The Cultural Gutter

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"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

    In  Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, “Women As Background Decoration: Part 2,” Anita Sarkeesian discusses “how sexualized female bodies often occupy a dual role as both sexual playthings and the perpetual victims of male violence.” It is quite graphic in terms of violence and sexual violence.

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    Here are the films playing the Vanguard program at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival: Spring; Luna; Hyena; Goodnight, Mommy / Ich Seh, Ich Seh; Alleluia; The Duke Of Burgundy; Over Your Dead Body; Shrew’s Nest; They Have Escaped; Waste Land; The World of Kanako; and The Voices. (Trailers added as they become available).

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    Here are the films playing the Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness program: Tokyo Tribe; Big Game; Tusk; It Follows; Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films; [REC]4: Apocalypse; Cub; The Editor; and, What We Do In The Shadows and The Guest. (More trailers as they become available).

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    The Guardian has collected some responses Haruki Murakami gave to reader questions at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. “I don’t have any idea at all, when I start writing, of what is to come. For instance, for The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, the first thing I had was the call of the bird, because I heard a bird in my back yard (it was the first time I heard that kind of sound and I never have since then. I felt like it was predicting something. So I wanted to write about it). The next thing was cooking spaghetti – these are things that happen to me! I was cooking spaghetti, and somebody call. So I had just these two things at the start. Two years I kept on writing. It’s fun! I don’t know what’s going to happen next, every day. I get up, go to the desk, switch on the computer, etc. and say to myself: ‘so what’s going to happen today?’ It’s fun!”

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    Patrick Lung Kong and Tsui Hark discuss their work together and Lung’s influential film, The Story Of A Discharged Prisoner (1967), during a retrospective of Lung’s work. ‘Protesters called “and said ‘Burn that film, burn it!’” Lung Kong said. The timing was off, with Hong Kong embroiled in riots, and demonstrators targeted a government official Lung Kong had invited to the premiere. “The audience just stepped over the bombs,” Lung Kong said, lifting his foot gingerly to demonstrate. “Thank god, it broke all the records. That’s why I had a third film to make.”’

     

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    Animator, writer, director and producer Liz Holzman has died. Holzman worked on Animaniacs, Pinky & The Brain, DuckTales, Smurfs, Muppet Babies and Darkwing Duck among other television series and films. The Hollywood Reporter, Animation Magazine and The Los Angeles Times have obituaries. Animation Insider has an interview with Holzman. Here is a gallery of Holzman’s paintings.

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