Thursday, May 28, 2009

Guess Who Avoids B&W Films?

Oscar Meme

Films that have been nominated for the Best Film Oscar. How many have you seen?


1927-1928: Wings; The Racket; Seventh Heaven

1928-1929: The Broadway Melody; Alibi; The Hollywood Revue of 1929; In Old Arizona; The Patriot

1929-1930: All Quiet on the Western Front; The Big House; Disraeli; The Divorcee; The Love Parade


1930-1931: Cimarron; East Lynne; The Front Page; Skippy; Trader Horn

1931-1932: Grand Hotel; Arrowsmith; Bad Girl; The Champ; Five Star Final; One Hour with You; Shanghai Express; The Smiling Lieutenant

1932-1933 Cavalcade; 42nd Street; A Farewell to Arms; I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang; Lady for a Day; Little Women; The Private Life of Henry VIII; She Done Him Wrong; Smilin' Through; State Fair

1934: It Happened One Night; The Barretts of Wimpole Street; Cleopatra; Flirtation Walk; The Gay Divorcee; Here Comes the Navy; The House of Rothschild; Imitation of Life; One Night of Love; The Thin Man; Viva Villa!; The White Parade

1935: Mutiny on the Bounty; Alice Adams; Broadway Melody of 1936; Captain Blood; David Copperfield; The Informer; The Lives of a Bengal Lancer; A Midsummer Night's Dream; Les Misérables; Naughty Marietta; Ruggles of Red Gap; Top Hat

1936: The Great Ziegfeld; Anthony Adverse; Dodsworth; Libeled Lady; Mr. Deeds Goes to Town; Romeo and Juliet; San Francisco; The Story of Louis Pasteur; A Tale of Two Cities; Three Smart Girls

1937: The Life of Emile Zola; The Awful Truth; Captains Courageous; Dead End; The Good Earth; In Old Chicago; Lost Horizon; One Hundred Men and a Girl; Stage Door; A Star Is Born

1938: You Can't Take It with You; The Adventures of Robin Hood; Alexander's Ragtime Band; Boys Town; The Citadel; Four Daughters; Grand Illusion (La Grande illusion); Jezebel; Pygmalion; Test Pilot

1939: Gone with the Wind; Dark Victory; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; Love Affair; Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; Ninotchka; Of Mice and Men; Stagecoach; The Wizard of Oz; Wuthering Heights


1940: Rebecca; All This, and Heaven Too; Foreign Correspondent; The Grapes of Wrath; The Great Dictator; Kitty Foyle; The Letter; The Long Voyage Home; Our Town; The Philadelphia Story

1941: How Green Was My Valley; Blossoms in the Dust; Citizen Kane; Here Comes Mr. Jordan; Hold Back the Dawn; The Little Foxes; The Maltese Falcon; One Foot In Heaven; Sergeant York; Suspicion

1942: Mrs. Miniver; 49th Parallel; King's Row; The Magnificent Ambersons; The Pied Piper; The Pride of the Yankees; Random Harvest; The Talk of the Town; Wake Island; Yankee Doodle Dandy

1943: Casablanca; For Whom the Bell Tolls; Heaven Can Wait; The Human Comedy; In Which We Serve; Madame Curie; The More the Merrier; The Ox-Bow Incident; The Song of Bernadette; Watch on the Rhine

(at this point, sanity prevails and the Academy only accepts five nominations each year)

1944: Going My Way; Double Indemnity; Gaslight; Since You Went Away; Wilson

1945: The Lost Weekend; Anchors Aweigh; The Bells of St. Mary's; Mildred Pierce; Spellbound

1946: The Best Years of Our Lives; Henry V; It's a Wonderful Life; The Razor's Edge; The Yearling

1947: Gentleman's Agreement; The Bishop's Wife; Crossfire; Great Expectations; Miracle on 34th Street

1948: Hamlet; Johnny Belinda; The Red Shoes; The Snake Pit; The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

1949: All the King's Men; Battleground; The Heiress; A Letter to Three Wives; Twelve O'Clock High


