Listening Outside the Box
Movie soundtrack provides new opportunities for how music is used in film: So one problem with this line of thinking is that it shortchanges the potential for music in film ["Jay Gatsby, Luxury Rapper?" Ian S. Port, Music, 5/22]. The notion that the soundtrack should not be "distracting" reminds me of the egregious soundtracks of old-school Hollywood, where Mickey Mousing was the law of the land. Those soundtracks were not regarded as distracting because they underlined exactly the way the director/writer/studio wanted the audience to feel. Sad music for sad scenes, etc.
Isn't it possible that the music here is evoking exactly the authentic Gatsby thing Port mentions? The upper-crust of Fitzgerald's Gatsby conflated money and power with love and invincibility, in the same way Jay-Z does (or appears to in some of his music). I mean, it doesn't get much more gaudy/skin-deep/vapid than will.i.am and Fergie in the music world. To me, the extremities of the choices are a strong indicator that there's a more subtle game being played.
Playing beautiful, un-distracting, socially conscious music over the film would be tantamount to a voiceover, explaining the flaws of the characters. It would judge everyone on-screen before we have a chance to; worse than being condescending, it would be wholly un-cinematic, and a case of telling, rather than showing.
No Need to Mow
Reader understands the appeal of synthetic turf, but will miss the real deal: Playing on synthetic turf really is not nice, but with the amount of people using a small area it is expensive to maintain a field and it will still require lots of closures ["Natural Selection," Joe Eskenazi, Your Humble Narrator, 5/15]. I'd rather have the real grass but I understand the reality of needing synthetic turf to withstand the constant play a field receives in the city. I wish [the city] would just spring for some nice maintenance. The city's baseball and softball fields are all in horrible shape. If S.F. were to give them even slight attention many a tournament would be had in this beautiful city.
Making a Splash
Man jumps in bay to save crazy person: Weirdness happens everywhere ["To the Rescue!" Albert Samaha, Suck Free City, 5/15]. Fortunately Casey Shafer survived; it was great to hear that another believer was ready to jump in, too. Sometimes an individual is the one in need of rescue and sometimes he is the savior. Let's hope the third kind [the person who jumped in first] doesn't happen often.
Blog Comments of the Week
Everyone needs to obey the rules of the road: It's time for the cops to start enforcing laws that are broken by bicycle riders ["Cyclist Killed in Mission District This Morning," Erin Sherbert, The Snitch, 5/23]. If a motorcyclist broke laws like bicyclists [do], the cops would have writer's cramps.
Reader wants S.F. to rethink its game plan: Brick & Mortar has been a great addition to the community ["Club Owner Alleges City Inspector Punishes Venues That Don't Use His Security Company," Ian S. Port, All Shook Down, 5/22]. They often have free shows and the staff is always friendly when I go to the venue. Why does the city have to mess with small business owners and cater to the deep-pocketed tech companies? Wasn't last week just S.F. Small Business Week?! San Francisco can do better than this!
Another reader isn't so sure about the security complaint: "'I think if I hired his security company we would not have had one complaint,' Perkins says." What does that mean? How do security guards stop neighbors from complaining? "'The reason why clubs hire this person is because they [the entertainment commission] leave us alone,' he says." Who says? Is "he" suggesting the Entertainment Commission, Alcoholic Beverage Control or SFPD would turn a blind eye? They work together and it seems unlikely they would sweep neighbor complaints or violations under the rug because of whom someone hires.