Posted in music

Chris Martin (Coldplay)

Chris Martin, English musician with British alternative rock band Coldplay was born 2nd March 1977. Coldplay were formed in 1996 by lead vocalist Chris Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland at University College London. After they formed under the name Pectoralz, Guy Berryman joined the group as a bassist and they changed their name to Starfish. Will Champion joined as a drummer, backing vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist, completing the line-up. Manager Phil Harvey is often considered an unofficial fifth member. The band renamed themselves “Coldplay” in 1998, before recording and releasing three EPs; Safety in 1998, Brothers & Sisters as a single in 1999 and The Blue Room in the same year. The latter was their first release on a major label, after signing to Parlophone.

BEST OF COLDPLAY http://youtu.be/Ku8_cr5nMGY

imageThey achieved worldwide fame with the release of the single “Yellow” in 2000, followed by their debut album released in the same year, PARACHUTES, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. The band’s second album, A RUSH OF BLOOD TO THE HEAD (2002), was released to critical acclaim and won multiple awards, including NME’s Album of the Year. Their next release, X&Y, the best-selling album worldwide in 2005, was met with mostly positive reviews upon its release, though some critics felt that it was inferior to its predecessor. The band’s fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), was produced by Brian Eno and released again to largely positive reviews, earning several Grammy nominations and wins at the 51st Grammy Awards.

In 2011, they released their fifth studio album, MYLO XYLOTO, which became the UK’s best-selling rock album of 2011 and their sixth album Ghost Stories was released in 2014. The band has won a number of music awards throughout their career, including eight Brit Awards—winning Best British Group three times, five MTV Video Music Awards, and seven Grammy Awards from twenty five nominations. Coldplay have sold over 60 million records worldwide. In December 2009, Rolling Stone readers voted the group the fourth-best artist of the 2000s. Among Coldplay’s latest albums are A Head full of dreams, Mylo Xyloto and Ghost Stories

Coldplay have been an active supporter of various social and political causes, such as Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair campaign and Amnesty International. The group have also performed at various charity projects such as Band Aid 20, Live 8, Sound Relief, Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief, The Secret Policeman’s Ball, and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Posted in music

Jon Bon Jovi

John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. the Lead singer and namesake of the rock band Bon Jovi,was born 2nd February 1962. Originally from Sayreville, New Jersey, Bon Jovi Formed in 1983 and consist of Jon Bon Jovi (John Francis Bongiovi, Jr.), guitarist Richie Sambora, keyboardist David Bryan and drummer Tico Torres. The band’s lineup has remained mostly static during their history, the only exception being the departure of bass player Alec John Such in 1994, who was unofficially replaced by Hugh McDonald. The band achieved widespread recognition with their third album, Slippery When Wet, released in 1986. Their fourth album New Jersey, which was released in 1988, became just as successful as its predecessor. Bon Jovi went onto achieve thirteen U.S. Top 40 hits between 1986-1995, including four number-ones including You Give love a Bad Name“”, “Livin on a Prayer“, “Bad Medicine“, and “I’ll Be There for You”. Other hits include Keep the Faith ”Wanted Dead or Alive” ”Bed of Roses” Have a Nice Day and “Always”.

Their 2000 single “, It’s My Life“, successfully introduced the band to a younger audience. Bon Jovi has been known to use different styles in their music, which has included country for their 2007 album Lost Highway which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Their latest album, The Circle was released in 2009, reaching number one as well. Throughout their career, the band have released eleven studio albums, three compilation albums and one live album, and have sold 130 million records worldwide. They have performed more than 2,700 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 35 million fans. Bon Jovi was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006. The band was also honored with the Award of Merit at the American Music Awards in 2004, and as songwriters and collaborators, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009. The album entitled “About Now” was released on 11th March 2013

Bon Jovi live 2013 http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=related&v=1tOfrIgOtQE

Posted in books, films & DVD, Science fiction, Television

Philip K.Dick

Prolific American Science Fiction novelist, short story writer and essayist Philip K Dick sadly passed away on March 2, 1982. Born December 16, 1928 he explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in his novels which were dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states. In his later works Dick’s thematic focus strongly reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theology. He often drew upon his own life experiences in addressing the nature of drug abuse, paranoia, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences in novels such as A Scanner Darkly and VALIS.

