Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the groovin’ get-together for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Come on in and get out of the heat. We’ve got plenty of cool music to chill you out. There are still a few tables available. Please seat yourself tonight. There’s no dress code. Bring your own beverage.
BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.
All of baseball is in the All-Star Break. It’s all about the Home Run Derby tonight, I guess. Or soccer. Washington’s Juan Soto won the Home Run Derby.
Last time I asked you how excited about the All-Star Game. I don’t think Commissioner Manfred will want to see these results, but on a scale of 1 (not excited) to 5 (really looking forward to it), 39 percent of you said your excitement level was a “1.” Another 35 percent put your excitement level at a “2.”
I’m still trying to have a vacation, but I’m heading home tomorrow. (So if you’re looking for me to give real-time comments on the draft, you’re going to be disappointed.) But I always have time for some jazz and I did watch one movie this week, so I’ll say a little something about that film now and try to complete it after I get home.
Those of you who want to skip that can do so now. You won’t hurt my feelings.
Here’s the SFJAZZ Collective, a group of musicians that are changing all the time, playing a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” According to the credits for this video from 2011, this performance features Miguel Zenón on alto sax, Mark Turner on tenor sax, Avishai Cohen on trumpet, Robin Eubanks on trombone, Stefon Harris on vibes, Edward Simon on piano, Matt Penman on bass and Eric Harland on drums.
As I said, I did watch one film this week as I caught director Fritz Lang’s 1945 film noir, Scarlet Street, on Turner Classic Movies’ Noir Alley this week. The film stars Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett and Dan Duryea and is the tale of a sad sack wannabe painter (Robinson) who gets pulled into a con by Bennett and Duryea’s characters with the (false) promise of a romance with Bennett’s character, Kitty March.
I really liked this film, which surprised me a little because I find Lang’s American work to be pretty hit-or-miss. Bennett (who would later go on to star in the soap opera Dark Shadows) is pretty terrific as the femme fatale here. Robinson is always good—it’s clear he doesn’t have the part to really sink his teeth into like he did in Little Caesar, Key Largo or Double Indemnity—but he really reaches for the pathos of the character, especially in the final act of the movie. Duryea is playing a part he’d mastered in earlier pictures—a cruel villain with a violent streak—so he has no problem reproducing that here.
But what really intrigued me about Scarlet Street is how tawdry and immoral it is for a picture from 1945. I honestly have no clue how the film got past the Production Board. The final scenes of this film are in direct violation of one of the important rules of Hays Code. According to Eddie Muller, the host of TCM’s Noir Alley, Lang personally pleaded his case to Joseph Breen, head of the Production Office, that the film actually met the spirit of the code, at least. Breen bought the argument, apparently, although I’d bet that Lang and Universal Pictures made some “donations” along the way that helped change Breen’s mind. (I have no evidence of that for Scarlet Street nor have I read anyone allege that. But I know that kind of thing did happen more than once with the Production Office.)
Despite all that, it was still banned for being contrary to the public morals in New York City, Milwaukee and Atlanta. Atlanta called it “licentious, profane, obscure and contrary to the good order of the community.”
Scarlet Street is in the public domain, so you can probably watch it in a few places if you want to before I write more about it by the end of the week. I know it’s on Amazon Prime and YouTube. (There’s even a colorized version on YouTube.) You can still catch it on WatchTCM. It may be elsewhere.
Welcome back to those of you who skip the jazz and movies.
So the Home Run Derby was tonight. MLB wants to make this a big deal, and maybe it is. But I’m going to let you decide that.
What did you think of the 2022 Home Run Derby?
What did you think of the Home Run Derby?
This poll is closed
I didn’t watch
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