austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

In the not too distant future

Odd coincidental discoveries: I had borrowed Sleeper from the library, and as I turned on the TV to watch I noticed Forbidden Planet was also on. Sometimes it's frustrating to not be really able to watch multiple shows at once, but it's better to focus attention on fewer things if you want the whole experience. Ultimately I went with watching Sleeper, since I came into Forbidden Planet well into the movie and it'd be just as easy to watch the whole thing on borrowed or bought DVD anyway. (Discussion topic for the convention panel I'll never run: is humor the best non-written medium for presenting science fiction? The case for: Sleeper, Futurama. The case against: Pluto Nash, Homeboys In Outer Space.)

One thing I'd forgotten, although that I should have anticipated, was the presence of Douglas Rain as the voice for one of the robots. It'd be very hard to make even a moderately funny science fiction movie with talking computers or robots and not have at least some reference to HAL, of course. So out of curiousity I looked him up on the Internet Movie Database and discovered that his role immediately prior to HAL 9000 was in a made-for-TV presentation of Henry V, where he played, er, Henry V.

I know he can't have played it that way. But now I'm stuck on trying to imagine the relentlessly calm, evenly modulated tones of the HAL 9000 computer delivering the Saint Crispin's Day speech. It's staged as in the Sir Laurence Olivier version, of course. It ends with the Jay Ward effect of the crowd going wild. (Yaaaaay.)

(Meanwhile I'm trying to process the fact that Roger Ebert's most recent Answer Man column seems to suggest that he might just have come across a thread discussing his review of Blade Runner raging in a Usenet group I've been reading for thirteen years. I haven't felt quite like this since a brief e-mail correspondence with the wife of the guy who plays Ian Shoales, also brought about through Usenet, but ultimately ended by her e-mail server's schemes to guarantee only human beings are sending mail to her.)

Trivia: ENIAC consumed 174 kilowatts while running. Source: Eniac, Scott McCartney.

Currently Reading: Biting The Sun, Tanith Lee.


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