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June 29th, 2009 mon.
June 29th, 2009

I heard from Camille Leganza some news about the Irish animated feature the Secret of Kells- "The Secret of Kells" won the Audience Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival! One of our producers, received the award from Sean Connery! Very cool.

I saw the film a few months back, and it's pretty good. Very interesting styles. Animated Celtic filagree.

It's one of the cold hard facts of doing animated features, that just because you complete an animated feature, it doesn't mean it will get a deal to be distributed to theaters in the U.S.A. I've seen many good international movies that for one reason or another didn't reach American theaters. I worked on Rock & Rule in 1982, and John Korty's Twice Upon a Time. Last year Nina Paley's beautiful Sita Sings the Blues came out on line, but I don't recall if made it to a theater.

Knocking on the door this year for some American Pie is

Brendan and the Secret of Kells ( Ireland) Tom Moore & Nora Twomey, which I hear will indeed get an limited American release.

Mary & Max by Adam Elliot ( Australia)

Missing Lynx by my old pal Raul Garcia ( Spain) This film won a Goya Award, Spain's Oscar.

I wish them luck and hope we all get to seen them in theaters. And remember, if we get more than 15 animated features released in the U.S., the Academy gives us 5 nominations instead of 3.
Quiz: Gustav Holst was the composer of the Planets. What country was he born in?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is a Te Deum?
History for 6/29/2009
Birthdays: Bernard Hermann, Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle, Slim Pickens, Nelson Eddy, Gary Busey, John Hench, Little Eva, Harmon Killabrew, Antoine de Saint Exupery, Anna Sophie-Mutter, Leroy Anderson, Maria Conchita Alonso, Robert Evans, Ray Harryhausen is 88

65 AD- Feasts of Saints Peter and Paul. Supposing to be the date they were executed by order of Nero. Paul was beheaded in the Mamertine prison. He had the right to die quickly because he had honorary Roman citizenship- Civitas Romanum Sum! Peter was taken to Vatican Hill and when he expressed joy that he would die as Jesus had the Roman guard conceived of a variation and crucified him upside down. When later Roman Emperor Commodus learned the Christians venerated Vatican hill because of that event, he had his favorite racing horse buried there.

1762- Catherine the Great overthrew her husband Czar Peter III in a palace coup. When Catherine received word that Peter intended to depose her to marry his mistress she decided to strike first. Peter was mentally ill, so few believe he managed to make a child Her husband the Czar –Autocrat preferred playing with his toy soldiers in bed. But in those days if a marriage didn’t produced children it was assumed the woman was at fault. Catherine had a son the Czarevich Paul. So the remainder of the Romanoff dynasty may well be the spawn of Count Orloff in the Guards, Polish Prince Poniatowski or any one of a number of men. Catherine was not even Russian; her original name was Sophie von Anhalt-Zerbst. She was given the name Catherine when she converted to Eastern Orthodoxy to marry. The Russian troops worshipped their “little mother” because her first order after the coup was to cancel Peter’s planned war with Denmark, which the men thought foolish. Czar Paul was beaten and strangled, and Czarina Catharine became one of Russia’s great rulers.

1776- SO YOU WANT INDEPENDENCE EH?- This day outside New York Harbor near Sandy Hook New Jersey an immense British fleet was sighted. 500 ships bringing 32,000 redcoat troops and supplies 3,000 miles. It was led by the Howe brothers- General Lord Willam Howe and Admiral Richard Howe, “Black Dick”. One American soldier wrote:” There must be no one left in London, they are all here.” Simultaneous forces were headed for the Carolinas and at the mouth of the Chesapeake to menace Philadelphia. The British regulars were augmented by regiments of Hessian German mercenaries, trained in the schools of Frederick the Great, reputedly the finest in the world. General George Washington with his little army of amateur farmers were going to face the largest amphibious invasion of that century.

1776- THE BATTLE OF SULLIVAN’S ISLE. At the same time, Colonial Minutemen repulsed another English seaborne attack, this one at Charleston, South Carolina. A rebel song of the time poked fun at the British commander, Sir Peter Parker's Lament :

" With Much Labor and Toil
Unto Sullivan's Isle
Came I like Falstaff or Pistol.
But the Yankees ('Od rot'em)
I could not get at 'em
And they terribly mauled my poor Bristol! (-HMS Bristol)

But My Lords do not fear
For before the next year,
('Though a small island could fret us)
The continent whole
We shall take by my soul,
If the cowardly Yankees will let us!"

