30 Day Song Challenge – Day Twelve: Best Sexual Metaphor (“I need a little hot dog, between my rolls”):
I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl by Bessie Smith
If you are who you are when no one is looking I might just be a pretentious tween. Left alone, sometimes I’ll watch a Disney made for pre teen television movie, and other times I tend to watch lots of silent movies. Let’s face it, neither is easy to talk another person into watching, and both are rather soothing. Unforgivable, then that I’d not seen the silent movie masterpiece, Metropolis until now.
In a way, it’s good I waited since only recently was a restored version released after long lost original footage was found in Argentina. The new release is a more complete, more comprehensible film and it looks fantastic. After all, it’s the visuals here that are so mind blowing, inspirational, and timeless. Even Fritz Lang admits the theme and plot were a bit simplistic and heavy handed.
Visually, though, what a treat – like nothing you’ve ever seen. Well, actually its influenced so much, you probably have seen something that resembles it. The costumes, the sets, the scenery paintings, the actors – including a gorgeous and expressive Brigette Helm, the fiery and bearded Heinrich George, and Rudolf Klein-Rogge as the wild eyed mad scientist are all incredible.
A little while back, I mentioned a naughty little pop up book that I have fond memories of as a child. I believed, through the wonders of the internets, that I had found it in a book called The Roaring Twenties: A Spicy Pop-Up Book for Adults Only. But wait! Upon further searches while writing this, I believe the one I am truly remembering is author Peter Seymour's other book: Naughty 90's Pop-up. Oh what a fun journey this search has taken me and I will soon have three excellent new books to enjoy because of it (including The Curious Sofa).
I've posted images of the 1920's book over on Rotating Corpse and promise to follow up with the 1890's one just as soon as it is delivered.
Seymour, it may interest you to know, did not make his living entirely on revealing ladies knickers. His other titles include The Pop-Up Book of Big Trucks, Learn About Safety, and Learn About Wheels.
Like anything that it oft duplicated, it can be sometimes almost disappointing to see the original influence. Dashiell Hammett, who penned, among the many short pulp fiction stories in Nightmare Town, Thin Man and The Maltese Falcon is the grandfather of noir and this early collection, Nightmare Town,?took me a few stories to become enamored.
This collection is deceptively simple but the the hard boiled shorts, often with a twisty who dun it, has become a true joy for me to read. Each story is a brief (they were originally published in pulp magazines like Black Mask) escape from my subway ride to seedy motels, private detective agencies, back alleys, and gambling halls.
There is something ironically soothing about these tales of murder and deception, though I suppose its not unlike today's Law and Orders or CSIs – opiates for the masses (myself included) based on the darker side of life. The collection was compiled a few years back from Hammett's early career in the 20's and 30's. They show a young mind full of ideas with a quick hard hitting voice. His influence on the mystery genre is undeniable and this collection proves it.