what's wrong with roasting and eating sailors? / also, Vleeptron is taking a train adventure for a week!
Okay! Abbas of Toronto (see his blog link at right) wins the Pizza Slice for knowing where this came from:
From the world
past hope and fear
I bid you, Genie,
It was the incantation used to summon the Little Boy Genie in the Lantern from just possibly the greatest movie ever made, "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad," by the greatest movie animator of all times, Ray Harryhausen.
(Irrascible Small knew it was a Sinbad flick, but couldn't name which one.)
Look: 7-year-old kids are human beings, too, and "T7VoS" was certainly the high moment of my movie-going life. It took me eight months for my bugged-out eyes to go back into their sockets.
Abbas, you're lucky you saw it in Pakistan. (And triply lucky to have seen it in a Drive-In! What kind of junk food did they serve?) In the UK, the two scenes depicted above in Harryhausen's thrilling sketches were censored and snipped out because the censors felt they were too scary for little kids.
So what's so wrong about showing monsters roasting and eating people? Huh? All a kid cares about is that the monster isn't eating the kid. If the monster is roasting and eating the kid next door, that won't harm the child's fragile developing personality.
Sinbad's duel with the skeleton -- well, there was never anything like it before and there'll never be anything like it again. Luke Skywalker's light saber duel with Darth Vader is like a tawdry two-bit pub fight compared to Sinbad's life-and-death scimitar duel with the leering skeleton on the evil magician's stone spiral staircase.
In an interview, the producer Schneer said they were very lucky to get Kerwin Matthews to play Sinbad, because Matthews had a natural gift for battling monsters which weren't really there during the filming of Sinbad's part of the duels. Most actors just don't know how to look convincing when they're battling nothing.
You can try to dismiss "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" as kid stuff, but you're sooooooo off-base. First, its spirit is fully the spirit of Alf Layla Iwa Layla -- The 1001 Nights, which is my pick for the greatest single work of imaginative fiction and storytelling in all literature. Sad at this moment to contemplate, but this thrilling adventure of Sinbad is set in the glory days of Baghdad when it was the center of Arab power and the blazing moment of world science, art, literature and trade. (And Sorcery!)
And the beating heart of this magnificent flick is the astonishing music score of Bernard Herrmann, most famous for scoring most of Alfred Hitchcock's movies, but he had a field day with Sinbad -- a huge symphonic eruption of lurid, passionate, mysterious danger, dread, anxiety, magic. I think it's tied with Herrmann's magnificent score for "Vertigo." As pure symphonic music, even without the movie, it's a fantastic listening treat for adult or child ear.
Are you all getting the hint? Rent "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" and make some popcorn. You won't have to pretend you're 8 years old again. The movie will take care of everything for you. It will wash the adult sophistication from you in the first five minutes. And your little kid's eyes will bug out. That's a promise.
Vleeptron will be sleeping and off-line for about a week, in a few hours Bob is hopping the Amtrak to New Haven and thence to DC (at this historical moment, the capital of the Whacky Loopy Backwards Bush Empire) for a long overdue trip to see Family (often scarier than the Cyclops or the Skeleton).
Received yesterday original art from Uwe von Wedding commemorating the passing from this Dimension to the Next of Dr. Albert Hofmann, I will post it and blather on about That Naughty Stuph when I get back.
Meanwhile wish me luck and fun on what passes for passenger rail service in the United States of America.
Why don't I fly there?
Why don't you hire sailors to beat you up in an alley for nine hours?
Anybody bought Grand Theft Auto IV yet? How is it? Is it The End of Civilization? Are there secret hidden Toon Teen Pixel Virtual Porn Sex Bits in it? This time the Evil Violent Villain is a Euroscum guy from the Slavic East, I think his name is Niko, he needs a shave. Mostly he needs to be arrested and deported. I can't imagine how Homeland Security let him in to this country.
Anybody managed to hear NIN's latest and FREE! download album yet? I'm trying to figure out how to play it in the FLAC lossless audio format. Everybody tells me that will be easy as soon as I take a university course in computer audio software. MP3s suck, I'm not making the Great Leap Backwards in Beautiful Music from CDs to MP3s. The NIN download page claims iTunes will play the FLAC version -- but they're lying.
See you all in a week!