1799- The little Kingdom of Naples had trouble deciding who's side it was on during the Napoleonic Wars. It was very pro-British until a French army showed up, when they drove out the king and became pro-French. The British came back with a fleet and put the king back on his throne. The Neopolitan King Ferdinand “Big Nose" VII had told his British friends:"treat my Naples like it was a rebellious Irish village ". On this day the commander of the Neopolitan Navy, Admiral Carracciolo, who had changed sides several times, was captured and brought before Admiral Horatio Nelson. Nelson convened a drumhead courts-martial, sentenced and hanged the old Italian from his flagship's yardarm all on the same day. His lack of mercy, even of enough time to allow the condemned time to say his prayers remains one of the only black marks on Nelson's otherwise brilliant naval career. After a yardarm hanging the body is cut loose and allowed to drop into the sea. In a grim postscript several days later King Ferdinand was looking out across the harbor when he dropped his spyglass in horror. Carracciolo's body, bloated, fish knawed and pop-eyed from the hanging, had resurfaced and was looking right at him.

1801- Composer Ludwig van Beethoven confessed to a friend that he was going deaf.

1863- Robert E. Lee with his army now invading Pennsylvania, learned from an actor turned spy named Harris that the Yankee army he thought he left back in Virginia was now following him and was close by. There was a danger his army could be attacked while in it was strung out in several columns foraging for supplies. Angry that Jeb Stuart’s cavalry was off lost somewhere instead of scouting Lee orders his grey columns to turn away from Harrisburg and Philadelphia and concentrate where five main roads intersected. A little town named Gettysburg. Harris said he was not a spy but a patriot, yet he always insisted he be paid for his services in gold instead of worthless Confederate paper money.

1927- The first commercial plane reached Hawaii from the US mainland. It was a seaplane and at one point it ran out of fuel, landed in the water and the crew rowed the final few miles.

1935- Disney’s short “Who Killed Cock Robin?” Disney animators considered this film a breakthrough for them in the development of realistic personality acting in animation . Around this time Disney artists forbade the use of black exclamation marks popping out of the characters heads to express alarm like they are used in print comics.

1936- Pope Pius X published the encyclical warning of the evils of Motion Pictures. “They glorify Lust and Lascivious behavior.”

1940 – ROBIN THE BOY WONDER- According to Batman Comics, this day mobsters rubbed out a circus highwire team known as the Flying Graysons, leaving their son Dick an orphan. He was taken in by millionaire Bruce Wayne so Batman could have his Robin.

1940- First day shooting on the film Citizen Kane.

1941- One week after the German invasion began, at a secret meeting in Moscow, Soviet leader Josef Stalin was finally made to understand by his defense committee just how badly the Red Army was being beaten by the Nazis Blitzkrieg. Stalin left the room saying “ Lenin had left us a powerful state and we have screwed it up!” By mid-October Hitler’s tanks would be at the outskirts of Moscow.

1950- The Hollywood Ten are given jail sentences for contempt of Congress.

1956- President Eisenhower signed the Interstate Highways Act, allocating millions of dollars to build a system of interstate freeways connecting all the major U.S. cities. Ike was an engineer in the 1920s and saw the deplorable condition of American roads and during World War Two he saw the Germans use autobahns to move heavy mechanized units quickly Many innovations for smooth traffic transitions like the cloverleaf intersection and blending lane were first developed by German Bauhaus engineers for the autobahn.

1956- Marilyn Monroe married author Arthur Miller.

1966- Rolling Thunder. US B-52s bomb Hanoi for the first time.

1967-Actress Jane Mansfield and her dog are decapitated in a car crash when their car slammed into a parked tractor-trailor. Her children including Marisa Hargitay were in the back seat.

1968 - "Tip-Toe Thru' The Tulips With Me" by Tiny Tim peaks at #17.

1974- Isabella Peron, the second wife of Juan Peron after Evita, became President of Argentina.

1978- Actor Bob Crane, best known as the star in the television series Hogan’s Heroes, was found beaten to death with an electric cord around his neck in a Scottsdale Arizona hotel room. Around his body were pornographic literature and a large library of home made porn tapes. The murderer was never found.

1989- Don Johnson married Melanie Griffith.

1992- The President of Algeria Mohammed Boudief was assassinated during a speech.

2002- President George W. Bush formally turned over presidential power for two hours to Vice President Dick Cheney while he underwent a colonoscopy- i.e. a fiber optic camera is shoved up his butt.
Quiz: What is a Te Deum?

Answer: A Te Deum was a celebratory mass, when something really good happens to the kingdom. Czars and Kings were often ordering Te Deums to be sung after some big victory or election of a Pope. From St Ambrose’ hymn, Ted Deum Laudamus, give thanks to the Lord.