Philip K. Dick also wrote the novels Flow My Tears and the Policeman Said, a novel about a celebrity who awakens in a parallel universe where he is unknown, won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel in 1975. “I want to write about people I love, and put them into a fictional world spun out of my own mind, not the world we actually have, because the world we actually have does not meet my standards,” Among his best known novels are Do Androids dream of Elecric sheep, We Can Remember it for you Wholesale, Ubik, a Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, The Adjustment bureau and Man in the High Castle. In addition to 44 published novels, Dick also wrote approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in many popular science fiction magazines during his lifetime.

Many popular films and Television series based on his novels, have also been made, including Blade Runner which features a Los Angeles Policeman chasing Rogue killer Androids who are going round killing people, Total Recall which features a chap who discovers he is actually a spy involved in an assassination plot, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, Paycheck, Next, Screamers, and The Adjustment Bureau, and a Blade Runner sequel Blade Runner 2049 starring Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling has also been made. A television series Electric Dreams also features many of Philip K.Dick’s short stories. The novel The Man in the High Castle which bridged the genres of alternate history and science fiction, concerns the hunt for an illusive author who has written a book banned by the authorities and earned Dick a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1963, has also been adapted for television by Amazon Prime. Some of Dick’s stories have also been adapted by Netfix

2005, Time magazine named the book Ubik one of the one hundred greatest English-language novels published since 1923. In 2007, Dick also became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series and has left a rich legacy of Science Fiction novels.

Posted in books, films & DVD, Television

D. H. Lawrence

English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter David Herbert Lawrence sadly passed away on 2nd March 1930. He was Born 11 September 1885, and spent his formative years in the coal mining town of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire where his working-class background and the tensions between his parents provided the raw material for a number of his early works. Lawrence returned to this locality often, calling it; “the country of my heart,” and it became a setting for much of his fiction. The young Lawrence attended Beauvale Board School from 1891 until 1898, and won a County Council scholarship to Nottingham High School in nearby Nottingham which he left in 1901. He developed a love of books, which lasted throughout Lawrence’s life

In the years 1902 to 1906 Lawrence served as a pupil teacher at the British School, Eastwood and became a full-time student, receiving a teaching certificate from University College, Nottingham, in 1908. He wrote his first poems, some short stories, and a draft of a novel, Laetitia, that was eventually to become The White Peacock. Lawrence won a short story competition in the Nottingham Guardian in 1907, and In 1908 Lawrence left his childhood home for London and taught at Davidson Road School, Croydon, he also continued writing and Some of the early poetry came to the attention of Ford Madox Ford,the editor of the influential The English Review, who commissioned the story Odour of Chrysanthemums which, when published in that magazine. This encouraged a London publisher, to ask Lawrence for more work. His first published novel The White Peacock appeared in 1910. In addition, a teaching colleague, Helen Corke, gave him access to her intimate diaries about an unhappy love affair, which formed the basis of his second novel The Trespasser and Later during a stay in Italy, Lawrence completed the final version of Sons and Lovers which, when published in 1913, was acknowledged to represent a vivid portrait of the realities of working class provincial life.

