Gibson's first photographed smile? I can't tell for sure. Also, the wise stare of Gibson and Put up yer dukes!
Last night I tried to watch a MST3K stinker: Operation Double 007 (aka Operation Kid Brother, from 1967), an Italian production starring Neil Connery. An oddity among James Bond films, this one includes not only Sean Connery's brother Neil, but Bernard Lee (M) and Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny) from the legitimate franchise. Adolfo Celi, who played the baddie Largo in Thunderball is in it as well. It's unwatchably awful, despite the MST3K jokes. I gave up after about a half hour.
I also looked over all those photographic prints I mentioned sorting through yesterday, and pulled some out for various friends who appear in them. Some I mailed, and some I scanned and posted to Facebook pages. My prints are now fully organized, a little task that was decades in the making.
One curiosity: I had come across a series of photos a friend took of me at home in 1977 while I was in the Marines. I call them the Orange Photos because they are shot with daylight film lit only by incandescent light; when I got them I looked at them quickly, realized my mistake and threw them into a pile. Print dye shifting over the past 35 years has only made them worse. Grayscaling one of me playing my cheap Fender copy bass, however, and adjusting the levels makes for an interesting compostition. I like the mystery lighting.
I still have that homemade fishing tackle box I'm sitting on, by the way. My mom got it circa 1973 at a yard sale. It's been our basement coffee table ever since; I keep various audio cables and adapters in it.
There's another odd double exposed shot which appeared on a badly exposed print: Me at Marine Corps Day at Disneyland, 1976. Once again, due to fading and dye shifting, it only looks sensible in black and white.
My son gave me episodes from the Sky1 British series An Idiot Abroad, a perverse sort of travel documentary starring Karl Pilkington (shown above). The premise is that comedy producers Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant send their mate Karl to various places around the world to see the sights in the hope that he'll become more broad-minded. In actuality, however, the purpose is to see this judgmental Brit become miserable in foreign places and complain; Gervais says that there is nothing funnier than taking Pilkington, shoving him into a corner and poking him with a stick. Pilkington has an extremely restricted comfort zone, doesn't really want to travel and doesn't take to foreign ways very gracefully - hence the humor. Video trailer of the show.
Pilkington's views are curious. For instance, he can look at the Taj Mahal, be told that it was built in honor of a deceased wife, and reflect that the whole effort was too late - the fellow should have simply have said "I love you" when she was alive. Or reflect that The Great Wall of China isn't really worth seeing because the tourist sections were rebuilt in the 1980's. Or he can look at the massive rock-carved palatial facade in Petra, Jordan, and consider that the view is probably better from the cave across the way, where you can see the wonder rather than have to live in it. (He comes to find that a Jordanian cave hotel isn't too bad after all.)
In fact, Pilkington reminds me a lot of my son Ethan's best friend Sean, who has a similiarly underwhelmed view of things. We are convinced that Sean might have a credible career as a stand up comedian.
Frankly, I find Karl Pilkington to be a sympathetic character, which I suppose may be a reflection of my own xenophobia. I don't care! Am I supposed to be annoyed when he expresses disgust at seeing a dead cockroach near the food in a Brazilian pantry, dry heaves after swallowing the worm in some Mexican liquor, balks at eating a goat's head in milk or complains about the stench of a poorly maintained Indian toilet? No... I agree with the guy. In one episode he gets raging diarrhea from the local food, loses sleep due to constant street noise and subsequently becomes morose and unenthusiastic. Well, of course.
While the Third World may have its share of wonders and charming customs, there is much to be said about the basics of life in the First World, thank you very much. (It is also significant, I think, that the Third Worlders are banging down the doors to live in the United States.) Watching episodes of this show, my wife and I are happy to confine our someday-in-the-future travel plans to places which are other than squalid hellholes.
Thank you, Karl.
- ▼ June (19)
- ► 2011 (249)
- ► 2010 (246)
- ► 2009 (256)