We’ve been quiet for a while but hearing that Donna Summer died has been a real bummer. There’s a lot of buzz over her song (and film) Last Dance but we’re die-hard devotees of her other disco-era hits – Bad Girls, I Feel Love, Hot Stuff, On the Radio, her cover of McArthur Park, and Love to Love You Baby are gold. Sad she won’t be making any farewells but we have a feeling we can go and commiserate over Absolut cocktails with friends in the Drag Nation (pretty please?).
Bad Girls came out in 1979. I was nine years old and living in Southern Florida, in West Palm Beach. All my teen babysitters had started wearing stretch satin disco pants or satin jackets (and, yikes, some paired them together). What I flash back to are a set of images: Feathered hair and big sunglasses, Bonne Bell lip gloss (in watermelon or strawberry), Dr. Scholl’s strappy sandal clogs, tube tops and halters, roller skating, and the smell of coconut tanning creme all come flooding back in a weird memory barrage whenever I hear the words “toot-toot” or “beep beep.” In the spirit of the Vulcan mind-meld (if you’re a child of the 60’s or 70’s, you know what I’m talking about) here are the images I could find that might be somewhat representative of this sensory memory. To ensure proper encoding, please click and play the following video…
December 1919 Vanity Fair cover by French illustrator Georges Lepape (1887-1971). Gouache over pencil on bristol board, 34.9 x 26.8 cm. (sheet). Exhibited at "American Beauties: Drawings from the Golden Age of Illustration", Swann Gallery, Library of Congress, 2002. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I was eleven years old when I watched the movie Alien. It scared the crap out of me but in a titillating, roller-coaster kind of way. At that age I wasn’t old enough to comprehend how the movie really was the first, truly Feminist horror movie. Also lost to me was the high caliber of movie craft and screenwriting accomplished in the film. What mattered then was that it was immersive and terrifying.
Since then, I’ve seen it more than a dozen times. And upon each viewing I come to the same conclusion: Alien has no flaws. It is a masterpiece. Don’t agree with me? Turn off your phone, take a Ritalin if need-be, and sit your ass down to watch that sucker again. You’ll see.
Ellen Ripley politely requests you sit your ass down and watch Alien again.
I’m writing about Alien because its director, Ridley Scott, just finished making another movie. PrometheusisScott’s first foray back into the genre (a hybrid of horror and science-fiction) since Alien. Prometheus is set to open in theaters on June 8th and it seems poised to be epic but before I get carried away with the details, I thought I’d post a few pictures from my husband’s book collection for fun.
In early 1980 my husband was a rabid, thirteen-year old fan of Alien. He bought this book pictured below. This movie was one of the first things we discovered to have in common – it topped both of our favorite movie lists.
Charlize Theron as "Vickers" and Idris Elba as "Janek"
Charlize Theron is set to play the character “Vickers” –a company-gal– and Idris Elba (of HBO’s “The Wire” fame) has been cast as the character “Janek.” Excited as I am about both of these actors, what’s really got my attention is the role Noomi Rapace (below) has been cast.
Noomi Rapace will be playing the role of Scientist "Elizabeth Shaw"