Cinematic Music with Pauly Deathwish
Season 1 Episode 4
Cinematic Music with Pauly Deathwish
Season 1 Episode 4
“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (closing music)”–Jack Nitzsche
“I’m Not in Love”–10cc
“Armenia City in the Sky”–The Who
“I Can See it (But I Can’t Feel It)”–my bloody valentine
“Trouble of the World”–Mahalia Jackson
“The Drugs Don’t Work”–The Verve
“In Germany Before the War”–Randy Newman
“The Kids”–Lou Reed
“Source Tags & Codes”–…and you will know us by the Trail of Dead
Here is a masterpiece.
Not since Aaltra (2004) has a movie so perfectly made use of the dark humor pioneered by Louis-Ferdinand Céline in Voyage au bout de la nuit (1932).
Lapland Odyssey is Finnish film which is currently free to watch on Tubi.
I cannot give enough praise to the director, Dome Karukoski.
This is not just a miraculous feat of storytelling, but the mise-en-scène of a true auteur.
I was born 15 days earlier than Mr. Karukoski: 43 years ago.
Our director hails from Cyprus.
Where Eric Schmidt has recently applied for citizenship.
Funny timing, that.
Wouldn’t Eric Schmidt welcome a Biden Presidency?
Does Mr. Schmidt fear something in the United States?
Perhaps the former CEO of Google knows something we do not?
Might it concern impending public corruption trials?
And, just maybe, a reelection of Donald Trump?
Lapland Odyssey premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010.
That was the same year that Toronto-based company Dominion Voting Systems acquired not only Premier Election Solutions (an American company [Ohio]) from ES&S (Election Systems & Software [Omaha, Nebraska]), but also Sequoia Voting Systems [California] from Smartmatic [U.K.].
PES had only been acquired by ES&S the previous year (2009). Before that, PES was owned by Diebold.
Premier Election Systems was formerly known as Diebold Election Systems.
Before Diebold bought it, it was known as General Election Systems.
Before General Election Systems bought it, it was known as I-Mark Systems.
You get the picture.
Dominion Voting Systems is now owned by American private equity firm Staple Street Capital (which has extremely strong ties to the Carlyle Group [George H.W. Bush’s former benefactor]).
None of this would have been possible without Jussi Vatanen.
Vatanen is our hero.
He is tasked with the impossible.
Find a digital TV receiver (“digibox”) in one night.
After the local electronics store has closed.
This involves a trip to Rovaniemi: the main city of Lapland.
Hundred of kilometers to get to Finland’s 17th most populated city.
In Finland, Lapland is not only the northernmost province, but it is also the largest province of the country.
It bears mentioning that there is also a Swedish province called Lapland.
The cleavage of these two Laplands dates to 1809: when Russia annexed the eastern part of Sweden and declared it the Grand Duchy of Finland.
My closest brush with this region was a single musical concert I played years ago in the town of Kiruna (in Swedish Lapland): Sweden’s northernmost town [population 22,906].
It was an experience which profoundly changed me and which stays with me till this day.
Finnish Lapland borders Sweden’s Norrbotten County. At Norrbotten’s northernmost point can be found Kiruna (north of the Arctic Circle).
At the southeast corner of Norrbotten County is Piteå: my favorite town in Sweden.
The town of Piteå sits on the Gulf of Bothnia–just across the water from Finland.
I also played a musical concert in Piteå.
It was, perhaps, the happiest time in my life.
So I can imagine Rovaniemi.
A city just four miles south of the Arctic Circle.
Jussi Vatanen plays the loser who makes good.
Which makes him, in fact, not a loser.
I can intimately relate to that.
I have lost my job (again).
I am addicted to drugs (again).
And I am addicted to alcohol (a first for me).
It is in these days, when I am having the first true experience in my life with alcohol withdrawal, that I come to this film.
It is the perfect film.
It is just exactly the film I needed at this particular time.
Because I, like Janne (Vatanen’s character), am trying my damnedest to get my life together.
Last week, I got engaged.
I exercise (pacing back and forth in my parents’ garage as my phone records my steps).
I drink less.
I drink less.
And extreme fucking INSOMNIA.
When I was in Kiruna, the sun only went down for four hours.
I didn’t see the Northern Lights.
But you can see them in this film.
And they are glorious.
If it is CGI, then I am losing my touch.
Because I don’t believe it is.
I appears to be the genuine article.
Lots of sunflower seeds.
Big red welts all up and down my arms and torso from nicotine patches.
I can no longer afford my General Snus.
Sure, I have some stashed away…
But my wise old psychologist once told me: “just move one thing at a time”.
I put question marks because I am unsure of the order.
Main goal is STOP DRINKING.
Or, should I say, the FIRST goal.
If I can get an MBA, surely I can stop drinking.
For every hero, there needs to be a doubter.
To provide context.
The hero forges forward (when it would probably be best to just quit).
The hero quits (when it would be much easier to just continue).
The hero is determined.
The hero gives energy and inspiration to those around him.
But the doubter adds richness.
Because it is human to doubt.
Will Donald Trump be reelected President?
We will find out when the Electoral College meets on my birthday to ELECT a new President-Elect.
