The Cultural Gutter

going through pop culture's trash since 2003

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

The Dark Crystal’s First Cut

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The AV Club shares a recreation of the original version of Jim Henson and Frank Oz’s The Dark Crystal.

RIP, Charles Durning

Actor Charles Durning has died. Durning was most famous for his supporting roles in on stage and screen including, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, Dog Day Afternoon, The Sting, The Muppet Movie, The Hudsucker Proxy, O Brother Where Art Thou? and  Tootsie.  Durning also lived an incredible life […]

The Muppet Institute of Technology

Jim’s Red Book chronicles the relationship between Jim Henson and Douglas Adams, including a proposed television special about computers, “The Muppet Institute of Technology.”  There’s more about their collaboration in film and videogames as well as some design art. (via io9)  

I Was Raised by Muppets

Of all the people whose art and philosophy have shaped the man I grew up to be, I think it’s possible that I have been most influenced by Jim Henson. The way the Muppets interacted with one another and the values they lived by formed a foundation for an understanding of relationships that has continued […]

Tribute to Jim Henson

A little collection of Muppetry for Jim Henson’s birthday. The Skeksis speak their own language in The Dark Crystal. Kermit sings, “Once in a Lifetime.” Mating rituals on Koozbane. Vincent Price sings with Uncle Deadly. Alice Cooper sings “Welcome to My Nightmare.” Martians discover the earth.  Gonzo’s going to go back there someday. The Swedish […]

Remembering Jim Henson

The Muppets prove that silly songs, whoopie-cushions and tribute letters from fans are enough to remember Jim Henson on his birthday.

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 […]

BUY THIS SHOW!!!

The original pitch for The Muppet Show. In memoriam, Jim Henson.

23 Variations on the Vampire

From Sesame Street’s the Count to Swamp Thing‘s aquatic vampires to The Lost Boys, hopping vampires and Richard Matheson, the AV Club has 23 variations on the vampire.

Viral Muppets

It might be the best thing ever, muppets uploading video on YouTube:  Beaker as meepmeepmeepow, Sam the Eagle as patrioticeagle, the Swedish Chef as deumnborkborkbork, the Great Gonzo as weirdowhatever and Statler and Waldorf respond to videos as heckle247.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Nerds of Color announces that their own David Walker will be writing Dynamite’s Shaft comic. Denys Cowan shares the cover for Shaft #1 drawn by Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz. Sanford Greene shares some his cover work here and here. Black Comix posts Ulises Farinas’ cover.  Comics Wow has more and previews covers. (Via Black Comix and World of Hurt)

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    Actor Richard Kiel has died. Kiel worked in both film and television, including performances in The Twilight Zone episode, “To Serve Man”; Eegah (1962); The Barbary Coast with William Shatner; Happy Gilmore (1996); Pale Rider (1985); as Vlad in Tangled (201); and as Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979).   The New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times and Variety have obituaries. Here he is interviewed with Britt Ekland. And David Letterman interviews Kiel here.

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    Open Culture has a round-up of eight free and complete films by Dziga Vertov, including Man With A Movie Camera (1929) and the first Soviet animated feature, Soviet Toys (1924). (Thanks, Earl!)

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    Matt Zoller Seitz has written a lovely meditation on Robin Williams at RogerEbert.com: “Williams wore the invisible garments of depression. He carried that burden. A lot of the time we didn’t see it, because he was a bright and enthusiastic comic performer and a great actor. But the weight was always there.

    Somehow he lived 63 years.

    What a warrior he was.”

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    At Kaiju Shakedown, Hiroshi Fukazawa interviews director Ringo Lam. “Not as flashy as John Woo, never as hyperkinetic as Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam is one of Hong Kong’s most underappreciated directors. He made his name with sophisticated, downbeat crime dramas that came to define a certain style of urban Hong Kong cinema in the Eighties and early Nineties. After getting his start in television at CTV and TVB, he directed five features before finding his stride with 1987’s City on Fire, the movie that provided the blueprint for Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.”

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    “[Grace] Jones — who was famous not just for her music, but also for her acting and modeling — took Lundgren to New York, where they partied at the legendary Studio 54 and Andy Warhol took pictures of Lundgren. Jones introduced Lundgren to the world of show business. Meanwhile, Lundgren was still set to begin his Fulbright scholarship at MIT. ‘I started sort of thinking, “Wow, this is kind of cool,”‘ Lundgren remembers: ‘”I don’t know if I want to go back to engineering after this.”‘ More at NPR.

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