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Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society 08/30/19 -- Vol. 38, No. 9, Whole Number 2082
Table of Contents
Science Fiction (and Other) Discussion Groups, Films, Lectures, etc. (NJ):
September 12, 2019: SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE (1972) and novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Middletown Public Library, 5:30PM https://archive.org/details/slaughterhouse_-_five September 26, 2019: LAGOON by Nnedi Okorafor, Old Bridge Public Library, 7PM November 21, 2019: THE SLEEPER AWAKES by H. G. Wells (1910), Old Bridge Public Library, 7PM https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/12163 https://librivox.org/the-sleeper-awakes-by-hg-wells/ (audiobook) January 23, 2020: TBD from Europe/Latin America/Canada, Old Bridge Public Library, 7PM March 26, 2020: TBD by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Old Bridge Public Library, 7PM May 28, 2020: TBD from Europe/Latin America/Canada, Old Bridge Public Library, 7PM July 23, 2020: CLIPPER OF THE CLOUDS by Jules Verne (a.k.a. ROBUR THE CONQUEROR, [Fr. title ROBUR LE CONQUERANT], published by Ace in 1961 in an omnibus titled MASTER OF THE WORLD, which is the title of the sequel), Old Bridge Public Library, 7PM https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3808 September 24, 2020: TBD from Europe/Latin America/Canada, Old Bridge Public Library, 7PM November 19, 2020: Rudyard Kipling: "A Matter of Fact" (1892) "The Ship That Found Herself" (1895) ".007" (1897) "Wireless" (1902) "With the Night Mail [Aerial Board of Control 1]" (1905) "As Easy as A.B.C. [Aerial Board of Control 2]" (1912) "In the Same Boat" (1911) Old Bridge Public Library, 7PM Northern New Jersey events are listed at: http://www.sfsnnj.com/news.html
My Picks for Turner Classic Movies for September (comments by Mark R. Leeper):
What can I say about the James Bond series? For most of the time I was growing up this series dominated the popular film market. I remember back in the 1960s a friend scrambled to have two blank VHS tapes to get two of the off-airbroadcast Bond movies. In September one of the themes for TCM's mini-festivals will be James Bond films and other espionage films inspired by the James Bond phenomenon. This Bond party will include screening all the Eon Bond films from DR. NO (1963) to THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (1999). By my count that is 19 James Bond films. The popularity of the Bond films jazzed up other films along the same lines.
The Bond films run Thursday evening into Friday morning each week in September. To see when some particular title is running see the monthly listings.
That will take you to the monthly listing. There the films will be listed consecutively starting, of course, with DR NO. (Or see the listings below.)
Evelyn has picked out what films rate special attention in September. (Dates are TCM-based, e.g., 2:00 AM is really the day after what is listed.)
1 Sunday 10:00 AM Picture of Dorian Gray, The (1945) 3 Tuesday 6:00 AM Tarzan and the Huntress (1947) 7:15 AM Tarzan's Desert Mystery (1943) 8:30 AM Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, The (1953) 10:00 AM Trog (1970) 11:45 AM Giant Behemoth, The (1959) 1:15 PM One Million B.C. (1940) 2:45 PM Willy McBean And His Magic Machine (1965) 4:30 PM Valley of Gwangi, The (1969) 6:15 PM When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1971) 5 Thursday 8:00 PM Dr. No (1963) 10:00 PM From Russia With Love (1964) 12:15 AM Goldfinger (1964) 2:15 AM Thunderball (1965) 4:45 AM You Only Live Twice (1967) 6 Friday 9:00 AM Forever, Darling (1956) 10:45 AM Microscopic Mysteries (1932) 11:00 AM Genocide (1968) 12:30 PM