Georges Melies

French film Pioneer and innovator Georges Méliès sadly passed away 21 January 1938. born December 8th 1861. After completing his education, Méliès joined the family shoe business. He also visited the Egyptian Hall, run by the famous London illusionist John Nevil Maskelyne, and developed a passion for magic. Méliès returned to Paris in 1885 and studied painting at the École des Beaux-Arts, he also attended performances at the Théâtre Robert-Houdin, founded by Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, and began taking magic lessons from Emile Voisin. In 1888 Georges Méliès purchased the Théâtre Robert-Houdin. Although the theatre was equipped with lights, levers, trapdoors, and several automata, Over the next nine years, Méliès personally created over 30 new illusions that brought more comedy and melodramatic pageantry to performances, much like those Méliès had seen in London. One of his best known illusions was the Recalcitrant Decapitated Man, in which a professor’s head is cut off in the middle of a speech and continues talking until it is returned to his body. While running the theatre, Méliès also worked as a political cartoonist for the liberal newspaper La Griffe.

As owner of the Théâtre Robert-Houdin, Méliès became more of a director, producer, writer, set and costume designer also inventing many magic tricks. As the theatre’s popularity grew, he brought many famous magicians to the theatre. Along with magic tricks, performances included fairy pantomimes, an automaton performance during intermissions, magic lantern shows, and special effects such as snowfall and lightning. In 1895, Méliès was elected president of the Chambre Syndicale des Artistes Illusionistes. Between 1896 and 1913, Méliès directed 531 films, these were similar to the magic theatre shows that Méliès had been doing, containing “tricks” and impossible events, such as objects disappearing or changing size. By experimenting with multiple exposures he was also able to play seven different characters simultaneously in film .After seeing the Lumière brothers’ films he bought several films and an Animatograph film projector & By April 1896 the Théâtre Robert-Houdin was showing films. Méliès built a film camera using parts from automata and special effect equipment. Méliès also learnt film processing through trial and error. ln 1896 he patented the Kinètographe Robert-Houdin, camera-projector, which he referred to as his “coffee grinder” and “machine gun” because of the noise that it made. Méliès began shooting his first films in May 1896, and screening them at the Théâtre Robert-Houdin and founded the Star-Film Company. Many of his earliest films were copies and remakes of the Lumière brothers films, including his first film Playing Cards. However, many of his other early films reflected Méliès’s knack for theatricality and spectacle, such as A Terrible Night, in which a hotel guest is attacked by a giant bedbug.

CONQUEST OF THE POLE http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CtrELhltAwo

VOYAGES DANS LE LUNE http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Eeqfxe4WSqk

Whereas The Lumière brothers intended their invention to be used for scientific and historical purposes and dispatched camera operators across the world to film serious documentaries Méliès’s Star-Film Company, was geared more towards the “fairground clientele” who wanted entertainment. In these earliest films, Méliès began to experiment with special effects that were unique to filmmaking. Méliès’s film effects and unique style of film magic were first used in The Vanishing Lady, in which the by then cliche magic trick of a person vanishing from the stage by means of a trap door is enhanced by the person turning into a skeleton until finally reappearing on the stage. In 1896, Méliès built a film studio on his property in Montreuil, just outside of Paris. which had glass walls and ceilings to allow sunlight in for film exposure. The property also included a shed for dressing rooms and a hangar for set construction. Because colors would often photograph in unexpected ways on black and white film, all sets, costumes and actors’ makeup were colored in different tones of gray. Actors performed in front of a painted set as inspired by the conventions of magic and musical theatre.

In 1896 Méliès made 78 films and 53 in 1897 covering every film genre including documentaries, comedies, historical reconstructions, dramas, magic tricks and féeries (fairy stories), .Méliès also made advertisements for whiskey, chocolate, and baby cereal. In 1898 Méliès made only 30 films but his work was becoming more ambitious and elaborate. His films included the historical reconstruction of the sinking of the USS Maine Divers at Work on the Wreck of the “Maine”, the magic trick film The Famous Box Trick, and the féerie The Astronomer’s Dream. He also made one of his first of many religious satires with The Temptation of Saint Anthony. He continued to experiment with special effects such as a reverse shot in A Dinner Under Difficulties and also experimented with superimposition where he would film actors in a black background, then rewind the film through the camera and expose the footage again to create a double exposure. These films included The Cave of the Demons, in which transparent ghosts haunt a cave, and The Four Troublesome Heads, in which Méliès removes his own head three times and creates a musical chorus. He continued to experiment with special effects, the early horror film Cleopatra depicts her mummy being resurrected in modern times. Méliès also made two of his most ambitious and well-known films. The Dreyfus Affair, and Cinderella. Méliès’s films were particularly popular across Europe and in the United States however US filmmakers as Thomas Edison were resentful of the competition from foreign companies & attempted to block Méliès from screening films in the US so film makers including Méliès established the trade union Chambre Syndicale des Editeurs Cinématographiques as a way to defend themselves in foreign markets and the Théâtre Robert-Houdin was the group’s headquarters

