Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day #21,318

Today's Walk: Rippongi Station to Yotsuya Station
Today's Walk #2: Juyoh Hotel to Asakusa Station to Iriya Station

sidewalk with flowers
aprox km1880 Route 319

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day #21,317

Today's Walk:Juyoh Hotel to Ueno Station
Today's Walk #2: Shinjuku Station to Kojimachi Station/(metro)/Iriya Station to Juyoh Hotel

shopping street
aprox km1870 off Route 20 near Shinjuku Station

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day #21,315

Vancouver Airport
Today: no walking, just flying

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day #21,314

Today's Walk: Corner of Granville & Pender and return
Today's Walk #2: Meetup Walking group: Science World to Kitsilano Beach and back

Granville Island
aprox km1861 taken from Island Park Walk

Today's Tune: Skyliner

Since I'm off to Tokyo tomorrow and the Skyliner is the name of the train that takes folks from Narita Airport to the downtown Ueno station, I figured I'd make Charlie Barnet's big hit of 1944 the tune of the day.
We have the original from 1944 and a revised version played in that new modern (by modern I mean the 60s of course!) style by The Leading Figures.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Day #21,313

Today's Walk: Robson/Georgia/(bus)/Cambie/33rd/Angus/The Crescent/McRae/Granville/Drake/Burrard/Burnaby/Thurlow/Davie/Jervis/Comox/Thurlow
Today's Walk #2: Robson/Bute/Alberni/Burrard/Robson/Howe/Pender/Bute/Robson

Hycroft (history of this building is here)
aprox km1842 1489 McRae

Today's Book: The Princess Of Burundi(2006, Kjell Eriksson)

This one was written a year before "The Cruel Stars Of The Night". I have read that one which I found to be amazingly similar to the work of fellow-Swede Henning Mankell. The one difference between the two was that Mankell spoke of all the members of the police force but everything was filted through one person: Kurt Wallander. In contrast, Eriksson goes back and forth between the various police officers. This leads to a lack of coherancy in the storytelling - even more pronounced in this book.
However, this is still a wonderful book and that one drawback should not stop you from heading to your local library right away and checking out a copy.

Today's Movie: Union Station(1950, Rudolph Maté)

Police procedural concerning kidnapping. Plenty of the small touches that are required in order to give the film the look of authenticity. Good work from all concerned.

Today's Movie #2: The Blue Butterfly (2004, Lea Pool)

This is absolute crap. OK, so when I started watching I didn't know this was a kid's movie. Why in the world would you have Pascale Bussieres (sexiest Canadian ever)in a kid's movie?
OK, so it's a kid's movie. But are kids really this stoopid? Do you have to dumb down this thing so that's it's just a jumbled mess of cliches in order for kids to enjoy it? This is an insult to children everywhere.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day #21,312

Today's Walk: Meetup Walking Group (slo-walkers) around Stanley Park on the seawall

Meetup Group walkers
aprox km1832 the seawall at Stanley Park

Today's Tune: Poison Ivy

This song is celebrating it's 50th birthday this year. It was originally recorded by The Coasters in 1959. By the time I bought my copy on the Atlantic Records LP "History Of Rhythm & Blues Vol 4" about 35 years ago, it was already an "oldie". "Poison Ivy" was by far my favourite track on that LP. Along with The Coasters version, we have a Spanish language version by Mexico's Los Teen Tops.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Day #21,311

Today's Walk: Meetup Walking group: Science World to English Bay and return

Today's Tune: Thunderball

I know I've done this one before but I just got in a big shipment of MP3s by The Quiets! You may remember them from "In A Persian Market". Now, we get to hear them playing the theme from James Bond movie #4 along with session guitarist Al Caiola.
If you like what you hear from The Quiets, you may want to pay a visit to The Twilight Zone.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day #21,310

Today's Walk: 4th/Birch/Broadway/Alder/7th/Great Northern Way

flowering bushes
aprox km1816 7th Avenue near Guelph Park

Today's Tune: Angel Of Death
Today, I've got a right miserable song fer ya. It don't have no beat and ya can't dance to it. Just listen and be miserable.
By the way, if you don't recognize the group "The Chatham Singers", be warned: it's yet another one of Billy Childish's amateur hour ensembles (this time with vocals by his wife, Nurse Julie).
Oh yes, we have a video too. Watch and be miserable.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day #21,309

