For this week’s Rhapsody we return to Erno Dohnányi with his Rhapsody opus 11 no. 2 in F Sharp Major for piano.
I’ve been meaning to do a better job getting some variety into my cuisine for a long time with mixed results.
In theory I’ve been trying to follow a relative’s advice of making a menu for the week and base by shopping around it but other than picking up cookbooks at the library every now and again I’ve mostly stuck to the dull fare of frozen chicken breasts, rice and a vegetable. But every now and then I’ll take a step in the right direction.
This week I was pretty much shopping for my staples when I picked up a butternut sqash on a whim. I’d pretty much intended to bake and mash it but little more than just that. About the same time I’d picked up a book on slow cooking by Heather Whinney mainly because I’d wanted to do more than just oatmail with my crockpost, and while thumbing through it I found this recipe for Squash, sausage and pecorino cheese. This sounded a lot better than the bake squash with brown sugar.
So anyway I think it came out pretty good without many complications the only emergency being when the time to add the wine came I couldn’t find my corkscrew. Otherwise two hours later all was good. The flavor is complex and dare I say it… nutty? (and here I thought butternut was named for the color) Based on how I usually cook it I had never really considered Butternut squash part of a savory meal. My only concern is I can’t really taste the sausage, but otherwise a r
Now that I have my museum membership back I’ve been putting in a half hour or so when I’m down town. When I was there on Thursday I was lucky enough to catch the opening of a new exhibit, Samuel F.B Morse’s Gallery of the Louvre.
As you can guess from the name, I’d always had a degree of pride in Professor Morse, at least over the “he invented the Telegraph bit, and at the very least he was useful when you had to tell thick people how to spell a five letter last name. (since Morse Code hasn’t been used officially for over a generation that’s not as useful as it used to be.) Needless to say this is where having relatives who are into genealogy are a bad thing when I inevitably discovered I wasn’t actually descended from him.
Anyway this was a piece done when he was teaching art in Paris. It does a nice job showing the students in period dress copying the great works which Morse catalogues in the painting (somehow I doubt they were ever all in the same gallery like this) I stuck to drawing just the figures.
This week I took a chance and tried something different. Bollywood rip… er remakes of Hollywood movies. This was very much a risk since I had heard horror stories about some of the bad ones but at the same time I’d had a few of them recommended as guilty pleasures most notably one of Mel Brooks’ The Producers.
I made a large list of possibilities since I had no idea what Scarecrow Video would have but I intended to stick to one genre depending on what I found. Regrettably they did not nave the Producers film but they had a number of the films on my list and I ended up choosing thrillers, specifically remakes of two very similar films, Reservoir Dogs and Usual Suspects
My First film Kaante is mostly an adaptation of Reservoir Dogs though the way it starts out with the main characters meeting in a police precinct when taken in for questioning on a trumped up charge it at first seems to be an adaptation of Usual Suspects until the second half of the film when the caper they plan together goes terribly wrong.
All in all this isn’t a bad film though I think it’ll be a long time before I ever get used to the pacing of these films both longer than what I’m used to. The other thing is the singing. Obviously I’ve known about the musical numbers in Bollywood films but I didn’t know they were in ALL of these films so seeing the cast break into a musical number in something as serious as this film came as a big surprise. .
The next film on my list Chocolate was a remake of Usual Suspects though an extremely loose version. It had the same framing device, and the same ending mostly as well as a mysterious master criminal (though in this case a terrorist) Everything else was completely different, the main characters are a group of friends and musicians who turn to crime and the two surving members are interviewed by their defense attorney and a reporter. All in all this gives the film a tone of a general romp, but all in all entertaining… as were the musical numbers.
For this week’s film I did a selection of lesser known Billy Wilder comedies, specifically ones with an international flavor.
“Say Bill you like films you know the name of that film with James Cagney as a Coca-Cola executive trying to sell Coke to the communists?”
“No but I can look it up and get back to you.”
It turned out the film was “One, Two, Three” and after that I just had to see it.
Cagney plays C.R. MacNamara, Coca Cola’s man in West Berlin in 1961 right before the wall went up. He is assigned to baby sit his boss’s out of control dim-witted daughter, Scarlett, only for her to sneak through the Brandenburg Gate and marry a cute but outspoken communist… Hilarity ensues as MacNamara desperately tries to fix things before his boss arrives in Berlin.
This film is fast paced, satirical and hilarious with Cagney giving a tour de force in a way I’d never expected from him.
To follow this up I watched Avanti starring Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills. Lemmon plays Wendell Armbruster a straight laced successful businessman, who is summoned to a hotel in Italy to pick up the body of his father, who had been going to there every summer and died in a car crash. It turns out his father had been having a long term affair with another woman who was also killed in the crash.
While he is there fighting a seemingly endless amount of red tape he meets the woman’s daughter Pamella Piggot who is also there to retrieve her mother’s body. As the insanity of the situation continues they are drawn together.
This was a quieter comedy but Lemmon and Mills are great together.