In 1900 Méliès made 33 films, including Joan of Arc, The One-Man Band and The Christmas Dream, In 1901 Méliès made The Brahmin and the Butterfly, Little Red Riding Hood and Bluebeard, both based on stories from Charles Perrault. In 1902 Méliès began to experiment with camera movement to create the illusion of a character changing size.This effect began with The Devil and the Statue and was used again in The Man with the Rubber Head. In May 1902 Méliès made his most famous film, A Trip to the Moon. The film includes the celebrated scene in which a spaceship hits the man in the moon in the eye; it was loosely based on Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon and H. G. Wells’ The First Men in the Moon. In the film Méliès stars as Professor Barbenfouillis, who is president of the Astronomer’s Club and oversees an expedition to the Moon. The six men explore the moon’s surface and are attacked by a group of moon men. The film was an enormous success in France and around the world, and made Méliès famous in the United States, Méliès’s enormous success continued with his three other major productions of that year. The Coronation of Edward VII, which used actual footage of the carriage procession in the film, and King Edward VII himself was said to have enjoyed it.

Next Méliès made Gulliver’s Travels, based on the novel by Jonathan Swift, and Robinson Crusoe, based on the novel by Daniel Defoe. In 1903 Méliès made Fairyland: A Kingdom of Fairies, Ten Ladies in one Umbrella, The Melomaniac and Faust in Hell, which is based on an opera by Hector Berlioz, In 1904 he made a sequel, Faust and Marguerite. based on an opera by Charles Gounod. in 1904 he made The Barber of Seville. His major production of 1904 was The Impossible Voyage, a film similar to A Trip to the Moon about an expedition around the world, into the oceans and even to the sun. In 1904, Méliès was invited to create a special effects film to be included in a theatre revue. The result was The Adventurous Automobile Trip. In 1905 Méliès contributed two short films to The Merry Deeds of Satan : The Space Trip and The Cyclone, and made 22 other films, including the adventure The Palace of Arabian Knights and the féerie Rip’s Dream.

For the 100th birthday of Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, the Théâtre Robert-Houdin created a special celebration performance, including Méliès’s first new stage trick in several years, Les Phénomènes du spiritisme. He made eighteen films in 1906, including The Merry Deeds of Satan and The Witch. In 1907 Méliès created three new illusions for the stage and performed them at the Théâtre Robert-Houdin. He also made nineteen films, including a parody of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and a short version of Hamlet. in 1908 Méliès made one of his most ambitious films: Humanity Through the Ages, which retells the history of humans from Cain and Abel to the Hague Peace Conference of 1907. Méliès resumed filmmaking in the autumn of 1909 and produced three films that year. In 1910 his brother Gaston set up a studio called the Star Films Ranch in Texas, where he began to produce Westerns. By 1911 Gaston had renamed his branch of Star Films American Wildwest Productions & produced over 130 films between 1910 and 1912. Between 1910 and 1912, Georges Méliès produced 20 films including Whimsical Illusions, in which he performs a magic trick on stage & also created a new theatrical revue, Spiritualist Phenomena.

Sadly, Méliès made a questionable deal with Charles Pathé which eventually destroyed his film career. Méliès accepted a large amount of money to produce films and in exchange Pathé Frères would distribute and reserve the right to edit these films. Pathé also held the deed to both Méliès’s home and his Montreuil studio as part of the deal. From 1911 Méliès began production on more ambitious & elaborate films including The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and The Haunted Window & In 1912, Méliès made Conquest of the Pole. which was inspired by Robert Peary’s expedition to the North Pole in 1909 and Roald Amundsen’s expedition to the South Pole in 1911,The film included giant monsters and also has elements of Jules Verne’s The Adventures of Captain Hatteras which is often said to be the third film of Méliès’s fantastic voyage trilogy after A Trip to the Moon and The Impossible Voyage.

