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After AHS: Coven

Feb. 5th, 2014 | 01:32 pm


Around 10PM this evening, when American Horror Story: Coven would regularly be on, here are three films you might enjoy, to fill that witchy viewing void.

Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages is a 1922 Swedish/Danish silent film written and directed by Benjamin Christensen. Based on writings from the Malleus Maleficarum,  a 15th-century guide for inquisitors, Häxan is a study of how superstition and the misunderstanding of diseases and mental illness lead to the hysteria of the witch-hunts. Made as a documentary, it contains some of the wildest recreation sequences you could imagine. It was banned for years due to the graphic and bizarre nature of these scenes. The opening sequence for AHS: Coven borrows heavily from this imagery. It's available on DVD form The Criterion Collection.


I Married a Witch is a 1942 romantic comedy film, starring Veronica Lake as a beautiful, blonde witch whose plans for revenge don't go quite the way she wanted. Burned at the stake in Salem, she curses her tormentor - he and all his male descendants will always marry the wrong woman. Centuries later, she conjures a human body to continue her scheme, but she ends up falling for one of the cursed ancestors. Credited as the impetus for the Bewitched series, this snappy comedy is a whole lot of fun. It was finally released on DVD and Blu-Ray last year from The Criterion Collection.


Bell, Book and Candle is a 1958 romantic comedy, based on the successful Broadway play, starring James Stewart and Kim Novak in their second on-screen pairing (after Vertigo, released earlier the same year). Novak stars as Gillian Holroyd, a Greenwich Village witch who is unlucky in love. After admiring her publisher neighbor (Stewart), Gillian's aunt puts a spell on his phone to get the two to meet. The cast is fantastic (Jack Lemmon, Elsa Lanchester and Hermione Gingold round out the witchy players) and the movie has some of the most beautiful use of technicolor ever to grace the screen. Of the three films, this one is the most accessible. I see this DVD at Target all the time, on the $6 rack.


Grab a cauldron, er....cup of your favorite brew and enjoy!

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Ultra Q (ウルトラQ Urutora Kyū)

Feb. 2nd, 2014 | 10:34 am
mood: amusedamused

I've spent the last few days enjoying the 1966 Ultra Q Series. The precursor to Ultraman, it's more in the spirit of The Outer Limits or The X-Files. There are a lot of comedic episodes, too. A very small cast of characters investigate strange supernatural phenomena, including giant monsters, aliens and ghosts. Twenty-eight, far-out episodes. Kaiju-licous!


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My BFF, Barbara Boyd

Apr. 23rd, 2009 | 08:58 am
mood: pleasedpleased

To Matt...Collapse )

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Farewell Guiding Light

Apr. 3rd, 2009 | 07:52 am

CBS has announced that Guiding Light, the longest running show in broadcast history, is being cancelled, with the final show airing September 18.

The 72-year-old soap opera, produced by Procter & Gamble, began in 1937 as a 15-minute NBC radio serial, then moved to television as a 15-minute soap on CBS in 1952. The series changed to a 30-minute format in 1968 and expanded to an hour in 1977.

Guiding Light launched the careers of several celebrities - Kevin Bacon, Calista Flockhart, Allison Janney and Hayden Panettiere all got their start there, but my personal favorite GL alumni is John Bolger. He's the great nephew of Ray Bolger, the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Of, and the star of the film Parting Glances.

Although I haven't watched it much in the last decade, I'm sad to hear that it's ending.

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CNN Revealed: Carine Roitfeld

Mar. 24th, 2009 | 08:15 am

None of the times listed on cnn.com seemed to be accurate, so if you missed this like I did, here's the show in 3 parts.

Part OneCollapse )

Part TwoCollapse )

Part ThreeCollapse )

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Runways Tracks: Paris F/W 2009

Mar. 18th, 2009 | 11:54 am

I'm always curious as to what they're really playing during the shows. Most of the time when you see a video presentation, they've substituted their own music, for legal reasons or simply sound issues. WWD had the runway rundown...

