Saturday, October 29, 2016

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE XXV

Primary CHRISTOPHER ALPORT (not shown) has just one relevant credit in the 2001 INVISIBLE MAN series.

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Primary JUNE ALLYSON (not shown) had roles on AIRWOLF, THE MISFITS OF SCIENCE, and THE INCREDIBLE HULK.


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Primary CHELO ALONSO  acted in three "strongman-hero" epics, including ATLAS AGAINST THE CYCLOPS.



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Primary MARIA CONCHITA ALONSO acted in both THE RUNNING MAN and PREDATOR 2.



Friday, October 28, 2016

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE XXIV

Peripheral SARA ALLGOOD acted in BETWEEN TWO WORLDS with--



Primary PAUL HENREID of THE SIREN OF BAGDAD.


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Primary GREGG ALLMAN acted in an episode of SUPERBOY.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE XXIII

Primary TIM ALLEN acted in ZOOM.



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Primary WOODY ALLEN (right) acted in what will probably be his only "super-type" movie ever, in 1967's CASINO ROYALE


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Primary KIRSTIE ALLEY had her most relevant role in STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN.




Wednesday, October 26, 2016

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE XXII

Primary NANCY ALLEN acted the female lead in ROBOCOP.




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Primary ROBERT ALLEN (not shown) acted in THE PHANTOM OF THE AIR.


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Primary ROSALIND ALLEN acted in the teleseries SEAQUEST and the third NAKED GUN flick, among others.


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Primary SHIELA ALLEN played the "Ministry Witch" in HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE.

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Primary SIAN BARBARA ALLEN acted in an episode of INCREDIBLE HULK, her only relevant credit.

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Primary STEVE ALLEN (not shown) acted in the BATMAN episode "The Bat's Kow Tow."



Saturday, October 22, 2016

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE XXI

Primary CHAD ALLEN played "Jono" on STAR TREK: NEXTGEN and a few others.


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Peripheral DEBBIE ALLEN acted in an episode of QUANTUM LEAP with--



-- Primary SCOTT BAKULA of ENTERPRISE.


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Primary ELIZABETH ALLEN played a nasty villainess in an episode of BUCK ROGERS.


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Primary GINGER LYNN ALLEN (not shown) appeared in 6 episodes of SUPER FORCE.


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Peripheral GRACIE ALLEN acted in INTERNATIONAL HOUSE with--



Primary BELA LUGOSI, this time playing the lead in THE RETURN OF CHANDU.



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Primary JOAN ALLEN acted in 2008's DEATH RACE.


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Peripheral JONELLE ALLEN (not shown) acted in the 1979 VAMPIRE with--






Primary JOE SPINELL, one of the villains from STARCRASH.



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Primary KAREN ALLEN portrayed "Marion" in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.






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Primary KRISTA ALLEN acted in several relevant TV shows, the most noteworthy role being "the Oracle" in 3 episodes of CHARMED.




Friday, October 21, 2016

LION-IZING: A TALE (1835)

This is another of Poe's overtly humorous tales, which means that many of its contemporary references went over my head. An over-educated young man becomes a "Doctor of Nosology," thanks to his own sizable proboscis. He enjoys being "lionized" by the literati until he fights a gun-duel with another man, and shoots the man's nose off. Somehow, this loses him all the acclaim he received before, for now his noseless victim is seen as a superior expert on Nosology.

About eight years later, Nathaniel Hawthorne published "The Celestial Railroad," which takes a similar satiric stab at 19th-century intellectual movements, but does so, IMO, with a more skillful sense of the ludicrous.

MORELLA (1835)

"Morella," like "Berenice," partakes in Poe's creative break-though, as he began to articulate the very personal underpinnings of his dark genius. And yet, "Morella" is not quite as personal and daemonic as the earlier tale.

The story has been adapted to the cinema much more often than "Berenice," but to make the narrative work in a film, it's usually dumbed down into a story of a dead mother's spirit possessing the living body of her daughter, which isn't even close to what happens.

