Friday, November 2, 2007

Reasons To Be Cheerful: week of 11/02/07

1. There's a few previous posts around these parts that have received some updates this week:

(click on links to check them out)

- 'Willie Mays, Advertising Icon' now also features a 1954 photo publicizing his record "Say Hey (The Willie Mays Song)", as well as a link to an mp3.

- One of the Virgil 'VIP' Partch print ad posts now includes two 1953 Jensen Phonograph Needle ads.

- I found a nice magazine cover image and blurb to accompany the piece on the 1944 Raymond Scott Orchestra's recordings.

- And lastly, the spotlight on 'In The Mood' as recorded by The Bulawayo Sweet Rhythms Band now sports an added vintage magazine clipping regarding the popularity of the record's hit A-side, 'Skokiaan'.

2. "We were in the jungle, there were too many of us, we had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane."
- Director Francis Ford Coppola commenting on the making of 1979's 'Apocalypse Now'.

I was very pleased to discover this week that the amazing documentary by Eleanor Coppola and George Hickenlooper chronicling the making of 'Apocalypse Now' will finally be released to DVD later this month.

'Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse' was released in 1991.
As memory serves, it ran first on pay-cable (where I caught it) before being released to theaters.

Very 'inside', very 'warts and all', with much blurring (not unlike Les Blank's 'Burden of Dreams') of life imitating art.

Many of my memories of the documentary are still pretty vivid, and I recall parts of it being easily as gripping as the final product. I'm looking forward to seeing it again.

See also: Roger Ebert's 1992 review of the film.

3. Speaking of Apocalypse When, it must be time to dust off the parodies!

- First up, from 1980 is Ernie Fosselius' 'Porklips Now', the brilliant short film that followed on the heels of his previous spoof, 'Hardware Wars'.

Through the magic of YouTube, follow the (sausage) links to:

Porklips Now (Part 1 of 3)
Porklips Now (Part 2 of 3)
Porklips Now (Part 3 of 3)

- And then, in 1987 there was 'Apocalypse Pooh'.

One of the earliest 'mash-ups' I can recall seeing, and all laboriously accomplished with video-tape back in the days when cavemen were babies.

This was a truly underground video, as it's poaching on D*sney territory precluded it from any real film festival action.

The basic and much weathered print of A.P. has shown up on YouTube and other such places, and you can view that 'simple' version easily.

Here, I like Cinematical's review. Follow the link to their iFilm via BoingBoing link for the archived video.

...But happily, I was able to find that the longer version I remember is still lurking out there. It still looks like a grainy VHS dub, but maybe just a tad cleaner...?

Its extras includes the 'Blue Peanuts' trailer, and the Archies/Sex Pistols music video, and is preceded by the truly odd nature documentary 'fake-out' opening...

The story I heard at the time about T. Graham's video is that he managed to sell mail order VHS copies for a while that shipped from Canada.

As a method of evading notice of customs officers who might be seeking out porn or other intra-border no-nos, Graham put several minutes of 'static' at the beginning of the video. Anyone checking would fast forward a bit, land on a bad print of an old public TV nature program, and then likely give up and move on to the next parcel in the inspection pile.

It's sort of an urban myth, but it's as good an explanation as any... (Thanx & shout out to DLZ)

4. Muggezifter explains his enthralling photo-blog, Running from Camera:
"The rules are simple: I put the self-timer on 2 seconds, push the button and try to get as far from the camera as I can."

A simple premise with simply infectious results.
His photos are like eating potato chips; 'Just one more, okay, now just one more...'

(Via bad banana blog)

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