Amoeblog

"!woeM"

Posted by Job O Brother, April 13, 2009 11:28pm | Post a Comment
My cat is weirding me out. He’s sitting in front of my closet door, facing it, staring.

After I wrote the above sentence, he suddenly lunged up, supported by his hind-quarters, and pressed his face into the long mirror nailed to the door. Methinks he’s of a mind to jump into the room he sees inside the looking glass, despite the fact that I have repeatedly forbidden him to do anything of the sort. Call me old fashioned, but I’ll never approve of house-pets defying the laws of physics. It’s un-Christian!

What a perfect lead-in this would be to discuss with you my great love of the works of Lewis Carroll, and the myriad influences it’s had on both music and movies. How sad it is that this blog won’t discuss it further!

It was on this day in 1894 that Thomas “Sloppy-kiss” Edison produced the first commercial exhibition of motion pictures in history, in New York City, using his new invention, the kinetoscope. (It’s interesting to note that, even at this first “movie,” people were already complaining that there were too many previews.)


For a fee of 25¢, patrons could peer into a variety of kinetoscopes and enjoy a hilarious comedy such as “Man crouching and getting back up,” or passionate romances like the heartfelt “Woman arranging a bouquet, then dusting a lamp”, and let's not forget the riveting drama and pathos of “Balloon blown up, then popping.” It’s testament to the genius of these stories that little has changed in Hollywood plot-structures, even all these years later.


Edison saw little real value in his invention, having been (tragically) hypnotized by his other new invention, the Hypno-helper, into believing the hypnotizing machine would be the answer to every home-makers’ chores. (His confidence in the contraption remain unchanged, even after hundreds of letters came from husbands across America complaining that they’d come home from long days of work, hoping for hot meals, and instead finding their wives in trances, thinking they’re chickens, or their “arms were so light they’d float away,” or, in some extreme cases, that they were the Sea Islands Hurricane and had killed over 1,000 people in the greater coastal area of Georgia.)

Despite Edison’s ambivalence to the kinetoscope, it was a tremendous success. Where Edison saw no future, others saw a fortune waiting to be made, and soon advancements in film-making technology came faster than Fatty Arbuckle at a game of spin-the-bottle. [I am so, so sorry about that.]

Over the course of time, movies have become a diverse and refined art-form (excepting anything starring Matthew McConaughey, that is), and the people who make the films have become the closest things our country has to royalty.


You've come a long way, baby! - Lillian Gish vs. Courtney Love

All of which would be great background information if this blog was about the motion picture industry, but as it is, instead, about Tammy Grimes, I present you with this:


Despite being a staunch Republican, Grimes managed to give birth to the ultra-cool Amanda Plummer.


Ms. Plummer earning that S.A.G. paycheck in Peter Greenaway's homage to Fellini, 8½ Women

Amanda Plummer’s fame as an actress of both screen and stage (she’s been nominated for three Tony Awards and has won Best Actress once) has eclipsed her skills as a pet therapist, her true passion. I know this because Ms. Plummer was kind enough to take my pussycat on as a patient. (My cat had suffered a traumatic experience when a neighborhood dog jumped in through my open window and, after tearing up my best pillow, proceeded to introduce my cat to crystal meth, which led to years of addiction which only abated after months of intensive counseling and controlled supplies of catnip chewies.)

Ms. Plummer’s revolutionary, therapeutic process involves the use of Edison’s hypnosis wheel, the only bad side-effect of which is that my kitty now thinks he can jump through my mirror to the other side.

But, as I said before, that’s not what this is about.

Edendale and the Beginning of the West Coast Film Industry

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 29, 2008 06:15pm | Post a Comment



Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of the Edendale tract


This edition of the Los Angeles neighborhood blog is about historic Edendale. To vote for more neighborhoods, click here. To vote for Los Angeles county communities, click here.
To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

C
hicagoan William Selig had a background in vaudeville and, as a teen, was part of a traveling minstrel show. In 1894 he witnessed a demonstration of Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope at an exhibition in Dallas. Upon returning to the Middle West, he set up his own photography studio and began researching how to make movies in a way that wouldn't get him in trouble with the notoriously patent-protecting Edison who wasn't above hiring armed goons to stop anyone from infringing on his cartel.

   

             Francis Boggs                                        Selig-Polyscope Studio                                          William Selig

 In 1896 Selig set up the Selig Polyscope Company with director & actor Francis W. Boggs. They began filming actualities, industrial films and travelogues.  Francis Boggs was from Santa Rosa or Newman, California (there were no census records). 

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THE ORIGINAL RECORDED SONG, NEW CASSETTE TECHNIQUES

Posted by Billyjam, March 27, 2008 07:44am | Post a Comment

There is a really interesting article in the Arts section of this morning's (Thursday, March 27) New York Times about newly uncovered research that challenges the belief that Thomas Edison was the father of recorded sound. This new research claims that even before Edison had recorded his first sounds a French man named Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville recorded a ten second sound bite of a female vocalist singing a French folk song (Au Clair de la Lune) back in 1860. However, it was not recorded onto a record but rather on a "phonautograph" or "phonautogram" (as seen in photo left) which was in turn recently made playable - by converting the written images on the paper into sound - by scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Library.  If you click on the NYTimes story, not only can you read about this amazing discovery in detail, but they also have an MP3 sound file of this historic 10-second 1860 recording.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 
When you stop and think about it, it is truly amazing how far we have come in the advancement of music recording and playback in the short time span (relatively in the history of mankind) since Thomas Edison (pictured right) first invented the phonograph in 1877 and unveiled it a year later to an amazed public.

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