Pixel Scroll 9/6/17 The Itsy Bitsy Pixel Scrolled Up To Kilgore Trout

(1) OUR LOCAL WATERING HOLE. It couldn’t be more perfectly named. I really need some Filers to scout out this place in Hollywood. the Scum & Villainy Cantina. They welcome not only Star Wars cosplayers, but also Trekkies, Marvel fans, and fans of Alf. Sci-fi trivia nights, intense lightsaber battles, and other antics provide entertainment.

The Scum and Villainy Cantina is nestled in the black hole of Hollywood, CA. We’re open to the public! Come in and get your geek on. All fandoms welcome. We feature themed drinks, food and games from all your favorite geek staples. Costumes always highly encouraged


(2) DEL TORO. Here’s what Guillermo del Toro told The Frame’s John Horn in his latest interview: “Guillermo del Toro’s ‘The Shape of Water’ brings the filmmaker to tears”.

On seeing ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’ as a child:

In a strange way, “Creature” is an off-shoot of “King Kong.” And “King Kong” is an off-shoot of “Beauty and the Beast” and the fascination with gorillas in the 19th century … But what I loved about it — I was six years old, watching [“Creature”] on TV and three things awakened in me: one that I shall not disclose; the second one was, I thought it was the most beautiful image I’d ever seen. I had the Stendahl Syndrome moment, in which I was overwhelmed with beauty; and the third one I felt, I hope they end up together. And they didn’t … It took me 40-something years and 25 years as a filmmaker to correct that cinematic mistake.

On his adaptation of “Creature”:

That was the point of [“The Shape of Water”] for me: the celebration of otherness, which I think is very timely. Also, the idea that we are controlled by fear right now. We are divided by fear. I wanted to make a movie about love, which sounds disingenuous because right now cynicism sounds smarter.

(3) FILM REVIEW. The BBC’s Nicholas Barber gives the new del Toro five stars: “The Shape of Water is a new beauty-and-the-beast tale”.

If you want to know what to expect from The Shape of Water, just think of it as Amélie meets The Creature from the Black Lagoon – except that they also meet The Little Mermaid, some Hidden Figures and the inhabitants of La La Land. Oh, and they bump into James Bond, too. And then there are various characters from the Coen brothers’ back catalogue. That probably sounds like three or four meetings too many, but don’t worry – The Shape of Water is unmistakably a Guillermo del Toro film. Indeed, I’d be inclined to call it the Guillermo del Toro film: the fantasy masterpiece that blends all of his fondest obsessions into one sumptuous whole.

(4) SJW CREDENTIAL ALERT. We interrupt this newscast….

(5) JUST PLAIN BILL. The LA Doctor Who convention Gallifrey One has pulled off a coup: “Pearl Mackie, Matt Lucas and David Bradley at Gallifrey One 2018”. The event takes place February 16-18 next year.

Gallifrey One is delighted to announce the confirmation today of three major headline guests for our 2018 convention, The 29 Voyages of Gallifrey One, taking place next February: Doctor Who Series 10 stars Pearl Mackie and Matt Lucas, and the new incarnation of the First Doctor himself, David Bradley.

(6) STAR WARS. Hear Craig Miller tell about his work “Marketing Star Wars in 1977” on the Blabba the Hutt podcast.

Today Jamie gets to combine his love for Star Wars, and his love for Marketing as he speaks with -Lucasfilm consultant on Marketing, Publicity and Licensing for Lucasfilm from 1977 – 1980, including the marketing for Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977 and The Empire Strikes Back in 1980.

How did Craig help build the profile of a film that should have been a complete failure? How did the Lucasfilm marketing team capture the imagination of film lovers in 1977?

Join us for a trip back in time with one of Lucasfilm’s hero’s Craig Miller.

(7) HELSINKI REMEMBERED. Tiffani Angus and Chris Butler have more to say about Worldcon 75 at the Milford SF Writers Blog. The excerpt is from Angus’ report.

