by Sam Juliano
Gifted Rutgers University music major and saxophonist, freshman Eric Lampmann performed in concert at the Nicholas Music Center of the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center at the Douglas College campus on Thursday evening. The young Lampmann, 18, played with the prestigious Rutgers Symphony Band, led by conductor Darryl J. Bott during the second half of a program in which the ensemble was paired with the Ridgewood Concert Band. Eric is the third of three children -all boys- born to James Lampmann and Elaine Lampmann of Butler. His older brothers James Jr. and Craig, ages 21 and 19, respectively, are presently working towards degrees in communication and civil engineering at Hofstra and the University of Maryland. (As a remarkable side note James was seen on national television last week as he helped to set up the sound and video for the Obama-Romney presidential debate at the David Mack Arena on the Hofstra campus in Hempstead, Long Island) The Rutgers’ Symphony Band’s membership is drawn primarily from the finest undergraduate instrumental music majors at the Mason Gross School of the Arts. Included in the program was a stirring performance of Ronald LoPresti’s “Elegy for a Young American” which was dedicated to the memory of President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated the year before the work’s initial appearance. The solemn composition, largely fueled by the woodwinds, exudes a melancholic underpinning, and unfolds in the form of an adagio. The longest piece in the line-up was Symphony No. 3 “JFK” written by Andrew Boysten Jr., which is likened to an interdisciplinary study in how music formulates connections to historical events in a literal and programmatic fashion. The movement is meant to simulate the continuity of a memorial service, and contains four moving memories from JFK’s life: the war hero events on ‘P.T. 109.’ the famed inaugural speech that began with “Ask not what your country…”, the assassination on November 22, 1963, and the wrenching image of young John-John saluting his father’s progression as it moves by, an image that broke the hearts of a nation and the world. Eric Lampmann was one of the seven sax players, who gave this concert a distinct woodwind flavor and soaring lyricism. Lucille’s sister Elaine and her husand James live in a specious home in a rural cul-de-sac in Butler, New Jersey, which has been the location of Thanksgiving dinners for all of us for every one of the past 17 years. As the hosts of well-attended Christmas parties and owners of a dream home, the Lampmanns are about the classiest of acts. Watching Eric perform was quite the exhilarating experience.
By the time this post is seen by most a monumental storm will have already descended on the northern New Jersey/NYC area, dubbed ‘Hurricane Sandy’ and even ‘Frankenstorm’ by those who note it’s coinciding with Halloween. Meterologists are promising a destructive event, with certain power outages and flooding and 70 miles per hour winds. Monday night into Tuesday afternoon is forecasted to be hellish for all in the metropolitan area, and it is probable that power will be lost for a lenghthy time. Supermarkets have been beseiged by hoardes of people, many of whom are envisioning doomsday scenarios. Schools in many regions have already been closed for Monday and Tuesday and there are mass evacuations from coastal areas and a state of emergency already declared in New York and New Jersey. Here on Spruce Street, our fear is loss of power and the subsequent sun pump operation, meaning a serious flooding in basements, including our own. Meterologists are now saying this may well turn out to be the most severe and destructive hurricane to hit the east coast since the start of documentation. It’s a genuinely fearful time. Just minutes ago I was informed that schools in my hometown where I teach and Lucille serves as a district Principal, have been cancelled for today (Monday) and Tuesday already!
The storm is temporarily shifting attention for many, who previously have been caught up in all the presidential election hoopla. Looks like it may go down as the closest election in history, though a good number of Obama supporters are holding firm on their man’s almost certain command of the Electoral College, and some critical swing states where he doggedly holds on to the lead. We at Wonders in the Dark have endorced President Obama for a second term, and urged readers to support the Democrat.
While the weather has many of us in a tizzy, WitD moves forward with the comedy countdown, which is well beyond the half-way point, with essays number 40 to 36 slated for this coming week. The best part of the cinematic year is now officially upon us, but for many there is understandable indifference while the weather threats and the election are of far greater urgency.
The John Garfield petition sighning continues with fervor, as Dee Dee has just this week reported on the latest additions. The John Garfield page can be easily acesssed under the acting icon’s picture on the sidebar. Dee Dee is working with Lori Moore and Barbara LaMotta on this long-running mission.
Lucille, the boys and I (and Sammy alone for the Etait on Tuesday, and Melanie and Broadway Bob for CLOUD ATLAS) had a busy week. In addition to the fabulous concert in New Brunswick on Thursday, we saw:
Le Grand Amour (1969) **** 1/2 (Tuesday night) Pierre Etait at Film Forum
Cloud Atlas ** (Friday night) Edgewater multiplex
The Horror of Dracula (1959) **** 1/2 (Saturday) Jersey City Loews
The Sentinel (1977) **** (Saturday) Jersey City Loews
The Kid Brother (1927) ***** (Sunday afternoon) Harold Lloyd at Film Forum
CLOUD ATLAS is fatuous, incoherent, distancing and rife with pretensions. It is proof parcel that having a great idea doesn’t mean successful execution, and in the genre of ‘connecting through eternity’ it lags far behind Aronofsky’s THE FOUNTAIN and Spielberg’s A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, both of which some persuasive comparisons can be made with. Some arresting set pieces for sure, but much more of it simply doesn’t work, and the film is literally and figuratively all over the map. Can’t say I’ve ever been much a fan of the Wachowskis. Still, I respect that the film has fans, and some have forged inspiring defenses.