Today's Walk: Robson/Beatty/Pender/Abbott/Hastings/Carrall/Pender/Main/Keefer/Gore
Today's Walk #2: Meetup Walking group, Science World to English Bay and return

the meetup group: Vesna, moi, Glenn & Willy (camera-shy Julie took the picture)
at aprox km1804 English Bay seawalk

Today's Song: You Must Believe Me

This one was from a Hollies LP called "Love 'n Flowers" that came out in the fall of '67. The record company was trying to cash in on the current popularity of hippie culture with that title but all the songs were in the standard beat group format and had been recorded years earlier. However, I didn't mind at all and it became one of my favourites. At that time I wasn't aware of the original versions of those songs because the radio stations in the part of the world where I lived didn't play much r&b. The Supremes (or Four Tops) was about as far as they would go in that direction (which wasn't very far).
It turns out that the original was by Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions and had been recorded just one year before the Hollies version: but what a difference a year can make (and what a difference Chicago & Manchester can make).
On the video: still being played today, Your Favorite Shirt from '08

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day #21,308

Today's Walk: Joyce/Crowley/Tyne/Champlain/Handel/Brahms/Strauss/Vivaldi/Matheson/Rumble/Boundary/Grey Gum Trail/Matheson/Marine Dr/Marine Way/(bus)/Georgia/Robson/Burrard

a building
As I do quite often, I forgot to take my camera on today's walk. So, at 12:30 A.M. I popped out on the balcony to get a snap of a building across the way. I'm at km 1797.

Today's Movie: Look Both Ways (2005,Sarah Watt)

A light-hearted look at death. The premise seems to be that death builds character. Everyone in the film is dying, has witnessed death, knows someone dying etc etc. And all these people are just the nicest bunch of folks you'd ever wanna meet. All that is except one fellow who has no death experiences and he's a grade A jerk. At the end a co-worker of his admits that he's dying of cancer - that seems to improve his jerky behaviour somewhat.
Sarah is able to make the characters believable which causes the film to fly by in record time.

Today's Movie #2: The Big Empty(2003, Steve Anderson)

They were shooting for "weird" but the best they could do was "silly". Also, all those MTV video moments were quite annoying. Still, silly is better than boring. Like they say, time well wasted.

This year's catchiest ditty (so far): Drück die 1

Monday, April 20, 2009

Day #21,307

Today's Walk: Robson/Hamilton/Hastings/Cordova/Powell/Gore/Prior/Main
Today's Walk #2: Meetup Walking Group from Main Street Station to English Bay (and return)

Today's Tune: Aranjuez

Today's Movie: The Night Of The Iguana (1964, John Huston)

For years I was under the impression that I preferred action movies to static ones. Not action movies as we know them today (things blow up) but movies with motion. Movies that go places. Now I look over a lot of my favourite movies and it turns out they're stage plays. "Vanya On 42nd Street", "The Petrified Forest" and "Night Of The Iguana". These movies go nowhere. There's no action. The only action is what's going on in the minds of the characters. In this movie, there's plenty of that kind of action.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day #21,306

Today's Walk: Joyce/Wellington/Nootka/14th/Lillooet/Grandview
Today's Walk #2: Burrard/Davie/Denman/Haro/Cardero/Robson/Thurlow/Smithe

Robson Street on a Sunday night
aprox km1775 Robson near Jervis

Today's Movie: The Man On The Eiffel Tower (1949, Burgess Meredith)

This is a tough one to rate. It looks odd-ball enough to be quite entertaining. However, the print is in such terrible condition that it's hard to imagine what this might have looked like in it's original condition. IMDB indicates that this isn't just a bad copy, all copies have deteriorated badly. Supposedly, Charles Laughton demanded Irving Allen be replaced as director. He and co-star Burgess Meredith took over those chores with Meredith getting the on screen credit. It was this hijacking of the director that made everything look off-kilter and not because it was planned that way.
It does say something about the predicability of Hollywood movies if trouble on the set actually improves the final product.

Today Movie #2: Dick Tracy vs Cueball (1946, Gordon Douglas)

Gordon Douglas has more of a flair for this type of thing than William Berke had in the first Dick Tracy flick. However, it's still mindless drivel.

