Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Promised Fantasy Post #1: The Princess Bride OST

Scaling the Cliffs of Insanity, Battling Rodents of Unusual Size, Facing torture in the Pit of Despair. - True love has never been a snap.

As Ken pointed out, the 2 promised posts were something of a tall order, and if you can imagine me raving with fever: "I'll do TWO posts today-- You bet yer bottom dollar I will-- oh! Golden zebras are out on the front lawn--" &c, &c. . . that's probably what happened.

Ha. Well, in all seriousness, work has been pretty tough this week thanks to a heat wave and grumpy Dodgers fans (on account of our losing). My job is to walk up and down stairs harassing fans all game long, so as you can imagine, it hasn't exactly been fun. I was lucky enough tonight to get a call from the boss telling me that we're overstaffed tonight and there won't be a big crowd, so here I am, at home, having watched my L&O while uploading the files and watching the Dodgers lose on television rather than at the hot sweaty stadium with peanut shells stuck to my shins. Wait- overworked, cute as a button Russell Martin (55, C) just hit a homerun. We'll see what happens.

The Princess Bride soundtrack, by Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), is really very lovely. Knopfler does an excellent job and shows an impressive flexibility; his score is able describes the themes of the film perfectly: the (vital) gentle love theme, the humor and playfulness, and the elements of swashbuckling fantasy. The only downside is that this score would sound much better-- more lush, gorgeous, and intricate-- if it got the full orchestration it deserves. As for Willy DeVille's end credits song, the lyrics of which were used for the posters for the film-- I have a problem with it, though I'm not sure what. It is set to the love theme, and that's fine; his voice doesn't especially bother me. I think it is the lyrics, with winning observations like "as real as the feelings I feel," making for a song that I want to like, but feel a little embarrassed by.
For those who haven't seen the film, you absolutely must rent it. It is a universally beloved movie. If you haven't read the book, which was written by screenwriter William Goldman (who also wrote Butch Cassidy) then you certainly considering giving it a go. It's an intensely fun and pleasurable read, with sparkling details and a healthy dose of humor. I can almost guarantee if you love the film you'll love the book. And if/when you get to the part in the book where the author advises you to write to the publisher for the reunion scene, do it. They actually send you a letter back.

[Picture Source]

Anybody have a favorite Princess Bride moment/quote? One great moment is when Humperdinck, on his way to get tied to his chair, grabs his sleeves (nobody in the film wears their sleeves properly) and does a little hop skip. You hafta see it to get it (it comes at the end of this clip), but it's a classic moment, and one of the little gracenotes that makes this movie so fabulous.


Jim said...

I need to get round to reading the book one day, it's been in my bedroom for close to 2 years now.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone has counted up how many times Mandy Patinkin repeated this quote:

"My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

The Princess Bride is one of those rare times when the movie and the novel really compliment each other - they're both independantly great, but taken as two parts of a single work of art, they're really just incredible. . . you're spot on when you say that some movies can only be enjoyed as an adult when you loved them as a child - in addition to Willow and Labyrinth, I would include Legend, The Dark Crystal, the Never-ending Story. I have the Claremont books, but I've not read them yet - maybe this winter . . . You know, I really wanted to love the last Potter book, but it seems like Rowling a case of writer's block and just cribbed the book together from her old notes and outlines - the Philosopher's Stone is my favorite - before there was a Harry Potter franchise. . . hey, not two, THREE posts - you're working on some kinda record!

b said...

"Why do you keep using that word? I don't think it means what you think it means. . ."

As for Inigo- that would make for the Princess Bride drinking game. Though I'd rather just watch the film.

I think that's why I didn't like Legend-- saw it "too late." I couldn't get past Tim Curry (That was him, right?)

I definitely agree with the Rowling writer's block theory- especially the weird, drawn out camping scenes, where they were just hanging out for months on end. Having trouble filling in the spaces/padding the time between the revelations. The book was more a tying a great big loose ends knot than anything else; reading it became more to discover what everything meant; made me think of why we sit through entire movies in a single go- you want to know what happens. The best books keep you going with the quality of the writing and the little moments and ideas.

I can't decide which book is my favorite, but I know the second one is my least favorite. I find it to be very tedious once you know what's going on; I'm afraid that might turn out to be the case for the 7th if I ever read it again.


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