Saw a Takashi Miike picture called The Great Yokai War. "Yokai" is a Japanese term for monsters from folklore, as opposed to the more familiar kaiju. It's a kids' picture, about a young boy from Tokyo sent out to live in the countryside with his older sister and his intermittently senile grandfather. When a vengeful spirit appears, the boy gets caught up in a war between warring groups of yokai and must find his courage to become the "Kirin Rider", the hero who will set everything to rights. It's not a bad picture - nothing deep, but an amusing story. Some of the yokai are really trippy, Japanese folklore can get pretty "out there", apparently.

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LIkewise! But I work with teens and was still doing the occasional bar-hop with friends, so.....

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Yeah, I was 33 in '97. I don't think so. (Although Tracy may have been there.)

O

Jeff of Earth-J said:

One thing that struck me odd about the movie was that she wasn't (particularly) averse to sunlight, but she was to crosses. I don't like the vampires who glow in the sunlight, but I was okay with this one. The cross thing kind of threw me, though. Aversion to sunlight (AFAIAC) is physiological, but aversion to crosses (again, AFAIAC) is psychological.

It seemed like the sight of the large cross weakened her, making her more vulnerable to the sunlight, which killed her.

Unless you know something I don't know, vampires aren't real. Anyone writing a vampire story can create their own rules. IIRC, the novel Dracula doesn't have any stakings. I remember his head being cut off with an "iron knife." The infamously unauthorized movie Nosferatu had sunlight evaporate the vampire. Bela Lugosi played Dracula on stage before he did on stage. Short of rewatching it, I believe that crosses, wooden stakes and sunlight are all in the movie. Were some of these invented by Universal or by the playright?

As for crosses, were all vampires Christians during their lifetimes? If the vampire was previously a follower of one of many other religions or no religion would the cross work?

Stephen King's early novel 'Salem's Lot and its first filmed version (TV miniseries) had a modified rule with the cross. The kid that is one of the protagonists had a model kit (Aurora?) with a small plastic cross. Because the kid truly believed in the power of the cross it would glow and actually work against the vampires. An actual priest held a cross. The vampire took it out of his hand and tossed it. The difference was that he didn't believe it would work, so it didn't.

Like I said, a writer can make up the rules for vampires, werewolves, etc for their own story.

"Were some of these invented by Universal or by the playwright?"

Almost everything we have come to accept about vampire lore comes from the 1847 book Varney the Vampire

.


"If the vampire was previously a follower of one of many other religions or no religion would the cross work?"

In X-Men Annual #6, Kitty Pryde held up a cross to Dracula and it didn't work because she was Jewish. But when he tried to grab her neck, his hand was burned by her Star of David necklace. So (as Chris Claremont would have it, anyway), it's not the former religion of the vampire, but the belief channeled through the religious iconography of its victim.

In the Doctor Who episode "The Curse of Fenric", a dedicated Soviet soldier held off the Haemovores by holding up  a hammer-and-sickle poin.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"Were some of these invented by Universal or by the playwright?"

Almost everything we have come to accept about vampire lore comes from the 1847 book Varney the Vampire

.


"If the vampire was previously a follower of one of many other religions or no religion would the cross work?"

In X-Men Annual #6, Kitty Pryde held up a cross to Dracula and it didn't work because she was Jewish. But when he tried to grab her neck, his hand was burned by her Star of David necklace. So (as Chris Claremont would have it, anyway), it's not the former religion of the vampire, but the belief channeled through the religious iconography of its victim.

I suppose, theoretically, an atheist could thwart a vampire with, say, a replica Green Lantern ring, provided his belief was deep enough.

THE LOST CITY (Parts 1 & 2, 1935): "Scientist Bruce Gordon develops a machine that tracks the electrical disturbances wrecking [sic] havoc on the world. His device leads him to a remote Central African region called the Magnetic Mountains, where a hidden city houses a mad scientist with plans to take over the world by using an invention that has been creating the electrical disturbances. Gordon and his band of explorers must try to stop this madman while also liberating the creator of the electrical machine and his beautiful daughter."

This is a 12-part serial edited together into a two-part movie. The package summary (above) describes both parts together and lists a running time of just over an hour and a half. The disc menu lists parts one and two separately but, when the movie begins to play, it's about an hour and a half. I have been re-watching the old Flash Gordon serials for the past week or so (currently I'm in the middle of the second), and man! There is a world of difference between the ones produced by Universal Pictures and this independent production. Tracy's only comment: "This is boring." When we got the the end of "part one" I checked the running time of "part two": another hour and 45 minutes. I don't know if we'll be able to sit through it.



Jeff of Earth-J said:

THE LOST CITY (Parts 1 & 2, 1935): "Scientist Bruce Gordon develops a machine that tracks the electrical disturbances wrecking [sic] havoc on the world. His device leads him to a remote Central African region called the Magnetic Mountains, where a hidden city houses a mad scientist with plans to take over the world by using an invention that has been creating the electrical disturbances. Gordon and his band of explorers must try to stop this madman while also liberating the creator of the electrical machine and his beautiful daughter."

This is a 12-part serial edited together into a two-part movie. The package summary (above) describes both parts together and lists a running time of just over an hour and a half. The disc menu lists parts one and two separately but, when the movie begins to play, it's about an hour and a half. I have been re-watching the old Flash Gordon serials for the past week or so (currently I'm in the middle of the second), and man! There is a world of difference between the ones produced by Universal Pictures and this independent production. Tracy's only comment: "This is boring." When we got the the end of "part one" I checked the running time of "part two": another hour and 45 minutes. I don't know if we'll be able to sit through it.