Today's Tune: Tobacco Road
One of the best places to find 50 cent and 99 cent LPs in Winnipeg used to be at Big 4 Sales on Main Street. One day (back in the 70s) I came across an LP there by The Lords. Now, I knew The Lords from the Who Put The Bomp merseybeat issue. They were mentioned as a prime example of non-English merseybeat. And there it was, an English import of a German band in a Canadian thrift shop for less than a buck.
Today, the best place to find those old 50 and 99 cent LPs is not in thrift shops, it's on the internet. I have just returned from a scouting trip through the internet where I stumbled across "Roadrunner Beat Beat". And what did I find there?: The Lords in beautiful MP3 format. So, here's one of the numbers that was on that MFP english import that I found at Big 4 Sales: Tobacco Road.
On the video, the guys who had the hit with this one: The Nashville Teens

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day #21,305

Today's Walk #1: Thurlow/Davie/(bus)/4th/Burrard/Pacific/Seymour/Robson/Georgia/Hornby/Robson/Burrard
Today's Walk #2: 43rd/Columbia/42nd/Alberta/43rd/Cambie

walkers on Robson (so fast they're just a blur)
km 1768 corner of Robson & Thurlow

Today's Tune(s): Death Have Mercy

Went to the local library book sale today to pick up a few paperbooks for a planned trip. But old habits are hard to break so I found myself sifting through a stack of CDs even though I no longer want any of those darn things. But hey, I found another Harry Manx CD! Oh well, the money goes to a good cause.
So, the Harry Manx track here is from that CD and the other song despite a similar title appears to be a different song. But nevermind, they're both well worth listening to.

Today's Movie: Dick Tracy (1945, William Berke)

Another 61 minutes of fast-paced mindless entertainment.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day #21,304

Today's Walk: Meetup Walking group from Science World to English Bay (and return)

Today's Movie: The Edukators(2004, Hans Weingartner)

What was this all about? Idealistic protesters turn out to be a bunch of jerks. The rich dude who claims that he once was idealistic is just a jerk too. So?
I guess they thought they could make a few bucks.

Today's Movie #2: Nancy Drew, Reporter (1939, William Clemens)

It's been awhile since I've watched a kid's picture. This was on the same DVD as yesterday's Borderline so I thought I'd give it a try. It's no great shakes but a pleasant 68 minutes with a bunch of kids who must live somewhere near Beaver Cleaver's place. I wonder if that place ever existed?

Today's Tune: Surfer Girl
Surfer Girl may not be my favourite Beach Boys tune but I just love Dave Alvin's cover version.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day #21,303

Today's Walk: Robson/Seymour/Georgia/Richards/Hastings/Cambie/Cordova/Main

Carnegie Library & Regent Hotel
aprox km 1745 Hastings @ Main

Today's Book: The Cruel Stars Of The Night(2007, Kjell Eriksson)
First came Wahloo & Sjowall. Then Henning Mankell. Now Kjell Eriksson. First it was just Maj Sjowall who brought the human element to Swedish crime fiction. I read a pre-Sjowall Wahloo and it lacked any of the details of family life and concern for the characters that the Wahloo/Sjowall novels were noted for. Then Mankell took it even farther and the private lives of the detectives were almost as big a part of the novels as the crime solving was. And now we have Eriksson who appears to be a Mankell clone.
There is one cheap plot devise here that shouldn't have been used. Even so, this ranks right up there with the very best crime novels.

Today's Movie: Borderline(1950, William A Seiter)
I'm usually a sucker for road pictures. And having the two leads be Claire Trevor and Fred MacMurray is also a plus. But they botched it. Too much switching between drama and comedy removed this from the ranks of the fairly entertaining and moves it to the ranks of the humdrum.

Today's TV Show: TV Reader's Digest/The Brainwashing Of John Hayes (1955, Harry Horner)
I couldn't resist this one since I had just watched a couple of Chinese Communist Party propaganda movies. Here we have a USA propaganda TV episode concerning the Chinese Communist Party. Needless to say, you cannot decern any similarities between the communists depicted in these opposing films. The interesting thing about the American film is that the Chinese Communists are not blamed. The real villain is Joseph Stalin. Mao is mentioned only once and that was to comment what a shame it was that Stalin played a greater role in shaping Chinese policy than did Mao.