1950: All About Eve; Born Yesterday; Father of the Bride; King Solomon's Mines; Sunset Boulevard

1951: An American in Paris; Decision Before Dawn; A Place in the Sun; Quo Vadis; A Streetcar Named Desire

1952: The Greatest Show on Earth; High Noon; Ivanhoe; Moulin Rouge; The Quiet Man

1953: From Here to Eternity; Julius Caesar; The Robe; Roman Holiday; Shane

1954: On the Waterfront; The Caine Mutiny; The Country Girl; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; Three Coins in the Fountain

1955: Marty; Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing; Mister Roberts; Picnic; The Rose Tattoo

1956: Around the World in 80 Days; Friendly Persuasion; Giant; The King and I; The Ten Commandments

1957: The Bridge on the River Kwai; Peyton Place; Sayonara; 12 Angry Men; Witness for the Prosecution

1958: Gigi; Auntie Mame; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; The Defiant Ones; Separate Tables

1959: Ben-Hur; Anatomy of a Murder; The Diary of Anne Frank; The Nun's Story; Room at the Top


1960: The Apartment; The Alamo; Elmer Gantry; Sons and Lovers; The Sundowners

1961: West Side Story; Fanny; The Guns of Navarone; The Hustler; Judgment at Nuremberg

1962: Lawrence of Arabia; The Longest Day; The Music Man; Mutiny on the Bounty; To Kill a Mockingbird

1963: Tom Jones; America, America; Cleopatra; How the West Was Won; Lilies of the Field

1964: My Fair Lady; Becket; Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb; Mary Poppins; Zorba the Greek

1965: The Sound of Music; Darling; Doctor Zhivago; Ship of Fools; A Thousand Clowns

1966: A Man for All Seasons; Alfie; The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming; The Sand Pebbles; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

1967: In the Heat of the Night; Bonnie and Clyde; Doctor Dolittle; The Graduate; Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

1968: Oliver!; Funny Girl; The Lion in Winter; Rachel, Rachel; Romeo and Juliet

1969: Midnight Cowboy; Anne of the Thousand Days; Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; Hello, Dolly!; Z


1970: Patton; Airport; Five Easy Pieces; Love Story; MASH

1971: The French Connection; A Clockwork Orange; Fiddler on the Roof; The Last Picture Show; Nicholas and Alexandra

1972: The Godfather; Cabaret; Deliverance; Sounder; The Emigrants

1973: The Sting; American Graffiti; The Exorcist; A Touch of Class; Cries and Whispers

1974: The Godfather Part II; Chinatown; The Conversation; Lenny; The Towering Inferno

1975: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; Barry Lyndon; Dog Day Afternoon; Jaws; Nashville

1976: Rocky; All the President's Men; Bound for Glory; Network; Taxi Driver

1977: Annie Hall; The Goodbye Girl; Julia; Star Wars; The Turning Point

1978: The Deer Hunter; Coming Home; Heaven Can Wait; Midnight Express; An Unmarried Woman

1979: Kramer vs. Kramer; Apocalypse Now; All That Jazz; Breaking Away; Norma Rae

1980s (where I was born and thus might have a chance?)

1980: Ordinary People; Coal Miner's Daughter; The Elephant Man; Raging Bull; Tess

1981: Chariots of Fire; Reds; Atlantic City; On Golden Pond; Raiders of the Lost Ark

1982: Gandhi; E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial; Missing; Tootsie; The Verdict

1983: Terms of Endearment; The Big Chill; The Dresser; The Right Stuff; Tender Mercies

1984: Amadeus; The Killing Fields; A Passage to India; Places in the Heart; A Soldier's Story

1985: Out of Africa; The Color Purple; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Prizzi's Honor; Witness

1986: Platoon; Children of a Lesser God; Hannah and Her Sisters; The Mission; A Room with a View

1987: The Last Emperor; Broadcast News; Fatal Attraction; Hope and Glory; Moonstruck

1988: Rain Man; The Accidental Tourist; Dangerous Liaisons; Mississippi Burning; Working Girl