Méliès also made The Snow Knight and Le Voyage de la famille Bourrichon. However Méliès subsequently lost $50,000 and was forced to sell the American branch of Star Films to Vitagraph Studios. As a result Méliès broke his contract with Pathé in 1913, but was too broke to repay the money that he owed Pathe. He was declared bankrupt and did not continue making films-He attributes his own inability to adapt to Pathé and other companies, his brother Gaston’s poor financial decisions and the horrors of World War I as the main reasons that he stopped making films. Due to the war, the Théâtre Robert-Houdin was shut down for a year and Méliès left Paris for several years. In 1917 the French army turned the main studio building at his Montreuil studio into a hospital for wounded soldiers. He and his family then turned the second studio set into a theatrical stage and performed over 24 variety show revues there until 1923. Also during the war, the French army confiscated over 400 of the original prints of Star-Films’s catalog of films in order to melt them down and retrieve their celluloid and silver content. In 1923, the Théâtre Robert-Houdin was torn down in order to rebuild the Boulevard Haussmann. That same year Pathé was finally able to take over Star-Films and the Montreuil studio. In a rage, Méliès personally burned all of the negatives of his films that he had stored at the Montreuil studio, as well as most of the sets and costumes.

As a result many of his films do not exist today. Nonetheless, just over 200 Méliès films have been preserved and are available on DVD. After being driven out of business, Méliès disappeared from public life. By the mid-1920s he was making a meager living as a candy and toy salesman at the Montparnasse station in Paris. In the 1920s several journalists began to research Méliès and his life’s work, creating new interest in him. As his prestige began to grow in the film world, he was given more recognition and in December 1929 a gala retrospective of his work was held at the Salle Pleyel. Georges Méliès was awarded the Légion d’honneur in 1931 by Louis Lumière, who said that Méliès was the “creator of the cinematic spectacle.

In 1932, the Cinema Society arranged a place for Méliès, his granddaughter Madeleine and Jeanne d’Alcy at La Maison du Retrait du Cinéma, the film industry’s retirement home in Orly, where Méliès worked with several younger directors on scripts for films including a new version of Baron Münchhausen with Hans Richter and a film called Le Fantôme du métro (Phantom of the Metro) . In 1936 he rented an abandoned building on the property of the Orly retirement home to store the collection of film prints. They then entrusted the key to the building to Méliès and he became the first conservator of what would eventually become the Cinémathèque Française. Although he was never able to make another film after 1913 or stage another theatrical performance after 1923, he continued to draw, write and advise yoUnger film and theatrical admirers until the end of his life. By late 1937 Méliès had become very ill and he was admitted to the Léopold Bellan Hospital in Paris. one of Méliès last drawings was of a champagne bottle with the cork popped and bubbling over. Méliès died of cancer on 21 January 1938 just hours after the passing of Émile Cohl, another great French film pioneer, and was buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery.

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Tom Baker

Prolific British TV and Film actor Tom Baker was born 20 January in 1934. He is best known for playing the fourth incarnation of the Doctor in the science fiction television series Doctor Who, a role he played from 1974 to 1981. In the late 1960s and early 1970s Baker was part of Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre company, and had his first big film break in 1971 with the role of Rasputin in the film Nicholas and Alexandra after Olivier recommended him for the part. He also appeared in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s version of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, released in 1972, as a younger husband of the Wife of Bath. In 1974. Tom Baker then took on his most famous role of the Doctor from Jon Pertwee. He was recommended to producer Barry Letts by the BBC’s Head of Serials, Bill Slater, who had directed Baker in Play of the Month. Impressed by Baker on meeting him, Letts was convinced he was right for the part after seeing his performance in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad.

He quickly made the part his own. As the Doctor, his eccentric style of dress and speech, particularly his trademark long scarf and fondness for jelly babies, made him an immediately recognisable figure, and he quickly caught the viewing public’s imagination. Baker played the Doctor for seven consecutive seasons over a seven-year period, making him the longest-serving actor in the part on-screen. Baker himself suggested many aspects of the Fourth Doctor’s personality. The distinctive scarf came about by accident. James Acheson, the costume designer, had provided far more wool than was necessary to the knitter, Begonia Pope, and Ms. Pope knitted all the wool she was given. It was Baker who suggested that he wear the resulting ridiculously over-long scarf. The manifestation played by Tom Baker (1974–1981) is regarded by many as the most popular of the Doctors.

