Thursday, March 17, 2011

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Fantastic Planet by director Rene La Loux is a very original French/Czech Sci-fi film that's allegorical and cerebral. It has loads of originality and charm, although the animation is a bit stilted by today's Pixar/Disney standards. Don't let that dissuade you from watching it though because if you're a SF fan you'll be taken away to an alien world and society. The plot is said to be based on the Soviet occupation of the Czech Republic. The story centers on an Om (human) named Terr, who escapes his subjugation with a Traag learning device and eventually educates other Oms and incites them to revolt their captors. What makes the film interesting is the bizarre, surreal world and the struggle of the humans to overthrow their captivity. The soundtrack is also of note as it's sort of a mixture of psychedelic, jazz fusion, which further compliments the alien atmosphere rather well. There's a little bit of nudity, but it's an animated film and I'd hardly think offensive (at least for me--your mileage may very). The film nabbed the Grand Prix at Cannes.

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I bought a new Stihl chainsaw the other day and read thru the instruction manual on its use, etc. I fired it up and started sawing some brush around the front of my house. There's a runoff stream and ditch in front of my property, and the plants in that area have been needing a good trim, among some other areas of the property, so I'll put this saw to good use.

I came in and cleaned up and watched Survivor. Then I finished watching the Smothers Brothers: Best of Comedy Hour Season 3. Disc 4 contained bits on Pat Paulsen's campaign where he ran for president back in 1968. Rather funny stuff. The highlight of that disc though was the bonus features where Paulsen is seen in a rare nightclub performance done at the Pierce Street Annex in Anchorage, Alaska back in 1992 (Paulsen has since died). But Paulsen's widow sent the Smothers Brothers the skit on a VHS (remember those?), and they included it on their disc.

We get to see him in rare form, telling one quick joke after another pulling out all the stops. Parts of the skits are based around the farce of his presidential running campaign or just political in nature, while other jokes are broad on other topics. One of the jokes goes as this: You give a cow to a Democrat, he'll milk that cow, keep some for himself, and give the rest to poor people. You give the cow to the Republican, he'll hire the Democrat to milk the cow at less than a living wage, say there's a milk shortage, and sell the milk at inflated prices. That enables the Republican to buy a bull, and he can make more cows, which he can hire more Democrats to milk. So the Republican can do for the Democrat what the bull did to the cow.

Paulsen was always creative and was writing jokes up until he died of cancer. Also included are some of Pat's malignant humor that he wrote while in treatment and the hospital. For example he wrote: I'm writing a book called "The Joy and Fun of Radiation". In it I tell how I'm turning a negative situation into a positive one. For instance, during radiation I would always put a hot dog in each pocket. And: I went for treatment in Tijuana. I went there with cancer and came back with the runs.

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