The End Of Cinematics

by Mikel Rouse

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about

Drawing on the richness of the good old days of cinema with live music and a thoroughly modern, “hyper-real” film experience with multiple screens and surround sound, Mikel Rouse’s The End Of Cinematics examines the 21st-century phenomenon of viewing media content in fragmented form. From channel surfing to MTV to formulaic Hollywood films and sitcoms, we’re accustomed to—and adept at—filling in the details of storylines, of grasping an idea and determining its conclusion.

Inspired by Susan Sontag’s 1996 New York Times article “The Decay of Cinema” and her 1997 essay “A Century of Cinema,” Mikel Rouse adds to the discourse on the art of cinema. Drawing on the history of cinema from its early days with live music to today’s sophisticated sound and effect experiences, as well as our familiarity with music videos and MTV, Mikel Rouse asks if film experiences challenge us the way they once did. He asks if the communal cinematic experience still alters our existence or if it impacts us in other ways.

As a dreamlike meditation on the possibilities of cinema, The End Of Cinematics reflects on the way corporate entertainment has transformed the art of cinema and suggests that plot and screenplay have become artifice. Mikel Rouse elevates the pop-tinged musical score to a position of prominence; by favoring sound over image and dialogue, The End Of Cinematics examines but one of the many possibilities afforded filmmakers, performers, and videographers at the beginning of the 21st century. By adding elements of form and structure, and by juxtaposing music and lyrics, images and narrative, live performance and video, Mikel Rouse creates an immersive, sensual experience that embodies a thoughtful and creative approach to 21st-century art.

The End Of Cinematics is the third part of an “opera verité” trilogy consisting of Failing Kansas and the critically-acclaimed “talk show” opera Dennis Cleveland. Each of these works combines live performance with original music and video/film; each makes use of Rouse’s counterpoetry technique, the use of multiple unpitched voices in counterpoint to create a layering effect with multiple textual meanings. The works are linked thematically in that they refer to American popular culture and how America looks at religion and spirituality.

Failing Kansas, based on events surrounding the murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas, was inspired by Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Using diaries and letters of the murderers, trial transcripts, and fragments of well-known verse, Mikel Rouse performs with preacherly gestures against an abstract film backdrop by Cliff Baldwin, overlaying the text on his pre-recorded score to create a beguiling counterpoint.

As it highlights the ritual function of the television talk show, Dennis Cleveland breaks the “fourth wall”—the divide between performers and audience—allowing for interaction between everyone involved in the performance experience. Mikel Rouse performs as a combination of talk show host and master director, leading on the talk show guests and testifying audience members. As it comments on the packaging and content of the contemporary cinematic experience, The End Of Cinematics presents original film footage manipulated through computer generated imaging to provide video backdrops or stage sets for live performers. The performers and backdrops are then captured live on video and montaged onto a front-projected scrim, creating a live, 3D film right before our eyes.

credits

released September 12, 1998

EXITMUSIC 1009
Written, arranged and produced by
Mikel Rouse
© 1997 Mikel Rouse
All rights reserved.
Published by Club Soda Music (ASCAP)
EXITMUSIC RECORDINGS

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Track Name: The American Dream
THE AMERICAN DREAM

As I was dating…
As I was dating the American Dream
As I was saying…
As I was saying what I never believe.

It’s how you’re livin’…
How you’re livin’ on the edge in between
It’s what you’re given,
and it’s a given that you’ll never be seen.

And when you pull out
you’re pullin’ more
than just a couple of legs
And what you’re about…
About to face another basket of eggs.

Life among the trees:
Life when you wanna go down
and go down deep
Life in the movies,
Like it’s the only life you wanted to keep.

As I was dating…
As I was dating the American Dream
As I was saying…
As I was saying…

Everybody wants everybody
Everybody wants me.
Everybody wants everybody
Everybody wants me.
Track Name: Women Are Men
WOMEN ARE MEN

Stay, whadaya say on the way?
Stay, whadaya say on the way?
I didn’t think, I didn’t dream.
I didn’t think, I didn’t dream.

I didn’t think. I didn’t dream.
I saw the body and the body it seemed:
Left over light; left over scars
Women are men. Men are from Mars.

Out go the bad air, in come the good.
This is the story of the engine that could.
Too much T.V. Too many bars.
Women are men. Men are from Mars.

And when I think of goin’ down I didn’t think of very many parades.
And like a broken magazine I pitched the story of the life
that I laid.
I put a finger on the button and the button didn’t pop so I stayed.
And when I think of goin’ down I just remember all the
beds that I’ve made.
Track Name: Drop The Ball
DROP THE BALL

You could say you caused my head to spin
but you don’t get to do that again.
You could say the writing on the wall
was the kindest letdown of them all.

You could say your love was Heaven sent
but that don’t explain the money spent.
You could say my life was something
to believe in ‘till I fell for you.

My intake on love is briefly:
Take a number, float upstreamly
Be awake and try to have it all

Clear out of the office early.
Break for dinner and a movie.
Make up for mistakes and drop the ball.

