“you can’t stop what’s coming”

Posted in Film, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , , on July 19, 2017 by phanteana

it’s mid-July, so that usually means heatwaves and San Diego Comic-Con (which doubles as both a life-changing experience and an escape from the heat, since SD doesn’t seem to suffer from an overabundance of humidity). this year, mid-July has another association with it: only a few more weeks until The Dark Tower is released! it took 35 years to translate onto celluloid, but it’s finally (almost) here!

 

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since it’s taken roughly half of Stephen King’s lifetime to write the series and it’s always been viewed as the sole piece of his resume that was deemed implausible to film, it would seem logical to promote the long-awaited film adaptation as heavily as possible. but despite its status as a “summer blockbuster”, this Tower has largely kept its doors closed, and it’s likely due to maintaining the secrecy surrounding the project (it was in the dreaded Development Limbo for 10 years, after all). in addition, because its an epic story audiences expected a lengthy run time (you know…the kind where comfy clothes are required). but the British Board of Film Classification says a maiden voyage to Mid-World will take much less time than imagined. still, this is a place i’ve longed to visit for years and i’m excited that the opportunity has finally come.

magical manuscripts & spellbinding sources

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , , , , on July 14, 2017 by phanteana

transcribing manuscripts is only one facet of an archival role. depending on the subject matter of what needs to be translated, the work involved can either make you look forward to setting your alarm early, or cause you to count down the minutes until lunch. in other words, work isn’t always meant to be fun (it is called work, after all)…but it can be, if you invoke the right frame of mind. the Newberry Library in Chicago has opened up a portion of its roughly 80,000 documents pertaining to religion for the public to transcribe, including a number of manuscripts dealing with the occult, bizarre healing remedies, witchcraft, and spell casting. the Newberry would love any assistance with this otherworldly project, so while you might want to brush up on how to call the corners, you don’t need a Ph.D to translate the materials. just be careful not to summon any demons; they’re known for not returning books on time.

 

 

Send(ak) in the clowns

Posted in Art & Photography, Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , , , on July 10, 2017 by phanteana

there are plenty of authors, actors, musicians, etc. who have passed on yet they still manage to crank out bodies of work long after they’ve physically departed this world. JRRT released a best-selling book this year, despite the fact that he set sail for the Grey Havens in 1973. the more recently-deceased Maurice Sendak will also be publishing a new illustrated book set for next year…although, it’s not entirely new. it was actually conceived in 1990, but the manuscript was set aside and discovered when the author’s former assistant was sorting through Sendak’s papers following his death in 2012.

throughout his career, Maurice Sendak was no stranger to the infamous Banned Books List. several of his stories were deemed too disturbing for his target audience, but that didn’t seem to put a dent in his reputation. only time will tell if the new one, titled Presto & Zesto In Limboland, will be among those controversial classics.

Goth’s not dead…it’s just matured

Posted in Music, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , , on July 5, 2017 by phanteana

despite its association with doom and gloom, Goth is alive and well…or at least is a little more mature. there was a time when Goth was considered youthful, with its “sleep all day, party all night, never grow old” mentality. but since most folks are not members of the Lost Boys they eventually get jobs, have families, pay mortgages, etc. but hey, we can still wear black and listen to Bauhaus!

so what’s the issue? lack of fresh blood (no pun intended). while it’s great that many folks who were teens and 20-somethings during the Goth heyday of the 80’s or the 90’s revival are still enjoying the music and managing to venture out to events when feasible, the younger generation just doesn’t seem to take much notice of it. one factor might be the economy…because let’s face it, having fun costs money. yet there are plenty of free or low-cost events taking place to alleviate this concern. another might be feeling out of place in a crowd full of 35 to 50-somethings who often reminisce about the good ol’ days. in addition, a lot of cities just aren’t hot beds for Goth as they used to be…Los Angeles and New Orleans are still going strong, as are Berlin & London. but places like New York have fallen behind in recent years, due to rising rents and declining attendance. still, those who are loyal will be around for many years to come.

 

techies on the big screen

Posted in Film, Popular Culture, Techie Stuff with tags , , , , , , on June 27, 2017 by phanteana

first, there was the invention of the computer. then came movies about tech geeks. they’re not difficult to come by, and many of them have become instant classics containing memorable quotes (“88 miles per hour!”). it’s become a trend for second-run theaters, independent film houses, and museums to show some of these techie treats on occasion, and it’s a terrific feeling of nostalgia for those who remember seeing some of these movies when they were brand new but it also brings in new generations who might have discovered these gems through parents or older siblings. for those who are in the tech world (or are trying to break into it) inspiration can come from fictional characters as well as ones based on actual individuals. so if you need something to watch while you’re learning how to build a website, or if you just really love hearing Samuel L. Jackson say “hold onto your butts“, then take your pick from this list of movies for people who love tech.

 

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if this question is in regards to learning tech skills, then yes

 

 

the enduring suspense of Suspiria

Posted in Film, Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , on June 22, 2017 by phanteana

one of the joys of being an archivist is discovering copies of materials that were thought to either be lost or damaged. for those in the film archives industry, it means bringing new life to a movie that has previously been screened by audiences, but perhaps missing essential footage or dialogue. such a breakthrough occurred recently at an abandoned movie theater in Italy, whose storage room harbored an uncut 35mm print of Dario Argento‘s Suspiria that hasn’t seen the light of day since its initial release nearly 40(!) years ago. the print was discovered by the Chicago Cinema Society, and after careful inspection appears to be in excellent condition (always a plus when handling rare materials). in fact, this version of the film is in such great condition that it will be embarking on a mini-tour of the US in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Seattle (the CCS website lists dates and locations). so if you’re in or near any of the above metro areas, are a fan of horror/foreign cinema, or simply looking for something different to do, this is your opportunity to see Suspiria on the big screen! hooray for film archivists and their valiant efforts to save movies!

 

…and since Hollywood loves to reboot classics, that long-brewing remake is finally unveiling its “secret” “irises” on the Internet. two elements that have (hopefully) eased the anxiety of long-time fans are that the new version is not set in modern times, and original star Jessica Harper is among the cast. Ms. Harper (who i’ve met, and is a lovely lady with a wonderful sense of humor) is also known for appearing in the film that inspired a considerable portion of my WordPress, so she can clearly do no wrong. 🙂

 

{author’s note: i admit i haven’t seen too many of Argento’s films. but of the ones i have viewed, my favorite is Phenomena}.

stay on the path!

Posted in Popular Culture with tags , , on June 15, 2017 by phanteana

the Paris Catacombs are one of the most highly visited sites in Europe, as they stretch far and wide underneath the bright lights and grand romance of the city. while in Paris many years ago, it was among several tourist spots on my itinerary and seeing it in person is truly memorable. but for two teenagers, a recent visit to this subterranean lair warranted a very different experience straight out of a horror movie. fortunately, their ordeal had a positive outcome. but let this be a lesson to anyone embarking on a tour group: stay on the path! (and bring extra batteries for flashlights)