Alvy

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About Alvy

  • Rank
    Musical Thinker

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  • Website URL
    http://gracepages.blogspot.com
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Profile Information

  • Interests
    Christian, formerly evangelical, now Anglican with a decidedly liberal streak, one-time pastor, now teacher of Religious Education in UK. British-Canadian.

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    High-school teacher
  • About my avatar
    Christopher Lee as Dracula in Terence Fisher's 1958 [i]Horror of Dracula[/i] from Hammer Studios. I am a big Hammer fan, Fisher in particular.
  • Favorite movies
    Rear Window; Vertigo; Ice Cold in Alex; Twelve Angry Men; Les 400 Coups; Billy Liar; Annie Hall; Cinema Paradiso; As Good As It Gets; Moulin Rouge; Amelie; The Royal Tenenbaums; Fahrenheit 451; Hammer films ('50s-'60s especially)
  • Favorite music
    Easy listening, Romantic (period) & 20th-century classical
  • Favorite creative writing
    Theology, linguistics, Graham Greene, John Betjeman
  1. Great. Love that play (and the film).
  2. As a critical piece, Robin Wood's book is great. For trivia and the rest, there's a great book out called Hitchcock's Secret Notebook, containing excerpts from scripts, interviews, storyboards, behind-the-scenes accounts and the like.
  3. I love 'The 39 Steps', and it would certainly be in my top five Hitchcock's, I think. I used to much prefer 'The Lady Vanishes', and thought Steps was a bit of a bore, but I really love it now. When I read Buchan's brilliant novella, I couldn't get Donat's distinctive voice out of my head as I read through the witty dialogue in those early apartment scenes. It's only recently I've really appreciated the cinema of the '30s and '40s. I've always had my favourites, but now I can't get enough of that slightly stagey, but intimate '30s feel. I think if I were to reformulate my list of favourite Hitches, it would now look like this: 1. The Trouble with Harry 2. Vertigo 3. Rear Window 4. Rope 5. The 39 Steps They're favourite, as opposed to best.
  4. Wes Anderson's Rushmore (1998) and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) both revolve around themes of betrayal, grace and reconciliation.
  5. I haven't seen the remake, so I can't really compare them. I'm reading my short review above and wondering what on earth I meant when I said it "felt very much like a film before its time"... Oh, hey, Rich -- we're still bruvs, no matter what those danged Anglicans say!
  6. I think Bernstein's score is fantastic, but after a brilliant opening, the film itself becomes rather banal and uninventive. I don't think The Music Man's score has the same merit as Bernstein's, but as a film it's more successful.
  7. Ken, I felt exactly the same about Bill Murray, until I saw him in Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, and was converted.
  8. Thanks, MrMando. I thought it was amusing enough to blog (with hat-tip to your good self).
  9. My guess is even my fellow Brit Matt Page might have trouble putting a face to the name. Patsy was a regular in the British 'Carry On' comedies of the '60s and '70s. I read of her passing on a fan forum on Saturday, but it seems only to have reached the media today. Report here. Below, with fellow 'Carry On' star Kenneth Williams:
  10. It looked like it would be intriguing, only the picture was so dark I could hardly see a thing... Any ideas what the problem might be? Everyone else seems to have seen it fine!
  11. 148 on my first go. The timer was kind of offputting. Did terribly on the post-1990 questions!
  12. Ugh. After listening to the sample clip of "Music of the Night" on Amazon, I can see what the critic meant by "not strong enough, vocally, even for Broadway". Michael Crawford sang that number so beautifully; this guy sounds disappointingly amateur at best.
  13. Yes, Matt, it was the production with Glenn Carter that I saw, although unfortunately both the leads (Carter and James Fox -- not the James Fox, but the lesser-known singer who won Fame Academy or something -- as Judas) had to be replaced by understudies on the night I saw it. It is difficult to see how what happened in the production I saw could be interpreted as anything other than the Resurrection, although I can't say whether it was part of the original play.
  14. It is if God hasn't forsaken you. My interpretation has always been that God did not abandon Jesus, and later on in the psalm it says as much: "He has not hidden his face from him, but has listened to his cry for help."
  15. Thanks for the responses, guys. Peter, I heard "This could be my body," but the preceding "For all you care" didn't register -- makes a difference. Personally, I don't mind "before I change my mind". It's quite a strong expression of doubt on Jesus' part, but then, I think "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" is a pretty strong expression of doubt. Doesn't, for me, detract from his divinity. The resurrection did segue very swiftly into the final bow, but I'm pretty sure it was part of the original play. Matt, the production I saw was a Bill Kenwright touring production. If you're going to see a professional production soon, there's a chance it is the same one. It wouldn't be too difficult for am-dram, in terms of the staging, which could be done very simply, but the music is certainly challenging. Even the professional Jesus I saw missed a couple notes. (To be fair, both he and Judas were played by the understudies that night!)