Shades of Metropolis: Pontiac assembly line footage, 1936

My dad sent me this amazing 1936 footage of a Pontiac car assembly plant, remarking that it reminded him of the machine scenes in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. And he’s right; there’s such precision on the part of the workers.

As his friend Bob (who initially forwarded the video) stated, every one of those guys knows exactly what he’s doing…

This is really awesome footage… A 1936 Pontiac assembly factory… Note,
automation was already in place, the workers lack any & all safety equipment, glasses & helmets: and they ALL know exactly what to do & it’s getting done.

Note also that when the body comes together with the chassis that it is in FULL trim! Interior, windshield, all glass etc., is already in place as it is dropped onto the awaiting rolling chassis. “AMAZING” Simplicity @ its best.

Note too, when the metal finishers are checking the sheet metal for minute & tiny flaws & defects, that they are wearing heavy leather work gloves. How would YOU like that repetitious job of placing ( 3 ) rivets in the ( 3 ) holes on the chassis for about 35 to 40 years?

Edith Head: Star Costumer

Edith Head
Edith Head in the 1970s.

This piece was originally written for the Greater Bay Area Costumers’ Guild’s Finery newsletter, to introduce our Vertigo-themed costume event on February 11, 2012.

Despite her long studio career and a stunning cache of major awards (including a record-setting 8 Oscars, the most ever for a woman, and 35 Oscar nominations), costume designer Edith Head is a star whose name isn’t readily recognizable to most people. Her work, however, is instantly familiar to almost everyone. She’s the woman responsible for the iconic fashions appearing in mid century classics such as Roman Holiday, To Catch a Thief, Vertigo, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Head spent 43 years at Paramount, worked 14 years at Universal, and collaborated on various projects for other studios over the years, aggregating a portfolio of work totaling several hundred movies. “I do so many films that I would only like to send you work that is outstanding, or of importance to your collection,” she wrote in 1967 to the Wisconsin Center for Theatre Research, in response to a request to create an “Edith Head Collection” at the University of Wisconsin.

Her diverse collection of designs includes everything from period fashions to fantasy creations. Though she downplayed cutting-edge contemporary fashion’s influences on her work (“What is shown in Paris today is a dead duck tomorrow” she once said), Head was also in many ways a fashion trend setter. The popular demand for sarong-style dresses in the late 1930s and 1940s, for example, grew out of Head’s iconic designs for Dorothy Lamour in The Jungle Princess (1936). Continue reading “Edith Head: Star Costumer”

A new (improved) Halloween music compilation and more…coming soon!

This is Haunted Halloween!

Hi everybody! Fans of our holiday audio compilations will be happy to learn that we’re reformulating our Halloween music collection for 2011. Jason and I can’t give you any details yet, but it’ll be unique and lots of fun!

I’m also brewing a new design for this blog and Strangegirl.com as a whole, in addition to some new fashion-related posts. Yay!

More music stuffs from Jason and/or Kali:

Paul Gordon Emma at San Diego Old Globe Theatre and more…

I tend to tweet most of my minor updates these days, but here’s a roundup for the sake of completeness.  🙂

 

Emma comes to the Old Globe in San Diego.
Emma comes to the Old Globe in San Diego.

Paul Gordon’s Emma – A Musical Romantic Comedy is now running at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre!  The show – which has already enjoyed successful runs in the Bay Area, Cincinnati, and St. Louis – previewed earlier this month and officially premiers this weekend.  The run will continue through February 27 (with an extension to March 6).

Emma is directed by Jeff Calhoun and stars Patti Murin as the eponymous heroine and Adam Monley as Mr. Knightley.  For more…

In other Emma adaptation news, Romola Garai’s Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television did not result in a win.  Still, it was nice to see her nominated for her starring role in the 2009-2010 BBC Emma miniseries.

In non-adaptation Emma news, Maria Edgeworth’s presentation copy of Emma was sold last month at auction.  According to Sotheby’s auction house, it fetched 79,250 pounds sterling.  Edgeworth was a bit of a novelist idol of Austen’s and an acquaintance of the James Leigh Perrots, Jane Austen’s aunt and uncle.  You can learn about Edgeworth’s opinions on Emma in this roundup of period responses to the book.

Happy new year, everyone!

This is Haunted Halloween!

Collection CD art...
"This is Haunted Halloween" collection CD art...

A festive two hour collection of holiday tunes, debuting on October 1, 2010!  –

Disc One is packed with a selection of macabre party hits, from a new extended mix of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” to Sheb Wooley’s campy “The Purple People Eater.”  Disc Two follows with pieces reflecting the darker side of Halloween.  Here, spooky film themes, ghoulish classical favorites, and other grisly tunes mix it up with creepy sound effects perfect for a stormy night.

Produced by Jason Pittman and Kali Pappas, this collection offers new presentations of old classics alongside several fun surprises.  But beware — this is not your average Halloween mix tape.  Listen and share!  If you dare…

Available for download NOW:

Audio files:

– Disc 1 – 17 .mp3 files, tagged and labeled. (128kbps LAME MP3)

– Disc 2 – 14 .mp3 files, tagged and labeled. (128kbps LAME MP3)

Expanded notes on the collection and the various tracks:

Liner Notes.pdf

– Liner Notes.rtf (text only)

Artwork:

3 .psd files, complete with gutters and ready for conversion/printing (CYMK)

– 5 .jpg files, at screen resolution for viewing (RGB)

– 1 .jpg file, 800×800 pixels, for use as cover art in your preferred media player

LINKS:

http://tinyurl.com/hauntedhalloween

http://bit.ly/hauntedhalloween

Mirror:

http://tinyurl.com/strangebeat

http://bit.ly/strangebeat

Michael Gambon nominated for Emmy; Emma vampire mashup released

Sir Michael Gambon received a nod during last week’s Primetime Emmy nomination announcements for his portrayal of Mr. Woodhouse in the 2009 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma.

In other Emma news, a new Jane Austen horror mashup novel hit Kindles last week.  Emma and the Vampires, written by Wayne Josephson, takes another stab at the novel of manners-meets-horror movie literary genre.

Aisha opens to generally favorable reviews

Sonam Kapoor as Aisha
Sonam Kapoor as Aisha.

Aisha, starring Sonam Kapoor, opened this past weekend to fairly positive reviews and strong box office receipts.  Opinions on this film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma ran the gamut from “meh” to glowing.  Have you seen it?  What did you think?  Was it the Clueless rehash some people expected?  Does it matter?

Bits and bobs from around the net relating to Aisha‘s premier:

Interview with Aisha director Rajshree Ojha – again!

Here’s another interview with Aisha directory Rajshree Ojha, this time presented by Yahoo! India.  In the piece, Ojha addresses the fact that viewers will be consciously comparing the film to previous Emma adaptations…

“I am prepared for all the comparisons that are going to come my way but ‘Aisha’ is very Indian. If you remember Jane Austen said ‘Emma’ is a heroine only she is going to love. As a filmmaker when I read something I imagine it and that inspires me to make a film. A good literature, if you adapt it well makes a very good film,” says Ojha.

And for those interested, here’s the Aisha IMDB entry.