Lawrence and and his wife Frieda returned to Britain in 1913 for a short visit, but went back to Italy, staying at Fiascherino on the Gulf of Spezia. Here he started writing the first draft of The Rainbow and Women in Love. He and Frieda returned to Britain again shortly before the outbreak of World War I and were married on 13 July 1914. During this time, Lawrence worked with London intellectuals and writers such as Dora Marsden and the people involved with The Egoist (T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and others). The Egoist, an important Modernist literary magazine, also published some of his work and he was also reading and adapting Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto. In 1915 His novel The Rainbow was published, but was suppressed after an investigation into its alleged obscenity. He also wrote Women in Love, which explores the destructive features of contemporary civilization through the evolving relationships of four major characters as they reflect upon the value of the arts, politics, economics, sexual experience, friendship and marriage. This book is a bleak, bitter vision of humanity and proved impossible to publish in wartime conditions. Not published until 1920, it is now widely recognised as an English novel of great dramatic force and intellectual subtlety. In late 1917, after constant harassment by the armed forces authorities, Lawrence left Cornwall. This persecution was later described in the Australian novel Kangaroo. He moved to the small, rural village of Hermitage near Newbury, Berkshire then moved to Mountain Cottage, Middleton-by-Wirksworth, Derbyshire, where he wrote one of his most poetic short stories, The Wintry Peacock.

Lawrence left Britain and travelled with his wife to Australia, Italy, Sri Lanka, the United States, Mexico and the South of France and wrote The Lost Girl (for which he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction), Aaron’s Rod, Mr Noon, The Captain’s Doll, The Fox and The Ladybird, and some of these were issued in the collection “England, My England and Other Stories”. He also produced a number of poems about the natural world in Birds, Beasts and Flowers he also wrote Sea and Sardinia and Memoirs of the Foreign Legion. In 1922 the Lawrences left Europe and travelled to the United States. where they acquired a property in Lamy, New Mexico in 1924, now called the D. H. Lawrence Ranch, in exchange for the manuscript of Sons and Lovers. While in the U.S. Lawrence rewrote and published Studies in Classic American Literature and also wrote The Boy in the Bush, The Plumed Serpent, St Mawr, The Woman who Rode Away, The Princess and assorted short stories. He returned to England in 1923 but soon came back to America. Sadly in 1925 he suffered a near fatal attack of malaria and tuberculosis and after recovering, he moved to a villa near Florence, Italy where he wrote The Virgin and the Gipsy and Lady Chatterley’s Lover, which was his last major novel and reinforced his notoriety. Despite failing health, he continued to produce short stories such as The Escaped Cock, and wrote numerous poems, reviews and essays as well as a reflection on the Book of Revelation entitled “Apocalypse” and a robust defence of his last novel against those who sought to suppress it

Lawrence sadly passed away in Venawrencece, France, from complications of tuberculosis on 2nd March 1930 and At the time of his death, his public reputation was that of a pornographer who had wasted his considerable talents. However E. M. Forster, , challenged this widely held view in an obituary notice, and described him as, “The greatest imaginative novelist of our generation.” Later, the influential Cambridge critic F. R. Leavis championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness, placing much of Lawrence’s fiction within the canonical “great tradition” of the English novel. Today he is valued by many as a visionary thinker is also widely recognised as one of the finest travel writers in the English language and significant representative of modernism in English literature and his works have been adapted for film and television numerous times.

Posted in music

Dusty Springfield

Dubbed The White Queen of Soul, British pop singer Dusty Springfield sadly passed away on March 2nd 1999. Born 16th April in 1939. Her career extended from the late 1950s to the 1990s. With her distinctive sensual sound, she was an important white soul singer, and at her peak was one of the most successful British female performers, with 18 singles in the Billboard Hot 100 from 1964 to 1970. She is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the U.K. Music Hall of Fame. International polls have named Springfield among the best female rock artists of all time.

Born in West London to an Irish Catholic family that enjoyed music, Springfield learned to sing at home. She joined her first professional group, The Lana Sisters, in 1958, then formed the pop-folk vocal trio The Springfields in 1960 with her brother Dion. Her solo career began in 1963 with the upbeat pop hit, “I Only Want to Be with You”. Among the hits that followed were “Wishin’ and Hopin’”, “I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself”, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, and “Son of a Preacher Man”. A fan of American pop music, she was the first public figure to bring little-known soul singers to a wider British audience, when she created and hosted the first British performances of the top-selling Motown artists in 1965. By 1966, she was the best-selling female singer in the world, and topped a number of popularity polls, including Melody Maker’s Best International Vocalist. She was the first British singer to top the New Musical Express readers’ poll for Female Singer.