Today's Tune: In Care Of The Blues
I've never been a big Patsy Cline fan. The first record I had of hers was "Walkin' After Midnight". Then I bought a Greatest Hits CD but I wasn't too impressed - also the fact that it was mastered at such a low volume didn't help. Then just a few days ago I got a batch of MP3s of her 50s material. What an eye opener! Now I agree with everyone else, Patsy was a great singer. And she made great records. At least in the 50s she did - I'll have to go back to that other CD to see what the problem was. Along with Patsy, we have another lady who's no slouch at vocalizing either, Toni Price.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Day #21,302
Today's Walk: Meetup group: Science World to English Bay (and return)

my fellow walkers: Julie on the rail, Vesna making a point, Willy can't believe what he's hearing, Glenn behaving himself because he knows his picture is being taken
aprox km 1741 the seawalk along False Creek

Today's Movie: The Twonky (1953,Arch Oboler)

Back in the day, the movie companys were deathly afraid of television. They figured, why would people go out and pay to see a movie when they could just stay at home and watch television. They obviously underestimated the general public's ability to waste time. It soon became apparant that they were quite capable of watching TV all day while still being able to take in a movie that evening at a local theatre.
This movie was based on the prevailing fear of TV in Hollywood. In it, a TV takes over a house and turns everyone's brains to mush. OK, that part they got right. However, it is such a low budget/low brow affair (kinda looks like an old television show) that it couldn't scare anyone. Instead, it's played for laughs.

Today's Movie #2: The Monster That Challenged The World (1957, Arnold Laven)

This movie is caught right in the middle. Not crappy enough to be unintentionally funny but not good enough to be scary. Ho hum.

Today's Tune: 19th Nervous Breakdown

Zip-Your-Rip is at it again. Just two days ago he posted the Living Guitars' version of Rolling Stones hits. And this morning it's Mike Curb & Waterfall's turn to offer up easyfied versions of the Stones hits. Since Mike has included "19th Nervous Breakdown", all I need do is update my post of that song from over at HearingDouble by adding the Curb version. This gives everyone another chance to hear the #1 version of this song by everyones favourite German new wave marching band, Tätärä!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day #21,301

Today's Walk #1: Central Library -> Staples -> IGA
Today's Walk #2: Broadway/Larch/1st/Burrard/Pacific/Thurlow/Davie/Bute/Haro

English Bay & the West End
aprox km 1732 from the Burrard Bridge

Today's Tune: Hadacillin Boogie

As usual, I started out the day checking the music blogs to see what was on offer. Well, here's something innerestin': 35 different versions of "Jersey Bounce" over on Pet's Playin' Her Old Platters. And her favourite......Hank Penny. So to play along with Pet here's two versions of Hank Penny's "Hadacillin Boogie". Hank's version first then north of the border for Ray Condo.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day #21,300

Today's Walk: Meetup Group from Science World to English Bay (and back)

Today's Book: Up In Honey's Room (2007, Elmore Leonard)
Not really a page turner. Despite the fact that the story concerns a Nazi spy ring and an escaped Nazi prisoner, there really is no good guy/bad guy tension here. Everybody acts quite civilized towards one another with the occasional murder (but it's nothing personal!) along the way. Instead, it's the witty dialogue that keeps the interest and makes this one a fun read.

Today's Tune: Wild Horses
It wasn't long after I bought an eMusic subscription that they announced that they had aquired the Rolling Stones catalogue. I no longer had the vinyl so 30 cents per tune to get MP3 versions didn't sound too bad. However, when I tried to buy them, I got the message that Canadians were not allowed to buy any of The Rolling Stones recordings! So, what was I left with? Lottsa cover tunes.
This morning zip-your-rip offered up the Living Guitars version of Rolling Stones favourites. Mr Zip attributes the Living Guitars stylings to one Al Caiola (can't be bad). Played his "Wild Horses" - that's a good one. Now I need another version. Maybe eMusic has some interesting cover versions. Howabout Otis Clay? Sure, I like Otis. I bought one of his LPs once in a Woolworth for about 50 cents. It was 50 cents well spent but that was quite some time ago. Wonder what Otis sounds like today? Mighty fine I'd say.

