Monday, May 31, 2010

Run-on Sentences Can Save a Life

Lt. Latham T. Dervish

ON Memorial Day, the Utter Despair Borough Hall always erects a wreath on the front lawn in remembrance of the town's Civil War hero. His name was Latham T. Dervish and he received a medal of honor and the rank of Lieutenant after a display of sacrifice by drawing enemy fire away from his own men one hot July day in 1864. Latham's unit was trapped behind a rock outcropping in Pennslyvania. They had no escape from a Rebel unit advancing on them. Latham's men testified that they were wounded, frightened ... had little ammunition left and had only one route of escape, but would surely be seen if they did attempt to flee. At a later date, one of the men said that Latham Dervish stood up and walked out from the outcropping and ran to the left of his comrade's position which caused the Rebel unit to chase him and eventually shoot him in his act of heroic diversion.

AS his men escaped in the confusion, they met up with another Union unit who returned with them to attack the Rebels and killed each and every one. Lt. Nathan Meredith was in charge of the Union unit that was just over the hill. He provided food and medical attention to Latham Dervish's bedraggled unit. In interviewing the survivors, Lt. Meredith learned of Latham Dervish's brave attempt of diversion in drawing the enemy's attention from his compatriots. Lt. Meredith returned to to find Latham's body and found him to be still alive ... though he was shot in the chest right at heart level. It seemed a thick packet of folded writing paper in his breast pocket halted the bullet from entering his heart and saved his life.

AS stated, Latham Dervish was awarded with a medal for his sacrifice and reached a higher rank. However, it was learned later that he had told the unit cook that he wanted to die and had decided to run into enemy fire because he was too frightened to shoot himself. The packet of folded paper was his suicide note that consisted of over 40 pages detailing his woes, nightmares, stomach ailments due to canned army beans, problems finding a woman to date, his mother complex, feelings of inadequacy, problems with impotence and his rag weed allergies (which were further enhanced by his bivouacking in the field).

Latham had always received bad marks in his essay work at Utter Despair public school due to his habit of run-on sentences and flowery verbiage. It seemed though his bad writing style had saved his neurotic self hating life.

Latham Dervish was given his own unit after he recuperated. He was killed four months later at the battle of Skunk Grass Hill after he had climbed into his own troop cannon and was accidentally fired into an oncoming regiment of Confederate soldiers. Obviously, another suicide attempt which proved to be successful this time. But even this time he was further honored ... his dead body was propelled into the commanding officer of the Rebel army and they surrendered ... and he was awarded another medal and posthumously awarded the rank of Colonel.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

DEATH WISH Body Count Game

Memorial Day Weekend is the perfect time to enjoy a hot dog on the grill,
sip a Fritz Lang Lager with friends on the backyard patio, attend a patriotic
parade or stay at home and guess how many dirt bag muggers, dope dealers
and pervert scumbags Charles Bronson knocked off in the DEATH WISH film series.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday Music from Across the Ocean

THE FUTURIST! may have stated before that he usually relies on others to add to his appreciation and knowledge of music. Friends and associates who know THE FUTURIST! will recommend melodies they believe he will enjoy. This has happened after he was introduced to The Smiths, The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon) and Vampire Weekend. THE FUTURIST! is always exploring new and old films and reading about them and watching them and using his own curiosity and love for cinema to advance his cranium storage on one of his true passions. Music is very important, also, to THE FUTURIST!, but he does not seek it out ... it comes to him through happenstance or the kindness of others.

In this regard, today's Saturday Music post is provided by THE FUTURIST!'s European associate, The Gentleman of Leisure, who was kind enough to interrupt his mercurial stressless life to bring this song by The Zombies to his attention. THE FUTURIST! was aware of The Zombies and their songs, but had never heard this particular tune. It has the elements THE FUTURIST! admires in his music ... Pop-like with orchestral instrumentation (listen for that trumpet) and a hint of melancholy. The Gentleman may be seeing a concert by The Zombies this evening. Ah, the life of The Gentleman ... THE FUTURIST! envies it with an ache in his heart ... * sigh *


performed by The Zombies

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rustling Up Emotion

THE FUTURIST! has never participated in a blog-a-thon before ...there was the intention of making an entry in last November's Boris Karloff Blog-a-thon, but Life interrupted those plans and the will to transcribe something on the actor had faded away.

