Saturday, August 22, 2009

A short series of films which might amuse the discerning idiot. (Do they exist?)

Last February, I was in Plymouth with my daughter and two of her friends. They - 12 and 13-year-olds - were on a shopping trip and tentatively assaying the whacky world of cosmetics and fashion, so I made myself scarce.
Wandering around, I was struck by the number of shops which were closing so on my mobile phone I took a number of photos. Later I strung them together, dug out a relevant cliche (one buried in the FDR quote towards the end of the film) and set it to an appropriate piece of music, Easy St Louis Toodle-oo by Duke Ellington and performed by Steely Dan.
Unfortunately, their version is still in copyright and YouTube (to which I had uploaded it) wouldn't let me use it. So I choose another piece of music instead, but the film lost all impact.
Then I realised I also had the original Duke Ellington version on iTunes, so I have reworked the film with that version (if anything better than the Steely Dan, which incidentally rather disappoints me in that Fagen and Becker copy the original almost note for note in that rather anal way they have made their own).
Here it is.

By comparison the compromise, the version with Debussy, is tame and anondyne.
I find it quite interesting how the sound can utterly change the character of the piece. The first (although I might be wrong of course, and we all love the smell of our own farts) is cynical, resigned, almost aggressive, wherease the second, anodyne version, is sentimental and conventional. Yet the images are identical.
If you like it, you might also like Thelonius Watches Paint Dry

and Significance (Or An Evening With Rob)
which is, however, nine minutes long so have a little patience.
Finally, one of my favourites (which speaks for itself):

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