Here’s something you’ve probably seen but forgotten. It’s the “Whammy Duel” from the incredible 1953 film The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T, written by Theodore Seuss Geisel (AKA Dr. Seuss.) The only working filmmakers that come close to this sort of inspired and choreographed silliness are Tim Burton and Henry Selick, who probably owe this film big time, and know it.
Most of the audience are reported to have walked out 15 minutes into the premiere. Dumbasses. Seuss apparently hated the end product although I can’t figure why. Maybe it wasn’t weird enough even for him.
Dig the crazy theremin! Hans Conried (as Dr. T) is one of those people you remember for their performances, even if you don’t recall the name, sort of like Paul Frees or June Foray.
I think the DVD is in print and of course there are other clips from the film at youtube and elsewhere. I sure hope someone doesn’t get it in their head to do a remake of this film and ruin it.
From October 2005 to February 2006, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art ran an exhibit called Ecstasy: In and About Altered States, which featured drug-themed paintings, video, installations, and sculpture. One of my favorite pieces was called Public Fountain LSD Hall by German artist Klaus Weber.
The sculpture consisted of three crystal bowls mounted on a column of crystal balls and orbs. The fountain was meant as the centerpiece for a vast, glass-enclosed public space. Water flowed from the top of the glass sculpture and cascaded through the three bowls onto a concrete floor, where it was drained and recycled back through the system. It was ethereal and the sounds produced by the falling water was pretty psychedelic in itself.
But that wasn’t the main attraction of the fountain. The water running through its innards was spiked with D-Lysergic Acid Diethyamide. Perhaps the only reason that it was allowed to be in the show was that the LSD was “potentized,” a strange term that means the Acid was diluted to homeopathic levels. Whoever coined this antonym-like term should have his or her head examined, unless there is some kind of experimental proof that undetectable levels of LSD in water has some sort of effect on humans that is stronger than the normal dose.
This did not diminish the message of the artwork, though.
The museum shop was selling a vinyl record of a recording of the fountain in action. My girlfriend (now wife) begged me to buy it and split the $50.00 price tag with me.
At last I have a justification for paying all that money for a record that only has audio on one side: So that you can hear it for free!
Klaus Weber – Public Fountain LSD Hall