Friday, March 15, 2013

"If I Only Had a Heart..."

I must have Oz on the brain. It is in the air...and in the theaters apparently.

Anyhow, this week's only post is my second random depiction of the Tin Man.

Friday, March 08, 2013

"Bring in that Floating Fat Man...The Baron."

It was in high school that Dune, the movie made a return to my attention when me and a friend popped it into the VCR late one night. This touched off a run of collecting Dune paraphernalia, starting with one of my high school girlfriends picking me up a Rabban action figure, in bubblepack, from a local comic shoppe for my birthday. From there, I ended up with the comics (amazingly illustrated by Bill Sienkiewicz), the kid's storybook, the movie poster, the other two Harkonnen action figures, the movie cards, and other trifles...and the movie magazine that I had seen in the grocery years before.

In any event, anyone who's been following the posts this week had to know who was coming last...The Big Man...Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. I would put Vladimir up there with the best in terms of villains based in excess.  Though there is no mention of his disfiguring skin disease in the book, it is hard for me to see him otherwise, and was a coup for corruption shorthand by David Lynch in the film. Also, though it is perhaps one of the biggest over-the-top, sumptuous scenery chewing performances of all time, it is damn near impossible for me to imagine anyone but long-time character actor Kenneth McMillan in the role. (For something a little more low-key, I always liked McMillan as the aging safecracker in The Pope of Greenwich Village with Mickey Rourke.) The title for this entry refers to a line by legendary actor José Ferrer as the Padishah Emperor who calls for the Baron as if requesting someone deliver a three-week old piece of roadkill.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

"Go Now. Take Him to His Die."

I first read Dune in middle school after finding an illustrated copy at a used bookstore, much to the envy of my frequent shelf-scouring compatriot, Matt. I just happened to spot it first. Then, we both spent years after searching for another one for him. This volume featured many of the b&w drawings and full color paintings that had accompanied the story went it had been printed in serial form in science fiction magazines. Now, after a fair few readings over the years, the copy is fairly tattered, but it's been some time since I've come across another one.

Our second Harkonnen is the middle child...and my personal favorite for whatever reason...Count Glossu Rabban, known as "The Beast," the tyrannical governor of the spice planet Arrakis. Though Rabban is a fairly minor character in both the book and the film, he plays a pivotal role in catalyzing many of the major and minor story arcs . In the original film, he's played by one of the all time great character actor bad guys, Paul L. Smith. Smith was the big scary dude in everything from playing Bluto in Popeye  (1980) to the evil prison warden in Midnight Express (1978).

Monday, March 04, 2013

"I Will Kill Him!"

My love affair with Dune, book and movie (the original David Lynch version), have been with me since childhood. I still remember seeing the collectible movie magazine in the grocery store, and being fascinated with the world contained within, but it wasn't for some time after that that I finally got to rent the tape and actually see what I had only imagined. At the time, I think I was around 10, I had almost no idea what exactly was going on, but a kid that age has a pretty easy time filling in the gaps with copious amounts of imagination.

Even then, I had a weird soft spot for the bad guys, The Harkonnen. So we kick off this week with the youngest of the clan: the "golden boy" Feyd-Rautha, who, in a turn of stunt casting, was played by Sting. Nowadays he might be thought of as soft, unoffensive adult contemporary radio fodder but in the mid-80's, with that shock of red hair and a considerable feral snarl,  he made for a satisfying sort of punk rock villain.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Riverrun, Past Eve and Adam's...

The final of this week's land/seascapes, and perhaps my favorite. That's a might fine lookin' ship if I say so myself.