Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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The Cellar

As some of you may have noticed, I have given up on the movie quote of the week. I did it for over a year, and it was just too much of a pain in the ass to keep coming up with new ones. I'd constantly come up with great quotes, and then proceed to have forgotten them when it came time to post them. Quotes are best when they're spontaneous, anyway.

If you're really sorry to see it go, let me know.

Yoinked from jenvargas

[Name] Josh
[Age] 31
[Marital Status] Single
[Shoe size] 13
[Parents still together] Nope
[Siblings] One half-brother
[Pet] None of my own


[Color] Blue
[Number] None
[Animal] Cats of all kinds
[Drinks] Rum and Coke
[Soda] I rarely drink soda.
[Book] No one book.
[Flower] Poppies Poppies Poppies

[Color your hair?] No
[Twirl your hair?] No
[Have tattoos?] No
[Have Piercings?] No
[Cheat on tests/homework?] No
[Drink/Smoke?] Sometimes/Not anymore
[Like roller coasters?] Nah
[Wish you could live somewhere else?] Brooklyn, maybe
[Want more piercings?] I don't have any in the first place
[Like cleaning?] Not even slightly
[Write in cursive or print?] Print
[Own a web cam?] Yes but I haven't used it since I first plugged it in
[Know how to drive?] Yes
[Own a cell phone?] Yes
[Ever get off the damn computer?] Um... yeah

[Been in a fist fight?] No
[Considered a life of crime?] No
[Considered being a hooker?] No
[Lied to someone?] Stupid question
[Been in love?] Yes
[Made out with JUST a friend?] No
[Been in lust?] Yes
[Used someone] No (sorry, Jen)
[Been used?] Yes
[Been cheated on?] Oh, yes
[Kicked someone in the nuts?] No
[Stolen anything?] I used to be the shoplift master, then I grew up

[Current clothing] "They're laughing at you, not with you" T-Shirt, jeans, loafers, requisite socks and underwear
[Current mood] Chillin'
[Current taste] Maybe something mole...
[What you currently smell like] Nothing much, I hope
[Current hair] Medium length, just about when I should get it cut again but I'm too lazy to
[Current thing I ought to be doing] Nothing, I'm on lunch
[Current cd in stereo] Airplane score by Elmer Bernstein
[Last book you read] Fast Times at Ridgemont High by Cameron Crowe
[Last movie you saw] Serenity; last new movie I saw was Truman
[Last thing you ate] Farina for breakfast
[Last person you talked to on the phone] Some dude from dispatch
[Do drugs?] Now where would you get that idea?
[Believe there is life on other planets?] Probably, but since I haven't seen any proof of the possibility of interstellar travel, it doesn't matter
[Remember your first love?] Yes
[Still love him/her?] No
[Read the newspaper?] Not anymore, the news is too depressing
[Have any gay or lesbian friends?] Yes
[Believe in miracles?] No
[Do well in school?] I didn't when I was younger, but now I've learned to apply myself
[Wear hats] Cabbie hats
[Hate yourself?] No
[Have an obsession?] Cinema, film music and mix-making
[Collect anything?] Movies, music, Xenomorph stuff
[Have a best friend?] I'd say a few
[Like your handwriting?] Kinda; I like the print, but I have a tendency to go over it time and again, which ruins it
[Care about looks] Case dependant (convenient)
[First crush] If only I could remember her name...
[First kiss] Ugh, don't remind me
[Do you believe in love at first sight?] No
[Do you believe in "the one?"] No
[Are you a tease?] ME!?!
[Too shy to make the first move?] Absolutely, besides, I never know if somebody likes me or not
[Daydreamer] Oh, hell's yeah
[Bitch/Asshole] Not if I can help it
[Sarcastic] Sometimes
[Angel] No
[Devil] No
[Shy] Not really
[Talkative] Yeah.

"Turn it off!!! Turn it off!!!"

The best thing about the long drive to and from suitboyskin in Boston is that I have over four hours where there is nothing to do but listen to music. When faced with that substantial a block of time, I sometimes attack heavy listening that I wouldn't normally do. Upon my return home I listened to a lot of music, but it was Bernard Herrmann's classic Psycho that made an impression. Somebody had posted the original soundtrack recording on line, which I can only assume was sourced from the laserdisc's isolated score track, and it was one of the things that I burned onto a CD before leaving. I wasn't really expecting to listen to it all the way through, but I started playing the prelude and found that I couldn't tear myself away.

Psycho is by no means my favorite score by Herrmann. I much prefer to listen to his more lyrical stuff, such as Vertigo, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Fahrenheit 451. On the other hand, I have to respect and appreciate something as single-mindedly effective as Psycho is. There is not a wasted moment or sound in the score; Herrmann's stripped-down canvas consists of strings only ― traditionally the source of warmth and emotion in an orchestra, but here used to unsettle and alienate. The music is so powerful that it has been imitated and spoofed ad nauseum, particularly the shrieking music for the infamous shower murder.

The two London recordings that Herrmann made, the "A Narrative For Orchestra" for Decca and the album erroneously billed as the complete score for Unicorn-Kanchana, are both way too sluggish in tempo, and while they do have their defenders, I can't say I am among them. Much better was Joel McNeely's version of the actual complete score for Varése Sarabande, which I was reticent about initially not because I thought it would be a bad recording (his version of Vertigo blew me away and is still my favorite), but because I was concerned that the sound quality would be too good. I should not have worried; the sound is, indeed, quite good on that recording, but that does not detract from the enjoyment of the music. The arrangements that Danny Elfman and Steve Bartek did for the misguided Gus Van Sant remake were very interesting (they pretty much only sweetened it up for a modern aural soundstage), and the CD of that film's score is one of the best album presentations of Psycho.

Herrmann's Stamp

Hearing the original soundtrack recording was not exactly a huge revelation for me. I'm intimate with the film, having seen it many, many times both on my own and in countless classes, so I'm pretty familiar with it. Furthermore, Psycho may be the the score that I have the most amount of versions of. On the other hand, few other recordings have the energy that the original does. The prelude is fast and cutting in a way that no other performance or recording captures. Yes, even the recording itself works towards the score's effectiveness. It is monaural and sounds rather shrill by today's standards, but surely Herrmann would have known what the recording would sound like once it was made and orchestrated the music accordingly. This is certainly true of the murder cue in particular; one reviewer mistook some of the highest registers of the violins for birds shrieking.

I'm not about to listen to Psycho for relaxation, that's for damn sure. But it is a benchmark of film music for a reason, and that is because it is one of those cases where it is apparent even to the casual observer that much of the film's effectiveness comes from the music. As was pointed out in Music from the Movies: Bernard Herrmann, take away the music from the scene where Marion is fleeing Pheonix and all you really have is an attractive woman driving a car. But with the music there, it is an unforgettable screen moment.
Tags: film music, memes

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