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Surrealism and OTR !

 
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anton61



Joined: 24 Nov 2010
Posts: 9
Location: Brussels, Belgium

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:26 am    Post subject: Surrealism and OTR ! Reply with quote

Forum members may be interested to read a somewhat unusual tribute to our listening material of choice in an article entitled ‘Radio voices: a child’s bed of sirens’ by the American beat poet Philip Lamantia.

A typical example of Lamantia’s excitable, overcooked prose:

“In some adventure and mystery programs of radio’s so-called “golden age” (I was listening, intensively, as a child between 1934 and 1942) radioland was peopled by figures, images and mythical concepts which served as formidable initiators of poetry and enchantment. I can trace a profound awakening of the poetic sense of life and language directly to the exemplary magical myth of The Shadow and to those disquieting transgressions – veritable sagas of symbolic patricide and matricide – revealed by The Whistler.”

For anyone eager to read more, the entire article can be found in the anthology ‘Surrealism & its popular accomplices’ edited by Franklin Rosemont (City Lights Books, 1980).
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Brad
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Joined: 06 Oct 2007
Posts: 1030
Location: Channahon, IL, USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds interesting. Thanks.

Brad
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anton61



Joined: 24 Nov 2010
Posts: 9
Location: Brussels, Belgium

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha! I can just see the inverted commas hovering around that
"interesting", Brad !

Yes, it takes some getting through and is best sampled in bite-sized chunks such as the one above.

On the other hand, something that comes wholeheartedly and unreservedly recommended is a new book just published from McFarland & Co. – ‘HORROR NOIR: Where Cinema’s Dark Sisters Meet’ by Paul Meehan. Specifically, the 20-page chapter entitled ‘Horror Noir from Radioland’ which deals with all manner of creepy OTR fare, focusing particularly on the films made from The Whistler and Inner Sanctum series.

I was interested to learn that the use of voice-over in film noir was inspired by radio crime dramas, with Billy Wilder admitting this as the source for the narration in his noir classics Double Indemnity and Sunset Blvd.

The author regrets the passing of classic radio drama, though I imagine he’ll convert a large percentage of his readers to the pleasures of OTR with passages like the following:

"Unlike visual media like film or television, radio had a creepy intimacy all of its own that was particularly suited to tales of suspense and dread. In a darkened room at night the disembodied eye from within the device stimulated the visionary powers of the “theater of the mind’s eye”, conjuring hideous monsters and shadow landscapes from the depth’s of the listener’s imagination."

In case you’re wondering – no, I’m not Paul Meehan hiding behind an alias.
I don’t even work for the publishers!
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crich70



Joined: 19 Sep 2008
Posts: 322
Location: Monroe Wisconsin

PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's not far wrong about the theater of the Mind's Eye either I don't think. You can picture the characters of a radio program of old any way you please and no special effect is as realistic as those made by your own imagination.
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human



Joined: 20 Nov 2007
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, and many filmmakers have been frustrated by that fact, particularly George Lucas. That's why he repeatedly updated the early Star Wars movies to use the latest technology to better realize on the screen what he saw in his own mind's eye from the beginning.

crich70 wrote:
He's not far wrong about the theater of the Mind's Eye either I don't think. You can picture the characters of a radio program of old any way you please and no special effect is as realistic as those made by your own imagination.
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