On this day, in 1946, the first Cannes Film Festival opened.
Back then they didn’t have color, or black and white even. No, back then they had to enact the script on a large stage with a silver screen backdrop (hence the expression, “stars of the silver screen”). This is one reason many of the small-scale, post-war “Italian Realist” films were received so well at the early Cannes Festivals – much easier to put on. During the staging of the big-budget American movies, something inevitably went wrong (witness the death of 8 flying monkeys by fire during a special Cannes presentation of “Wizard Of Oz” (1939, two weeks before Hitler invaded Poland), which detracted from the production value. In that first year of the Cannes Film Festival, the top prize was shared among 11 films – which is surprising since only 7 films were entered. And back then they weren’t presented with today’s well-coveted “Pomme d’Or”, but with an award called the “Grande Prik”.
FUN FACT: Ingrid Bergman and Ingmar Bergman are not brother and sister! They are parent and child!
After 1950, things changed. What with the new technologies, movies were at last able to be made in both back and white and could be watched without having real-live actors get near anyone. Throughout the 1950′s, Doris Day films inevitably won every award the Festival had to offer. That all changed with Doris Day’s mysterious suicide by a lone gunman in 1962.
In 1990, the Pawm d’Orr was given to the David Lynch film “Wild At Heart” (1990). Meanwhile, that year’s Academy Award for Best Picture went to “Driving Miss Daisy” (1990). These were known as “The Dark Times” (A.D. 1990).
FUN FACT: Billy Crystal has never hosted the Cannes Film Festival! But never say never!
It is rumored – and also rumoured – that next year’s Cannes Film Festival, now traditionally held in the spring because of those fascist bastards over in Venice, will feature a retrospective of the films of the late Michelangelo Antoniononinoi in new, digitally-restored 3D versions!
So what we do is we take famous movie dialog, and we run it through Alta Vista’s Babelfish translator to translate it to a foreign language, then we translate it back into English. Then we laugh and laugh.
Today’s Idiotic Movie Translation, from the closing scene of “Casablanca” (1942), this from English > French > English:
ILSA: “You say this to only incite me to go.”
RICK: “I say it because it is true. Inside us, us all the two soaps which you belong with the winner. You form part of his work, the thing which maintains it. If this plane leaves the ground and you are not with him, you will regret it. Perhaps not today. Perhaps not tomorrow, but soon and for the remainder of your life.”
ILSA: “But and us?”
RICK: “We will always have Paris. We did not have, us, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We recovered the last night to him.
ILSA: “When I said I would never leave you … ”
RICK: “And you never will. But I have a work to make, too. Where I go, you cannot follow. What I have to do, you cannot have very left. Ilsa, I am not any good with being noble, but it does not take much to see that the problems of three imps do not rise with a hill of beans in this insane world. One day you will include that. Now, now… Here kid looks at you.”
The original classic dialogue:
ILSA: You’re saying this only to make me go.
RICK: I’m saying it because it’s true. Inside of us, we both know you belong with Victor. You’re part of his work, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
ILSA: But what about us?
RICK: We’ll always have Paris. We didn’t have, we, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.
ILSA: When I said I would never leave you …
RICK: And you never will. But I’ve got a job to do, too. Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of. Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that. Now, now… Here’s looking at you kid.
In London right now there is a lot of talk about how thin fashion models are and how very, very bad it is that they are so thin.
I personally don’t mind if they’re thin, as long as they’re not too long. There’s nothing worse than a long model.
Some models can be up to 20 meters long. I don’t like those. I don’t like the long ones.
I once saw a model that weighed 89 lbs, but was actually 39 meters long. Her name was Natalia Stringofaire.
In some countries, they don’t have super-thin models. They have super-wide models. In Finland, some models are two meters wide. The standard size is about 1.7 meters. Famous model Milka Verinowikka is 3 meters across, and weighs 900 pounds, but she is only about six centimeters long.
It’s important to know how big fashion models are, because the camera adds 10 lbs and you won’t have any way to know the truthfulness of everything unless you have access to some facts and figures.
