08 November 2009
Friday/November/13 2009 Filed in: Weekend Showcase
The new John Cusack ultimate disaster film, 2012, opens appropriately on Friday the 13th.
All the pre-release hoopla reminded us of the rash of apocalyptic movies that dominated movie screens back in the mid-1950s.
Most of these flicks were about some kind of beast born of atomic radiation (more about them later), but a few could easily be grandfather to the new Cusack movie.
When Copywriters Ruled
Special effects were crude and primitive back in the day, so it fell to the writers who wrote the narration in the coming attractions trailer to sell the goods. Today's marketers and PR types could learn a lot from those guys. As you watch the following clips, see if you agree. We've showcased some of the best lines as Hot Copy.
Disaster Du Jour
Here are two movies at least somewhat similar to 2009's 2012. In retrospect, these disaster movies from the pristine 50s were filled with sexual innuendo. You see it too, right? Or is it just us?
The Night the World Exploded 1957
Hot Copy: Worldwide chaos as mighty earthquakes erupt...upheavals tilt the Earth past the danger point!
Sexual innuendo: Scene setting -- Woman in bed. Man sitting on bed.
Woman: You still haven't found a way to stop the eathquakes, have you?
Man: I can't close my eyes to the truth...
Woman: So you're saying eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we may die?
Man: *knowing smirk*
That's right, baby. Now or never!
The Day the World Ended 1956
Hot Copy: A new high in naked screaming terror!
The monster in this film has to take a back seat to all the sexual innuendo. Did we say innuendo?! This 50s movie puts it all out there.
Scenario: a horrible monster is terrorizing Earth seeking out the planet's most desirable women to mate with. And how do the men of Earth respond? Check out this dialogue from the trailer:
Scientist #1 "There's two forms of life fighting for survival (humans and the monster) and only one of them can win."
Scientist #2 "I'll talk to the girls in the morning...they should bear children as soon as possible"
What?! That's your solution?! The old if-the-monster-has-its-way-with- you-you'll-have-monster-kids-so-you-need-to-have-sex-with-me-immediately routine?
Giant Lizards and Creepy Crawlies
In the 1950s, fears about the effects of atomic radiation played out at the movies with films about either lizards or insects being transmogrified into humungous goliath-sized monsters.
The Beginning of the End 1957
Here's an impossible mission for Peter Graves - stop giant grasshoppers from feeding on the good people of our hometown Chicago.
Hot Copy: A menace so massive, so overwhelming, that thousands upon thousands are propelled into senseless terror. Panic takes the place of planned evacuation and whole cities are paralyzed with FEAR!
This movie was made on such a shoestring budget that a scene depicting the grasshoppers scaling the historic Wrigley Building was actually shot using insects scurrying around on a large black & white photograph of the building. As we recall, at one point, one of the grasshoppers strayed and walked out onto the sky. Oops...
King Kong vs Godzilla 1962
The ultimate beat-down!
Hot Copy: The great Godzilla, blazing a trail of terror to his Japanese homeland...!
Sexual Innuendo: The unconquerable King Kong, great gorilla god of the South sea paradise, where sensuous maidens offer themselves in ritual sacrifice to his crude embrace!
A flying dinosaur! A BIG flying dinosaur!
Hot Copy: When he moves, the whole Earth quivers and quakes and an abyss of HORROR opens up!
The Giant Behemoth 1959
A behemoth would be a big thing, right? So a giant behemoth must be REALLY big!
Hot Copy: The Giant Behemoth -- the fire breathing monster predicted in the bible -- its core a mass of lethal radiation. Rising from the depths of time, its strength enormous!
Big, really BIG, radioactive ants.
Hot Copy: In one moment of history-making violence, nature mad, RAMPANT, wrought its most awesome creation. For born in that swirling inferno of radioactive dust were things so horrible, so terrifying, so hideous, there is no word to describe ...THEM!
