I've been tagged with a meme. Thom Ryan, the mastermind behind one of my very favorite blogs Film of the Year, has selected me, along with four other bloggers (a distinguished group, I might add), to follow some simple instructions for a post on my site, and to pass on the instructions to five more bloggers. Like a chain letter, except without the curse of bad luck at the end if the recipient doesn't participate.
I've been tagged with memes before, and though I've always felt honored to be thought of, I've also felt enough resistance to the idea that I've never complied. This time, I'm in the mood to do so, for several reasons. One, I've lately been more inclined to embrace the myspace-y, facebook-y aspects of the blogosphere rather than pretend that what I do here at Hell on Frisco Bay is so fundamentally different from the activity on those and other social networking sites. Two, with my blogroll currently missing from this blog while I complete my redesigned reconstruction, I'm more compelled than usual to give shout-outs to some of my fellow travelers (though I'm happy to report that my archive, and blogroll, has been recovered by blogger and can be found here until I complete the transition back to this url.) Three, this particular meme gives me an opportunity to point to a book I've been meaning to mention here since I bought it and started paging through it a couple months ago.
That's right, this is a book meme. Here's the instructions Thom sent:
1) Pick up the nearest book.
2) Open to page 123.
3) Locate the fifth sentence.
4) Post the next three sentences on your blog and in so doing...
5) Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.
1) So, when I received this tag, I was mere feet away from Scott MacDonald's Canyon Cinema: the Life and Times of an Independent Film Distributor, filled with primary source material concerning the venerable Frisco Bay institution that grew out of Bruce Baillie's film exhibitions in Canyon, California by Redwood Regional Park.
2) I can't resist giving a little bit more context. The opposing page 122, it so happens, reprints a fan letter to Canyon Cinema filmmaker Bruce Conner (and a current research subject, the reason why this book was so close at hand this afternoon) from none other than John Lennon, in response to Conner's dazzling Looking For Mushrooms. As he explains in an interview later in the book, Conner sent the film to Lennon because it included a Beatles song as its soundtrack, and he wanted the composers' blessing so he could legally show the film.
3) It's page 123 that we're concerned with at the moment, however, and it's got a letter from a Frisco Bay filmmaker I'm less familiar with (having seen only one of his works, Six Loop-Paintings), Barry Spinello. He's writing about how his 1969 film Soundtrack was influenced by a 1938 John Cage text found in Silence.
4) The three sentences:
Any image (his example is a picture of Beethoven) or mark on the soundtrack successively repeated will produce a distinct sound with distinct pitch and value - different from the sound and value of any other mark. The new music, he says, will be built along the lines of film, with the basic unit of rhythm logically being the frame. With the advent of magnetic tape a few years later and the enormous advantages it has in convenience and speed (capacity to record and play back live sound, and erase) the filmic development of electronic music initially envisioned by Cage was completely obscured.5) Now, to select the five bloggers I'm to pass this meme to. I'm going to stay local here...
Max Goldberg of Text of Light comes to mind because he wrote a terrific review of the MacDonald book a few weeks ago.
Michael Guillén of the Evening Class comes to mind next, as he's the one who let me know about Max's blog.
Sister Rye comes to mind because I wish she would post a little more often.
Ryland Walker Knight of Vinyl Is Heavy comes to mind because I owe him an e-mail right now.
Rob Davis of Errata comes to mind because he's only going to be local for another week or so. Frisco Bay's loss is Chicago's windfall.
Thanks again, Thom!