Her image, supported by a peroxide blonde beehive hairstyle, evening gowns, and heavy make-up, made her an icon of the Swinging Sixties. The marked changes in pop music in the mid-1960s left many female pop singers out of fashion. To boost her credibility as a soul artist, Springfield went to Memphis, Tennessee, to record an album of pop and soul music with the Atlantic Records main production team. Released in 1969, Dusty in Memphis has been ranked among the greatest albums of all time by Rolling Stone and VH1 artists, New Musical Express readers, and the Channel 4 viewers polls. The album was also awarded a spot in the Grammy Hall of Fame. After this, however, Springfield experienced a career slump for eighteen years. She returned to the Top 20 of the British and American charts in collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys on the songs “What Have I Done to Deserve This?”, “Nothing Has Been Proved”, and “In Private”. Interest in Springfield’s early output was revived in 1994 due to the inclusion of “Son of a Preacher Man” on the soundtrack of the movie Pulp Fiction.r she has left a wonderful legacy in the form of some great songs

Posted in music

Lou Reed

Lou Reed, The late, great American rock musician, songwriter, and photographer, was born in Brooklyn, New York 2 March 1942. He is best remembered as the vocalis, guitarist and songwriter for the band Velvet Underground and a successful solo artist whose career spanned several decades. Lou Reed developed an ear for rhythm and blues, forming several bands while still in high school after teaching himself to play guitar simply by listening to the radio.Reed introduced avant garde rock to mainstream music and has been credited as having a significant impact on American culture.

He is most famous for his collaboration with famed pop artist and mentor Andy Warhol which is perhaps one of the most important pairings of this century (along with Lennon & McCartney) and spawned The Velvet Underground. At first The Velvet Underground were a commercial failure in the late 1960s, the group has gained a considerable cult following in the years since its demise and has gone on to become one of the most widely cited and influential bands of the era.As the Velvet Underground’s principal songwriter, Reed wrote about subjects of personal experience that rarely had been examined so openly in rock and roll, including sexuality and drug culture. Although the Velvet Underground never achieved great commercial success, their idosyncratic combination of harsh guitars and smooth melodies sung by Reed or the German model Nico proved enduring” Andy Warhol also incorporated the Velvet Underground’s music into his Exploding Plastic Inevitable multimedia events. As a songwriter, Reed broke new ground by writing songs about taboo subjects as S&M, transvestites and transsexuals, prostitution and drug addiction.

The Velvet Underground was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1996.The band has long been recognizsd as a major musical influence on punk and art rock, as reflected in a quote often attributed to musician Brian Eno: “The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band. Following his departure from The Velvet Underground in 1970, ‘Reed began a solo career in 1971 that would span several decades and although his songs subsequently lacked the mainstream commercial success and his work frustrated critics who we’re hoping for a return the the Velvet Underground, he went on to record a series of seminal and sometimes challenging singles and solo albums including Transformer, Berlin and Metal Machine Music and collaborated with many artists over the course of his career, including David Bowie, Antony and the Johnsons and Kate McGarrigle. Reed sadly passed away October 27, 2013, Southampton, New York, United States but remained an avid and interesting artist, branching out into photography and released two book of his work, ‘Emotions in Action’ and ‘Lou Reed’s New York.’Reed interacted with fans regularly, with a Facebook page and a Twitter account with more than 42,000 followers And left the world with some Classic Albums.

