Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sources of Retro Style

People are nuts about Mad Men, and the search "Mad Men party" in Flickr gets almost 6000 results.  Obviously the fashion is a big draw, since people are partying dressed up like early 60s sophisticates.
I wonder if these maddicts are aware of Peter Gunn on RetroTV (check your local listings).  This is an excellent primary source of retro style and suavity.
Peter Gunn and Lt. Jacoby (Gunn's friend and foil) hunt trouble in a world of noir chiaroscuro.  Harsh neon light flashes on rain-slicked streets and through the windows of cheap hotels, where people are usually hiding from the Mob.  Gunn is impeccable in his charcoal-gray suit; Jacoby, much less so. (He's the foil, remember?)  And both of them stay poker-faced all the time.
Maddicts, don't blow your wad on one TV show!  There's a whole world of historical TV out there to explore and live vacariously through.

Friday, September 17, 2010

An Ed Wood Clone?

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Invisible Invaders and Plan 9 From Outer Space both came out in 1959.  If I hadn't known better, I would've guessed that II was some lost Ed Wood creation.  Perhaps Ed Wood had some influence on II director Edward L. Cahn or vice versa.  Certain similarities, such as continuity problems, generous use of stock footage, and recycling of shots can more easily be explained by low budgets.
However, a small purse cannot be blamed for both films using an omniscient narrator or the common theme of aliens who respond to earthlings's nuclear development by resurrecting dead humans, who then attack live humans.  No sir!
I do not believe that 1950s alien invasion films are really about Communism.  I believe that subconscious eruptions fuel our fear of both aliens and Communism (and a lot of other stuff).  The walking dead could be the return of the repressed!  I think of these films as modern folklore, that reveals our collective uncoscious.
In any case I videoed the opening scene of II, which I think is awesomely bad!  You can watch trailers on youtube.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Mechanix Monday


Finally, the back cover of the August, 1933 Modern Mechanix and Inventions.  We close Mechanix Mondays with some clever devices for enhancing our health.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Finally ! Color-Coded Rhyme

As my regular readers may recall, rhyme has been a carrier of Truth to me since childhood.  So I love poetry that uses lots of rhyme and slant rhyme.  Currently I am reading Kay Ryan's latest: The Best of It.  Here are a couple of rhyme-bunctious poems from the book with the rhymes and slant rhymes, same sounds and similar sounds linked using my own color-coding system (patent pending).

GRAZING HORSES (page 166)
Sometimes the
green pasture
of the mind
tilts abruptly.
The grazing horses
struggle crazily
for purchase
on the frictionless
nearly verticle
surface.  Their
furniture-fine
legs buckle
on the incline,
unhorsed by slant
they weren't
designed to climb
and can't.


CHART (page 254)
There is a big
figure, your age,
crawling, then
standing, now
beginning to bend
as he crosses
the stage.  Or
she.  A blurred
and generalized
projection of you
and me.  For a
long time it seems
as remote
from the self
as the ape chart
where they rise up
and walk into man.
And then it seems
the realer part.