Hurrah! Come and get it!
Last night, Larry French, during a spirited moment over giant gimlets with Toddy Baesen in the 39 floor-high Dirigible Room at San Francisco's Marriott "Jukebox," asked me to announce that he will soon publish here the transcript of a telephone interview we had with Rick Schmidlin, a couple of nights ago.
[The occasion of our visit to "The Jukebox" was a sneak preview of Oliver Stone's W., and Baesen was so enthralled with Josh Brolin's depiction of his hero, G.W. Bush, that he picked up the check, something I can't do any more.]
Anyway, gang, you have a real treat coming. Most of our questions and arguments about TOUCH OF EVIL should be settled, and a few of our precious myths and legends destroyed.
On Monday night, about 6 p.m. (PST), Rick Schmidlin was in Vancouver, where he is a visiting lecturer, and we were on phones in Mr. French's Haight-side flat in San Francisco.
Mr. French did most of the questioning in his inimitable conversational style, while Toddy and I sat mostly listening, like Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstreet, among Larry's vast collection of lobby boards, both lurid and classic.
I did offer a greeting for myself and Wellesnet, and recalled an encounter with Rick, over half a decade ago, at the San Francisco Museum of Art, where he had introduced his marvelous reconstruction of Erich von Stroheim's GREED (1924/1999). He clued us in to the results of several projects he was speculating upon at the time: A GREED-like restoration of THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, conversations with Warner Brothers, and a projected search in the film jungles of Rio for the lost . . . AMBERSONS.
[I wondered about the answers to those questions for years.]
Rick, as you might tell from his kind and modest recent entries here, expressed pleasure at being back on the Wellesnet Board. He spoke generously for nearly an hour and a half, primarily on the background of his involvement with the original TOUCH OF EVIL project, technical problems which arose in the re-edit, and his judgment calls on . . . EVIL in working with knowledgeable people such as Walter Murch and Jonathan Rosenbaum. Along the way, he also made brief observations about his experience with figures familiar to us, like Gary and Jillian Graver, or Oja Kodar.
The edited transcript will be along in a week or so, just as soon as Toddy Baesen can fully unlimber his computer. [It's a Gutenberg #1440 Model.]
The transcript will make a grand Halloween present for Toddy! And an equally splendid birthday present for Larry French who, I've discovered, shares his birthdate with Rick Schmidlin!
Last edited by Glenn Anders
on Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:19 am, edited 1 time in total.