Dino De Laurentiis passed away today

Dino De Laurentiis has passed away at the age of 91.  He was a huge man in the movie industry.

De laurentiis was born in 1919 in a small village near Naples, Italy. He enrolled in film school at the age of 17 and at 20 had already produced his first film. He went on to produce many films and won his first Oscar for producing Federico Fellini’s La Strada followed by another Oscar for Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria.  Both films won for the Best Foreign Language category.

Dino De Laurentiis produced a great many films.   Some of his more memorable films include Serpico (1973), Dune (1984), Army of Darkness (1992), and Red Dragon (2002). Of course, we just cannot forget that 1968 classic, Barbarella. In the end, he produced more than 150 films.

Dino De Laurentiis will be missed. He is survived by his wife and children.

Midnight Movie Madness: Threepenny Opera

Threepenny opera” – (112 minutes, Germany 1931, NR)

Thank God for egotists..?

Die 3 Groschen Oper”… Of late, we have been going through several films of significance, centering around the evil men are capable of. I am thinking mainly of “the killer inside me” and “Wolf Creek”, but there’s more: “Psycho”, “M” and much more.
If you are familiar with “threepenny opera” you might think the comparison to be strange, but it really isn’t.
Threepenny opera” began as a stage play written by Bertolt Brecht, a playwright of vision and talent who was also very difficult to work with, focusing as he did on differences rather than goals. Basically an egotistic prick with talent, Brecht’s history is fascinating in itself but is not the focus of this piece.
One of the protagonists (antagonists?) of “threepenny opera” is Macheath “Mackie” Messer, a psychopathic killer, in modern terms. You are probably familiar with the song “Mack the knife”, which has seen several interpretations over the years, by Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra among others.
But the original version is not quite so… watered down, and we actually owe its existence to Harald Paulsen, another egotistic you-know-what who was cast as Macheath before Rudolf Forster replaced him, and most likely for the better.
The fact remains, however, that if not for Paulsen’s demands to have a song introducing his character, we would not have this classic today.

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Halloween gruesomeness

Don’t know why I’d been saving this one up but here’s a crime scene pic from Halloween.
And finally, oh yes, finally, I’ll get my hands on “the human centipede” DVD Monday. At long last.

This. Is... SPARTA...!!!!

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Saturday funnies

I want to apologize to our readers.  Lastech started a new job which has cut into his blogging time for the moment.  In addition, we’re helping a friend pack up for a move.  We should resume a more normal schedule shortly.  In the meantime, here’s a good laugh for you.

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The Institute: palace of wonders and marvels

Some places remain within you forever, that is a fact. The Oceanographic Institute in Monaco Ville is so deeply embedded in my mind, I had no clue where this image I photoshopped came from, until reading an article recently:

The underwater palace

This year, I realized only this week,  marks the 100th anniversary of the Institute. The impressions it left upon me 40 years ago are much more than memories.

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Fair winds to gaseous giants: les petomanes

A proud, though somewhat freakish tradition.

Joseph Pujol

Le Pétomane was the stage name of the French flatulist (professional farter) and entertainer Joseph Pujol (June 1, 1857 – 1945). He was famous for his remarkable control of the abdominal muscles, which enabled him to fart at will. His stage name combines the French verb péter, “to fart” with the -mane, “-maniac” suffix, which translates to “fartomaniac”. The profession is also referred to as “flatulist”, “farteur”, or “fartiste”. […]

Soon after he left school he had a strange experience while swimming in the sea. He put his head under the water and held his breath, whereupon he felt an icy cold penetrating his rear. He ran ashore in fright and was amazed to see water pouring from his anus. A doctor assured him that there was nothing to worry about.

When he joined the army he told his fellow soldiers about his special ability, and repeated it for their amusement, sucking up water from a pan into his rectum and then projecting it through his anus up to several yards. He then found that he could suck in air as well. […]

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Tito’s Guide to Cats: Art and neighbors

MeeMom and dad have lived in our apartment for 8 years. Most of that time, they had the same neighbors. The neighbors were very nice. Whenever they had a party they would bring food. The food was great. Earlier this year they bought their own home. We miss them a lot, but mom and dad go visit them. On one of the visits, their granddaughter drew a couple pics of me and my brother. Mom keeps them on the refrigerator. I thought I would share them with you today.

Cat art by Jasmine
More cat art by Jasmine

“Wolf Creek”: qu’est-ce que c’est?

Wolf Creek” – (99 minutes, Australia 2005, rated R)

“I’m going to do something now they used to do in Vietnam. It’s called making a head on a stick.”

This is an earlier effort from the team which brought us “Rogue” reviewed here earlier this month.

Three backpackers, two girls and a young guy, traveling the Australian Outback get stranded at Wolf Creek national park when their car refuses to start.

They are so far from the nearest town, their only choice is to wait until dawn before even considering starting out for it on foot.

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