You could cross a river out of sync
underneath the bridges on the blink.
You could fake a pass and then agree
that the only hesitation’s me.

You could string along a turkey shoot
but that don’t explain the missing loot.
You could say my time was coming up,
my number was your number too.

You could say a lot of other things
that cancel all remaining dreams.
You could say above beyond the call
is where the last dividers fall.

You could call my name alone out loud.
You could call my name out in a crowd.
You could say my life was something
to believe in ‘till I fell for you.

My intake on love is briefly:
Take a number, float upstreamly
Be awake and try to have it all

Clear out of the office early.
Break for dinner and a movie.
Make up for mistakes and drop the ball.
Track Name: Come Up To Breathe
COME UP TO BREATH

Come up to breath, come up to breath
Come up to breath, come up to breath

Set in my time, set in my ways
Settle this bet: the one with the legs
Econoline bridge set up the shoot
A pilot, it seems, gave me the boot.

And promises live where others have gone.
The deals come around so we die at dawn.
Soap in the bath, soap on the wheels
Marital aids, marginal meals.

I flip at the sight and wonder at sound.
I come up to breath the money-go-round.
Econoline bridge set up the shoot
A pilot, it seems, gave me the boot.

Up under the wave in your World Wide Page
Gone, gone are the days
when people will say:
Love, love conquers all; indestructible.

Rise before the fall. Give nature a call.
In love interlope, flood money to cope.
Capture heart with hope.
Give heart enough rope.
Track Name: God Out Of Control
G.O.D.O.O.C.

I never wanted to see you alive
I never wanted to see you alive.

God out of control this world.
God out of control this world.

A gold ring, I made it say
C’mon top baby go away.
A black eye, a ruby lip.
C’mon top baby such a trip.

A new dress, I made it say
A lose fit in the Milky Way.
Before now and yesterday
The last gift that you give away.

God out of control this world.
God out of control this world.

I never wanted to see you alive.
I never wanted to see you alive.
Track Name: I Can't
I CAN’T

I can’t judge the light in the morning
and hoping I bring something.
And I can’t tell the right from the wrong thing.
I’ve been longing for nothing at all

Can’t bring the night overall thing
but watching something almost.
And who can’t say he might not belong here?
It’s so clear I bring nothing at all.

And when you hold the answer,
hold the answer home.
And when you dupe the master
do it on your own.

And when you feel the bottom out of pleasure
tap yourself alone.

Can’t forget your special calling
and yawning, comfort closing.
And in place of the light in the morning,
I’ll bring something like nothing at all.

And if you miss a measure
no one else will know.
And even with the muscle
everybody goes.

And when you feel the bottom out of pleasure
tap yourself alone.

I can’t find the light in the morning
and hoping I bring something.
And I can’t tell the right from the wrong thing.
And I’ve been longing for nothing at all.
Track Name: The Treatment
THE TREATMENT

I didn’t know this was a treatment.
I stepped aboard for entertainment.
This fuel is fine, so magically aligned.

I kept my head, my head about me;
a credit check of what I should be.
I’ve made enough for both of us combined.

Pity the mind, the mind that wanders.
I can’t imagine any longer
a single life so singularly refined.

I care enough to watch and listen,
carry the only gift I’ve given,
make minor changes just to keep in line.

Who says abort imagination?
Intel Inside Entire Nation
What’s not ahead is usually behind.

Pity the mind, the mind that wanders.
I can’t imagine any longer
a single life so singularly refined.

So the girl and the guy
they’re like…um… Overcast –
you know, they don’t even have a clue.
And when the neighbor gets involved,
it’s like this triangle…
(And explosions, lots of explosions)…
So that when everyone wakes up
it’s like it was a dream:
And now they can see how hurt they’ve been –
like all those broken promises –
but nobody meant to do it.
And then…he walks into the sunset…
yea…the sunset…that’s good.
Track Name: Be More Really
BE MORE REALLY

Well Puerto Rico is an idea
that I’ve never seen
The missing bank books is a reason to look up
And nestled deep inside my heart
there is a money tree
And at the bottom of the tree’s where I give up

And Puerto Rico is an idea that appeals to me
But what appeals to me is not worth looking up

And when you’re walking on the beach
And you’re holding your hand
Don’t be thinkin’ ‘bout the master
of the one night stand

You gotta pay before you go
It’s just a couple of days
But if you’re waiting to return
to the magic maze

You gotta be more really
For the second show
You gotta be more really baby, Gotta go

Down at the bottom of the harbor is a history
And if you float upon the waves
you’ll get along
But if you sit beside yourself man
it’s the third degree
And everybody who agrees with you is wrong

And Puerto Rico is an idea that appeals to me
But what appeals to me
is nothing like the song

And when you’re walking on the beach
And you’re holding your hand
Don’t forget about the master
of the one night stand

You gotta pay before you go
It’s just a couple of days
But if you’re waiting to return
to the magic maze

You gotta be more really
For the second show
You gotta be more really baby, Gotta go
Track Name: G.O.D.O.O.C.
G.O.D.O.O.C.

