Tag Archives: Ray Harryhausen

Friday finds

When people say they don’t like Ernest Hemingway’s work, they usually mean they don’t like his carefully cultivated man’s man image. That’s understandable, but it’s not exactly fair to Hemingway’s work — or, for that matter, to Hemingway himself, as Clancy Sigal reminds us.

I want my Wire lunchbox!

The most collectible book in the Harlan Ellison catalogue doesn’t even have Harlan Ellison’s name on it.

“The real problem is the dickishness of our mainstream political analysis, especially from the ‘savviest’ practitioners. Back during my days as media critic, I argued in Breaking the News and a related Atlantic cover story that the laziest and ultimately most destructive form of political coverage came when journalists seemed to imagine that they were theater critics or figure-skating judges. The what of public affairs didn’t interest them. All they cared about was the how.

I’ve known some administrators like this.

When I heard the premise of the new “children’s book,” Go the F*ck to Sleep, I laughed long and loud, which was appropriate — the book is a steam-release valve, as anyone who’s raised children will recognize. Unfortunately, the book is out in the world now, and as such becomes fodder for columns by the humor-impaired.

All of Ray Harryhausen stop-motion creatures in one video clip. And while we’re we’re at it, here’s another tribute to the man, because before the special-effects revolutions that began in the late Seventies, Ray Harryhausen was a good as it got. I mean, the first encounter with Talos in Jason and the Argonauts still looks pretty damned cool, doesn’t it?

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Friday finds


Get ready for Charles Darwin: A Graphic Biography. Every time you buy a copy, you’ll make a creationist cry.

How about that — a place in the universe where Samuel Johnson’s admirers can intersect with Harry Potter fans. The item in question plays a small but significant role in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

The oldest library in America may have to close. Want to help out?

John Mortimer is dead at age 85. As a novelist he created Horace Rumpole, and provided a career-mortimerdefining TV role for actor Leo McKern (pictured at left, in his wig, with Mortimer), who owned Rumpole the way Helen Mirren owns Jane Tennison. As a barrister, Mortimer defended Linda Lovelace and the Sex Pistols, reflecting his taste fior cases that were, as he put it, “testing the frontiers of tolerance.” To distinguish oneself in a single field is hard enough, but to claim such dual achievements . . . how very cool.

Another tribute to the late Thomas Disch, this one from John Crowley, another genre heavyweight.

You wanna know what “snarge” is? Of course you do — especially if you’re a pilot.

You’ve heard of sword and sorcery? Get ready for sword and soul.

A new Bob Dylan studio album? Bring it on, baby. I just hope it’s not another snifter of chloroform like Modern Times.

Patton Oswalt, my current favorite stand-up comedian, talks about Blue Collar, a largely overlooked Paul Schrader drama from the Seventies that offers one of Richard Pryor’s best straight performances.

Another Stanley Milgram research study bites the dust. Apparently all that business about six degrees of separation is bunk. I still like the movie and the Kevin Bacon game, though. Thanks to Bernie Madoff, looks like there will soon be fresh material for “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”

Unless you’re a Geek of A Certain Age, the name Charles H. Schneer probably doesn’t ring any bells. All right, how about Ray Harryhausen — does that name work? Well then let the Geek’s Geek tell you about one of the unique creative partnerships in American filmmaking.

Kanawha — the only state to successfully secede from the United States.

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