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Messages - Gothick

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2011
I saw the movie on a videotape from the library about ten years ago.  I'm surprised it's never been released on DVD but there are so many excellent films from the past that have been neglected in that regard.

This four and a half minute clip gives you a good taste for the film and its foreshadowings of DS:  sealed rooms, unattended for years, thrown open to reveal barrages of brightly burning candles; long sinister soliloquies from a troubled protagonist; a flawlessly gowned and coiffed Joan Bennett, eyes widening in mute horror; and one of the rooms even has a set design reminiscent of the Collinwood basement.  Natalie Schafer can be seen but only has one or two lines:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvJRjPPQhhI

Best,

G.

2012
Calendar Events / Announcements '13 II / Re: Banshee DVD/Blu-ray
« on: July 05, 2013, 10:12:42 PM »
Thanks MB!  Yes, I mean Mr. Starr.  I'm sure Ms. M. (I will never, ever be able to spell her last name, much less pronounce it) has her fans and they appreciate knowing about this opportunity to, shall we say, commune with her in all her glory.

I appreciate your keeping a lookout, so to speak, on my behalf with regards to Mr. Starr's appearance in the deleted scenes. I realize just how purely altruistic your motives are.  Altruism, yeah, that's the ticket.

DS content... speaking of Ms. M it looks as if the WB DS pilot has been buried in some bypass somewhere (obscure Wicker Man joke) so those who can't attend the DS conventions aren't going to be getting the chance to see her work as Our Favorite Witch?

cheers, G.

2013
Calendar Events / Announcements '13 II / Re: Banshee DVD/Blu-ray
« on: July 05, 2013, 08:34:28 PM »
*wonders whether we get to see everything, and I MEAN everything, on that incendiary lead actor* (the MALE one, to be perfectly clear, since people are now using actor to refer to women thespians--actress is such a lovely word, derived from French, and perfectly respectable English, but now due to be consigned to the rubbish heap?)

DS content... I always thought it would be interesting if a Banshee had appeared at Collinwood.  The closest they ever got, I suppose, was the plot point of Melanie's "episodes" in PT 1841 whenever a certain event occurred.

I have a book in my library printed in Dublin that includes eyewitness accounts of actual Banshee phenomena and it's extraordinary.  The "screaming" often manifests as a huge rippling sonic wave that can beat down bushes, make the earth rumble, break windows, etc.

G.

2014
Current Talk '21 I / Re: Depp/Burton DARK SHADOWS Is In Release!!
« on: July 04, 2013, 04:10:59 AM »
I wonder whether American Film or Video Watchdog or something similar will ever do an article on the technical aspects of Depp Shadows.  I am really very curious about the process used for the realization of what we're seeing here.  The snapshots are underlying just how unusual the look is achieved by Burton in this one.  It often really does look like an animated painting.  I may have to get the DVD back from Netflix at some point to try to see if I can tell myself through the film just which sequences were done this way.  It seems as if the process was used in its fullest form for certain scenes.  HBC looks as if she wasn't just made up but CGI'd for her role in this, and if it was done for Alice Cooper, why not for others?  But this is a kind of CGI that's new to me.  Then again, I don't see very many current films...

I just may drop Tim Lucas a note and ask him about this...  Had it not been for the series of captures on display here, I would never have noticed this aspect of the movie.  It's intriguing me much more than anything to do with the actual content.

cheers, G.

2015
Patti--you might be interested to learn that Fritz Lang became very fond of Joan Bennett when they were working together in the 1940s (although I think there were days when they practically detested one another).  I don't know if it was Lang who coined the nickname "Lazy-legs" because Joan did not like standing for very long, but that was how he would often address her on set.

They made, I think, three films together, the best of which is usually considered to be Scarlet Street.  The third one, called I think "The Secret Behind the Door," also stars Natalie Schafer (future alumna of Gilligan's Island) and has a plot that could have been a storyline on DS (and has a very moody DS like atmosphere).

Presumably because he wanted to see Joan, Fritz Lang came to visit the DS set one day.  It is said that he made some lighting suggestions which were immediately utilized.

There's a lot more to say about Fritz Lang.  Some would say that he invented the modern science fiction film with Metropolis.  A couple of years ago I was able to see a 1963 French New Wave film in which Lang appeared playing himself.  Jack Palance was in it too.  Of course Jack Palance went on to become involved in other Dan Curtis projects.

In summary, there are a lot of connections between Fritz Lang and the world of Dark Shadows.

Best,

Steve

2016
Lighting a candle for Philippe's safe and smooth healing, and may the cancer prove benign and heal completely and finally from his system.

Best,

Gothick

2017
Current Talk '13 I / Dark Shadows at 47
« on: June 27, 2013, 09:24:45 PM »
Today 47 years ago, at 3:30 in the afternoon, viewers on the Eastern Seaboard (and elsewhere in the US in other time zones) first heard Alexandra Moltke's melancholy, poetically charged voice recite these fateful words:
My name is Victoria Winters. My journey is just beginning. A journey that I hope will open the doors of life to me, and link my past with my future... A journey that will bring me to a strange and dark place, to the edge of the sea, high atop Widows' Hill, to a house called Collinwood... A world I've never known, with people I've never met. People who are still only shadows in my mind, but who will soon fill the days and nights of my tomorrows...

Amazingly, by some kind of television miracle, 47 years later we're still hear talking about Vicki and the surprising places her journey took her... and far, far beyond Vicki's own journeys ... to the shadow of a tall dark man with tragic eyes named Barnabas Collins.

Happy Birthday DS!

G.