I also spent time on the more mentally taxing side of volunteering by being on two panels and giving a paper. On the Friday, I was on Building Resistance, which was more about real-life than fictional situations. Later in the afternoon I participated in Two’s Company: Collaborative Genre Writing, which was an odd place for me as someone whose only collaborative genre project was my first novel—which took 10 years to write and hasn’t seen the light of day! Between those two panels I gave a paper/presentation with a rather attention-grabbing title: Where are the tampons? The Estrangement of Women’s Bodies in Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction. Luckily, the audience forgave my zombie and menstrual-blood images and I received some very positive feedback and a lot of questions. Once things settle down a bit, I hope to be able to find a home for the piece. In between all of that, my colleague Dr Helen Marshall and I conducted audio interviews with several editors and authors to use as part of the distance-learning component of the MA in SFF that will start next spring at Anglia Ruskin University.

(8) CHARLES DICKENS. The Man Who Invented Christmas comes to theaters on November 22.


The E. in Wile E. Coyote stands for Ethelbert.


Read A Book Day

On Read a Book Day, it’s not compulsory to read a whole book but the day serves as inspiration to people to read a section of a book they particularly enjoyed, to read with children, to donate a book to a children’s school library, or to host a book reading party.


  • September 6, 1956 Fire Maidens from Outer Space premiered.
  • September 6, 1957 20 Millions Miles to Earth made its West German debut.

(12) SIGNS OF THE APOCALYPSE. What comes after blonde stout(*)? Pink chocolate! Callebaut introduces naturally rosy form; will fans bite?  The Bloomberg reporter hopelessly demands: “Don’t Call It Pink Chocolate”.

Barry Callebaut AG, the world’s largest cocoa processor, has come up with the first new natural color for chocolate since Nestle SA started making bars of white chocolate more than 80 years ago. While it has a pinkish hue and a fruity flavor, the Zurich-based company prefers to refer to it as “ruby chocolate.”

The new product may help boost sales in a struggling global chocolate market that producers hope has touched bottom. As Hershey cuts 15 percent of its staff and Nestle tries to sell its U.S. chocolate business, ruby chocolate raises the possibility that next Valentine’s Day may arrive with store shelves full of natural pink chocolate hearts.

(*) Chip Hitchcock remarks that blonde stout is “available at Yard House chain, at least in this area. Yes, it sounds strange — and it’s not perfectly blonde, actually a little murky — but it tastes like stout.” Now you know.

(13) WELL EXCUUUUUUSE ME! More whinging about US cultural imperialism. Do the Brits need something like that French academy that tells people to stop saying “hot dog”? “How Americanisms are killing the English language”.

Throughout the 19th Century, Engel contends, “the Americanisms that permeated the British language did so largely on merit, because they were more expressive, more euphonious, sharper and cleverer than their British counterparts”. What word-lover could resist the likes of ‘ornery’, ‘boondoggle’ or ‘scuttlebutt’? That long ago ceased to be the case, leaving us with words and phrases that reek of euphemism – ‘passing’ instead of dying – or that mock their user with meaninglessness, like the non-existent Rose Garden that political reporters decided No 10 had to have, just because the White House has one (it doesn’t exactly have one either, not in the strictest sense, but that’s a whole other story).

Call me a snob, but there’s also the fact that some American neologisms are just plain ungainly. I recently picked up a promising new American thriller to find ‘elevator’ used as a verb in the opening chapter. As in, Ahmed was ‘elevatoring’ towards the top of his profession in Manhattan.

Nowadays, no sphere of expression remains untouched. Students talk of campus and semesters. Magistrates, brainwashed by endless CSI reruns, ask barristers “Will counsel please approach the bench?” We uncheck boxes in a vain effort to avoid being inundated with junk mail that, when it arrives regardless, we move to trash…

(14) FOR RESIDENT ALIENS. The Guardian is touting this place: “Need more space? UFO-shaped home goes up for sale in New Zealand”.

A rare spaceship-shaped home has been put for sale in New Zealand, attracting international interest as sci-fi and architecture nerds scramble to secure a UFO abode by the sea.

Futuro houses were created in 1968 by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen as pre-fab, portable ski chalets. Shaped like an egg and constructed from fibreglass-reinforced polyester plastic the unusual houses became cult designs, with less than 100 ever produced.

