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Iconic Ziggy Stardust costume from 1973 by Kansai Yamamoto • Wikimedia Commons

The late fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto was a key influence in the creation of David Bowie’s legendary Ziggy Stardust character

In the song “Blackout” David Bowie once sang:

I’m under Japanese influence and my honor’s at stake

. . . inferring that his influence by Japanese culture had become so deep (Bowie knew only how to totally immerse himself in anything that fascinated him) that he believes his very familial honor might be in the offing.

There are touchstones of this same Nipponese sway to be found throughout Bowie’s career — from the aforementioned lyric from 1977's “Heroes” album; to…


My first gig as a professional video editor was a true trial by fire

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Editing Desk | Leon Terra on Flickr

It was one of those right place, right time coincidences. In the fall of 2004 I was working full-time at EPCOT at Walt Disney World (WDW) in Orlando, Florida.


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It would seem that the Volunteer State has more than its share of famous film personages . . .

Q: So, if the Great State of Tennessee were to have its very own “Mount Rushmore” dedicated to film, who would be on it?

To be honest, it was rather hard narrowing it down to just four nominees, but I’m sure you’ll agree that all four of the following personae have had an enormous influence on the course of cinema…


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A fan-made poster for SYNECDOCHE, NY | Flickr

Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York

*(Full disclosure: My recent viewing of Charlie Kaufman’s first directorial effort, Synecdoche, New York (1988) was a very different experience from what one would consider the normal taking-in of a filmed entertainment . . . )

The early scenes of the film depict an ongoing marital joust of overlapping dialogue underscored and punctuated by the never-ending queries of the couple’s young daughter, Olive, to seemingly every one of life’s questions. …


TV

Chaos in the Movie Theater & Pop Culture in Transition

It is hard to imagine now, what with our daily ‘media-saturated’ existence, that there was an era when the all-immersive cross-convergence of movies, music, television, et. al. did not exist . . .

But yes, once upon a time, back in the wild & wooly world of the mid-1960s, the popular music and film industries were two very distinct camps — ones who usually just sat across the room from each other — glaring.

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Ad art from the Beatles’ HARD DAY’S NIGHT (1964) directed by Richard Lester | Consequence of Sound

And although there were the occasional successful cross-pollinations (The Beatles’ Hard Days Night in 1964 and Elvis’ Heartbreak Hotel in 1957 quickly come to mind), overall…


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A montage of a few of the lighter moments from Bowie’s dark year of 1975 | Collage created by Kris Jones using Adobe Illustrator

The desert of southern California cannot be said to have created a religion, but it has contributed greatly to the development of a way of life that operates at the extremity of Western civilization. When you reach Los Angeles you are as far west as you can go. — Hollywood: The Haunted House by Paul Mayersburg

David Bowie was no newcomer to Los Angeles in 1974. The city had held an eternal fascination for him beyond that of the typical Hollywood glamour, and his one-week sojourn there in the fall of 1974 marked his fourth visit.


(My Summer Adventures in the Dark and Then Some)

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The old Cinema Six in Hopkins, MN (Photo by Ben Konfrst on Unsplash)

Movies have been a definitive force in my life for as long as I can remember.

After many years of being acquainted with my prime interest, one that has now become much more than a hobby — friends, family and coworkers are now accustomed to the fact that, no matter what the topic of conversation, sooner or later yours truly will steer the topic toward ‘the movies’.

I think my great love of all things film has its origins in the fact that I was exposed to movies (especially good ones) at particularly impressionable, as well as particularly happy, periods…


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A southern New Mexico desert landscape | Wikimedia Commons

The British Are Coming!

In the early summer of 1975 a small convoy of rental trucks snakes its way down State Route 285, winding through the route of the Pecos River Valley, hemmed in by the Mescalero Escarpment to the east and the Sacramento Mountains to the west.

Kris C. Jones

Published film historian actively pursuing a colorful love affair with the flickering image. I specialize in films of the early to mid=1970s.

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