rmd and I got literally the best possible parking space (inexplicably, as we arrived relatively late (10:40 for a noon start) and found joev and the seats he had grabbed for us and metagnat because he is full of awesome. We saw a slideshow salute to the Orson Welles, the theater which was the marathon's first home 35 years ago, but which burned down 25 years ago. The Somerville Theatre has been our home for the last five years, during which they've only improved their ability to show the actual *film* the 'thon emphasizes, instead of digital projection. Next year, they'll be able to do 70mm.
EDIT 2:19PM: There were trailers for classic movies including Invaders from Mars (a previous 'thon feature, the least subtle red scare allegory I know of among invasion flicks--far less so than any version of Body Snatchers). We ransomed Major Tom from raygun-wielding Martian counterinsurgents (or something) with a tribute of Atomic Hot Rocks candy, which were then used to permit Starship Marathon to blast off (pop one in your mouth and count down from 10!)
We started off with Duck Dodgers ("Whaddya know? It dithintegrated!) and the Star Trek reboot. metagnat and I agreed that it was more fun than we expected on a second viewing. Of course, this is totally the crowd for it.
At the break, we were collectively introduced to Claudia Gonson's* six month old baby, who has now set a record for youngest 'thon attendee ever. And we're on to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916). Garen Daly found a vault print, which is in beautiful condition, and we have a live accompanist.
*yes, of The Magnetic Fields
EDIT 4pm: That was in fact a beautiful print. Decades before Jacques Cousteau, this would have been the first underwater photography its audience had ever seen, and the camera is entirely justified in lingering on the coral and seaweed and sharks and divers. The movie credits, at the beginning, the Williams brothers who made all the underwater filming possible. The divers use tanks along with old-fashioned helmets, rather than a hose to the ship. But rather than being fully inflated like the space suit look I'm used to, the suits were inflated at the head and chest only, puffing out the chest of the suits and giving the divers the look of cartoon bodybuilders, with trapezoidal madly tapering chests and toothpick legs. This was the Avatar/Titanic/IMAX of its day, and it hasn't been seen in Boston in 90 years. I'm glad I had the opportunity to see it.
The plot had a blackface (well, brown or red-face) Nemo and some other characters, and that all wove in with Mysterious Island and some stuff set in Raj India that Jules Verne never wrote, but which explains what Nemo's so pissed off about. It was surprisingly not-offensive, as movies including blackface go. And did I mention beautiful?
Trailers: must see SuckerPunch and Cowboys & Aliens (I mean, Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford and cowboys *and* spaceships? and the lovely Olivia Wilde); I think I can skip I Am #4 and Mars Needs Moms, though. Joev tells me there was a Cowboys & Aliens trailer that even the intended audience simply snickered at.... So then they made this one. I hope the movie more resembles this one.
Next, Metropia (2009), not yet rated, New England premiere. Dystopian animation by a Swedish former graffiti artist. I'm in! Written by
EDIT 5:55pm: Metropia settled firmly in the uncanny valley for me. Photorealistic CGI heads on disproportionately small bodies, with very mechanical (3D) movement in usually-photorealistic scenery. Color washed out, and a much narrower range of facial than vocal emotions. Which all worked rather well for Brazil/Big Brother dystopia. I *think* I liked it quite a lot, but it has to settle a bit.
Now, the Battlestar Galactica pilot movie. No, the original. Space Mormons and feathered hair! The projectionist tells us the print is beautiful. The print--not the movie. ;-)
EDIT 9:50 pm: Battlestar was just as I remember it, except maybe even more feathered hair. Baby Rick Springfield?!?
We skipped the annual tinfoil hat contest (which I *do* enjoy) and MST3K: The Movie in favor of sit-down Indian food at Diva (Regis had a groupon to spend) and we'll be back for maybe the alien mating cry challenge and definitely the three short subjects: Superior Firepower (2010), Second Unit (2011), and F**k Me, Ray Bradbury (2010), which last I gather you can find on YouTube in more or less pornographic versions.
EDIT 10:40 am: Lots of sci-fi, lots of sleeping, lots of bleary blinking. I'll flesh this out later, but now it's time for Zonad, the last film.