Posts Tagged ‘screencaps’

Just Another Auden October: Faith in humanity

October 4, 2011


Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 1982). Previously discussed here during E.E. Cummings month.

May it not be that, just as we have to have faith in Him, God has to have faith in us and, considering the history of the human race so far, may it not be that “faith” is even more difficult for Him than it is for us?

(W.H. Auden, “God”. A Certain World, 1970.)

New feature alert: Inaugural edition featuring major league malarkey

October 3, 2011

New feature: “What does Jessica Fletcher think?” in which, at the end of an account of events, we ask, “…but what does Jessica Fletcher [of Murder, She Wrote] think?” and she tells us.

I was recently at the Giants ballpark in San Francisco (mad heyos to Panda for making that happen) and had been cruising for a garlic fries vendor who would take a card so I didn’t have to hike down to the ATM. Lingering near a promising concession stand, I nearly bumped in to this man carrying garlic fries. I had noticed him earlier because he was sitting near our section, and I had thought he was attractive. We did the whole “almost ran in to each other, whoops” thing and he smiled.

“Cool. Your glasses are the Giants colors,” he said.

This was where a normal woman, one adept in communication skills with the unfair sex, would take the opportunity to introduce herself, but I wasn’t switching gears fast enough, so I pointed at his fries and said, “Did you buy those here?”

He said, “Yes,” with friendly, expectant body language, but I then blurted out, “Did you use your ATM card?” He gave me a very strange look and said, “Yeah…?” slowly.

I realized that was an oddly specific, even nosy question out of the context of my last five minutes. I tried to scramble for a way to explain, but his friend came up and they walked back to their seats.

I blew the save.

Or did I? Sure, cute boy, but — garlic fries. It was urgent.


…But what does Jessica Fletcher think?

Facepalm. Never good.

Daily Batman: A story in stills, “The Electrical Brain” edition

October 3, 2011

Yesterday at the grocery, I spotted a collection of the 1943 Columbia Pictures Batman serial adaptations. I obviously had no choice but to pick it up — my hands were clearly tied — and I’ve found the content … illuminating?

The Dynamic Duo are first seen rounding up some miscreants and leaving them cuffed to a lightpole with a note pinned to one’s jacket for the police. The original script called for the Caped Crusaders to be their usual vigilante selves, but the censors deemed that a little too risky?

And, I guess with all the purportedly people-based government shifts going on in the world, they didn’t want the popcorn-scarfing masses to get ideas? — so Steve Jobs converted Batman and Robin in to federal agents. (May or may not be accurate.)

Isn’t it bromantic? Lewis Wilson as a jaunty, kohl-browed Batman, with Douglas Croft as the Boy Wonder, congratulate themselves on a good night of taking the law in to their own hands without right or invitation after hopping in a Batmobile chauffered by good old Alfred Pennyworth, whose previous comic presence had been a facial hairless, rotund figure — colloquial wisdom credits this adaptation’s portrayal of Alfred as thin, stately, and mustachioed with influencing his subsequent appearance in the comics.

Accordingly, so far as I’ve watched, this opening scene introducing their crime-fighting prowess is the only bit of vigilantism Batman and Robin display in the serial. Everything else is under the aegis of fighting Communist and Axis spy infiltration.


This comes from the “Japanese Cave of Horrors” scene and is CLEARLY a wax figure of Cary Grant as a fake POW.

The note pinned to the man up there on our right’s jacket is somewhat reminscent of the “deliver to Lt. Gordon” note from The Dark Knight. It also indicates that the key to the cuffs may be found in the apprehended man’s pocket. Ostensibly, the cuffs will be taken off and replaced with official ones, but as they do not know the secret identity of Batman and Robin, are the originals now a gift to the Gotham City PD? I assume so. Not to worry: Batman and Robin have lots more pairs of handcuffs. You know, for … crime-fighting.


Did it come from Gunga Din, do you reckon? The uniform, I mean? Where did props even get this figure? I feel like it’s just out of reach in my mind. Little help?

This first segment in the serial is titled “The Electrical Brain” and is a total yawn fest, since all that it features is electric zombies, atom-smashing handheld ray guns, a sinister villain, and more astounding racism than you can shake a KKK hood at. Oh, wait — it couldn’t be less boring. If you’re a fan of camp and jaw-dropping behavioral archaisms, like your happy hostess here, run, don’t walk out and find this collection.

Get all of your latently guilty chagrin primed, though. I’m not made out of moron: I understand the film is a product of its time — it’s part of why I find vintage, obscure cinema from this era interesting. But, sweet mother of Edward Said, the orientalism and propaganda are strong with this one.

The villain of the piece, Dr. Tito Daka, is a self-proclaimed servant of Hirohito. Daka is a Japanese enemy of capitalism who I’m amazed to say constitutes only a fraction of the deeply-woven Asian-targeted xenophobic mise-en-scene of the picture.

