Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Imagine

Friday, November 12, 2010

Late birthday ponderings


Two days late in posting about my birthday that was celebrated on Wednesday the 10th! This year was a bit easier stepping forward into the 50-year-olds camp than last year since I have had a full year to getting accustomed to turning 50 an now I have 51 to deal with. Well after much contemplation, pondering, wondering and whining I have come to realize that the best way to deal with this increase in numbers that represent my years in this wonderful world is to abide by the plans I followed when turning 30....ignore it and have fun in whatever you do! Anyhoo...celebrations abound for me and my friends who share November as the month of their birth!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Queen Victoria : the 19 century's answer to Buffy


Oooookkkaaaaayyy. So. Alexandria Victoria, born of the House of Hanover. Known officially as Victoria Regina, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India; a monarch busy ruling Great Britain and the commonwealth, fawning over her Prince Albert, raising the Heir and the spares, introducing the Christmas tree... was in her free time eradicator of all thingies bad and evil. Rule Britannia. We are amused.

-photo courtesy of Amazon

Hallowed October and remembrance of Gloria Stuart

Once again it is the hallowed month of October and time for Countdown to Halloween (C2H2010 as it will be referred to from now on). I hope to contribute to C2H2010 with more posts than just the one measly contribution like last year!

To start off this Occasion I want to dedicate my first post for
C2H2010 to actress/artist Gloria Stuart who recently passed away on Sunday, September 26 at the age of 100. Why? Well I'll tell you why. Ms. Stuart deserves this honor on my little blog because she was a connection to what I consider the most fruitful, prosperous, and challenging decade in Hollywood film history: the 1930's. She was lucky to be in not one but two classic horror films: "The Old Dark House" (1932) and "The Invisible Man" (1933) both directed by the talented James Whale. With those two laurels under her belt, Ms. Stuart's remembrance in this post goes hand-in-hand with welcoming C2H2010. Another event in her early career was being one of the early supporters of the Screen Actor's Guild established in 1933.

Outside of her acting career, Ms. Stuart was a talented self-taught painter and had her paintings shown in many art galleries. Not bad for someone who did not go to art school. Later in life she took interest in printing hand-made books. This talent too was rewarded with many of her works housed in institutions such as Library of Congress and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Gloria Stuart was a true artist at heart living a full and busy life and never looking back.

She is best known to moviegoers as "Rose" in James Cameron's film "Titanic" (1999) receiving a much deserved SAG award for her work. I will remember her though in memorable scenes from "The Old Dark House"; standing alone making whimsical shadow puppets by firelight and dressed in a silky, slinky evening dress rushing down the long, dark hallway like a fleeting ghost
.

-top photo courtesy of...I forgot who but thank you!




Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hounds of Love 25th anniversary!

This fantastic work of music by Kate Bush was officially released 25 years ago today. Hounds of Love is my favorite of her discography and it shows how her music continually matures and grows with each record. All of her works are unique and worthy of praise. With my first listening, HoL struck a chord (pun intended??) with me especially "Hello Earth" and "The Big Sky". Kate is a film fan and sometimes she refers to movies and adds bits of film dialogue in her songs. Two examples from HoL are"Hello Earth" and "Running up that hill". "Hello Earth" uses the same haunting men's choir piece that was in Werner Herzog's 1979 film "Nosferatu". All seven songs on side two make up the The Ninth Wave a sort of storytelling theme. Some of the hits to be released from HolL are "Running up that hill" and "The Big Sky". It is wonderful to listen to this album (like all her others) closely to catch the richness and melodic tapestry of music and overlapping chorus of voices woven into the songs. Kate Bush puts layer upon layer in her songs and you want to just pull them out one by one and dig deeper and deeper to hear how it is done. HoL is carefully thought out and is unhurried in its creation. You can tell. There are synthesizers winding around spurts of harmonic rhythms of voice and at one time you hear a plane roaring overhead. We hear beat box drums meshed with English/Irish traditional instruments and rhythms.
Twenty-five years down the road Kate Bush's Hounds of Love still mesmerizes me and is as fresh and amazing as the first day I heard it on its release day. Give it a listen. You will not be disappointed.


-image courtesy of Gaffaweb a tribute site to Kate Bush.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

ZBS and the adventures of Jack Flanders!


The Fourth Tower of Inverness is a wonderful adventure story starring Jack Flanders and was aired originally as a multi-episodic radio show in the 1970's. The story is filled with colorful characters such as Lady Jowls, Dr. Mazoolah, Chief Wampum, Old Fart Seeing Art, and Little Freida who likes to smoke Cuban cigars. Jack travels to other lands found within the fourth tower and meets up with mythological characters and creatures found in Hindu tales and a Wurlitzer of Wisdom that plays selections from Ram Dass and the Venerable Van Vleet. The background music for FTH is chock full of rock n' roll ditties from the 1950's to big band swing music. I first heard the story in 1978 and loved it! Many years later I found the story on audio tape and listen to it still. So far I have obtained a few other Jack Flanders adventures on compact disc from ZBS foundation where it all began. ZBS has created oodles of stories starring Jack Flanders since the release of FTI in 1972. The latest adventure-and I think the last ever we'll hear starring Jack- is 2008. Take a look at the ZBS website for they have a wide range of audio stories to choose from. Three cheers to Meatball Fulton and ZBS! If you are a fan of audio stories and love imaginative, original stories that feed your mind, you will not be disappointed.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Karloff: Today's Hip Celebrity

Why do these photos of the Monster kind of remind me of photo shoots of curent day pop celebrities posing in a dark suit with thick soled shoes? Yes, Mr. Karloff, your photo shoots are meant to promote the movie but to me the photos predict the "celebrity" status he acquires as a horror film great. Little did he know.
Little did they know. It must have really been exciting to be there and be a part of the early days of the horror film genre starting with Universal studios followed by MGM and other studios wanting a piece of the pie. My film geekness and love of old flicks is showing right now, can you tell? I always feel sorry for the Monster because he is so misunderstood. Whenever I watch the films"Frankenstein" (1931) and "Bride of Frankenstein" (1935) I feel a mix of sadness and awe. Sadness because how sad the Monster's life is once created and awe because of the cinematic beauty of both films.
The first glimpses we see of the Monster in "Frankenstein" are memorable. Super! The richness of black and white movies. Gorgeous. Why the need for colorization decades down the road....I just don't get it. Anyhoo...on with the show.