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So much to do, and yet here I am at the reference desk for the day, when I'd rather be at home writing.

(It's silly how affected I get by a new idea. I've been melancholic for several days, but last night I had an idea for my next No Fear of the Future piece, and now I'm filled with energy and can't wait to begin writing it).

In the meantime, there's fun, and then there's



That's the Baroness Troixmonde, a.k.a. "Filibus," the heroine of Filibus (1915). She is a Rocambole-esque master thief who terrorizes Italy from her zeppelin (the picture is of the front of the zeppelin's carriage), which is full of technologically-advanced machinery and weapons. The zeppelin is manned by a staff of mask-wearing, black-skin-suit-clad male assistants who obey the Baroness' commands instantly. The zeppelin is her headquarters and her home, and she descends to land only to rob or to hobnob with the socialites as the tuxedo-wearing dandy Count de la Brieve. At the end of Filibus she eludes her enemy, Detective Hardy (in the picture Hardy is the arms-crossed guy who the mask-wearing Baroness is taunting), and flies off into the sunset.

One of the reasons I love researching for Pulp Heroes is that I'm constantly reminded that our predecessors could be so exuberantly imaginative. A crossdressing rocambolesque zeppelin-piloting master criminal from a 1915 silent film--how fun is that?
Current Mood:
busy busy
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On February 17th, 2007 04:29 pm (UTC), hangingfire commented:
Zeppelins!

I agree, that is magnificently cool. I'd love to see that film, if there are any prints still extant.
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On February 17th, 2007 04:30 pm (UTC), ratmmjess replied:
Zeppelins, like monkeys and Irma Vep, make everything better.

I'd love to see the film as well. No idea where to go to see a print, though.
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On February 17th, 2007 04:37 pm (UTC), hangingfire replied:
Those early SF silents were so wonderfully odd. Ever seen a Russian silent called "Aelita, Queen of Mars"? Very strange film about a guy who goes to Mars and is key in an uprising of the downtrodden Martian people, etc. -- but is mostly notable for the nutty Russian constructivist design. They had a display of the designs in San Antonio several years back, and the movie crops up every now and then at the Alamo Drafthouse.
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On February 17th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC), ratmmjess replied:
Never actually seen it, but read a lot about it. Those Russians...in addition to every other crime for which Stalin is burning forever more, there is his preventing generations of writers and filmmakers, whose output in the 1920s was gloriously loopy and gonzo, from expressing themselves.

The Drafthouse...I wish it wasn't such a long drive to Austin. We'd go to the Drafthouse regularly otherwise.
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On February 17th, 2007 04:55 pm (UTC), guest_informant replied:
It's available from Amazon, there was an American edition in late 90's.
But I'd rather recommend the recent, restored version.
The film is really great.
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On February 17th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC), ratmmjess replied:
Sweet! Thanks!
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On February 17th, 2007 05:07 pm (UTC), guest_informant replied:
I had to get it in two editions eventually, this one from Ruscico and as a part of a box-set, also including The Space Voyage.
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On February 17th, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC), ratmmjess replied:
Ooooh...I want that.
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On February 17th, 2007 05:36 pm (UTC), guest_informant replied:
Well, just recently I sent this box-set to albars in San Francisco. I could ask him to make a copy for you, I guess.
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On February 17th, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC), ratmmjess replied:
I'd greatly appreciate that!
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On February 18th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC), guest_informant replied:
albars says No problem, so I'll need your mailing address. You could just e-mail it to any of the addresses in my profile.
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On February 17th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC), editswlonghair commented:
Holy crap! That sounds downright awesome. And ripe for a remake. ;)

Have you been able to track down a script or anything further about this movie?

Now what's ironic is that in my Horatio Club 'Caper!' game, I was going to use Alberto Santos-Dumont in much the same capacity: http://horatioclub.pbwiki.com/Alberto%20Santos-Dumont*
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On February 17th, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC), ratmmjess replied:
Ripe for a remake indeed. Unfortunately I haven't found anything further on the film--I'm almost afraid to, as it might not be as cool as I want it to be.

Santos-Dumont, yes--appeared on occasion in pulps or dime novels as a bad guy. Very interesting chap.
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On February 17th, 2007 07:13 pm (UTC), editswlonghair replied:
"it might not be as cool as I want it to be."

Yeah, I hear you... that is exactly why I was disappointed with 'Aelita' when I saw it.
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On February 17th, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC), ffutures replied:
A bad guy? Boggle! He was a pacifist who killed himself because he didn't like military use of airships!
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On February 17th, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC), ratmmjess replied:
Ah, but he was Brazilian and French, and obviously Americans and Brits can't be having a pilot like that succeed. In Boys' Herald in 1903 a Santos-Dumont analogue named "Santon-Dumas" is the pilot of a zeppelin which is helping the French war on the British. The inventor-adventurer Captain Strange uses his Nautilus-like submarine to destroy Santon-Dumas' zeppelin.
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On February 18th, 2007 06:03 am (UTC), catsparx commented:
Looks like that reasonably recent Angelina Jolie Sky captains movie might have ripped off some ideas from that old movie.
On February 19th, 2007 10:51 am (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
I´m brazilian and I´m happy for Dumont becomes a source for this ideas... I never had heard this before.

Normally, it´s difficult escapes from the stereotype of sex, jungle, indians, cannibals or bandidos/ murderers (*)(like "Lost World", "Tourists" or "Little Joe" from City of God).

But he´s a hero here (maybe like Washington for americans - or better than), I wonder people here will complain a lot, if they know about that.

Sorry for my bad english.

(*)Sad, but sometimes the stereotype is real...
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On February 19th, 2007 10:53 am (UTC), catsparx replied:
Your English is better than my Brazillian :-)
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On February 19th, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC), ratmmjess replied:
Your English is better than my Portuguese. :-)

The United States, at least before the 1960s, usually dealt with major figures from South America like that. Chile, in the 1880s/1890s, was almost always portrayed as a major threat to the U.S.
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On February 19th, 2007 05:05 pm (UTC), ratmmjess replied:
Uh...huh.

Y'know, that never occurred to me, but you may well be right.

Hmm.
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