“There is something magical about the shape of an egg, it’s smoothness and strength and the spaceship is like that; it is an iconic shape that attracts you to it,” says Juanita Clearwater, an architectural designer, who is selling her beloved Futuro.

(15) HISTORIC CAMERA. On the auction block is the “High Speed ‘Empireflex’ Camera Designed and Built by ILM” for The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Minimum bid: £100,000.

The high-speed ‘Empireflex’ VistaVision camera was designed and built by Industrial Light and Magic for Irvin Kershner’s Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and was used extensively on ILM productions for more than 20 years. The camera’s name references both the film for which it was built, and the reflex viewing system incorporated into the unit. It was the first reflex VistaVision camera ever built and was dubbed ‘one of ILM’s pride and joys’ by Cinefex magazine in 1980. After Star Wars: A New Hope, ILM sought to upgrade its equipment and manufactured some of the first new VistaVision cameras since the film format’s hey day during the 1950s. VistaVision, which is traditional 35mm turned on its side to create a larger image area, was originally conceived by Paramount as a response to television. ILM utilised it as the format of choice due to the need for a larger image area in photochemical effects work, where pieces of film were frequently copied several times.

(16) I FIND YOUR LACK OF FAITH DISTURBING. TV chef Gordon Ramsay’s best rants/insults have been synched up with Darth Vader’s scenes from the Star Wars movies. The maker found enough material for two videos —

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Camestros Felapton, Carl Slaughter, Chip Hitchcock, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jayn.]

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77 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/6/17 The Itsy Bitsy Pixel Scrolled Up To Kilgore Trout

  1. (6) and (15): I get more and more exasperated when writers imply that Star Wars used the roman numeral and regrettable subtitle during its 1977-78 initial theatrical run, when in fact it didn’t. Either these writers simply don’t know any better, or they do know but can’t be troubled to write in such a way as to make it clear that they know. Degraded knowledge gets spread around, in either case.

  2. (1) Back when I worked a month in Cork, Ireland, I found this gem of a place: An Spailpín Fána?. It was also the regular meeting place of the Cork Singers’ Club, who proved very welcoming to a Swedish filker just starting out.

    ETA: That should be a c with a dot above it; nowadays written “ch”.


    As it’s well known that we’re all Americans here – no Brits at all! – I don’t need to say anything about this item 🙂

  4. (5) it’s great to see the recognition and presumably good paychecks David Bradley is getting from his genre work. Like Patrick Stewart and Alan Rickman, Bradley is a fine classical actor (and my favorite Henry IV). But the RSC and the National Theatre don’t pay that great.
    A fun Star Wars game is Spot the Shakespearean, as the movies are littered with fine British classical actors. I think Michael Pennington was in A New Hope (as a bad guy), foe example, and Dame Harriet Walter popped up to say 5 words and pat Chewbacca’a arm in The Force Awakens.

  5. 13) As an anti-prescritivist I say drokk to that, chummer. Jemble who wrote that just pulled a Wilson.

  6. Mark:

    “As it’s well known that we’re all Americans here – no Brits at all! – I don’t need to say anything about this item :)”

    How do you do, fellow Americans?

  7. @Hampus Funny, I didn’t think you looked like steve buscemi at all…

    Pink Chocolate. Hunh.

  8. As all of us Americans know, a spailpín is a landless labourer, and fánach means wandering aimlessly, so An Spailpín Fánach means the wandering day-labourer.

  9. How do you do, fellow Americans?

    I’ll loan the words of another fellow American

    I’m a poor lonesome pixel
    I’ve a long long way from my scroll.

  10. I like to imagine Gordon Ramsay as THE worst Worldcon chairman, bar none. And then I like to imagine the convention that results….

    (Where’s my fuckin pocket program you moron! This program room looks like a wildebeast’s penis! Get out! Where’d you learn how to put ice in the bathtub? a Siberian Gulag?)

  11. Bruce Arthurs: “Ruby Chocolate” sounds like a character name from a Willy Wonka/James Bond mashup.

    Or a Willy Wonka / Fifth Element mashup.

