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Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy

Hey – don’t worry if you don’t have a great date to go to the movies with tonight: just stay home and tune in to modernism’s official goofball, Mauricio Kagel. UbuWeb is featuring a bunch of his films made between 1965 and 1983 all packed onto one zany page. These films are apparently rarely screened in the US, and one doubts they’re screened much anywhere else. So get cracking: Dreamgirls can wait, gosh darnit.

Have a good neo-Dada weekend.


Comment from Rodney Lister
Time: January 19, 2007, 11:48 am

Not that I really know anything about it, but my guess is that they probably get play in Germany. (Especially after reading Amy Beal’s book on “avant garde” American music from the end of the war to unification.

Comment from Sparky P.
Time: January 19, 2007, 1:32 pm

Speaking of Kagel: I came across a great coincidence case last week between listening to a Kagel piece and watching a particular Seinfeld episode. (It works best if you have Vol.6 (Season 7) DVD set of Seinfeld.) The episode is the season finale “The Invitations” (the one where Susan, George’s fiancée, buys it at the end) and the Kagel piece is “Finale” (Ensemble Reserche recording on Montaigne). Start up the episode, then start up the Kagel five seconds later. At about 17:10 in the Kagel, after a somewhat busy section, there is a high dissonant chord that suddenly falls apart at a snare drum roll (in the score, it is at that point that the conductor “is stricken and collapses on stage”), at the same time Susan licks her last envelope and keels over due to glue poisoning. A minute or later, George discovers Susan on the floor while a hesitant “Dies Irae” is heard. (It just happened that way.) Hey, it beats listening to Pink Floyd and watching “The Wizard of Oz” at the same time (and the payoff is a lot quicker and funnier).

Comment from Steve Layton
Time: January 19, 2007, 2:04 pm

My high-school buddy and I would do the same thing over at his place in the early ’70s, playing Penderecki’s Utrenja on the turntable while watching “Sesame Street” and “Electric Company” on TV with the sound off. Bizarre juxtapositions ensued… (hey, did I mention it was the early ’70s?…)

Comment from Alex Ross
Time: January 19, 2007, 8:10 pm

Was Kagel any more of a “goofball” than other European composers of that period? Or was he just more open about it?

Comment from David Salvage
Time: January 20, 2007, 9:59 am

Who are you thinking of? Ligeti? Berio? Donatoni?