Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Electric Lie

‘Tis the season to be swindled once again by the promise of baby smooth cheeks without the risk of razors. Three pivoting "heads," comforting cream and no irritation is the false prophet's promise blasted on high over the Christmas cavalcade of commercials. Every year more and more unsuspecting chin-scraping fools fall for the Happy Norelco pitch. And every year, more and more stubble free dreams are dashed like puppies at the quarry. We’ve all been there, we have all given the electric razor a try and we have them all jammed in bathroom cabinets, where they collect dust atop the tad bit of beard dust they excavated one week after Christmas. Indeed, in less than a year, a perfectly respectable gift gets swallowed by the mighty mouth of the bathroom sink cupboard. There must be hundreds of them down under there already. And yet every Christmas we are once again drawn by the siren’s silky smooth call of the electric lie -– but be warned and heed the wisdom of wily whiskers; resist these Satanic stubble sirens! Or you shall surely suffer the clattering clutter that these so-called cutters leave in their whisker whacking wake.

The Ninnies of Narnia

So we went under special invitation to the Writers Guild screening of Disney's long-awaited and breathlessly ambitious production of "Chronicles of Narnia: TLTW&TW." Present following the screening was the film's composer, Harry Gregson-Williams, whose previous scores for Shrek, Shrek 2 and Shrek 3-D made him the most unlikely candidate for "The Chronicles of Narnia."

It was a pleasure to hear his accent though (refined to a new height of snobbish aristocracy), and his brief references to his mentor Hans Zimmer is, of course, as ironic as it gets, given neither had formal training to compose film scores in the grand tradition of Max Steiner, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Miklos Rosza, John Williams - well, just about anyone pre-James Horner who writes film music. Even sans formal training for scoring films, Harry still gets to proclaim in outbursts that are as subtle as master film composer Bernard Herrmann, who told Alfred Hitchcock through the grapevine that the orchestra comes from the same place as the lights, the sets and the director when Hitchcock asked why there should be musical passages in "The Lifeboat," which takes place in the middle of the open sea on a lifeboat. "Where would the music come from?" Hitchcock allegedly said. What? Was Hitch suggesting that music would be an aural intrusion to the sounds of the waves? Gregson-Williams said something similar in concept about dropping out music during the big battle sequence in Narnia. It was more powerful to hear the clanging of swords than some little leitmotif that could speak from an inner sensibility (but how could it, since no such themes were established earlier in the picture?).
Now for those who hear electronica in the Narnia score, Mr. Gregson-Williams declares, "There can be any kind of instrument you can imagine in Narnia -- including electronic violins!" Touché! Having Hans Zimmer as a film composing mentor is like having Tony Danza as your talk show host mentor. Ever since Brian Eno declared he knew very little about music and composing, but proceeded to mentor through the likes of David Bowie, U2 and notable others, it's become rather cool and vogue to tout you know not what you do -- isn't it grand and wild? And people keep hiring me! Ah-ha! So, it was only fitting that a flock of PANGEALS made their way into the screening, if for no other reason than to expose this trend. As for the score itself -- it's no "Metal Gear 3." But then, what is?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Phalangeal Fun

Driven to boredom one Sunday afternoon we here at PANGEA decided to give the world The Finger. It was a lark that lashed back with such furious vengeance that we were, to say the least, shocked. We wished no ill will; merely we were attempting an experiment to create a new character through the magic of digital video – a character who could stand alone, in vulgar defiance of the status quo – a character simply called, “The Finger.”

The Finger

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

PANGEA Flush with Pride

Stan Lee, a man of unquestionable talent and explosive creativity, called us for a favor -- how could we refuse? Mr. Lee needed to squeeze out a short video for C.R.A.P. (Constipated Retired American People). Taking our cue from the man who heaved-up the gigantic character of Bruce Banner we produced the following PSA. (With special thanks to Ang Lee, fellow sufferer and avid anal ailment advocate.)


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Zorro Sets Silver Screen Afire!

On October 16, 2005, the Pangeals were honored to attend the big downtown Los Angeles/Hollywood premiere of "The Legend of Zorro." We got choice seats along the red carpet, right in front of the propane-fueled blazing "Z" (witness this shot of the two stars, Zeta-Jones and Banderas).

We couldn't help but notice the fire got hotter and hotter and blazed all the more as Catherine and Antonio approached. As we sat and watched the film, we applauded at every use of a cart and barrel, gunpowder and any swashbuckling hijinx, as this was the cornerstone of the toy line we developed in concert with Zorro Productions and Giochi Preziosi.

Though our favorite villain we created, Senor Muerte,
didn't make the final cut in the film, we were overwhelmed by the performance of Adrian Alonso, the son of Zorro and Elena. Complimenting the action every step of the way was a fantastic score by James Horner, the heir apparent to the recently deceased Jerry Goldsmith. The party afterwards was equally breathtaking. Our thanks to our psychophysiologist friend and film producer, John Gertz, for inviting us and showing us a grand time. And good luck to director Martin Campbell on his next picture, a remake of the Peter Sellers classic James Bond film, "Casino Royale."

No More Picking On Dim

PANGEA has often leapt from the precipice of public perception without regard to the onslaught of lawsuits. It was in just such a state that we foolhardily produced this trailer for “A.1.” It flagrantly flaunts itself as a loving tribute to the brilliance that was Stanley Kubrick, a brilliance so aptly imitated by Mr. Spielberg in the film “A.I.” So with blatant disregard to the cease and desist order signed by Superior Court Judge Karen Nudell we present “A.1.”

