Tuesday, July 21, 2009

21 July 1955 “Disneyland Opens, A Movie and A Thought”

17 July 1955: Disney Land Opens:
“Back in the early 1950s, Anaheim was a sleepy little town, and the area around it was nothing more than acres and acres of orange groves. Enter Walt Disney, the original Imagineer. Disney's initial idea was to build a park near his Burbank studio for his employees and their families, but those plans changed over time and his dream grew.
disneland areial He bought over 160 acres of those sleepy orange groves around Anaheim and set about, in 1954, building his "Magic Kingdom." Original plans called for a 9 million dollar 45-acre park, but by opening day the park covered 160 acres and had cost 17 million. Opening day was a gala affair: The ceremonies were broadcast live on ABC with Art Linkletter and Robert (Bob) Cummings as hosts, with celebrities like Ronald Reagan, and VIPs like the Governor of California also in attendance.
giant_squid_1955a The park was turning a profit by its second year of operation, and new rides were soon planned. The Viewliner train in 1957 whisked visitors between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. The Matterhorn, Submarine Voyage, and the Monorail opened in 1959.
Today Disney Inc. is global, with theme parks in Florida, Paris, and Tokyo, a cruise line in the Bahamas, a cable and network TV presence.”

july life This life cover features the young Susan Strasburg who stars in the movie Picnic with William Holden and Kim Novak that comes out this summer, 1955.
I really liked the movie. It was a different way, for me, to see Kim Novak. I always loved her in Bell, Book, and Candle (that doesn't come  out for another three years I think).
I don’t want to appear a prude nor to wish stifling on any art form or restrictions placed upon the creative arts, but with that said, I love that a movie, such as this, can convey so much passion, anger, love, lust etc. The human condition is all here in this film without illicit sex scenes or gory fights or even swearing. As I said, I am not a prude and I would not want to restrict creativity, what I want is for the newer generations to want to break from the easy way now to simply swear, show sex, and cut off a head graphically, to the more pure representational way to represent the human condition. I don’t want to stifle but to encourage a new growth of expressionism in film that leads away from the flagrant obvious photographic and pornographic showing of the obvious. It would be stunning to see how it could be done. It would be a great study in a film class to put to the students to make a horror film, a love story, a film exposing the illicit and bad qualities of the human animal without the obvious use of couple having sex, man with head chopped off etc.
It is almost easy now to just show everything. I think some of the art is lost in needing to veil it in a way. I know I find more beauty and joy in things that can be subtle and leave me thinking and wondering, but it seems we need everything just handed to us today. Another example of our lazy society. It is as if we are saying to the viewers, “You don’t have to wonder or imagine if the couple making love did so, or if the monster is eating its victim or any subtle ideas whatsoever”  Again, I am not a prude, but maybe I am just a romantic or a crazy time-traveler. I think we have broken everything down and revealed all, that has been done. Now, the real challenge: to hold the attention of our generations of mindless TV watchers who take entertainment as a oxygen, it is always there. We are always plugged in, tuned on etc. We have a sort of numb approach to all of it and I really think a new movement of subtlety and more artful expression really could be well received. Perhaps we could even allow new generations to get a bit of their own imagination and wonder back. I know, I am from the cynical and ironic generations. Nothing can be too serious or too real, or we cannot trust it and scoff at it. There is something envious in me when I look to these simpler more naive generations. I want to look at a simple love story and this, “oh how sweet”, but we are the ironic crowds. Perhaps, because we cannot or do not want to feel to intently, we cannot let anything be serious, I am not sure.
I realize this rant is not very vintage, but it feels very much how I am beginning to react in my own skin to the modern world, one in which I felt very much a part, and am now wondering where my place in it could be? If it can be changed? Should it be changed? And can we change it? Do any of you out there feel this way or does what I have said make any sense? I feel, sometimes, I am merely becoming a walking anachronism.
I promise, next post will have recipes, cleaning tips and tangible ideas, but today, perhaps due to the rain, I am introspective. Now, I have a pile of ironing calling my name and I have to do more packing and labeling of boxes for my move.
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