Thin fashion models make me sad. :(
I love museums. Whom doesn’t? Museums are where we keep old stuff. It’s very important to keep old stuff. if we don’t keep old stuff, how can we ever know how good our new stuff is except through by comparison of it?
One of the problems museums face in our modern age of the 21st century is that of people having so many different avenues to choose from as regards their entertainment dollars. People want their media INTERACTIVE these days. And I’m sad to see that only a few of the museums are employing the new interactive media technological techniques. And no more is this seen not to be the case, than in the case of the art museum.
Art museums have changed very little since they first began in the days of King Arthur – large empty buildings with paintings on the walls and statues in the corners. It’s a miracle they’ve survived this long. If art museums are not to join wide-screen cinemas and opera houses as quaint but irrelevant relics of bygone erae, they must make changes. They too must join the Interactive Revolution – or as I call it the INTERA-UTION!
Below are some notes I’ve taken whilst perusing the world’s great art museums. I have selected problematic items – of genre, artist, or artwork itself – and have provided practical solutions for each. I feel confident that my solutions to these very old problems will get museum attendance up into even the thousands per year:
Ancient Greek Statues – the new conservatism makes it certain that people will dismiss life size-statues of naked young men out of hand. Solution: Dress statues in clothes by the hottest fashion designers, thereby attracting both art and fashion afficionadi! Advertising tie in? – “Body by The Rhodes Master 367 B.C. … clothes by Christian Dior … ”
Still Lifes – face it, still lifes are pretty boring if you don’t appreciate the techniques the artist used to get his effects. I recommend still life paintings be set next to real life reconstructions of the actual objects depicted, so people can see how close the artist got.
Frida Kahlo – Too serious. Lighten up. Friday nights, women get free fake mustache
Leonardo’s “Mona Lisa” – great stuff, but we’ve seen the pic over and over, starting to get boring. Easy fix though – play continous loop of Nat King Cole singing “Mona Lisa” song.
Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Ceiling – Same prob as Mona Lisa – everybody’s seen it. Solution: THE SERPENT – a rollercoaster that loops around the Chapel at 90 mph, allowing patrons to take in every one of Michelangelo’s masterpieces in under 2 minutes. Also gives viewers sensation of flying through the Ether with the angels. (Maybe individual rollercoaster cars shaped like God in the Creation of Adam. Poss. safety hazard with jutting finger? – check w/Vatican Health & Safety Admin)
Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” – Yet another victim of its own success. Solution: place loudspeaker behind the painting that emits piercing human shriek every 6 to 8 minutes. Hire high-profile celebs to contribute screams? Christopher Walken? Judi Dench? That guy from the Shakespeare movie?
Jackson Pollock – first patron each day to find 10 outlines of cats hiding in the painting wins a prize.
Rubens’s Women – Naked chicks = great. Fat naked chicks = only so-so. Use computerized image editing to alter proportions of female nudes to current standards of female beauty. Could be a whole show exploring how beauty has improved over the centuries with before and after versions of paintings. Sponsored by Loreal or other?
Andy Warhol’s “Campbell Soup Can” – serve Campbell’s soup to patrons, so they can both look at the can AND eat soup at the same time! Everybody loves soup! Also (crazy but COOL idea) allow patrons to clean up after themselves using real Brillo pads. Obvious ad tie-ins too.
The Venus De Milo – People are put off by the notion of “ideal beauty”. I say, employ REALISM – fountains of blood continuously spurting from her severed limbs. It’s half a statue one day, a multimedia installation the next!
And that’s just the beginning!
Neal J. Romanek’s Words of Advice
for Those Planning On Dying Before Age 21
- buy a watch, but look at it only when absolutely necessary. A pocket watch is an admirable choice. It will be less distracting to you, but more interesting to your fellows. If you can find a watch that employs a 24 hour clock, instead of a 12 hour clock, that would be better.