Whereas "Berenice" concerns a desired woman who seems to perish of a literal illness, "Morella" is about a woman who passes away because the unnamed narrator, her husband, mysteriously ceases to feel affection for her. Also in contrast to "Berenice," both the narrator and Morella seem to be ardent bookworms, schooled in abstruse philosophies like Fichte and Schelling. There may an element of envy in the narrator's indifference; perhaps he feels inferior to Morella's oft-described learning? In any case, though once again Poe's narrator disavows erotic feeling toward his beloved, this time he's somehow managed to father a child on Morella. A girl child is born just as Morella perishes, roughly repeating the trope in "Berenice" wherein narrator Egaeus is born when his mother dies.

The daughter grows to womanhood, and the narrator somehow manages to avoid giving her a name until she shows an almost identical resemblance to Morella. A christening-ritual requires the husband to name his daughter. He gives her the name "Morella" and she, like her mother. drops dead.

The story is preceded by a Platonic quote on the uniqueness of identity. Poe may be burlesquing this high-flown philosophy by showing the horror resulting when two entities share the same basic identity.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE XX

I feel like noting that although I said early on that I'd be culling my alphabetical references from a particular film reference book, I'm being fairly selective, concentrating on actors who had fairly significant roles or can be linked to such actors. I still think the project could work on just about any actor who'd been in some wide-release metaphenomenal projects.

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Peripheral ANA ALEXANDER acted in 2009's LAND OF THE LOST with--




Primary ANNA FRIEL of NEVERLAND.




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Peripheral TERRY ALEXANDER (left) acted in 1985's DAY OF THE DEAD with--



Primary SHERMAN HOWARD (right), who played Luthor in the 1989 SUPERBOY teleseries as well as voicing several animated super-types.


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Primary KRISTIAN ALFONSO (not shown) acted in the very cheap time-travel adventure OUT OF TIME (1988)




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Primary ANA ALICIA played "Felina" in an episode of BUCK ROGERS, among other TV work.


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Peripheral LISA ALIFF acted in PLAYROOM with--


Primary ARON EISENBERG, best known as "Nog" on STAR TREK DEEP SPACE NINE,






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Peripheral ELIZABETH ALLAN (right) acted in MARK OF THE VAMPIRE with--





Primary BELA LUGOSI (left), known for several relevant roles, beginning with the evil Roxor in CHANDU THE MAGICIAN.


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Primary LOUISE ALBRITTON enjoyed just one relevant role in an episode of the British INVISIBLE MAN series.


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Primary BARBARA JO ALLEN  voiced the fairy "Fauna" in SLEEPING BEAUTY.




Saturday, October 15, 2016

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE XVIX

Peripheral JOHN ALEXANDER (B. 1897) acted in NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES with--



Primary EDWARD G. ROBINSON, who essayed a cameo role on the BATMAN TV show.


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Primary JOHN  ALEXANDER (no b.d.) acted in HELLBOY II.


Friday, October 14, 2016

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE XVIII

Primary ROBERT ALDA acted in TARZAN AND THE SLAVE GIRL and various TV shows.


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Primary RUTANYA ALDA (not shown) played 2 separate roles on the 1980S series BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.


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Primary KAY ALDRIDGE stars in the serial PERILS OF NYOKA.



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Primary KITTY ALDRIDGE acted in SLIPSTREAM.

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Primary AKI ALEONG acted in SUPERHERO MOVIE and many TV episodes.


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Primary JASON ALEXANDER acted in BLANKMAN.




BERENICE (1835)

As I think I've said, I'm no expert on Poe's career, so I have no encyclopedic knowledge of what stories, poems, and essays the author wrote first, as opposed to their order of publication, for which my only source is THE UNABRIDGED EDGAR ALLAN POE.

All that said, "Berenice" is a quantum leap past all of the other stories, including the one to which I gave the greatest praise, "Ms. Found in a Bottle." It's as if in all of his earlier stories, Poe was dimly imitating some admired model who specialized in both burlesque and insufferable erudition. (Voltaire maybe? A lot of people think ZADIG could've influenced the Dupin stories...)

