Saturday, May 19, 2018

those magical moving hyphens (lawrence-hilton jacobs edition)

Anyone remember Welcome Back Kotter? It was a crappy 1970's sitcom that was really popular but hasn't aged well. It's probably best remembered as the vehicle that gave us John Travolta. Here's the theme music:

While you're watching that, please notice the credit for the character Washington. It's Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs. With a hyphenated first name. Like the country singer, Mary-Chapin Carpenter.

Yet now, if you look for Jacobs on the intertubes, he is listed everywhere* as "Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs." With a hyphenated last name. The first time I noticed that -- I was looking him up on Wikipedia -- I thought I must be misremembering. But, no...finding the video of the old WBK credits told me that I remembered correctly.

In fact, the Wikipedia entry lists his parents as Hilton and Clothilda Jacobs. So it makes sense that his last name is Jacobs. Not Hilton-Jacaobs. Further, since his father's first name is Hilton, it's easy to surmise that his parents named him Lawrence-Hilton, partly after his father.

So when did the hyphen move and why? Is the whole intertube community suffering from memory loss? Or did he actually change his name? And if the latter, then why is that not listed on his Wikipedia page?

These are things I need to know. Also, why did the hyphen disappear Mary-Chapin Carpenter's name?

*Well, almost everywhere. In putting together this post I looked him up on IMDB and found that, there, the hyphen is in his first name.

Friday, May 18, 2018

cinema history class: torso

Session: Giallo Month II, Week 3
Movie: Torso (1973)
Directed by Sergio Martino
As always, there may be spoilers here. And the trailer may be NSFW and/or NSFL

A deranged killer (with, apparently, some sexual hangups) is murdering young women with a red and black ascot. Hilarity ensues.

Keith noted that Torso marked the transition between giallos and slasher films. And it's interesting how you can actually see that. This movie clearly had a giallo plot, and yet the gore was of a kind with the early entries in the Halloween and  Friday the 13th franchises. Bay of Blood, which we saw at Keith's last year showed elements of this transition, but it was much more obvious here.

One of the really great things about this movie is the way so many things that seem so off come together by the end like an elaborate jigsaw puzzle. Notably, many of the killings look incredibly fake, which seems to detract from the film. But the exposition near the climax actually makes it sensible. Joe, who had seen this film a couple times before without noticing that detail, gave the film a 10 on the strength of that epiphany.

The plot here was suspenseful, and I loved the numerous red herrings that were thrown in. Oh, also, I loved the quote: "Eight legs! Eight titties! And four sets o' ass!"

Me: 8
Ethan: 9
Joe: 10
Sean: 3 out of 4

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

cinema history class: your vice is a locked room and only i have the key

Session: Giallo Month II, Week 2
Movie: Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972)
Directed by Sergio Martino
As always, there may be spoilers here. And the trailer may be NSFW and/or NSFL

Murders are being committed near the home of degenerate writer, Oliviero Rouvigny. Hilarity ensues.

Bad week for me. I was so exhausted that I just couldn't stay awake for this movie. And I couldn't concentrate during the parts that I was awake for.

I did catch some scenes. The naked table-dancing scene at the beginning was nice. I correctly deduced (based on body language) who would push whom off the cliff at the end. And the whole homage to Poe's The Black Cat was interesting, despite its obviousness.

But I missed it, and it's apparently a shame, since the others really thought it was a good movie. Hell, Ethan gave it one of his rare ten-star ratings. It appears to be viewable on Youtube, so I'll have to give it a watch/.

Me: NR
Dave: 9.5-9.6
Ethan: 10
Joe: 10
Sean: 3 out of 4

Monday, May 14, 2018

speaking of sharon's art...

Today, Sharon's art class will be moving from still lifes to live models. That's the part they warned me about when I signed her up for class -- that she'd be seeing nude models -- women only, they hastened to tell me. It's interesting to contemplate why I would object to my daughter seeing nude women. But, I guess, better safe than sued.

In anticipation, Sharon has been practicing at home doing drawings of people based on photos she finds on the intertubes. Yeah, it's not the same since she's working with photos rather than live, and she's doing it digitally, using a drawing tablet instead of paper and pencils. Still, I'm impressed. I think she shows some real talent.

Here are some samples she was willing to let me share. My favorite is the breakdancer (which still has the reference photo showing).

worry for wiggy

So now, at Midnight on a Sunday night, we're up waiting for the police. The kids founds puddles of blood on the backyard patio. With smaller splatters going up to the back door.

It's most likely that this is animal blood -- the neighborhood raccoons and stray cats get along like, well, like the Sharks and the Jets.

OK. That was in bad taste.

Anyway, the fact that the blood goes up to the back door was kind of creepy, so Blair felt we should call the police, who said they'd send a car. But with no active crime going on, this isn't a high priority.

My fear? I had a cat, Wiglaf, who disappeared a little over a year ago. And when I say "I" had a cat, I don't mean that we, the family, had a cat. Wiggy was my cat.

A few days ago the kids saw a cat in the neighbor's yard who kind of looks a little like Wiggy. They managed to get a picture on a phone. I said it's not him. Most notably, he's not long-haired like Wiggy. Of course, as the kids point out, a year on the streets could leave his fur matted.

Yesterday they saw the cat again. This time he was hanging by the front door. But he got spooked and ran off before they could get close enough to him. This time there was no picture, but they say it was the same cat. And I'm thinking about how Wiglaf would, if he were to return, go to one of our doors.

Now, tonight, this. Blood -- most likely animal -- in the backyard, with spots going up to the back door. What animal, other than Wiglaf, would go to our back door? We know this blood is fresh, since it was raining today.

I hope Wiggy didn't die tonight.