How an old camera flash became the first Star Wars lightsaber

The legendary lightsaber that Obi Wan passed on to Luke in Star Wars: A New Hope was actually a modified battery tube from a 1940s Graflex camera flash. Once that was known, prop recreators drove up the price of the flashes, frustrating vintage camera geeks who appreciate the elegant gear for a more civilized age.

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Bake: a Queen of Hearts cherry pie for V-day

Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin (aka @ThePieous) (previously) writes, "Happy Valentines Day! If your readers are looking for a last-minute gift idea for their significant others, they may want to check out my new pie tutorial. It's a Queen of Hearts cherry pie baked in a heart shaped cake pan." Read the rest

Nicolas Cage emotes

It's from 2014, but it still works: Nicolas Cage Losing His Shit. Warning: salty language. For reference: Jack Nicholson Losing His Shit. Read the rest

Montage of every Best Cinematography Oscar-winning film

Race through some of the most iconic shots in film history with this lovely tribute to the art of cinematography. Read the rest

Mad Max Trilogy soundtrack on vinyl

With track titles such as "Max Decides On Vengeance" and "Max Enters the Compound," the first two Mad Max soundtracks embody the movies' stark and ironic dystopia. Disc 3, of course, has "We Don't Need Another Hero." I have embedded the instrumental version here as a taster of the forthcoming vinyl set, with Brian May, Maurice Jarre and Tina together at last.

For the first time ever, the original Mad Max trilogy of soundtracks have been combined into a stellar deluxe package designed by Marvel comic artist Tim Bradstreet (The Punisher, Blade). The outside three panels consist of all new original artwork while the inner panels display minis of the original jackets and the tracklisting. The color of the vinyl is Gray, Sand and Black respectively in keeping with the central colors of the new art panels. No more than 2000 units will be made and the trilogy will not be duplicated in another package.

It's up for preorders at $70 and will ship in April. I wonder: why doesn't it include Mad Max 4?

Mad Max Trilogy [3 LP] Soundtrack [Amazon] Read the rest

Fan re-edits The Hobbit single, reasonable movie

Sara writes, "It has been a few years since The Hobbit has its theatrical release and some fans have been toiling since then on the perfect edit. Joblit has posted links to his latest versions.They include the personal favourite Theatrical Edition (runtime 2:42), a somewhat indulgent Extended Edition (runtime 3:45), and a brisk Ludicrous Edition (runtime 2:10). He notes to keep in mind that the credits are 13 minutes long, so playback is considerably shorter. If you're a fan of the films and also like an early night then these film edits are for you." Read the rest

Groundhog Day - Every Day in One Day

Neil Fennell says: "I wanted to see what it would be like if the events of the movie "Groundhog Day" all took place simultaneously." Read the rest

Arrival's Denis Villeneuve to direct Dune remake

Hot off filming Ted Chiang's Story of Your Life to great acclaim and Blade Runner II, Denis Villeneuve is tackling the great white whale of screen science-fiction: Dune. Brian Herbert, son of author Frank Herbert, tweeted the news last night.

Bleeding Cool News:

Back in late November, weโ€™d reported on Legendary having secured the rights to the Dune series of novels from the Frank Herbert estate. The deal gives Legendary the option for both film and television rights worldwide. Brianโ€™s tweet implies that Villeneuve will be attached to the film project, and weโ€™ll keep an eye out for any news on around the TV front. It seems that studios are looking to go wider than a single format lately, with Lionsgate developing the Kingkiller Chronicles simultaneously for both TV and Film.

Dune was filmed twice, once as a stunning but mangled David Lynch epic and later as a low-budget TV miniseries. Fans have been eager for years to see the 1965 classic in theaters again, but various projects over the years have failed to enter production.

