When Imagination Connoisseurs let their imaginations run wild … well, they can run REALLY wild. What kind of alien would you like to “couple” with? That and more in today’s letters.
How this Imagination Connoisseur learned about the history of cinema and pop culture.
Greetings from the still kind of United Kingdom. As ever, there are so many topics that come up during your numerous shows that are worth responding to but time usually restricts me from doing so. However, comments about modern audiences not being aware of alot of cinematic history made me ponder. Although certainly contributing factors, it’s not just the volume of movies available and competition from other media that restricts modern audiences’ engagement (although as with anything, the small amount of viewers really into this will certainly go down the cinematic investigation rabbit hole).
I grew up in the 70s and 80s and during that time, movies from across the decades would regularly be screened across the 3 then 4 terrestrial channels. Movies are now screened alot less frequently on mainstream TV here in the UK and now usually restricted to mainstream fair from just the last decade or so, although there are a few variable dedicated movie channels but even Film Four is a shadow of its former self. This means that viewers have less opportunity to stumble across random movies they would otherwise miss.Years ago, the TV channels here would also run occasional random film seasons. I remember watching a French movie in a short French cinema season on BBC2 but I was too young to really get into it (it was some relationship drama so it needed at least a few rayguns or aliens to keep my interest. BTW, I enjoyed the conversation on today’s Midnight Metal about getting it on with aliens and I can’t believe nobody admitted to wanting to shag a tribble. Surely the furries must be tempted at least…).
However, BBC2 and later Channel Four would occasionally run other seasons such as anime, classic horror, spaghetti westerns and so on. These were good introductions to a wide range of movies, some poor but some great. My favourite season was a BBC2 run of sci fi/fantasy movies from around 1981 or so, which is where I first saw the original King Kong, Mighty Joe Young, Silent Running, Robinson Crusoe On Mars and more. I must have been around 10 at the time and lapped up those films as a genre fan.
Also broadcast during those years were occasional shows and specials that I would stumble across by accident and sit transfixed as I watched awe struck. There would be occasional Making Of documentaries filling an hour in the schedules, the sort of vintage fare that pops up as bonus features of older movies released on DVd or BluRay.
The best of these was an irregular show called Standby, Lights, Camera, Action, a documentary series hosted by Leonard Nimoy that took viewers behind the scenes of many movie productions. This would have been my first exposure to all kinds of industry detail that was a real revelation and fired all kinds of synapses.
Similarly, there was a Robin Williams clip show documentary about aliens in the movies. I would love to see this show again as there is a distinct image of a freaky shadowed creature being viewed through an aquatic port hole window that gave me the shivers but which I have no idea which film it came from.
These shows would show clips from multiple genre movies that would only live in my imagination until I was lucky enough to catch most of them at some point on TV during those years. How long did I have to wait to see This Island Earth because I was desperate to see more of the Metaluna alien or to see the advance of the floating Martian war machines from War of the Worlds?
Not all of these turned out to be great but it was great to get this teasing of a cinematic tradition I was only becoming aware of…it was like reading the editorial footnote in Bronze Age Marvel and Dc comics directing readers to previous issues to read more.
However, my absolute favourite televisual tutor during those years was an amazing strand of programming on BBC2 called Moviedrome. I was 17 when this late night block started in 1988 and this was dedicated to screening cult movies, often as double bills and all introduced with a short commentary by Repo Man director Alex Cox.
Not all the movies were fantasy fare but some of the movies this show introduced me to over the years included (apologies for the long list but what a selection!): Night of the Comet (which made me grin when Dieter showed it on Lets Get Physical), Badlands, Barbarella, the Parallax View, The Man Who Fell To Earth, the original Fly and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the original DOA and Thing From Another World, jabberwocky, THX 1138, The Beguiled, Vamp, Knightriders, the original Carnival of Souls, Manhunter, Alligator and Q The Winged Serpent.
