Ned Rorem: Word and Music.

Ned Rorem certainly was a hottie. It's easy to see how this handsome, talented, literate 25-year-old American slipped comfortably into Parisian artistic and social circles of, shall we say, a certain caliber back in 1949. He lived the life of archival black-and-white photographs, and we view these images with nostalgic envy -- who wouldn't want to be an A-list fag in post-war Paris, breakfasting on croissants and café au lait under greenery like scenery on rue François Premier?

Now Ned Rorem is a handsome and youthful-looking 81-year-old, and in Ned Rorem: Word and Music -- screened at Frameline on Sunday -- he joins us as a voyeur, looking back at the portrait he painted of himself in his early (and somewhat notorious) Paris Diary. Over the course of 10 years, directors James Dowell and John Kolomvakis conducted a series of interviews with this Pulitzer-winning composer, and the result is a personal introduction to a genteel, thoughtful man who is unabashedly artistic, poetic, lyrical. We watch him watch himself, and it's touchingly obvious that the reminiscences are sweet ones.

Picture of Ned Rorem by Henri Cartier-Bresson

Okay, while we pretend to know something about everything around here, we know when we're outclassed, especially when it comes to 20th century American concert music. So we're pleased as punch to present today's guest, Monsieur C- of the local classical and new music (plus parking in SF) blog The Standing Room, and his thoughts on Frameline 29's screening of