A.1 Trailer

Monday, November 07, 2005

No Child Left Behind

It has been a long held belief here at PANGEA that education is the key. A magical key with unearthly powers held just out of reach by the mind-sucking aliens who control our precious educational institutions. We here at PANGEA have begun the revolution to take back the minds of our moronically educated public school kids with our own primer. A primer tuned to provide the youth of today with the alien killing tools of tomorrow. It’s our hope, nay – our destiny, to provide every school going child who can afford $29.95 this PANGEA primer entitled Prim & Proper. Read it and weep alien overlords!

Prim & Proper

Sunday, November 06, 2005

A Flight of Fancy

Back in the days when “One-eyed Willie” referred to only one man, the great and often overlooked documentarian Boris Baktov began his most ambitious work ever on the elusive Wiley Post. Though left uncompleted when Boris was forced to flee the country under pressure of prosecution (word had traveled from Purcell, Oklahoma to the state capitol that Baktov was a Russian spy and was teaching art history at the University of Oklahoma), we have recently recovered some film previously thought destroyed. It is incriminating evidence for a man on the run, but also a tribute to a man who felt the American spirit like it was a seething, beating thing which could be surgically removed. Here now for the first time we present the lost footage of Boris Baktov's masterpiece in the making, "Wiley Post."

Wiley Post

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Underwear Recording Recovered

Though we are unable to post Dr. Drew Davenport's complete audio sermon due to a protracted legal battle with his surviving relatives, we are proud to bring you this short clip. Recorded surreptitiously under the blouse of one Marsha Mannheim (devout follower of Dr. Drew and a PANGEA employee).

The tragedy of Dr. Danvenport's untimely demise and that of his followers should not be allowed to overshadow the amazing message of hope and Puritanical morality that he was driven to share with us all. It is our sincere hope to one day broadcast his message in its entirety -- minus the suicide part, of course, so that we may all rejoice and boogie-down with the Lord! Jesus liebt dich! This one is for you Marsha, wherever you are.


Justice Knows No Talent

Driven to unimaginable heights of accomplishment by an unreasonable lack of respect from his parents, Baynard Kendrick produced his first radio play, entitled “Blind Justice.”

This forty minute foray into the realm of detective drivel held the promise of the cascading career that Mr. Kendrick enjoyed as a head writer and creative intellect at PANGEA Corporation, until his untimely death in 1977. An answer to the pulpy B-movies made based on his novels, Kendrick controlled the whole enchillada -- from scripting to casting to producing. PANGEA footed the bill and chalked up a credit in radio programming. Kendrick was way ahead of his time, predicting the digital recorder and other hi-tech devices, all used in sound engineering. He was obsessed with it all his life.

Crafted with archetypical characters and unavoidably bizarre and Columboesque plot twists, this story of a blind detective shines a penetrating light on the thinly veiled social outcry heard so frequently in our country, as judges create laws rather than interpret them. Critics hailed "Blind Justice" as Falknian, with its turgid similarities to the famous trenchcoated detective. Historians know, however, that Kendrick penned and produced the first Iris McCann (aka "Spud Savage") adventure an amazing 49 years before "Columbo" debuted on NBC! Kendrick was constantly changing the names of his lead characters to avoid confusion from one type of media to another. He even changed his own name and went by Richard Hayward when he was screenwriting.

Couched in a cacophony of original music created for the series by the stunningly talented composer Desha Dunnahoe, this midday macabre and merciless mystery reaches well beyond the talents of all involved -- and thrust Baynard Kendrick's legendary launch into the oblivious orb of radio history. It's hardly worth mentioning the recent ABC debacle, "Blind Justice," which is in no way related to this radio masterpiece from another era. So sit back, close your eyes and embrace the darkness of the world’s greatest blind detective!

“In the land of the blind, the man madly swinging his baseball bat is king.” -- Iris McCann

Blind Justice

A First Trimester Tragedy

It began as one man’s dream and ended in a nightmare for millions. I am referring, of course, to “Pig Racer.” A project conceived in the back alley of animation and aborted into a ninth grade science class -- where it floats today, in a formaldehyde coffin for all to see. And now you can see it too.

Originally conceived as a prequel to "Love That Bob," "Pig Racer" got off to a bumpy start in the development department, where short-fused writer, Danny Maris, derided the notion of Bob being a pig. His objections were not religious, as some have speculated, but rather hormonal. Seems Maris was in the last throws of sexual reassignment -– his/her estrogen levels were peaking and her/his pork tolerance was at an all time low. Regardless of the reasoning behind this pro-choice aborted premise, all that remains is this pre-production teaser. We dedicate this presentation to Danniela Maris -- it was your right.
Pig Racer

Home is Where You Hang Your Tea Cup

It's November and the Toy Industry Association announced last month that they had selected a new facility on Church Street in Manhattan to be the home of the new toy center, due to the sell of the previous property on 23rd and Broadway. Then a few days later came the announcement that the new facility was no longer the choice -- and the search would go on. February is the month for the traditional International Toy Fair in New York. One cannot help but feel these reverberations of being unsettled as a metaphor for the industry itself. With compression of demographics, kids who bail out of imaginative play to be cast into graphical virtual worlds, the toy business as it was once known is now awash in confusion, diffusion, illusion and delusion. Behind it all, one must remember the little manufacturer of tea cups on the 12th floor who writes $25 million dollars worth of business every year -- all from a 200 square foot showroom. One must remember there are rules -- and that the rules, like tiny porcelain tea cups, must be broken from time to time. So what is the new rule for the toy industry? Find a building -- because a widening gyre is not good for business. This is America, for goodness sake! How long must one man look to find a place to sell his toy tea cups?