Archive for The Lost World

Kane Caught in Love Nest with “Dinosaur”

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2013 by dcairns

league1Panels from Nemo: Heart of Ice, the latest installment of the adventures of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Ignore the terrible movie with which Sean Connery ended his career, the comic is quite good.

In The League’s universe, all the characters from sensational fiction inhabit the same world and interact, thus there’s a superhero team (though Moore denies they’re that) composed of Captain Nemo, Allan Quartermain, Mina Murray, the Invisible Man and Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde. The movie throws in Dorian Gray too, which was enough to get them sued by none other than Larry Cohen, who had written a screenplay called CAST OF CHARACTERS which brought Gray together with several of the above characters. Moore, who hates the film business (can’t blame him after FROM HELL) was not pleased at being dragged into a movie lawsuit.

The creators somehow evade copyright law and drag in all sorts of famous fictional figures — the newspaper magnate here is clearly Charles Foster Kane, and his Everglades retreat is decorated with a pic of a nude woman on a sled, referencing both versions of the origin of “Rosebud” (an innocent snow vehicle, or William Randolph Hearst’s nickname for Marion Davies’ genitals), the Maltese Falcon, and a stuffed pterodactyl head mounted on the wall.

The latter strikes me as a singularly witty trope. It refers chiefly to the supposed flying lizards in the scene discussed here, which are in fact cel-animated flamingos, we think, and not off-cuts from KING KONG or SON OF KONG as is all too often claimed. Since the Moore comic is set in 1925, the dino also fits neatly with the first movie of THE LOST WORLD released that year, and one remembers that in the Conan Doyle novel, Professor Challenger and his team bring back from the remote South American plateau an egg, which hatches and provokes consternation.

I always felt this was the inspiration for Max Klinger’s print.

However, in the movie of THE LOST WORLD, Willis O’Brien animates a brontosaurus rampaging through London — how the team brought THAT home is as unexplained as Kong’s trip to New York eight years later. So the Moore reference doesn’t make absolute cross-textual sense, but it ties together a number of disparate things in a pleasing if irrational way. Which is just the kind of thing I like.

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Moore & O’Neill’s series is enjoyable for this kind of attention to background detail — every image has some in-joke or reference, which is why one likes to have the Annotations to hand when perusing.

Nemo: Heart of Ice

The Lost World [1925] [DVD]

Citizen Kane [Blu-ray] [1941]

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The Sunday Intertitle: The Tower Bridge Bronto

Posted in FILM, Science with tags , , , , on June 27, 2010 by dcairns

From Harry Hoyt’s THE LOST WORLD, featuring awesome stop-motion monsterage from Willis H O’Brien

Now it can be revealed ~ we have been in London, as guests of regular Shadowplayer and ace animator Randall Cook, at the NFT’s celebration of the 90th birthday of Ray Harryhausen. A thousand thousand thanks to Randy!

Details of the event shall be posted later in the week, with blurry underexposed photographs courtesy of me, and there’s some more Harryhausen-based activity planned here — seems like a good occasion to announce a Film Club look at THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON for July 16th, to coincide with the launch of Apollo 11, 51 years earlier to the day.

Intertitle of the Week: Subway

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , on August 30, 2009 by dcairns

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An oddly anachronistic intertitle from Max Linder’s THE THREE MUST-GET-THERES, which, as its title strongly hints, is a somewhat lame Fairbanks spoof. But there are compensations — Linder himself is never less than appealing, and there are some grotesque images. In fact, the whole thing is weirdly unpleasant.
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Bull Montana as the Cardinal, every bit as disturbing as a Francis Bacon screaming pope. Wasn’t Montana an ape-man in the silent LOST WORLD or something? The name stuck in my head from an old issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland (I owned two issues as a lad).

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What’s odd here is the faithfulness to Dumas’ basic plot (or the first half of it, anyway), which sits uncomfortably with the anachronisms and anything-goes farce. I’m a big fan of AU SECOURS!, his Abel Gance-directed haunted house romp, but I’ve only seen extracts from his earlier French work. Must get better acquainted with it.