Been in bed since Friday with what is now confirmed as streptococcal pharyngitis AKA “strep throat” (don’t look it up on wikipedia as the picture is horrible and mine looks nothing like it. I don’t have tonsils. While convalescing, I followed a link on sarah silverman’s twitter to this
I had heard of this guy sort of in the air but never knew anything about him or his show… I spent today becoming acquainted with this american superhero. Some of the comments were funny. Someone saying they grew up watching Mister Rogers in the mornings before going to school but now as a parent she feels glad that he doesn’t live right next door to him cause of part of his vibe creeps her out. Anyways I watched afew episodes and he is a genius. And the way he talks to kids through the TV set. What every kid craves. Absolute attention and unconditional acceptance. Clay loved it. We all loved it! Anyways we have also been watching a couple of films. First was BASQUIAT a documentary about Jean Michelle Basquiat and his entire rise and fall all caught on film and laced with an interview done in LA at the height of his fame. The other was Exit Through The Gift Store… It was nice to see Space Invader and Shepherd Fairy at work. Banksy’s fingerprints are all over this. Our friend Wendy is in the movie, showing some of her paintings. They are big art collectors. Her husband Peter was one half of Peter and Gordon and the brother of Paul McCartney’s girlfriend, Jane Asher when he was a teenager. Here he is playing a song Paul wrote for them.
He went on to produce among others James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt. Annnyways. This morning I drove Clay to kinderladen. Came home and got back into bed. Still feelin’ a little Schlapp.
My friend, the brilliant director Wolfgang Becker, invited us along with 18 others to the Berlin Philarmonie yesterday. The evening began early at X Filme HQ to watch a movie. It was a surprise so we all were curious as we took our seats in their little cinema. Wolfgang spoke in German but I picked up that we were about to see the best horror movie of all time and it was connected to the concert we would see later in the evening. It could only be one film. The Shining. One of Wolfgang’s partners Tom had managed to borrow an original 35mm print of the movie. I had only seen it on TV so this was a thrill to hear the hushed rattle of the projector behind the sound proof glass. If you haven’t seen it, The Shining is Stanley Kubriks take on horror. Jack Nicholson plays one of his most memorable roles…And if you get the DVD you have to see the documentary his daughter made while they shot the film. Some wonderful behind the scenes footage of Nicholson doing his thing… What a movie. It stays with you.
After the movie we drove to the Philarmonie and took our seats to watch the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra take us through Bartók, Luciano Berio and Igor Stravinsky. The conductor was Mariss Jansons. He produced the greatest classical music performance I have ever seen. The Firebird Suite was mindblowing. There was a standing ovation at the end of the concert. The place went wild. They did 2 extra compositions at the end. It was incredible. After the show we all walked out in a daze and drove over to stage 3 of the night which was dinner at a nice spanish restaurant in Kotbusser Tor.
Now afew days earlier Wolfgang had asked if I would accompany him on guitar and play some songs at this night. Of course I said of course and we rehearsed on Saturday afternoon. So we played one of his favourite songs Hit Me Baby One More Time and then he suggested the Keane song Try Again which Tim and I had been playing together on the recent tour and then he asked me to play one of my new songs… It was alot of fun. Christian, Wolfgang’s musical director played piano and me and Wolfgang on guitar. I had a nice chat with Tom Tykwer, another great german director. Another cool evening at the hands of Herr Becker.
Went to see Inception today. It was good but I couldn’t get into it fully without knowing how the machine worked. There was some sort of wire that they seemed to tie around their wrist which allowed them to enter into the dreams of themselves and others. And how did the architect build the worlds? And what was to stop them going deeper than the basement. And when the guy is in the van and people are shooting through the windows nobody gets shot. Once in the bottom world why couldn’t they go to a 4th or a 5th level. I was left with alot of loose ends as I walked into the oven of Las Vegas Town Square. Can anyone shed any light on this?
I wanna see Toy Story now.
Also bought a new shaver. I asked the audience last night where I could buy one. I think they thought I was joking. Anyways the shaver is really good. As well as the shaver, I bought Saving Silverman, a USB hub and a pad of lined paper.
Las Vegas was 114 degrees today. That is the hottest weather I think I have eve been in. Maybe Africa was hotter… not sure but how can people stand that temperature? It’s so extreme.
I need to eat more junk food. I am about to do a 21 day detox and fancy a grilled cheese and a coke before I go all healthy. It’s called The Clean Program. I have never done anything like this before. It seems to be quite involved. The package arrived in LA. It was big with a sticker on the top that said keep refrigerated. That is going to be difficult to do. The package has powder that you make shakes with. You take a shake in the morning and again in the evening and have a lunch. I’ll keep you posted. I wonder if I need some kind of blender… my mum had a small one that was easy to carry around… Anyways… Grilled cheese?
EXTRA. I just realised The Dark Knight was directed by the same guy. That left me feeling robbed. I felt the same with Inception although the performances pull Inception out of total robbery. I read a review of Inception which said when the lights come up you’ll be sitting in your chair staring at the screen, confused. But this is where the film is clever. I think it’s confusing because it’s concepts aren’t fully developed. The confusion one feels is due not to the skill of the writer or the director but to the fact that the idea they want to put forward is impossible to squeeze into such a short format so your left with more of a sketch book. This is how I felt with the dark knight. The individual scenes are breathtaking but there are many holes.
This weekend, I went to see Avatar in 3D and in English at the cinema in Potsdammer Platz. Apart from the dialogue, which felt a little cut and paste, the experience was brilliant. 3D is the future. I was thinking about the sound though. When they can make the sound 3D it will seal the whole thing. You get glasses that have headphones built in, or maybe that sit over the ears so there is no pain. Anyways the sets and CGI in Avatar were some of the best I have seen in along time. I feel bad that Star Wars 1, 2 and 3 came at a time when CGI was still pretty rubbish.
They showed it in the lecture theatre one evening. I remember coming out afterwards and going to a bar and hearing all the people talking and wondering if it was the sound of their thoughts. It left a permanent mark on me. Set in Berlin pre unification, it follows two angels going about their business. The photgraphy is powerful, shot in black and white and then switching to colour at points. It’s director of photography was a guy called Henri Alekan. He was 77 when he shot this.
Nick Cave has a musical cameo and Peter Falke plays himself shooting on location in Berlin. It’s a perfect movie. Wim Wenders directs. He also directed the movie from which Travis took there name. More about that another time. If you like movies and you haven’t seen this then see it. It’s also depicts Berlin so accurately. I have always felt famliarity walking around this fantastic city and it’s all down to this film. SEE IT!