Archive for history

a changeling of seasons

Posted in Film with tags , , on June 20, 2018 by phanteana

it’s officially summer, but Halloween is already on everyone’s mind. i kicked off my summer season over Memorial Day weekend with a chance to see the newly restored version of The Changeling at my local theater. this is one of my favorite films, and its effectiveness at telling a spooky & semi-true* story without the gore can still be felt in modern releases such as The Conjuring and Winchester. the film has been described as a “slow burn”, which is how a lot of horror should be (at least in my opinion, since i’m not a fan of blood & guts).

for the folks at home, a special 4K blu-ray edition will be released in August complete with an attic full of goodies including a poster, an enamel pin, and a replica of the infamous red rubber ball featured in the movie. several audience members at my theater jumped out of their seats during that scene…works every time!

 

*a lot of The Changeling‘s events match up, but because this is Hollywood there’s always bound to be revisions. in addition, there has been speculation as to whether Russell Hunter’s account is real or fabricated. regardless of whether or not you believe Hunter’s story, it certainly made for one of the greatest films of the late 20th century.

 

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i heard it through the grave-vine

Posted in Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , on June 3, 2018 by phanteana

libraries & cemeteries have a lot in common: both hold significant historical records (the former in print/electronic form and the latter in markers/stones) and they provide a quiet environment for reflection and study. now imagine these two places were combined into one. that’s what happened when New York’s iconic Greenwood Cemetery collaborated with the remains (womp womp) of the Brooklyn-based Morbid Anatomy Museum for a unique pop-up experience: a library inside a cemetery where patrons can read all about the dearly departed. the museum opened in 2014, and catered to family-friendly crowds & more mature audiences with its eccentric series of lectures (ranging from Taxidermy 101 to a visual presentation on 80’s Goth), exhibits, and activities. but despite its appeal, insufficient funding and the high cost of property space (it is New York, after all) caused it to fold last year. but thanks to the staff at Greenwood, the Morbid Anatomy library has been resurrected to the delight of locals and tourists alike…and just like libraries, Greenwood is very vast so be sure not to accidentally get locked in after hours (not to worry, the groundskeepers have been known to rescue stranded visitors in case they get stuck inside post-sundown).

the house that Helen built

Posted in Film, Popular Culture with tags , , on February 1, 2018 by phanteana

everyone loves a good “the following is based on actual events” film (ok, not everyone…but lots of folks do). we’ve seen countless historical dramas & war films, or feel-good inspirational stories of underdogs rising above adversity (ahem, Rudy…which is still a classic). each one has a unique story to share with its audience, whether they are familiar with the events depicted or not. horror is no stranger to taking its cues from real-life, even if some of the moments are embellished for Hollywood’s sake. thanks to these movies, we are now better acquainted with people like the Warrens and places like a certain town in Long Island, NY. the latest in this trope combines both historical drama and spookiness, and hails from San Jose, CA’s most notorious mansion. oh, and did i mention everyone’s favorite dame, Helen Mirren, is portraying the infamous owner of said mansion? let’s see…Helen Mirren + haunted house = ALL IN.

 

 

original sin(ger)

Posted in Music with tags , , , on November 22, 2017 by phanteana

Michael was the epitome of the charismatic front man: his voice, physical presence, and personality made him the Mick Jagger of the 80’s. he was special, whether he realized it or not. i never got to see INXS, and it remains one of the biggest regrets i could have. the proposed 20th anniversary tour, which Michael was rehearsing for at the time of his death, would have been my opportunity to see him in his true form. i never got that chance.

when we mourn artists we’ve never met, we don’t cry because we knew them. we cry because they helped us know ourselves.

 

See the source image

 

music to die for: the story of Goth in 33 songs

Posted in Music, Popular Culture with tags , , , , on October 29, 2017 by phanteana

music lists compiled as a “history of [insert genre here]” are always interesting to read. some songs fit perfectly, while others appear to be a square peg in a round hole. the story of Goth has long been up for debate: who really started it, where did it begin, etc. these theories can go on for days in online discussion forums and on social media, and sometimes a resolution is nowhere in sight.

to join in the ongoing debate, Pitchfork put together “The Story Of Goth In 33 Songs” in an attempt to shed some light on the dark side of modern music. in addition, they conducted a phone interview with Peter Murphy, who is often viewed as one of Godfathers of Goth despite never fully aligning himself with the title. Murphy’s solo albums are less brooding than his work with Bauhaus and his two greatest influences were David Bowie and Iggy Pop (who were credited with inventing Glam Rock and Punk, respectively), but he never lost his eerie creative flair (thank goodness).

while i can’t say i’m familiar with the latter entries on the list (other than Fever Ray’s “If I Had A Heart“), the classics i know and love certainly reflect the story of Goth well. my only issue with this list is the lack of inclusion of “Paint In Black“, which is probably one of the best representations of Goth in its infancy (and paved the way for numerous covers by both Goth and non-Goth artists)…a job well done, Mick.

time to ban some books (again)

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , , , on September 27, 2017 by phanteana

are you still recovering from Banned Books Week 2016? well, get ready for yet another crop of frequently challenged books. and if there’s any literary pieces you think should be included in the list, please post them in the comments!

 

Banned Books Week: Our right to read, September 24-30, 2017

an unexpected (ok, not entirely) anniversary

Posted in Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2017 by phanteana

long before i became a librarian, i visited plenty of libraries. i borrowed tons of books, even if i never finished all of them. but one which i took out frequently and always completed is one that has withstood the test of time. it has been translated into countless languages, beloved by literary critics, librarians and voracious readers everywhere, has has been beautifully displayed in art and film countless times, and today turns 80 years old…and to think, all this from a book whose central character was created while grading exams. happy anniversary, Bilbo Baggins!

 

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