2018
Current Talk '21 I / Re: And Yet Another New Slideshow
« on: June 26, 2013, 04:15:09 PM »
I have to say, that's a GORGEOUS shot of Julia's lab in today's capture.  I totally missed that phantasmagoric lampshade to the right side of the image.  I do find myself wondering how the family were able to afford some of the more elaborate and expensive decor elements although that lampshade has a very 1960s look to me and could have been derided as "dated" at the time.  Hard to say.

Or perhaps Julia paid for the furnishing and fitting-out of her own lab in the mansion...

G.

2019
Calendar Events / Announcements '13 I / Re: B.S. = B.S. ! ha
« on: June 25, 2013, 05:49:15 PM »
Black Sunday is an exquisite film.  And there are some elements that could well have inspired some themes in DS, particularly the Angelique/Alexis storyline in Parallel Time 1970, but there are other elements too.

G.

2020
Calendar Events / Announcements '13 I / Re: Memories of Joel Crothers
« on: June 25, 2013, 05:45:27 PM »
Hi Annie, thanks for your nice note.

Just to clarify, Felice has not written a book about Joel.  I inquired if Felice would be publishing more of his diaries from the late 70s and 1980s but his response was somewhat evasive--I gather that if more is published, there may have to be some editing involved to protect some reputations!

Felice has published two books of short stories that are fictionalized versions of material he has selected from the diary, but he specifically told me that none of the stories has Joel has a subject.

Best, Gothick

2021
Current Talk '21 I / Re: And Yet Another New Slideshow
« on: June 24, 2013, 04:12:55 PM »
MB--even though to put it mildly I wasn't enamoured of HBC's performance in this role, I do admire her artistry as an actress, and these photos, and the snaps you shared from the deleted scene with Pfeiffer, make me realize how briliant her work in the part *could* have been, if certain decisions about the tone & content of the movie had not, apparently, resulted in a lot of her work in it being consigned to the cutting room floor.

Again, there's a sense of incredible potential that, to severely understate, just wasn't fulfilled in the final product.  For this viewer, at least.

G.

2022
Calendar Events / Announcements '13 I / Re: Memories of Joel Crothers
« on: June 23, 2013, 12:45:34 PM »
Thank you all for your gracious comments.

David, I wouldn't bother buying the book if your motive is to learn more about Joel.  He is mentioned maybe 3 times in the diary excerpts published in it.  The mentions are sort of like this:  "Joel Crothers came over and we baked cookies together. He was quite chatty, as usual."  Another entry speaks of Joel being around when Felice was staying on Fire Island one summer in the Seventies.  It was pretty clear that Joel was very much on the scene in the gay community of the time.  I didn't even know from these references that Joel and Felice had shared a sexual dalliance, although it was hardly uncommon in those circles back then (and, perhaps, some other circles more recently... but I'm going WAY off topic here).

Anyone who wants to "bully" Your Humble Servant is welcome to try. From my years of watching DS and the work of the incomparable Miss Joan Bennett, THE Mistress of Collinwood, Now and FOREVER, I've mastered the art of the "the freeze."  LOL!

cheers, Gothick


2023
Current Talk '21 I / Re: Yet Another New Slideshow
« on: June 23, 2013, 12:08:38 AM »
What a wonderful portrait of her.  I love Barbara's work in this scene, and as you know, for me she was one of the very few bright spots about this series.

G.

2024
Calendar Events / Announcements '13 I / Memories of Joel Crothers
« on: June 22, 2013, 04:58:53 AM »
Fans, this evening I went to the one remaining gay bookstore in the area to hear veteran gay author Felice Picano read from his new book.  Felice's 1970s diaries were excerpted about 20 years ago in a book entitled The Violet Quill Reader.  I remember what a surprise it was to learn that Joel Crothers was a good friend of Picano's (and, he revealed this evening, an occasional bedmate).  I wish I had had a tape recorder with me this evening so I could simply transcribe Felice's words verbatim, but this was the gist of what he said.

During the Q&A, I explained my surprise when Joel turned up in the diaries.  Felice said that Joel was an amazing man, not only because he was so handsome and gifted, but also, he was something of a super-intellect--he gave Joel's IQ and it was quite high (I can't recall the number Felice cited).  He said that one morning he woke up in bed next to Joel and suddenly was seized with an urge to strangle him (very DS, isn't it?) because they were chatting and Joel "simply knew EVERYTHING."    He also recalled helping Harvey Fierstein get the first production of "Torch Song Trilogy" (a play which won awards and subsequently became a film with Matthew Broderick) and persuading Joel to act in the original production (I believe at Off Broadway's La Mama theatre).

He said that Joel was so brilliant that he eventually became bored with everything.  Joel was a huge star in the 1970s and 1980s on his various soap operas and Felice witnessed Joel being mobbed by women after a taping one afternoon, all seeking his autograph.

He said that Joel's work on DS could be considered "real acting" because the last thing Joel ever was was a "boy next door" type.  He said that Joel came from "a family of over-achievers" and he was just following in the family tradition.

Despite Joel's brilliance, he was a very kind-hearted and loving man and was popular among his friends.  He had a certain physical attribute that made him highly sought after among gay men but his friends cherished Joel because he was just such a nice person to be with.

I found this conversation quite fascinating since I have never read anything about who Joel was as a person.  I hope you enjoy reading these notes.

Best, Gothick

2025
It does seem likely, although one scene reminded me of the account in the original source for the DS I Ching scenario--I forget the title of the book, but it mentioned a person going into an I Ching trance and having a lycanthropic manifestation.

Good stuff!  The evil Warden was very Trask-like, too.  Thanks for the tip!

G.

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