Billion Dollar Brain (1967): Alexander Nevsky's Ice battle

 name Billion Dollar Brain is a 1967 Ken Russell film based on the novel Billion-Dollar Brain by Len Deighton. The film features Michael Caine as secret agent 'Harry Palmer', the anti-heroic protagonist of the cinematic versions of The IPCRESS File (1964) and Funeral in Berlin (1965).
The film's plot relies heavily upon the sophisticated 'brain' (computer) with which the FFF controls its Latvian anti-Soviet spy network. The film directly refers to the ice battle in Alexander Nevsky (1938), by Sergei Eisenstein.

Ice Battle of Lake Peipus
Several films have scenes strongly influenced by the Battle of Lake Peipus, including Doctor Zhivago (1965), Mulan (1998), and King Arthur (2004). However, the most striking homage appears during the culminating battle in Billion Dollar Brain.

Alexander Nevsky (1938)
This Soviet film portrays the struggle of Prince Alexander Nevsky and the citizens of Novgorod against invasion by the knights of the Crusading Order of the Teutonic Knights, culminating in the epic battle on the ice of Lake Chudskoe (Peipius). Prince Alexander Nevsky was later canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church and became a Russian national hero. This film was produced on the eve of World War II and alludes to the threat of Nazi Germany (note the swastikas on the Catholic bishop's mitre). Its showing was suppressed during the period of German-Soviet Non-Agression pact (9/39 to 6/41), but revived after the Nazi invasion. It was directed by Sergei Eisenstein with Nikolai Cherkasov in the title role.

Snake Hips and Memphis Choppin Live Action

Compare the snakin' and choppin in these two video clips:

Earl "Snake Hips" Tucker; Crazy House(1930).

Authentic Memphis Orange Mound Choppin...still gots nothing on Snake Hips! WARNING:Pardon the "french" in background.

Snake Hips: Poppin' Chopin' roots

Viewing TCM, I just discovered dancer Snake Hips in 1930's< comedy short Crazy House performs a remarkable routine which proves he has no bones in his body whatsoever. Just proves King David's Ecclesiastes theory "nothing's new under the sun."

Moonwalking, Poppin' & Choppin' had roots...

Earl "Snakehips" Tucker (1905 - 1937) became known as the "Human Boa Constrictor," after the dance he popularized in Harlem in the 1920s called the "Snakehips (Dance)".
The snake hips dates back to southern plantations before emancipation. Tucker would make it appear that he was as flexible as a snake.--Wikipedia

I'm searching for good videos for comparison...

tehcatz theology

i was having a bad day, so
my son introduced me to tehcatz theology!

John 3:16 So liek teh Ceiling Cat lieks teh ppl lots and he sez 'Oh hai I givez u me only kitteh and ifs u beleevs in him u wont evr diez no moar, k?'

spent hours looking at cat pix

more cat pictures

More on Max and Ingmar

Its well known Ingmar Bergman saw film as art, not commercial ventures. Ingmar Bergman's films I highly recommend are The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries.(He usually recast the same team of actors which included Max Von Sydow)

Berman's "Death" in Seventh Seal is not such a campy "Grim Reaper" (it's not Max)

I adored his semi-autobiographical Fanny and Alexander, a less abstract color film that was aimed at a broader audience, but was also criticized within the profession for being shallow and commercial. With a childs point of view of good vs. evil in a Swedish 18th century festive Christmas setting I didn't need the subtitles to enjoy this bountiful tapestry of visually delightful costumed charactors. Max, however, missed out on playing the evil bishop.

Max is still handsome! Also still employed. I was shocked to see his filmography extend through 2009. I didn't realize he's Chief Inspector Lee in Rush Hour 3! What a career!

Ingmar Bergman's film,The Virgin Spring

The statuesque Max Von Sydow before and after the evil deeds.

Review Summary
Inspired by a medieval Swedish ballad, Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring (Jungfrukallan) begins with a scene of unspeakable brutality and ends with an image of uncommon beauty. 15-year-old Birgitta Peterson, on her way to church to light candles for the Virgin Mary, is raped and murdered by two older men. The men look for shelter at the home of Birgitta's father (Max Von Sydow), who murders the bestial killers in cold blood. When the deed is done, Von Sydow, a deeply religious man, begins to question the efficacy of a God that would allow his daughter's death, then permit so bloody a retribution. Then, a fresh, virgin spring bubbles from the ground where his daughter had been lying a few moments before. Taking this natural phenonenon as a sign from above, Von Sydow vows to erect a church on the spot where Birgitta met her doom. The winner of the "best foreign picture" Academy Award, The Virgin Spring currently exists in several versions of varying lengths; the longest, and most graphic, is the original Swedish cut. Believe it or not, this hauntingly beautiful film served as the basis of The Last House on the Left (1972). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
DVD information:

My Thoughts:
I just caught the end. Max's sculpted features caught my attention while channel surfing.The actors portray the story with minimal speaking, yet with great range and depth. Max's conversation with God was so moving. He communicated the devastating gut wrenching emotions without need to understand the foreign language or read subtitles. These were simple ordinary God-fearing humans faced with an extraordinary situation,with primal human reactions.

His gripping plea to God is worth my noting:

Töre: You see it, God, you see it. The innocent child's death and my revenge. You allowed it. I don't understand you. Yet now I beg your forgiveness. I know no other way to be reconciled with my own hands. I know no other way to live.

Töre: You see it, God. You see it. The innocent child's death, and my revenge. You allowed it. I don't understand You. I don't understand You. Yet, I still ask your forgiveness. I know no other way to live. I promise You, God... here on the dead body of my only child, I promise you that, to cleanse my sins, here I shall build a church. On this spot. Of mortar and stone... and with these, my hands.

Töre: Heavenly Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with Your host of angels, deliver us today from the devil's chokehold. God, grant that neither temptation, shame, nor danger befall thy servants this day. Amen.

Töre: You are not alone, Mareta. And God alone bears our guilt


Enjoy this gallery of Rainbows!

Websites: A Work of "Electronic" Art


25 July - 3 August

ISEA, the International Symposium on Electronic Art initiated in 1988, is the world's premier media arts event for the critical discussion and showcase of creative productions applying new technologies in interactive and digital media.

Here are two examples of using a new paradigm for web development, art and design:

The website is not just a vehicle for displaying "art" as content on its pages. The website and its pages are the art.

Metahaven startles you with cut-a-ways from international headlines in an assortment of inregularly sized pop up windows sequenced for displaying across the screen.

Kelly Andres uses the utilitarian 'form' element in a whimsical fashion on simplistic web pages with a minimal use of code or content while an overpowering background image governs each page.

Blogs: Therapeutic benefits

Scientists have long known the therapeutic benefits of writ ing about personal experiences. Blogs provide another convenient avenue for writing about personal experiences. Research shows that it improves memory and sleep, boosts immune cell activity and reduces viral load in AIDS patients, and even speeds healing after surgery.

^ Scientific American: Blogging - It's good for you


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