Pierre Etait’s LE GRAND AMOUR is a whimsical 1969 feature that sadly has been denied release rights for decades. In the footsteps of Keaton and Lloyd, the now 82 year-old French clown employed a surrealist premise, and a deft blend of physical comedy and slapstick (my favorites are the bed gliding down the road and in the house where everything is literally divided 50-50. This was the cornerstone of a marvelous Etait Festival conducted this past week at the Film Forum, that’s been long overdue. Harold Lloyd’s THE KID BROTHER is one of the icon’s greatest masterpieces, and pianist Steve Sterner again provided wonderful musical accompaniment for a Sunday afternoon showing before a small Film Forum audience, due to subway suspension later in the evening. Both Hammer’s celebrated THE HORROR OF DRACULA and 1977’s THE SENTINEL were offered on the 70 foot screen of the Jersey City Loews’ movie palace at Journal Square on Saturday night, with a spirited Halloween show in place on the second floor lobby.
For the second week in a row I was unable to update any links. The storm preparations have taken the time that I would have needed to manage the updates. This is a rarity for sure, and I will make doubly sure to make the proper revisions for next week’s diary, providing of course we make it past this week’s meteorological fireworks: (However, I will do my best to get over to a number of the blog sites to comment)
Dean Treadway has just posted a fascinating marathon piece at Filmacability on ’50 Scary Non-Horror Movies': http://filmicability.blogspot.com/2012/10/50-scary-non-horror-movies-for-your.html
At the magical Creativepotager’s blog Terrill Welch has a showcase of visual treasures up in her ravishing new post “New Homes for art and other studio musings”: http://creativepotager.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/new-homes-for-art-and-other-studio-musings/
Laurie Buchanan’s latest post “Quiche Me Quick” at the soul-stirring Speaking From The Heart broaches incomparable matters of familial love: http://holessence.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/quiche-me-quick/
Jon Warner has authored another superlative review at Films Worth Watching, this time on Jules Dassin’s 1949 “Thieves’ Highway”: http://filmsworthwatching.blogspot.com/2012/10/thieves-highway-1949-directed-by-jules.html
Tony d’Ambra has just posted a tremendous piece at FilmsNoir.net on “Naked Alibi (1954) “bizarre images, strange juxtapositions, and erotic plays”: http://filmsnoir.net/film_noir/naked-alibi-1954-bizarre-images-strange-juxtapositions-and-erotic-plays.html
Judy Geater also considers Vidor in her splendid essay of the director’s little-seen 1935 film “The Wedding Night” at Movie Classics: http://movieclassics.wordpress.com/2012/10/06/the-wedding-night-king-vidor-1935/
John Greco has penned a terrific review of 1949’s “On the Town” at Twenty Four Frames: http://twentyfourframes.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/on-the-town-1949-gene-kellystanley-donen/
Pat Perry has penned eight splendid capsules of a wide array of films she’s seen recently at Doodad Kind of Town: http://doodadkindoftown.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-catch-up-post-little-bit-about-lot.html
Joel Bocko astutely considers “Halliwell’s Hundred” and “Hellzapoppin” at The Dancing Image: http://thedancingimage.blogspot.com/2012/10/halliwells-hundred-and-hellzapoppin.html
Ed Howard has penned a master-class essay of the neo-realist masterpiece “The Bicycle Thieves” at Only The Cinema: http://seul-le-cinema.blogspot.com/2012/10/bicycle-thieves.html
Sachin Gandhi offers up a fabulous report on the Calgary International Film Festival at Scribbles and Ramblings: http://likhna.blogspot.com/2012/10/ciff-2012-wrap-up.html
Samuel Wilson is in the horror mood as we approach Halloween, and he’s offered up a doozer of a piece on “Blood Bath” at Mondo 70: http://mondo70.blogspot.com/2012/10/blood-bath-1963-66.html
Weeping Sam has a most interesting Major League Baseball update at The Listening Ear: http://listeningear.blogspot.com/2012/10/very-quick-baseball-post.html
In Tokyo our good friend “Murderous Ink” has posted Part 3 of ‘The Lady of Musashino” in a fantastic essay at Vermillion and One Nights: http://vermillionandonenights.blogspot.com/2012/10/musashino-landscape-that-never-was-part.html
Dee Dee offers up petition co-founder Lori Moore’s own take on a John Garfield classic over at Darkness Into Light: http://noirishcity.blogspot.com/2012/09/john-garfield-in-nobody-lives-forever.html
Shubhajit Lahiri has penned a typically brilliant capsule review at Cinemascope on Jacques Becker’s “Le Trou”: http://cliched-monologues.blogspot.com/2012/10/le-trou-hole-1960.html
Roderick Heath offers an excellent review of the influential silent horror classic from Victor Sjostrom, “The Phantom Carriage” at Ferdy on Films: http://www.ferdyonfilms.com/2012/the-phantom-carriage-korkarlen-1921/16357/
David Scheicher has a fascinating update on “Boardwalk Empire” at The Schleicher Spin: http://theschleicherspin.com/2012/10/14/boardwalk-empire-youd-be-surprised/
