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Posts Tagged ‘Bela Lugosi’

Posted by Dirck on 20 October, 2014

WHAT: First draft of “The Third Act.”

HOW MUCH: Ten manuscript pages.

HOW LONG: About 55 min.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Snorkel Valiant
Today’s ink: Herbin Poussière de Lune

…oh, yes, and happy 132nd to Bela Lugosi; may your rubber bats always flop vigorously on the ends of their strings.

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That Most Wonderful Season

Posted by Dirck on 3 October, 2014

I think anyone who has been reading this work for a while will realize that I am no fan of winter– more of a cowering subject of winter, I suppose.  However, the descent into the tyrant’s cruel reign has a small sop.

Hallowe’en.

Hallowe’en!

Stand by for stuff of varying creepiness over the next few Fridays.  We start with a couple of Lugosi-connected oddities (because the first one is pretty short); a home-made trailer for the 1931 Dracula, a dance video contrived with scenes from 1932’s White Zombie.  What adds to them is this lurking background question… what lunacy would prompt such works?

Today’s non-thematic pen: Parker 50
Today’s marginally-thematic ink: Quink black

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Hot Dead Guy

Posted by Dirck on 29 October, 2012

I lift a notion from the remarkable Madame Weebles today (while she’s distracted by the Great Storm Confluence of The Year 12).  She’s been showcasing hunks, smolderers and diverse other men of interest who have shuffled off this mortal coil.  I’m going to add a chap she’s not yet looked at:

When he was younger, he was said to make women swoon with the power of his eyes. Honest.

Conrad Veidt, the man who was almost Dracula and the man who made The Joker, and a guy who you probably should appreciate.

I think I hear some confused contradiction.  “What’s this ‘made The Joker’ stuff?  Wasn’t that, depending on which retelling one considers, Batman’s doing?”  I grant this stance, but if we step outside the fiction for a moment, we will find that Bob Kane was behind both of them, and he’s occasionally admitted that The Joker’s genesis came from one of Veidt’s films from his first round of work in Hollywood towards the end of the silent era.  Here, have a look, decide for yourself.

Veidt as “Gwynplaine”, melodramatic protagonist

The Joker, comic book antagonist

“OK, fine.  ‘Almost Dracula’?”  Well, here’s one of life’s ironies.  Lon Chaney, the most unrecognizable man in Hollywood, was on the hot seat for the title tole in the 1931 Tod Browning film.  Chaney, though, went and died in 1930, something which even his considerable talent couldn’t work around.  Who, the studio pondered, might fit?  Veidt had a long history of playing in horror (a genre that was almost specifically German in the 1920s), and was asked.  He declined, as it was to be a talkie, and he feared his imperfect mastery of English would hinder the film’s popularity.  The way was thus opened for Bela Lugosi to learn the lines phonetically.

That, however, is sort of aside the point of why he should be appreciated, as he spent more or less the last ten years of his life working against the Nazis.  That does indeed mean that he started in 1933; he was married to a Jewish woman, and thus had a pretty firm grip on the way the new regime in Germany was headed from the beginning.  Most of the money he didn’t need to live on went to either a pro-refugee or anti-Nazi effort, and once the war got underway, he more or less typecast himself as Villainous Nazi Officer in an effort to get the movie-going public into the habit of really hating those guys.

The picture above, by the way, is in my house.  It was my wife’s primary birthday present, the thing I did this past weekend I didn’t mention on Friday.  She has a big fat necro-crush on the chap, which I can live with and even encourage as he and I are unlikely to come to blows.  I am thus bragging a little at having bought my wife a very nice present as a central motive for posting like this; the fact that the majority of Veidt’s output is properly Hallowe’eny is a mere side benefit.

Oh, one last thing.  He died while golfing.  If any more proof of golf’s wicked nature were needed, I can’t think of it.

Today’s pen: Parker 180
Today’s ink: Herbin Bleu Myosotis (the same colour as my toes; turn up the heat, Regular Job!)

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Proxy

Posted by Dirck on 29 October, 2010

I being a little blank today (a long story I’ll likely tell Monday, penless tho’ it is) and having very little time, I called my wife and said, “Recommend a Hallowe’en movie.”

She offered two:  The 1931 Dracula, and the 1963 version of The Haunting.  She says of them, and I agree, that they are films which require that you sit quietly and allow to work upon you.  I believe I recommended the latter last year, too.  I will also plug the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast’s presentation of The Haunter in the Dark— turn down the lights, pretend the computer is a cathedral radio, and have an enjoyably creepy night in, or at least get in the right mood for a Hallowe’en party.

Today’s long dark pen:  Waterman 52
Today’s deep dark ink:  Noodler’s Starry Night (in which anything might be lurking)

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