From 2001 Baker Was the narrator of Little Britain on BBC Radio 4, and remained in the role when it transferred to television. Baker has suggested that he was chosen for the part in Little Britain due to his popularity with Walliams and Lucas, part of the generation to whom he is the favourite Doctor. “I am now being employed by the children who grew up watching me”, he stated in a recent DVD commentary. Another trademark of Little Britain’s narration is the deadpan quotation of old rap lyrics, usually in the opening credit sequence. Baker is a prolific and highly recognisable voiceover artist, he narrated an animated adventure of Doctor Who as the Fourth Doctor, and also played Puddleglum, a “marsh-wiggle”, in the BBC adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ The Silver Chair. Baker also portrayed Sherlock Holmes in a four part BBC miniseries version of The Hound of the Baskervilles in 1982 and made an appearance as the sea captain Redbeard Rum in Blackadder II. He has also appeared as a guest on the quiz show Have I Got News For You and was subsequently described by presenter Angus Deayton as the funniest guest in the show’s history…

De Forest Kelley (Star Trek)

Best known for his role as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy in the television and film series Star Trek, the American actor, screenwriter, poet and singer Jackson DeForest Kelley was born January 20, 1920 in Toccoa, Georgia. DeForest was named after the pioneering electronics engineer Lee de Forest. He later named his Star Trek character’s father “David” after his own father. Kelley had an older brother, Ernest Casey Kelley. He attended Conyers, Where he regularly put his musical talents to use and often sang solo in morning church services. Eventually, this led to an appearance on the radio station WSB AM in Atlanta. As a result of Kelley’s radio work, he won an engagement with Lew Forbes and his orchestra at the Paramount Theater.

In 1934, the family left Conyers for Decatur, Georgia. He attended the Decatur Boys High School, where he played on the Decatur Bantams baseball team. Kelley also played football and other sports. Before his graduation in 1938, Kelley got a job as a drugstore car hop. He spent his weekends working in the local theaters. During World War II, Kelley served in the United States Army Air Forces from March 10, 1943 to January 28, 1946, assigned to the First Motion Picture Unit. After an extended stay in Long Beach, California, Kelley decided to pursue an acting career and relocate to southern California permanently, living for a time with his uncle Casey. He worked as an usher in a local theater in order to earn enough money for the move. Kelley’s mother encouraged her son in his new career goal, but his father disliked the idea. While in California, Kelley was spotted by a Paramount Pictures scout while doing a United States Navy training film.

Kelley’s acting career began with the low budget feature film Fear in the Night in 1947. This brought him to the attention of a national audience His next role, in Variety Girl, established him as a leading actor and resulted in the founding of his first fan club. Kelley did not become a leading man, however, and he and his wife, Carolyn, decided to move to New York City. He found work on stage and on live television, but after three years in New York, the Kelleys returned to Hollywood. In California, he received a role in an installment of You Are There, anchored by Walter Cronkite. He played ranch owner Bob Kitteridge in the 1949 episode “Legion of Old Timers” in The Lone Ranger. This led to an appearance in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral as Morgan Earp (brother to Burt Lancaster’s Wyatt Earp). Kelley appeared three times on Gunfight at the O.K. Corral: first in 1955, portraying Ike Clanton in the television series You Are There; again, two years later in the 1957 film of that name, playing Morgan Earp.

Three movie offers followed, including Warlock with Henry Fonda and Anthony Quinn. In 1957, he had a small role as a Southern officer in Raintree County, a Civil War film directed by Edward Dmytryk, alongside Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift and Lee Marvin. He also starred in the lead role as a U.S. Navy submarine captain in World War II in The Silent Service. He appeared in both season 1, episode 5, “The Spearfish Delivers”, as Commander Dempsey and in the first episode of season 2, “The Archerfish Spits Straight”, as Lieutenant Commander Enright. Leonard Nimoy also appeared in two different episodes. He also appeared in 1968, in a third-season Star Trek episode titled “Spectre of the Gun”, portraying Tom McLaury. Kelley also appeared in episodes of The Donna Reed Show, Perry Mason, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Boots and Saddles, Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater, Death Valley Days, Riverboat, The Fugitive, Lawman, Bat Masterson, Have Gun – Will Travel and Laredo. He appeared in the 1962 episode of Route 66, “1800 Days to Justice” and “The Clover Throne” as Willis. He had a small role in the movie The View from Pompey’s Head.

