The Land Unknown

Ok, I thought this movie was pretty cool when I saw it as a kid.  It was on a double bill with This Island Earth, which would’ve been a re-release in 1964.  It has horrible acting and a T-Rex that is a guy in a suit, plus a crazy caveman.  They built a full size jungle set with painted backdrop,  which is pretty cool, and they built a miniature jungle set for the T-Rex (and a miniature helicopter).  It’s a 1957 Universal film, so it has all the stylistic flourishes that the other films of that period have:  good production values, good music, earnest effects work.  And ponder ye the title:  The Land Unknown.  Why not just:  … The Unknown Land?

TheLandUnknown LC1

TheLandUnknown LC5


Pollini plays Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (1st movement)

Maurizio Pollini is one of the greatest pianists of the last 50 years and he is not afraid to champion work by more modern composers.  If you want melodic Bartok, check out his 3rd Piano Concerto, completed near the end of his life.  If you want to hear something that will grab you and shake you by the lapels, something that is percussive, dissonant and harsh, something exciting and original, then this just might be your cup of tea.  Bartok wrote this in 1926, the same year he wrote his equally brilliant Piano Sonata.

Can’t get enough?

2nd movement

3rd movement

Colorama shout-out

This is a small selection of the Kodak Colorama photographs which were on display (as backlit transparencies) in Grand Central Station, New York City from 1950-1994.  They were huge (60 feet wide) and over 500 were produced by various photographers using bulky large format cameras.  Unfortunately for me, I never got to see one in its full size grandeur, so I can only imagine what it must have been like.  But I am charmed by the quaint subject matter and stylized view of American Life, and since they were Kodak ads, there is usually someone in the scene with a Kodak camera (presumably containing Kodak film).

There is an underwhelming book I purchased a few years back, Colorama: The World’s Largest Photographs, underwhelming in that the pictures are poorly represented in a rather small book, with page folds in most of the pictures, alas.

Here is an interesting video where one of the photographers, Neil Montanus describes how one of the above images was captured (the underwater scene):