The Invaders

This TV series was from 1966/67. It’s about a race of aliens coming to Earth, infiltrating its private and state apparatuses in preparation for taking over the planet. The aliens look just like people. I can see how the ‘colonisation’ story arc that ran thru a large part of The X Files series’ borrowed heavily from The Invaders.

For those able to get their youtoob on, here are the opening titles:

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After watching a few episodes and then looking at the wikipedia entry my assumption was confirmed that the aliens were a metaphor for _commies_. Eventhough it was a decade after the McCarthy days, the Cold War was still rocking hard.

Since the hero is fighting the aliens I originally thought that the whole thing had a right-wing agenda, but the creator was interviewed saying that it was just as much about the paranoia and hype, as well as how several writers had been unjustly black-listed in Hollywood.

<a href=”” title=”vikor-enterprises by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”378″ alt=”vikor-enterprises” /></a>

Episode 6, ‘Vikor’ was a really good example of how the aliens are evil commies, sure, but the human collaborator’s story was less black and white. A now successful manufacturing plant owner, the guy was a Korean War hero but given no help at all by his country when he returned with a gimpy leg. In the first 8 eps, the war in Korea has been mentioned 3 times. “The plant”, scientific or mechanical is a symbol of society’s advances but also the early fracturing of traditional family life.

It looks like Quinn Martin must have been doing product placement for Ford. As an aside, I’m lovin’ the era’s architecture (again, the plant) and other minor details in the outdoor shots. It reminds me of old dairy factories that used to be scattered through the western district of Victoria, which aren’t there now, or have been updated. The torrent file I d/loaded of the first season was a cable tv run, to VHS and to digital, so it’s really lo-fi looking but it looks good. I see the two seasons are available on DVD now too.

people like frank

It was my birthday a week ago. I turned 36. I realised I’m not coping well with birthdays in recent years. I think I have some sort of expectation that I should be somewhere or doing something and I’m not. Also partly because I don’t feel like I’ve done much in this last 12 months. On a day to day basis I guess things are okay and I’m healthy so that’s a good thing. “Almost anything you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” — Mohandas Ghandi.

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While I’m sweeping up half-saved drafts:

Yes Dennis Hopper died (a week or two back). It’s sad but everyone dies. The most notable mention alongside this has been easyrider. I’m only mentioning this here because Hopper happened to be in two of my fave films. (Oh, also, there was this great doco series I saw once called something like, ‘the fine art of seperating people and their money’ about advertising and its history. dennis MCed it.)

But what I really liked, was that he played the more-than half-crazed photo-journalist in _Apocalypse Now_. Did you know that ‘if’ is the middle word in life?

Even better than that (no not _Space Truckers_) was his playing Frank Booth in _Blue Velvet_. I remember ages ago seeing some DVD end-matter that was telling how Lynch was doing the casting for the film and Dennis had read the part and was pleading to be Frank. Lynch was hesitant because Dennis had been on and off the drugs for a while and would probably be unreliable. Hopper said that _he was_ Frank Booth and that’s why he needed the part. Anyway there were heaps of great lines that came out of that character but I just thought that it was great, that as an actor, you might get the opportunity to explore parts of your own psyche through a role, particularly the darker parts.

minor raant

1. If first-world teenage girls want to go sail around the world, fine, let them. But when shit fucks up, they’re on their own. Don’t waste tens of thousands of dollars trying to find them. Spend it on people who need it.

2. Why are car colours so boring these days? I know that Korean car manufacturers are just mindlessly following the international trends but when I’m in the bus on the freeway I literally see 95% black, white and ‘silver’ (aka plastic grey).

3. Taken from the hankoreh <a href=””>here</a>.

<a href=”” title=”127630615366_20100613 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”272″ alt=”127630615366_20100613″ /></a>

Typical Korean spelling fail. It’s not even funny-bad, it’s just bad.

june 9

I could say I’ve been beavering away at my master dissertation but I haven’t really. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and how I’m not concentrating on it as much as I would like to. I just contacted ze supervisor and confirmed what I was hoping, which is that the halfway point is kind of flexible so all is well.

I have been continuing to work my way through grand theft auto 4. There’s not much that can be said about that. It’s a kind of a singular journey. When I am talking to people on the phone recently I realise I don’t have that much to say, in part due to the fact that I have been playing the gta4, and it would be easy to conclude that this is making me a more boring person, but then what would have I been doing and saying if I had not started the game? “Hot tub time machine was funny/boring/depressing”, or “How about that new iPhone!”. In the end I think it makes little difference.

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I’m on a B&W kick.

<a href=”” title=”IMG_5260 by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”” width=”500″ height=”281″ alt=”IMG_5260″ /></a>

It’s funny how with normal settings I wouldn’t think of possibly intruding on people’s supposed privacy with my camera but when I think, ah stick it on black n white,  it’s arty, look at the everyday life of the bus-waiters watching free TV in the mild, pre-wall of humidity summer.