Kelley built up an impressive list of credits, alternating between television and motion pictures. However, he was afraid of typecasting, so he broke away from villains by starring in Where Love Has Gone and a television pilot called 333 Montgomery which was written by an ex-policeman named Gene Roddenberry, Kelley also appeared in another Roddenberry pilot, Police Story. Kelley also appeared in The radio drama, Suspense, produced by William M. Robson. In 1956, Kelley played a small supporting role as a medic in The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit in which he utters the diagnosis “This man’s dead, Captain” and “That man is dead” to Gregory Peck. Kelley appeared as Lieutenant Commander James Dempsey in the military drama The Silent Service, based on actual stories of the submarine section of the United States Navy. In 1962, he appeared in the Bonanza episode titled “The Decision”, as a doctor sentenced to hang for the murder of a journalist. The judge in this episode was portrayed by John Hoyt, who later portrayed Dr. Phillip John Boyce, one of Leonard McCoy’s predecessors, on the Star Trek pilot “The Cage”. In 1963, he appeared in The Virginian episode “Man of Violence” as a “drinking” cavalry doctor with Leonard Nimoy as his patient. coincidentally, the episode was written by John D. F. Black, who went on to become a writer-producer on Star Trek. Just before Star Trek began filming, Kelley appeared as a doctor again, in the Laredo episode “The Sound of Terror

In 1964 Kelley was approached by Gene Roddenberry and offered the role of Spock, he refused and Was instead offered the roll of Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy. Star Trek aired from 1966 to 1969 and Kelley became a good friend of Star Trek cast mates William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, from their first meeting in 1964. During Trek’s first season, Kelley’s name was listed in the end credits along with the rest of the cast. Only Shatner and Nimoy were listed in the opening credits and Kelley’s role grew in importance during the first season. He reprised the character in a voice-over role in Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973–74), and the first six Star Trek motion pictures (1979 to 1991). In one of the Star Trek comic books it was stated that Dr. McCoy’s father had been a Baptist preacher, an idea that apparently originated from Kelley’s background. In 1987, he also had a cameo in “Encounter at Farpoint”, the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, as by-that-time Admiral Leonard McCoy, Starfleet Surgeon General Emeritus. Kelley was the only cast member of the original Star Trek series program never to have written or published an autobiography; however, the authorized biography From Sawdust to Stardust (2005) was written posthumously by Terry Lee Rioux of Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Kelley regarded “The Empath” as his favourite Star Trek television episode. After Star Trek, Kelley found himself a victim of typecasting. In 1972, he was cast in the horror film Night of the Lepus. Kelley thereafter only did a few television appearances and a couple of movies besides portraying McCoy.

By 1978 he was earning vast sums annually from appearances at Star Trek conventions. Like other Star Trek actors, Kelley received little of the enormous profits that the franchise generated for Paramount, until Nimoy, as executive producer, helped arrange for Kelley to be paid $1 million for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) which would eventually be his final live-action film appearance. He also appeared in the very first Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “Encounter at Farpoint”, in which he portrayed a 137-year-old Dr. McCoy. For his final film, Kelley provided the voice of Viking 1 in the 2nd/3rd installment in the children’s series The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars. Later in life, Kelley developed an interest in poetry, eventually publishing the first of two books in a series, The Big Bird’s Dream and The Dream Goes On – a series he would never finish. Kelley died of stomach cancer on June 11, 1999, at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles.In a interview, Kelley jokingly said one of his biggest fears was that the words etched on his gravestone would be “He’s dead, Jim.” His body was cremated and the ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean

John Carpenter

American filmmaker, screenwriter, and musician. John Howard Carpenter was born January 16, 1948in Carthage, New York, He and his family relocated to Bowling Green, Kentucky during 1953? He was interested in films from an early age, particularly the westerns of Howard Hawks and John Ford, as well as 1950s low-budget horror films, such as The Thing from Another World and high budget science fiction like Forbidden Planet and began filming horror short films with 8 mm film even before starting high school. He attended Western Kentucky University, where his father chaired the music department, then transferred to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts during 1968, but quit to make his first feature film.

In a film course at USC Cinema during 1969, Carpenter wrote and directed an 8-minute short film, Captain Voyeur. The film was rediscovered in the USC archives in 2011 and proved interesting because it revealed elements that would appear in his later film, Halloween (1978). In 1970 he collaborated with producer John Longenecker as co-writer, film editor, and music composer for The Resurrection of Broncho Billy (1970), which won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. The short film was enlarged to 35mm, sixty prints were made, and the film was released theatrically by Universal Studios for two years in the United States and Canada.

Carpenter’s first major film as director, Dark Star (1974), was a science fiction comedy that he cowrote with Dan O’Bannon (who later went on to write Alien, borrowing freely from much of Dark Star). The film reportedly cost only $60,000 and was difficult to make as both Carpenter and O’Bannon completed the film by multitasking, with Carpenter doing the musical score as well as the writing, producing, and directing, while O’Bannon acted in the film and did the special effects (which caught the attention of George Lucas who hired him to work with the special effects for the film Star Wars). Carpenter received praise for his ability to make low-budget films.