Till then, Joe Biden is at best the worst kind of poseur.
He is doing exactly what he promised Chris Wallace and the American people he WOULD NOT do: to declare victory before the election is independently certified.
What a hypocrite.
Each state certifies its vote.
Biden does not have enough votes at the moment (by way of certified state votes and their concomitant electors) to declare victory.
N.B. It is the Electoral College which will ELECT the next President (who THEN AND ONLY THEN becomes known as the President-Elect).
And so we doubt.
Me and Jasper Pääkkönen.
Was there fraud?
I believe so.
And you may doubt in the other direction.
Was there fraud?
You doubt there was.
But I know there was.
Because I have basic research skills.
And I availed myself of Rudy Giuliani’s masterful delineation of the case for fraud.
[no thanks to American mass media (which completely blacked out all coverage of Giuliani’s press conference with Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis)]
So we all doubt, each in our own way.
And someone may convince us.
The law may even compel us.
The U.S. Supreme Court may weigh in on the legality of certain ballots in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Particularly Michigan and Wisconsin.
Timo Lavikainen is the late-bloomer.
Along for the ride.
But absolutely essential.
Able to love.
You must become like a child to enter the kingdom of heaven.
News of war.
At some point we might mention the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
Which lasted about 500 years (until 1795).
For beauty, we have Pamela Tola.
She just wants a fucking digibox, for christsakes!
Something about those blonde bangs.
Then there is the villain.
A bit like Alex “Scott Evil” Soros.
A bit like Martin Vanger.
Kari Ketonen plays the boy who never got anything.
…and let it make him evil.
He plays the cheater.
A character with absolutely no morals.
Strictly driven by lust.
[and a good bit of narcissism]
He comes off looking a bit like Kip in another masterpiece of a film: Napoleon Dynamite.
Imagine Kip as an irredeemably-unscrupulous character and you will have a pretty good idea of who Pikku-Mikko is.
Mikko moves in for the kill while the matrimonial bed is still warm.
Mikko false-flags his way into manipulating his enemy.
Mikko is a master of PSYWAR.
But God wins in the end.
And Moa Gammel is the real star of this film.
In a strange way.
Almost the doppelgänger of Pamela Tola.
The Swede is the world image of beauty.
The Finn is more quixotic.
None of this, of course, means a damn thing.
And all the while Timo Lavikainen just wants to see Miia Nuutila’s tits.
There will be helicopters.
Leave it to the wacky crew of fledgling SNL to throw a curveball on pitch two.
No. That’s not a good enough metaphor.
It’s like a hard rock band which decides to “break it down” two songs into their set.
Yeah. That’s a little better.
Really has an off-the-cuff feel of experimentation.
Like, “Hey…Garfunkel is in! Garfunkel is in!”
Yes, this is really a musical special rather than a true Saturday Night Live episode.
I must be honest.
Paul Simon starts out pretty bland.
I was skeptical.
I mean, I like the guy, but the first couple of songs are a little clunky–a little underwhelming.
But then things pick up. Big time!
I’ve always heard “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” as a magical song. It is other. And though the mellow duo of Simon & Garfunkel don’t play that particular tune on this show, they go to that magical other place for a string of songs. “The Boxer”…”Scarborough Fair”…it is bloody jawdropping.
Just these two dudes. No band. Nothing to cover for flubs. Paul with his fingerpicks on. Never misses a note. And Art with his delicate voice…as poised as his Bob Ross hair.
And the songs! My God, the songs! The lyrics about “the boxer”…this passage in particular:
And he carries the reminders
Of ev’ry glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
“I am leaving, I am leaving.”
But the fighter still remains.
Goddamn. Those last two lines. I’m leaving, but the fighter still remains.
And then those opening fingerpicked notes of “Scarborough Fair” with the capo midway up the neck. So delicate. So many blurred harmonies. Like a clavichord.
But hold your horses!
Randy Newman is here too. At the piano. Doing “Sail Away”…and those lazy, studied dissonances reminiscent of Charles Ives. And the words…as delicate a political statement as Chuck Berry’s “Back in the USA”…
To break things up, Paul plays Connie Hawkins in a game of one-on-one basketball with Marv Albert getting the sideline interview. What a bizarre and hilarious bit!!!
But the song that really got me was “Marie” by Paul Simon (actually a Randy Newman composition). I’ve loved you since the moment I first saw you (or something like that). Man… This guy! And that song…
I will admit that I never really “got” Simon & Garfunkel till I saw this episode. And Paul Simon I knew mainly from the later stuff…the great albums like Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints. Like I said: some of Paul’s solo stuff falls flat, but on the whole the guy is one hell of a talent!!!
Phoebe Snow didn’t do as much for me here as Janis Ian did in the first episode, but hey: the lady was seven-months pregnant. There’s no doubt Snow had a truckload of talent. The repertoire was a bit questionable, but that might not have been her fault.
Also, before I forget: Art’s solo rendition here of “I Only Have Eyes for You” is otherworldly. Nobody does it like that anymore! Truly a fount of inspiration!!
And so there’s very little Chevy Chase, no Aykroyd, no Belushi…but it was kinda worth it for the musical happening which transpired.
A nice curveball 🙂