At Exodus 8:2 Jaimie Grijalba continues with his “100 Days of Terror” with a terrific review of the semi-classic “Werewolf of London”: http://exodus8-2.blogspot.com/2012/10/14-werewolf-of-london-1935-n-83.html
R.D. Finch has written a splendid essay on 1965’s “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold” at The Movie Projector: http://themovieprojector.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-spy-who-came-in-from-cold-1965.html h
Kaleem Hasan offers an engaging post at Satyamshot titled “Shahrukh in Conversation with Yash Chopra”: http://satyamshot.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/shahrukh-in-conversation-with-yash-chopra/
One of the net’s finest writers, the exceedingly talented Jason Bellamy has written a fantastic essay on Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” at The Cooler: http://coolercinema.blogspot.com/2012/09/touching-void-master.html
At Patricia’s Wisdom our friendly host has penned a terrific review of a volume on Pope John XXIII: http://patriciaswisdom.com/2012/10/the-good-pope-the-making-of-a-saint-and-the-remaking-of-the-church-greg-tobin/
The comment section under Kevin Olson’s superlative essay on “The Master” at Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies makes this presentation a must read for film fans: http://kolson-kevinsblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-master.html
At the Coffee Messiah’s blog the indominable Michael Harford features a collage on cultivation: http://coffeemessiah.blogspot.com/2012/09/cultivate.html
Craig Kennedy has penned at terrific review on “Frankenweenie” at Living in Cinema: http://livingincinema.com/2012/10/05/frankenweenie-2012/
Stephen Russell-Gebbett has posted another thought-provoking piece, this time on 2010’s “Burning Bright” at Checking on my Sausages: http://checkingonmysausages.blogspot.com/2012/09/burning-bright-2010.html
David Lawrence, thjat erudite and personable educator from the U.K. features a poster of a Hammer classic at his new site Musings and Meanderings: http://1mouth2ears.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/movie-posters-1-dracula-has-risen-from-the-grave-1968/
Brandie Ashe happily announces a “Singin in the Rain” giveaway at True Classics: http://trueclassics.net/2012/08/10/singin-again-plus-a-giveaway/
Roderick Heath has posted a terrific new review of the reteaming of John Hillcoat and Nick Cave for this year’s “Lawless” at This Island Rod: thisislandrod.blogspot.com/2012/10/lawless-2012.html
J. D. LaFrance has penned a terrific piece on Tony Scott’s “The Last Boy Scout” at Radiator Heaven: http://rheaven.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-last-boy-scout.html
The esteemed Film Doctor, a professor on Film Studies at a southern university, has written a fascinating piece on P.J. Anderson’s “The Master” at The Film Doctor: http://filmdr.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-master-s-whip-lash-8-notes.html
Adam Zanzie has posted a terrific “alternative Sight and Sound list at Icebox Movies: http://www.iceboxmovies.blogspot.com/2012/08/my-alternative-sight-sound-list.html
Jason Marshall has continued his superb coverage of 1942 at Movies Over Matter with a wonderful post on his Best Actor choice for that year: Chishu Ryu: http://moviesovermatter.com/2012/08/09/chishu-ryu-in-there-was-a-father-best-actor-of-1942/
Peter Lenihan has written a superlative essay talking about two films: “Dredd” and “Savages” at The Long Voyage Home: http://thelongvoyagehome.blogspot.com/2012/09/double-feature-dredd-savages.html
At The Blue Vial Drew offers up “w/o” and some intriguing Fordian parallels: http://thebluevial.blogspot.com/2012/10/wo_5.html
At The Last Lullaby, the ever delightful filmmaker Jeffrey Goodman takes a look at part sixteen of his long running quartet series: http://cahierspositif.blogspot.com/2012/04/favorite-four-part-sixteen.html
Stephen Russell-Gebbett at Checking on my Sausages again offers up a brillinatly-creative feature on ‘Sport as the Perfect Fiction”: http://checkingonmysausages.blogspot.com/2012/08/sport-is-perfect-fiction.html
Tony Dayoub takes a look at the summer’s Barnes and Noble 50% off sale for Criterion collectots at Cinema Viewfinder: http://www.cinemaviewfinder.com/2012/07/criterion-summer.html
Greg Ferrara at Cinema Styles talks about the Colorado shootings in a moving feature: http://cinemastyles.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-dark-knight-shooting-in-colorado.html
Jeopardy Girl talks about her “least favorite film” at her wonderful new series at “The Continuing Saga of Jeopardy Girl”: http://jeopardygirl.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/2-my-least-favourite-film/
Hokahey takes a fascinating look at “Looper” at Little Worlds: http://hokahey-littleworlds.blogspot.com/2012/09/looper-glossary-of-terms.html
Dave Van Poppel has a tremendous batch of short reviews up at Visions of Non Fiction on the Toronto Film Festival: http://visionsofnonfiction.blogspot.com