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Pete Atkin >> Words >> "Screen-Freak" footnotes
(Message started by: Kevin Cryan on Today at 21:27)

Title: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Kevin Cryan on Today at 21:27
Kitty Foyle guessed it though she didn't link their names

Kitty Foyle (1940) had Ginger Rogers, in a straight role for which she won an Oscar, playing a rather vulgar shop-girl who has some difficulty making up her mind which of two men she wants to marry.
excerpt from the annotated Screen-Freak (http://www.peteatkin.com/c9a.htm)



When I was annotating Screen-Freak I was fully persuaded that there were a few films mentioned that been lost to posterity. Both of Ginger Rogers films, The Lady in the Dark (1944) and Kitty Foyle (1940), did not appear to be in circulation and were, as far as I could see, destined never to see the light of day again.

How wrong can one  be? There is an opportunity to catch Rogers in Kitty Foyle on BBC 2 (http://www.radiotimes.com/ListingsServlet?event=10&channelId=105&programmeId=68138672&jspLocation=/jsp/prog_details_fullpage.jsp) next  Monday, the 22nd of October.

I aso failed to mention that Rogers was the recipient of a  1940 Acadamy Award (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0148142.html) - best actress - for her performance in the film. That in itself was something of an achievement in a year which saw some pretty strong contenders nominated.  


Kevin Cryan.

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Ian Chippett on 28.03.08 at 14:57
Just came across an obituary of the Creature From The Black Lagoon (or, rather, the chap inside the costume) in a recent Economist.

Ian C

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Ian Ashleigh on 28.03.08 at 15:39
I have always loved Screen-Freak and knew what most of the references are.  For all the times I have been on the website I'd not seen Kevin's annotated note and I now want to see all the films mentioned.  

I can also feel another drive from Sussex to Yorkshire being made more bearable with the accompaniment of Pete Atkin in the autochanger - the CDs that is!!

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by S J Birkill on 28.03.08 at 18:26

on 03/28/08 at 15:39:34, Ian Ashleigh wrote :
For all the times I have been on the website I'd not seen Kevin's annotated note and I now want to see all the films mentioned.

Then you'll have noticed, Ian, that there are many songs still without annotations. I know not all the songs lend themselves to the treatment, but if you'd like to write one up, just format it as a document (.doc or whatever suits you) the way you'd like it to appear, send it to me direct and I'll reformat it and publish it with a link from the discography.

Steve

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by BogusTrumper on 28.03.08 at 21:58

on 03/28/08 at 18:26:34, S J Birkill wrote :
Then you'll have noticed, Ian, that there are many songs still without annotations. I know not all the songs lend themselves to the treatment, but if you'd like to write one up, just format it as a document (.doc or whatever suits you) the way you'd like it to appear, send it to me direct and I'll reformat it and publish it with a link from the discography.

Steve


Or why don't we do it in the forum?  A thread per song, and let all and sundry chime in with their thoughts?

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Ian Chippett on 31.03.08 at 13:12
I recently came across a poem by Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503? - 1542) called "They Flee From Me That Sometime Did Me Sekë" which contains the lines:

"...Therewith all sweetly did me kiss
And softly said, "Dear heart, how like you this?"

Could there be a connection between this and the (very pretty and rarely-commented upon) PA/CJ song "How Like You This?"

It must be one of the very few poems to include the words "to use newfangleness" which ( or so the anthologists of the collection tell us) mean "to seek society."

Ian C

A victim of newfangleness in Pantin, France

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Kevin Cryan on 31.03.08 at 14:03

on 03/31/08 at 13:12:50, Ian Chippett wrote :
I recently came across a poem by Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503? - 1542) called "They Flee From Me That Sometime Did Me Sekë" which contains the lines:

"...Therewith all sweetly did me kiss
And softly said, "Dear heart, how like you this?"

Could there be a connection between this and the (very pretty and rarely-commented upon) PA/CJ song "How Like You This?"

It must be one of the very few poems to include the words "to use newfangleness" which ( or so the anthologists of the collection tell us) mean "to seek society."

Ian C

A victim of newfangleness in Pantin, France


For a erudite discussion about this and other related matters, have a look at Mel Powell's excellent monograph, Literary references in the lyrics of Clive James (http://www.peteatkin.com/vocal01.htm) (2001).


Kevin Cryan

Afterthought: 15:32

A better definition of "newfangleness" would be "novelty".  What the lover in the poem is complaining about is that he has being abandoned by his mistress who is now indulging in her forndness for the new and fashionable.