There were many other classics such as Mad Max 2 and Escape From New York but I had seen these already. Cox’s introductions were great: gentle and warm but informative, placing each movie into context an discussing production histories and issues. I was crushed when a more pretentious presenter took over the final season: the selection remained good and esoteric but the tone had changed.
Another frequent feeder of my movie knowledge during those years were huge hardcover encyclopedias, histories of science fiction or fantasy illustrated with photos and production details that lodged in my noggin. The internet has largely done away with the need for books like this but they were helpful sources of information, as were the booming video magazines of the day. I might pick up a copy of a video magazine because it featured a favourite film or something and again be exposed to numerous other fare as a result.
Like the best DVD special features that seem to have gone the way of the dodo, I still mourn the demise of Moviedrome and miss those informative tv viewings. Modern media is too slick and frequent for these sort of shows to have a place anymore and arguably platforms like Youtube open numerous windows into the movies, books and general genres that may float our individual boats.
This letter has gone on for a while now (which is why the PGS viewers can be thankful I don’t write in much)so I think I’ll leave it here for now (though I do have three other topics on my mind that threaten to burst into an email). Do you remember these short of shows and what did you think about them?
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Sex with an alien? How a female Imagination Connoisseur responds …
Last night you asked your viewers what type of alien would they want to have sex with which I found intriguing to no end and I’m still thinking about this. I’m a woman and I noticed that at least one woman answered your question but I didn’t because I was listening while I was in bed, as I normally do because it’s the middle of the night here in NY when you broadcast.
Overall the concept of sexual desire in SciFi clearly fits well and I love the thought of having a close encounter with an alien species. This is all about sexual pleasure and I strongly support the notion of interspecies sexual pleasure so I figured I’d share my views on this topic.A day or two ago I was listening to a live stream and managed to join the stream where we were talking about the movie “Heavy Metal”. I told my fellow streamers how much of a guilty pleasure the animated film was for me and how many times I watched the film and how its overall sensuality was perfect. My favorite character in the series was Den, the young man who becomes a superhero or super-being in another world and does impressive feats without being the bad guy. Brains and brawn combined to create a character who is very sensual and a character I want to be with.
But the animated film doesn’t stop there as it also addresses another character, the modern woman in 1970/1980 who has a robot as a boyfriend, which reminded me of Wandavision in a way. If I could find an AI like Vision, or like the robot in Heavy Metal, would he tempt me enough to commit to being with him? The answer would be yes.
And then looking at other media for example the video game Mass Effect Andromeda has some very appealing alien species, some more humanoid than others like the Ansari, I would definitely want to be with.
Star Wars’ Zabrak species, who are also humanoid, I really like. One Zabrak in particular, a Jedi named Kao Cen Darach, grabs my attention. This alien Jedi is amazing and could also, like the Beta Zoids, maybe tell how you are feeling and make things amazing perhaps?
For alien species that are not humanoid, I would give it a shot but I would need a human male with me because I don’t want to experience an encounter like that, stepping into the sexual unknown with a non-humanoid species, alone. While the idea of a Cthulu is intriguing, I’m more fascinated and attracted to beings that are in other planes of existence like in 2000 space oddessy. So you could possibly experience essentially unimaginable sexual experiences.
So I have a question for you Robert. I have heard that there is going to be a remake or reboot of Heavy Metal. I don’t know who will work on this project but I want to fantasize a bit and ask you what you would do with a remake or reboot of Heavy Metal if given the chance? I would expect nothing but the best from the purveyor of Midnight Metal.
Thank s for the great live streams and take care.
P. S. I love how you keep me up at night 🙂
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Do popular bands and musicians appearing in genre films work?
It’s been a minute since I’ve wrote in. First off unboxing your Hot Toys Justice League Superman on the Vodka Stream was metal! Love seeing you on other channels, talking toys, movies, music and more.
