Sunday, December 17, 2017

Movie ads from the 1960s and 70s

In my random rummaging through materials I've collected over the years, I found these movie ads that were cut out from newspapers, old and yellowing now. It was most likely my aunt who cut them out. There doesn't appear to be any real reason why these particular movies were selected, but we certainly don't see these kinds of ads any more.

The Conversation, 1974

Very few American directors had a decade like Francis Ford Coppola did in the 1970s. It began on a high note — winning an Oscar for co-writing the screenplay for 'Patton,' to the enormous success and influence of 'The Godfather' movies, and capping off the decade is the magnificent, epic, delirious 'Apocalypse Now.' Stuffed in the middle of all that was this genius little film, 'The Conversation.' Quietly eerie, almost surreal at times, Gene Hackman plays Harry Caul, a surveillance expert who eventually succumbs to the surrounding paranoia. It has to do with secret recordings, which was the the topic of the day. The film, released in 1974, also stars the late marvelous John Cazale. Coppola competed against himself in the Best Picture category that year, but as we know 'The Godfather Part II' picked up the statuette.

The only film Bruce Lee completed as a director. Released as 'Way of the Dragon' overseas in 1972. Lee died in July 1973, aged 32.

Here's something you definitely don't see any more. An ad for an explicitly pornographic movie in the pages of your local paper (although this is almost certainly from The New York Times), with critics unashamedly weighing in the quality of the work. This is from 1972. The film's star, Marilyn Chambers, died in 2009 at the age of the 56.

Friday, December 15, 2017

New images: Beautiful Block Island

Block Island expresses itself in many different ways; it's not just a sandy beach and a cool blue sea. There are nooks and crannies that seem like a landscape from another place entirely, such as these two horses, quietly enjoying their grazing, in a small open space off Payne Road. (Click on the images to enlarge.)

The sky here looks like it was painted by Maxfield Parrish. Taken toward the end of the day on Dec. 10.

This is a Maxfield Parrish painting:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Grandfather of all lens flares

Ah, the lens flare.

An exciting effect, a beautiful image, now reduced to another keystroke in a suite of special effects in the digital cinematography platform.

I was watching a routine, earnest film called “Denial,” when, near the end of the movie, the director Mick Jackson and his cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos, all of a sudden seemed to have discovered the lens flare. None appeared in the first 100 minutes of the movie, but in a few scenes in the last 10 minutes? Blue and golden horizontal streaks suddenly appear. It was as though they had just watched a 'Star Trek' reboot. (A better title for this earnest melodrama would have been 'Denied!')

Monday, April 24, 2017

Beautiful little things: Ben-Day Dots (updated with new images)

I've been scanning in color and black and white cartoon images from old newspapers (1940s, 1950s) and when seen up close, they have their own kind of raw beauty. (Click on the images to enlarge them.)

An off-registration panel from the early 1950s:

Lichty's Grin and Bear It:

Two panels from a color cartoon published in 1952:

Iconic comic strip heroine, Nancy, created by Ernie Bushmiller in 1933. Nancy actually had a last name, Ritz.

This is what a small image from a magazine - perhaps 1"x1" - looks like when it's blown up:

Monday, March 6, 2017

Fire and Ice On Block Island

Photos by Lars Trodson

A little tour of the island between 5 and 6 p.m. on Monday, March 6. The sun is out for about 20 minutes after 5 p.m., and today was colder, about 32 degrees... But it's been unusually warm up until the past few days, and the ducks were out in force on Sachem Pond, diving and relaxing, up near Settler's Rock at the end of Corn Neck Road. These photos were taken at Sachem Pond, including the ice around its edges.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Two views of the same cold world

How Norman Rockwell and Edward Hopper painted America's entry into World War II

By Lars Trodson

Same theme. Same war. Entirely different approach.

Who could be more different in temperament and technique (at least on canvas) than Edward Hopper and Norman Rockwell? They were born at the same time (1882 and 1894, respectively), in nearly the same place (New York), and enjoyed spectacular success during their lifetimes.

But you'd never know they painted the same America, and no where is this more evident than two works that treat the same theme in two spectacularly different ways — and both of which were introduced about a month apart.

It’s been written that Edward Hopper started his most famous work, “Nighthawks,” sometime after the attack on Pearl Harbor. His wife, Jo, wrote in her diary that he finished the painting in late January, 1942, and that he had been working on it for about a month and a half.