This morning I had a little time to kill, so I lugged out an old issue of Look magazine, scanned some of the ads, and created a small 1960 flickr set. This batch has some nice, kitschy imagery as well as some neato illustrations. Like these snappy cut-out kids advertising Armour Meats, for example:
Coupla other things: my review of the springy debut album from the bird and the bee has been posted at So Much Silence. Also, I’ve uploaded my first YouTube clip: the super-groovy opening titles from the 1972 TV movie Probe, previously discussed here. Motion graphics and Elke Sommer — what could be better?
More magazines! Here’s The 51 Best Magazines Ever as ranked by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter. An excellent read with Carter smartly highlighting specific periods with many of his choices (Esquire 1961-73, for example). I’m so happy that he included Games from its ’80s glory years, ranked at #36. That magazine in that time absolutely rocked the erasers off my pencils.
Good — Nice distribution of prizes with no one film hogging the honors; Naomi Watts’ lovely yellow gown; Melissa Etheridge’s surprise win; the classiness of Helen Mirren; montages clips that didn’t look like they came off someone’s third-generation VHS tape.
Bad — Ellen’s inoffensive, unedgy patter; Beyoncé and Eddie Murphy not clapping for Alan Arkin; too many goddamn montages; Jack Nicholson’s muggy mug.
Ugly — the broadcast’s stupefying overlength; Kirsten Dunst’s weird dress; Philip Seymour Hoffman’s skeevy hair.
Snarkier coverage here and here.
As I write this, the Academy Awards are minutes away from starting. One of the things I’m most looking forward to at the ceremony will be the presentation of Ennio Morricone’s honorary Oscar award. The legendary Italian film composer has downplayed the honor, even going on record as to saying that he’s disappointed that he didn’t die winless. But it’ll be interesting to see what he says. The A.V. Club Blog did a nice overview of his career and how he’s managed to stay relevant over the years despite scoring a gazillion low-budget and/or forgettable flicks. One of his most beautiful melodies, for example, is “We Are One”, a foofily sung ballad from the cheesy Jaws ripoff Orca. Talk about making a silk purse from a sow’s ear. I wouldn’t want it any other way, Ennio darling.
Y’know what I hate? When you sign up for a magazine subscription, and they begin by sending you an old issue. This happened when I started a subscription to Wired (it was only $10/yr so why not). Yesterday’s mail saw the first issue, from February. Whenever they do this, I can just tell that they’re trying to liquidate a warehouse full of unsold February issues — and that annoys me to no end. Sure enough, today I got the March issue in the mail.
I’ve updated an old scrubbles page — 100 Favorite Moments In Television, a reprint of an article which appeared in the short-lived pop culture magazine Egg in 1991. When I first put this together back in 2003, I didn’t notice that a few missing pound symbols in the page’s HTML code resulted in a screwy looking page when viewed in Firefox. That’s been fixed, along with an addition that couldn’t have done so easily in ’03 — video links to many of the clips mentioned!
Though I’m not yet finished linking up the entire list, this little exercise has allowed me to dig up a lot of fascinating curios such as the infamous Rob Lowe/Snow White duet from the 1989 Academy Awards. The lavish musical number was actually kind of cute and not nearly the epic-sized disaster that critics called it back then.