“Nanty coming it on a pall, or wid cracking to queer a pitch.”

I don’t know why do these kinds of things with animals.

The first thing is about chimpanzees. I don’t like it, yet I cannot look away.

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The second thing came from a curiosity about Henry Mancini. I don’t really know how highly rated he is, so I can’t say he’s under-rated. He’s put together some great tunes though. Stuff you might not necessarily know the name of, but would recognise the sound instantly. Perhaps the most famous piece is ‘Baby Elephant Walk’ which came from the soundtrack of a (1962) film, _Hatari!_ starring John Wayne.

I’m not going to explain the whole movie, that’s what whikkapeddia is for, but to me the film was notable in that the footage of capturing animals was gruesome but amazing because it’s from another age; we’ll never be seeing real footage like that being shot again because a) we will have killed all the animals, b) some people don’t want us to be doing that to real animals or c) computer generated images.

The opening scenes are of Wayne and his cohort chasing a rhinceros across the plains of East Africa. The rhino sideswipes and headbuts the vehicles as well as getting his horn into one of the hunters (phallic!). I was definitely barracking for the rhino and this time it did get away but I couldn’t get over how it was real. Different from the approach we get now, through nature docos.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/3892442770/” title=”rhino-hatari by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2568/3892442770_6def4fb6da_o.jpg” width=”662″ height=”387″ alt=”rhino-hatari” /></a>

The film is structured around footage of chasing and capturing animals. The plot is very much tacked on and a lot like some 50s boys comic. Both racist and sexist in spades.

But getting back to the soundtrack, and Mancini. There’s a couple of other good tracks on there, one called ‘the sounds of hatari’. It soundsĀ  a lot like rhinos barrelling along at full speed. It’s got that mix of indigineous and whiteboy (brass) sounds that I like – fusion of origins. Taking a guess, I’d say this inspired the Amon Tobin track, Rhino Jockey, from Supermodified.

Here are some other great Mancini tracks connected with other films or tv shows: – a shot in the dark

– experiment in terror

– theme from Peter Gunn

– Pink panther theme