It had everything a 12-year-old romantic’s seething, fevered heart could want: unrequited love, misunderstood romantic gestures, flowing poet shirts, sword fights, caves, capes, opera, and fantastic costumes. Yes, the Webber version has all that, but I saw this one first.
If you are already a fan or if you just like Charles Dance and want to check it out, it is uploaded to Youtube in two halves. I’ve embedded the first half below. The titles are in German, but the show is in English. I can’t recommend it highly enough – filmed in the actual Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris, with spectacular costumes and a beautiful, unique score by John Addison, it presents a romantic, tragic version of the Phantom and gives equal time to Christine’s journey as an ingenue singer. Although usually a more sedate villain (at least in recent years), Dance in the tv series is more physical – he leaps, runs, swordfights, climbs, and yet can still intimidate with his piercing eyes and tall frame. His Phantom is the best parts of the 20th century’s most famous Draculas – Bela Lugosi’s courtly manners and hypnotic menace combined with the tigerlike attacks and sexual charisma of Christopher Lee. Most actors have trouble projecting through masks – since most of Dance’s most memorable roles required him to be restrained to the point of frosty, a mask was almost the perfect counterbalance to negate his coldness – in Phantom, he’s warm, earnest, even silly or funny sometimes, and more likeable than ever.
For a deeper dive, please keep reading. There will be spoilers!
I needed something to cheer me up, and this classic is perfect. I wanted to watch Haunted Honeymoon last night but apparently I didn’t own it, or lost it somewhere, I watched Young Frankenstein a few months ago, and don’t own Blazing Saddles either. I AM A FILM ENTHUSIAST FRAUD. But I have seen countless others of his – The Frisco Kid, The Producers, The World’s Greatest Lover, and of course, Willy Wonka.
I’m not going on some tirade about how 2016 is the worst year ever or something. It’s not. As our generation ages, more and more of our icons will pass. Think about how grandparents don’t read gossip magazines about actors and actresses of their generation – there are only a handful left, most of the time. It’s just part of aging.
But it still sucks.
For an indication of Wilder’s intelligence and thoughtfulness toward every role he played, look no further than his notes on the Willy Wonka costume, helpfully displayed on the blog Letters of Note a few years back.
I’ve just received the costume sketches. I’ll tell you everything I think, without censoring, and you take from my opinion what you like.
I assume that the designer took his impressions from the book and didn’t know, naturally, who would be playing Willy. And I think, for a character in general, they’re lovely sketches.
I love the main thing — the velvet jacket — and I mean to show by my sketch the exact same color. But I’ve added two large pockets to take away from the svelt, feminine line. (Also in case of a few props.)
I also think the vest is both appropriate and lovely.
And I love the same white, flowing shirt and the white gloves. Also the lighter colored inner silk lining of the jacket.
What I don’t like is the precise pin pointing in place and time as this costume does.
Read the whole thing – the man was a genius in every way!
Anyway, let’s drag this back out of ennui. I hope your Tuesday is great, and the rest of the week even more so!
I read another review of the first episode somewhere (can’t remember where and searching my history is proving fruitless) that describes it as VERY good. I am cautiously optimistic!
I won’t go into a big description of the story in today’s post, and I might try to do another one that introduces people unfamiliar with the comic in a spoiler-free way.
Fitting for today (St. Patrick’s Day!), Preacher is written by one of my favorite comics writers, Garth Ennis, who is Irish. He also wrote some of the best storylines (in my opinion) of Constantine – that show turned out to be somewhat disappointing, but I’m HOPING that Preacher delivers.
My Mom had the DNA test thingy done – I am 38% Irish. I don’t hold much with the test results (since Ireland is a country, not an ethnicity – I guess I would be Celtic or Gaelic? Does that even make sense?) but she was excited about it and I am trying to encourage her to get out and do things. She’s been rather down lately.
But I’m not going out in a green paper hat to drink green beer or whiskey until I’m sick, either. I’ll stay in and spend time with my imaginary boyfriend for the holiday, Kevin ‘Corky’ Corcoran from BBCTV’s Copper. An Irishman just trying to make good as a cop in 1860s New York, he fights for truth and justice but also because he just likes getting in fights.