December 12th, 2005

krazy koati

Only love pads the film

Poking about on Turner Classic Movies brought me to the 1984 Tom Schiller movie Nothing Lasts Forever, and I'm afraid I must say that I'm quite disappointed in every one of you for not telling me about its existence before. Tom Schiller used to make these wonderful quirky and bizarre short movies for Saturday Night Live back in its first several years, and this is, well, 90 minutes of a quirky and cheery and bizarre writ large, done in a style evocative of 1930s MGM movies.

The story is at heart Adam Beckett's ambling quest to become an Artist despite the oppressive authoritarian rule of the Port Authority of New York, how he's discovered by the mysterious subterranean beings lead by Father Knickerbocker who guide the destinies of New York souls, and his subsequent flight to the Moon and the Copernicus Consumer Zone in the Sea of Tranquility. And it just doesn't stop being bizarre, flying off on odd tangents, all of which make sense in this wonderful dreamlike state. This is one of those rare movies that just isn't like other movies. And it's left me with that thrill of finding something I didn't know was out there to be enthralled by.

Also, particularly, tracerj, orv, byackley, and xydexx, you have to see this movie. The rest of you I still recommend it for, though. I know the dangers of recommending movies to friends, and the harm it can do a friend's feelings towards you. It's just ... oh, heck, when you have Doctor Bronner lecturing on a giant TV screen on top of a Quonset hut Moon-O-Rama on a matte-painting moon, in front of a phony Lunokod from the Ajax Prop Company, Cape Canaveral, Florida -- how have my friends let me get this far in life without seeing it? Stars Zach Galligan, Bill Murray, Imogene Coca, Mort Sahl, and features Paul Frees.

Trivia: The antenna with which Guglielmo Marconi and his assistant George Kemp believed they first heard transatlantic signals at Saint John's, Newfoundland, on 12 December 1901 was about 500 feet high and held up by a Baden-Powell man-lifting `Levitor' kite. Source: Signor Marconi's Magic Box, Gavin Weightman.

Currently Reading: Narrating Utopia, Chris Ferns.