News of the John Williams Blog-a-thon at EDWARD COPELAND ON FILM was transmitted to THE FUTURIST! around the beginning of last week. This brought to mind all of the vinyl records he had stored away in his closet of memories. As a young lad, THE FUTURIST! collected more recordings of movie soundtracks than any other type of music. The collection consists mostly of Jerry Goldsmith and the subject of this blog-a-thon John Williams. THE FUTURIST! always, he must admit, admired Goldsmith more for his musical movie architecture. He always did find Williams stirring and very much evident as another character in the film he was watching. However, he could always hear familiar sounds and strains in Williams' scores ... it was as if a certain classical piece was about to start that THE FUTURIST! had heard before ... ghostly strains of music, he felt, influenced Williams which he then borrowed and elaborated on in some way.

This was very evident to THE FUTURIST! in the John Williams score to the Mark Rydell film THE COWBOYS from 1972. This was a film that THE YOUNG FUTURIST! watched on his friend Kevin's very large television one weekend night. THE FUTURIST!, as a lad, had always loved 3 things in films ... Fred Astaire, private detective movies and westerns. As he grew older, his tastes widened with more viewing, but he has never stopped loving that triad of initial cinema attractions.

THE COWBOYS presented a much anticipated viewing experience for THE YOUNG FUTURIST!. It was a western, of course, but its story line dealt with young boys, some teens, that are recruited to aid an aged rancher in transporting a herd of cattle from Montana to South Dakota. The inclusion of young boys as supporting characters created a cinematic kinship, of sorts, for THE YOUNG FUTURIST!. The rancher was portrayed by the iconic John Wayne. Wayne was an old man at this time and his presence brought a sense of sadness to THE YOUNG FUTURIST!. Wayne was still an imposing Father-like figure, strong and a moral symbol of heroics and no nonsense attitude, but his age and the tempo and subject matter of these westerns, of the 1970s, sent a tingle through the body that the West (or western) was at its end. The plot of THE COWBOYS reaches a dramatic climax that enforces this sense of finality ... a climax that emotionally affected THE YOUNG FUTURIST! and his friend that weekend evening.

The emotions felt were further enhanced by the score to the film by Williams. As related earlier, THE FUTURIST! always felt he could hear "other people's" music in Williams' scores. This occurs in THE COWBOYS, as well. You almost think you are about to hear an Aaron Copland piece and there is are waves of Jerome Moross' score to THE BIG COUNTRY that ebb and flow through your memory. Nevertheless, the familiarity does not lessen the wonderful ambiance of a classic western sound. It stirred THE YOUNG FUTURIST! with it's aural sense of wide sunny vistas and open spaces ... and then it softens to a wistful sound of passing and sadness, before it returns to its main theme. It takes the western theme of bravado and manliness and mixes it with emotional sensitivity. And that is the very idea of the film.

THE FUTURIST! may enjoy other composers even more than John Williams, but it is evident to him that it was and still is the Williams scores that will evoke past emotive experiences in the dark ... emotions that brought tears and happiness. Even to this day, the overture to THE COWBOYS brings back that first night of seeing the film ... the danger felt as the youngsters and Wayne accompanied their cargo as ruthless murderous men followed them, the perception of the death of the West as movies portrayed the "West", the idea of what it meant to be "a man".

That night, two boys watched the moving images of youngsters become men as a result of tragedy. Turning his head to not allow his young friend to see his tears in fear of being ridiculed for his emotion, THE YOUNG FUTURIST! could see that his companion had reacted similarly. No words were said ... no abuse hurled ... just the electrical feeling of a film's power to affect a viewer. All due to the magic of a film story and it's partner in sensory immersion ... music.

The Overture to THE COWBOYS composed by John Williams
conducted by David Matthies and performed by The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra


Thanks to Adam Buxton

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chicken Run

Sighted today on Osmosis Road in Utter Despair. A group of joggers who were either being joined by a man/woman dressed as a yellow chicken, being pursued by a man/woman dressed as a yellow chicken OR they were running from their lives due to a giant mutant, murderous man/chicken hybrid, bred at the strange laboratory up at Lovecraft Hills. (no one in Utter Despair knows what they do up at that place.) Thanks to Fleming Clamdish for the photo. He told THE FUTURIST! he will be having steak tonight.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Less Than 10 Minute Matinee # 7

First a Coming Attraction of a film with rampaging teenage sex kittens!
They just party all the time, ripping off clothes, drinking, undressing
band members with beer bellies and ... pay attention ... for a quick
couple of seconds you will see a group of swinging dancing 10 yr olds
at this wild wild wild party!

