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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2007!
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eighth calendar year!
Number 392  (Vol. 8, No. 39). This edition is for the week of September 24--30, 2007.



"In The Shadow of the Moon"
Book Review: Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow
DVD Review: "Underdog: The Ultimate Collection Volume 1"

Goals, Part 2
Renaissance Night and The Demzarah Gypsy Show
Happy Birthday .... Can't Wait .... Barry Bonds .... If A Mime Dies Does He Make A Sound? .... Look Out Ronnie .... Extra, Extra .... .... .... Whatever Happened To--? Chapter 29: Next Week
Ahmadinejad

Also....Sad Passings
           Mike's Rant upgraded
           Creature Feature plans
           Prepare your Top 10 Horror Movie lists

By now everyone has heard about the President of Iran's speech at Columbia University and the hornet's nest of controversy it stirred up.

Little wonder: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has gone on record calling for everything from the total destruction of the state of Israel to execution of homosexuals for being, well, homosexual.

Considering the current US administration does not consider our country's relationship to be very cozy, this is an astounding show of freedom of speech and tolerance from Columbia University.

Of course, not everyone's so supportive of this, and one can hardly blame them. The Iranians have been developing nuclear power, and the current suspicion is that it is for nuclear weapons (he denies this at first). Ahmadinejad supports Holocaust revisionism (half-denied). And women's rights seem far from substantial development (soft denial).

Letters to the Editor Despite the ancient religion on which the government is based and that Ahmadinejad thrives in that environment, he'd have us believe that the aforementioned statements are...well, if not outright lies, then very exaggerated. Well...of course he does.
His attempts at defending his position are a very fancy tap-dance involving evasive manuevers (answering a question with another question, which he does frequently), or outright denial (incredulously). If he gets long-winded enough he can hope you've forgotten the question enough to explain back to you what the "truth" is.

When asked about nukes, he at first calls any leader employing them "retarded" (big applause), but later defends the ambition with "why shouldn't we have them, you do!" (or words to that effect) Mixed applause and booing.

Women's rights were answered by a roll call of female positions in his administration (that's something, I guess).

Regarding the extremely inflammatory subject of Israel. When asked if he supported their elimination he expounded on the Palestinians having a say in their own development. Repeatedly dodging the direct question of "wiping Israel off the map" (as he's been reported often as supporting), he again expounds on Palestine. He claims to "love all countries" including Israel. When confronted about Holocaust revisionism, has said it needed "further research" (presumably to verify it happened as recorded).

The biggest laugh came at the question regarding execution of homosexuals. The following is a direct quote from the transcript:

In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country. (Laughter.) We don't have that in our country. (Booing.) In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who's told you that we have it. (Laughter.)

Kinda hard to tell from the transcript alone if he's joking or incredibly naive. If he executes homosexuals, then of course their going to remain deeply closeted!! How would he know?

Although Ahmadinejad was invited to speak at Columbia, he was denied permission to lay a wreath at 9/11 Ground Zero, NY. Obviously a little conflict of interest there.

I encourage everyone to read the complete transcript of the Columbia University appearance for themselves here: http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/hourlyupdate/202820.php and let me know what you think.


SAD PASSINGS
I haven't had the chance before now to mention the passing of character actress Alice Ghostly at 81.

I know most of you would likely know her as good witch and ditzy housekeeper Esmeralda on TV's "Bewitched" or Bernice Clifton on "Designing Women" (for which she earned an Emmy nomination in 1992). But how many fanboys -- and you'll have to go waaaaaay back for this one ---- remember a pre-"Hillstreet Blues" William Daniels starring as our hero, "Captain Nice", with Alice Ghostly as his mother? The short-lived mid-'60s series came out around the same time as "Mr. Terrific". Who? Never mind, but they both came out to compete with the TV sensation that was "Batman".

