On or about this day in 1786, Carl Maria von Weber was born. He was one of the founders of the Romantic period of classical music. As you all know, not one of my favorite periods of music. But the early Romantic period stuff isn’t so bad. Von Weber is known primarily for his operas, but here is the first movement of his Clarinet Concerto No 1, which will give you a brief and clear idea of his music:
Other birthdays: French painter Eustache Le Sueur (1617); bandleader Tommy Dorsey (1905); business theorist Peter Drucker (1909); Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi (1917); two talk show hosts: one mediocre, Larry King (80); and one great, Dick Cavett (77); businessman Ted Turner (75); actor Meg Ryan (52); and actor Jodie Foster (51).
The day, however, belongs to the great screenwriter Charlie Kaufman who is 55 today. I don’t really know anything about his life and I don’t especially want to know anything. He has written some of the best films in the last decade and a half: Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Synecdoche, New York, which he also directed. I don’t want to overstate it, because a lot of writers are only ever allowed to write crap. But there is no doubt that most screenwriters seem to think that crap is all that is worth writing. And Kaufman has a unique style that would stand out even if Hollywood hadn’t become the animation arm of Marvel Comics.
Here is the best scene from Adaptation. The whole film is great way to deal with those awful internal dialogues that we all have. All of us are both Charlie and Donald:
Happy birthday Charlie Kaufman!