Movie Monday: The Princess In The Vase 1908
One-hundred, fifteen years ago, today, the short, silent black & white comedy The Princess In The Vase was released. Directed by Wallace McCutcheon, Sr., it starred only three actors…D.W. Griffith, Edward Dillon and Linda Arvidson, Griffith’s then-wife. Griffith is the Lover, Arvidson is the Lady-in-Waiting and Dillon is the Waiter. C. W. “Billy” Bitzer was the cinematographer.
The opening scenes of this production are laid in Egypt, five hundred years before Herodotus, the Father of History, visited that country. Three thousand years ago, there dwelt in Egyptian Memphis, the ancient capital of the Pharaohs, a wealthy prince, whose wife in beauty was likened to [Hathor], the Egyptian Venus, with [a] heart as cold as Egyptian marble. The prince, worried and suspicious, seeks the royal seer, who tells him the princess has a lover and, in a vision, shows him the princess in the arms of that lover, a Theban warrior. Instant death is the punishment meted out to the guilty pair. The princess is placed on a bier and carried out in front of the Temple, under the very shadow of the Pyramids of Gizah. Here, the High Priest, with a flambeau, sets fire to the pyre and her body is burned as an offering, with prayers, to mighty Osiris, beseeching that he overcome Typhon, who seems to hold sway. Alongside the pyre is placed a vase, decorated with hieroglyphics, which is to be the sarcophagus, of that ethereal, of the unfortunate princess. The smoke and vapor, as it arises from the body, enters the vase in a most mysterious manner. The vase is then sealed and the cavalcade proceeds with it to the tomb, where it is deposited and the door of the tomb closed, it was thought forever. Three thousand years later, there came to the “Land of Ruins” a Boston professor, student of the illustrious Jean Francois Chainpollion, discoverer of the key to Egyptian hieroglyphics, who unearthed the vase and took it to his home in Boston. Vague, indeed, was the story he learned about the treasure and, while sitting in his study, cudgeling his brain to lift the veil of mystery from it, falls to sleep. [In] this psychological condition, [he] imagines the maid, while dusting, knocks the vase from the tabouret on which it stands. Bursting into bits, it emits a dense vapor, from which the reincarnated princess appears. Here is trouble. Our friend, the professor, is a married man, whose better-half is a buxom, unethereal person, who doesn’t believe in the “Soul Sister” tommyrot. She, of course, wants an explanation, which the nervous professor is unable to give, so he bolts and runs hatless out of the house, followed by the princess, both followed by Mrs. Professor. Into a restaurant he rushes, with the princess at his heels. At the restaurant, as they sit enjoying a repast, the reincarnated Theban lover appears and claims the princess. This, the old professor resents and is run through by the Egyptian just as the wife enters. Mortally wounded, he falls to the floor, from the sofa, [as] the scene changes and we find the professor awakening from a horrible dream, the pain of the sword thrust being induced by a severe attack of indigestion.
There are no videos of this or any pictures. Since the movie was about a Princess, I grabbed a photo of Linda Arvidson from her IMDb profile. She also has a nice picture on Wikipedia, linked, above. The film is listed for 1908 releases and there is a note/citation referencing a mention of this short in Horror In Silent Films: A Filmography 1896-1929, though IMDb does not tag this as a horror. The production company was American Mutoscope & Biograph Company, the first company in the US devoted entirely to film production and exhibition. There is a survival status of some print in the Library of Congress. I wish I had more. ~Vic
Song Saturday: Radar Love
“I’ve been drivin’ all night, my hands wet on the wheel…There’s a voice in my head that drives my heel…
Submitted for your approval, returning to my Samsung playlist, I present Radar Love by Golden Earring, a Dutch hard-rock/progressive rock band. I can’t imagine that anyone out there hasn’t heard this song at least once. Founded in 1961 in The Hague, Netherlands, most of their extensive material didn’t even chart in the US. In the 60 years of their existence, they made 25 studio albums, eight live albums, two compilation albums and an impressive 74 singles. Originally named The Tornadoes…
Golden Earring was formed in 1961 in The Hague by 13-year-old George Kooymans and his 15-year-old neighbour, Rinus Gerritsen. Originally called The Tornados, the name was changed to Golden Earrings, when they discovered that The Tornados was already in use by another group.
