Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Lang's and Debra's Indian Tomb

There are two exciting movies directed by Fritz Lang that I loved as a kid. The first was the "Indian Tomb" or "Journey to the Lost City" (Das indische Grabmal). It was a 1959 German-French-Italian adventure drama film directed by Fritz Lang. The other is "The Tiger of Eschnapur" (Der Tiger von Eschnapur). Besides being exotic and thrilling, the top spot in the films was the marvelous dance performed by petite Debra Paget, of course. The lousy made fake cobra she has been dancing with in "Indian tomb" was sufficiently believable for the undemanding audience of the time, which was mesmerised by Debra's bold outfit and dancing moves, anyway.

Here Fritz Lang discusses the scene with Debra Paget.

Forbidden planet's Monster from the ID

  I keep watching Forbidden planet movie from time to time. It was so good, so ahead of its time in so many ways: from the music score to the design. One of my favourite scenes is when the captain and the doctor were speculating about the shape of the monster, deducting from cast of its footprint. It is quite similar to the real task when paleontologists are trying to figure out the characteristics and features of extinct animals who left only their petrified tracks in the rock. I search for the ancient tracks on the Adriatic coast and it is a lot of research and fun.

It is also amusing that some species of dinosaurs had claws, not unlike the one from the movie, but on their three-fingered hands. Check out the cast of the finger claw of the allosaurid theropod  Saurophaganax here :
 Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

My drawings of the fossil bones of some theropod hands. Above is Megaraptor left hand (manus) and below is Allosaurus left hand:

Please, note that in life, the claw would be covered with a keratinous sheath - talon (like our nails) which would make it considerably longer.

The second part of this article continues on my Mesozoic Mosaic blog:

Forbidden planet's Monster from the ID part 2

My old Tarzan cartoon

In the mid 70's I tried to publish my cartoons and managed selling them to the national TV network TV Zagreb which featured them once a week in the popular show "Sunday afternoons" (Nedjeljom popodne).
The cartoons were lost. Obviously somebody acquired them without my consent and remuneration.
Thus I have only the unpublished cartoon panels from that time. This Tarzan cartoon wasn't published:

Underrated westerns

I have a feeling that one particular western is not appreciated enough. I am referring to Marlon Brando's One-Eyed-Jacks (1961) with  Marlon Brando, Karl Malden and Katy Jurado. Although, it won the first prise at the San Sebastian film festival, it was still soon forgotten.  Running from the law after a bank robbery in Mexico, Dad Longworth (Malden) finds an opportunity to take the stolen gold and leave his partner Rio (Brando) to be captured. Years later, Rio escapes from the prison where he has been since, and hunts down Dad for revenge. Dad is now a respectable sheriff in California, and has been living in fear of Rio's return. Malden plays an unforgettable villain.
 The western is quite different from all the others filmed at the time. In the best sence.
 It is interesting noting that (as usually) the (painted) posters for the foreign markets are much better than the ones printed for the American one. I suspect they were ppainted by the local artists. The top one was for ex Yugoslavia (distribution: Croatia film), and the bottom one is for the Italy. I prefer the top one.