January 08, 2006

Dude! Where's My Weekend?

The painting bug has bitten the Missus again, so yours truly (Llamas are beasts of burden, after all) spent the day repainting her study from apple green to something Sherwin-Williams calls "papaya" but I would call a sort of orangishy yellow. I am absolutely certain that there is no such thing as a paint that will cover walls sufficiently in just one coat, whatever the manufacturers say. This S-W stuff is okay, but even with a coat of primer underneath, it's going to take two coats to finish properly. And after that, she's already making noises about changing the dining room to Wedgewood blue.

In making the Sabbath a day of rest, I believe God telegraphed to the Universe the fact that he wasn't married. If he had been, I'm sure Mrs. G. would have insisted he commit the day to honoring thy honey-do list.

So last evening, the Missus and I went to see a Heath Ledger movie that had nothing to do with gay cowboys. I can recommend Casanova to you for, if no other reason, the absolutely glorious scenes of Venice full of people walking about in mid-18th century costume. The movie is by no means a period piece, but rather, a modern romantic comedy dressed in olde clothing. But it's still fun - some snappy (although, as I say, modern) dialogue and clever situations, with a bit of swashbuckling thrown in - and the actors seem to be enjoying themselves. I was especially pleased to see Jeromy Irons looking like Death in Papal Purple as the sinister Inquisitor out to get the heroes. And again, the sets and costumes were terrific.

One thing I found interesting was the period music used. The opening and closing credits were accompanied by a dance from Dardanus, an opera written by Jean-Phillipe Rameau in the 1740's. The period is right, but Rameau was a frenchman writing for the Parisian audience. While his music might have been heard in Venice, too, I wouldn't select it to characterize the place for purposes of setting the stage for a story there. Ditto Handel - the inclusion of an excerpt from his Water Music struck me as completely out of place. There was a tad of Vivaldi, too. He was a native after all, but 1750 is really a bit late for him, and his music would be somewhat outdated for the story. Surely a bit of research could have drummed up an accessible Italian rococo composer? Like, say, Tartini?

Sorry, sorry. Guess the paint fumes are still floating around in my brain.


God: Hm, lessee.....Earth? Check. Sea? Check. Sky? Check. Plants and Animals? Check. Ah.....time to relax. Wonder if the game's on.

Mrs. G.: Dear, I'm really not happy with the color of grass. And you did promise another continent in the southern hemisphere so it wouldn't all look so unbalanced......

God: Oh, Me dammit!

Posted by Robert at January 8, 2006 05:44 PM | TrackBack

No doubt they weren't worried about the one viewer in 100 who would know enough about it to care!

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at January 8, 2006 06:57 PM

Robert, you sound just like my husband. You two would get along great! He's been trying to give my music taste some culture...but hasn't been able to do much about it...ah well.

Posted by: GroovyVic at January 9, 2006 06:26 AM

I'm still debating whether or not to see this one. A couple of reviews have compared it to Shakespeare in Love, which I liked quite a lot. But in that movie, the snappy anachronistic touches were balanced out with some pretty impressive research into the details of the period and Shakespeare's life. If Casanova is just another sloppily researched costume drama, then I'm likely to sit there and pick nits in the manner that has made me so widely hated as a movie-going partner.

Still, doing the movie was a smart move on Heath Ledger's part. Getting typecast as a gay cowboy/sheepherder would have seriously limited his script options. (Saw Brokeback last week, BTW, and thought it was quite good, if you can distance yourself from the hype. If it picks up a couple of Oscars, I won't be all that upset.)

Posted by: utron at January 9, 2006 11:44 AM

Never saw Shakespeare in Love, but I've read the same sort of comparison.

I can't say how sloppy the Casanova research might be beyond what little I know about music that ought not to be there, although there are a couple of plot devices (which I won't give away) about which I am pretty dubious.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at January 9, 2006 12:00 PM