Today's Movie: 白毛女 (1951, Wang Bin & Shui Hua)

This story is often mentioned in autobiographies of those who grew up in China in the 1950s. Since it was made in 1951 this must one of the very first Chinese Communist Party propaganda movies. It is not nearly as well made as many of the Communist propaganda films that came later. But even this is one is well worth seeing, especially the second half of the movie when Xier gets her white hair and goes to live in a cave. The fact that it's also a musical only adds to the sense of weirdness in the second half. There are better Communist Party propaganda movies but I wouldn't want to miss this one either.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day #21,299

Today's Walk #1: in the rain to Stanley Park
Today's Walk #2: 49th/Blenheim/42nd/Dunbar

a puddle
aprox km 1715 49th Avenue approaching Blenheim

Today's Tune:
Diga Diga Doo
Looking through this morning's blog updates, I see that someone has posted a Bob Thompson LP. I remember Bob from those Space Age Pop CDs of the 90s. I always thought that his stuff was some of the best there but I'd never seen any more Bob Thompson available anywhere. If you would like your very own Bob Thompson LP, proceed directly to Baikinange's blog.
To celebrate, I've made one of Bob's "Space Age Pop" tunes the tune of the day. Diga Diga Doo was written by Dorothy Fields & Jimmy McHugh for the musical "Blackbirds of 1928". This was the first time together for the songwriting team of Fields & McHugh. It opened at the Liberty Theatre on October 1, 1928 (see poster). Then it was a big hit for The Mills Brothers in 1932. And now it's made the big time: it's featured on my blog.

Today's Movie: Nongnu(1963, Jun Li)

I rented two movies from the library to get me through the long weekend. However, I watched them both on Saturday so today I had to look through my stash of Chinese movies. I selected "The Serf" which is a part of the "Red Movies" series. That is to say, the Communist Party propoganda series. In this one, the Chinese army invades Tibet in order to free the Tibetan people from the evil landowners (and the Dalai Lama). Historical accuracy could be a problem here. However, the film itself is beautifully made - in fact the skill level shown here is much better than what Hollywood was turning out at this time. The first half is as good as any film can be - the second half with the arrival of the red army is less spectacular. This is the fourth movie in this "Red Movies" series that is well worth watching: The Lettuce, Struggles In The Old-Line City and Train 12 are the others.
Note: despite the fact that this is obviously a big budget movie (and that according to the Dalai Lama's website, everyone in Tibet was required to see it) it is not listed on the IMDB database. It is however listed by the BFI (British Film Institute).

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Day #21,298

Today's Walk: to The Edgewater Casino & Vancouver Central Library via Smithe & Robson. I didn't take the camera because it was raining. On this walk I passed the 1700 km mark.
Today's Walk #2: Back to The Edgewater Casino and then down Carroll to Pender where I catch the bus.
Today's Walk #3: Granville/43rd/Dunbar/Marine/Alma/41st

Those ubiquitous cherry blossoms
aprox km 1705 43rd @ Maple

Today's Poker Tournament: I'm entered in today's $110 NL Holdem at the Edgewater.
I'm back and here's what happened. So, top card on the flop is a Q and I hold KQ. My 400 chip bet is called. The turn is another Q to give me QQQK. The other fellow bets - I'm all in - he calls - he turns over a full house - the river is no help - I'm gone. Actually, my opponent had gone in a couple of times earlier - once with A3, once with QJ. I was going all in with my 3 queens hopin' for a call. But that's NL (and why I hate it) - you can do everything correctly and still be walking out the door. In FL, you do everything right and you lose some chips but you just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep right on playing.

Today's Song: The Hearse

It's back to surf music today. This one is so obscure that there isn't even a Chicchi video for it. It was written by Lee Hazelwood and originally recorded by Al Casey (1963). I used to have this one on Al's "Surfin Hootenany" LP but luckily the LP is gone and the MP3 is here. For version #2, it's off to Montreal for The Treblemakers 1997 cover. And since Chicchi is not available, it's the Eradicators from Toronto on the video.

Today's Movie: Today And Tomorrow(2003, Alejandro Chomski)

Character study of middle-class girl who finds herself broke and has no idea how to handle the situation. Kudos to Antonella Costa in the title roll - you can see her carefree spirit disintegrate as the movie progresses.

