Thursday, October 27, 2011

If there is a more desolate place on Earth

in October, than Hampton Beach New Hampshire, then I'd like to know about it.

A cement colored sky, a fog with the very cold touch of death on it, an enervating breeze and stinging drizzle...If Edgar Allen Poe's House of Usher existed it'd be a ramshackle seasonal rental on 2nd Street.
The whole landscape is devoid of any life, zombies and seagulls studiously avoid it, the only soundtrack is the insatiable waves.
The day after the End of the World looks like Hampton Beach New Hampshire on or about October 27th of any year in living memory.
The very wind off the ocean can be heard muttering "Ah but it all gets soooo much worse!"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Channel Zero Returns on Friday December 2nd 2011!

The Rumors are TRUE!

Join us when...


Nothing says Holiday Cheer quite like automatons run amok!!

Channel Zero rings in the season with everyone’s favorite Christmas Gifts, ROBOTS!! Specifically rare TV adaptations of classic robot themed short stories!

.1) "The Machine Stops" based on a short story by E.M. Forster, what happens when the all powerful technology on which a lazy decadent future society depends, starts to fail?!

2.) “Little Lost Robot” based on story by Isaac Asimov, robots are very literal minded, never get vexed & tell one to "Get Lost" it puts your space station in a uproar. Introduced by Boris Karloff.

Friday, December 2nd, 8pm sharp!
The Somerville Theatre, Screening Room
Admission Five Bucks Cheap!
55 Davis Square. Somerville Ma 617 625 5700
Channel Zero, Boston’s Cheapest Entertainment Franchise now in our Sixteenth Year of Genteel Cinematic Transcendence!
Check out the Channel Zero the Fan Page on Facebook!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Barrington State Company heavily

advertised a stage adaptation of Goldman's "Lord of the Flies" this fall.
And very quietly, they subsequently announced that the production was being delayed til 2012.
I wonder what happened?
I'll bet they had casting and logistics issues, minimally you'd need about twenty boys between Middle and Elementary School ages which likely requires tight backstage discipline and a long rehearsal process. To say nothing of navigating the appropriate child labor statutes.
I wonder if this will ever be produced at all...
Of course, stranger things have been adapted for the stage (expl. Moby Dick starring Orson Welles as Captain Ahab)...but they relied on adults as principles.
Well at anyrate, this cuts my visit to the Berkshires down to Shakespeare & Co's "War of the Worlds" which is being billed as a comedy on the "Noises Off" mode.
In other words, no tripod machines.

Monday, October 03, 2011

2011 marks the 70th Anniversary of

the premiere of "Citizen Kane".
And there isn't much I can add to the reams of cyber copy that cluster around this film other than to note that it's main legacy to me, is the enduring power of fiction.
It is not that Orson Welles recounted a thinly veiled life of William Randoph Hearst, it is more to the point that his many fictional additions and revisions somehow told the truth on all of it so admirably.
When Welles' Charles Foster Kane, bloated with power and yet a pathetic failure in love and politics throws a wretched tantrum after his second wife absconds, we feel it to be something someone so great and yet so petty would do under the circumstances.
"Citizen Kane" is full of those moments, so much more vital and true than any smutty palaver about the true original of "Rosebud".
The proof of Welles' particular vision in the rarity of any imitators, when Hollywood wants to do Douglas MacArthur, they don't do a character, based on the four star general, they do the Man as a straight biopic. The same with George S. Patton, Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X and so on down the line.
In each case something is missed I think, fiction can magnify as well as distort.
The prism of sheer invention is very powerful, stop and think Marion Davies is a nice lady who stuck by her man straight into the footnotes of Hollywood, Susan Alexander (AKA Dorothy Comingore) is a character for the Ages.
Alas I guess Hollywood fears loss of a easy marquee' name and can't find anyone with Orson Welles' visionary skillset.

Although, I would pay good money to see Terry Gilliam take a look at an Andy Warhol type character...just for starters.

What is it with DC Comics?

Whenever they manage to navigate the torturous process of adapting one of the characters to the Big Screen, they make breakthrough casting every time....

Josh Brolin as Jonah Hex? No question brilliant casting.

Shee-it, Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern was a home run, at least til the director shouted "Roll em!"

But be it this or The Green Lantern the films just auto destruct in the third act every time.

Which leads me to the conclusion that you can cast these sonsabitches, but executing a good tight comic book adaptation is an art as much as a science. And more and more, I"m thinking sometimes it's a process of serendipity.
You have to hook in the base and attact casual film goers, you'd think this would be easy, but Hollywood can screw up a two car funeral.
I mean Captain America (Chris Evans) was no better a casting choice than Ryan "Green Lantern" Reynolds, but the Marvel adaptation just clicked with audiences in a way that DC's tentpole summer picture did not.
And that was despite Captain America's lackluster third act which felt cribbed from the Indiana Jones Franchise. The Marvel films though, are building towards something, "The Avengers" their ultimate team up tie in, so even a mediocre Captain America movie moves the ball forward so to speak.
DC Has nothing like this, they spend years negotiating with their corporate parent Warner Brothers, the project passes thru multiple hands, gets made, doesn't ever meet expectation and within six months everyone acts like the film (That EVERYONE Was counting on) never happened.
I mean look what happened to poor Brandon Routh, he is practically an Unperson at this point...ANd don't get me started on that Wonder Woman tv pilot that came and went in a puff of maladroit intentions.
AND DC/Warner Brothers keeps blundering on, hoping that if they throw enough pasta, some of it will stick to the wall.

Look at Henry Cavill, the New Superman, no red briefs (too old fashioned I guess) ...which is a shame since the old trunks hid certain things admirably.

Will any of it work? I Don't know, DC/Warner Brothers seems committed to doing the same thing over and over in their live action feature film comic book adaptations with the expectation of a different result.