Thursday, July 02, 2009

Kubrick and Concrete Blonde

Yesterday I watched a documentary on one of my favorite film directors called Stanley Kubrick: A Life In Pictures. It was a fascinating portrait of his life, told through people close to him and those who worked with him - actors such as Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Modine, Malcolm McDowell, Shelley Duvall, and others. I wrote a paper on Kubrick for a film studies class in college, so I've been a fan for a long time. Among great directors, I think only Alfred Hitchcock comes to mind as similarly influential and congruent with my cinematic tastes. Of course modern directors like Steven Spielberg (who collaborated with Kubrick on A.I. Artificial Intelligence), Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, Woody Allen and David Fincher stand out as auteurs in their own right, but only time will tell if they achieve the immortality that Kubrick will be remembered for.

I went to the record store today and got an old CD I've been thinking about, Bloodletting by Concrete Blonde, a dark, goth-y work that was definitely the high-water mark for this band. Probably most people have heard their hit "Joey" from this album, or their cover of Leonard Cohen's song "Everybody Knows," which was on the soundtrack for the Christian Slater movie "Pump Up the Volume", another CD I used to have. I also used to have a CD single of the song "Ghost of a Texas Ladies Man" that included both "Everybody Knows" and an extended version of "Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)" that included some nice atmospheric effects like a distant clock tower and footsteps on a wet cobblestone street that evoked images of the Whitechapel District of London in Victorian times. Cool stuff.

Today I also went to the Verizon store myself (a day after taking Penny to the one in Staten Island) because my phone was starting to malfunction and it was time for a replacement. I opted for the Samsung Alias 2, which has a cool E-ink keyboard similar to those used on electronic book readers like the Kindle. It allows the phone to display both vertical and horizontal keyboards, depending on which way you open the phone. I like it because it doesn't have an exterior touch screen (which I don't trust to remain undamaged) and the keyboard is easy to use for text messaging. I also finally got a texting package so I don't have to pay for every message like I used to.

All for now - back to watching my collection of Kubrick movies.