They [achieved] their first success in 1965 with “Please Go,” as a pop rock band with Frans Krassenburg as lead singer. By 1969, the rest of the lineup had stabilized, with lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Barry Hay and drummer Cesar Zuiderwijk. By ’71, they [were] a regular presence on Dutch charts and [were] starting to climb up the ladder in Germany. They [signed] on to the Who’s Track label, which released a compilation of Dutch singles, Hearing Earring, helping the group break through in England.
The young group initially baptizes itself as The Tornadoes but, when that name turns out to have already been claimed by another band, they switch to The Golden Earrings – loosely based on a song by the British band The Hunters.
While most Dutch pop bands from the sixties stumble over the threshold to the seventies, the Golden Earring – as the band has come to call itself – emerges from the decade strong and confident.
In 1973, Golden Earring aspires to make an album that is of international allure both artistically and commercially. A lot of time is put into writing and recording what will eventually become Moontan. The mission succeeds brilliantly. Candy’s Going Bad, Radar Love, Just Like Vince Taylor and The Vanilla Queen are among the best the band has written to date.
Both Moontan’s first single Radar Love are a resounding success. First in the Netherlands, then in the rest of Europe and finally in America – where the album was released in 1974. Radar Love even becomes a big hit, with a 13th place as the highest listing. In the following years, however, the song will mainly grow into one of the ultimate car songs, which can still be heard daily on American radio stations. Radar Love has been covered by hundreds of international acts over the decades, including U2, White Lion, Ministry and Def Leppard. Both the single and the album are an undisputed milestone in Dutch pop history.
Golden Earring Biography Page (Google will have to translate.)
It’s not really normal for a band eight albums into their career to suddenly enjoy a worldwide breakout. And, for it to happen with a track over six minutes long with elongated instrumental passages and a somewhat mysterious narrative is even stranger. “…the song most likely to inspire a speeding ticket some 47 years after it was first released.” Barry Hay, the group’s lead singer and lyricist, explained in a recent interview with American Songwriter that a record company push gave then some hope.
“We signed up with Track records, the label of The Who,” Hay says. “And, they really put an effort into it, because they had a sort of monkey wrench. If they could put us together on tour in Europe, they could put us together in Madison Square Garden. So, [we’re] sort of the sons of the Who.”
“At first, the opening line was ‘I’m sitting in a bathtub.’ And, I thought, ‘That’s hardly masculine.’ Then, I came up with sitting in a car.”
“…Hay managed to come up with effortless couplets […] while tying them together in a resonant story of a mystical connection between two separated lovers. […] I remember, in those days, I was really interested in ESP. I read some shit about it. […] Like there’s an accident but, these people still have ESP, they still have contact in a way. Which is sort of a magical thing…
It also inspired a million interpretations but, Hay says that the tragic one is correct. “The guy actually dies,” he says of the song’s narrator. “That’s the gist of the whole thing. In a way, she still has contact with him. There is an afterlife.”
Behind The Song: Radar Love
Jim Beviglia (Written three years ago)
Unfortunately, Golden Earring is no more:
Golden Earring Co-Founder George Kooymans Retires After ALS Diagnosis
The Band Calls It Quits ~Vic
♦ The Virgin Encyclopedia of Heavy Rock (Colin Larkin/1999/Internet Archive/Pages 187-188/Sign-In Required)
♦ It’s Prog Jim, But Not As We Know It: Golden Earring (Louder Sound/Prog/Malcolm Dome/10-28-2014)