May 2002

 

A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968, 141 min, Cinemascope) 

After all these years, this film is so gorgeous, so lyrical, a truly magical, everlasting fantasy of flight!  It is paced with a great ambiance of elegance and leisure, almost deliberately boring at time, but ever ascending through familiarity into utter strangeness.  Thus are we transported beyond the sleek banality of our futuristic machinery into a realm of mystery and dreams, encountering, at last, our own incomprehensible selves.  Albert Einstein, of course, said “the most incomprehensible thing about reality is that it is so comprehensible.”  A personal qualm: I fast-forwarded the video through most of those monkey/man scenes at the beginning.

THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (1976, 140 min.)

Experiencing THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH more than once is recommended, and, even then, it will not seem completely logical.  To me, it is a refreshing, mystifying dream of an imagined interaction between beings from our planet and the universe beyond.  The movie begins with the unforgettable scene of a ball of fire burning its way into the earth’s atmosphere, and proceeds as the unsteady, alien figure emerges into this world of human perversity. The big pay-off to seeing this film is David Bowie, in all of  his early splendor and intensity. Some day, I hope to rent the video, turn off the sound as it plays, and listen to some tunes from “Ziggy Stardust” and “Station to Station.”

 

ALIEN (1979, 117 min.)

So there I am one day in the Dali Museum in St. Pete, when I come face to face with Salvador Dali’s painting, “The Alien,” depicting a creature bursting from a woman’s stomach that is the very image of the monster in the movie ALIEN.  Perhaps all visions derive from subconscious archetypes, or maybe the concept was “lifted” by makers of the film. I don’t know, but I do know that Ridley Scott’s ALIEN is one of the most interesting science fiction pictures ever made – and one of the scariest!

 

“Art is a lie that helps us see the truth.”  - PABLO PICASSO

 

“I am afraid of losing my obscurity.  Genuineness only thrives in the dark.”ALDOUS HUXLEY

 

SCI-FI

Semi-serious/semi-hilarious, that’s how I like my science fiction!  As in THE FORBIDDEN PLANET, MEN IN BLACK, or INDEPENDENCE DAY, which I found to be eerily funny at times and incredibly poignant at others, as when the R.E.M. tune “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” is playing in the background while the outer space invasion ominously proceeds.  More science fiction fun! –BJ

 

BLADE RUNNER (1982, 117 min.)

Harrison Ford takes on the job of closing down a menacing network of human facsimiles, but he more than meets his match in one of them, Sean Young, with whom he falls in love.  This weird, elegant ride into an imagined future introduces us to Daryl Hannah as the petulantly perfect tumbling clown replicant.  Rutger Hauer is equally intriguing as another of the clone characters.

“Beauty is unbearable, offering us for a minute a glimpse of an eternity that we would like to stretch out over the whole of time. – ALBERT CAMUS

 

A LOST REALM

Even when I was not the projectionist at Lyon’s State Theater, I sometimes would go and watch the movie if there was something on that I especially wanted to see.  On one such occasion, I talked my dear Mother Gertrude into coming along, although she was not a big movie fan.  We saw the H. Rider Haggard fantasy, SHE (1935, with Randolph Scott & Helen Gahagen).  It was quite thrilling to me, a story of explorers finding a lost realm within the glaciers that was ruled over by an immortal queen, known as “She” – or, as the natives referred to her, “She who must be obeyed!”  I think it amused and pleased Mama, as well.  There were other stories of this kind that caused my imagination to soar, among them, KING SOLOMON’S MINES (1950, with Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr), a film I loved and devoured every time it came on! –Bill Joyner

 

P. O. Box 3411 / Sarasota, Florida 34230

joynerbill28@gmail.com 

 

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                                                  2002   MAY   MAYO   MAI   2002