getting ready for the John Lennon Songbook

Last week, I saw the second Kill Bill with the lights off, surrounded by extraordinary moonlight that had floated into the room from the skylight. The film is running in my mind now, while I plan my next week, while Lennon asks softly that I Imagine.

Kill Bill posterExtreme violence softened in Quentin Tarantino's style: A comely eye was plucked off a lovely female face and squished under Uma Thurman’s feet and the goo from it oozed up her toes. A heart burst. A black mamba went for a bad guy's face, again and again, and it wouldn't have stopped, but he staggered from its reach, and fell. The experience of watching the movie was somewhat like eating chillies, unbearable and irresistible, all together.

I saw Shanghai in the Cineplex, and the sights were reminiscent of my visit there early this year, when it was gloomy, and now in the movie, the old buildings appeared even more so to have been built only to house secrets. Men in business suits fell to bullets and their corpses assumed grotesque shapes and they and their their blood dissolved in clean incessant rain. Dilapidation. Opium. Hard men baring their hearts, and Gong Li hardened for a cause and, through it all, a likable Cusack. Finally, the anguish in seeing the landmark building of a magnificent city suddenly and completely draped by a great foreign flag. The banishment of hope. Its stubborn reappearance.

Shanghai, the movieNow in the weekend I am entertained by The Beatles. I brought home a collection of their complete studio recordings, with original track notes accompanying each disk, and my study and I are immersed in their sounds, their voices are ringing with the clarity of a child’s, songs of love that wring the heart with an inaccessible innocence. I have mixed some Stones with them in the playlists, and the two are a fine foil to each other. I have sprinkled just a little Oasis and Linkin Park for effect. And some solo-Lennon.

I need to be ready for the memorial to Lennon at The Cavern Club, and to arrive tuned for the John Lennon Songbook by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic the day after.

John Lennon