Musical moods varied during Paris Fashion Week, from the romantic (Donna Summer’s “Love to Love You Baby” at Chanel) to the ridiculous. The latter included Ewan McGregor, José Feliciano and Jacek Koman’s version of “Roxanne” from the film “Moulin Rouge,” played both at the John Galliano and Jean Paul Gaultier shows, and an awkward live act by electronica group Metronomy, who performed on the Karl Lagerfeld runway.

But there were some stellar soundtracks. Along with Flash and the Pan’s “Walking in the Rain,” Ariel Weizman mixed up a special concoction of tribal rhythms for Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz. “He wanted a sentiment of tribal force that was still symphonic,” said the Paris-based DJ.

And artist Matthew Stone composed a track specifically for Gareth Pugh’s fashion movie, made up of flapping bird’s wings and gurgling water. He also sampled sections from the soundtrack of “The Shining” (so much for alleviating everyone’s anxieties).

Here, the top tracks from the Paris collections:

• “El Tango De Roxanne,” by Ewan McGregor, José Feliciano and Jacek Koman (John Galliano and Jean Paul Gaultier)

• “Walking in the Rain,” by Flash and the Pan (Lanvin)

• "Love to Love You Baby,” by Donna Summer (Chanel)

• “Walking & Falling,” by Laurie Anderson (Dries Van Noten)

• Keith Jarrett, solo concert, part 2 (Yves Saint Laurent)

• “Pornography,” by The Cure (Nina Ricci)

• “En Melody,” by Serge Gainsbourg (Balenciaga)

• “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” by Saint Etienne (Stella McCartney)

• “Shake That Devil,” by Antony and The Johnsons (Anne Valérie Hash and Kris Van Assche)

• “Martha’s Dream,” by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (Ann Demeulemeester)

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Alexander McQueen Fall 2009 RTW

Mar. 13th, 2009 | 12:49 pm

Alexander McQueen may be the last designer standing who is brave or foolhardy enough to present a collection that is an unadulterated piece of hard and ballsy showmanship. The heated arguments that broke out afterward were testament to that. There were those who found his picture of women with sex-doll lips and sometimes painfully theatrical costumes ugly and misogynistic. Others—mainly young spectators who haven't been thrilled by the season's many sensible pitches to middle-aged working women—were energized by the sheer spectacle, as well as the couture-level drama in the execution of the clothes.

It was certainly meant as a last-stand fin de siècle blast against the predicament in which fashion, and possibly consumerism as a whole, finds itself. The set was a scrap heap of debris from the stages of McQueen's own past shows, surrounded by a shattered glass runway. The clothes were, for the most part, high-drama satires of twentieth-century landmark fashion: parodies of Christian Dior houndstooth New Look and Chanel tweed suits, moving through harsh orange and black harlequinade looks to revisited showstoppers from McQueen's own archive.

The romantic side of McQueen's character, which rises intermittently in deliriously beautiful shows like his recent tribute to the Victorian empire, was emphatically in abeyance. This is a designer who has drawn so much poetry out of the past, yet this time his backward look appeared to be in something like anger, defiance, or possibly gallows humor. Some of the pieces, like a couple of swag-sided coats, seemed to be made of trash bags, accessorized with aluminum cans wrapped in plastic as headgear.

Nevertheless, however frustrated McQueen may be by the state of commercial fashion, he was not really in absurdist rip-it-up mode. Whatever else is gnawing him, this is a man who will never compromise on construction and craftsmanship. This season, he'd noticeably forgone his typical carapace corsetry, making for slightly easier shapes, like boxy jackets, airy gazar dresses, and a fringed dogtooth sheath. For McQueen's faithful, there were also fiercely tailored coats, nipped in the waist and picking up on biker quilted leather and big-shouldered silhouettes. Evening-wise—sans the drag-queen makeup—there was a slim, black paillette homage-to-YSL wrapover dress with a red-lined hood that would stand up as elegant in any company.

Ultimately, for all the feathered and sculpted showpieces that must have taken hundreds of seamstress-hours to perfect, this was a McQueen collection that didn't push fashion anywhere new. Yet that seemed to be exactly one of the things he was pointing to: the state of a collapsed economy that doesn't know how to move forward.

Complete collection...Collapse )

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