Today's Movie #2: Le Petit Lieutenant(2005, Xavier Beauvois)

Nice to see that Nathalie Baye is still around. Well made but regular police procedural.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Third Beach Trail

Day #21,297
Today's Walk: Robson/(Stanley Park: Lost Lagoon/2nd Beach/SeaWall/Third Beach Trail/Rawlings Trail/Bridle Path/Lake Trail/Beaver Lake Trail/Tisdall Walk/Pipeline Road)

gnarled wood
aprox km 1695 Third Beach Trail in Stanley Park

Today's Song: (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Today, Let's check out the other side of pop music in the 60s. While the kids were groovin' to a bunch of long haired scruffy beat bands, what were mom & pop gonna listen to? They wanted to show they were hip too but no long haired scruffy types for them. The answer: easy listening covers for the older set. Here we have the ultimate 60s rock'n'roll anthem from the longest haired and scruffiest of the lot: The Rolling Stones. But fear not, it's been sanitized for adult consumption by the likes of the T-Bones (that's probably Danny "Diamond Head" Hamilton on guitar) and Helmut Zacharias (the German violin wizard). Still sound groovy?

Today's Movie: The Untouchables (1987, Brian DePalma)
It's a holiday today so the library is closed. This is one I bought to watch on vacation but never got around to it. Elliott Ness vs Al Capone done up in cartoon style. DePalma knows how to do these sorta things so it's an OK entertainment.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day #21,296

Today's Walk: False Creek walkway/Ontario/57th

Science World
aprox km1684 at the end of False Creek

Today's Movie: Little Fugitive (1953, Ashley, Engel & Orkin)

You don't see too many movies with three people credited as director. This was a seat-of-the-pants movie shot in New York City using amateur actors and no sets. The story line is nothing (a kid runs away from home) but once they finish setting up the premise and shart shooting at Coney Island, it comes alive.

Today's Song: Strawberry Fields Forever
"" has been down most of the day so here's a quick one at day's end. I just got ahold of another of my favourites from the bygone days of vinyl: the Tomorrow LP. It's a wonder that anyone would try to do a cover of "Strawberry Fields Forever". How can you improve on the original? Tomorrow do give it a good go and legend has it that John Lennon was present during the recording so that may have imspired Steve Howe and his mates to make their best effort. And since I need a second version, I'll just call on the Ventures who recorded a version of almost every hit of the 60s.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day #21,295

Today's walk: Burrard/Georgia/Thurlow/(bus)/10th/MacDonald

flowers are blooming
aprox km1683 10th Avenue

Today's Song: Diamond Head
Written by Danny Hamilton of The T-Bones. Originally recorded by The Ventures and their version was the first record to sell 1,000,000 copies in Japan. Danny Hamilton went on to be the Hamilton in "Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds" of "Don't Pull Your Love" fame.
The cover versions are by Impala (Memphis, 1995) and the Royal Guitar Ensemble (unknown, probably a UK studio group, 1967).
The Royal Guitar Ensemble LP can be found here.
And zip-your-rip has just put up a T-Bones LP.

Since it's a surf instrumental, there must be a video with the world's cutest guitar player, Chicchi. Actually, there's a bunch of them and here's one:

Today's Movie: Flight (1929,Frank Capra)

Well, it just goes to show, even the great ones need a script in order to make a movie. I've been pleasantly surprised by the pre-"It Happened One Night" Frank Capra movies that TCM have been showing. It shows that Capra was making great movies long before his academy award bonanza of 1934. But, here we've gone back too far. This was made in 1929 and the plot is based upon a gimmick that was probably pretty old even in 1929: the misunderstanding. And Ralph Graves in the lead role doesn't help. Then I looked at the writing credits: story by Ralph Graves. It almost makes you think that this Ralph character may have come from a rich family who put up the dough as a vanity project for little Ralphie. However, his credits show that he goes back to 1918 as an actor and even directed in the 20s.

Today's Movie #2: Masques(1987, Claude Chabrol)

The career of Claude Chabrol is an odd one. In the late 50s he was a leader of the "novelle vague". In the 60s he made crap. Then he began work on perfecting the style of Alfred Hitchcock. And it worked - he has been churning out wonderful replicas of the Alfred Hitchcock movie for at least the last quarter century. And this is one of those. If you like Hitchcock, you like Chabrol. In this one Philippe Noiret plays the smarmy host of a TV talent show for seniors. His TV show's theme song? The theme from the Alfred Hitchcock TV show.