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About Kay

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  1. This group has a pretty unique sound in the gypsy jazz vein. It's refreshing to hear! So many artists in this style sound like they are playing so close to the Django mold and not adding a whole lot to it.
  2. Nice opening scene! Hadn't seen that before. I love how the frame is vibrating to the fiery drumming. Reminds me of the shot in the Phantom Lady scene when Ella Raines is looking into the shaking mirror. Thanks, too, Slayton, for the mention of Illinois Jacquet! Never thought he would be up my alley- I just watched this amazing scene from D.O.A. that I had somehow forgotten about. Why is it so hard to find stuff with this level of heat?! (And why does it keep turning up in movies?) Someone commenting on the Phantom Lady video was speculating about the drumming possibly being dubbed by Buddy Rich, (actually was a drummer by the name of Dave Coleman, I learned.) I looked him up, too-- I haven't listened to the whole album yet but the opening piece here has some of that super-charged, turned-up-to-11 hotness I'm seeking. (And on a record, even.) Thanks for your suggestions. I'll keep looking into it. If you want to send anything else my way I'll love you all the more for it. Edit: I'm going over to the music thread to post a gypsy jazz group I found interesting, if you want to have a listen to it.
  3. Thanks for identifying the style. I'm at least a little familiar with each of the artists you mentioned; I've listened to quite a bit of 20s and 30s jazz. Do you know of any small-band artists of a slightly later era, maybe? It's hard for me to put my finger on why the music in that film sounded different than the same style music of an earlier era- I thought it had a certain reckless abandonment to it. I definitely see the similarity in the Benny Goodman clip, and the musicianship is great, tho big-band music frequently sounds rigid and over-organized to my ear-- which is the opposite of what I found so appealing about the music in the film!
  4. I'm hoping someone who knows about jazz can tell me the style being played by Elisha Cook's band in this film. It seems like the sort of music that would be played during sleepless marathon jam sessions fueled by booze and dope and possibly wasn't the kind that would make it to the recording studios very often. At any rate, it was hotter than what I'm used to hearing from that time period, with the wailing clarinet and low-down, dirty rawness in the brass. I was really digging it- but this is where my knowledge falls off rapidly. I've listened to so little jazz from this era onward, maybe someone can fill me in. Where can I find more music like THAT? Here's a very low-quality snippet of the scene I'm referring to. Probably the best moment in the film!
  5. She was pretty funny as the accident-prone Constance in The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers, I thought.
  6. That's the feeling I get, too, from a lot of names pitched on this thread. I've never heard anyone praise Grace Kelly, Robert Taylor, Jane Russell, Elvis Presley or even Lauren Bacall as straight-out great actors. The fact that they managed to turn in adequate performances at times shows that they may have become experienced actors, or nabbed the right role to for their abilities, but ultimately they are no Laurence Oliviers in anyone's book... Hey, speaking of Laurence Olivier! Why is this guy supposedly the greatest actor of all time? I've seen a number of his films and have never been very impressed by his acting, and find his demeanor strained and uncharismatic most of the time. I get the feeling that a lot of his legacy may have been built on his stage career, and the level of his modern-day praise is an artifact of wooped-up hearsay. (Ironically, I do think he's way handsome, tho.)
  7. I didn't understand the inclusion of the mute boy, either. Seems that mute youngsters are not uncommon as side characters in movies altogether- I can think of a few films that feature one. Maybe a bond with a silent kid is meant to reflect the protagonist's own alienation in some way or another... As for Truffaut, I liked his performance in this film. I've seen the other two films of his that he acted in, (The Wild Child and Day for Night,) but neither of those were nearly as ambitious as his choice to star in The Green Room, where he had to carry the whole film- and portray, honestly, one of the strangest and most viscerally repellent psyches I've ever "met" in a film. The fact that Truffaut felt so close to this role may have been invaluable to the audience's understanding of the character. I felt like he was confiding in "us," face to "face." It may not have been a "wise" decision to play it himself in terms of box office prospect, but I believe it was a good decision in the end... if only he hadn't felt so bad about it flopping- it's refreshing to me to see a director make a film from the heart without regarding how the audience might take it. It's too bad he couldn't disregard how they DID end up taking it. By the way, I had started a thread to promote this film a couple days before it aired. I guess it must have passed under your radar, tho...
  8. This film left me thoroughly traumatized when I saw it as a young child. Every once in a while it still comes back on me in my dreams, every time it thinks I've forgotten about it, (yeah, I bet you think I'm kidding!) (I saw Frankenhooker at a young age, too, actually. Ah yes- childhood nostalgia. *sigh*)
  9. I'm pretty sure TCM had a better print of this movie last time it ran. Tonight's showing was very blurry, in that youtube-y low bit-rate way. And while I'm glad that they showed it, it's a really rotten way to see a movie...
  10. Besides The Green Room, I think I liked The Wild Child best. The kid's performance was astonishing.
  11. I've been looking forward to seeing this one again. The last time this movie was on TCM, as I recall, was during their month-long tribute to Francois Truffaut maybe 5 or 6 years ago, and of all the films I saw for the first time during that month (and I watched a ton of 'em!) this is the one that I have thought about the most in the years since. I don't want get into it too much before it airs, tho I must say I've rarely seen a film whose central character (played by Truffaut himself) was so discomforting and difficult to understand. It's not too hard to see why this was one of Truffaut's least successful (monetarily speaking) films-- I've also heard that he considered it his most personal, (and this coming from the guy with the 5-film-long autobiography.) Also known as "Altar of the Dead" (based on a Henry James story)
  12. I'd say comedies suffer the most from going on too long... Being There is one that leaps immediately to mind; it's a mildly amusing one-joke sketch that runs for over 2 hours, without much variance in mood or tempo. Which comedy films actually stay fresh and funny for that long? I can't think of any, actually, that couldn't have been better had they been shorter. The Secret of Santa Vittoria is another one that drags on way too long and has too many subplots. It could have been such a fun little movie, had it been a little littler... I've seen a few really silly, zany movies that sorta died entirely for this reason. It can happen quick with those, they are very fragile, I think. Ken Russell's film Valentino may be one that can't get short enough for some, but I was kind of enjoying it, (in a wrong-headed, hypnotized sort of way,) for maybe an hour... but, oooh, that second hour, and it was still going. A couple others that I felt, uh, lost the vibe before they finished were Zazie dans le Metro and King of Hearts; neither of those movies are even exceptionally long, but they set out with such a manic pace (especially the former) that they just couldn't maintain that energy for all that time. Might just be me, but I thought that the movies wore out before I did. I could probably think of more like this, it seems to happen a lot, unfortunately.
  13. I'm curious about the singer Ada Brown. She had a great voice, and I remember being surprised I'd never heard of her. But it turns out I had heard her before, as the vocalist on some late 20's band recordings, including a couple by Luis Russell, who I was listening to quite a bit at the time. But in the years up until this film it seems that she has very little recorded output, unfortunately... Took me a while to find this, and it's not a great sounding copy. The title is even wrong; it's actually called "Tia Juana Blues." Love this one tho, with it's slow-building, dire mood. It came as something of a surprise when I looked up that singer in Stormy Weather and found out I was already addicted to one of her tunes. Here's her song in Stormy Weather, with Fats doing his signature interjections, "Suffer, excess baggage, suffer!"
  14. Gotta ask, which one is which? I keep switching them in my mind and I think I'm loving the idea of Bob Hope in the Jon Voight role. Bing would be sure to have it that way- Bob always gets the dirty work.
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