Posted in books, Television

Doctor Seuss

Most widely known for children’s picture books written and illustrated as Dr. Seuss, the American writer, poet, and cartoonist Theodor Seuss Geisel sadly passed away September 24, 1991. He was Born March 2, 1904 And had used the pen name Dr. Theophrastus Seuss in college and later used Theo LeSieg, and once Rosetta Stone, as well as Dr. Seuss. Geisel published 46 children’s books, often characterized by imaginative characters, rhyme, and frequent use of anapestic meter. His most celebrated books include the bestselling Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, The Lorax, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton Hears a Who!, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. Numerous adaptations of his work have been created, including 11 television specials, four feature films, a Broadway musical and four television series. He won theLewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1958 for Horton Hatches the Egg and again in 1961 for And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.

DOCTOR SEUSS YOUTUBE CHANNEL http://m.youtube.com/channel/HCUIWdKG0mD6I

Geisel also worked as an illustrator for advertising campaigns, most notably for Flit and Standard Oil, and as a political cartoonist for PM, a New York City newspaper. During World War II, he worked in an animation department of the United States Army, where he wrote Design for Death, a film that later won the 1947Academy Award for Documentary Feature.He was a perfectionist in his work and he would sometimes spend up to a year on a book. It was not uncommon for him to throw out 95% of his material until he settled on a theme for his book. For a writer he was unusual in that he preferred to only be paid after he finished his work rather than in advance.Geisel’s birthday, March 2, has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day, an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association.

Posted in Fantasy, films & DVD, Science fiction

Willis O’Brien (King Kong, Valley of Gwangi

American motion picture special effects and stop-motion animation pioneer, Willis O’Brien was born in Oakland, California on March 2, 1886. When he was eleven he left home to work on cattle ranches, and at thirteen he took on a variety of jobs including farmhand, factory worker, fur trapper, cowboy, and bartender. He also competed in rodeos and developed an interest in dinosaurs while working as a guide to palaeontologists in Crater Lake region. He spent his spare time sculpting and illustrating and his natural talent led to him being employed first as draftsman in an architect’s office and then as a sports cartoonist for the San Francisco Daily News. During this time he also became a professional boxer, winning his first nine bouts but retiring after an unsuccessful tenth. He subsequently worked for the railroad, first as a brakeman and later a surveyor, as a professional marble sculptor, and was assistant to the head architect of the 1915 San Francisco World’s Fair, where some of his work was displayed. He also made models, including a dinosaur and a caveman, which he animated with the assistance of a local newsreel cameraman. San Francisco exhibitor Herman Wobber saw this 90-second test footage and commissioned O’Brien to make his first film, The Dinosaur and the Missing Link: A Prehistoric Tragedy.

Willis O’Brien was subsequently hired by the Edison Company to animate a series of short films with a prehistoric theme, these included R.F.D. 10,000 B.C. and Prehistoric Poultry. He also worked on Sam Loyd’s The Puzzling Billboard and Nippy’s Nightmare which were the first stop-motion films to combine live actors with stop motion models. These films led to a commission from Herbert M. Dawley to write, direct, co-star and produce the effects for another dinosaur film, The Ghost of Slumber Mountain. However Herbert Dawley claimed credit for O’Brien’s pioneering effects work, which combined realistic stop-motion animated prehistoric models with live action. Dawley used the cut effects footage in a sequel Along the Moonbeam Trail (1920) and the documentary Evolution (1923), but again O’Brien received little financial reimbursement from this success.

Willis O’Brien then worked on Harry O. Hoyt’s The Lost World. For his early, short films O’Brien created his own characters out of clay, although for much of his feature career he employed Richard and Marcel Delgado to create much more detailed stop-motion models (based on O’Brien’s designs) with rubber skin built up over complex, articulated metal armatures. The models contained a bladder inside the skeleton model that could be inflated and deflated to give the illusion of breathing. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, showed a reel of O’Brien’s animation from the film to his friends, claiming it was real footage of living dinosaurs And try to convince them that his story was based on fact.