We also bid a sad farewell to mime extraordinaire Marcel Marceau at 84. Marceau virutally single-handedly re-invented and pre-popularized the art of pantomime for the baby-boomer generation and beyond. His memorable character "Bip" (the clown-like character we associate with mimes today) was invented by him in France in the late '50s and became a sensation. Fortunately, mime translates better to television IMHO than it does to the street where mimes usually find a home in a more annoying traditional sense.

Notable among Marceau's "greatest hits" is the classic "Man-in-a-Box" (Man places hands and feels around imaginary walls all around him as they shrink, you've all seen this. I watched him do this on Johnny Carson in total fascination). And his "Moon Walk", later confiscated and modified as a dance move by Michael Jackson, actually began life as "Man Walking Against a Strong Wind" (again, a Carson exclusive that left a strong memory). His "swim" on a dry stage (another Carson show appearance), both convincing and effortless, left the audience (and yours truly) devastated.

Like so many others we've lost over the past few years, Marcel Marceau was a pioneer whose likes we see all too rarely. He will be sorely missed.


MIKE'S RANT UPGRADED
Never-missed-an-issue Mike's Rant is the latest regular column upgraded to the new Crazed Fanboy Content Management System. It had its first try-out last night and was a complete success, I'm happy to say. I'm still fine-tuning some small quirks, like how to handle his "Please check back" placeholder (it works, just looks weird, I know). Making all the columnist's transitions as transparent as possible has led to occasional complications, but nothing that isn't sorted out eventually. I'm very pleased with how this is going so far.

Next up will be Retrorama. That will complete all transitions for all the regular columns. Over the next few weeks, the more infrequent ones, like La Floridiana, The Enlightenment, and Chiller Cinema will get their code-base makeover, too.


CREATURE FEATURE DATABASE ADDITION
ED Tucker (Retrorama, The Lost Interview of Dr. Paul Bearer) and yours truly are in the planning stages of attempting a monumental addition to the Dr. Paul Bearer / Creature Feature Database: to make some episodes of the show available to fans.

Don't go crazy and email me a list of "wants" just yet, we have a long way to go before this is a done deal, BUT we're hoping to make it available as a short-term try-out in plenty of time for Halloween.

Long-time readers are no doubt aware of the constant stream of emails I get inquiring the availability of DPB/CF episodes; I invariably must re-direct them to eBay, which is less-than-satisfactory, but better than nothing. Over time, I want to develop the Database into a larger and more interactive place for fans to hang out and, if practical, obtain episodes. This is a very complicated undertaking and it won't be instant, but we will start with making available episodes..er....available!


PREPARE YOUR TOP 10 HORROR MOVIES LIST
To all PCR columnists: I will be adding a special template to your private accounts over the weekend -- the Top 10 Favorite Horror Movies of All Time! The templates should be there no later than Monday, October 1st. Over the next few weeks, I will be keeping a special space open on the homepage reserved just for this purpose. Don't send me anything now, just start thinking about your list.

To all PCR readers: Once we open the floodgates, you will be invited to post your Top 10 Horrors on the Message Board. Again, I'd appreciate not sending or posting anything right now, just start thinking about it.



Readers' Comments

The Readers' Comments section for this issue of PCR is now closed. To continue to interact, please use the Message Board or write a Letter to the Editor. Comments below are posted starting with the most recent. Thank you.

Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
J.Miller [01-10-2007 16:47] 
Just wanna say how excited I am to see some love for my man Dr. Paul Bearer...He is sorely missed
Odds [29-09-2007 14:46] 
I simply have to ask how Deadguy knows such an astonishing amount about the rules and regulations concerning MOSI's BODIES exhibit? His response is pretty amazing.

