EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J.—As I am working both today and tomorrow—alas, the international Wall Street Journal editions don't celebrate America's independence; at least I get time-and-a-half for my holiday labors, though—I'll be celebrating Independence Day in my mind...and also tonight, with a screening of a decidedly non-American film, the complete 288-minute version of John Woo's widely celebrated Hong Kong comeback Red Cliff, unfurling at Walter Reade Theater as part of the New York Asian Film Festival. A weird way of celebrating July 4th perhaps...but it's the complete Red Cliff! Not the chopped-in-half bullshit that was released last year! On a big screen! There will be fireworks, of a cinematic sort.
But I wanted to commemorate the Fourth of July on this blog somehow. And what better way to do that than with...
..."Is Anybody There?," the stirring second-act number from the famous Broadway musical 1776, here in a clip from Peter H. Hunt's 1972 film version, with William Daniels (yes, Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World, yes I know) as the "obnoxious and disliked" John Adams. I especially like the part where he sings about how he sees "fireworks," "bells ringing out," "cannons roar[ing]," and, most importantly, "Americans—all Americans / free forevermore." (I was reminded of this number, and the problematic but enjoyable musical, last night in seeing a local production of it thanks to Middlesex County-sponsored Plays in the Park—a government-sponsored theater which, every summer, offers great opportunities to see excellent musical productions outdoors at super-cheap prices at Edison, N.J.'s Roosevelt Park.)
Happy Independence Day, America!