Monday, December 22, 2014

Isn't the holiday over yet?

It's the seventh night of Hanukkah.

Tonight is known as the Festival of the Daughters (Chag haBanot.)  In parts of Northern Africa countries, such as Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco, tonight is celebrated as commemoration of Judith's beheading of the General Holofernes (impress your friends with that one.)

December 22, 1932 -
Universal Pictures
released the horror film The Mummy, directed by Karl Freund and starring Boris Karloff on this date.

The flashback scenes in ancient Egypt were designed to resemble a silent film, with no dialog, exaggerated make-up and gestures, and a faster camera speed, to suggest the great antiquity of the events portrayed.

December 22, 1944 -
The Mummy's Curse
the follow-up film to The Mummy's Ghost was released by Universal Pictures on this date.

The famous sequence in which Princess Ananka (Virginia Christine) rises from the dead in the swamp is slightly undercranked - a process that speeds up the action - which gives an eerie, unreal quality to her movements. The trick is given away by the overly fast movements of the branches around her.

December 22, 1949 -
The film version of Maxwell Anderson's play (Joan of Lorraine,) Joan of Arc, starring Ingrid Bergman opened in Los Angeles on this date.

This film was a dream project of Ingrid Bergman, who had tried for years to have it produced.

December 22, 1959 -
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
' film version of Tennesse Williams' strange one act play (about rape, incest, homosexuality, and cannibalism - I know that was probably a huge selling point,) Suddenly, Last Summer, premiered on this date.

Because of years of alcoholism and prescription drug abuse, Montgomery Clift was considered uninsurable due to chronic ill health. Ordinarily that would have meant he would have been fired and replaced, but his good friend Elizabeth Taylor saved his job by insisting she would not do the film without him.

December 22, 1965 -
David Lean's
Russian epic, Dr Zhivago, premiered in the US, on this date.

The film was shot in Spain during the regime of Gen. Francisco Franco. While the scene with the crowd chanting the Marxist theme was being filmed (at 3:00 in the morning), police showed up at the set thinking that a real revolution was taking place and insisted on staying until the scene was finished.

December 22, 1975 -
A beautiful study of love and madness (and the razor's edge between them), L'histoire d'Adele H, opened in the US on this date.

In 1988, Isabelle Adjani played the title role in Camille Claudel (1988), playing another historical character who suffered from schizophrenia. A major scene in that movie depicts the announcement of the death of Victor Hugo, Adele Hugo's father.

Today's Holiday Special - It's Ladies Night

Today in History:
December 22, 1879 -
It's Stalin's
birthday (again)! Hey, when you're a dictator, you get to celebrate your birthday on more than one day. Unfortunately, the proper way to celebrate - oppress, torture and murder millions of your fellow country men - is frowned upon.

So smack someone upside the head for no reason.

December 22, 1937 -
The center tube of the Lincoln Tunnel was opened to traffic today, charging $0.50 per passenger car.

Some of those cars are still trying to get through the tunnel.

December 22, 1940
Strange death of the day - Author Nathanael West and his wife, Eileen McKenney, died in an auto accident on this date.

Distraught over hearing of his friend's F. Scott Fitzgerald's death (who passed away a few days earlier of a massive heart attack,) he crashed his car after ignoring a stop sign.

December 22, 1955
The corpse of Evita Peron was stolen by anti-Peronistas on this date.  For 26 years, her corpse makes a world-wind turn before it's returned for burial in Buenos Aires.

30 years later (to the day), Madonna's Like a Virgin single goes #1 for weeks.

Make of the coincidence what you will.

December 22, 1984 -
Bernhard Goetz
shot four teenage boys on the NYC subway after one of them asks him for money.

Again, this practice is frowned upon, so instead, smack someone upside the head.

December 22, 2001 -
Richard Reid attempted to blow up an American Airlines transatlantic flight by igniting a plastic explosive concealed in his shoe. Other passengers beat the living daylights out of him.

They knew - they smacked him upside the head.

And so it goes

No comments: