songofcopper: (peter hammill)
I’ve been scribbling in my purple notebook. I did a lot of that last year: so, you see, whilst I was indisposed, I was not wholly idle. At the moment I’m doing a sort of vampire tale, inspired by watching some of the films of Jean Rollin. My favourite of these so far (and I think, my overall favourite vampire film by anyone) is ‘The Shiver of the Vampires’. It’s difficult to describe well without spoilers, so instead here are some stills:

shiver_of_the_vampires_castle
Mauve-tinged castle

Creep inside... )

*****************************

Meanwhile (twirling pen around fingers): Why write about vampires? What can there be left to say about such hackneyed nonsense? I think that in itself - the saturation-level cliché - is the draw. There are so many obvious things to say, it becomes a happy little puzzle to try and avoid saying those things and to say something different instead.

Another vampire film I particularly enjoyed has its own take on this. ‘They Have Changed Their Face’ (1971, dir. Corrado Farina - he of ‘Baba Yaga’ fame) portrays the deathless parasites as capitalist industrialists.

hanno-cambiato-faccia-name
The clue's in the name...

The modern parasite )

*****************************

One last fanged curio for your interest: ‘Blood is the Color of Night’ (1964, dir. Gerardo de Leon), which has the distinction of being ‘the first colour horror picture produced in the Philippines’. This is a great example of necessity as the mother of invention: colour stock was scarce/expensive over there at the time, so it had to be used sparingly. For that reason, some scenes in this film are in b&w, others are in full colour, and others are tinted - in jewel-bright blue or ruby red. This even becomes a plot device: when you see an eerie red glow, you know there is vampire business afoot. It gives the whole film a special atmosphere, without which it would be just another obscure and wacky b-movie.


blood_is_the_color_of_night_Dr_Marco_3
Dr. Marco in the pink.

Multicoloured melodrama )

*****************************

Vampire stories almost always pit Christianity against (other forms of) superstition, and modern science against local folklore. Customarily you find that the church’s notions of passion/sacrifice, transubstantiation and eternal life are mirrored and mocked by their vampiric equivalents. I wonder if this is a way of expressing the horror and scariness of religion itself. No-one is really scared of dying - it’s the before and after states that are terrifying. Pain whilst still alive, followed by decomposition, paradoxically countered by the horrifying, bizarre alternative of life after death - these are fearful indeed.

In his book Mr Frayling tells that reports of vampires often crop up in places where there is religious or political conflict/a change of rulership. It’s one of those ‘formal discredit’ tropes. A bit like how Roman historians were obliged to make the previous emperor look as effeminate and mentally-unbalanced as possible, and 18th C. cartoonists ceremonially exaggerated the Prince Regent’s waistline. Nowadays we take aim at Mr Trump’s awful hair, epidermal orangeness and tiny wee extremities. These ritual taunts have little to do with actual events or policies, but they help us communicate our wordless fears about powerful individuals.

Despite everything, we still value our souls.

In the Pink

Saturday, 12 March 2016 17:56
songofcopper: (fred)
This Friday I’m tasked with saying a few words to introduce a film showing. (Film club time again!) I think my words shall indeed be few: rather than loose off a tirade o’trivia, I’ll just share a few brief personal impressions. Let’s face it, any old so-and-so can look up trivia on the internet (in other words, do it yerself, fact fans). Besides, I’m not an expert (on any topic, least of all cinema!). All I can bring that is mine alone to give is… my perception. *flutters ridiculous quantities of eyelash*

Yes, well, anyway - the film I’ve picked is one I’ve seen numerous times, but not very recently - and I’m not going to re-watch it in advance of the showing (I want to anticipate enjoying it again, in company, rather than taking a Mastermind-specialist-subject-revision approach). It’s one that has a distinctive look, a mischievous sense of humour, and stars some of our most beloved Silver Screen Luminaries. It’s silly and frothy, but does dip a toe into potentially-serious notions of identity, personal authenticity and the masks we wear for one another and ourselves. (Plus, it’s a musical. I imagine that may divide opinions right there.) My title of choice is ‘Funny Face’, starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire.

Just now, rather than elaborate a comprehensive overview of the film in this, my own cosy little corner of the Entirenet, I have it in mind to plumb a tangent inspired by one of its songs. Namely, ‘Think Pink’.

Pink to Make the Boys Wink )
songofcopper: (Peter Wyngarde as Number Two)
Golly gee, I’m a tired little Diurnal Introvert today. Last evening, I Attended An Event and Made Conversation With Humans, most of whom I did not know hitherto. I’m pretty sure I Spoketh the Rubbish (well, yeah, so what is new?!). But it is better to be silly than dull. This type of experience does tend to fill the brain with Notions, which then kept me awake and analysing way past Emy-sleepsleep-time. And of course, this morning, I awoke with the birds, as usual. In short: *feeble moaning sound* *smiling, however* ;-)

Observations: Municipal library seating is harsh on the posterior. The English really cannot help but congregate around a tea urn (seriously, a circle formed around the sainted thing, as if ’twere an holy well, with occasional reverent reachings into the sacred biscuit tin).

The event in q. was a film showing with introductory remarks (the idea shall be to establish a film club: you may choose a film to be shown, but you must say a little something about it first). Last evening’s selection: none other than ‘Flash Gordon’. Ideal fare for a drizzly evening in January. Leaving the place afterwards, the dinginess of Exeter after dark made for a depressing contrast with the powerfully outrageous world of the film. Regarding the introductory remarks - well, the gauntlet was well and truly flourished ’n’ thrown down by a knowledgeable and eloquent fellow… which awakes the spirit of challenge in Yrs Trly. I like a podium, me (much more than awkward chat around a tea urn!). And am an ignorant fellow, but perhaps also eloquent under some circumstances? …We’ll see.

Well, whatever, if nothing else I now have ample wardrobe inspiration for whenever I do get around to taking over the galaxy. As dictators go I’d be fairly lax ’n’ lenient, but definitely Fabudorable.

Further observations: to be sober in an only-just-slightly-inebriated world is most certainly surreal. I had a long wait for the bus home, so I walked right up to the centre of town and further still (to kill time) before stopping to await my carriage. Outside Subway, I witnessed one young man cheerfully chasing another whilst shouting, “Yer a Corgi! Yer a Corgi!” If this is current slang, I have no idea what it means (perhaps “You have short legs, large ears, and I think you’re cute”?).

And now: time to rest. (In the absence of an intergalactic-dormobile-foldaway-person-holder as favoured by General Klytus, a humble sofa shall suffice!)

Flim Flam

Tuesday, 19 March 2013 12:06
songofcopper: (disdainful domination!)
How was your weekend? Did you have an exciting adventure? Did you discover something, or forget or remember or buy or sell or drink or kiss or or or...?

Me, I was very, very tired. I stayed indoors and watched films. (Adventure-outsourcing, one might say.)

Of course, that wasn't all I did - I noticed an interesting phenomenon. Sleep deprivation can, in small doses, unlock a glittering portal in the brain - granting access to that plush and chintzy backstage area of your mind that you always suspected was there, Beyonce-ready with a white velvet chaise longue, Laurent-Perrier on ice, scent-organs wafting calming vanilla-musk, flunkeys AND lackeys, and a solemn shirtless long-fingered youth whose sole purpose is to perform shiatsu and look decorative, whilst his twin brother grooms your pedigree Pomeranian... hotcha!

It's nice there until the inevitable Diva Meltdown that will happen past a certain point of insufficiency in the Arms-o'-Morpheus dept.

In other words, I suspected that I couldn't function well for long on slightly less than half the recommended nightly allowance of sleep, but have now proved it empirically. Thus, the weekend required dedicated, focused laziness - and a mental screensaver (movies work well) to sluice away the Byzantine* excesses of the zzz-starved thoughtmode. [*Avoid this word, by the way, when your brain is tired, along with all others that seem to have so many alternative pronunciations!!]

Moral: I've never tried cocaine*, nor am I likely to do so, but perhaps lack-o'-zzz is a cheaper, less sticky option anyway. The overall effects appear to be rather similar. Someone needs to tell all celebratties. [*Or any of those other sugar-or-talc-substitutes, nor even baccy, of the plain or patterned kind. With my constitution, boring old oxygen is quite enough of an oooh. Having said that, I did chew coca leaf in Peru. But only cos the air woz rare, innit?]

But I sense that you may not like to know all this gnonzense, and all upon a Tuesday morning too, so let us draw across a line of dainty dots and Move On!
* * * * *

Now then, where was I...?

Oh yes, Films. Or indeed Flims, as they are called in this house. (No word is ever safe. Even the DVD turns into a VDV, which sounds more interesting than it should.)

"You fucking broke my sitar, motherfucker!" )

"You fucking stole my cocoanut, motherfucker!" )

"You fucking entombed me in molten gold, motherfucker!" )
songofcopper: (disdainful domination!)
I saw this recently, and fell slightly in love:



That is Peter Cook bedazzling up a storm there. ^_^  I've never been that enamoured of Peter Cook, he always comes across as being too clever by half and a bit... I dunno... hard-hearted. :-\  But here, he demonstrates how alluring aloofness can be!  Is anyone else swooning...?

Mustn't forget, though, that Dudley Moore composed the score.  All the music is great, from start to finish.

The whole film (Bedazzled) is really good, much better by far than the remake.  Even though it's funny and the humour is quite silly in places (trampolining nuns, anyone?!), it has a melancholy quality to it, too.  I suppose even in the super-optimistic 60s, not everybody felt that the times they were a-changin' for the better.  We may have grand ideas and noble aims in this life, but what if all the involuntary, petty, split-second moments of anger, cruelty, venality and greed that pepper our larger strivings add up to damnation?  If not perhaps in any kind of afterlife, they probably do in this one...  If the road to Hell really is paved with good intentions, this film puts that across really well - be careful (and very precise about) what you wish for, folks! ;-)

And in the meantime, distracting oneself with amusing films and clever musical parodies is as soothing a balm as I have yet found. ^_^
songofcopper: (disdainful domination!)
I saw this recently, and fell slightly in love:



That is Peter Cook bedazzling up a storm there. ^_^  I've never been that enamoured of Peter Cook, he always comes across as being too clever by half and a bit... I dunno... hard-hearted. :-\  But here, he demonstrates how alluring aloofness can be!  Is anyone else swooning...?

Mustn't forget, though, that Dudley Moore composed the score.  All the music is great, from start to finish.

The whole film (Bedazzled) is really good, much better by far than the remake.  Even though it's funny and the humour is quite silly in places (trampolining nuns, anyone?!), it has a melancholy quality to it, too.  I suppose even in the super-optimistic 60s, not everybody felt that the times they were a-changin' for the better.  We may have grand ideas and noble aims in this life, but what if all the involuntary, petty, split-second moments of anger, cruelty, venality and greed that pepper our larger strivings add up to damnation?  If not perhaps in any kind of afterlife, they probably do in this one...  If the road to Hell really is paved with good intentions, this film puts that across really well - be careful (and very precise about) what you wish for, folks! ;-)

And in the meantime, distracting oneself with amusing films and clever musical parodies is as soothing a balm as I have yet found. ^_^

*Sniffle* :-(

Tuesday, 4 May 2010 19:08
songofcopper: (Purrodigy)
I am playing hostess to a Germ. :-( Hence I am snotty, snuffly and sniffly, and generally useless! Felt fine on Saturday but spent Sunday and yesterday firmly under the weather. I took the day off work today and I'm glad I did, because I feel too stupid even to read, let alone do anything constructive...

...anyway, I am slightly cheered by my new musical cat icon. ^_^

Well, to make this entry slightly less pointless, I will append my attempt at answering [livejournal.com profile] breakon87 's question following this entry. I've been trying to write something in response to this for a while, and I fear it will be a long and rambling effort. At the best of times I am long-winded, as regular readers well know! ;-)

For a start, I’m actually finding it quite difficult to pin down just a few favourite films! (Television poses a different problem, which I’ll come to shortly…) But here goes. ^_^

Celluloid Reveries )

The Good old Goggle Box or Boob Tube! )

*Sniffle* :-(

Tuesday, 4 May 2010 19:08
songofcopper: (Purrodigy)
I am playing hostess to a Germ. :-( Hence I am snotty, snuffly and sniffly, and generally useless! Felt fine on Saturday but spent Sunday and yesterday firmly under the weather. I took the day off work today and I'm glad I did, because I feel too stupid even to read, let alone do anything constructive...

...anyway, I am slightly cheered by my new musical cat icon. ^_^

Well, to make this entry slightly less pointless, I will append my attempt at answering [livejournal.com profile] breakon87 's question following this entry. I've been trying to write something in response to this for a while, and I fear it will be a long and rambling effort. At the best of times I am long-winded, as regular readers well know! ;-)

For a start, I’m actually finding it quite difficult to pin down just a few favourite films! (Television poses a different problem, which I’ll come to shortly…) But here goes. ^_^

Celluloid Reveries )

The Good old Goggle Box or Boob Tube! )
songofcopper: (lalalalala!)
Today I watched THE movie - the one that I think must have affected my outlook on life more than any other I've ever seen.  This is the one that presented me, when I first saw it many years ago, with a fully-formed vision of everything I wish I could do, writing wise.

The odd thing is that until watching it again, I'd not really acknowledged how many of my aims with my merry burbling and drivelling (otherwise known as 'creative writing'!) must have stemmed from this film, and others like it.

I'm talking about 'The Man Who Came To Dinner', starring the excellent Bette Davis and the stupendously magnificent Monty Woolley.

songofcopper: (lalalalala!)
Today I watched THE movie - the one that I think must have affected my outlook on life more than any other I've ever seen.  This is the one that presented me, when I first saw it many years ago, with a fully-formed vision of everything I wish I could do, writing wise.

The odd thing is that until watching it again, I'd not really acknowledged how many of my aims with my merry burbling and drivelling (otherwise known as 'creative writing'!) must have stemmed from this film, and others like it.

I'm talking about 'The Man Who Came To Dinner', starring the excellent Bette Davis and the stupendously magnificent Monty Woolley.

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This journal is not a private diary, it is more like an occasional, imaginary column. Therefore, much of it is on public display. However, if you want to read my occasional attempts at creative writing, my Caution Elf tells me I should only show that stuff to my friends. You know what to do. :-)

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