Friday, January 27, 2006

Mozart Day

Thursday, 1/27

What an interesting and powerful day this is for people like me - and perhaps for you, too:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born 250 years ago today ... and all day our classical music airwaves are being packed with his immortal sounds .... including remotes, originating in Austria.

You can't imagine how much I envy the hundreds of broadcast people from the various classical stations, like LA's KMZT ("K-Mozart") and New York's WQXR, who've been sent to Austria for today's concerts, massive church bell ringing (between 10 & 10:30 AM, the moment of Mozart's emergence from his mom's womb), etc. (KMZT in Los Angeles is running Mozart music 24 hours today)

I grew up to (NYC's) WQXR's programming (including its New York Times news) and now - up to this very moment, as I sit here typing: KMZT ... which just ran Beethoven's 5th (yea, Beethoven was pretty good, too...ha-ha) which I've heard hundreds - perhaps thousands - of times throughout my life and which still sends shudders and thrills through this aging, tho reasonably well-preserved body.

Those magnificent Mozart operas: Le Nozze di Figaro .... The Magic Flute ... Don Giovanni ... more than 500 compositions ! ... and all that from a very short life (only 35 when he died).

One of the many things I'm ashamed of: that, during the 60's,70's, into the 80's, I didn't take Michelle and Daryle to classical concerts, although we lived in cities that had some of the greatest orchestras in the world: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland ... in all of which I had excellent journalistic contacts to the orchestra's PR offices ... stupid, stupid, stupid.

Anyway, enjoy this day ... and if you have a moment, switch your radios to your local classical music station (as you may already have done, and without my obnoxious pushing) ... or, even better, pick up a disk or two, and get the kids to listen to some Mozart. They might even get to like it and clamor for more.
- - -
These are pretty heavy news days ... and there are massive changes a'comin' ... the SCOTUS turning sharply to the right ... today's dramatic political change in Palestine ... the dreary casualty reports from Iraq ... the awfulness of the physical giants/mental midgets, who populate the pro baskeball world ... the Washington situation ... the inevitable and ongoing disintegration of Hollywood and its output of theatrical films ... I give a maximum of three - maybe five - years to the remaining life of your neighborhood movie theater chain ...and then there's the rise and increase of awful TV programming, designed for the stupid and uneducated ...

Now aren't you glad you permitted me to cheer you up like this ?

Happy Mozart Day ...

Gary S. Franklin

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Films of Note

From ex-film-critic, gsf - 1/24

Now and then wanna let my small circle of friends-and-such know of films I strongly recommend .... but, on the other hand, saw one today that bored me to tears:

"The New World" - an endless, difficult-to-follow story of 17th Century settlers in the new world ... and the relationships endured and enjoyed by a pretty Indian maiden (her makeup mostly very 21st Century), who eventually ends up in the British royal court. Lots of brutal Indian massacre stuff, too. But the movie is endless ... with long scenes of lovers just staring at each other. Plus lots of shots of trees. And rippling waters. And more trees. Nevertheless, must have been an expensive production ... and one has to wonder how and why these things get made .... in this case, someone with a lot of spare money, was talked into investing in this dreary drama.

I saw "MATCH POINT", and found it one of the most powerful I've seen in quite a while .... loved the ending ! .... On the other hand - don't know why, but I now recall that a few days earlier, boredom made me squirm in my seat, while watching "THE PRODUCERS" ...

Saw another fascinating film, Memoirs of a Geisha - a fascinating study of pre-war (II) and post-war Japanese woman .... and makes me think about what life might have become, if I'd stayed in the post-Korean War U.S. military .... and maybe helped to breed Jewish/Asian kids.

So much Hollywood garbage flowing through the flick theaters nowadays .... childish sex-crap and feces humor currently dominating the neighbs .... and, lately, a sudden, scary, influx of homosexuality-themed Hollywood.

As I've said before, I think Hollywood - and theaterical film-going - ain't long for this current world. Attendance is way down. Sales of large-screen TV's way up. What other conclusion can one come to ?

Mark my words: The (theatrical) film industry is in its preliminary death throes .... another coupla years, and most neighborhood movie houses will be electronic/home delivery grocery supermarkets. The huge upswing in sales of giant-screen home sets, is a clear prognosticator. Remember: you heard it here first.

And then there's the sudden, scary upsurge of films and TV programs with dominant homosexual themes and basic story lines .........

Great new world.


gary f

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Anyone ?

Good Morning: It's around 6:30am, 1/3 ... and I'm just beginning to learn how to use this kind of site ... so please bear with me, and the the fact that this - today's - text is mostly a test.

If you don't already know: I'm a retired radio/TV journalist and film/media critic ... once rather well-known on both coasts, during the 70's to the mid-'90's..

The film industry is in a lot of trouble. People are just not willing to shell out thirty dollars (not counting gas, parking and baby-sitter) or more, for a family of four to see a bad movie ... and people are investing heavily in large-screen home TV's.

Yesterday's Rose Parade, in Pasadena, was a rained-out disaster ... and boring on TV.

A lot of good new books being published these days ... and that's one of the things we'll talk about on this site, in the future.

More to come ... and thanks for dropping in.

Cheers, gary s franklin

PS: please lemme hear from you