U.S. readers, if you’ve nursed some fantasy that the internment of our Japanese fellow citizens during the second World War was not widely known by most Americans and did not make a big dent in pop culture, this little slice of 1940’s life will prove you all kinds of unfortunately wrong.


Narrator: This was part of a foreign land transplanted bodily to America and known as Little Tokyo. Since a wise government rounded up the shifty-eyed Japs, it has become a ghost street where only one buusiness survives, eking out a precarious existence on the dimes of curiosity-seekers.

Wise government. Rounded up. Shifty-eyed. I honestly triple-took. “Did that just happen??”

It seems boldly racist to me, even for the time. So like I said, this serial has so far shown me that I don’t know crap about what was “okay” on the day-to-day in my country during this time.

Daka introduces himself to a new recruit to his organization, the partner of a recently sprung white collar criminal of sorts (his niece is dating Bruce Wayne, which is how the plotlines tie together), with the following charming monologue.


I am Dr. Daka, humble servant of His Majesty Hirohito, Heavenly Ruler and Prince of the Rising Sun. By divine destiny, my country shall destroy the democratic forces of evil in the United States to make way for the New Order, an Order that will bring about the liberation of the enslaved people of America.

Daka is portrayed by totally-not-Asian actor J. Carrol Naish, a future Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner. Irish by descent, Naish actually portrayed nearly nothing but non-traditional races in his performances, from Japanese to Puerto Rican to Middle Eastern.

Congruent to his alleged continent of origin in this serial and his heavy “oriental” makeup, Naish would later bring a whole new ball of uniquely challenging race-based character traits to the role of famous detective Charlie Chan on the small screen, in television’s The New Adventures of Charlie Chan (1957).


The teaser for the next installment. There was no Bat Cave in the comics until after the release of this serial. But so far the Bat Cave in the serial is a stone wall behind a regular desk, with flickering shadows of bats waving around in front of lights off-camera… so I’d have to say the comics Bat Cave, even if inspired by the serial, most certainly carries the edge.

Movie Millisecond: Laura

October 3, 2011

Laura (Otto Preminger, 1944).

Talk nerdy to me — Movie Millisecond: “Sad beep” edition

October 2, 2011

Guess R2 will go eat some worms.

Nobody likes me /everybody hates me /guess I’ll eat some worms…

Other people know that song, right?

Movie Millisecond: the Sandlot

July 22, 2011


The Sandlot (David M. Evans, 1993).

Since you won’t stop asking*, here are the rules for the Sandlot drinking game.

  • Take a drink whenever the narrator says, “Pickle.”
  • Take a drink every time Ham says “You’re killing me, Smalls.”
  • Take a drink any time the boys speak in unison.
  • Take a drink whenever Squints and Wendy Peffercorn look at each other.
  • Take a drink whenever Tommy Timmons echoes Timmy.
  • Take a drink whenever Babe Ruth is mentioned, by name or by nickname.
  • Take a drink any time someone spits.

  • Wendy Peffercorn will take you down to Cougar Town.

    I’m not even going to bother listing some of the others we’ve come up with over the years. There is even a version I designed where you pick a character and have character-specific instructions (e.g., drink on “Yeah-yeah,” or, for beginners, drink whenever Bertram actually has a line). But really, I can’t in good conscience even keep going. Those rules are sufficient. Drink lots of water out there, dudes.

    Conversely, I also have a long explanation of why this is an excellent model for Christian values and highly suited for use in a parochial school classroom. I’m a complex mirror maze of a woman. Not a “hot mess.” Complex mirror maze.



    *completely untrue. it has never come up.

    Movie Millisecond: You can kiss me on a …

    July 21, 2011

    Se7en (David Fincher, 1995).

    Movie Millisecond: Dinner

    July 20, 2011

    Wayne’s World 2 (Steven Surjik, 1993).

    GPOY.

    Wednesday Wednesday: Marie Antoinette

    July 20, 2011

    Lisa Loring as Wednesday Addams (1964).

    Perfectly normal, perfectly healthy.

    Daily Batman: Movie Moment — Batman Began

    July 20, 2011

    On this date, July 20, 1966, Batman (Leslie Martinson) made its stunning cinematic debut. These hand-picked choice stills shall speak for themselves.

    Thank you and good night. (bow)

    Teevee Time: Powerpuff Girls

    July 19, 2011

    I’m still not clear: what did he do with Professor Utonium? And was the professor on board with it?