  12. Reading: I set the Wayback Machine for circa 1890 and read Rider Haggard’s Viking novel Eric Brighteyes for the first time — it was good and appropriately grim — then set the WBM for 1978 and revisited Barrington J. Bayley’s Star Winds for the first time since, oh, high school, and it was entertainingly goofy, and now I set the WBM for, well, right this very second, and started Kate Elliott’s Buried Heart, the final in her YA Court of Fives trilogy.

  13. The UFO shaped house was a prefabricated item. One of them was owned in lower Delaware by a man my wife knew–he was a Quaker and a high functioning autistic person. Another one was featured in the past few years in FORTEAN TIMES.

  14. (14) I still prefer my local Space House, although it’s had its (figurative!) ups and downs over the years. Not as sleek as the NZ model, but much closer and (apparently) somewhat larger.

    Game of Thrones update: Just finished season six. Season seven may have to wait for the weekend, as a job interview Friday morning requires that I get a haircut sometime today, which in turn means getting some sleep Real Soon Now.

    Depending on how the interview goes, I may celebrate with a matinee showing of It – which I’m quite eager to see, as I’m a big fan of the book. (The miniseries did a solid job with what it adapted, given the broadcast TV constraints, but it really deserves an R rating… which the movie has.) If my finances were a bit better, I’d likely arrange my afternoon today to take in one of the night-before shows… but then again, leaving the theater while it’s still daylight is not the worst of ideas.

  15. leaving the theater while it’s still daylight is not the worst of ideas.

    Leaving the theatre and going to the circus, though….

  16. 13) Having read the article it did not seem to be blaming the US for imposing anything on the UK. But rather commenting on the pernicious nature of the Intertubes and modern media steadily wearing away at British English.

    As a Scot I’m well aware of how one’s cultural identity and language can be eroded in such away, in our case actively by the punishment of children speaking Scots in school in favour of “proper” English. And let’s not get into Gaelic.

    Not sure why the desire to keep our cultural uniqueness makes us “snowflakes”

    @Rev Bob, review in the Metro of IT seemed positive but indicated it had been cut into two parts. Do you know if that’s the case?

  17. I’ve also seen some generally positive reviews of IT — there was one on io9. And yes, it’s been split in half — the current movie is (mostly) following the storyline when they were children, as I understand, and the sequel will follow the adults when they come back to Derry.

    (And that makes me wonder if they’ll eventually release a home video version with the stories intercut together as in the book.)

  18. @IanP, Joe H.: (the bisection of It)

    That’s pretty much how the miniseries tackled the problem, too. Sadly, I doubt an interwoven edition is in the cards. It’s technically possible, I guess, but the visual differences between the old and young casts would completely blow the effect that the book’s interweaving created, where past memories and present experiences blur together into a single narrative whole once they enter the sewers. That’s one of the things I love most about the book, but it works so well precisely because it’s words on a page instead of pictures on a screen.

    I’m not expecting to see any of the historical asides, either – like the fire at the Black Spot or the logging camp massacre. Assuming the second movie is as long as the first, that’s still maybe 280 minutes of screen time altogether… for a book of 1,138 pages. The old rule of thumb is that adapting one page requires one minute, so a LOT of material’s going to have to get chopped. I would assume those asides, Mike Hanlon’s journal, and the “tales of the missing” chapters were the first to get the axe.

    I’m glad the house on Neibolt Street made it in, and my fingers are crossed for the Apocalyptic Rockfight, but it looks like the dambuilding scene in the Barrens may have gotten the axe. (I’m basing that on the character I assume to be Stan Uris getting the cop’s “graywater” exposition in a trailer.) I just hope enough of the skeleton remains for the beast to be recognizable.

  19. Rev. Bob on September 7, 2017 at 6:06 am said:
    Good luck with that job interview!
    (I have an interview Friday morning with an oncologist. First of probably many….)

  20. Howdy, Partners!

    (Yes, thats how we Americans talk, isnt it? We all talk like that, we have the best talks)

    Scroll hard with a vengeance!

  21. Cassy B, I’ve been told I have a marker protein (Her2n) that gives 2:1 odds on chemo being successful by itself.
    (The question I have is, how much does it cost, compared to the more usual surgery-plus-whatever, because being “cured” isn’t worth much if you go broke in the process.)

