28 August, 2005
In his role as a musician, Carpenter formed a band The Coupe de Villes in the mid 1970s. Over the years, John Carpenter's career as a director has been a rollercoaster encompassing critical and financial successes, acclaim and failures, alternating between periods of working for Hollywood studios and smaller independent companies. A phenomenon that leads to the question: to what extent have production circumstances generated Carpenter’s career in the form of both his finished product and critical and public reactions to it? Characteristically of Carpenter, the action for The Thing, is located in an environment of intrigue and forced change framed by an expansive isolated, hostile wilderness of isolated frigidity, suspicion, mutual distrust and fear, haunted by the encroaching, enigmatic presence of the border crossing, transmuting, alien Thing. Such themes recurs through his work evidenced from his earliest 1974 film, Dark Star, to his more recent, the 2001 sci-fi film Ghosts of Mars.
26 August, 2005
John Carpenter began making short films in 1962 and won an academy award for Best Live-Action Short Subject in 1970, for The Resurrection of Bronco Billy (1970). A keen student of the book Hitchcock/Truffaut, who openly admits to his veneration of Howard Hawks, Carpenter was, determined to find a style of his own. Some of his films operate like Hawks imitations or homage with diversions, but in his first big success, Halloween, Carpenter established his own prowling, Panaglide (or SteadiCam) look. Carpenter often, cleverly used camera movement, lighting, design, choreography of action and editing to compensate for lack of financial resources. John Carpenter’s films before The Thing include, ark Star (1974), the archetypal slasher film Halloween (1978), the ghost story The Fog (1980), the action film, Escape from New York, (1981), and a the Stephen King killer car adaptation, Christine (1983). After The Thing came the romantic alien visitor, Starman (1984), a Hong Kong-styled martial arts fantasy, Big Trouble in Little China (1986), Prince of Darkness (1987), another alien takeover film They Live (1988), Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992) and the H.P. Lovecraft homage, In the Mouth of Madness (1995). These were followed by a remake of Village of the Damned (1995); Escape from L.A. (1996); a vampire hunter film, Vampires (1998); and the sci fi film Ghosts of Mars (2001). Carpenter wrote the screenplays for The Eyes of Laura Mars (1978), Black Moon Rising (1985) and was executive producer for The Philadelphia Experiment (1984) wrote and directed such TV movies as Someone's Watching Me! (1978) and Elvis (1979), and produced the cable-TV series John Carpenter's Body Bags.
16 August, 2005
04 August, 2005
The Wolf Man starring Lon Chaney, Jr. that is the most recognised of the early werewolf films. This film was to establish a Hollywood werewolf mythology, along with its own set of rules. The sympathetic monster, death by a silver bullet, aversion to wolfsbane, even the hint at the sexual connotations of the beast within were established with The Wolf Man. So thoroughly has the public accepted this cinematic version of were-folklore, you will often find the following quoted as an “Ancient Gypsy Rhyme,” even though it was screenwriter Curt Siodmak who composed the lines that Maria Ouspenskaya intones in the movie:
“Even a man who is pure in heart
And says his prayers by night
May become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms
And the moon is full and bright”