July 3rd, 2008

bazille_summer scene

Clear Afternoon

A pleasant southern breeze has cleared the sky to a normal summer blue, allowing us to see the few cirrus clouds by which it is graced. Despite the considerable heat of the day, I've opened the windows (on this window of opportunity, as it were), and silenced the air conditioner. But for the frequent drone of water bombers and chatter of helicopters, this could be a perfectly normal July day. Buzzing bees and rustling leaves enliven the drowsy atmosphere, and the scent of a single late-blooming camellia sweetens the air.

I intend to set up the chaise and enjoy the shade of the walnut tree, and watch the blue jays peck at the lawn. The Internets will have to wait for me until later, when the wind will inevitably veer around and bring back the stench of the ongoing fire. It is now a bit more than half contained. Nevertheless, Independence Day has been canceled. Local parade-lovers will have to content themselves watching the parade of aircraft going to and from the conflagration.

Also, I'm going to get some bread baked by a guy wearing a wifebeater, which I've only just found out is now available locally (the bread, not a guy wearing a wifebeater— those are as common as earwigs.) Also some cheese, I think, and Sierra Nevada Summerfest, and then have a slice of the first casaba of the year. Mmmmm.

Doo-Lang doo-Lang-doo-Lang

Fans of German director Fritz Lang will be delighted to know that a 16mm print that may be the original, long version of his 1927 flawed (by Lang's own admission) masterpiece "Metropolis" has been discovered in Argentina, where it was struck sometime in the 1970s or 1980s from a 35mm print that had been taken to the South American country in 1928.

Reports say that the recently unearthed print contains at least 25 minutes of footage thought lost since the severe 1928 editing of the original release. It has been in the hands of the Museo de Cine in Buenos Aires since 1992, but only this year did the museum's new director discover that this print contained the footage long believed to have been lost forever.

Though the 16mm print is said to be in poor condition, I suspect that the missing sections from it will probably be restored and added to the Murneau Foundation's (owners of the rights) 2002 restoration of the film, the most complete version available until now.

Half a dozen stills from the missing footage have been posted by Zeit Online.