O’Brien also worked with Hoyt on a number of other projects included Atlantis, Frankenstein, and Creation. However The studio’s head of production, Merian C. Cooper, cancelled O’Brien’s projects, although he was impressed by the effects work and saw great potential in O’brien’s Giant gorilla and dinosaur models which were later used for the film King Kong. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) awarded O’Brien an Oscar for his technical effects on King Kong but Willis insisted that each of his crew receive an Oscar statue also, which the AMPAS refused to do, so O’Brien refused to accept the Oscar award for himself. However This act of refusing his Oscar hurt O’Brien’s reputation in the Hollywood establishment, forever making him a semi-“outsider” in the industry. The success of King Kong led to the studio commissioning a hurried sequel Son of Kong (also 1933), which O’Brien described as cheesy. With a limited budget and a short production schedule O’Brien chose to leave the animation work to his animation assistant, Buzz Gibson, and asked the studio not to credit him on the project.

In 1925 O’Brien married Hazel Ruth Collette and had two Sons However O’Brien was reportedly forced into and rebelled against with drinking, gambling, and extra-marital affairs. The couple divorced by 1930 and the two boys remained with their mother. Sadly By 1931 Hazel had been diagnosed with cancer and tuberculosis, then O’brien son William also contracted tuberculosis resulting in blindness in one eye and then the other. O’Brien, remained close to his two sons after his separation from his estranged wife, invited Willis Jr. and the now completely blind William with him to handle the Kong and dinosaur models. A few weeks after this visit O’Brien’s ex-wife, Hazel Ruth Collette, shot and killed William and Willis Jr. before turning the gun on herself. The suicide attempt failed and by draining her tubercular lung actually extended her life by another year. A publicity photo of O’Brien taken around this time shows the anguish on his face. Hazel Ruth Collette remained in the Los Angeles General Hospital prison ward until her death in 1934. On November 17 that same year O’Brien married his second wife Darlyne Prenett with whom he would remain until his death.

O’Brien continued to work with Merian C. Cooper at RKO on a number of projects including the epic The Last Days of Pompeii, Dancing Pirate and War Eagles which features a race of Vikings riding on prehistoric eagles fighting with dinosaurs. However this project was cancelled when Cooper re-enlisted as a colonel in the U.S. Army Air Forces at the outset of World War II. O’Brien went on to do some special effects work, re-using one of the mattes from Son of Kong, on Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941) and George Pal’s Oscar-nominated animated short Tulips Shall Grow (1942), as well as developing his own project, Gwangi, about cowboys who encounter a prehistoric animal in a “lost” valley,

O’Brien then worked as Technical Creator, on The film Mighty Joe Young (1949), which won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in 1950. O’Brien was assisted by his protege (and successor), Ray Harryhausen and Pete Peterson on this film. O’Brien and his wife then unsuccessfully developed Emilio and Guloso (aka, Valley of the Mist), about a Mexican boy and his pet bull who save their town from a dinosaur called “Lagarto Grande”. O’Brien then went to work at the new Cinerama corporation on a remake of King Kong using the new wide-screen techniques but ended up contributing a matte for the travelogue This Is Cinerama (1952) when this project also fell through. O’Brien also worked with Harryhausen on the acclaimed dinosaur sequence for Irwin Allen’s nature documentary The Animal World. O’Brien’s story ideas for Gwangi and Valley of the Mist were developed into Edward Nassour and Ismael Rodríguez’s The Beast of Hollow Mountain, for which O’Brien wrote the script. This combined stop-motion and live-action in a color film. O’Brien also worked with Peterson again on The Black Scorpion (1957) and Behemoth, the Sea Monster (aka “The Giant Behemoth”). Irwin Allen hired O’Brien as the effects technician on his remake of The Lost World, but he was given little to do as the producer opted for live lizards instead of stop-motion animation for the dinosaurs. One of his story ideas King Kong vs. Frankenstein was developed into Ishirō Honda’s King Kong vs. Godzilla but O’Brien was once again not involved in the production. Shortly before his death, he animated a brief scene for Linwood G. Dunn’s “Film Effects of Hollywood” company in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World featuring some characters dangling from a fire escape and ladder.

