There are these moments that while watching a movie, you suddenly
realize you are watching actors doing their job. During the opening
scenes of Killing them Softly there is a shot that I associated with
an improvisation during the rehearsal; artificial mucking about with a
prop. That sort of association is distracting.
Talking about association.
Killing them Softly stars the late James Gandolfini. When I heard he
passed away I watched a few Soprano episodes. In one of the scenes
Tony Soprano is fooling around with his goomah and Tony's tattoo
shows. From that moment on I miss a few minutes of dialogue because my
mind ponders off. Does Gandolfini have a tattoo? How do they apply the
tattoo to Tony's character if Gandolfini doesn't have one, sticker,
paint? How do the producers assure tattoo continuity? Which other
actors have prominent tattoos? Doesn't Sean Connery have a tattoo as
well? And suddenly my head is filled with a John Barry composition
instead of Alabama 3's "Woke up this Morning".
This sort of distraction happens more often when watching movies than
when listening to music. But it does happen occasionally.
The other day I was listening to "When in Doubt: Vamp" on my
headphones. That tune features a drum track that covers all the toms
from high to low, from left to right using the most extreme
stereophonic measures possible.
What the hell; from left to right? That is like I am sitting behind my
own drumkit, not like I am standing in the audience. How is that with
other recordings? What is the recording convention? Is this a
headphone artifact? Which other tunes do feature that stereophonic
effect? And before I recovered from the associative stream of thoughts
the next tune on the album had started: a slick cover of the
Parliament's "Up for the down stroke". I had completely missed a Maceo
Excellent funk never the less, that 1977 album by Fred Wesley and the Horny
Horns. Take a listen here.