‘A History of the World According to Getty Images’

My thanks to fellow blogger Carolyn for bringing my attention to this 19-minute video about the control and use of images. It contains a lot of familiar film footage throughout history, and some eye-opening information about who owns the rights to it, and how much they charge to access it.

Carolyn is originally from England, and now resides in New York State. A large number of cats allow her to share their house, and her blog is packed full of photographs, as well as tales of her everyday life. https://catsincambridge.net/

This is the link to the film. I suggest muting the strange musical soundtrack when you watch it.

‘A History of the World According to Getty Images’ Challenges the Power Structures Inherent in the Capture and Control of Footage

“Time To Die”

Ever since I saw the original ‘Blade Runner’ in a cinema in London, I have been obsessed with the soliloquy of one of the characters. Rutger Hauer plays Roy Batty, an android with a designated life span who realises that it is his time to die. The scene is forever memorable, and the film is still number one in my top ten of all the films I have ever seen.

How cool is that?

After watching the film in 1982, ( I was 30 years old) I really wanted to know when it was my ‘Time to die’.

Now I am older, I think that would be a very bad idea.

Would anyone else actually want to know the exact date of their death? Let me know in the comments.

Retro Music 52

Many songs from the 1960s were associated with protest against the Vietnam War, even if they were not intended to. One of those was ‘Paint It Black’, by The Rolling Stones, released in 1966. This was a huge hit on both sides of The Atlantic, and reached the number one spot in the UK Charts.

21 years later, the song reached a new audience when it was used in the Stanley Kubrick film ‘Full Metal Jacket’.

You have to click the link ‘Watch on You Tube to see the video, due to the adult rating for the film.

I see a red door
And I want it painted black
No colors anymore
I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by
Dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head
Until my darkness goes
I see a line of cars
And they’re all painted black
With flowers and my love
Both never to come back
I’ve seen people turn their heads
And quickly look away
Like a newborn baby
It just happens everyday
I look inside myself
And see my heart is black
I see my red door
I must have it painted black
Maybe then, I’ll fade away
And not have to face the facts
It’s not easy facing up
When your whole world is black
No more will my green sea
Go turn a deeper blue
I could not foresee this thing
Happening to you
If I look hard enough
Into the setting sun
My love will laugh with me
Before the morning comes
I see a red door
And I want it painted black
No colors anymore
I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by
Dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head
Until my darkness goes
I wanna see it painted
Painted black
Black as night
Black as coal
I wanna see the sun
Blotted out from the sky
I wanna see it painted, painted, painted
Painted black, yeah
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Mick Jagger / Keith Richards

Retro Review: To Live And Die In L.A.

**No spoilers**.

In 1985, I went to see a film at the cinema. I was attracted by the two stars, William Petersen, and Willem Dafoe. This is a film about obsession. The obsession of one government agent for revenge, and the obsession of a criminal to avoid arrest at all costs. Just recently, it was shown on TV here and I watched it again, 38 years after that first viewing.

I was still very impressed. This is film noir meeets the age of the pop video, with some vivid colours, and a soundtrack by Wang Chung. The British new wave band composed all the music for the film, and to be honest, it sometimes jars with the visuals. However, this is a film about time and place, and it is near-perfect in that respect.

The ‘good guys’ are Secret Service agents who work in the specialist field of counterfeit money. Petersen (always an intense actor) plays Chance, a no-nonsense rule breaker who cares nothing for procedure, as long as he gets his man. When his partner is killed two days before he is due to retire, Chance goes off the rails to track down his killer. He gets a new partner, Vukovich. (John Panko) He plays it by the book. Suited, reliable, and not about to go along with any rule breaking. So the chase is on for the villain by this mis-matched pair.

The bad guys are printing counterfeit money like it is going out of fashion, led by the talented forger, Rick Masters. (A startlingly young-looking Dafoe.) He has a mule named Cody, played by the talented John Tuturro, and a henchman who does the heavy stuff. When they are surprised by Chance’s former partner, they take him out without a second thought.

Masters is artistic. He paints, his girlfriend is a dancer in an alternative show, and he produces near-flawless forged notes. But he is also completly ruthless, and like the man hunting him, he acts without a second thought when it comes to his own needs and desires.

Chance goes on the offensive. Hassling informants, and following the money to the door of a top lawyer. (Dean Stockwell.) He arrests Cody at the airport, then puts pressure on him in prison. Car chases ensue, but they are good ones. Lots of people get shot, and Chance gets closer and closer to Masters as time runs out for both of them.

And the ending completly surprised me in 1985. Something that rarely happens.

This really is top-notch stylish cop drama, filmed in the usually unseen industrial side of Los Angeles, away from the familiar luxury houses and shopping areas. The criminals are seedy, and so are the cops chasing them. It felt real then, and still does now. Petersen and Dafoe are on sparking form, and ably supported by a well-chosen cast.

Highly recommended.
(The trailer has flashing images.)

Victorian England: Moving Pictures In Colour

This is one of my favourite finds online. Film images taken in the late 1800s in places around England. Street Parades, funfairs, seaside Towns, as well as shopping districts and markets, public transport, and busy traffic. It also features the many different social classes of the time, from workers to wealthy landowners and dignitaries.

The original 9-minute film has been carefully enhanced for video, providing some amazing detail, and also colourised for full effect.