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About Rinaldo

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    Music (that's what I studied and teach), theater, movies, TV, reading, games, travel.

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  1. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    @voiceover, your whole post could pretty much have been written by me. I remember my whole college audience booing the ending of The Main Event when we saw it on its opening weekend. And yes, Kris and Barbra do have some charming spontaneous-looking moments together, but not enough to save a misconceived movie. Well, now I have my answer to why nobody talks about The Owl and the Pussycat any more. Boy does it not hold up. It's simultaneously ugly about women (and gay men, just as endless incidental insults; I'm reasonably thick-skinned about older flicks in this respect but this just got tiresome), naive about hookers, sentimental and false about the value of being "real," and devoid of actual comedy. I'm baffled why my friends and I thought it was so wonderful when it was new, but it was another time, so were we then, and it can just stay there. (Oddly, Streisand's curse that I referred to several posts back was snipped out -- she walked up to the rowdy boys in their car, said nothing [SNIP], and they were so outraged that they jumped out and chased her. TCM has generally had a standard of presenting movies as-is, so I choose to believe that this was not their doing, but the print that they happened to be sent, edited by that one word from an R to a GP rating. Yes, the name of the rating was GP from 1970 to 1972. I wonder if thats the only form of it that now exists. That would be pretty funny as the Mad magazine parody was all about her being Miss Foul-Mouth.)
  2. GBBO In The Media

    @GaT, look at @Athena's message two posts above: we don't talk about those things here.
  3. S03.E10: The Final

    Just for the record, it was James who won the technical. (Though you're right that the rankings for this were insignificant.) It wasn't clear to me. Between the two, it seemed (to me) that John came out slightly better within this episode. If they were really going to consider season-long performances, they would have finagled some way to have James win, as he's been repeatedly brilliant. -- No, not really, he took himself out of the running this episode (more on this below); but the first time I saw this episode I was more "gutted" than at any other point in any season, I was so committed to James as winner. I actually felt that it was cruel to expose Brendan that way; they didn't need to, there was a clear cut-away point after the first part of his speech. That was a rare moment in the course of this series when I could feel the producers delighting in a chance to exploit someone's vulnerability. We did get to see them look at a proper collection of fondant fancies on its tiered tray; but it's true they didn't try them and exclaim about how good they tasted. I agree that John's family had an off-putting vibe, with the constant little put-downs that no doubt are passed off as "just kidding" but can wear a person down over time. And he had made remarks earlier in the season about devoting himself to standing by his mother after her marriage ended, and his call home to tell her that her "big little boy" had achieved Star Baker, that made him sound as if they were dedicated to infantilizing him. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that he had moved away (if only for university) and had a partner. Good for him -- get away from them, John. (And apparently he has, and has dumped the career they had in mind for him.) I admit that I was an unabashed James fan, probably the most biased I've been in any of the seasons. But I can't deny that he overreached and underperformed in the final. In fact, if anyone was being "smug" (and I don't think anyone was really), one could say it was James, for not practicing his two prepared items sufficiently (if you haven't done rough puff before this week, all the more reason to work on it) and for not really absorbing the Showstopper brief to make A Cake, not five. He seemed rather reliant on his flair, which has saved him so many times, to do it this time too. The thing that people forget about the "take a risk" and "go big or go home" strategies is that there are indeed two possible outcomes, and this time the risk didn't pay off. I still like James a lot, and if anyone likes to bake bread, or just wants more of James's personality, I can recommend his book Brilliant Bread -- it's available on Kindle. Very reassuring and no-nonsense, and yes, scientific (in a non-exclusionary way).
  4. All Episodes Talk: Hi Bob!