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Rob Spence on 31.03.08 at 16:04

on 03/31/08 at 14:03:50, Kevin Cryan wrote :
For a erudite discussion about this and other related matters, have a look at Mel Powell's excellent monograph, Literary references in the lyrics of Clive James (http://www.peteatkin.com/vocal01.htm) (2001).


Kevin Cryan

Afterthought: 15:32

A better definition of "newfangleness" would be "novelty".  What the lover in the poem is complaining about is that he has being abandoned by his mistress who is now indulging in her forndness for the new and fashionable.



I'm sure this is the source - CJ has form in this department, having used Herrick as a source in How She Dances (a.k.a. Herrick Was Right)

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Ian Chippett on 31.03.08 at 17:31
Kevin wrote:

<<For a erudite discussion about this and other related matters, have a look at Mel Powell's excellent monograph, Literary references in the lyrics of Clive James (2001). >>

Ah! I thought someone must have come across this one before and who better than Mel?

Don't get this sort of erudition on the Spice Girls Forum.

Ian C

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Kevin Cryan on 31.03.08 at 21:49

on 03/31/08 at 17:31:49, Ian Chippett wrote :
......Don't get this sort of erudition on the Spice Girls Forum.

Ian C


You certainly don't.

Nor, for that matter, do you get the kind of song, such as Screen Freak, for which you may eventually have to write notes explaining every line.

We may very well have arrived at the day we  have to explain that cinema-goers at one time would  have had the experience of "Flying Leathernecks"  arriving "a half a reel too late", especially if the projectionist loaded the reels - we have to now explain that a film came in a number of reels - into the out of sequence.

When I wrote my comments on the  line “the Thin Man and the Quiet Man are comin' through the rye" (http://www.peteatkin.com/c9a.htm) I ignored the second part of the line because although I knew the Robert Burns song, Comin’ Thro the Rye (http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/burns02.html),  I could neither think of nor find a film that had used the title.  

It was just the other day, while reading Clive’s 1972 Listener essay, A Poor Report on Violence*, in which he shows characteristic and enviable in-depth knowledge of the history the cinema cartooning, that it occurred to me that the Comin' Thro The Rye he had in mind was one  Max Fleischer's** ground-breaking one Ko-Ko Song Car-Tunes*** of that name. The Ko-Ko series was ground-breaking in that it was one of the first the first animated films to feature sound.

Kevin Cryan

Footnotes

*see The Metropolitan Critic (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Metropolitan-Critic-Clive-James/dp/0330340204).

**Extract from Max Fleischer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Fleischer)’s entry in Wikipedia.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
.....Fleischer invented the "Bouncing Ball" technique for his " Ko-Ko Song Car-Tune" series of animated sing-along shorts.

In 1925, Fleischer added synchronized sound to this series, using the Phonofilm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonofilm) sound-on-film (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound-on-film) process developed by Lee de Forest; (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_de_Forest) these Song Car-tunes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song_Car-tunes) would last until 1927, just a few months before the actual start of the sound era. This was before Walt Disney (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Disney)'s Steamboat Willie (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steamboat_Willie) (1928), which is often mistakenly cited as the first cartoon to synchronize sound with animation.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>



*** Ko-Ko Song Car-Tunes

Comin' Thro The Rye (1925)

Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly? (1926)

When The Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves For Alabam' (1926)

Margie (1926)

Tramp-Tramp-Tramp The Boys Are Marching (1926)

My Old Kentucky Home (1926)

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Rob Spence on 01.04.08 at 08:16
According to IMDB, there's a 1947 film called "Comin' Thro' the Rye" which, bizarrely, features Terence Alexander, a kind of poor man's Leslie Phillips, best known as Charlie Hungerford  in Bergerac, as Robert Burns.
http://imdb.com/title/tt0173739/

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Richard Bleksley on 01.04.08 at 10:13

on 03/31/08 at 17:31:49, Ian Chippett wrote :
Kevin wrote:

<<For a erudite discussion about this and other related matters, have a look at Mel Powell's excellent monograph, Literary references in the lyrics of Clive James (2001). >>

Ah! I thought someone must have come across this one before and who better than Mel?



Yes. A year or two back I was feeling all clever and smug for having spotted that the ruined tower in The Prince of Aquitaine (de Nerval's la tour abolie) was the tower card in the Tarot pack. Then, only a few days ago, I was reading through Mel's treatise and found - you've guessed it - that she'd been there before me...

