Monday, August 24, 2009

“Sentence first -- verdict afterwards”

The nice thing about racking my brain is that it takes almost no time at all. I can start racking anywhere, anytime, day or night, and never be late for the bus or dinner or anything. I can rack while I fill up the Matrix and still have 5 gallons left to go. I can rack while I floss, but then have nothing to do while I brush. I can rack my brain while launching a two-mile walk around The Huntington, and require a new diversion for the remaining mile and three quarters.

I ate oranges from the orchard. Don’t tell anyone. They were the sweetest oranges I’ve ever, ever eaten. The juice ran down my forearms and onto my shirt and splashed on my camera, so perhaps that’s why the photos are a touch off.

And this brief tour around the forbidden Huntington is just an excuse and an inelegant transition to some clips from Jonathan Miller’s Alice in Wonderland. I racked my brain to come up with another living Renaissance man or woman aside from Miller, but after a minute or two could come up with no one. Miller is a physician, scientist, writer, comedian, director of opera and plays, explorer (ok, maybe not that), astronaut (not that one either).

If you don’t like the first clip, it won’t get any better for you. But if you do like it, as I do, “Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” Tell me what you think.

clip 1




  1. OK, KB, your oranges make me think of orange macaroons. Which naturally leads me to remind you that it looks like Petrea beat MF to the answer to your question to me. In which case, MF may not have wanted to share her secret, or macaroons, with you.

    So, that's the verdict; what I think.

  2. well you've got quite a rack there! Sorry, i just couldn't help it. Nice shots...

  3. I'm racking my brain about a lot of things here lately. One day very soon, I"ll be ok about being home from Paris. I'll keep you posted!

    PS: KM made me holler!

    My WV is FUGEN. Well I'm not touching that one!

  4. Hmmmm. I think you got me here. I'm not really seeing the genius. (I didn't get past the first one). But Alice in Wonderland was never my favorite, so maybe it's me.

  5. Very British you know. The year in which it was done blares at you. Peter Sellers and sitars, probably played by Ravi Shankar. It really took me back.

  6. That's ok Margaret, it's not you, it's me.

    But Pierre, Netflix has it, so now I get to see the whole thing. You are very sharp, yes that was Peter Sellers, but it also has Peter Cook, John Gielgud, Alan Bennet, Michael Redgrave, Eric Idle, and on and on.

    I can see, however, why it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea.

  7. I must confess...I don't love Alice in Wonderland. Any of the interpretations I've seen. But I do love her dress in those clips!

    And you ate an orange from the sacred orchard?!!! Well done. :D

  8. a big LOL on this one.
    and no one can top KM's comment.
    I remember liking very, very much something he did for BBC (PBS) on medicine?? I wonder how high his parents set the bar.

  9. :D :D :D You ate oranges!!! Yummy. I would like them now. They are refreshing.
    Photos are perfect. Ciao Karin :D

  10. The camera angles and character development are tops here. Alice should be played as a disagreeable 14 year old; the fellow with his head on his plate?

    "anything with a neck can be decapitated"

    I'll try to keep that in mind

  11. A veritable who's who of British comedy. Peter Cook has always been a huge favourite of mine. Except for Dudley Moore the full Beyond the Fringe team is present. And Gielud and Muggeridge and Peter Sellers! Cripes!!

    I don't know how this one flew under my radar all these years. I can see how it would be a tough slog for many.

    It crossed my mind to get into the rack/wrack question but it didn't take much Googling to convince me that that would have been a big mistake.

  12. Cafe Pas,
    I see now that you are into the macaroon, which was confusing while Virg was in gay Paris because she talked about macarons, and I see now they are not the same thing, n'es pas? But I digest.

    Filming Alice in black and white is different, which I like, and I recognized some faces but the first thing I thought of was the 1960's version of "The Light Brigade", also slightly off kilter. It must have been the herbal cigarettes, etc. I miss the wooziness of those days, all so new and different. Loved it.

  13. Curiouser and Curiouser


  14. This works for me--I agree with PA that a disagreeable teenage Alice feels right. But then, I also love the Alice books.

  15. Altadena Hiker - I've been tuning into your blog for mere days, and I'm already hooked (I'm a new blogger...came upon your blog I honestly don't remember how). This is such a cool find! I like the India connection. Very trippy.

    Thanks for the stellar posts. I'll keep on coming back.

  16. PensaCola PJ, how are de macaroons different?
    btw, is your photo blog back in service?

  17. CafPas,

    Thanks for asking, the photo blog is still on the shelf but should be back in another month or so.

    As for the cookies:

    Macarons remind me of Moon Pies, the hightlight of any Mardi Gras celebration in Mobile, AL, home of the original Mardi Gras but you'll have to ask our in-house francophile, Miss Virg to verify that.

  18. Oh yeah, sometimes I use two "c's", other times two "o's", when I should know by now it's always 1c+1o=fm.
    So, now I c what you meant, pj. I think I'm gonna have a macaron 2day in honor of your interest.
    So, y'all got a hot spot source for them down south?

    I'm not gonna touch your "Home of the Original mardi grass" portion of your comment.

  19. How nice, thank you Quid.

    So I watched the film late last night, and had some very weird dreams (true story).

    My favorite parts of the movie, aside from disagreeable Alice, were Leo McKern as the Duchess and John Gielgud as the Mock Turtle.

  20. are these from the med fly zone? The grove near the graves?

  21. Yes, but further down the road, past the no visitor signs, and not that far from the main outside road. It is med fly zone, so nothing can leave the premises.

    (Still trying to get the OK to take some folks along with me. Just haven't had success so far.)

  22. These are quite a find, my dear. The last one escaped in my previous blog and I couldn't seem to find it again. Hearts and flowers to you for its resurrection.

    "This is the worst tea party I've ever been to." - Alice

  23. I can't seem to watch a film without picking it apart, good or bad. Maybe if the acting business keeps going as it has, soon I'll have gone so long between jobs that I'll learn to watch films for fun again!

    I like Alice in Wonderland, and I like this film in all its oddness. I want to go to those places and wear those clothes. Love the old house and the wavy, torn curtains.

    Wikipedia's article about this version (too lazy to link) briefly mentions the fatal flaw: "The title role was played by Anne-Marie Mallik, the 13 year old daughter of a Surrey barrister, this being her only known acting performance."

    As well it should be.

  24. P, I truly hope you find entertainment employment soon. Just promise me you aren't gone hang a placard around your neck saying you "will act for food. "

    I better start get to work on my screenplay.
    Unrated, so I'd better get assistance from Kb.

  25. Petrea, what a disagreeable little girl you are.

  26. Probably just jealous.

    In '66 I was just the right age for the part, and I'd have been FAB. But Miller didn't discover me, did he? All my life I've wanted to be a British actress.

  27. omigod I love that top shot. Heavenly!

  28. Shots are nice,especially the oranges are lovely...Unseen Rajasthan