O’Brien died in Los Angeles on November 8, 1962. He was survived by his second wife, Darlyne. In 1997, he was posthumously awarded the Winsor McCay Award by ASIFA-Hollywood, the United States chapter of the International Animated Film Society ASIFA (Association internationale du film d’animation). The award is in recognition of lifetime or career contributions to the art of animation. His interment was located at Chapel of the Pines Crematory.

The 1969 film The Valley of Gwangi, was completed by Ray Harryhausen seven years after O’Brien’s death. O’Brien’s work was celebrated in March 1983 with the appearance of his wife, Darlene at a 50th anniversary event commemorating the day of the first screening of the film at Graumann’s (later Mann’s) Chinese theater on Hollywood Blvd, complete with a screening of a new print of King Kong and a new recreation of the full-scale bust of Kong that appeared 50 years apart at both events in the outdoor lobby of the theater. Ray Harryhausen also continued to keep the memory of O’Brien films and life alive for fantasy-cinema fans around the world until his death in 2013.

Posted in books, Fantasy, films & DVD, Science fiction, Television

King Kong

The original classic American monster movie King Kong opened 2 March 1933. Based on the novel by Edgar Wallace. It stars Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot and Robert Armstrong, and has been ranked as the greatest horror film of all time. King Kong is especially noted for its stop-motion animation by Willis O’Brien and a groundbreaking musical score by Max Steiner. In 1991 it was deemed “culturally, historically and aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. It has been remade twice: in 1976 and in 2005 by Peter Jackson and a sequel Skull Island is also being released in March 2017.

The film starts with renowned wildlife film-maker, Carl Denham, chartering Captain Englehorn’s ship Venture for his new project, however he cannot find an actress for a female role he reluctantly added. Denham searches the streets of New York for a suitable woman. Then He meets penniless Ann Darrow and convinces her to join him for the adventure of a lifetime. The Venture quickly gets underway. The surly first mate, Jack Driscoll, gradually falls in love with Ann. After weeks of secrecy, Denham finally tells Englehorn and Driscoll that their destination is Skull Island, an uncharted island shown on a map in Denham’s possession. Denham speaks of something monstrous there, a legendary entity known only as “Kong”.

When they find the island and anchor off its shore, they can see a native village, separated from the rest of the island by an enormous stone wall. A landing party, including the filming crew and Ann, witnesses a group of natives about to sacrifice a young maiden as the “bride of Kong”. The intruders are spotted and the native chief offers to trade six of his women for Ann. The crew refuse and return to the Venture. However later that night, a band of natives secretly kidnap Ann from the ship and sacrifice her to Kong during a ceremony.

The crew of the Venture realise Ann is missing and set off in pursuit encountering the angry natives and many prehistoric hazards including a Stegosaurus and a Brontosaurus Before eventually finding Kong, who tries to stop them from crossing a ravine by shaking them off a fallen tree leaving only Driscoll and Denham, alive. Then A Tyrannosaurus attacks Ann, but is confronted by an angry Kong who is becoming increasingly protective and has started to develop feelings for Ann. Then Upon arriving in Kong’s lair in a mountain cave, Ann is nearly killed by a snake-like Elasmosaurus, then a Pteranodon tries to fly away with Ann. Driscoll finally reaches Ann and tries to rescue her. However this enrages Kong who pursues them through the jungle back to the natives village where Denham, Englehorn and the surviving crewmen are waiting. However this does not stop Kong, who then breaks open the gate and rampages through the village.

Denham suddenly realises that making a film about Kong could make him a fortune, so despite everyone else’s serious misgivings Denham, then decides to bring Kong back alive to New York and present him to Broadway theater audiences as “Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World”. However Once back in New York Kong Understandably decides he doesn’t particularly like Captivitity and decides to break loose causing absolute Carnage as he rampages through the city in pursuet of Annie Darrow. Then after finding Ann he Carries her While looking for a place of safety, he then decides the Empire State Building is a safe place with tragic results…