Loved her piece on Winter Spring, too. Where are you, Mel?

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Kevin Cryan on 01.04.08 at 10:26

on 04/01/08 at 08:16:20, Rob Spence wrote :
According to IMDB, there's a 1947 film called "Comin' Thro' the Rye" which, bizarrely, features Terence Alexander, a kind of poor man's Leslie Phillips, best known as Charlie Hungerford  in Bergerac, as Robert Burns.
http://imdb.com/title/tt0173739/



You are right, but I chose to ignore it in the belief that it had too limited a distribution for Clive to have seen it. I could be wrong of course. (I seem to recall that I myself saw it on a double bill with Trouble in the Glen (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046465/), but as I cannot remember any of the singing or the songs, I cannot say for certain whether I did or not.)

There was also a 1923 silent film made in the UK with the title, but that was based on a novel by the 19th century writer,  Helen Mathers.* Again, I left out mention of it on the grounds that not even the Screen Freak would have seen it.

Kevin Cryan

*Helen Mathers, 1853-1920 (http://www.adam-matthew-publications.co.uk/collections_az/ninethcww-1/description.aspx)

Also known as Mrs Reeves, Helen Mathers was one of the period’s most famous women. Born in Somerset she was educated mostly at home and in 1875 married Henry Reeves, a distinguished surgeon. Her first novel, Comin’ Thro’ the Rye, 1875 dealt with the destructive nature of male sexuality and proved to be her most popular. We include editions of two of her best received novels, Cherry Ripe and Bam Wildfire which were published in 1877 and 1897 respectively.

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Rob Spence on 01.04.08 at 12:45
Kevin says:
You are right, but I chose to ignore it in the belief that it had too limited a distribution for Clive to have seen it.
Yes, of course that's right - I just thought it would add to the gaiety of nations to imagine Terence Alexander as Rabbie B.

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Kevin Cryan on 29.03.09 at 13:38

on 03/31/08 at 21:49:22, Kevin Cryan wrote :
...........
When I wrote my comments on the  line “the Thin Man and the Quiet Man are comin' through the rye" (http://www.peteatkin.com/c9a.htm) I ignored the second part of the line because although I knew the Robert Burns song, Comin’ Thro the Rye (http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/burns02.html),  I could neither think of nor find a film that had used the title.  

...................
Kevin Cryan

............


Eureka!! I now believe, thanks to a Philip French column (http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/mar/22/philip-french-top-cinema-films) on the 22nd of this month, that the most likely source of "comin' through the rye" was Basil Dearden's 1957 film (about cinema) The Smallest Show on Earth.

The Smallest Show on Earth
(Basil Dearden, 1957)
In this charming comedy scripted by William Rose, the American author of Genevieve and The Ladykillers, a young couple (Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers) inherit a north country fleapit cinema, along with its ancient staff (Peter Sellers, below, Bernard Miles, Margaret Rutherford), and battle a neighbourhood picture palace. It's the portrait of an institution long since disappeared. The weeping staff put on a late-night screening of Cecil Hepworth's 1916 classic Comin' Thro' the Rye. PF


Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Jan on 29.03.09 at 14:32
That's a good find Kevin! We've mentioned the film on MV before, back in 2006:

The first feature film presented by Royal Command was Cecil Hepworth's production of Coming Through the Rye, starring Alma Taylor, which was shown before Queen Alexandra in the State Dining Room of Marlborough House on 4 August 1916.

but I would have thought that "The smallest show on earth" would have certainly have brought it to Clive's attention (if he didn't know of it already).
Jan

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Kevin Cryan on 03.06.09 at 08:08

on 04/01/08 at 08:16:20, Rob Spence wrote :
According to IMDB, there's a 1947 film called "Comin' Thro' the Rye" which, bizarrely, features Terence Alexander, a kind of poor man's Leslie Phillips, best known as Charlie Hungerford  in Bergerac, as Robert Burns.
http://imdb.com/title/tt0173739/


The obituary (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jun/03/terence-alexander-obituary) in today's edition of The Guardian makes me think he may have been undervalued.


Quote:
He was a skilled foil. In three films he was straight man to the knockabout comic Norman Wisdom, who always congratulated him on being able to keep a straight face. Later Alexander admitted that had he not been making so much money from these films, he would have told Wisdom that the reason for his straight face was that he did not find Wisdom remotely funny. He had his waspish side.