Now a trip to the refreshment stand for ....
A PICKLE! Yes, who doesn't want a juicy pickle while enjoying
the main feature. By the way, the pickle pictured looks quite
feminine, however the announcer refers to it as a "HE".
If that pickle has a pickle, it's been surgically removed.

The main attraction is the fabulous adventures of Buck Rogers.
It's all about the amazing FUTURE! The 25th century!!
Your mouth will be agape at it's look into our wondrous future world!
Filmed in glorious futuristic Black and White with an entirely dead cast.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday Music that Inspires Juvenile Antics

Many moons ago, THE YOUNG FUTURIST!, while visiting his young friends in North Haledon, N.J., found himself rummaging through their father's record collection. He found the record you, Dear Reader, shall listen to below ... SKY HIGH by Jigsaw.

THE YOUNG FUTURIST!'s friends were so clever in their manic adventures together. They made films together, went on mysterious camping trips and tried to sync up records to people talking in films on television. And they laughed and laughed. It was a silly juvenile time of thoughtless hi-jinx that provided escape from school and life. It was a time that THE FUTURIST! has given thought to in recent days. He recalls, specifically, when they found this record below and played it and decided it would make it a great James Bond-like opening song (of sorts). THE YOUNG FUTURIST! and his pals concocted a dry opening sequence, performed it on Kodak film, had it developed and then played the song as the film unspooled before their eyes on a white sheet tacked to the basement wall. THE YOUNG FUTURIST! and his friends were elated. Ah, the past ... it is gone but it can be recalled to blot the misery of the present.


performed by Jigsaw

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Summer Blast

THE FUTURIST! must contact Dr. Seussonoras at Seussonoras Labs in Ypsilanti, Michigan very soon. He needs to know if the Good Doctor can manufacture one of these sonic cannons for THE FUTURIST!'s use this Summer. It would be excellent to end the noisy late night barbecue parties that occur on weekend nights at the house down the street. If THE FUTURIST! can conceal this weapon discreetly AND with a clear path for its halo effect of structural destruction (this may mean cutting down the hedges next door and relocating the bird bath), THE FUTURIST! feels this would be an ideal deterrent.

Monday, May 17, 2010


THE FUTURIST!'s former aide de camp haiku (a taciturn young man of unknown Asian origins) has not been written of in recent posts. haiku has gone to Brooklyn, NY and is attending Film classes. While immersed in his studies he has taken up photography. The above picture was taken by haiku for a photography class assignment. He ensconced himself inside a washing machine at The Utter Despair Beautiful Launderette and took a very avant garde snap of THE FUTURIST! as he walked out of the aforementioned establishment. This is a rare glimpse at THE FUTURIST!. Please respect it and keep it close to your heart. THE FUTURIST! is always willing and happy to assist friends in their educational pursuits.

Mea Culpa

IN yesterday's post, THE FUTURIST! mentioned several people and he was remiss in providing links to some of these wonderful correspondents. He apologizes and corrects this mistep thusly:

Amber Wilkinson - EYE FOR FILM

Jonnie Marbles - Anarch*is*

Fake Dog Films

and thanks to The Gentleman of Leisure for the Woody postcard!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Postcard to Take Off the Edge

A week of drudgery and dark thoughts can be swept aside so easily.

THE FUTURIST! returned to his abode in Utter Despair and found mail awaiting his discovery. There were two bills needing to be paid, a NetFlix DVD and a postcard from overseas. Overseas?!! The back of the card was the first thing he saw and it was from Scotland. Admirers from the land of kilts and Sean Connery had sent him a postcard. Quite delightful. However, turning the card over and seeing the front (above picture) was even more smile inducing; a picture of Woody Allen as Jimmy Bond, James Bond's nephew (alias Dr. Noah) from CASINO ROYALE (1967).

Ah, Great Britain, Ireland and Scotland. It seems destined to be a land that THE FUTURIST! needs to explore. It is the home of new Internet acquaintances, namely Amber Wilkinson of EYE FOR FILM, the Dr. Who enthusiast man/child David Quin, the comically ever angry Jonnie Marbles, the aptly named Ms. Wozy Hamish and the new home to The Gentleman of Leisure. What kind souls all and how affable.