1989: Driving Miss Daisy; Born on the Fourth of July; Dead Poets Society; Field of Dreams; My Left Foot


1990: Dances with Wolves; Awakenings; Ghost; The Godfather Part III; Goodfellas

1991: The Silence of the Lambs; Beauty and the Beast; Bugsy; JFK; The Prince of Tides

1992: Unforgiven; The Crying Game; A Few Good Men; Howards End; Scent of a Woman

1993: Schindler's List; The Fugitive; In the Name of the Father; The Piano; The Remains of the Day

1994: Forrest Gump; Four Weddings and a Funeral; Pulp Fiction; Quiz Show; The Shawshank Redemption

1995: Braveheart; Apollo 13; Babe; Il Postino (The Postman); Sense and Sensibility

1996: The English Patient; Fargo; Jerry Maguire; Secrets & Lies; Shine

1997: Titanic; As Good as It Gets; The Full Monty; Good Will Hunting; L.A. Confidential

1998: Shakespeare in Love; Elizabeth; Life Is Beautiful (La vita è bella); Saving Private Ryan; The Thin Red Line

1999: American Beauty; The Cider House Rules; The Green Mile; The Insider; The Sixth Sense


2000: Gladiator; Chocolat; Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon; Erin Brockovich; Traffic

2001: A Beautiful Mind; Gosford Park; In the Bedroom; The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; Moulin Rouge

2002: Chicago; Gangs of New York; The Hours; The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; The Pianist

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; Lost in Translation; Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World; Mystic River; Seabiscuit

2004: Million Dollar Baby; The Aviator; Finding Neverland; Ray; Sideways

2005: Crash; Brokeback Mountain; Capote; Good Night and Good Luck; Munich

2006: The Departed; Babel; Letters from Iwo Jima; Little Miss Sunshine; The Queen

2007: No Country for Old Men; Atonement; Juno; Michael Clayton; There Will Be Blood

2008: Slumdog Millionaire; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Frost/Nixon; Milk; The Reader

Stuff I've Been Reading 2: Chaosium Cycles

These books, published by Chaosium - the ones who brought you my favourite RPGs Call of Cthulhu and Pendragon - are a series of tie-in fiction for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game. I originally bought the Klarkash-Ton cycle and the Tsathoggua cycle as they seemed to be the only reasonably priced Clark Ashton mythos fiction collections on the market. The Tsathoggua Cycle had quite a lot of other authors writing about the frog-faced Old One and the standard veered from okay to pretty good.

However reading the adverts in the back made me desperate to buy the the Antarktos Cycle, a rather weighty tome consisting of fiction relating to HP Lovecraft's novel At the Mountain of Madness.

The idea behind each of the Cycle books is that they show the evolution of a theme or character used in Lovecraft's fiction. They typically start with the precusors to Lovecraft (such as Machen, Poe or so on), reprint one or two stories by Lovecraft and move on to the better pastiches. Each story has a short introduction by the editor explaining its reason for inclusion (and giving the end away in one of them dammit!)

The Antarktos Cycle starts with stories such as Edgar Allen Poe's Narrative of Gordon Pym and The Thing From Another World (or rather Who Goes There?). Neither are Cthulhu stories but they are linked by a common theme of alien evil in the Antarctic. I was especially keen to devour The Thing and was surprised to find how close to the John Carpenter movie it was, even explaining more of the Thing's nature and psychic powers.

Over the course of my holiday in York I devoured the Innsmouth Cycle - which contains precursors to Shadows over Innsmouth like "The Harbour Master" by Robert W. Chambers and Fishhead. The Harbour Master is about a fishman menacing a small cove with unique wildlife while Fishhead is about a mutated fishlike fellow who is murdered by a group of hicks and gets revenge from beyond the grave. The later pastiches that follow Shadow over Innsmouth are pretty good. The Deep Ones was a bit 60s for me, while Live Bait was full of twists and turns.

Another good collection is the Hastur Cycle which reprints classic Chambers stories like The Yellow Sign and the barmy Repairer of Reputations as well as a rather freaky story called The River of Night's Dreaming.

