This Is Weird, For Many Reasons

… but mostly because Welles is an opinionated genius and world-class hater. It’s hard to imagine him being a talk show host who could get guests comfortable.

Throw in Andy Kaufman, and I’m not sure what I was expecting. I was pleasantly surprised. It’s clear that Welles had watched Taxi, and had thought about it in some depth.

“I want to know why it is that you go and wrestle with people, when you can act so well.”

Faster, Pussycat! Flee! Flee!

Maria Alyokhina (above left), a member of Pussy Riot, has managed to escape Russia. She posed as a food carrier to get into Belarus, and then an Icelandic performance artist convinced a European country to issue her a travel document, which got her safely into Lithuania.

Great recap of the entire cloak-and-dagger operation here. After multiple instances of being jailed for proclaiming Russia’s suckitude over the past decade, she got out. The picture of relative incompetence of the authorities that she paints matches the extensive coverage on Renfield’s website.

“I don’t think Russia has a right to exist anymore,” she said. “Even before, there were questions about how it is united, by what values it is united, and where it is going. But now I don’t think that is a question anymore.”

The Icelandic performance artist was not Bjork, but being Icelandic, he is of course related to Bjork.

Down in the Sand

Alan Splet, who worked with David Lynch, remains my sound design hero. And we all acknowledge Ben Burtt. But these Doooooon guys (Mark Mangini and Theo Green) put on a show. I realized from the first minute watching it that the sound was going to be fantastic, and a new article provides some insight:

By way of explaining it to me, Mangini ground his work boot into the soft patch of sand that he had dusted with Rice Krispies. The sand produced a subtle, beguiling crunch, and Villeneuve broke out into a big smile. Though he’d heard it plenty of times in postproduction, he had no idea what the sound designers had concocted to capture that sound.

“I wanted Theo and Mark to have the proper time to investigate and explore and make mistakes,” Villeneuve said. “It’s something I got really traumatized by with my early movies, where you spend years working on a screenplay, then months shooting and editing it, and then right at the end, the sound guy comes and you barely have enough time.”

By hiring his sound designers early and setting them loose, Villeneuve could even take some of their discoveries and weave them into Hans Zimmer’s score, producing a holistic aural experience where the percussive music composition and pervasive sound design can sometimes be mistaken for one another.

And much like a band, the sounds of “Dune” benefited from some intriguing vocalists. To create the Voice, a persuasive way of speaking that allows Paul and his mother (Rebecca Ferguson) to draw on the power of their female ancestors — a witchy order called the Bene Gesserit — Villeneuve and his sound team cast three older women with smoky, commanding voices, then layered their line readings over those of Chalamet and Ferguson.

– Kyle Buchanan, NYT

One of the older women with a smoky voice? Marianne Faithfull.

Another King: “She Used To Pound Down”

Carole King rules. Songs I forgot she wrote but probably you guys all know:

  • I’m Into Something Good (Herman’s Hermits)
  • Chains (Beatles)
  • The Loco-Motion (Grand Funk Railroad)
  • The Porpoise Song (Theme from “Head” The Monkees Movie)
  • Up On The Roof (The Drifters)

I included the above because I enjoy the Scottish punk versions of things, and go Monkees of course. In describing Up On The Roof:

Appropriately enough, the song was born among the rat-race noise of a crowded city street. “Carole came up with the melody in the car – an a cappella melody,” …

A peaceful moment above the fray would have seemed like heaven to King – a young woman with two children and a demanding full-time job in a hit factory. The sophisticated arrangement was overseen in the studio by King herself, who was barely 20 years old at the time. “Carole used to hang in there with us tough,” Drifters member Charlie Thomas told Emerson. “She used to pound down. She wasn’t no hard woman – a girl, at her age. But she played the piano and it was amazing the songs she gave us.

Which House?

You can only live in one. Which is it??

I’d like to submit House 10, if acceptable to the greater bastardate:

House 10
Tom Petty
Bob Dylan
Roy Orbison
George Harrison
Jeff Lynne