The Cultural Gutter

hey, there's something shiny down there...

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

Prithviraj Kapoor Is Alexander The Great

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At Beth Loves Bollywood, Beth watches Sikandar, a 1941 Hindi-language, sword and sandals movie in which Alexander the Great’s army sings these words as they march on Hindustan: “Life exists because of love, so let it be spent in love.”

“This Land Is Mine”

Animator of Sita Sings The Blues, Nina Paley, has a new short, “This Land Is Mine,” concerning, “a brief history of the land called Israel/Palestine/Canaan/the Levant” set to, “This Land Is Mine” sung by Andy Williams. (Via Cartoon Brew)

Jack Kirby’s Collage

Imprint Magazine puts Jack Kirby’s collage in an art history context.

Timely Post: Frank Miller’s Hot Gates

In 2007, Comics Editor Carol wrote a piece about Frank Miller’s 300. As part of experimenting with ways to make timely content from our archives more available, we’re linking to “Frank Miller’s Hot Gates” here in the Notes.

Disney Princesses in Period Dress

Illustrator Claire Hummel reinterprets Disney princess costumes to make them more historically accurate. (via The Bookshelves of Lesser Doom)

The Cat and the Coup

In The Cat and the Coup you are a cat, specifically Mohammed Mossadegh’s cat.  Who was he?  The first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran who was overthrown in a CIA-funded coup .  The game looks like Persian miniatures. It has music by Nine Inch Nails.  And it’s free.  See the trailer here.  (Via PC […]

Another Interview with Ray Harryhausen

The BBC has a nice interview with Ray Harryhausen, Stop-Motion and SFX Overlord!

First Second’s Prince of Persia

Jog writes a meditation about time, movement and water in Prince of Persia, the game and graphic novel. It’s nice. You might like it.

Space To Move

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The same week that I walked over to the rep theater to see Persepolis. I watched the straight-to-DVD Justice League: The New Frontier. And, yes, it’s probably wrong to write about The New Frontier within pixels of Persepolis, even if they’re both comics that became animated movies with very different results.

Harryhausen Creatures

Do you miss the days of dynamation? Stopmotion skeletons and Selenites? Mighty Joe Young and the Minoton? Chinese Jet Pilots has a Ray Harryhausen Creature List with clips of nearly every creature Harryhausen made. There’s also a link to some nice stopmotion footage. Check out the beetlemen by the lesser known but still swell, Pete […]

Frank Miller’s Hot Gates

Only the hard. Only the strong.

A feeling’s been gnawing deep inside me for a while. A feeling that maybe Frank Miller’s hypermasculine antiheros and faceless, breast-thrusting women are exactly what they seem, not just sketchy parody. After reading 300, Miller’s 1998 account of the Spartans at Thermopylae, I don’t have any doubt: Miller means it. His aesthetic is fascist.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Friend of the Gutter, Will McKinley looks at “The 1979 Rockford Files Episode That Inspired The Sopranos.” “A gang from Newark’s South Side is hiding Vinnie Martine’s body in a restaurant freezer. Tony’s mad because Anthony Jr. got caught pranking another mobster. And a boss who’s trying to reform gets his mansion sprayed with bullets. Remember that episode of The Sopranos? If you do, your memory’s playing tricks on you, because all these things happened on a 1979 episode of The Rockford Files—written by Sopranos creator David Chase.”

    And McKinley defends classic television with, “In Praise of Vintage Television.”

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    Journalist Margot Adler has died. She is best known for her work as a journalist on NPR, but she also created the speculative fiction radio program, “The Hour Of The Wolf” and was the writer of Drawing Down The Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today (1979) and Vampires Are Us: Understanding Our Love Affair with the Immortal Dark Side (2014). The New York Times, NPR and  Suvudu have obituaries.  Here Adler discusses Vampires Are Us. And here is an excerpt from Adler’s memoir, Heretic’s Heart (1997).

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    The Toronto International Film Festival has announced its Midnight Madness and Vanguard programs for 2014. There’s lots of goodness in there and it’s worth taking a look even if you aren’t going to the festival, so you can you movie watching later this year or next. We’ll be posting the trailers from the films later.

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    Actor James Shigeta has died. Shigeta appeared in Die Hard (1988), The Crimson Kimono (1959) The Flower Drum Song (1961),  Bridge To The Sun (1961), Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966), The Yakuza (1974) and many, many television shows.  The AV Club, Den Of Geek and Angry Asian Man have obituaries. Bridge to the Sun is discussed by Robert Osborne and Dr. Peter Feng on TCM.  At RogerEbert.com, Matt Zoller Seitz writes an appreciation of Shigeta’s life and work. “Shigeta, who died yesterday at 81, was a marvelous performer, and his work as Nakatomi Corporation President Joseph Takagi in the original 1988 Die Hard is one of my favorite examples of how an imaginative actor can sketch out a life in just a few scenes and lines.”

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    At RogerEbert.com, Alan Zilberman explores the history of the eye in cinema from Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) to Mark Cahill’s I Origins (2014). (via Matt Zoller Seitz)

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    At Never Get Off The Bus, Debbie Moon writes about Captain America: First Avenger. “When adapting existing material, it’s easy to assume that in order to reach point F, you simply have to work through points A – E. To set up Steve Rogers in the modern world, simply romp briskly through everything that happened before he got there. But your character may not be undergoing a single united emotional journey during that period. “

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