The Cultural Gutter

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"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

Secret Agent, Detective, Genius, Jerk: Modernizing Sherlock Holmes

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A man with dark wavy hair wakes up in an iron-framed bed in the middle of a windowless room. He leaps out from under the white sheets and stares intently at a corner of the white ceiling. Suddenly, gracefully, he spins to defeat an invisible opponent in four swift motions, finally falling to his knees […]

RIP, Edward Hardwicke

British actor Edward Hardwicke has died.  He is best known as Dr. John Watson in the 1980s and 1990s BBC Sherlock Holmes series co-starring Jeremy Brett as Holmes.The Guardian has an obituary and here is a video of Hardwicke and Brett interviewed about playing Watson and Holmes.

Elementary

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“We have in our police reports realism pushed to its extreme limits, and yet the result is, it must be confessed, neither fascinating nor artistic.”—Arthur Conan Doyle, “A Case of Identity.” When I wrote about Sherlock Holmes and Kolchak: The Night Stalker: Cry of Thunder, I wrote that I picked up that comic because of […]

Old Time Radio Horror

“Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula” isn’t old time radio, but its old timey and fun to listen to before Halloween. The Internet Archive’s Old Time Radio collection has more, including Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the Air’s “War of the Worlds” broadcast.

The Casefile of Sherlock Holmes and Carl Kolchak, Reporter

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Though I prefer reading —and writing about —comics in collections, I do buy comics in single issues.  Sometimes I need to know what happens next or can’t wait for the collection anymore. Sometimes it’s idle curiosity or the lure of the pretty. But every once in a while, it’s the potential for all-out crazy. I […]

Self-Defence for Gentlemen (and Suffragettes)

Scare off impudent ruffians and defeat any self-styled Goliath with only your cane or umbrella! Learn Bartitsu, the martial art favored by many Victorian (and some Edwardian) ladies and gentlemen! View a short documentary here. (via Kung Fu Cinema)

Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula

The year is 1890.  The city, London. Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula: Is there anything more to say? (Oh, yeah, it’s a radio drama).

The Dead Body Politic

The mystery of Mexico City needs a private eye.

The adage has it that truth is stranger than fiction. I swear that’s true in Mexico. One of my favourite writers, hardboiled crime novelist Paco Ignacio Taibo II, has to struggle to keep up with the absurd plot of his beloved nation. Although Taibo is a fine writer, I come to him more for his […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    The Korean Film Archive has been uploading classics of Korean cinema to their YouTube channel, Korean Classic Film Theater. Modern Korean Cinema reports on the latest 15 films uploaded.

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    A gallery of Mike Allred’s covers for twenty of DC’s titles. (via @profmdwhite)

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    Actor Lauren Bacall has died. Bacall is most famous for work with her first husband Humphrey Bogart, To Have And Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946) and Key Largo (1948), but she also starred in Douglas Sirk’s classic melodrama Written On The Wind (1956), co-starred with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable in How To Marry A Millionaire (1953), The Fan (1981), she appeared in Misery (1990) and voiced the Witch of the Waste in the English language dub of Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) and the Gray One in the English language version of Ernest and Celestine (2014). The Guardian and The Los Angeles Times, have obituaries. The Hollywood Reporter collects responses and remembrancesJulianne Escobedo Shepherd writes that “What I love about her is the intelligence and pluckiness that defined her acting and her life. That is what we should be most remembering — her talent, her strength, her fierce essence—the elements that made her an icon of the silver screen.” Here is Bacall’s 1994 interview with Charlie Rose.

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    Simon Fowler shares “The Five Best North Korean Films” at The Guardian. Did Pulgasari make the cut? Is the list Pulgasari five times? Click through to find out. (Thanks, Earl!)

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    Actor and comedian Robin Williams has died. There are many obituaries and remembrances out there, so we’re just choosing a few.  The AV Club, RogerEbert.com and Boing Boing have obituaries. The writers of RogerEbert.com offer tributes. Terry Gilliam talks about directing Williams in The Fisher King. Penny Marshall talks about working with Williams on Laverne & Shirley and directing him in Awakenings.  Marc Maron reposts his interview with Williams on Maron’s WTF Podcast. And here are a few of his less mentioned, darker films: Death To Smoochy (2002);  One Hour Photo (2002); Insomnia (2002); The Secret Agent (1996) and World’s Greatest Dad (2009).

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    Cleopatra’s Weave draws some amazing Elves of color (and David J. Prokopetz shares a story trying to get more racial representation in a fantasy illustration project).

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