Sadly it seems to be a bit of a trek to track down these books. I assume they had limited print runs but there are quite a few I fancy. Bizarrely the Cthulhu Cycle is near-impossible to find for less than £60, as is the Ithaqua Cycle, the Book of Eibon (the third Clark Ashton collection, though to be fair it only has 2 of his stories in it), the Mysteries of the Worm, the Sub-Niggurath Cycle, the Azathoth Cycle, Robert E. Howard's Nameless Cults and other collections. There is over 20 titles here - yet only about 5-10 seem to be readily available.

There are also some "new" collections from Chaosium like Frontier Cthulhu, High Seas Cthulhu and so on. However I suspect these will not be quite so good - besides I really want a copy of the older material first!


I've been away to York with the Lady over the bank holiday weekend, finally making use of the arbitary holiday I am forced to take. In this time I managed:-

  • To board a Tour Bus of the City

  • Walk the Walls

  • Visit the Jorvik Viking Centre - which sadly loses steam after the rides

  • Undertake the seemingly obligatory ghost walk in the evening with a theatrical fellow in a frock coat and top hat

  • Overheat on a boat cruise

  • Eat too much nice and expensive Italian food

  • Walk so much I got a little sunburned while da south was drenched in rain.

The last time I was in York was with my primary school in 1990 or so. Thankfully this time there was no weirdness with closets. I was sharing with Hoppy in 1990 - if you know him you'll not be surprised by this revelation.

Pictures to follow.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lovecraft on YouTube

Here are some of the best Lovecraft movies on YouTube IMHO... Shadows over Innsmouth - The Musical

The Terrible Old Man - the Cartoon

Shadows over Innsmouth - The Radio Theatre Version

Shadow out of Time

The last two are radio shows I really want from here.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

New Lord of the Rings Movie Online!

Honestly - this is very impressive for a $5,000 movie - the Hunt for Gollum is based on some of Tolkien's notes on how Aragorn and the elves of Lothlorien captured Gollum and learned that he had told the forces of Mordor about the name of Baggins.

Visit the site and see the movie now!

Stuff I've Been Reading 1: Robert E. Howard's Horror

Reading the works of Robert Howard and HP Lovecraft has reawoken my mythos obsession to such an extent that lately I have come to the realisation that there is an extensive amount of Cthulhu mythos stories not penned by the gentlemen of Providence himself. As a learned fellow with a thirst for knowledge I have been dipping in and out of collections of these works for a while. Conan stories on their own can be repetitive.

Firstly I obtained a Wordsowrth edition of Robert E. Howard's horror stories. Many of the stories therein are part of Howard's contribution to the Cthulhu mythos. However Howard differs from Lovecraft in that his hardbitten main characters do not go insane
but rather tend to go beserk and rip the tentacles of the evil critters to pieces. Also a lot of these heroes seemed to be named Steve for some reason. Another recurring trend, which I must confess I was getting a tiny bit tired of, was that in a REH horror story the hero bangs his head and remembers a previous life experience, such as becoming a raider named 'Conan of the Reavers', that relates to the
catacombs he is exploring, or the cairn he is excavating. Thoth-Amon, a villain from Conan, is mentioned in a few of REH's stories. Thankfully the reincarnation stories have varied resolutions and one of them, "The Cairn on the Headland" is excellent in its use of Norse mythology.

Howard has also written more conventional horror stories featuring Hitchcock-like bird (""Pigeons from Hell"), vampires ("The Horror from the Mound") and Werewolves ("In the Forest of Villefere" "Wolfshead"). Annoyingly the book points out that Villefere and Wolfshead are part of a trilogy of stories Howard wrote. The third story, aptly named Wolfdung, is not included - why is never quite explained. I suspect Wordsworth editions only republish work that is now in the public domain and I believe Wolfdung is not in the public domain.

Overall any of Howard's horror work is well worth a read. Just do not read three 'bump, oh I was a Viking raider in a past life and now know that Ianto Davies is descended from my hated enemies the Welsh and must now I must murder my friend" in one go.