Saturday, October 31, 2015
Friday, October 30, 2015
Last night we went to the Theatre at Ace Hotel to watch the classic 1931 'DRACULA' with a live performance by PHILLIP GLASS and the KRONOS QUARTET!
Trivia: The original 1931 movie did not have a score, but in 1998 Glass was hired to write an original score for the dvd release. Of the project, Glass said:
The film is considered a classic. I felt the score needed to evoke the feeling of the world of the 19th century — for that reason I decided a string quartet would be the most evocative and effective. I wanted to stay away from the obvious effects associated with horror films. With [the Kronos Quartet] we were able to add depth to the emotional layers of the film.
The gorgeous recently renovated 1920's Spanish Gothic theater really set the tone.
Here are some pics of the lobby, from above on our way to the balcony:
When we entered the theater, everything was bathed in blue except for the blood red curtain:
Behind the movie screen sat Phillip Glass and the Kronos Quartet:
As the movie was projected onto the screen, you could still see the musicians! At times it was slightly distracting and confusing to the film's visuals, but overall it added an incredible layer to the experience. I was anticipating a few songs being played at the appropriate times coinciding with the film, but that was not the case - the quartet played the entire time in a marathon of beautiful music.
Whenever Dracula was in his catacombs where he kept his coffin, the lights around the movie screen would turn red, bathing the entire room and audience (as seen above in the photo with the musicans). Awesome!!!!
Bella Legosi and Phillip Glass!
Here are some pics of the theater's interior.
Phillip Glass and the Kronos Quartet take a bow to a standing ovation to a sold out show!
As we exited out seats, the theater was dark with pools of regular white light off to the sides and at your feet. But the center ceiling piece, which was blue when we arrived, glowed blood red:
It was an absolutely amazing experience!!
a few more pics of the theater, from the web:
Wiener's Circle — the famous hot dog joint known for its sassy staff — went all out for Halloween this year by completely transforming into McDowell's, the fictional restaurant from the 1988 film "Coming to America."
On Friday morning, the restaurant's general manager Scott Brooker orchestrated the transformation of the restaurant at 2622 N. Clark St. by replacing the signs, outfitting his staff in red-and-yellow checkered McDowell's uniforms and even putting up fictional menus and an "Employee of the Month" flier depicting Louie Anderson, who played Maurice in the film.
Brooker said the idea came from the new owners, a group of five local investors who bought the 33-year-old restaurant in September. The new ownership was first reported by the Tribune. Prior to the sale, the restaurant was owned by Larry Gold and Barry Nemerow.
"The new owners are big fans of shock value. With McDonald's across the street, it was perfect," Brooker said.
Customers were both confused and intrigued passing by the restaurant Friday, with some of them snapping photos or wandering in to find out what was going on.
For the uninitiated, McDowell's is the restaurant where Eddie Murphy's character Prince Akeem works in the film. The restaurant's owner, Cleo McDowell opened it to rip off the McDonald's across the street by offering items like the "Big Mick" instead of the "Big Mac" and having a similar logo.
Terrifying. I want a mask and a replica I can put a light inside for inside decoration. Now onto the article...
A far cry from the grinning pumpkins of Halloween today, the original Jack-o-Lanterns, named for Jack O’Lantern of the Irish myth, were actually quite terrifying.
They were carved from turnips or beets rather than festive orange pumpkins, and were intended to ward off unwanted visitors.
Gourds were one of the earliest plant species, domesticated by humans around 10,000 years ago, mostly cultivated for their carving potential – for kitchen tools, dishes, musical instruments, toys, furniture and more. Maoris began carving them for lanterns 700 years ago – the Maori word for “gourd” and “lampshade” are actually the same.
According to Irish folklore, a man called Jack O’Lantern was sentenced to roam the earth for eternity. A ghostly figure of the night, O’Lantern walks with a burning coal inside of a carved-out turnip to light his way.
As the tale goes, a man called Stingy Jack invited the devil for a drink and convinced him to shape-shift into a coin to pay with. When the devil obliged, Jack decided he wanted the coin for other purposes, and kept it in his pocket beside a small, silver cross to prevent it from turning back into the devil.
Jack eventually freed the devil under the condition that he wouldn’t bother Jack for one year, and wouldn’t claim Jack’s soul once he died. The next year, Jack tricked the devil once more by convincing him to climb up a tree to fetch a piece of fruit. When he was up in the tree, Jack carved a cross into the trunk so the devil couldn’t come down until he swore he wouldn’t bother Stingy Jack for another ten years.
When Jack died, God wouldn’t allow him into heaven and the devil wouldn’t allow him into hell. He was instead sent into the eternal night, with a burning coal inside a carved-out turnip to light his way. He’s been roaming the earth ever since. The Irish began to refer to this spooky figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” which then became “Jack O’Lantern.”
This legend is why people in Ireland and Scotland began to make their own versions of Jack’s lantern by carving grotesque faces into turnips, mangelwurzels, potatoes and beets, placing them by their homes to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits and travelers.
Once this became a Halloween tradition, Jack-o-Lanterns were used as guides for people dressed in costume on Samhain (Oct 31 – Nov 1), a traditional Gaelic version of Halloween, seen as a night when the divide between the worlds of the living and the dead is especially thin. The Samhain festival marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, the “darker half” of the year.
When the Irish and Scots emigrated to America, bringing the tradition along, they found that pumpkins, native to America, made perfect fruits for carving. Pumpkin Jack-o-Lanterns have been an integral part of Halloween festivities ever since.
Some believe that the Jack-o-Lanterns originated with All Saints’ Day, and represent Christian souls in purgatory. Roaming Stingy Jack is in, after all, what would be considered purgatory.
Although the idea that the myth of the Jack-o-Lanterns is Irish is widely held, there is no scholarly research into Irish customs and mythology that proves it so. There is also evidence of turnips being used for what was called a “Hoberdy’s Lantern” in Worcestershire, England at the end of the 18th Century. Hoberdy's Lanterns had carved-out faces in turnips and the stump of a candle within.
* thanks, Timothy O'Brien!
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Above is a nice promo for Somerville Theatre's Halloween Marathon.
What drives me bonkers (like always) is the incorrect ALIEN...
We have Ripley and Newt (from 'Aliens')
standing in front of an alien from 'AVP'.
In honor of today being NATIONAL CAT DAY,
I give you a list of great cats!
In no particular order:
FELIX THE CAT
CRAZY CAT LADY'S CATS
CHURCH ("Pet Semetary")
GENERAL ("Cat's Eye")
FRITZ THE CAT
GABRIEL ("The Crow")
ISIS ("Batman: TAS")
DRAGON ("Secret of NIMH")
[offensive] SIAMESE CATS ("Lady and The Tramp")
MR. BIGGLESWORTH ("Austin Powers")
ZUNAR-J-5/9 DORIC-4-7 (aka JAKE)
("The Cat from Outer Space")
TOM ("Tom and Jerry")
CAT IN THE HAT
CROOKSHANKS ("Harry Potter")
SNOWBALL II ("The Simpsons")
AZRAEL ("The Smurfs")
FLUFFY ("Christmas Vacation")
Who am I missing?!