Wednesday/November/11 2009 Filed in: Science / Technology
Slow and Steady?
Nokia took a shot at describing what the future would be like six years ahead, empowered my their breakthrough technology. This presentation is what they came up with.
This exercise in crystal ball gazing is not getting rave reviews. Mashable said "all of this is already available on iPhone, Android (Android), Symbian, and other mobile devices of today."
Deepfreezevideo (via Huffington Post) said "that had to be the lamest thing I've seen in thirty years."
Though to be clear, we weren't very impressed either. This has to be one of the more modest predictions about the world of tomorrow that we've seen.
To boldly go...
It's, of course, unfair to compare this internal pitch to some of the bold predictions AT&T made on national television in the 1990s, but if the goal was to get people excited, inside or outside of the company, Nokia might have tried to stretch imagination at least a little bit more.
On the other hand, most attempts to look ahead truly overstate or totally distort what future technology is prepared to deliver.
After all, we're still waiting for our rocket cars.
Wednesday/November/11 2009 Filed in: Art, Music and Movement
Gustave Dore 1832-1883
Gustave Dore was a french artist, engraver and sculptor who is remembered, primarily, for his literary illustrations of the works of Balzac, Milton and Dante. Dore also illustrated Cervantes' Don Quixote, Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven and the Bible.
Something Beyond the Stars
What has always amazed us most about Dore is the majestic and ominous power of his black and white engravings depicting Heaven. Their grey-scale simplicity radiates something, indeed, beyond the stars and beyond this world.
If there is in truth a Heaven, we imagine that Dore has somehow captured something of the awesome and daunting mystery of it in his work.
Paradiso, Canto 31
In fashion then as of a snow-white rose
Displayed itself to me the saintly host,
Whom Christ in his own blood had made his bride.
Paradiso, Canto 18
So I became aware that my gyration
With heaven together had increased its arc,
That miracle beholding more adorned.
And such as is the change, in little lapse
Of time, in a pale woman, when her face
Is from the load of bashfulness unladen,
Such was it in mine eyes, when I had turned,
Caused by the whiteness of the temperate star,
The sixth, which to itself had gathered me.
Within that Jovial torch did I behold
The sparkling of the love which was therein
Delineate our language to mine eyes.
Purgatorio, Canto 2
In exitu Israel de Aegypto!
They chanted all together in one voice,
With whatso in that psalm is after written.
Then made he sign of holy rood upon them,
Whereat all cast themselves upon the shore,
And he departed swiftly as he came.
Paradise Lost: The Horrid Vale
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty stature; on each hand the flames
Driven backward slope their pointing spires, and, rolled
In billows, leave in the midst a horrid vale.
Paradise Lost: Descent into Hell
Hell at last
Yawning received them whole, and on them closed;
Hell, their fit habitation, fraught with fire
Unquenchable, the house of woe and pain.
Wednesday/November/11 2009 Filed in: Science / Technology
Clooney gets his goat
The film, Men Who Stare at Goats, starring George Clooney among others, explores what happens when military intelligence meets new age mysticism.
The military believed it would be shocking and awesome to kill a goat, or even better an enemy soldier, just by staring at it.
This kind of mental warfare is a little extreme but our favorite scientist, Rupert Sheldrake, has done some eye-opening work along somewhat similar - though far less deadly - lines in developing his theory concerning The Sense of Being Stared At.
What you see is what you get
According to Professor Sheldrake, seeing is not a passive process of connecting reflected light to the brain via the optic nerve. The mechanics of vision may be localized in the brain but the magical experience of seeing is an interactive process between the seer and the seen.
The foundation of his theory is that odd sixth-sense thing that most of us have felt at some time in our lives -- the sense of being stared at.
But who better to explain and test this theory than the great Sheldrake, himself.
Related Apocalypzia Posts:
Sheldrake the Magnificent
Psychic Social Media: The Parking Lot Theory
When we discussed our Parking Lot Theory with the great Professor Sheldrake he said it was interesting and he encouraged us to test it, so here's the test.
