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Jun 28, 2009

Paleo-Cinema Podcast 33 -The Lives and Times of Orson Welles


This time I'll be looking at three of Orson Welles' later films. The multi-formed multi-version Confidential Report/ Mr Arkadin, the film noir classic Touch of Evil and Welles' last and most playfully joyous film - F For Fake.

The Lives Of Harry Lime Radio Shows- From

The Full Bazura Project Intro to "Confidential Report"

Jun 27, 2009

A Cautionary Tale On Celebrity And Delusion

Once upon a time there was a wealthy and famous man. He had been wealthy and famous since a child when his talent for singing and dancing had made him much admired. His father, an ogre mistreated him egregiously.

As this wealthy and famous man grew older he found the means to mutate himself. Through potions and the artfully applied, delicately wielded knives of chirurgeons he attempted to change his race and his face. He pretended his voice was that of a child and did things that made him even more famous and admired than he had been as a child. He built a playground and a palace and surrounded himself with a menagerie and many wondrous devices for playing upon. By proclaiming and declaiming that he was himself a child, he encouraged parents to permit him the company of their children. Boys only. Never girls. Only once, to his face, in public did anyone question this. Were any other man in his late thirties to act in such a manner, his sexuality and sanity would be questioned.

But this boy prince madman was much loved by the masses. Serenaded by his songs and enthralled by his dancing, the hoi polloi indulged his tendencies and defended his innocence based no no more knowledge of his actual doings than was possessed by those who suggested that his motives and actions might not be innocent.

Accusations were made by the parents of the children who visited the wealthy and famous man in his palace. Serious, dark and horrible accusations were made. The wealthy and famous man made almost all of these people go away by giving them unlikely sums of money. Only once did this not work and the wealthy and famous man hired the services of investigators and publicity people and extremely smart lawyers when the case went to court. Stories of giving alcohol to children and unseemly behaviour consistent with the the actions of a paedophile were made. But the wealthy and famous man had a smart lawyer who had recently helped another wealthy and famous man escape a charge of murdering his wife and her friend. The smart lawyer helped the first famous and wealthy man escape punishment for wrongdoing.

The wealthy and famous man was now scared. What if he were no longer to be loved by the masses and they stopped listening to his voice and watching his dances? He was no longer quite young and his actions, unguided by the tides, wonders, revelations and epiphanies of a genuine life immersed in the real world, became even stranger. He married the daughter of a now dead wealthy and famous man whose songs and dances had wowed the world a generation before. "See," the wealthy and famous man declaimed with his actions. "I am a man as other men. I have taken a wife and live as other men do."

Two years later, the daughter of the older wealthy and famous man left him and would not speak of the marriage.

The wealthy and famous man next married the assistant of one of his artful and skillful chirurgeons. She was homely and unloved. She bore three children, whom the wealthy and famous man claimed as his own, though their genetic inheritance was not his.

"See," he declaimed. "I have produced children all of whom I have named (in various ways) after myself. Now I will hide them from the world and protect them from the very things that may have prevented me from becoming the sad, mad freak you see before you. And yet, I still speak as a child, dress up in odd garments and as my vast and loving public know, my freakishness is perfectly acceptable for do I not sing and dance in ways that charm and delight them?"

"I do not relate to adults for they challenge me and see through my conceits and neuroses and strange ways. They see that I am not a child, but an ageing grotesque with a nose whittled to a snub by chirurgeons, a voice that is only at a normal adult timbre when I am angry and features that, irony of ironies, are beginning to terrify children. I retreat from the world which resolutely refuses to conform to my ideas and beliefs and strangenesses. I drink, I take too many prescription potions and therefore I have died at an age at which other men acquire a modicum of wisdom and adapt to the World in ways I could never imagine."

And when the public found out that the wealthy and famous man had died, they wept and gathered in large crowds and said many silly things. Calmer heads shook sadly at this great waste of care and regard in a World where innocent women were being killed by snipers and a vast maelstrom of waste plastic had formed in its' largest ocean and billions feared for their jobs and the future of their children. The tragedies and cruelties of the World, the places where the attention of the human race needed to be, were forgotten for the time. His death constipated the Internet for a while, but then the Internet retaliated. You cannot slander the dead and as the data-constipation passed, the poisons and sickness of this wealthy and famous man were slowly revealed as a cautionary tale for the people of the World.

"Behold," said many small voices in the Internet. "A man who refuses to grow up, to face and defeat the monsters that wronged him in his childhood, a man who felt that his skills and talents justified any action and behaviour, died sad, ugly and lonely. He took no comfort from the children he knew were not his own, nor the wealth that was trickling through his skeletal fingers. The idolatry of the masses misserved him and empowered his delusions. His efforts to keep out the World that had made him wealthy and famous had sealed him in a bleak, black bubble in which he eventually died."

Jun 18, 2009

Skeet Surfin'

Val Kilmer's first film. Yeah, I know Kilmer is a nutcase, but I like him in films like Spartan and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang where he played Gay Perry the private eye.

Jun 17, 2009

More Youtube Childhood Nostalgia

Marine Boy was cool. By chewing "oxy-gum" he could stay underwater for hours. I often wonder how many kids drowned chewing juicy fruits and trying to breathe in the bottom of swimming pools...

Phantom Agents were even cooler. Kids like me really wanted to play with shuriken star knives and probably the more capable among us may have actually made them out of old jam tins and skewered our friends en masse.

The Best Action TV Show Theme music ever was Tony Christie singing "Avenues and Alleyways" during the credit sequences of "The Protectors".

Jun 7, 2009

Paleo-Cinema Podcast #32 Sick Japanese Puppies.

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This time around, I'm looking at Japanese crime movies. Sonny Chiba's inimitable Streetfighter series, Hanzo The Razor where a Japanese cop with unusual methods is explored in detail and take a quick swim in a sea of weirdness with Seijun Suzuki's Tokyo Drifter and Branded To Kill.

Also, Sal drops in to talk nonsense with me.

Jun 1, 2009

Paleo-Cinema: The Kremlin Download

Check out the geostats picture below. Someone in The Kremlin has downloaded an episode of the podcast! How cool is that? (Click to embiggen the picture).