I myself have never been paid enough money to prevent me from saying that I never found Wisdom's screen persona funny.

Kevin Cryan



Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Rob Spence on 03.06.09 at 08:32

on 06/03/09 at 08:08:12, Kevin Cryan wrote :
The obituary (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jun/03/terence-alexander-obituary) in today's edition of The Guardian makes me think he may have been undervalued.


I myself have never been paid enough money to prevent me from saying that I never found Wisdom's screen persona funny.

Kevin Cryan


You're obviously not Albanian, Kevin... :)

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Kevin Cryan on 03.06.09 at 10:25

on 06/03/09 at 08:32:18, Rob Spence wrote :
You're obviously not Albanian, Kevin... :)


Nor am I someone who who would make it a point of principal to suggest Norman was unfunny, has I lived under the thumb of an amiable psychopath like Enver Hoxha (http://www.albanian.com/information/history/hoxha.html) who not only admired Norman enormously,  but took it upon himself to foist Norman's proletarian on-screen struggles against capitalism upon his people.


Hoxa's taste was, of course,  impeccable; his great admiration for Joseph Stalin tells you all you need to know about that.


Kevin Cryan




Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Rob Spence on 03.06.09 at 11:24

on 06/03/09 at 10:25:46, Kevin Cryan wrote :
Nor am I someone who who would make it a point of principal to suggest Norman was unfunny, has I lived under the thumb of an amiable psychopath like Enver Hoxha (http://www.albanian.com/information/history/hoxha.html) who not only admired Norman enormously,  but took it upon himself to foist Norman's proletarian on-screen struggles against capitalism upon his people.


Hoxa's taste was, of course,  impeccable; his great admiration for Joseph Stalin tells you all you need to know about that.


Kevin Cryan

Well, quite. Worrying to see that Stalin was voted in the top ten Russians in a recent poll.

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Kevin Cryan on 03.06.09 at 19:47

on 06/03/09 at 10:25:46, Kevin Cryan wrote :
Nor am I someone who who would make it a point of principal  .............

Kevin Cryan


Erratum

I should have typed "of principle" and not "of principal". I generally do not allow spellcheckers to correct typographical errors, but I inadvertently did in this case.

KC



Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by John N L Morrison on 03.06.09 at 22:28
Now remind me again where:

   C         Em      F           Am7
  Dance, Ginger, dance

  G                  G9(Dm/G)               Em7/G                G    
  The caftan of the caliph turns to powder at your glance


comes from?

I know it's somewhere in the archives....

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Jan on 04.06.09 at 00:03

on 06/03/09 at 22:28:38, John N L Morrison wrote :
Now remind me again where:

  Dance, Ginger, dance

  The caftan of the caliph turns to powder at your glance


comes from? I know it's somewhere in the archives....


I don't think it is!

Jan

Title: Re: "Screen-Freak" footnotes
Post by Kevin Cryan on 04.06.09 at 10:25

on 06/03/09 at 22:28:38, John N L Morrison wrote :
Now remind me again where:

   C         Em      F           Am7
  Dance, Ginger, dance

  G                  G9(Dm/G)               Em7/G                G    
  The caftan of the caliph turns to powder at your glance


comes from?

I know it's somewhere in the archives....

My original note read:


Quote:
The caftan of the caliph turns to powder at your glance
During the forties and fifties many of the big Hollywood studios produced films set in exotic locations, films in which contract players could dress up (or down, in leading ladies' cases). On the other hand, it may be an oblique reference to the memorable Arabian Nights (1942) in which dull dull actor called Jon Hall (who he, I hear you say) does indeed play a caliph battling Leif Erickson (Big John Cannon in the TV series High Chaparral (1967-1971)) for the hand of Maria Montez. There are times when you watch the film and hope Hall's caftan would catch fire, if only to inject a bit of life into him.


I forgot to Clive might have been thinking about something he'd noticed about cellulose nitrate prints with which  Clive would have been familiar.  It is highly unstable and can cause serious fires . In the early days, cinemas,  and even film studios, were known to burst into flames, and some of the fires resulted in fatalities.

The normal fire, the one with which Clive would have been familiar,  is small and can be controlled. It is generally confined to a few frames of film running through the projector.  It burns quickly,  with an intense flame. When a few frames of film of burning film - the combustion rate is about 15 times that of dried wood - are projected onto the big screen, the audience can be forgiven for thinking that those frames are turning a powder.


 

Kevin Cryan






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