Day 153: Bananas

51YEKNWN8HLAnother film that begins as a mockumentary – this one about a banana republic in which the president is to be assassinated on live TV.

With Howard Cosell providing color commentary.


The first five minutes are about as funny as What’s Up, Tiger Lily?

Bananas was written by Woody Allen and Mickey Rose and is Woody’s third turn behind the camera.

Mickey Rose died in 2013 at the age of 77.

According to his entry on Wikipedia,

Michael “Mickey” Rose (May 20, 1935 – April 7, 2013) was an American comedy writer and screenwriter. A lifelong friend of Woody Allen, the two boys met in high school, and later co-wrote material for Allen’s stand-up routines, and several of his early motion pictures. Rose wrote for other comedians and contributed scripts to several television series.

He and Allen, then known as Allan Stewart Konigsberg, first met at their high school, and became close friends, frequently skipping school, and playing jazz and baseball together. They together matriculated at New York University, from which Rose earned a bachelor’s degree in film, although Allen dropped out. After Allen had become a stand-up comedian, Rose co-wrote “The Moose” routine with him. Around this time, they collaborated with others on the English adaptation of a Japanese spy film, which was turned into What’s Up, Tiger Lily? (1966), Allen’s first film as director.

“The Moose” is a hilarious routine.

I’m sad to hear that Rose died last year.

One scene that doesn’t play as well today Continue reading

Day 5: On Set

Haydn5You know the kind of music Hollywood uses as the soundtrack in a period piece, a movie set in a bygone era?

It’s stuff like what’s on CD 5, starting with Symphony No. 17 in F.

The only thing missing is Cate Blanchett.

Or Geoffrey Rush.

And a whole lot of powdered wigs and brightly colored clothes.

Think Jane Austin. Or George Washington. Or Mutiny on the Bounty, in which case an appearance by Clark Gable would be in order. (Forget Charles Laughton, though. I don’t want Captain Bligh to invade my reverie this morning.)

Clark_Gable_in_Mutiny_on_the_Bounty_trailerHere’s the point. When people think of the era of powdered wigs and formal, if not visually stunning, minuet or contredanse allemande dancing, they likely think of spirit that imbues Haydn’s Symphony No. 17 in F, although – to be sure – they’d more likely be hearing a quartet, not a full symphony, at these social gatherings. Still, there’s something about Symphony No. 17 in F that smacks of a gathering of that sort. It has a Late Baroque feel to it. All that’s missing is a harpsichord, for which I am immeasurably grateful. That instrument grates on my nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard.

The three-movement Symphony No. 17 in F “may have been written between Continue reading