In this John Wayne fest, you can examine someone who is both beloved and hated by the American public and the world. If not one of the greatest actors of his time he was certainly one of the most influential. He dominated the western and the war genre. He was a war hawk for the Vietnam War when he was old but he refused to serve in World War II when many other male actors of his generation did. Sons of World War II veterans that fought in Vietnam still curse the name of Jane Fonda but exalt the man that missed their father’s war.
However, you feel about John Wayne, his movies have a certain nostalgia of an American that probably never was. It would be fine if you could punch or shoot your way out of trouble and the strongest was always right. While fun in the movies, it just doesn’t make good foreign policy.
So let the politics slide away and enjoy a carefree John Wayne …
Noirvember Film Noir Fest
Film noir is one of the defining cinema styles.This style is heavily influenced by current events and politics. Some of the themes explored in film noir are: Postwar anxiety and societal malaise, Guilt and dread, Psychoanalysis and trauma, Criminality and the limits of rational investigation, Existential despair, The inability to separate truth from lies, and The role of women in postwar society (TCM Presents Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir, Richard L. Edwards, Ph.D.). It can be argued that the USA may be headed into another noir phase following the 911 attack.
As it becomes darker and colder in November it is time to sit back and enjoy classic film noir as a part of your own Noirvember.
Vikings – we all love them but how much is lore? They never had helmets with horns. They settled areas instead of just raiding. Viking royalty sites on the English throne. Before we get into this Viking Fest lest look at their histgory (history + gory) as I understand it. The Vikings began raiding out of what is now Norway, Sweden, and Denmark around 790AD. From this date to Battle of Hastings in 1066 is generally considered the end of the Viking Age. It is my understanding that the best Vikings come from Norway (personal opinion). The Vikings sailed from Russia, giving the country its’ name, to the new world, to the Mediterranean Sea and maybe further. They sieged and took the Medieval island fortress of Pairs and defeated one of Charlemagne grandsons. They were given a piece of land on the coast of France across from England. This land is called Normandy for the original word for Northmen. The first leader was Rollo, yes of the TV showing Vikings …
Welcome to Mummy Fest – A collection of everything I have related to ancient Egyptians walking the Earth. From The Mummy (1911) to The Scorpion King (2008). A History of Classic Monsters: Mummies by John Gaines states that although mummies were created by one of oldest civilizations in history their development into demonic monsters is largely a 20th century construct. Bram Stoker of Dracula fame wrote a story about an evil mummy in “The Jewel of the Seven Stars” 1903.
Carl Laemmle Jr. commissioned a plot for a movie based on the opening of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922. This became The Mummy (1932) starring Boris Karloff and it set the bar high for all future mummy movies.
I have assembled a little list of movies by Universal, Hammer, and others that follow The Mummy (1932) line. They are: The Mummy’s Hand (1940), The Mummy’s Tomb (1942), The Mummy’s Ghost (1944), The Mummy’s Curse (1944), Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955), The Mummy (1959), The Curse …