Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jerusalem dreams

I had a very strange dream about Harold Lloyd.  I was listening to some gospel music, or rather watching it performed live, and it was the anthem Jerusalem
 (a. k. a. The Holy City) being done in a very over-the-top way. Later I was trying to find a recording of it because it reminded me of church, as if it was being sung by my former church choir, though nobody looked the same. At one point I was sticking a pencil in a vast machine-looking box to unlock it. In some way the music was supposed to come out of it, but the pencil kept breaking off, so I didn't get to hear it again.

Then I had a chance to meet Harold Lloyd. He looked like a slim, good-looking but otherwise unremarkable middle-aged businessman, from the era of his talkies in the mid-1930s (I was thinking The Milky Way where he plays a milkman boxer), and he started firing questions at me: ten standard questions handwritten on a piece of paper “just to get to know each other”. This was his usual method with people. I took the piece of paper and crumpled it up and threw it away and said, “Let’s just talk to each other instead.” He looked uncomfortable, but seemed to come out of it and we talked. I don’t remember anything we said after that, but he soon left, and as he went out the door I yelled after him, “Would you like me to send you my novel?” He breezily said, “Oh, n-” (the “o” disappearing as he vanished around the corner and was gone). 

No interest at all. Oh no, don’t send it to me. No one even wants to READ it to find out what they think. "I already know I don't like it." Like a little kid with new food.

Oscar Levant: one-man band

Oscar, reclining and reflective, begins to dream. He dreams he is in a vast concert hall. . . 

. . . playing Gershwin's Concerto in F with his cigarette-stained fingers. . . 

. . . and conducting at the same time. . . (and he was a real conductor so he isn't just waving his arms)

. . . and likewise the  percussion, he's really playing (an early
 example of cloning, or else he accelerates himself to the speed of sound)

My personal fave, cuz he looks so sexy. . . 

     Cute with a gong (and doesn't he look a bit like Buster Keaton?)

"Bravo! Bravo!"

(I stumbled on these while looking for gifs on Google. I keep looking for gifs on Google and finding MY gifs and thinking, why are MY gifs so much better than anyone else's? 'Strue, you know. These were made during my feverish Oscar Levant phase a couple of years ago. It was fascinating, and I am sure I could dig out more now if I wanted to. In fact, what brought me here in the first place was finding another Levant performance on YouTube. He shows up in odd places on Turner Classics and always adds something strangely appealing to otherwise-routine movies. He showed up in an abomination called The I Don't Care Girl, in which he played something so convoluted and strange that I couldn't guess who wrote it. Just ripped through it like chain lightning. He also wore a strange tiger-striped cat suit for one scene in which he had one line. There was nobody like him, and perhaps that was a good thing.)


Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book
    It took me years to write, will you take a look