Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I think that I must've waited

all my life for the advent of home video.

And why?

Because I am a lifelong serial fan and until I was in my twenties classic chapterplays did not really circulate in cinemas or on TV.
Oh Channel 56 once screened all the "Flash Gordon" serials at 11pm on weeknights, a welcome byproduct of the "Star Wars" craze to be sure.
But if you wanted to see "The Purple Monster Strikes" (1945) you had to wait and hope that the feature film ("D-Day on Mars" I LOVE THAT TITLE!) edited out of serial somehow got screened on an obscure UHF station.
Mostly until stuff started showing up on VHS, the serials I wanted to see had to be read about, Glut and Harmon's "The Great Movie Serials" being the then definitive work on the subject.
I can safely say that my ardor for serials is such that the two Kirk Alyn "Superman" serials are both good examples of movies long anticipated with high expectations that in turn lived up to the hype in every way.
Top that "Avatar"!
The genre is dead and gone now and I think that is a helluva shame...silent serials pioneered female action heroes (The Perils of Pauline, the Hazards of Helen, all of which featured brave self reliant heroines in a pre World War One milieu), sound serials help creat modern stunt work and fight choreography and formed the first venues for comic book characters like Superman, Batman and Captain Marvel.
Though almost no one trifles with the genre anymore, serial DNA lives on from every "Dr. Who" cliffhanger to the endless storylines of daytime soap operas.
To say nothing of "Indiana Jones" a last lavish love letter to a bygone genre of film-making.
So it is with some affection that Channel Zero screens "Captain Celluloid versus the Film Pirates" this friday night...a relatively concise silent homage to the old Republic Serials produced under independent circumstances in 1965 by true serial lovers and sadly forgotten since then.
Channel Zero can't screen "The New Adventures of Tarzan" as all 12 chapters would run for four hours of screening time...So Captain Celluloid at 45 or so minutes will do as a good substitute.
And we will have some surprises to screen that night as well to round things out to "feature length".
Anyhow...tell your friends!
"Captain Celluloid versus the Film Pirates" (1965)
Friday June 29th 8pm Sharp!
The Somerville Theatre Screening room
Admission 5 bucks cheap!
55 Davis Square
Somerville Ma 617 625 5700
Good Luck finding us on Facebook!!
Forget Batman, Forsake The Avengers, Captain Celluloid is All The Hero
the Summer of 2012 Needs!!

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