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Archive for June 21st, 2013

by Sam Juliano

“When a man shuts himself off from his neighbors, when he conducts experiments behind locked doors, there is bound to be talk.  There were those who whispered that Dirk Van Prinn was a sorcerer – and worse.  He might never have been remembered at all had not his research led him to the discovery of a most unusual formula for making glass.”    –Boris Karloff

Robert Bloch’s short story “The Cheaters” made it’s first appearance in the November 1947 issue of Weird Tales.  Bloch, who also authored the sources that yielded two other exceptional episodes in Boris Karloff’s Thriller, (“The Weird Tailor” and “Waxworks”) and seven other teleplays for the series, also included it in his acclaimed 1960 short story collection Pleasant Dreams: Nightmares, which won the Hugo Award for the selection “The Hell-Bound Train,” a captivating tale about outsmarting the devil.  “The Cheaters” which debuted on Thriller’s fifteenth week, is one of the most perfectly executed episodes of the series, showcasing an extraordinary ensemble, a clever specification of a popular science-fiction deceit and  a remarkable economic teleplay that unifies four short stories with a pre-title vignette.  “The Cheaters” with it’s focus on human greed and the murderous treachery that people will engineer to acquire money is one of the darkest episodes on the show, one where nearly all, the central characters meet their doom by violence or horrific means.  The play on the term ‘cheaters’ extends to virtually all the activities in the omnibus narrative: a wife cheats on her husband, a player cheats in a card game, characters cheat to gain wealth, and the glasses themselves as invented are devices to cheat since they reveal something that should not be observed by another person. (more…)

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mf 2

by Allan Fish

concluding the small series on Godard…

(France/Sweden 1966 110m) DVD2

Give us this day TV and car but deliver us from freedom

p  Philippe Dussart  d/w  Jean-Luc Godard  novel  “La Femme du Paul” by Guy de Maupassant  ph  Willy Kurant  ed  Agnès Guillemot  m  Francis Lai (and W.A.Mozart)

Jean-Pierre Léaud (Paul), Chantal Goya (Madeleine Zimmer), Catherine-Isabelle Duport (Catherine-Isabelle), Marlène Jobert (Elisabeth Choquet), Michel Debord (Robert Packard), Birger Malmsten (Him, in film), Maj-Britt Strandberg (she, in film), Brigitte Bardot (girl in café), Françoise Hardy, Henri Attal, Dominique Zardi,

It’s amazing the random thoughts that pop into your head as you prepare to type one of these pieces.  Take now, where I have just watched Godard’s pop culture film as my third film of the day.  The first two were by Bergman – All These Women and The Hour of the Wolf.  One might see no immediate connection, but then one recalls that Masculin Feminin was shot in Sweden; Sandrews and Svenskfilmindustri co-financed it.  With that, the similarities end, for Bergman and Godard could not have been more diametrically opposed in their outlook on the cinema.  Bergman’s biggest preoccupation was with the human condition, its loves, its hates, its fears, its joys, sanity and otherwise, religion and atheism.  Godard was an anti-humanist, for whom individuals were no more important than Subutteo figures, weighed down not as if in a bowl of cement ready to be thrown into the waters of the deep by some mobster, but by the weight of political and social discourse, and of being part of the youthful Coca Cola generation of the mid-sixties.  (more…)

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