Thursday, February 28, 2013

Karen Kilimnik And Henry Mancini

MULLEAVYS: What is your favorite book?

KILIMNIK: Winnie-the-Pooh, “When It Rains,” because the book is all about rainy days; the PG Wodehouse Uncle Fred series; or Harmony by Prince Charles. He would make a great king because he is the only world leader with respect for the Earth. He and the royal family drink raw milk!

MULLEAVYS: Can you tell us about your Manson murder blood pieces, with PIG written in what looks like blood on the walls?

KILIMNIK: Me just wanting to be one of the Manson girls, until I read the book about them.

Karen Kilimnik
in Interview Magazine
March 2013

From Winnie the Pooh to Charles Manson. Oh my goodness. That interview was conducted apparently by e-mail. I’m guessing everyone over at Interview magazine must be proud of the piece. And I’m guessing, too, they’d compliment each other and probably use the phrase post-modern at some point if they had to describe the interview. I don’t know.

(When I first typed that paragraph, I spelled “compliment” wrong—I typed the “e” complement. It was wrong, but it would have fit probably just as well.)

I am only posting about this interview because at the link to Interview magazine there are photos which are purportedly of Karen Kilimnik and I’ve never seen her photographed before.

Other than that, however, it’s one of those kind of interviews that I wish I had never read. I like her paintings, they often seem very humorous and I’ve done a lot of posts about her.

Karen Kilimnik

Big Reductions At The MCA’s Karen Kilimnik Exhibit

The Abandonment Of Meaning

Today, Tomorrow And Yesterday

“Kari Loses An Underwire From Her Bra...”

I even drove up north when the Museum of Contemporary Art here in Chicago had their Karen Kilimnik show.

But this kind of interview doesn’t make me feel any affection for Kilimnik or her work.

So I included this bit of an excerpt just to keep up-to-date, but after this I may not keep up-to-date with Miss Kilimnik any more.


Okay, after that very brief excursion into the world of the fine arts—or maybe I should type the so-called world of the “fine” arts—I want to post about actual art, something really very cool, something that I’ve been enjoying very much.

For the last few days I’ve been reading this book. “Henry Mancini ... Reinventing Film Music,” by John Caps.

It’s a pop biography of the composer Henry Mancini. Mancini I suppose will be remembered as a “film composer” but there was a time, I guess a brief time, when he was considered a composer composer and his albums were talked about as contributions to pop music in general.

This book is interesting, and it’s fun to read. The author did a lot of research in the files kept by the various film studios where Mancini worked. So, for instance, in the Universal days, I suppose most fans of movie music knew that Mancini worked on great films like “Creature from the Black Lagoon.” But this book breaks it down music cue by music cue, letting us know exactly which sections of the score Mancini contributed.

It’s great stuff.

Sometimes the author moves a little too quickly, for instance spending only one paragraph [!?] on the opening song/montage of “A Shot in the Dark,” but by and large the author devotes a reasonable amount of time to everything that needs it. So, for instance, movie buffs probably knew the film “Lifeforce” suffered drastic cuts and re-edits at the hands of the dubious producers, much to director Tobe Hooper’s chagrin. The author, here, explains how those drastic cuts affected both Mancini’s score and Mancini’s emotional engagement with film scores at that point in his career.

The book, generally, is a review of Mancini’s whole career. So there aren’t always the detailed discussions music buffs might like for individual pieces. And there aren’t always the detailed discussions of the theory of film scoring in general movie music buffs might like. But there is a little bit of everything, and the mixture is generally handled in a thoughtful way.

It’s wonderful to find a book this enjoyable. I am forcing myself to read the book slowly, like a chapter a day, rather than sit up all night and finishing it quickly.

The movie business is a very strange place, and it is a little sad seeing what happened to Mancini’s career in his later years. But it is very cool reading about a man—a musician, an artist, a friend to so many other great artists—a man who always seems to have maintained his sense of style, his sense of proportion, his sense of friendship, and his sense of self in a business where people very literally go crazy every day.

An interesting and fun book about a great guy.

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