East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Kirk Douglas, 1916-2020

We lost Kirk Douglas early this morning, and already I have caught the blasé Facebook Philosophers going “why the shock, why the surprise, he was 103!”
To which I say, fuck you, you soulless wankers.

Kirk Douglas was a giant, a man who made film history, with a catalogue of movies and roles that is staggering for variety, quality and freshness.
Many remember his role in Spartacus, but I would have a hard time selecting the role in which I best remember him – Ulysses in the Italian adaptation of the Odyssey, probably, or as a scarred Viking chieftain in The Vikings, or his turn as Ned Land in Disney’s 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea.
But what of the noirs, like Out of the Past, and Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole?

A legend is gone, and we cannot act blasé about it.


The birthday of the ragman’s son: Kirk Douglas at 100

Today is the 100th birthday of actor Kirk Douglas.
With over 90 acting credits on IMDB, Douglas is one of my favorite actors of all time, and one whose films are part of my personal history. The guy’s been Spartacus, he’s been Van Gogh, he’s been Ulysses, Doc Holliday and Ned Land.


So, not knowing how to celebrate the birthday of this icon, I decided to do a post about the five Kirk Douglas movies I like the most.
Nothing fancy – just a trailer and a paragraph with some personal notes.

Enjoy! Continue reading

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The two Neds or, the Canadian Homer

I mentioned a while back that I had pitched a story idea for a forthcoming anthology called The Further Adventures of Ned Land.
Well, the story pitch worked, and I have received a few days back both the go ahead and the deadline for delivery.


But now a curious problem arises.
I picked up 20.000 Leagues under the Seas1 and checked the original character, and I also re-watched the classic Disney movie, the one in which Ned Land is portrayed by Kirk Douglas. Continue reading