John Landis has almost exactly that line: How do you kill a vampire? You can kill a vampire any way you want, because vampires don't f-ing exist." Dracula also clearly establishes that vampires (at least in Stoker's reality) can appear during daylight, though it is "not his natural time." We don't see him display any of his cool powers during the day (he appears once as a dog during the day, but he was already a dog, so....). Maybe they're more vulnerable then? The production I workshopped years ago went with that notion. In Hollywood, of course, the idea that they die with sunlight is universal, and, I think, an old idea, my bad pun notwithstanding.

Looking at Varney the Vampire online, it was serialized in a penny dreadful/dime novel. The author was paid by the typeset line. I think it's longer than War and Peace. Here's an interesting quote from the Wikipedia page:

"Scholars like A. Asbjørn Jøn have suggested that Varney was a major influence on later vampire fiction, including Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker. Many of today's standard vampire tropes originated in Varney: Varney has fangs, leaves two puncture wounds on the necks of his victims, comes through a window to attack a sleeping maiden, has hypnotic powers, and has superhuman strength. Unlike later fictional vampires, he is able to go about in daylight and has no particular fear of either crosses or garlic. He can eat and drink in human fashion as a form of disguise, but he points out that human food and drink do not agree with him. This is also the first example of the "sympathetic vampire," a vampire who despises his condition but is nonetheless a slave to it."

JD DeLuzio said:

John Landis has almost exactly that line: How do you kill a vampire? You can kill a vampire any way you want, because vampires don't f-ing exist." Dracula also clearly establishes that vampires (at least in Stoker's reality) can appear during daylight, though it is "not his natural time." We don't see him display any of his cool powers during the day (he appears once as a dog during the day, but he was already a dog, so....). Maybe they're more vulnerable then? The production I workshopped years ago went with that notion. In Hollywood, of course, the idea that they die with sunlight is universal, and, I think, an old idea, my bad pun notwithstanding.

An exhaustive, but user-friendly, article about how ALL the Disney+ shows relate to the MCU movies.

How MCU Movies Changed by TV’s ‘WandaVision’ ‘Loki’ ‘Ms. Marvel’ | ...

We spent the weekend indulging in a pair of journalism classics. My wife's choice was Broadcast News, which still mostly holds up.

Holly Hunter is Jane Craig, a very high-strung producer in the Washington bureau of a major television network, and Albert Brooks is Aaron Altman, the ace reporter and her best friend. Along comes new reporter William Hurt as Tom Grunick, a handsome pretty boy who is dumb as a bag of hammers but charming as all get-out. An awkward love triangle ensues; Jane is attracted to Tom as much as she is repulsed by him being such a dim bulb. Aaron likes Jane but she totally has him locked in The Friend Zone™, and is jealous of Tom's success, not only with Jane, but with life in general as Tom personifies "failing upward." The ethical breach that the story hangs on seems really slight now (it did then, too), and it's hard for me to believe Jane didn't spot it herself, but that's part of the point; Jane is under Tom's spell, and it affected he judgment. 

The best part to me was not the scene where Aaron gets his shot at anchoring the weekend news, and it goes terribly, terribly awry; it's before that, when Aaron needs to prepare and goes to Tom for pointers on how look good on air. Despite Aaron always smugly putting Tom down, Tom sincerely gives Aaron his best advice. And one thing we see as the story unfolds is that Aaron and Jane think they are always the smartest people in the room -- at one point, the network president even calls her on it -- they are not as noble as they want to think they are.

My choice was The Paper, as, at the time, I thought Network was a little too gloomy. Directed by Ron Howard, The Paper covers 24 hours in the life of Henry Hackett (Michael Keaton), metro editor of the New York Sun, a tabloid in the vein of the New York Post or the New York Daily News.

As the day begins, the Sun has been beaten by the competition on the previous cover story of the day, a minor train derailment. Also abuzz is a police-involved shooting of a Black kid, which has the city on edge. Then two white men are found shot to death in Brooklyn, and the car they are in is spray-painted with racial slurs, which becomes the story of the day, especially as the police bust two Black teenagers. However, there is reason to believe the two are not the killers, something we viewers know but the newshounds don't. Henry get obsessed with proving this is a false arrest, against the wishes of the jaded managing editor Alicia Clark (Glenn Close), who is willing to smear the teenagers today and absolve them tomorrow. 

In and around this, Alica is having an affair with one of the editors; editor-in-chief Bernie White (Robert Duvall) has prostate cancer; and metro columnist McDougal (Randy Quaid) is carrying a gun because his series of columns against some bureaucrat has caused said bureaucrat to threaten his life. Also, Henry has a job interview with The New York Times The New York Sentinel, which his nine-months-pregnant wife Martha (Marisa Tomei) really wants him to take, as it means more money, less stress and shorter hours. Martha is a Sun reporter on maternity leave, and lunch with a co-worker leaves her afraid she'll be "a bitter broad" essentially raising their baby by herself. 

Henry keeps all the balls juggling in the air -- trying to nail down the false arrest story, put off Alicia, calm down Martha -- and it's all very frantic but true to life. Three and a half stars. 

Performance (1970-- but actually filmed in 1968) and Jubilee (1978):

Both cult films capture aspects of an era and have been much discussed. Both feature a rock star in a first acting role (Mick Jagger, Adam Ant) and interesting casts overall (some actual thugs, two members of the Rocky Horror cast). Both stirred controversy and both have a certain prescience in their style.

Performance, though flawed, is the better of the two by far, though. Jubilee goes off the rails, frequently, but it was worth seeing once.

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