Monday, September 30, 2002

Going to Poona

So today evening I got The Best of Z Z Top from the public library, to get myself an introduction to these blues-rock Texans. Thence we proceeded to Poona, a South Asian restaurant on Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth. Yes, it was the name that intrigued us. Our hostess was a friendly Bengali lady who wasn't sure why they had named the restaurant Poona. Our entrees were Vegetable Korma and Chicken Chilli to go with 2 naans. The food was good, except their tendency to add chopped peppers into the Chicken Chilli to add the "spice" to it was an unwarranted Chatpatti-style act {these people add uncooked masala as toppings to dishes like paav bhaaji}. Clearly there is a prevalent warped idea of "spicy" food. The portions are below modest, especially for the price. You wouldn't notice this, however, because their spice trick just gave you a "full" feeling.

Back home, we caught the special features on the Vertigo DVD. I must say I was disappointed. Most of the commentary (if I may dare to call it that; it seemed more like outtakes of a cofee-shop scene in a forgettable B-movie) focused on the effort involved in restoring this classic, minus any interesting technical details. The documentary was moderately interesting, including the add-on subdued ending and previews for the original release and the re-release. The original preview was a good indicator of why the film didn't do well -- the studio was clearly in no position to understand the property they had and persisted on marketing it with the tags that you would associate with Hitchcock. The re-release preview was much more faithful, except for the Powerpoint-style intertitles. Wish they had the good sense to get a film scholar to talk over the film. The closest they get is Steve Smith, Bernard Herrmann's biographer. Sadly, he deviates from the score of the film itself to other works by Herrmann, and his voluble description of Herrmann's music soon overstays its welcome. So, unless you want to listen to people go on tangents for over two hours, skip the commentary.

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