April 19, 2017

“Hell is other people” – and their taste in music…

Hell is quiz quotes FINAL


“Hell is other people.” (“L’enfer, c’est les Autres.”)
       Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)
       French existential philosopher and writer and Marxist social activist
       This is the oft-quoted line from Sartre’s play No Exit (titled Huis Clos in French), spoken by the character Joseph Garcin. The play was first performed in French at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier theatre in Paris in May 1944. It was first performed in English at the Biltmore Theatre in New York City in 1946, using the translation by the renowned Beat writer and translator, Paul Bowles.  
       Bowles was a bit creative in his translation. “Huis clos” is a French idiomatic expression that’s similar to the English legal term “in camera,” meaning a judicial proceeding or discussion held in private. In fact, the play has sometimes been performed and filmed in English under the title In Camera.
       A more literal translation of “Huis Clos” would be “behind closed doors.” However, the play is best known by the title Bowles came up with. Apparently, it was a hellish translation challenge for him. In the biography Paul Bowles: A Life, he is quoted as saying: “I’m not very good at titles. It took me six weeks to get No Exit out of Huis Clos.”
       No Exit/Huis Clos is about the three doomed souls: a man, Joseph Garcin, and two women, Inès Serrano and Estelle Rigault. They are condemned to Hell for their sins. But instead of facing flames and torture, they are locked together in a room furnished in the Second French Empire style. (Hellish in itself!) There’s not much for them to do except talk about themselves and eventually deal with Estelle’s attempt to seduce Joseph.

French Church of Satan


“Have you heard the expression ‘Hell is other people’? This is true, especially if the other people are French.”
       Satan (as quoted by writer David Katz)
       In a humorous “interview” with the Lord of Hell, “What I’ve Learned: Satan,” published in Esquire magazine, January 2007.

T.S. Eliot Cocktail Party play poster


“What is hell? Hell is oneself,
  Hell is alone, the other figures in it
  Merely projections. There is nothing to escape from
  And nothing to escape to. One is always alone.”
       T.S. Eliot
       British poet and playwright
       Said by the character Edward Chamberlayne in Eliot’s play The Cocktail Party, first performed in 1949. In the play, Edward makes amends with his wife Lavinia at a party, after they’d split due to his infidelity. It was the most popular of Eliot’s seven plays in his lifetime.

The Heming Way book


“Hell isn’t other people; it’s other people when you’re sober.”
       Marty Beckerman

       American author
       In his very funny book The Heming Way, which spoofs Ernest Hemingway’s uber-manly attitudes and behavior. The subtitle is How to Unleash the Booze-Inhaling, Animal-Slaughtering, War-Glorifying, Hairy-Chested Retro-Sexual Legend Within, Just Like Papa!

Wilson movie


“Hell may be other people, but they’re all we’ve got.”
       Stephanie Zacharek
       Film critic for Time magazine
       Her encapsulation of the point of the movie Wilson (starring Woody Harrelson as the title character), in her review in Time, April 3, 2017. The film is based on the graphic novel by American cartoonist Daniel Clowes.

Li'l Bastard by David McGimpsey


“Hell is other people’s taste in music.”
       David McGimpsey

       Canadian poet and novelist
       In his book of sonnets, Li’l Bastard (2011)

john guzlowski on Twitter


“Hell is other people’s politics.”
       John Guzlowski
       Polish-born American writer and poet
       His response on Twitter to a tweet by Quaint Magazine that said: “Throughout the next few days, we'll be reposting links to work we've published that speaks to the current political climate.”

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April 12, 2017

In space no one can hear you scream (or retch, or sigh, or…)

Alien movie poster


“In space no one can hear you scream.”
       The memorable marketing slogan used for the 1979 movie Alien 
       This famous tagline and the image of the alien egg used for posters and ads promoting Alien were created by Steve Frankfurt and Philip Gips, partners of the graphic design firm Frankfurt Gips Balkind (now In Sync Bemis Balkind). It has been repurposed, copied and parodied countless times ever since.

PASSENGERS movie poster 2016


“In space, no one can hear you retch.”
       Barry Hertz
       Film critic for the UK Globe and Mail
       This is the pointed headline of his review of the 2016 science fiction movie Passengers, starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, published in the Globe and Mail, December 20, 2016.
       “It’s Stockholm Syndrome masked as true love, and it is sickening,” Hertz said of the film’s plot. Most critics and women’s rights activists agreed. The film was widely-criticized as being cluelessly sexist. Why? In a nutshell, Pratt’s character finds himself to be the only crew member who’s awakened from cryogenic sleep on a spaceship taking a long voyage. He gets lonely, fixates Lawrence’s still-hibernating body and wakes her up. He lies to her by saying her revival was a pod malfunction, then woos her. In the minds of the spaced-out producers who greenlit Passengers, this was supposed to be a romantic storyline.

LIFE movie poster, 2017


“Don’t let the very good cast fool you, this outer space adventure is just another Alien clone...In space, no one can hear you sigh with resignation.”
       Adam Graham
       Film critic at the Detroit News
       In his review of the science fiction movie Life, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds, published in the Detroit News, March 23, 2017.

Alien Covenant movie poster 2017


“In space, no-one can hear you scream...except whatever it is that’s about to rip your chest apart.”
       Susan Arendt
       US Executive Editor for GamesRadar and Co-founder of TakeThis.org
       In her article on the GamesRadar site previewing the sixth movie in the Alien series, Alien Covenant (2017).  

Space Above and Beyond Boot Camp scene


“In space, no one can hear you scream – unless it is the battle cry of the United States Marines!”
       Line yelled at a group of rookie marines by Drill Sergeant Frank Bougus (played by actor R. Lee Ermey) in the boot camp scene in the first episode of the TV series Space: Above and Beyond, first aired on September 24, 1995. (One of my favorite science fiction TV shows, gone too soon after only one season.)

Danny Charnley tweet


“in space, no one can hear your political views”
       Danny Charnley 
       American writer and comedian
In a Twitter tweet about the overabundance of idiotic political posts on sites like Twitter and Facebook. (A modern phenomenon that is scarier than most science fiction horror movies.)

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