Edmund Fitzgerald

The Edmund Fitzgerald

My first encounter with Gor­don Lightfoot’s clas­sic song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzger­ald” was actu­al­ly read­ing the lyrics pub­lished as a poem in a high-school Eng­lish read­er. (I had a sim­i­lar expe­ri­ence with Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence”, though I think I’d prob­a­bly heard that one on the radio, my dad being an afi­ciona­do of the ’60s sta­tion KY58.)

So for Throw­back Thurs­day, please, enjoy this tale of human woe and the sink­ing of a mas­sive freighter in a storm on (spoil­er alert!) Lake Supe­ri­or.

Head­er image from Wiki­me­dia Com­mons, CC-Attri­bu­tion-Share­alike, orig­i­nal­ly by Green­mars.

Bad Times at the El Royale

Still from Bad Times at the El Royale

Final­ly, last night, I watched Bad Times at the El Royale. Back when I first saw the trail­er, I thought it was an Evans movie for sure, but it end­ed up play­ing at the mul­ti­plex down the street instead, for all of two weeks. I man­aged to miss it. Now I regret not see­ing it on the big screen.

El Royale takes place at a hotel in Lake Tahoe, on the bor­der between Neva­da and Cal­i­for­nia. The bor­der lit­er­al­ly bisects the hotel. Rooms on the Cal­i­for­nia side are $1 more per night.

The movie opens with a priest, a singer, and a vac­u­um-clean­er sales­man try­ing to check in, one love­ly after­noon in 1969, but the clerk is nowhere to be found. Once they do track him down, a fourth guest appears, and she’s got some bag­gage. Well, they all have bag­gage, but the fourth woman appears to have kid­napped some­one.

Of course, this is a noir-ish thriller, and no one—not even the venue—is who they seem to be.

I quite enjoyed El Royale. It felt a lot like a Quentin Taran­ti­no movie, but it was writ­ten and direct­ed by Drew God­dard. God­dard man­aged to take all the good things about a QT movie—colours, music, sud­den vio­lent twists—and dis­card the end­less solil­o­quies. It real­ly makes for a tight, nasty thriller, and it’s just the thing I was look­ing for.

If you like vio­lence, secrets, thun­der­storms, ’60s music, and vio­lence, it might be just what you’re look­ing for too.

Head­er image from The Movie DB.

Le tournesol

A song, from my French immer­sion school­ing, about sun­flow­ers. (Every time I see a field of sun­flow­ers, this song comes to me.)

Le tour­nesol, le tour­nesol
n’a pas besoin d’une bous­sole
ni d’arc-en-ciel, ni d’arc-en-ciel
pour se tourn­er vers le soleil

In Eng­lish:

The sun­flower, the sun­flower
has no need of a com­pass
nor of a rain­bow, nor of a rain­bow,
to turn its face to the sun

One thing I didn’t remem­ber from ele­men­tary school music ses­sions in the library at École Lau­ri­er: that bassline.

Compare & contrast

One of my all-time favourite Christ­mas car­ols is “Ça Berg­ers”. (Most of my favourite car­ols are French, since I came up in a French immer­sion school. It makes it hard to find them, liv­ing as I do in a pre­dom­i­nant­ly Eng­lish part of Man­i­to­ba. Oh well.)

Every year I look it up on YouTube. The first year, there was one ver­sion, not a great one. It sound­ed like it’d been record­ed in a high-school gym onto cas­sette, and prob­a­bly was.

This year: There are plen­ty of choic­es. Here are a cou­ple for you. (Well, for me.)

The choral version

The death metal version

(with altered lyrics, natch)

Which do you pre­fer?