Please, sit back and enjoy two beautifully contrasting reactions to the original airing of Orson Welles’ adaptation of The War of the Worlds. For the uninitiated, on the evening of October 30th, 1938, the CBS Radio Network broadcast what sounded (to some) like a series of genuine news bulletins depicting the unfolding invasion of Earth by Martians. In fact, the public were listening to an episode of the radio drama series Mercury Theatre on the Air, directed and narrated by Welles himself. Despite warnings and announcements during the show, the airing caused widespread panic.
Here are just two of the 600+ letters sent to the FCC regarding the show. The first is from a city official, the second from a listener.
Lord Byron’s saucy letters to a clergyman, which include details of an affair with a servant girl and a reference to William Wordsworth as “Turdsworth” are set to be auctioned by Sotheby’s on Oct. 29 in London. The letters, to Byron’s close friend Francis Hodgson, are considered to be the most important series of the poet’s letters to come to market in more than 30 years. They include Byron’s comment that the Portuguese had “few vices except lies and sodomy,” and a swipe at his poet rivals Wordsworth and Robert Southey as “renegade rascals.” The letters, some of which are unpublished, were purchased in 1885 by a former prime minister, Archibald Primrose, the Earl of Rosebery, and have remained in his family. Gabriel Heaton, a Sotheby specialist in English literary and historical manuscripts, told the The Guardian of London: “Byron clearly enjoyed writing slightly outrageous things to a clergyman, but you also get a very strong sense of the depth of friendship they had. There’s real intimacy.“
So it’s not that great women artists do not exist. It is that men are very good at finding new reasons to underrate them. We didn’t rule the world for millennia without being pretty ingenious when it comes to preserving our territory.
History’s forgotten female artists
3. Gremlins: Feeding after midnight
Don’t get them wet; OK, fine. Don’t expose them to sunlight; sure, why not? Don’t feed them after midnight; um, how’s that again? If you can’t feed them “after midnight,” at what point during the day does it cease to be “after midnight” so you can feed them again? For that matter, how does the mogwai know what time zone it’s in? Suppose I get my mogwai in New York and then take a vacation to San Francisco — should I not feed my mogwai after midnight Eastern Time or Pacific Time? And what about Daylight Saving Time? Considering the consequences, these details seem pretty important.
Unanswered Questions in Geeky Movies
Et il y a ceux qui ne font jamais rien d’autre que se tenir en équilibre sur l’arête de la vie.
Il y a les acteurs. Et il y a les funambules.” —[Maxence Fermine]
- Clive Candy: Well sir, I have a friend ...
- Colonel Betteridge: Good. Not everybody can say that. Continue!
Roma. La Pittura di un Impero
Scuderie del Quirinale, 24.09.2009 - 17.01.2010
Grandi affreschi, ritratti su legno e su vetro, decorazioni, fregi e vedute, provenienti dalle domus patrizie, dalle abitazioni e botteghe popolari dei più importanti siti archeologici e dai musei di tutto il mondo, per una mostra – per la prima volta - interamente dedicata alla pittura della Roma antica.
“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”
46. Say Anything (1989)
Directed by Cameron Crowe
Crowe’s witty, heartfelt tribute to adolescent infatuation
”I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen.” Crowe may have sunk into putrid heart-string flagellating chick-flick hell, but his debut feature remains the pinnacle of the ’80s teen movement, the ultimate in raincoat-wearing, college-rock-listening, boombox-elevating heart-on-sleeve adolescent swoonery.
The Greatest Directorial Debuts/2
Io ascolto quelli che raccontano e non faccio differenze tra quello che è tornato a piedi dalla Russia in tempo di guerra e quello che aspetta l’autobus e mi parla del gelato al pistacchio. Perché la storia è fatta di guerre camminate a piedi, ma la nostra vita è anche il pistacchio. Invece la letteratura è un’invenzione che mette insieme tutto. E’ la guerra al pistacchio.
Ascanio Celestini - “Io racconto”
1. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Directed by Charles Laughton
The twisted vision of a tragic genius, never to be repeated
Can a director’s one and only film really be considered a debut? If we made a list of the 50 greatest swansongs, could “The Night of the Hunter” head that list, as well? Frankly, yes. Of all the diverse bodies of directorial work in the long history of cinema, Laughton’s stands as perhaps the most flawless and untouchable: no second-movie jitters, no mid-period slump, no slide into doddery obsolescence. One perfect film, one singular statement, achieving more in 92 minutes than most directors manage in a lifetime.
The Greatest Directorial Debuts
Forty years ago a bunch of bright young writers got together at the BBC and changed the face of TV comedy. Here Eric Idle rambles on about Coleridge and his brilliant new show, Not The Messiah, before describing those heady days when Monty Python took the world by storm.
Caffè senza caffeina, sigarette leggerissime, acqua povera di sodio, birra analcolica, cibi senza grassi. Si vorrebbe vivere una vita anestetizzata, senza malattie, senza dolore. Sarebbe come andare in guerra e pretendere che il nemico spari a salve. Perché la vita è davvero una guerra, e la guerra la vince chi non ha più paura di perderla.
David Addison (Bruce Willis) and Maddie Hayes (Cybill Shepherd)
You don’t need to be a PI at the Blue Moon Detective Agency to figure out that why this show became a cautionary tale, it was spoken aloud in the series finale: viewers love watching couples fall in love, and when that romance is over - and they’re either a couple or back to ”just friends” - so are the ratings. Desperate attempts to rebuild the tension (i.e., a quickie marriage to a man you met on a train) will not be tolerated. But let’s remember the good times, like David grabbing Maddie for their first kiss in season 2 when he was going underground, and their first night together in Season 3: ”Fine.” ”Fine.” ”Good.” ”Good.” ”Bitch.” ”Bastard.” Slap. ”Get out!” Slap. ”Get out!” Sla— he grabs her arm. Cue ”Be My Baby” and the two falling to the floor, then into bed.
25 Best “Will They/Won’t They?” TV Couples
“Woo hoo! Lupus!!!!!”
My mother is excited for the House premiere. [via text]
- Suzanne Renaud: Of course, if you're a man of principle...
- Fred Martingale: I take it you're quite experienced.
- Suzanne Renaud: The German is brittle. The Frenchman cries l'amour! The American is hoping for the cavalry to come.
- Fred Martingale: And what do Englishmen do?
- Suzanne Renaud: They pay.