John King At Home

As we already know, this soup is under seasoned, so I asked you to send me the salt, and bear with me, you sent me the salt, and I added this salt to the soup and then, as we all know, I sent the salt back to you. Now, this means that my soup should have more seasoning, and we’ll soon be able to tell if this is a sufficient amount of seasoning, once I taste it.

One More Bergman Thing: Rabies

A few years back, I watched 87 Bergman things, but I was unable to find this TV movie from 1958. A comment on Youtube alerted me to somebody uploading it, and after spending two days downloading it, I’ve now put the movie on Youtube:

Enjoy it before the copyright strike, I guess?

Gotta hand it to the pirate community: After it had been made available, somebody quickly created subtitles, so I’ve added the subtitles (found on Open Subtitles) to the Youtube version.

I haven’t seen the movie yet… so… let’s roll.

Rabies. Ingmar Bergman. 1958.

[twenty minutes pass]

OK, this is a collection of ten minute (?) scenes? And one person from the preceding scene appears in the next scene? So it’s like a chained series of little tableaux?

That’s cool, but the first scene was … not very interesting, and the second scene, which had some nerve (I mean, it had Bibi Andersson and Gunnel Lindblom; it can’t be totally uninteresting), seemed oddly unresolved.

[fifteen minutes pass]

Well, this hasn’t been er exactly expertly restored or anything:

But it’s really weird: While the scenes themselves are kinda washed-out and stuff, the dust and scratches are super sharp. So I wonder where this leaked copy originated from. My totally uninformed guess would be that somebody transferred this from magnetic video tape (that existed in the 50s, right?) to film sometime later. So the scratches are on the film copy of this, and the bleached-out look is from the magnetic tape?

I’m just guessing! I’m not an expert.

And then somebody’s digitised the film, and then it somehow ended up on a pirate site last year.

In any case… I can see why nobody has … made an effort to make this commercially available: Restoring this into something…. acceptable… for a wider, non-Bergman nerd audience looks like a daunting task.

[ten minutes pass]

If I didn’t know that this was a Bergman movie, I wouldn’t have guessed. Sure, it’s not unusual for Bergman to feature a bunch of long philosophical debates and stuff, but it’s unusual for him to play it this straight when what they’re saying is so … moronic. I mean, it’s on purpose: We’re following (in a string) of people who are either nasty, insane or menial, but what they have in common is that they’re all dumb and they’re all unaware of this and spout their philosophies.

When the sadistic, fascist military guy in the… fourth? segment starts echoing the literally insane guy from the previous segment, it was pretty chilling (I mean, the movie is called Rabies; the nastiness is contagious), but it’s still a lot, sitting here listening to all this… idiocy.

Even the guy that didn’t seem like a sadist turned out to be a… eugenicist or something.

[the end]

Well!

The last 20 minutes makes this all worth it: The author (well, as played by Max von Sydow) meets all the characters, and they tell him off for portraying them this way, and then it all ends with a speech from him. And this all really works. It’s funny and it’s riveting.

This still isn’t a “good movie”, but the final scene makes watching it definitely worthwhile.

October Music

Music I’ve bought in October.

Oopsie! That was more… than… I should have?

Let’s see… it’s not all old stuff, either? It’s a pretty good mix. So what are the most interesting ones? Er… as you can imagine, I haven’t really heard many of these a lot of times, so I don’t really know. But immediate standouts include:

I discovered Melanie de Biasio the other year, and while I think her newer stuff is even better (like Blackened Cities, which is amazing), this old remix album is pretty spiffy.

Oh yeah, I’ve been buying everything by Trash Kit, and it turns out the guitarist there has two other bands, and I think they also sound good? Not sure; only listened to it once so far.

I’m digging it.

Oh, I was reading the Robert Wyatt biography, and there’s a band called The Unthanks that did a live show with songs by Antony and the Johnsons and Robert Wyatt? What a concept! So I got that, and it’s really good, and I’ve now started buying their other albums.

However::

Their follow-up album, The Bairns, released on 20 August 2007, was nominated for the Best Album award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2008 and was runner-up for the 2008 Mercury Prize. The album debuted in the UK Top 200 Albums Chart at number 178 in the week after the Mercury Prize award ceremony.

I’m afraid it kinda sounds like it might be music for grown-ups? Eww! Nobody wants that! I guess I’ll find out…

Karen Dalton was really good, too, and an interesting story…

Uhm uhm uhmm… Oh yeah!

I got There’s A Riot Goin’ On by Sly and the Family Stone. Totally not topical, but so weird! It’s like submerged in a murky layer of… murk, and just very very strange. I think I kinda love it.

Anyway, these were the ones that immediately stood out, but I got a lot of good stuff this month… Oh, yeah, the NO album by Boris, too, which is a lot of fun.