It's in the lettercol in case you're wondering what I'm referring to.
Mark [29-09-2007 14:40] 
Saw that Unearthed (charlie murphy version not the Florida Savini one) was added to 8 films to die for. In addition, my buddy Rolphe got his film Nightmare Man into the horror fest as well. Interested to see what people think about that.
Nolan [28-09-2007 19:03] 
HAHAHA. Andy, you slay me.
Odds [28-09-2007 13:11] 
My previous post was a tribute to Marcel Marceau.
Odds [28-09-2007 13:11] 
   
Odds [28-09-2007 13:09] 
Ed, it never ceases to amaze me how parallel our growing-up phases were. Pretty much everything you've ever written about in Retrorama really strikes a chord with me. Like you, I was a HUGE Underdog fan in the '70s. I used to love the open, in particular with the rampaging ogre crushing buildings. I have to get this set.
Odds [28-09-2007 13:06] 
Re: Dead Bodies at MOSI Exhibit. From "Eileen" (Lettercol): "Who exactly has made the momentous medical decision that a human is not a human???"

That's a good question Bert...
Odds [28-09-2007 12:57] 
I know that if I was in charge of this country and not Prezzydunce Bush, if the only way Ahmadinejad would be able to leave...

...is as a lampshade.

* click *
Nolan [28-09-2007 09:36] 
I don't know if this happened to anybody else, but the Readers Comments section started glitching really badly over the past 24 hrs. The comments would be there, then they wouldn't, then thy would. (I thought I was posting by myself for nearly a whole day). I went in a made some adjustments -- should be stable now.
Paul Guzzo [28-09-2007 08:35] 
Pete and I wil 100% be there. Never made it to LA for the showing of our film this weekend, though.... decided to come to NJ for the film fest to see our folks. Se ya at AFM though. I'll have my people call your people! Really looking forward to the trip ... I'm not a longterm LA fan, but I LOVE LA in 3 day trips.... LA is too spread out for my norhern cramped city tastes. I was groomed on NY and Philly... but yeah, we'll be ther with our documentary. We start cold calling for meetings this week. If you know of any distributors who will meet with documentary filmmakers, send me contact info please!
Mark [28-09-2007 06:11] 
Love to hear who is going to be out at AFM this year.
Nolan [28-09-2007 05:50] 
After a good night's rest, I'm feeling much better now, thank you! The homepage's update got a bit up a bit late, sorry about that, but I was bedridden for about 24 hours. Up-and-at'em now, though.

Thanks to all PCR writers for another fantastic issue!
Paul Guzzo [27-09-2007 07:45] 
If only it was that easy ... sometimes I have films months in advance, sometimes people just procrastinate.
As a filmmaker, I can tell you I myself have shown up to fests that acepted my film with a new copy of a DVD minutes before it is set to play. Just nature of the beast.
CAPassinault [27-09-2007 07:10] 
Hey Paul,
Just an idea, but you should do what publishers do- Lead-in time. Program the TFR a month in advance, and you should seldom have any deadline issues. In other words, set up, say, an October TFR by the second Friday of September.
That's how I am going to have to do it with my upcoming festival, as publishing programs will require it. ETA on the Tampa Film Showcase? Sometime next year. And, yes, it will promote the TFR, as the purpose of each is different.
Paul Guzzo [27-09-2007 06:49] 
The Film News will be updated Friday.... sorry for the delay. A few filmmakers are stalling on getting their DVDs and summaries. I don't want to announce the lineup until I have what I need. But I will post something Friday regardless.
Nolan [26-09-2007 13:26] 
Out of the blue I've caught my death of cold, everybody, so I'm not operating at anywhere near peak efficiency this week, sorry to say. I'll be correcting typos and fine-tuning the site over the next couple days. I do have some more topics to add to the homepage, but my bottle of NyQuil is calling me. 'Nite. Zzzzzzz.
End of Comments    


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"Mike's Rant" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2007 by Andy Lalino    "La Floridiana" is ©2007 by William Moriaty    "FANGRRL" is ©2007 by Lisa Ciurro    "Retrorama" is ©2007 by ED Tucker      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova    
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