  22. P J Evans, <wince> yes, that’s a problem that our “fellow Americans” Niall and Peer and Johan and Hampus all probably wouldn’t have to worry about… <wry>

  23. ‘First new colour of chocolate’ phooey. Blond chocolate has been around for a few years now: look up the Valrhona Dulcey. Granted, it’s pretty much caramelized white chocolate, created for the first time entirely by accident at Valrhona, which then spent a few years trying to reliably replicate that accident in a way that could work for large scale production.

    Also, in general I disagree that the chocolate market is struggling all that badly. What is happening is that it’s fragmenting and stratifying: the market for mass-produced chocolate is struggling as chocolate is picking up something more like the ‘microbrew’ market, along with a greater number of places doing chocolate more along the lines of ‘single malt’. There’s a big chocolate snob market these days, just like for wines and cheeses.

    (Our local SF convention in Toronto, Ad Astra, has had chocolate tastings along with the wine, cheese, and scotch tastings for years.)

  24. @13: what particularly ticked me about this was the blindness about UKisms that have become part of US English — it really is a two-way street.

    @15: can some camera geek comment on the magazine size? My estimate is that 400′ of 35mm stock would be used in 100 seconds — which I know is long for a single cut in an action film but would seem to require filming in edit-size chunks. Is that what’s done?

    @gottacook: I see no implication in @15 that the original title included a colon or number; to me it speaks of the rerelease, or of titling used from then on. @6 is not absolutely clear about a colon, but how would you rewrite to be clear and not too cumbersome?

    @steve davidson: I’d put Trump against Ramsay for worst Worldcon chair any day. Does anyone else have suggestions? Do we need brackets?

    @JJ: Or a Willy Wonka / Fifth Element mashup. The mind reels….

  25. I’ve just spent an afternoon walk listening to Heather Rose Jones’ story Hyddwen, which was mentioned here a few days ago. And let me just say that it’s a delightful story!


    Re chocolate market: My impression from various articles I’ve read is the chocolate market is growing rapidly – driven partly by views in the West of dark chocolate being anti-oxidant-filled “health food”, and partly by the growing middle class of India and China developing more of a taste for it.

    Coupled with political unrest in the most important chocolate producing countries in West Africa, the most dire predictions I’ve heard is that chocolate may become scarce and an extreme luxury.

  26. How many miles to Babylon?
    Three scroll and ten.
    Can I get there by pixel-light?
    Yes, and back again.

  27. (9) Before placing a lot of emphasis on Wile E. Coyote’s middle name being Ethelbert, I recommend reading what the person who chose that middle name wrote about that.

  28. I would have preferred Ethelred.

    (For those of use who lived in the age before Æ was easy to type.)

  29. @Chip: My broadcast TV days were far enough back to involve a lot of 16mm film where a “foot” of film was 16 frames rather than a linear foot. For standard 35mm film a film foot was a linear foot, on 16mm the film foot was shorter but had the same running time. It made life easier for crews switching between formats, a “400 foot” magazine would last the same time and using footage dataed way back before frame rates were standardised. The same may apply to the Vista Vision format or not…

  30. Peer on September 7, 2017 at 10:11 am said:

    Howdy, Partners!

    (Yes, thats how we Americans talk, isnt it? We all talk like that, we have the best talks)

    Yes, y’all, indeedy. Here, let us partake of this jello-salad and pumpkin pie for we are real Americans. Wait, do we put the jello on the barbecue or not?

  31. And after the edit window ran out…

    Use of the “film foot” is why you may see the countdown on a film leader apparently running fast, it’s counting down the 16 frame film feet rather than seconds.

  32. @13 It’s well known that the English will help themselves to any words that are not nailed down. (I’m English)

  33. I never thought I’d see my favorite guilty pleasure reality TV celebrity chef on my favorite science fiction news site! Love the mash up of Darth Ramsey!!

  34. Jamoche on September 7, 2017 at 12:49 pm said:
    IIRC, it was on and off the market for some time before it finally sold. I hope it’s easy to live in.

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