A left hook, I made it say
About face baby here to stay
About now, I’m over it
But good God the alternative…

The next life, I made it say
A free ride to the Milky Way.
Before now and yesterday
A black eye that you give away.

God out of control this world.
God out of control this world.

I never wanted to see you alive.
I never wanted to see you alive.
Track Name: Movie Money
MOVIE MONEY

Set in my time, set in my ways
Settle this bet: the one with the legs
Econoline bridge set up the shoot
A pilot, it seems, gave me the boot.

And promises live where others have gone.
The deals come around so we die at dawn.
Soap in the bath, soap on the wheels
Marital aids, marginal meals.

I flip at the sight and wonder at sound.
I come up to breath the money-go-round.
Econoline bridge set up the shoot
A pilot, it seems, gave me the boot.

Throw the harpoon; a broken relief
Society wails: a marginal thief.
Set in my time, set in my ways
Settle this bet: the one with the legs

Come up to breath the movie money
Come up to breath the money.

Up under the wave in your World Wide Page
Gone, gone are the days when people will say:
Love, love conquers all; indestructible.
Rise before the fall. Give nature a call.
In love interlope, flood money to cope.
Capture heart with hope.
Give heart enough rope.
Up under the wave in your World Wide Page
Gone, gone are the days.
Gone, gone are the days.
Track Name: Cindy
CINDY

Cindy when you comin’ out
Cindy when you comin’ out
Cindy when you comin’ out with me?

Cindy take it very slow.
Prest-o-change-o, what a show.
Cindy when you comin’ out with me?

Cindy when you comin’ out
Cindy when you comin’ out
Cindy when you comin’ out with me?

Fairly certain that your size has changed
so you don’t get anything confused.
Bottom line is that you rearrange
any idea of anything,
idea of anything to lose.

Comin’ out. Comin’ out.
Comin’ out. Comin’ out.

Always know that your address will change
so you don’t miss anything at all.
Early morning says to act your age
any idea of anywhere,
idea of anywhere to fall.

Comin’ out. Comin’ out.
Comin’ out. Comin’ out.
Cindy when you comin’ out?
Cindy when you comin’ out?
Track Name: Men Are Women
MEN ARE WOMEN

A forward pass on bended knee.
Another myth another movie to see.
A brain that flip beyond the stars.
Women are men. Men are from Mars.

Out go the bad air, in come the good.
This is the story of the engine that could.
Left over light; left over scars
Women are men. Men are from Mars.

And when I think of goin’ down
I didn’t think of very many parades.
And like a broken magazine
I pitched the story of the life that I laid.
I put a finger on the button
and the button didn’t pop so I stayed.
And when I think of goin’ down
I just remember all the beds that I’ve made.

I didn’t think, I didn’t dream.
I didn’t think, I didn’t dream.

Stay, whadaya say on the way?
Stay, whadaya say on the way?
Track Name: The American Dream (Reprise)
THE AMERICAN DREAM (Reprise)

And it’s the American Dream
And it’s the American Dream
And it’s the American Dream
And it’s the American Dream

Everybody wants everybody
Everybody wants me.
Everybody wants everybody
Everybody wants me.

Everybody wants everybody
Everybody wants him.
Everybody wants everybody
Everybody wants him.

As I was dating…
As I was dating the American Dream
As I was saying…
I was saying what I never believe.

It’s how you’re livin’…
How you’re livin’ on the edge in between
It’s what you’re given,
and it’s a given that you’ll never be seen.

And when you pull out
you’re pullin’ more than just a couple of legs
And what you’re about…
About to face another basket of eggs.

Life among the trees:
Like when you wanna go down
and go down deep
Life in the movies,
Like it’s the only life you wanted to keep.

As I was dating…
As I was dating the American Dream
As I was saying…
As I was saying…

And it’s the American Dream, and I’m all wet.
Track Name: WhiteBlackYellowBat
WHITE/BLACK/YELLOW/BAT Blockbuster

I took a mental come what may
ignoring what I oughta say.
Because the wind that blows today
is like a mobile hide-a-way.

And if you hang around too long
and someone notices you’re gone,
you’ll curse this island that you’re on.
You’ll hear them singing this here song:

White man bringin’ me down
White man bringin’ me down
White man bringin’ me down

Then there’s the motive kicked around,
it gets confusing with the sound,
as all the theories that abound
get refiled in the lost and found.

As common sense is shown the door
you kick around what’s kicked before.
And as you reinvent the poor
You hear them crying out once more:

Black man bringin’ me down
White man bringin’ me down

Inside is where I want to be.
It’s where the helpless ride for free.
It takes the money outa me
and opens up a pharmacy.

Look here: The world is like a book;
it’s just the language where you look.
Selected stories someone took.
A way to let you off the hook

Yellow man bringin’ me down
Black man bringin’ me down
White man bringin’ me down

Batman bringin’ me down
Yellow man bringin’ me down
Black man bringin’ me down
White man bringin’ me down