This week’s Rhapsody is Ernest John Moeran’s Second Rhapsody in E Minor.
Well another free first Thursday at the Seattle Art Museum and another crack at Massimiliano Soldani Benzi‘s Lamentation of the Dead Christ. This time I tried going at it from the other side that I normally have.
Regrettably it’s about as much of a mess as usual. This really is a hard one to do standing up. Every time I looked at it it was at a slightly different angle! To add to my humiliation, included is the photo I took of the original angle I started with.
While I was drawing this I couldn’t quite get it out of my head why an angel would be crying in any of these paintings when they would know the score… Unless the need to know bureaucracy of Heaven is even more convoluted than the Bible suggests.
Too true. As much as I enjoy the modern folklore that is UFOs to the point that I occasionally am willing to let myself get fooled. The whole “ancient astronauts” schtick is insulting to our species as a whole.
The intent of this week’s selection was marketing and advertising.
The first on my list, How to Get Ahead in Advertising, tells the story of a smarmy advertising executive under breaking under the stress of his deadline when he can’t think of a new campaign for skin cream. As his stress gets the better of him he get’s a huge boil on his neck which begins to talk and grows to become a second head (get a head in advertising, get it?) embodying all of his cynical amorality taking him over completely.
I really had mixed feelings about this one. It started in a really fascinating direction and almost exactly at the half hour mark it decided to be something else. At it’s best it was a darkly cynical satire but the rest of the time it was heavy handed sermonizing. What kept me watching it was Richard E. Grant’s performance. He did a wonderful job of fluctuating from a complete amoral bastard who lectures his colleagues about how it isn’t their job to solve a problem but to maintain it so they can keep selling their clients’ product, to a simpering half mad victim begging people to believe him when he says it’s the boil saying these terrible things and not him.
For the longest all I knew about The Hudsucker Proxy was it was a loosely based on the actual creation of the hulu hoop and that it was one of the Coen brothers few flops. But since then I’d heard that time had been kind to it and I started to hear good things.
Hudsucker Proxy presents us with modern fairytale about a complete innocent who starts work at the monolithic Hudsucker company on the same day it’s CEO commits suicide. Due to some dumb luck he gets hired as the new CEO by the board in order to make value of the company’s stock temporarily plummet so they can buy it up cheap. Instead he invents the hulu hoop and the craze makes the company more successful than ever.
This is a wonderfully sweet and funny film with a gorgeous stylized art deco aesthetic with the leitmotif of “Stormy Weather” in the background (though there were a few times near the end I found myself wondering if I was getting it mixed up with “My Way” and a happy ending provided by a literal deus ex mechana (seriously, the spirit of Mr. Hudsucker is lowered down as an angel playing a white ukelele.) It seems to be a callback to 1930s screwball comedies but if it is the Coens are giving it their own personal spin and more power to them.
This was a gorgeous bottle both esthetically and practically. The big problem is not getting into the fact that I’ve been gradually becoming a tea-totaler over beer and wine over the last few years, I’ve never really been into the hard stuff. In fact other than appreciating a nice single malt, the only time I buy whisky is in november for a really good pumpkin pie recipe I have that calls for a jigger of bourbon. I’m not going to buy a fourteen dollar bottle just to pour the contents down the sink even if it were bad whisky (and based on my faith in Trader Joe’s usual standards I’ll assume that it’s not.)
Heck I don’t even know what I’d put in this bottle! Perhaps a homemade salad dressing, herb infused olive oil, maybe even leftover tea… either way I know I’m going to be obsessing over it for the rest of the day.