Today, I impulsively decided to go see a movie. This time of year is usually dead for films, but I managed to find a real gem: Quartet. I was the youngest person in the theater by at least thirty years, but I don't think that I am the target audience. If you haven't heard of it (and it hasn't received a lot of press in the States), Quartet is a film directed by Dustin Hoffman about a group of retired musicians and opera singers. The acting and music were superb.
The film ends with the quartet from Rigoletto, which really has to be heard to be believed. Transcendent, really. When I was walking down the hallway, I passed by another theater playing Les Miserables, with one of Fantine's songs bleeding through the wall. It was like smelling Burger King after eating at Mortons. Why would anyone want to listen to that when there is real music, I thought. All my friends who have been raving about the new Les Mis film are just not going to convince me to see it.
The other thing that struck me about Quartet is that it is an unusual film. How many films are made today about adults, without sex scenes, violence, action, or some other element that appeals to 18-25 year old men? How many films focus solely on characters in the autumn of life, without some sort of subplot involving an adorable or troubled grandchild? I suppose I am a sucker for a film like Quartet, since I adore music and understand too well the way in which the characters reminisce about productions they did fifty years earlier. The work was their lives, in a way that it isn't, I suspect, for actuaries and garbage men and postal workers. Performers and artists really shoot for the moon in expecting their work to provide everything. Civilians don't expect that, do they?

On the personal front, I haven't been shooting the moon lately. I've had a lot of technical problems that make me feel like I might have a heart attack every night at work. One night, I was just sitting there in front of the mixer, not touching anything, when all of the channels' signal lights blinked off and on for about a minute. What The Fuck? There's got to be a short in the mixer somewhere, damned if I know where though. I hate having to fervently hope that all of my gear will work as the (metaphorical) curtain goes up every night. I just want everything to work consistently. The mixer is in for repairs, where trained technicians who probably make more an hour that I do can track down all those intermittent problems. I'm trying to get everything shipshape and Bristol fashion, to counteract all of the short term thinking that has allowed the sound system to be in such a state.

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