If you have time, we would appreciate your participation. Come on. It'll be fun.
More about Rupert Sheldrake:
Rupert Sheldrake Online - Official Website
Rupert Sheldrake - Wikipedia
Monday/November/09 2009 Filed in: Entertainment / Media
No, the first actor to play James Bond on the screen wasn't Sean Connery.
But you knew that already. You knew that way back in 1954 there was a LIVE production of Casino Royale on US television on a program called Climax!
Barry Nelson played Jimmy Bond, an American spy. American? Viewers wouldn't accept a Brit as a suave, debonair secret agent, would they?
More Schlitz than Absolut
Actually, Nelson played Bond more as if he'd been created by Dashiell Hammett -- or even Damon Runyon -- than Ian Fleming. This Bond was more of a Schlitz beer guy than a Absolut martini guy. In this TV adaptation of the first Bond novel, there was no M or Q or Miss Moneypenny. Just Jimmy.
Peter Lorre as Le Chiffre
You say Barry Nelson isn't your idea of great casting for Bond? Maybe not, but the long-term success of the franchise has hinged as much on the casting of the villain as the hero, and this early production may have hit that one out of the park. Peter Lorre seems perfect in the role of the cipher, Le Chiffre
This is how James, sorry, Jimmy Bond was first introduced on the screen...
And this was the climactic scene...
The one that got away
If you enjoyed the 2006 Daniel Craig version, you can probably thank this TV production for it. Because Ian Fleming had already sold the rights for this Bond script, Casino Royale wasn't included in the film franchise package that producers Broccoli and Saltzman acquired a few years later. It was through this loophole that the god-awful David Niven spoof with the same title made it to the screen in 1967.
Rebooted, not stirred
Had it not been for the Barry Nelson version, Casino Royale would likely have been the first big-screen film of the series and Sean Connery's debut in the role. As it was, when filmmakers wanted to reboot the movie franchise, the movie rights to the book that started it all were available and Bond was re-introduced and reborn.
Things have changed in 52 years...
Monday/November/09 2009 Filed in: Philosophy / World View
When people try to predict what things will be like in the future, they're generally way, way off.
That goes for science, engineering, finance and certainly fashion.
In the 1930s designers took a stab at imagining what women would be wearing in the year 2000. What's shown in the video below is what they came up with. Keep in mind, the year they were aiming at is now nearly ten years in the past.
The clip says as much, if not more, about evolving attitudes regarding women within society as it does about fashion.
Future-fashion view from the 1930s
They did get somethings right though.
The Ooo Swish! comment, for some reason, sounds like something America's-Next-Top-Model co-host Miss J would say.
iPhone or Droid?
And in their brief comment about men's wear, they also seemed to get the cellphone thing right. The headgear, not so much...
The view of future fashion from the 1960s was really no better.
I am the Eggman! They are the Eggmen! I am the Walrus! (Koo Koo ka Joob!)
Okay, then how would you describe the outfits at the beginning of this clip?
How about the view from the early 1970s?
A cosmetics belt to replace a woman's handbag?!
Sunday/November/08 2009 Filed in: Weekend Showcase
When we grow up, we want to be Sinval Fonseca
Sinval does it all. He is a musician, singer and artist from Brazil whose passion for life and living is evident in the art he freely shares with the world. He is a constant inspiration to us.
We first came across him on YouTube and posted about him back in July. He was kind enough to send a lovely note -- translated from his native Portuguese -- in response.
I love the art in general, I have the music as hobby and the painting as profession.
Well, what better way to prepare for another tough work week than to enjoy the bossa nova rhythms of Sinval!
First up the Brazilian classic Girl from Ipanema...
In Pois E, he sings and plays all the parts...
Sinval shows off his skill at the keyboard (and drums) with this number...
Watch the multi-talented Sinval paint as he serenades you with his music...