Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Happy Birthday, Ted Cassidy!

Ted Cassidy as Lurch in The Addams Family

Actor Ted Cassidy was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 31, 1932. He played a number of off-beat characters in science-fiction and comedy shows, but he is probably best known for his role as Lurch in The Addams Family television series (1964 -1966).

Apparently, Lurch's signature line, "You rang?", was ad-libbed by Cassidy, but was such a hit that it was thereafter regularly written into the scripts. He suffered from health issues as he grew older, largely due to his unusual size, and died on January 16, 1979, at the age of 46, from complications following open-heart surgery.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Little Infernal Imagery

About a year ago, I stumbled across an image on Pinterest of skeletons in a row boat. The photo looked very old, and at first, I thought it might have been a still from a film by french filmmaker, Georges Méliès, who was the subject of the movie, Hugo, but then a Pinterest pal suggested it might be a detail from Les Diableries. Whilst grateful for this piece of information, I'm afraid I had no idea what she was referring to, so I set about doing some research that eventually led me to The London Stereoscopic Company.

The Diableries are a series of stereoscopic photographs created in Paris from the 1860s through to 1900. Apparently, Parisians had a quite an appetite for all things diabolical during this period, so these stereo cards depicted scenes of life in Hell, often satirizing the politics and lifestyle of the day. Sculpted clay vignettes were photographed with a stereo camera, and when viewed through a stereoscope, produced a magical 3D effect.

To learn more about these amazing works of art, and see more of the Diableries, I highly recommend checking out The London Stereoscopic Company website. They also have a book coming out called, Diableries - Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell, by Brian May, Denis Pellerin and Paula Fleming. It is due to be released on October 10, 2013... just in time for Halloween.