The story's complexity sank the 1982 version, but its incredible production design made it a cult favorite. Star Kyle McLachlan explains the plot succinctly in a tweet:

For once I insist this single novel be turned into a screen trilogy. Read the rest

Theatre chains offering all Oscar-nominated films for $4 each

If you're behind on seeing the nine Oscar nominees for best film and a little short on cash, many theatre chains are offering a package to see all nine starting at $35. Even if you only see a few of them, you'll save money over regular prices. Read the rest

Guide to weird movies

366 Weird Movies is a selection of the best (for various definitions of "best"), each reviewed with a clear eye on its weirdness. The descriptions are complete with bullet-point lists of oddities and trivia and an "indelible image" for each flick. [via MeFi]

It gets them right, too. For example, it selects Dean Stockwell lip-sync "Candy Colored Clown" for Blue Velvet instead of Frank Booth inhaling rage through an oxygen mask.

Ben is a homosexual stereotype, but ultra-macho Frank, who we would expect to be a raging homophobe, doesnโ€™t notice; instead, heโ€™s overwhelmed and impressed by Benโ€™s โ€œsuaveness.โ€ Frankโ€™s hoodlums menace Jeffrey, but we are unprepared for the most horrific event: Ben serenades Frank with Roy Orbisonโ€™s โ€œIn Dreams,โ€ swaying his hips, staring into his eyes, and using a light-up microphone. While nothing happens in this scene that we could put our finger on and say โ€œthatโ€™s impossible!,โ€ the effect is undoubtedly weirdโ€”and frightening. It is one thing to be captured by gangsters who you know are going to beat, maim or even kill you; but when they stop along the way to perform karaoke, you realize that all rules of normal human behavior are off, and there is no possible way to predict your fate.

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Alien and Predator, BFFs

This is not even remotely new, but with so many folks eagerly waiting for Ridley Scottโ€™s film Alien: Convenant, which opens in May, itโ€™s time to revisit this so you can laugh now and get freaked out later.

 

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William Peter Blatty, creator of The Exorcist, RIP

Writer and director William Peter Blatty, creator of The Exorcist, has died at age 89. Batty is best known for writing the story of poor, possessed Regan and her demonic resident Captain Howdy. He won an academy award for writing the screenplay for The Exorcist film in 1973.

(Variety)

Here is Blatty on The Tonight Show, January 17, 1974, talking about the surprisingly polarizing response to his classic novel of occult horror:

Tweet from William Friedkin, director of The Exorcist:

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Ladies in films win fights with this weird sexy trick

Seeing more kickass women in films is a good thing, but Dominick Nero at Fandor noticed that their fighting style differs from men in one interesting way: their tendency to pinch their opponents in a scissor lock with their strong yet oh-so-supple thighs. Read the rest

How defunding Planned Parenthood killed Star Wars' Old Republic

Sarah Jeong continues her brilliant, obsessive tear through the Star Wars canon (here's yesterday's post on the difficulties of the Warsverse's storage media and IT systems), this time looking at the outsized role that the lack of obstetric care plays in the collapse of the Old Republic and the rise of the Empire. Read the rest

Selfie stick in 1969 Czechoslovak science fiction movie

I Killed Einstein, Gentlemen is a 1969 Czechoslovak science fiction comedy film directed by Oldล™ich Lipskรฝ. Wikipedia says "it became known for the scene showing the first selfie stick."

Here's the full movie. The opening seconds probably raised some eyebrows at the time: Read the rest

Why are the data-formats in Star Wars such an awful mess? Because filmmakers make movies about filmmaking

Sarah Jeong's long, terrifyingly thorough analysis of the data-formats in the Star Wars universe is both hilarious and insightful, and illustrates the difference between the burgeoning technological realism of shows like Mr Robot and the long tradition of science fiction media to treat computers as plot devices, rather than things that audiences are familiar with. Read the rest

Synthetic linguists file a new brief (with Klingon passages!) about Paramount's fan-film crackdown

2016's lawsuit between Paramount and the Trekkers who crowdfunded Axanar, a big-budged fan film set in the Trekverse, continues its slog through the courts, and continues to be enlivened by the interventions of the Language Creation Society, an organization of synthetic language enthusiasts, whose amicus briefs ask the court to reject Paramount's claim of a copyright in the synthetic language of Klingon, which has many speakers, including some who learned it as their first language. Read the rest

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