Carpenter’s next film was Assault on Precinct 13 a low-budget thriller influenced by the films of Howard Hawks, particularly Rio Bravo. As with Dark Star, Carpenter was responsible for many aspects of the film’s creation. He not only wrote, directed, and scored it, but also edited the film using the pseudonym “John T. Chance” (the name of John Wayne’s character in Rio Bravo). Carpenter has said that he considers Assault on Precinct 13 to have been his first real film because it was the first film that he filmed on a schedule The film was the first time Carpenter worked with Debra Hill, who played prominently in the making of some of Carpenter’s most important films. For this film Carpenter assembled a main cast that consisted of experienced but relatively obscure actors. The two main actors were Austin Stoker, who had appeared previously in science fiction, disaster, and blaxploitation films, and Darwin Joston, who had worked primarily for television and had once been Carpenter’s next-door neighbor.

Carpenter’s first major studio film was the 1978 Thriller Eyes of Laura Mars. This was adapted from a script titled Eyes, which he had previously written and featured Faye Dunaway, Tommy Lee Jones and was directed by Irvin Kershner, (in collaboration with David Zelag Goodman). Next Carpenter both wrote and directed the Lauren Hutton thriller Someone’s Watching Me!. This television film is the tale of a single, working woman who, soon after arriving in L.A., discovers that she is being stalked. Carpenter’s next film, Halloween (1978), was also a success and helped develop the slasher genre. Originally an idea suggested by producer Irwin Yablans (titled The Babysitter Murders), who thought of a film about babysitters being menaced by a stalker, Carpenter took the idea and another suggestion from Yablans that it occur during Halloween and developed a story The film was written by Carpenter and Debra Hill and the music was inspired by both Dario Argento’s Suspiria (which also influenced the film’s slightly surreal color scheme) and William Friedkin’s The Exorcist. During 1979, John Carpenter also began the first of several collaborations with actor Kurt Russell when he directed the television film Elvis.

In 1980 Carpenter followed up the success of Halloween with The Fog, a ghostly revenge tale (co-written by Hill) inspired by horror comics such as Tales from the Crypt and The Crawling Eye, a 1958 film about monsters hiding in clouds. Carpenter immediately followed The Fog with the science-fiction adventure Escape from New York (1981). Featuring several actors that Carpenter had collaborated with (Donald Pleasence, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Charles Cyphers, and Frank Doubleday) or would collaborate with again (Kurt Russell and Harry Dean Stanton), as well as several notable actors including Lee Van Cleef and Ernest Borgnine.

Carpenter’s next film, The Thing was released in 1982. This Featured innovative special effects by Rob Bottin, special visual effects by matte artist Albert Whitlock, a score by Ennio Morricone and a cast including Kurt Russell Wilford Brimley, Richard Dysart, Charles Hallahan, Keith David, and Richard Masur. It used the same source material as the 1951 Howard Hawks film, The Thing from Another World, but was more faithful to the John W. Campbell, Jr. novella, Who Goes There?, upon which both films were based. The Thing was part of what Carpenter later called his “Apocalypse Trilogy,” a trio of films (The Thing, Prince of Darkness, and In the Mouth of Madness) with bleak endings for the film’s characters. During filming of The Thing, Universal offered him the chance to direct Firestarter, based on the novel by Stephen King. However when The Thing was a financial disappointment, Universal replaced Carpenter with Mark L. Lester.

Carpenter’s next film, Christine, was an adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name. The story concerns a high-school nerd named Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) who buys and restores 1958 Plymouth Fury which turns out to have supernatural powers. As Cunningham restores and rebuilds the car, he becomes unnaturally obsessed with it, with deadly consequences.

Carpenter then went on to Direct Starman, a romantic comedy similar to It Happened One Night except with a space alien. The film received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Jeff Bridges’ portrayal of Starman and received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Musical Score for Jack Nitzsche. Carpenter’s next film was the 1986 big-budget action–comedy Big Trouble in Little China which sadly failed to meet expectations. In 1989 Carpenter was offered The Exorcist III and met with writer William Peter Blatty (who also authored the novel on which it was based, Legion However, the two disagreed about the film’s climax and Carpenter refused the project.