Cosmic Monster, The (1958) 1:45 PM Wasp Woman, The (1960) 3:00 PM Highly Dangerous (1950) 4:30 PM Them! (1954) 6:15 PM Fly, The (1958) 7 Saturday 6:00 AM Incredible Mr. Limpet, The (1964) 2:00 AM House of Usher (1960) 10 Tuesday 12:15 PM Bedlam (1946) 11 Wednesday 8:00 AM Topper Returns (1941) 4:00 PM Great Dictator, The (1940) 6:15 PM Paths of Glory (1958) 8:00 PM 12 Angry Men (1957) 9:45 PM Sweet Smell of Success (1957) 11:30 PM Night of the Hunter, The (1955) 1:15 AM Marty (1955) 3:00 AM Around the World in 80 Days (1956) 12 Thursday 8:00 PM On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) 10:30 PM Diamonds Are Forever (1971) 12:45 AM Live and Let Die (1973) 3:00 AM Man with the Golden Gun, The (1974) 13 Friday 4:15 AM Burn, Witch, Burn (1962) 14 Saturday 10:07 AM Hold That Hypnotist (1957) 16 Monday 8:00 PM CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion (2018) 10:00 PM Freaks (1932) 11:15 PM Bride of Frankenstein (1935) 12:45 AM Hunchback of Notre Dame, The (1939) 3:00 AM Johnny Belinda (1948) 4:45 AM Unknown, The (1927) 19 Thursday 6:00 PM Angel on My Shoulder (1946) 8:00 PM Spy who Loved Me, The (1977) 10:15 PM Moonraker (1979) 12:30 AM For Your Eyes Only (1981) 3:00 AM Octopussy (1983) 5:15 AM View to a Kill, A (1985) 20 Friday 2:15 AM Eating Raoul (1982) 3:45 AM Private Parts (1972) 22 Sunday 10:15 PM Harvey (1950) 23 Monday 8:00 PM Best Years Of Our Lives, The (1946) 11:00 PM CinemAbility: The Art of Inclusion (2018) 1:00 AM Children of a Lesser God (1986) 3:15 AM Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, The (1968) 26 Thursday 8:00 PM Living Daylights, The (1987) 10:30 PM License to Kill (1984) 1:00 AM Goldeneye (1995) 3:30 AM Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) 5:30 AM World Is Not Enough, The (1999) 27 Friday 8:00 AM Valley Of The Kings (1954) 9:30 AM Mummy's Boys (1936) 10:45 AM Land of the Pharaohs (1955) 12:45 PM Caesar And Cleopatra (1945) 3:15 PM Mummy's Shroud, The (1967) 5:00 PM Barbarian, The (1933) 6:30 PM Mummy, The (1959) 28 Saturday 2:00 AM It Came From Outer Space (1953) 3:30 AM Riders To The Stars (1954) 30 Monday 12:00 PM King Solomon's Mines (1950)
Marist Mindset List (comments by Evelyn C. Leeper):
What used to be the Beloit College Mindset List is now the Marist Mindset List. I can't say I like its evolution, though some of the changes pre-dated the move to Marist College. In particular, I liked the "It has always been true" and "They never" sorts of phrasings; "Their smart pens may write and record faster than they can think" does not really have the same effect. And "a Catholic Pope has always visited a mosque" is grammatically peculiar; one can as easily say "a Catholic Pope has always been named John XXIII."
My favorite entries for the Class of 2023 are:
- The primary use of a phone has always been to take pictures.
- The nation's mantra has always been: "If you see something, say something."
- Oklahoma City has always had a national memorial at its center.
- Because of Richard Reid's explosive footwear at 30,000 feet, passengers have always had to take off their shoes to slide through security on the ground.
- The Mars Odyssey has always been checking out the water supply for their future visits to Mars.
- PayPal has always been an online option for purchasers.
- Newfoundland and Labrador has always been, officially, Newfoundland-and-Labrador.
- There has always been an American Taliban.
- Apple iPods have always been nostalgic.
- It has always been illegal to use a hand-held cell phone while driving in New York State.
- There have always been "smartwatches."
- Defibrillators have always been so simple to use that they can be installed at home.
The full list is at https://www.marist.edu/mindset-list.