With Berenice, though, Poe is finally drawing upon themes and symbols that have some intense, however mystifying, personal significance for himself. 

"Berenice" is nearly a catalogue of story-tropes that Poe would use again and again. There's a strangely obsessed narrator-- for once given an actual name, "Egaeus"-- who also suffers from a strange malady. He dwells in a secluded mansion and interacts with almost no one except his female cousin (note: Poe married his 13-year-old cousin the next year). Because of his malady, which causes Egaeus to focus his attention irresistibly on mundane things, he forms a bizarre fixation on Berenice's teeth, though he claims that he has no romantic interest in her (though she has some sort of feeling for him). She has her own malady, a catalepsy that can mistaken for death, but somehow when she apparently dies, no one bothers to check closely to make sure she's really dead (perhaps "Loss of Breath" prefigures this obsession with "living death" scenarios). Though Egaeus sees his cousin buried, he can't get over his obsession with her teeth, and so robs her grave so that he can pry all 32 teeth out of her mouth. To be sure, he performs this act in a trance, and only becomes aware of what he's done shortly before learning that the poor girl, surprise, isn't really, merely, or sincerely dead.

This is an amazingly perverse story for 1835, and it duly shocked the readers of the magazine where it appeared. Poe pleaded that he was just trying to garner readers, but since he kept coming back to these themes, plainly there was some personal interest in them; an exorcism of his personal demons, so to speak.

It's also pleasing that since I consider Poe one of the foremost innovators in crafting stories of "the Uncanny"-- a phenomenological term I explained here and in many other ARCHETYPAL essays-- that what appears to be his first venture into this territory is so much more complex than all the naturalistic and marvelous prose works that preceded BERENICE.

THE ASSIGNATION (1834)

With "The Assignation," Poe reverts back to the mode I've personally found so dissatisfying: the ironic know-it-all who tells some story that has neither sound nor fury, and still signifies nothing.

The tale's told by an unnamed bystander who witnesses a weird melodramatic incident in the canals of Venice. Somehow or other, an infant child is precipitated into one of the watercourses. The child's mother, known as "the Marchesa," watches in consternation as the servants of her husband, a powerful man named Mentoni, try and fail to locate the child before it freezes in the icy water. Somehow the servants can't seem to find the kid, and Mentoni, watching silently from a window, doesn't seem too concerned about the baby's fate. The narrator then sees a dashing young man dive into the water, unerringly dive into the water, and bring the living, though very damp, child back to its mother.  The incident seems to mean nothing, though the narrator befriends the young man, known as only "the stranger." The two men go back the latter's apartment, which is full of rare, precious art. Then the young fellow makes some wild pronouncements, drinks a glass of wine, and dies of poisoning-- just as a page serving the house runs in and announces that the Marchesa has also died of poison.

I got absolutely nothing out of this story but Poe's tedious need to show off his erudition, and though I presumed by the title alone that some indiscretion had been committed, the story gave me nothing to go on. The Internet rescued me with this essay, arguing that Poe was satirizing an allegedly biographical story by Thomas Moore. This sounds like the best possible solution, but knowing this doesn't make the story read any better.

In the comments-section of this online essay, a poster named Amper offers an even more intriguing reading: that the narrator is a hired gun, responsible for executing two clandestine lovers on the orders of the jealous Mentoni. If this could be conclusively demonstrated, then "The Assignation" would stand as a direct predecessor to the much more effective "Cask of Amontillado." But I still consider "Assignation" an artistically sterile exercise.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

SUPERHEROES ARE DAMN-NEAR EVERYWHERE XVII

Peripheral HARDIE ALBRIGHT acted in THE JADE MASK with--



 Primary MANTAN MORELAND, who acted in TARZAN'S NEW YORK ADVENTURE.


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Primary LOLA ALBRIGHT acted in THE MAN FROM UNCLE and two other relevant TV shows.


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Peripheral ALAN ALDA acted in THE MEPHISTO WALTZ with--


Primary CURT JURGENS, from THE SPY WHO LOVED ME.