Carpenter next Directed the films Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992), Village of the Damned (1995), and Escape from L.A. (1996). Carpenter also made the cult classics Body Bags, a television horror anthology film, the 1995 Lovecraftian homage “In the Mouth of Madness” with Tobe Hooper and Vampires (1998), which featured James Woods as the leader of a band of vampire hunters in league with the Catholic Church.

The actress Jamie Lee Curtis then asked Carpenter to direct Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. Since she was the main actress from the original and the sequel Halloween II (1981), and wanted to reunite the cast and crew of the original film. Carpenter agreed to direct the film, but his starting fee as director was a hefty $10 million and Halloween producer Moustapha Akkad refused so Carpenter quit and Steve Miner directed Halloween H20: 20 Years Later instead. In 2001, the film Ghosts of Mars was released. During 2005 there were remakes of Assault on Precinct 13 and The Fog, the latter being produced by Carpenter himself. During 2007 Rob Zombie produced and directed Halloween, a re-imagining of Carpenter’s 1978 film that resulted in a sequel in 2009. In 2005 Carpenter directed an episode of the Masters of Horror television series entitled “Cigarette Burns”. He also contributed another episode entitled “Pro-Life”, about a young girl who is raped and impregnated by a demon and wants to have an abortion, however her efforts are halted by her religious fanatic, gun-toting father and her three brothers.

Carpenter’s next film The Ward, premiered in 2010, and Carpenter also received the Lifetime Award from the Freak Show Horror Film Festival. Carpenter is directing the film Darkchyled. In 2015, his album Lost Themes was also released and a sequel entitled Lost Themes II, was later released in 2016. A third studio album, titled Anthology: Movie Themes 1974–1998 was also released in 2017. Carpenter acted as executive producer, co-composer, and creative consultant on a new film in the Halloween film series, titled Halloween, The film acts as a direct sequel to Carpenter’s original film, ignoring the continuity of all other previous films. It is his first direct involvement with the franchise since 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch.

Many Filmmakers have been influenced by Carpenter including James Cameron, Quentin Tarantino, Guillermo del Toro, Robert Rodriguez, James Wan, Edgar Wright, Danny Boyle, Nicolas Winding Refn, Adam Wingard Neil Marshall, Michael Dougherty, Ben Wheatley, Jeff Nichols, Bong Joon-ho, James Gunn, Mike Flanagan, David Robert Mitchell, The Duffer Brothers, Jeremy Saulnier, Trey Edward Shults, Drew Goddard, David F. Sandberg, James DeMonaco, Adam Green, Ted Geoghegan, Keith Gordon, Jack Thomas Smith, and Marvin Kren. The video game Dead Space 3 is said to be influenced by Carpenter’s The Thing, The Fog, and Halloween, and Carpenter has stated that he would be enthusiastic to adapt that series into a feature film. Hans Zimmer also cited Carpenter as an influence on his compositions.

David Mitchell

English novelist David Mitchell was born 12 January 1969. in Southport in Lancashire (now Merseyside), England. He was raised in Malvern, Worcestershire and was educated at Hanley Castle High School and at the University of Kent, where he obtained a degree in English and American Literature followed by an M.A. in Comparative Literature. Mitchell lived in Sicily for a year, then moved to Hiroshima, Japan, where he taught English to technical students for eight years, before returning to England, where he could live on his earnings as a writer and support his pregnant wife

Mitchell’s first novel, Ghostwritten was published in 1999. This novel moves around the globe, from Okinawa to Mongolia to pre-Millennial New York City, as nine narrators tell stories that interlock and intersect. The novel won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize (for best work of British literature written by an author under 35) and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award His two subsequent novels, number9dream (2001) and Cloud Atlas (2004), were both shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize In 2003, he was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists In 2007, Mitchell was listed among Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in The World.

In 2012 his novel Cloud Atlas was made into a film. One segment of number9dream was made into a BAFTA nominated short film in 2011 starring Martin Freeman, titled The Voorman Problem. Recently he has written the opera libretti. Wake, based on the 2000 Enschede fireworks disaster and with music by Klaas de Vries, was performed by the Dutch Nationale Reisopera in 2010 He has also finished another opera, Sunken Garden, with the Dutch composer Michel van der Aa, which premiered in 2013 by the English National Opera. Several of Mitchell’s book covers were created by design duo Kai and Sunny. Mitchell has also collaborated with the duo, by contributing two short stories to their art exhibits in 2011 and 2014.

Mitchell’s sixth novel, The Bone Clocks, Features elements of the fantastic between life and death and was published on 2 September 2014 and was longlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize. Mitchell was also the second author to contribute to the Future Library project and delivered his book From Me Flows What You Call Time on 28 May 2016. In 2015, Mitchell contributed plotting and scripted scenes for the second season of the Netflix show Sense8. Mitchell had signed a contract to write season three before Netflix cancelled the show. He is credited as a writer on the Sense8 series finale special.

Metropolis

The epic Science Fiction film Metropolis was released 10 January 1927. It Was directed by Fritz Lang and is set in a futuristic urban dystopia, run by wealthy industrialists from high-rise tower complexes, while a lower class of underground-dwelling workers work in terrible conditions to supply power to the homes of the mega rich. The Master of Metropolis is the ruthless Joh Fredersen, whose wealthy son Freder idles away his time in a pleasure garden with the other children of the rich until he meets Maria, a poor worker, who lives underground. Whilst exploring the machine Rooms Feder witnesses an industrial accident when one of the workers collapses from exhaustion causing an explosion. He then meets Josephat (Frederson’s Sacked Assistant) and returns to the machine rooms, where he swaps places with a worker and learns of a secret meeting. He also finds a coded map showing a network of ancient catacombs beneath Metropolis, Joh also sees a robot built by the scientist Rotwang.

Having seen the attrocious working conditions Freder decides to help Maria bring the working and ruling classes together. However Fredersen and Rotwang conspire to stop them, so Rotwang Kidnaps Maria and The Thin Man (Frederson’s Spy) attempts to bribe and intimidate Josephat into leaving Metropolis. Rotwang then creates a lifelike robot of Maria. This causes chaos throughout Metropolis, driving men to murder out of lust for her and stirring dissent amongst the workers. However the real Maria manages to escape from Rotwang’s house and Frederson learns of Rotwang’s treachery. Meanwhile Freder and Josaphat find the Robot Maria urging the workers to rise up and destroy the machines, and they proceed to destroy the Heart Machine, the central power station for Metropolis, causing carnage. Meanwhile Freder has a deadly encounter with Rotwang whilst trying to rescue Maria…

Numerous attempts have been made to restore the film in the 1970s-80s and Music producer Giorgio Moroder Also released a version with a soundtrack by rock artists such as Freddie Mercury, Loverboy, and Adam Ant in 1984. In 2001 A new reconstruction of Metropolis was shown at that years Berlin Film Festival and the film was inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in the same year. In 2008, a damaged print of Lang’s original cut of the film was found in a museum in Argentina. After a long restoration process, the film was 95% restored and shown on large screens in Berlin and Frankfurt simultaneously on 12 February 2010.

Star Trek into Darkness

I have recently Rewatched the exciting science fiction film Star Trek into Darkness again. It begins with Captain Kirk (Christopher Pine) and the crew of the Starship Enterprise observing the planet Nibiru, in order to prevent all the primitive inhabitants from being anialated by a volcano. However” Playing God” like this, is against Starfleet Regulations and is frowned upon by his superiors. So upon returning to Earth, Kirk is relieved of command, and Admiral Pike reassumes command of the Enterprise. However Shortly afterward, a Starfleet agent named John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) bombs a secret “Section 31″ installation in London, Then attacks an emergency meeting at Starfleet headquarters during which Pike is killed, and Harrison escapes. So, Admiral Marcus authorizes Kirk to hunt down Harrison.

They find Harrison on the Klingon homeworld of Qo’noS which lies deep in Klingon territory, unfortunately relations between The Klingons and Starfleet are fragile and any action by the Enterprise could be seen as hostile, so the crew of the Enterprise try not to antagonize the Klingons which could start a war. However After arriving at Qo’nos the Enterprise breaks down and the Klingons try to clobber them until a mysterious figure shows up and Rescues them. They find Harrison who reveals his real identity: Khan, a genetically augmented superhuman, who has spent 300 years in cryo sleep after waging an unsuccessful war on Earth to eradicate all those inferior to himself and his superhuman genetically-engineered comrades who are all in cryo sleep hidden aboard the Enterprise. Khan explains that Admiral Marcus woke him from cryo sleep in order to use his superior intellect and savagery to develop advanced weapons to start a war with the Klingons,

Then An enormous unregistered Federation battleship, the USS Vengeance arrives with Admiral Marcus in command, demanding that Kirk hand over Khan. Kirk refuses, and the Enterprise warps away to Earth, to return Khan to stand trial for his crimes. However Admiral Marcus pursues the Enterprise back to Earth and Ultimately Kirk has to make a difficult decision in order to save the lives of his crew and protect millions of innocent lives on the Earth…