Sunday, June 4, 2017

Jazz Torture

After a full and busy week at school, I treated myself Friday night to one of my favorite pleasures—a Hitchcock film with a bowl of popcorn in the comfort of my own home. Like Dickens, who I still re-read each Fall, Hitchcock is my standard for great filmmaking and though I’ve seen every film he’s ever made at least twice, they hold up.  I remember looking forward to sharing him with my kids when they were young (never did succeed in getting them to read much Dickens) and now I look forward to the same with my grandkids.

Friday’s treat was Foreign Correspondent, the usual blend of espionage, intrigue, suspense and guy and girl in on it together. The good guys and bad guys were clear (it’s a World War II setting) and I particularly liked the sentiment from the good guy being tortured that “you beasts one day will devour each other and the little man will rise again.” Timely.

But the weirdest moment was that in interrogating this man (Van Meer) who had needed information the bad guys wanted, their technique was bright lights and relentless playing of a jazz tune!! Ha ha! I would have been screaming “No more music!” just so I could hear it again.

Who knows whether the Trump thugs will one day want to torture me? “Why did you teach children how to feel and think? That spoils our plan!” But now that they know that jazz played repeatedly will only give me pleasure, they need a Plan B. I’d say that New Age or Disco music would do the trick.

So, dear reader, if all you know about Hitchcock is The Birds and Psycho, you have quite a treat in store for you. I’d start with The Lady Vanishes and on to North by Northwest, Notorious, Spellbound, Shadow of a Doubt.…well, heck, any of them! And if you ever visit San Francisco, watch Vertigo, then call me up and I’ll give you a tour. And then take you to a jazz club until you confess which one you liked the best.

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