Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Off Warbling Somewhere in Frenchy Speak

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I really have to give up those 4 a.m. drunken bursts of written diarrhoea. In the end a good night was had by all, including, I am sure, the Cavan masseuse.
You know there cannot be a shirt in my wardrobe that hasn't been besmirched by my love of olive oil. And as for that old chestnut about a hot iron and some brown paper, that's all it is, an old chestnut, and tree seeds have no place in modern laundry practice. I should know; I worked in a professional laundry for three years (well, summers). Blithely I emptied out the sacks of urine-soaked pyjamas and operating room balls of fat on to the conveyor belt. I had sacks of blood drip by my feet from the overhead rails. They even found an amputated hand where I worked (a week before I started). Yes, an industrial laundry that tackled hospital and hotel garments and linen. Anyhow I still never learnt how to iron a shirt.
Believe it or not, short though it is, I only got round to finishing 'Three Men in a Boat' the other day. Very lightweight - never likely to provoke more than a smile - it just couldn't generate enough enthusiasm in this reader to keep me reading for any length of time, though it would never alienate me enough to make me throw it away. Still, although the jokes don't quite do it in this day and age, it is something of a masterclass in how to write comedically over an extended piece of work. Hypocrisy and misdirection are used well, if too repeatedly, and the whole comes across as less of a novel and more a transcribed comedy routine from some observational nineteenth century stand-up.
Series Two of 'The Twilight Zone' isn't up to the standard of its predecessor. Four lemmons in a row today, all of them from Mr Serling. He seems to have let his sentimentality and didacticism run roughshod over his sense of story. It's a relief to get Matheson's 'The Invaders', a somewhat famous episode about an old woman in a farmhouse attacked by the diminutive occupants of a flying saucer. What's really worthy of note in the second series is the development of Jerry Goldsmith as a composer. His music makes itself felt everytime it's used (you know when it's a Goldsmith episode). 'The Invaders' episode, in particular, has a score that looks forward to his classic film music for 'Alien' and 'The Omen', despite the fact that the episode was broadcast in 1961. Fantastic!

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