Friday, June 29, 2007
From The Atomic Archives. . .
Here's the first of what will be several utterly shameless plugs for our next celluloid extravaganza, a Saturday matinee at the Cerrito Speakeasy Theatre in El Cerrito on August 4.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Rod "Shooter" Beck, Closer Extraordinaire (1968-2007) by Paul F. Etcheverry
On the field, he was only surpassed as 9th inning guru by his successor, "Rapid Robb" Nen. Both of these guys could, in true "closer" style, scare the living daylights out an unsuspecting hitter - it was their job. He led the spectacular bullpen crew of the 1993 squad (arguably the best Giants team of the past 35 years) with 48 saves and personally nailed the last out in the game that clinched the 1997 West Division title. While never possessing a blistering 100 MPH fastball or even the vicious slider that Robb Nen utilized to blow big-leaguers away, he did serve up a split-finger fastball that dropped precipitiously at just the right moment.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
I Lived To See The 100th Post
I'm glad because it's possible to see clips like the following: the opening ten minutes from Hellzapoppin', the 1941 Universal feature adapted from the fabulously insane Broadway revue of the same name. This classic comedy is not available on DVD - and, be still my heart, features Olsen and Johnson, Hugh Herbert, Mischa Auer AND Shemp Howard.
I'm doubly glad because if I can't find that VHS tape I have somewhere with the Ernie Kovacs commercials for Dutch Masters, here they are:
And, if scouring every DVD store and online outlet for hard-hitting, no-holds-barred le jazz hot - the kind that isn't allowed on television anymore (actually, it never was allowed on television in the United States) - STILL turns up nothing. . . here's a wonderfully incendiary 1974 performance by the larger-than-life Charles Mingus Quintet.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
A Date With Dizzy
Animation producer/director John Hubley created this very funny and still relevant short about the fun-filled realities of making television commercials back in 1956. Dizzy, as usual, sounds fantastic and there are also several stellar Hubley/Storyboard Productions commercials in the mix.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Happy Birthday, Eric Dolphy And Brian Wilson - Oh, And It's Burt Bacharach Day
Eric Dolphy, that most brilliant and idiosyncratic of jazz improvisors, would have been 79 today. For Eric's utter mastery of clarinets, saxophones and flute, as well as his savvy as a composer and ability to tackle any genre of music, he remains among the great artists, a true 20th century giant.
To Brian Wilson, the master of symphonic pop, a very happy 65th to you - so glad you are still here!
Enjoy "Heroes And Villains", the opening song from Brian's greatest work, SMiLE.
For Burt Bacharach Day, the randomly chosen 20th of any given month, here is vocalist Trijntje Oosterhuis, performing Falling Out Of Love with the Metropole Orchestra.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Whatever It Is, I'm Against It
Groucho aptly sums up my feelings about political parties, group-think (even groups I like), organized religion and just about any "ism" any of us can think of, in this great opening song from Horse Feathers, a 1932 Paramount feature starring The Four Marx Brothers.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Max Linder: The First Movie Comedian
Parisian boulevardier Max Linder was cinema's first star comedian, an accomplished headliner in France before D.W. Griffith and Allan Dwan started their film careers; Chaplin described him as "the great master".
Linder (1883-1925) starred in his own series of comedy short subjects as early as 1905, before Mack Sennett, before Fred Mace, before John Bunny, before "Keystone Mabel" Normand, even before Marcel Perez.
The dapper, top-hatted performer's innovative role in developing screen comedy is comparable to Emile Cohl's pioneering contributions to animation. The perpetually-cool "silk hat slicker" character of the inspired 1920's comic actor Raymond Griffith could be regarded as a creative homage to Max Linder.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Lobotronic Film Fest on June 7
On June 7th Lobotronic promises a monstrously good time to benefit the inaugural year of the Sacramento Horror Film Festival, (October 19th-21st).
The “Lobotronic Film Show” showcases a parade of bizarre short films, monster movie trailers, vintage commercials and twisted cartoons that might otherwise go unseen by mainstream audiences. Last year’s midnight Lobotronic at the Studio Theater in Sacramento quickly sold out! Because the crowd was so enthusiastic, the 2-hour show was spontaneously extended to 4 hours. Even at 4 AM the audience was still crying for more!
This year’s event promises to be even better with an earlier start time and 3 rooms of entertainment! In addition, this year’s event will be held at Willemina’s fabulous Restaurant and Bar in Old Sacramento, which offers, in addition to a full bar, an extensive menu of creative deep fried food, like the deep fried pizza, the deep fried pickle, and the amazing “Scotch Egg!” which is a hard boiled egg covered in sausage, breaded and deep fried! The “Lobotronic Film Show” will be hosted by, nationally syndicated Horror Host, Mr. Lobo and, cult sensation and comic book heroine, The Queen of Trash! This formidable couple has also signed on to host the upcoming Sacramento Horror Film Festival at the Colonial Theater this Fall. The Sacramento Horror Film Festival will also feature a Lobotronic Film Show as part of its programming.
One night only! The “Lobotronic Film Show” starts at 9pm on Thursday, June 7th, at Willemina’s Restaurant and Bar (1023 Front Street, Old Sacramento). 21 and over only. The admission is $8. All proceeds will go to support the inaugural year of The Sacramento Horror Film Festival in October. Come out and support Sacramento’s esoteric cinema scene! Photos and more details (including advance ticket information) can be found atwww.Sachorrorfilmfest.com