Friday, 10 January 2014
It is interesting how some nations are sensitive about nudity, while other are more or less easy about it. The great rush of nudity in the cinematography started in the mid 60's and now most of the movies have it in smaller or larger quantity. Since the film nudity was a novelty in the movie theatres of the 60's and 70's and the censorship only started to loosen its grip, the film makers started to exploit the "novelty" in the various ways. Often, the nude scene still or expressive, suggestive painting was displayed on the movie poster, to tease the audience who wanted to see the "forbidden" stuff. The movie goers were usually taken for a ride and saw much less than expected. The scene was either very short, taken from another ankle or cut from the film by the censors. The modern public living in the world flooded with more or less free Internet information wouldn't understand the "good, old innocent times" of "sexual revolution". The nudity was available in very, very small quantities at the time. In today's measures, speaking in the chemistry jargon, it was present in traces. The newly acquired freedom soon took off and some of the movie makers started doing with the nudity what today's producers are doing with the special effects and cgi: overusing it! If you clogs the movie with the "special" stuff, there is no time left for the story, plot, characters, and all the other elements that make the movie interesting to watch. Over flooded with the excess nudity, the bad films couldn't become better. Indeed, they managed attracting more audience, anyway. But usually not for long. The clever way to "smuggle" a lot of naked actors and extras into the movie was to package the scenes into a comedy film. Thus, so many sexy humorous films from that time. I remember Danish erotic comedies being smashing hits at the beginning of the 70's. The so called "bedside-films" with the main male star. Later, the audience grew tired of the same old jokes and repeated stuff. Several films were produced using the "same formula for success" and basically the same plot and cast, but only a couple of first ones managed very well at the box office. The audience got tired watching stupid movies regardless of the naked actors, in a relatively short time.
Yet another idea was to make a musical with naked singers and dancers. I remember watching that rather boring musical comedy filled with nudes, shot from far away, so it would probably even not be PG rated by today's standards. It was the American "The First Nudie Musical" (1976)
Quoting IMDB: "This movie should define the genre, with nudity and predictable plot but done in a way that the nudity is not the major theme, only spice. It would be worth watching without nudity, though it would not be as entertaining. If you like movies with stereotypical characters and lots of nudity, this is the one.
I have found only the last chorus line dancing act amusing. The rest of the film is not worth wasting time on.
... and there's a certain similarity with this poster for a flop starring Raquel Welch:
Although, I know that many birds and dinosaur-birds lived alongside dinosaurs some 125 million years ago, during the Early Cretaceous, I always get surprised by the new discoveries. How come the ancient birds looked so advanced and modern as early as that?
The newly described Chinese fossil bird Hongshanornis longicresta wouldn't make you turn your head if it flew by you. It seemed so common. Only a closer look, a very close look, would reveal that it had tiny teeth in the front of its beak and claws on it's wings.
A couple of years ago I was engaged in a project of producing and mounting a theropod sculpture on the famous and rich Barremian track site on the Main Brijun island in Croatia. The tracks are roughly of the same age as the Chinese Jehol bird fossil. There are theropod tracks of various sizes at the site. The largest footprints measure about 60-65 cm in length. I have also noticed a large crock footprint, iguanodontoid tracks and possibly a pterosaur footprint there.
More photographs of the M. Brijun theropod sculpture
A couple of theropod footprints at the V. Brijun Barremian site (125 mya):
Here is my restoration of the ancient bird Hongshanornis longicresta:
You can read more about the find here:
... or if you are interested more, here is the free scientific paper:
A new specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird Hongshanornis longicresta: insights into the aerodynamics and diet of a basal ornithuromorph