THE MAGNETIC MONSTER and GOLD (letter of comment by John Purcell):
In response to Mark's comments on THE MAGNETIC MONSTER and GOLD in the 08/23/19 issue of the MT VOID, John Purcell writes:
[Something] that caught my eye in the latest issue (#2081) are Mark's comments about THE MAGNETIC MONSTER, that marvelous cinematic tour de farce from 1953. Curt Siodmak was clearly in his prime skiffy mode when writing these screenplays, and I think that's what makes movies like THE MAGNETIC MONSTER, THE MONOLITH MONSTERS, and other 50s science fiction flicks so much fun, hokey dialog and all. These are definitely great heckling movies for convention movie rooms, that's for sure. I love this kind of movie silliness. Great job including a capsule review of GOLD (1934), of which THE MAGNETIC MONSTER utilized vast swaths. I haven't seen GOLD, and frankly, I may not want to based on Mark's review, but someday I probably will just because it's an early science fiction movie. [-jp]
THE MAGNETIC MONSTER is very strange. It starts with special effects from cheap wire work and ends with huge tubes of light. [-mrl]
This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper):
THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON by H. G. Wells (ISBN 978-0-486-43978-5 in a Dover Thrift edition boxed set), along with the movie based on it, was the August selection for our book-and-movie group. I thought that a lot of the description of the Selenite society was based on Plato's Republic, with strong stratification of society, and everyone trained for the tasks they are destined for. A more modern example would be Aldous Huxley's BRAVE NEW WORLD, with its Alphas, Betas, and so on, cultivated since before birth for their fixed place in society. THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON, of course, predates BRAVE NEW WORLD by thirty years, but I suspect Huxley was more influenced by Plato than by Wells.
Oddly, though Bedford is horrified by the pragmatic, utilitarian Selenites, he also displays a strong sense of class when he just shrugs off the (presumed) death of the boy in Littlestone who accidentally launches himself into space in the sphere. Bedford is far more concerned about the loss of the sphere (and the Cavorite) than the death of the boy, and says:
"It was fairly evident that he would gravitate with my bales to somewhere near the middle of the sphere and remain there, and so cease to be a legitimate terrestrial interest, however remarkable he might seem to the inhabitants of some remote quarter of space. I very speedily convinced myself on that point. And as for any responsibility I might have in the matter, the more I reflected upon that, the clearer it became that if only I kept quiet about things, I need not trouble myself about that. If I was faced by sorrowing parents demanding their lost boy, I had merely to demand my lost sphere--or ask them what they meant. At first I had a vision of weeping parents and guardians and all sorts of complications, but now I saw that I simply had to keep my mouth shut, and nothing in that way could arise."
One is reminded of the famous exchange in THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN:
[Huck:] "We blowed out a cylinder-head."
[Aunt Sally:] "Good gracious! anybody hurt?"
[Huck:] "No'm. Killed a n****r."
[Aunt Sally:] "Well, it's lucky, because sometimes people do get hurt."
The film kept a fair amount of the novel, even including such details as the blue river, though it eliminated most of the information about Selenite society, as well as most of the wild variations in their phenotypes. However, it felt obliged to make some concessions to then-current scientific knowledge, and so could not give the lunar surface an atmosphere, even during the day. So Cavor and Bedford wear "spacesuits"--really just diving suits with no pressurization and no gloves! The film also added it a smidge of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, and a dash of THE TIME MACHINE, not surprising given that both those movies had been very popular in their time.
THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON is one of the novels included in the canonical collections of Wells's novels, along with FOOD OF THE GODS, IN THE DAYS OF THE COMET, THE INVISIBLE MAN, THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, THE TIME MACHINE, and THE WAR OF THE WORLDS. (Cut-rate collections often omit IN THE DAYS OF THE COMET. Dover Thrift editions has a boxed set of five, dropping THE FOOD OF THE GODS as well.) All of these hold up remarkably well. [-ecl]
Mark Leeper email@example.com Quote of the Week: We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. --Martin Luther King, Jr.Tweet
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