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Category Archives: Video

Little Miss Moffitt

In honor of my Vidal Sassoon: The Movie review getting published at DVDTalk, here’s a cute short of model Peggy Moffitt parading around in some mod, mod ensembles designed by Rudi Gernreich. In the Sassoon film, Vidal Sassoon and designer Mary Quant talk a bit about Moffitt and her amusing propensity for “acting out” whatever fashions she tried on (like in this film!). What a cool chick.

Christopher tells me that he met Moffitt and her husband, photographer William Claxton, at an L.A. function in the ’90s. He didn’t know who she was at the time, however — he would have gotten an autograph if he did!

Boys Life

Occasionally I will get into a certain musical artist’s output during a specific time period — lately it’s been the Pet Shop Boys’ 1999-2004 output. I started off with ’99’s Nightlife, the last PSB disc I bought when it was new. This one got a mixed reception from fans, but I enjoyed it at the time and found on re-listen that it still holds up nicely, thankyouverymuch. Most of the album’s appeal comes from the airy, almost cinematic production by Rollo and Craig Armstrong. Some of the tunes have this beautiful, orchestral feel — which really comes in handy during the times when Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe’s dry irony gets laid on too thick (as on “Vampires”). As on other albums, they often go for the jugular in terms of emotion, something rarely heard in synth pop. The pathos of “You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk” is a good example of just how moving they can be.

Defying expectations, the Pet Shoppers followed Nighlife with 2002’s Release, a laid-back, guitar-oriented effort. This album was greeted with perhaps the worst reception of the boys’ entire career. People wanted nothing to do with a glum, introspective PSB, apparently. It’s actually not all that bad, but the shortage of memorable tunes doesn’t exactly make this a keeper, either. “Home and Dry” was the oddly bland choice for first single, with the anthemic (thanks to Johnny Marr’s guitar) “I Get Along” being a much improved follow-up. I ended up getting a cheap used copy of the deluxe Release recently. The album is pleasant chill out music, marred by the dated (and unnecessary) vocoder effects on several tracks. One highlight is “The Night I Fell In Love,” Tennant and Lowe’s airy tale of bedding a macho rapper who bears a striking resemblance to Eminem. That and “I Get Along” belong on a PSB’s Greatest compilation. The rest, not so much.

Completing my Pet Shop Boys journey meant downloading the two new tracks off their 2003 compilation, PopArt: The Hits. The sleek “Miracles” was a good stab at relevance, but the real stunner was “Flamboyant”. This and its b-side, “I Didn’t Get Where I Am Today,” count as two of my favorite PSB tracks. I’m also loving the “Flamboyant” video, a dizzying montage which includes clips of Japanese game show contestants making cleverly choreographed shapes from their bodies. Like the Pet Shop Boys themselves, it’s bizarre and brilliant at the same time.

You Had Me at Meow

Watching an episode of The Bob Newhart Show on MeTV last night got me thinking about the famous MTM Enterprises kitten logo. MTM put the kitty (named Mimsy) through many variants over the years. By far the sickest one came at the final credits of the last St. Elsewhere, which has poor Mimsy lying down with a heart monitor going into flatline mode. Noooo!

P.S. As a kid, I always thought that MTM was the television branch of MGM. It always made sense to me.

Busy Hands

In honor of MTV’s 20th 30th birthday, let’s take a look at a segment from Liquid Television, the 1991-94 animated hodgepodge best known for unleashing Beavis & Butt-head onto the world. “Invisible Hands” was an eight part L.T. series created by comic artist Richard Sala, who shares some interesting background info on the show on his weblog. The creepy pulp-horror vibe is on full display in part 1, below.

YouTube user ZappVid9 has a lot of Liquid Television segments on his channel, stuff that I totally forgot about. If the names Dog-Boy or Winter Steele ring any bells for ya, head over there and watch.

The Hal Linden Follies

An interesting bit of TV ephemera was recently posted in 10 parts on YouTube — TV Guide magazine’s 1980 year-in-review. If the idea of an all-singing, all-dancing Hal Linden turns your crank, by all means check out part one below. Actually, the show is an intriguing concept when you ponder that a few newsworthy events of 1980, like the U.S. pulling out of the Olympics and the Screen Actors Guild strike, meant (horrors) less stuff to watch. The special includes behind the scenes clips from Shogun and a heart-to-heart between Tom Brokaw and Ed Asner. Not to mention thorough rehashes on Dallas and country music (this was the Urban Cowboy era, after all). And Shields & Yarnell!

’70s-Something

Time for another ’70s toy commercial from Hasbro and the Duke archive. Like Leggy Fashion Dolls, I don’t believe that the Great Moves party game had a long shelf life. It looks like a Twister with something of a proto-Win, Lose Or Draw spin, only more logistically complex than either. For maximum 70s-ishness, the partygoers include Fred “Rerun” Berry and Roz “Pinky Tuscadero” Kelly!