Chris Grant and I often spend patriotic holidays together.  Almost two years ago now, while we were doing a production of Romeo and Juliet together in D.C., Chris made me watch the movie National Treasure on Labor Day.  The Shakespeare Theatre has beautiful housing for its actors, and we both had apartments in the same brick building, on a quiet, tree-lined street of Capitol Hill.  The apartments for that theater are spread out all across D.C. and Chris and I were the only actors in this particular building.  We each had a small backyard space, and Chris – believe it or not – even had a grill.  We celebrated Labor Day that year like most Americans, with beer, brats from the grill, and a terrible/fantastic movie starring Nicholas Cage.

Chris made me watch National Treasure / Borrowed my boots to play Johnny Cash

Yesterday being a similarly – or perhaps even more – patriotic holiday, Chris and I likewise had brats and beer (hold the Nicholas Cage).  His girlfriend Sofiya came over, and we walked down to Riverbank Park at 145th street to watch the fireworks.  We passed a bus with an ad for the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a live action film from Disney with the same director and producer as National Treasure, and (wait for it) also starring Nicholas Cage.  Now maybe I should explain myself.   Nicholas Cage has done some fine acting in some great films, but more and more he appears to be playing a mumbling parody of himself.  He also seems (like Ben Affleck in the earlier part of the decade) to be taking a lot of projects for the money.  However, while National Treasure is definitely not Leaving Las Vegas, it does have a certain camp appeal and is a lot of fun.  Maybe Sorcerer’s Apprentice will be the same, or at the very least, will help put his kids through college.

Mike was planning to shoot some footage of the fireworks last night, which I hope to use for the projections to accompany “Red Foot to Red Circle.”  For Chris, we’re still trying to coordinate schedules, but are hoping to shoot a short James Bond style music video, similar to the opening credit sequences that begin each Bond film.  Apparently, a 007 film starring Sean Connery shares its name with the portrait I’ve written of Chris, “You Only Live Twice.”  Mike suggested that we film Chris running through Washington Heights in a tux and bow tie, and if we can make it work it should be perfect.  We just have a few other pick up shots to film for the remaining projections, and the interview of Gretchen and Freddy which we’ll shoot tonight.  Then we’ll be in the homestretch, editing for the next week or so.

(My roommate Chris, in what appears to be a scene from National Treasure 3)

I’ve now posted demo mp3s of most of the songs.  The portrait of Chris, however, is so new that I hadn’t recorded it yet.  I finally found time to do so yesterday.  I should mention that this song has explicit lyrics, so my sister Stephanie – if you’re reading this – the portrait of Chris is probably not one to play for Eva and Leo.  But it seems appropriate for a song about Chris to include profanity.  It’s the only true rock and roll song in the cycle: loud, jangly, and irreverent.  Just like Chris.

Below is a link to the demo recording of his portrait.

You Only Live Twice (explicit lyrics) by Matthew Carlson

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