Monthly Archives: April 2002



After The Phantom Menace travesty (or tragedy, take your pick), I told myself rather firmly that I wasn’t going to get worked up about the next Star Wars movie. And I’ve done very well at not going through web sites, checking out the Star Wars home page, or following magazine articles. I’ve seen only one single trailer for the movie (the no-sound, visual flashes that was released months ago), and no TV spots at all. I stopped reading Star Wars books (another guilty pleasure) back when the line was sold to Del Rey and R.A. Salvatore wrote that dreadful Vector Prime thing.

Then Taras had to bring the new soundtrack to the NSW game last weekend.

I am undone. Damn them all. The soundtrack is fantastic. The quality of work is even from beginning to end, sweeping, and balanced emotionally. Terrific new themes. Excellent re-introduction of old themes from Ep 1 as well as the Force theme, and that chilling little bit called The Imperial March put in such a creepy place that it hits you broadside. They even still use Anakin’s theme at the end, the second repetition played over two or three instruments quietly creating the Imperial March under it all, so that you barely notice it. Creepy, I tell you.

Now I’m excited.

Well, it will have spaceships, and lightsaber battles, and excellent costumes, and impressive sets. I’m fine with that. So what if George Lucas can’t write a love story. I’ve learned to not expect brilliant scripts from films in general. I suspend a lot of expectation when I walk into a theatre now; maybe I’m getting cynical in my third decade, but if I don’t expect anything, I’m always pleasantly surprised.

I take what I’m given and put myself into the story, and if I enjoy it, hey, that’s great. Good music is essential for that in my cosmos. (Lightsabers and starships are good for me too.)

Now if you will pardon me, the end credits just finished. I have to go hit the Play button again.


I just had a lovely little visit with Ceri. Ceri has just returned from a somewhat unexpectedly rocky week in Halifax visiting family. We talked about light tea-time topics, like the afterlife, reconciling other afterlives with what we believe, honouring other spiritual paths, the inability of the Montreal Pagan community to exist peacefully, and how much we were both looking forward to leaving it. (The Pagan community, not Montreal.) Actually, that last bit was mostly me. Ceri’s already stepped away from her public position and is rather pleased with herself. I’m just itching to follow, because I’m tired of the stupidity. Alone, people are fine. As soon as they assemble in a group (or if they’re alone, they read a single book and decide they’re an expert), the I.Q. drops. I’m tired of responding to community requests for help, then dealing with the criticism I get for doing it. Do people actually want help, or not?

I shouldn’t get irritated. I know that if I and my projects didn’t exist, they’d all just be sniping about someone and/or something else. I should probably be proud that I and the things I’m involved in are making as much of an impact as we are, so that they feel the need to snipe.

It’s just so… infuriating. Makes you want to hand the whole ball o’wax over and say, “Oh yeah? Then you do it.”


Ye gods!

I e-mailed out a funny link this morning to my fellow local Canadian LOTR fans, and this is what one of them e-mailed back to me:

“Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to
whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed
a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it
narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a
fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed,
the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry.
Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism,
will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so.

How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar.”

— Julius Caesar

Brrr. I think I’m going to go make scones and pretend that my day is all sunshine and lollipops, thanks.


I was handed a CD of MP3s last week; a compilation of digitally captured songs from the incredibly elusive musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, �Once More With Feeling�. No, I’m not going to tell you who did it for me. Suffice it to say that he’s an incredible sweetheart and a perfectionist to the point of obsession, which means that this CD is practically of professional quality, well-balanced, and complete with added bonuses (which I have yet to access). It also means he thinks it isn’t good enough. We love him in spite of this. (Sometimes because of it.)

It�s catchy. Damned catchy. I mean, I knew it was catchy before, because I�ve been humming various selections since I saw it months ago. Now that I have all the songs here, though, and I�ve listened to it two or three times, I can say with all confidence that yes, it�s catchy, as well as actually being completely plot-driven musically. Whedon has created an alarmingly accurate Broadway/Disney/1950s �hey, let�s put on a show!� kind of musical where the lyrics are decent, the musical styles are varied and excellent satires/homage to their genres, and a surprising number of cast members can actually sing.

Buffy is a guilty pleasure for me. Musical expression is an innocent pleasure: while I’m enthusiastic about most kinds of musical expression, I enjoy musicals a lot. To have the two together like this is, well, cool.


Well, here we are in not-so-sunny YUL, looking out the windows at the brave little lilac buds carrying about ten centimeters of snow. (That�s about four inches for you Imperials.) This is unreal. It�s all a bad dream, and when I wake up it will be sunny, and warm wind will be blowing, right?

If I�m dreaming, then I get to see Amadeus again and compare my dream version of the director�s cut with the real version.

I never saw the original film on the big screen, only on VHS. I’ve seen a stage version of Sir Peter Shaffer’ Amadeus, and it was terrific in and of itself. The film, however, offers a completely different dimension. Shaffer describes it thusly:

When I asked [director Milos Forman] what he would do with the piece he replied that a film based on a play is actually a new work�an entirely different fulfillment of the same impulse that had created the original. The adaptor�s task was to explore many variant paths in order to arrive in the end at the same emotional place, and that the director must collaborate with the author in order to achieve this.

An interesting view. I wish I could be that optimistic regarding movies based on novels; but then, most filmmakers don’t consult the author of the original work in an adaptation. Once the rights are sold, it no longer belongs to the person who created the story, spent years crying and laughing and sweating the story out until at last it exists in tangible form. This is how you get atrocities like making the protagnists of A.S. Byatt’s Possession Americans in the upcoming film. Ahem. But I’m not bitter.

The director�s cut was fabulous. They restored an entire twenty minutes, including a deleted storyline about Mozart trying to take on a student; a scene in a dressing room between Salieri, Katerina, and Mozart; and a scene of Constanze visiting Salieri after dark to, um, further her husband�s career. As Monica said, for a twenty-year-old movie to still be that good upon a general theatrical re-release is pretty impressive. It still has the power, drama and wry, wry humour of the original, explains a couple of reactions later on in the movie, and damn, has such amazing music.

Actually, if I have a complaint (about something other than the seats, that is), it�s about the sound quality. For a movie that revolves so entirely around music, you�d think they�d re-balance the soundtrack and give it to you in surround sound, or Dolby at the very least. Instead, when the opening crash of the first chord of the Don Giovanni overture crashed into the theatre, I felt like I had vertigo: it came from the front speakers to either side of the screen, and only the front speakers.

About the seats: okay, I know I have back problems, and I haven�t seen my osteopath in three weeks, but like seats on an airplane, the seats at the AMC are designed for someone a foot taller than I am. What ends up happening is my back curves into it and my head is pushed forward and down by what would be the neck rest on anyone other than myself. If I were shorter, I�d be fine; if I were a foot taller, I�d be fine. As it was, I fidgeted a lot, and eventually ended up stuffing both my sweater and my coat by degrees into the small of my back to re-align my spine into some sort of correct distribution. MLG swears he didn�t notice the gymnastics, but I think he�s just being nice.

Everyone came back to our place for baked Camembert (with sage and thyme on top � mmmm), a shrimp ring with home-made seafood sauce (because I realised too late that we didn�t have any left in the fridge!), and a guest appearance by Devon Julia!

The general reaction: Wow, she�s really small. Smaller than all three of my cats, in fact. Well, maybe not Maggie-cat