Yes, a mere 6 inch x 4 inch piece of cardboard with a greeting bearing a film favorite on its front that traveled a great ocean to Utter Despair ... something that small could make Utter Despair a bit brighter.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday Music for Sipping a Cocktail

It's the weekend ... time to relax and lie back and mull over the preceding week's troubles and tribulations. Wait! No. That won't do at all ... no bad thoughts. It's time to make a Manhattan or have a martini or small whiskey on ice and close your eyes and listen to The Dudley Moore Trio play a nondescript lounge tune to ease the woes. Play on, small Dudley ... play on!

Listen and sip ... slowly:

performed by The Dudley Moore Trio

Friday, May 14, 2010

THE FUTURIST! has a Dream

THE FUTURIST! wants to do this ... get reasonably plastered on booze (in suit and tie, of course) and sing the theme to 1967's multi-directed mess of a James Bond spoof CASINO ROYALE. The Burt Bacharach composed theme song does have words, which you can hear at the very end of the film ... besides the grand orchestrated version during the opening animated credits performed by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. He wants the Fake Dog band and Mighty Atomics to support him led by DJ Affable Webster. It's a dream, but can't some dreams come true in this cruel, ugly, disappointing occasionally cloudy with a chance of showers world?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Saturday Music to Kill For

THE FUTURIST!'s friends and correspondents in the faraway land of Ireland have created another music video, this time featuring the three man rock band called MIGHTY ATOMICS. The sound the band generates is loud, a bit in your face and reminiscent of those "angry young men" groups you'd see in black and white British films of the "kitchen sink" period or those drive-in AIP teen and horror films were a relatively unknown rock band would be featured at a party on the beach or dance hall playing in the background and occasionally featured on camera.

IN this video, the usual easy going Ealing Films-like touch of Fake Dog Films is replaced by an influence of comedic horror. The film is shot with a hand held camera and the band performs in a desolate barren wheat colored area of Ireland. In the distance we see a figure approaching with steadfast intent toward the band. THE FUTURIST! wondered what was going to happen ... the result reminded him of George Romero's opening to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD with a touch of Edgar Wright, a dash of Richard Lester, an opening that recalls THE MONKEES TV show and a bit of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT.

Watch and Listen:

performed by The Mighty Atomic

Friday, May 7, 2010

3:10 To Utter Despair

THE FUTURIST! recently purchased a new camera.
Today, he took a walk and captured a few shots of Utter Despair.

Please observe:

This is a view of the train tracks leading out of Utter Despair, N.J. It is quite a scenic stop for commuters and, for travelers, thankfully, the train goes through very rapidly.


Near the train tracks is a factory that collects the tears of homeless children and turns the moisture into some sort of wrinkle reducing facial cream sold on Home Shopping Networks. The children are well compensated with Happy Meals and carbonated beverages.


This is a view from the train track platform to the highway. If you click on the photo with your mouse, you can magnify the shot and see that the train will take you to SUFFERN, New York.
You can go from Utter Despair to Suffern. Get it?
* rimshot *
In the distance you can see a Liquor Store that is usually robbed each month.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

.45 Caliber Chi Restorer

THE FUTURIST! feels a bit better today after an afternoon at the Utter Despair Anthony Mann Shooting Range ... it's amazing what a magazine of bullets can do for the soul.

Monday, May 3, 2010

THE FUTURIST! Wants to Die

THE FUTURIST! returned to HIS reality today. It is insufferable. It is a waltz with death. THE FUTURIST! will eventually succumb to the rhythms (again) of this reality and the masque will return to the face of the Red Death and THE FUTURIST! won't notice ... he will be blinded by the daily metronome of minutes going by until he can return to his other reality. Which is the real reality? Is there another out there? Is THE FUTURIST! going mad? All he knows is he must repeat this mantra that is spoken by the floating head of calm:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Samstag Musik für Computer-Liebhaber

This Saturday Music post is sung in German by a French singer dressed in a frock that resembles the outfits worn by the cafeteria workers, years ago, at the Henrik Ibsen Middle School in Utter Despair, N.J. - However, none of the slop slinging harridans, that plopped Beef-a-Roni onto the students' lunch plates, looked like the fetching France Gall.

There is an introduction to Ms. Gall, the singer, by a Teutonic Master of Ceremonies, which THE FUTURIST! cannot decipher. In fact, THE FUTURIST! has no idea what the song is about ... well, it is about a computer ... but, otherwise, THE FUTURIST! has no clue ... he just likes the sound, the look and the stoic German audience.


performed by France Gall