    Ha! Yes, as a born-and-raised Chicagoan, that always amused me too. (And that being Mr. Newhart's heritage too, he must have known as well.) I suppose a special cruise around the world could originate in Chicago, if everyone was willing to pay and allow extra time both ways for getting out to sea -- but it's better not to think about it too much.
  5. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Aw, I recorded Sunday, Bloody Sunday despite owning the Blu-Ray because I'm always interested in what the host will say before and after. But they showed it late enough that they didn't bother with that. Oh well, at least they showed it. Tomorrow is Barbra Streisand. Among the oft-aired (both justifiably and not) items, they're also showing two early nonmusicals that seem to have dropped out of pop culture completely: Up the Sandbox and The Owl and the Pussycat. The former is an interesting but not really successful attempt to capture some of the confusions (about marriage, feminism, etc.) that were in the air in the early 70s; I had mixed feelings then (though a few scenes linger in memory as really funny), and I'll be interested to see what I think now at this remove in time. But the latter I recall as a sweet low-key romantic comedy, that at the time (my friends and I made a point of seeing its opening weekend) answered the question of whether Streisand was still a star when she didn't sing (answer emphatically yes; she even dropped an f-bomb, which in 1970 was still a bit of a novelty from movie stars). She and George Segal make a nice pairing, and though it embraces the clichés of its time and subgenre -- the drab writer throws away his typewriter, so enraptured is he with this free-spirited woman, and the only way that writers can conceive of a lively independent woman is to make her a prostitute -- I recall it as a pleasant little picture that doesn't deserve to have been so totally forgotten. Let's see if I still think so.
  6. So this is the revival that was set to star Jake Gyllenhaal, then postponed when a limited run of Sunday in the Park with George suddenly became possible during the same timeframe. I was wondering when/if we were going to hear more about it, and here it is with Adam Driver instead, a very different presence.
  7. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Lucky you, @Crisopera. The version used in the film was specially recorded for it by Pilar Lorengar, Yvonne Minton, and Barry McDaniel, and it's beautiful. But my very favorite rendition is the one by Leontyne Price, Tatiana Troyanos, and Ezio Flagello on their RCA recording. Hearing it for the first time made me fall permanently in love with the whole opera.
  8. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    I guess it's true that it rarely surfaces; it's not among the titles that keep popping up on TCM, though I think of it as a perennial classic. It was among the Criterion Collection titles that TCM put on sale a couple of years ago, at which time I bought it. Finch and Jackson truly are extraordinary in it, and I remember how much seeing Finch's performance meant to me back in 1971 -- for the first time on the screen, a quiet functional gay man whose problems were just ordinary human problems. Among Penelope Gilliatt's many wonderful lines of dialogue in the movie, I especially remember one that Jackson's mother (played by Peggy Ashcroft) says to her, because it represents more or less how I feel: "You keep throwing in your hand because you haven't got the whole thing. There is no whole thing. You just have to make it work." Another point in its favor: the music featured on the soundtrack includes my favorite Mozart vocal trio (from Così fan tutte).
  9. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    I've now seen it. I'm not calling it an overlooked masterpiece or anything, but it's an effective suspense melodrama (if one doesn't object to the helpless-woman-in-jeopardy scenario), and it does indeed contain a very touching and effective performance by Ms. Day, and she and Mr. Harrison do indeed create a most convincing loving-married-couple ambience. The story is sort of Wait Until Dark meets Gaslight meets Dial M for Murder meets The Man Who Knew Too Much (different bits of each of those). It's awfully nice to have Myrna Loy on hand, and a lot of good British acting support. Seeing music & lyrics credits for 2 songs during the credits, I was expecting Doris to break into song at some point, or at least for somebody to sing when they all went to a nightclub, but no; presumably we hear them instrumentally at some point. (Good underscoring by Frank Skinner, including a nice solo harmonica.) Somebody went berserk with an excessive number of showy costumes for the leading lady, but it is, after all, a Ross Hunter production. I also DVR'd Julie, but I'm not sure how soon I'll get to it, if ever. I knew nothing about it and was therefore intrigued, figuring it'd be a glossy Technicolor romp, but it turns out to be a serious B&W drama. (In this one she does sing the title song.) I'll keep it in reserve for a snow day.
  10. S03.E08: Biscuits

    Maybe I've missed your point, but she's Cathryn.
  11. S03.E09: Patisserie

    Yes, James said that -- it was a trick he already knew, not contained in the recipe. And yes, icing sugar is essentially the same as US powdered sugar. I say "essentially," because US powdered sugar adds a tiny amount of cornstarch to prevent clumping, where the European equivalent generally does not. But really, they can be used interchangeably. As to whether that would work on homemade puddings as well, I'll leave that to someone who knows!
  12. S03.E09: Patisserie

    This whole what's-happened-since discussion is making me nervous. Looking at such articles is almost guaranteed to bring spoilers. (I don't mind for myself -- I saw this series long ago -- but for others who might be reading along. Certainly no actual spoilers have been posted here, but if someone goes looking....)
  13. S03.E09: Patisserie

    It goes way beyond this recipe. In pretty much every season, in any recipe involving "folding," this practice has come up (and been discussed here, see above), and the bakers always seem to do it automatically, even without being specifically instructed. I think we have to accept that they just do it differently there.
  14. S03.E09: Patisserie

    I've often wondered this over the years, both why metal and why a spoon. As far as I can tell, this seems to be an unexpected UK/US divide. The reason for metal is always stated to be that the implement mustn't retain a speck of fat, so that it doesn't contaminate beaten egg whites when the other ingredients are folded in; but with modern dishwashers I don't see why a silicone spatula couldn't be just as immaculate. And surely a flat rather than rounded utensil would accomplish the process more readily? But they're universally devoted to the big metal spoon for the job. Yes, of course I know the word is "scrummy" and not scummy! (I've corrected it in my original post.) I blame autocorrect, which I've just verified does suggest that substitution. I'm always delighted when local word usages persist in our increasingly homogenized age, and "wee" is a particular favorite. (My Scottish colleague still says it all the time, despite residence in the US for 25 years, and I hope always will.) Oh, and this episode contains one of my favorite remarks from one baker about another: As John sums up their technicals, he repeats what the judges had just said, that his and James's Frasiers were just about equal, but James's cake had risen that bit higher -- "That wily minx." Love it!
  15. S03.E09: Patisserie

    Too bad, they're all good, but if someone had to go, this week it had to be lovely Danny. This show is so educational. I had thought that petits fours had to be those cubes of cake iced on all sides. But I learn that the definition is broader than I thought. I'm with James. As Technicals go, the Frasier cake looks yummy (excuse me, scrummy) -- or in his word, "brilliant." And we have an all-male final three this time.