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Messages - Philippe Cordier

Calendar Events / Announcements '21 I / OT - Halloween Reading
« on: October 31, 2020, 03:05:48 PM »
I had never heard of this short novel until coming across it on amazon a few weeks ago and quickly ordered a copy in time for this year's Halloween reading. I've only read a few pages so far and it's fascinating ... anyway, it's called "The Lifted Veil" and it's by George Eliot. Yes, the same George Eliot who penned "Silas Marner," "Middlemarch," and other highly esteemed English classics. Apparently her publisher attempted to dissuade her from publishing "The Lifted Veil" lest it tarnish her high literary reputation with a Gothic thriller ... It's quite a bit easier to get into than "Silas Marner" ...

Calendar Events / Announcements '21 I / Re: OT: Time Tunnel
« on: October 31, 2020, 02:59:51 PM »
I had never heard of it until coming across a few episodes this past year on MeTV, late night. I thought it was really good and would watch more of the original episodes if I could. I think there were some historic events that were involved, which also happened on the original Dr. Who, which I also learned about only decades later! I don't think Dr Who, as a British show, ever aired in my part of the country, but I'm sure "The Time Tunnel" would have ...

I've been thinking recently about that crew of cutthroat pirates who manned "The Java Queen" under Gerard Stiles (or whatever his name might have been, I think he had bee called "Ivan Miller" or somesuch at one point). I think the ship is first mentioned in the Summer of 1970 and when David waves the green flag from the tower room window of Collinsport, it's a signal for the pirate crew to rise out of their graves and begin marauding Collinsport at the end of 1995 as a prelude to 1840 (if I have my storylines straight)!

What I'm wondering is how the DS writers came up with this idea. I've never heard of any source story where that this might have been taken from.

This has gotten me to thinking further about Gothic fiction, which I'm surveying in my spare time. I can't find any examples of the dead rising from their graves in any old Gothic novels I've read about --the Gothic genre begins with "The Castle of Otranto," and then there's "Melmouth the Wanderer," "Vathek," the Ann Radcliffe novels, and so one. But unbelievably, I can't find any examples of the dead literally rising from their grave. Now, there are ghosts, there are vampires, and there are zombies. I suppose the DS pirate crew were closest to being zombies, but I'm not sure if they were exactly that.

Anyone have any ideas or thoughts about sources / origins / early gothic fiction that presents such a scenario? "Frankenstein" is quite different, since the creature is a creation, not a resurrected person. Stories of necromancy go back to the Old Testament, but that seems possibly another sort of thing since a sorcerer of some type is involved. And vampires have been transformed into a different undead creature of the night. Maybe something called "revenants"? Or maybe Gerard Stiles in this case could be deemed a "necromancer"?

Current Talk '21 I / Re: Count Petofi and the Maltese Falcon
« on: October 31, 2020, 02:36:22 PM »
I see from a Google search that the movie you're referring to is Christopher and His Kind, and from the Wikipedia summary that it presents the events and characters that later became "Cabaret" (I don't think the article mentions this, though). Isherwood was a good writer though I confess to only owning a paperback copy of his telescript for the TV movie "Frankenstein: The True Story" from the 1970s. A fantastic movie and cast even if it's not remotely the "true story" of the original Shelley novel. Speaking of which, I only discovered by accident a couple of weeks ago on amazon that Leslie S. Klinger, who produced the great "Annotated Dracula" a few years back had followed that up a couple of years ago with "The New Annotated Frankenstein," with equally terrific running commentary tending to the erudite, and which also includes an afterward by a former professor of mine in California ... but I digress.

Regarding the real life Count Potocki, I came across him after finding no leads on an actual name "Petofi." The fact that the count was a Gothic novelist (I've purchased "The Sargossa Manuscript", I think it's an Oxford classics or Penguin, but have never read) and associated with werewolves and silver bullets ... well, I think Violet Welles or some DS writer (maybe Joe Caldwell?) must have been familiar with "The Sargossa Manuscript" or come across it in a bookstore, and brought up the name when they were coming up with the character of Petofi.

I wonder if the Jason McGuire - Willie Loomis relationship in the early days of DS also owed something to the relationship you describe from "The Maltese Falcon."

Current Talk '21 I / Re: Count Petofi and the Maltese Falcon
« on: October 28, 2020, 03:31:37 PM »
I'll try to catch "The Maltese Falcon" again next time it airs on TCM. I've only seen it once and I confess that Petofi - Aristede didn't come to mind, but I'll watch closely in the future! But now that you mention Sidney Greenstreet, he's another actor (the only one who comes to mind) who I could also see portraying Count Petofi.

Gothick, I may have mentioned to you several years ago that I had "discovered" the origin of DS's Count Petofi, but I don't think I've told anyone who that might have been. I've been waiting for the right timing when I could write something about this. Well, it has been years now and maybe others have come across the same information in the intervening years. I don't have time to write more right now, but the following link will make the matter self-explanatory, I think. In my opinion, the name and inspiration for creating the character of Count Petofi on DS was a real-life Polish count named Potocki.