- when someone offers you advice, listen politely for a maximum of five minutes (consult your watch). Once the five minutes have elapsed, firmly but gently stop them and ask “So are we done here?” If they agree that you are, thank them sincerely and move on. If they have more to say, give them only another 60 seconds. At the end of 60 seconds, you must leave the conversation at once. Lingering will only encourage them, and the more license they get, the more likely they will go on to bother others, and cause grievous harm with their meddlings.
- Obey your whims. Beware of the trap many fall into – obeying only the first whim and ignoring the rest. Be prepared to obey several possibly contradictory whims in rapid succession. This can be exhausting at first, but it pays dividends.
- When others fear for your safety, don’t take it personally. They are reacting to shadows and fantasy. Burning their house down will help to refocus their attention.
- Now a word about sex: go at sex with all the enthusiasm you would have for model rocketry or fashion magazines, with all the gusto you would muster for the Red Sox or for rock stars. Learn the stats, the parts, the facts and figures, the best playing fields, the words to every song, and what the spring colors are. Remember, sex with yourself is a calling from the Divine, and not to be resisted. Sex with others will steepen your learning curve even further.
- Now a word about intoxicants: it can be very difficult, even for seasoned professionals, to distinguish between what you want and what you need. If you do not already know the difference, it is possible that you will not learn it in this lifetime. Intoxicants are also a poor substitute for dancing. On the other hand, intoxicants can give dancing an exciting spin.
- Now a word about music: rock and roll is not your only choice. Again, obey your whims.
- When someone tries to save your soul, remember that it is in fact his soul that he is trying to save. Such individuals should be treated as drowning men – pathetic but dangerous. Say to them: “I am sorry. I cannot help you.” and swim clear. They are best left to the help of professionals.
- Finally, if you are unsuccessful at dying before the age of 21, do not despair. The situation is not unworkable. Many others have suffered the same indignity. Do not, as so many are tempted to do, move the date of your death back by a year or five or ten. Your unprocessed grief will only compound over the passing years, and in that time you are bound to cause substantial damage to those around you. Consider it your mission in life to find others who have similarly failed. With careful consultation amongst each other, and keeping an open mind, you will find many opportunities for victory.
You know, I’m famous for more than just being a brilliant writer and great writer of fine writings. I don’t mean to brag, but I’m also quite well-renowned for my Maurice Chevalier impression.
Would you like to hear it?
I thought you would.
Than khayvone foe are leetell gills
foe are leetell gills gate beeg air avery dey.
Than khayvone foe are leetell gills
thaig rau oop een thay mos day laightfool whey!
Those leetell ice so ape pless aind ape ealink-guh
wan dey wheel flash ained sayin dew crashin troody seelink-kuh.
Than khayvone foe are leetell gills.
Than khayvone four dame awl,
no matt hair weigh her, no matt hair ooh
foe are wheat hout dame, what woowid leetel buoys dew?
Than khayvone … than khayvone
Than khayvone … foe are leetell gills!
Thank you. Thank you all.
Today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. There are more hours of daylight today than on any other day. This phenomenon is caused by the sun’s swelling to more than seven times its normal circumference. The resulting increase in electromagnetic output naturally increases the number of hours and minutes that it is daylight we have at this particular time of our lives.
So you see it is very simple.
If you are a vampire, you may want to take extra-good care of yourself by observing some of these simple guidelines:
- Take a flask of blood to bed with you and if you feel peckish prior to sunset take sips in moderation to get you through to nightfall.
- Feed thoroughly on multiple full-hearted fresh victims the night before, this also can help to keep you from waking hungry. A shocking number of injuries occur from evening falls caused by – quite unnecessary – low blood blood sugar.
- Capture and chain up your victim near your resting place so that when you wake you can immediately “tuck in”.
- If you must leave your lair before it is fully dark, wear a hat – sombreros are surprisingly effective.
- Accept that this is a stressful time; talk with your fellows about it and don’t be afraid of admitting your own anxiety. You will find that you’re not the only one who feels that way.