    Talk nerdy to me — Teevee Time: The Simpsons, Just in time for the big week

    July 19, 2011

    #uncomfortabletruths

    Take Two Tuesday — Per mi amico: Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day, “Happy birthdohs, Jonohs” edition with brief bookfoolery

    July 19, 2011

    This post originally appeared on July 19, 2010 at 5:05 pm. Congratulations on another trip around the sun to you, my good true friend, and I hope you have many more to come.

    Happy birthday to the one and only Jonohs Danger Welchos!


    Nolite te bastardes carborundum.

    This encouragement is doubtless unnecessary because I doubt that you ever would. I’m sure you would talk the bastardes around to your point of view and you’d all have Fin du Monde and play Beatles Rock Band and they would vow never to carborundum again. I’m finishing Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter shortly and I’ll be starting next on my yearly Atwood. How nice to know this year when I re-read it that you will have just done so recently too. Last year I knew you, and was re-reading Handmaid’s Tale as always, and you had not read it yet. This time it will be different and I’ll know that I’m reading words that yet another of my friends has also enjoyed. See the interstitial power of the shared unconscious experience of reading? That’s impressive shit. If that is not impressive enough, I will buy you some sushi the next time we are both in town. But really, dude — the gift of reading. Come on. Be excellent.

    But just in case you ever do feel down, remember that you are an awesome friendoh and I’m so glad to have gotten to be friends, and that I know great things are going to happen for you like in a perpetual motion engine powered by amazing karma for all your kindnesses and good humor to others.

    And, of course, be prepared for whatever befalls you on this, the day of your birth —


    A very recent addition to the pantheon of inside jokes via uglyxdutchling on the tumblr.

    Hope you’re off work and having a great birthday, Mr. Welchos! But do try and hold it together.

    I will be thinking of you!

    Movie Millisecond: ## [Rock] ##

    July 18, 2011

    Commando (Mark Lester, 1985). Hateration aside: you know it’s probably the most G screencap ever.

    Mean Girls Monday: Sluts of the world, unite

    July 18, 2011

    No shame in a name.

    Heinlein Month: Bad shape

    July 18, 2011

    Cloistered SWF seeks poetic SWM, age not important, balcony-climbing skills a must. Send carrier pigeon to Villa Capulet. Your pic gets mine. No bots please.


    You’re in bad shape when your emotions force you into acts which you know are foolish.

    (Robert A. Heinlein. Have Spacesuit, Will Travel. 1958.)

    The Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet is a beautiful, faithful classic. But — keep this under your hat because I don’t want to be kicked out of the super-cool smart kids’ club — the Baz Luhrmann hamfisted crazy-go-nuts adaptation of Shakespeare’s play is actually my favorite, because I unapologetically love his juxtapositive imagination and didn’t think it defiled the play particularly. A little excess never killed nobody. (Get it? A little excess? Oxymoron? Yes?) I like over the top lushness in a movie — I’m a decaphile and I’m not sorry for that. But I went with the picture of Olivia Hussey to illustrate this idea because she is so exponentially hotter than Claire Danes that Claire Danes just now suddenly got sad, purely from all of us nodding silently, and she doesn’t know why.


    Left: Amateur hour. Right: Holy hell.

    The mise-en-scene of Luhrmann’s R&J dazzles me, but compared to the chemistry in Zeffirelli’s 1968 version? There is no comparison. Absolutely none. By the way, am I the only one who read that thing where Zeffirelli claims to have totally been hit on by Aristotle Onassis? Still wrapping my mind around that one and weighing its potential truth. (Verdict so far: Depends. Was Onassis trying to get Zeff away from Callas once and for all? Or just bombed on some really good shit?) More on that story here, and don’t skip the comments for the full scope of the debate.

    Daily Batman: Family Affair, “A neurotic style of life” edition

    July 18, 2011


    In the investigation of a neurotic style of life, we must always note who suffers most because of the patient’s condition. Usually, this is a member of the family.

    …To injure another person through atonement is one of the most subtle devices of the neurotic.

    (Dr. Alfred Adler. Problems of Neurosis. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, Ltd, 1929.)

    Neurosis — keep it all in the family.

    Movie Millisecond: Garbo explains

    July 17, 2011

    Related to the last post, since we’re on the subject of GG —

    Mata Hari (George Fitzmaurice, 1931.)

    Breaking News: Drop everything and wake the neighbors

    July 17, 2011

    Tom Brokaw knows about this, right? Say he knows.

    Movie Millisecond: Inquiring minds

    July 11, 2011

    Ginger Rogers and Katharine Hepburn in Stage Door (Gregory La Cava, 1937).


    GREAT STARS! GREAT STORY! GREAT PICTURE!

    (Text of original print advertisement for Stage Door.)

    As you can see, caps lock has menaced innocent readers for over seventy-four years. When we will shut down this pervasive affront to eye-dom once and for all? Won’t anyone think of the children? My god, the children?

    Does Rob Reiner know about this?