Wish I had seen this earlier or at least post this earlier. Turner Classic Movies just aired "Woman in the Window" and is now close to winding up "Scarlet Street." Joan Bennett is great as the femme fatale in both films, directed by Fritz Lang. The latter was banned in New York and elsewhere for immoral indecency.

Just to clarify, I've wondered whether Henry James's "The Sense of the Past" was James's response as a man of letters to H.G. Wells' popular science-fiction "The Time Machine," given the shared theme of time-travel.

I'm not quite sure what I had in mind when I wrote: "the main character has a deep-seated fascination with his ancestor," as there isn't really a parallel to this in Dark Shadows - although the Collins family does take an interest in their ancestors and their family history. I watched the first half hour of "I'll Never Forget You" last night, and I was struck by one rather significant parallel - the portrait of an ancestor is prominently noted, including the hero's resemblance to him. Now that does have a very close parallel with Barnabas's portrait.

It has been many years since I skimmed through James's nearly impenetrable "The Sense of the Past," and I don't recall whether a portrait played a role, though I think it quite likely.

Mr. Caldwell's telescripts were often notably literate, and I could often guess while watching an unusually intelligent episode of DS that he was the writer.

His claim of having created, along with Ron Sproat, the character of Barnabas seems very detailed and specific. I wonder what the other claimants would say about it. I remember some rather heated discussion on the topic on this forum, or maybe it was one or more of the other claimants who was heated ... wasn't it Art Wallace who specifically claimed to have created Barnabas? And countered by whom, I wonder - Sam Hall, perhaps?

It's surprising that Dan Curtis would hire so many LGBT actors and writers etc., not to mention his producing "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Mr. Oscar Wilde (and including the gay subtext) if he was such a homophobe ...

Calendar Events / Announcements '21 I / Re: Peter Miner 1930 - 2020
« on: April 07, 2020, 01:22:25 AM »
I don't remember ever noticing his name in the credits, but maybe I overlooked his name if he hasn't been discussed much on this forum ...

I enjoyed "I'll Never Forget You" with Tyrone Power and Ann Blyth more than I did "Berkeley Square" (the latter seemed rather creaky to me). It's been many years since I saw either one, and I'm not sure which is actually closer to the original play written by John Balderston, which I enjoyed very much. If I remember correctly, the Tyrone Power version has the hero as a scientist, which seems like quite a departure from the original play; but in a way that's an interesting choice given that the source for the play was an unfinished novel by Henry James that I've thought may in turn have reflected James's friendship with H.G. Wells.

From what I recall, it's not just the time travel story that could have inspired the DS storyline but the fact that, in the original play at least, the main character has a deep-seated fascination with his ancestor and so travels back in time to the world and life of his own ancestors.

I don't recall whether "I'll Never Forget You" kept that idea or not ... it would be fun to see it again.

Current Talk '21 I / Re: Original Settings and Design
« on: March 24, 2020, 11:23:22 PM »
It does seem more likely that the grandfather clock came as part of the set design ... if it is mentioned in "Shadows on the Wall," I don't think it's given any significance, just part of the set description, though I don't really remember anything about how the set may have been described. But you're right, the clock really does figure in the story - often just to let us know that it's midnight or early morning hours and people are still up at Collinwood ... or sometimes the clock gives us a countdown to some plot situation, like the Barnabas/Forbes showdown, if I remember correctly. It's interesting that clocks often have some symbolic significance in stories by Poe, thinking of "The Masque of the Red Death," for example.

It was, thank you! I was asked to teach something and had been reading Poe lately, and when I suggested him, they said yes. Four sessions scheduled for one hour, but each class went to an hour and a half (and everybody stayed). I learned so much about Poe's work that I hadn't known/seen/understood until I delved into the depths, reading a lot of literary criticism helped. A greater writer than I had ever realized.

Looks like there may be a DS fan on staff ... I was so fortunate to have a fellow librarian where I worked also a DS fan. She had organized something similar about the time I started working there and I did a display. Unfortunately we only had a couple of people show up a few times.

As an aside, I recently taught a class on Edgar Allan Poe at my local College for Seniors!

Calendar Events / Announcements '21 I / Re: RIP, John Karlen
« on: March 14, 2020, 10:05:37 AM »
Though when it comes to DS, I suspect most of us would argue that he played four other characters on the daytime series besides Willie: Carl Collins, William H. Loomis, Desmond Collins and Kendrick Young...
A versatile actor ... how fitting that he was recognized with the Emmy.

Calendar Events / Announcements '21 I / Re: The Crucible on DVD
« on: March 14, 2020, 09:58:20 AM »
I hadn't heard of this production -- excellent cast, not even counting the DS actors -- Melvyn Douglas, Scott, Dewhurst, et al. It was surprising that Thayer David and Clarice Blackburn were both in the promotional clip! (Had Lara Parker never been cast as Angelique, it would have been interesting to see what Tuesday Weld would have done with the role.)