- If you find the summer solstice too upsetting, consider seasonal migration. Many have found it beneficial to spend June and July in the Southern Hemisphere and the December holiday season in the far North, thus taking full advantage of the dark hours each hemisphere has to offer. One enterprising fellow we know spent a long dark winter in Antarctica posing as an ornithology student observing penguins.
- Don’t become depressed; use this time for reflection on your own immortality and when you find yourself resenting bikini-clad hotties and muscle-bound volleyball jocks bound for the beach, imagine the looks on their faces as you unsheathe your pearly fangs and descend like a vengeful wraith to suck the life from their bodies as, paralyzed, they shriek for mercy.
- Drink plenty of water.
I hope I don’t get smallpox.
Or black pox. That would be the worst.
Black pox is that variety of smallpox that spreads underneath your skin in gigantic black patches, then your skin falls off in bloody sheets, then you die. And all in about 9 hours or so.
Yes, I’d much prefer the killer avian flu. With the killer, awful, virulent avian (aka also “bird”) flu, you can still think to yourself “Man, this flu is bad! I’d better stay home from work today.” You can hold out hope that it’s not going to be fatal, that you just caught some real gnarly flu and you’ll be right as rum in no time.
Wouldn’t it be cool if, instead of killing you, the bird flu turned you into Big Bird?
I want that.
I want an unstoppable virus that rips across the world, smashing international boundaries, sparing neither man nor woman nor child, that turns people into…
… no… oh, dear God, no …
… Big Bird.
I want to see razor-wire fenced quarantine camps packed with nine-foot tall yellow canaries with affable nasal voices inquiring after the welfare of their friend “Snuffleupagus”.
I want to see deserted, trash-strewn streets abandoned to the disease, silent and still but for the ghostly forms of long-beaked giants in the mist, their heads bobbing innocently.
I want to see heroic, steel-nerved nuns ministering to wards chock-a-block with the wretched afflicted, massive orange feet hanging over the ends of too-small beds.
That’s what I want.
Anything but my skin falling off my body in bloody sheets.
Yesterday was Her Majesty The Queen’s 103rd birthday.
“The Queen of what?” you ask.
“Why, the QUEEN!” I answer indignantly. “The QUEEN! The Queen of all of us! Queen Elizabeth II of the Rose and Crown and Elephant and Castle of the Garter of Tudor. The QUEEN!!”
“Oh, her,” scoffeth you, “She’s just like you and me. She’s just a human being.”
No, she ain’t.
I have heard Queen Elizabeth II speak. Or give speeches, at least – which is very similar to speaking. I even have seen the Royal Her in the flesh once or twice. She came down to the University of Kent at Canterbury when I was there, with her hubby in tow, and some of the rest of The Family (that guy with the ears, who was married to that blonde who died – he came) to open the university’s new vertebrate vivisection wing.
It rained that day. I’d like to think it was the Queen’s divine juju power that brought the rain. Or did it snow? Actually, now that I think about it … yeah … it snowed. Either one, I’m sure the Queen was responsible.
But, yes, I’ve heard The Queen speak. I’ve seen her speak her Christmas address. And The Queen speaks good. Not like an American, no. No, she speaks like someone from another country. THAT is how good of a speaker she is.
I think one of the things that makes The Queen such a good speaker and speeches-maker is her choice of words to use when speaking them. To prove this, I did some research. I just adore facts and figures. I arrived at some startling results, which I will share here with you, the world (although soon I hope to publish in one of the academiac journals!!).
For your study:
10 Words The Queen Has NEVER Used
And that’s what separates Her Majesty from the rest of us.
Today, more astounding verse by the Haiku master Hanatō Fukui (1650 – 1730), from the new translation by Trini Savitch.
Three days, no shaving.
White cat rubs my drunken hulk.
When I wake – white beard!
Moonlight fills my room,
I dream of Kyoto girls.
Hot breath. Claws. Hungry cat!
Lithe cat chases light,
Tries to catch pond reflections.
← Hanatō’s Cat Haikus, Pt. 3 | Hanatō’s Cat Haikus, Pt. 5 →