Hearing you talk about music and bands on the Vodka Stream had me wondering about bands and musicians appearing in films. You mentioned David Bowie in The Hunger, which I finally saw along with Lady Gaga in A Star is Born. Seeing musicians I wouldn’t have thought of being actors or crossing over into a new medium nowadays seems like the norm. I’m curious do you have a favorite cross over from music to movie?
Whether it’s a cameo, supporting or lead role. To sound very non metal, I still get excited seeing Deftones in The Crow: City of Angels. I’m probably the only one though. But it’s one of my favorite bands and a sequel to one of my favorite films. While City of Angels feels too much like a rehash of the first, I actually like it. I’ve heard director Tim Pope intended to make a different film, but Miramax re-edited it to be more like the first.
Studios editing films that contrast with directors feels like a timeless saga.
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This Imagination Connoisseur has a very metal moment …
Hope you are having a metal night and having fun with the audience. 2020 was a bit of a mess but one of the good things of having su much free time and staying in home was that got the chance to listen a lot of music and watching reaction videos. One of them was a video reacting to Nitgwish, a finnish metal band that I´ve listened once or twice before but never felt it to be honest.But this time, I was shocked and amazed with the song POET AND THE PENDULUM, and her lead singer, Floor Jansen, that got me curious to see what else I missed of this group and OMG, why I didnt care for this group before? I mean, they might be on my top 3 bands now and THE GREATES SHOW ON EARTH, is probably my favorite song ever, a 24 min ode to the evolution of species and a celebration of life that might be the Snyder Cut of metal.
But not only that, it introduced me to other bands like Jinjer, Sonata Arctica and Sabaton to name a few that now I listen every morning in the car while going to work. So that brought me into a rabbit hole that other people experienced too in the last year, in their own ways, like binging a ton of new anime or books, in my case it was lyric and nordic metal.
Keep the good vibes and spreading the METAL to the world!
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A sincere “thank you”
Hi Rob (and company),
Just a fellow Imagination Connoisseur here, wishing to extend to you my sincere appreciation for all of your creative efforts over the years and to say thank you for sharing your unique and profound insights into the movie business on your YouTube channel, which I continually find to be most engaging and thoroughly entertaining.
In one of your future episodes, would you please consider sharing your Robservations about the recent controversial ‘Jerry Beck (animation historian) Tweets’ regarding the future of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, as your views about it would be quite fascinating.
Thank you kindly sir, and may the Force be with you in the Post-Geek Singularity.
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Some filmmakers have regrets
Hi Rob, moderators, and Post Geek Singularity,
Whenever a movie gets made, the director is always telling the story about how the project came to them and all of that. However, it’s always when we find out how directors later admit they either didn’t plan to direct the movie or felt they should not have made the movie in the first place.
David Fincher once said how he should not have made The Game, adding how he was not proud of the film. He also mentioned how he couldn’t figure out how to do the third act.
Paul Verhoeven once said in an interview how Hollow Man was the one movie he has done which he should not have made. He added how plenty of other directors could have pulled it off, saying how the film doesn’t really have his touch, the way his other movies like Robocop and Starship Troopers do. He then said the only reason he did the film was because it was offered to him during a time when he couldn’t get any of his proposed projects made, so he accepted Hollow Man to stay in business.Steven Spielberg might not be directing Indiana Jones 5, but it turned out he did not want to direct an Indiana Jones 4. He mentioned how he created the final shot in Last Crusade, where the characters ride off into the sunset, as a way to close the franchise. As years passed after Last Crusade, he said how many asked him when he was going to make the fourth film, and a number of people who worked with him like George Lucas and Harrison Ford suggested making another film, but Spielberg was still adamant about it. However, he eventually made it.
George Lucas might have directed all the films in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, but he never actually wanted to make them. He approached Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, and Robert Zemeckis, but they all said no due the fact they found it a very daunting task, and all told Lucas he should make it.
Those were some examples I thought about where we find out how filmmakers felt they either should not have made a certain movie or didn’t plan to make it in the first place.
Thanks, live long and prosper,
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