Monday, October 15, 2018

Fawlty Towers: The Kipper and the Corpse (1979)

British Comedy


Fawlty Towers: “The Kipper and the Corpse” (S 2; Ep 4; March 12, 1979; BBC2) starring John Cleese as Basil Fawlty and Prunella Scales as Sybil Fawlty, inept owners of the namesake hotel in the seaside town of Torquay on the “English Riviera.” Connie Booth as Polly Sherman, a waitress and general helper; and Andrew Sachs as Manuel, a waiter, round out the cast of this British comedy. Only 12 episodes were made in total: Six in 1975 and six more in 1979. For more, go [here].
Via: Youtube

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I am taking some time off to rest & recharge; I expect to return in November.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus: Dead Parrot (1969)


Monty Python Flying Circus and the "dead parrot” episode. Wikipedia writes: “It was written by John Cleese and Graham Chapman and initially performed in the show’s first series, in the eighth episode (‘Full Frontal Nudity’, which first aired 7 December 1969).[1]” I am old enough to remember seeing this comedy skit when it first aired; my brothers and I found it so amusing that we often acted it out with, and in front of, our friends.
Via: Youtube

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Mordecai Richler’s Belling the Cat

Book Review

Belling the Cat: Essays, Reports & Opinions (1998)by Mordecai Richler [1931–2001], a Montreal native who grew up in the working-class streets of the Mile End neighborhood, as I did a generation later. Such lessons and the memories they create never leave you; they remain and speak in your ear. 
Photo Credit: ©2018. Perry J. Greenbaum

The further one finds himself from good and great writing, both temporally and spatially, the better one appreciates it when it is close at hand. Such is the case when one dips his mind into Mordecai Richler’s essays, which highlight and discusss the absurdity of modern western life that all too often, over time and repetition, passes for and becomes the accepted norm; and in contrast the truth (and the reality it both protects and projects) becomes buried, hidden and forgotten. Richler, with his trained eye for nonsense, notably of the social and political kind, rightfully and faithfully employs his caustic wit—aimed squarely at the nincompoops and dolts who are as bland as toast, yet "evil in their acts of omission and commission"—to uncover, unearth and raise the truth out of the deep dark pit of confusion. Satire involves both the heart and the mind. Reading Richler’s essays are a good reminder of humor that makes us think, and, perhaps, provoke us to act in a moral fashion. But first comes the thinking, preferably one placed in a moral frame of reference emanating from the long history of western civilization, whose purpose is to differentiate right from wrong. Richler was, without question, one of Canada’s finest writers, and he was as courageous as he was honest; his death in July 2001 left a gaping hole in the realm of political and social commentary. To see what I mean, read this collection of essays; and for more on Richler, go [here], [here] and [here].

Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (1975)


Giacomo Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly,” in a 1975 West German film version of the well-known Italian opera directed by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle and with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Herbert von Karajan. Fast forward 20 years later and you might wish to view another film version [here], the 1995 one directed by James Conlon and with the Orchestre de Paris. For more on the opera in general, go [here].
Via: Youtube

Friday, October 12, 2018

Vienna Philharmonic: Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 (1976)


Vienna Philharmonic: Mahler’s Symphony No 6 in A minor, with a bearded Leonard Bernstein [1918–1990] conducting, at Musikverein in Vienna (“the Musikverein”), in October 1976. There is a fitting and beautiful convergence taking place here. This musical performance was directed by Humphrey Burton.
Via: Youtube