Take Seven of Seven: A Night At The Movies With Artist Judy Mastrangelo

cover-image-7This wonderful new interview series with Judy Mastrangelo is all about the movies. This is a seven part series… Let’s delve in!

Films have always inspired my life and my art, ever since I was young.  They fulfill needs for fantasy, excitement, etc., which can be experienced vicariously by everyone who loves to partake in the adventure of this delightful art form.

I don’t watch movies all day long, only when I have some time to spare for them.  But many great movies stay with me forever in my memory. Several of the films I mention here, I’ve seen several years ago.  But they were so enjoyable that sometimes they will come to mind, and I’ll enjoy thinking about them and the actors who were in them.  I find the realm of film a magical place of enrichment for my soul, since when I visit it, I can become other characters, visit fascinating lands, and partake in exciting adventures.

Personally, I enjoy both the old and the new films.  They each have something to offer.





SHERLOCK HOLMES – To my mind, BASIL RATHBONE and NIGEL BRUCE portray the perfect Sherlock Holmes duo.  This early series, based on the books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is set during the Second World War.  But even though this time period was not Doyle’s original intention, it is still delightful.  Once in a while, I make a mistake and refer to Basil Rathbone as “Sherlock Holmes.”  Sometimes actors become so very believable as their characters that people tend to really identify them with these fictional characters.

My second favorite Sherlock Holmes series done in 1984 stars Jeremy Brett. It was set in the actual time that Doyle intended it to be in.  JEREMY BRETT’s portrayal is very believable as the nervous, brilliant and quick-witted sleuth.

Sci-Fi and Fantasy:

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY – A great futuristic film by Stanley Kubrick based on the story by Arthur C. Clarke (1968). Kubrick always has great use of music, and the opening bars of “THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA” by Richard Strauss is an extremely memorable opening to the film.

STAR TREK – My favorite Star Trek series is the original one, with Leonard Nimoy as Spock and William Shatner as Kirk. I also very much enjoy the TV series STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION starring the great Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard. The stories were wonderful, as was the acting, etc.  All of the Star Trek movies were great also.

X FILES TV SERIES – I enjoy the older X Files TV series, as well as the recent new 2016 one, plus the X Files movies.  The themes are fascinating in that FBI agents Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Mulder (David Duchovny) are looking for the “Truth that’s out there” regarding all things extraterrestrial.  It’s wonderful that these two actors reunited to make some more episodes after a fourteen year pause. I hope there will be another season.

THX 1138  – A 1971 film which was the first film directed by George Lucas of STAR WARS fame.   This was a masterpiece of a movie by Lucas, showing a frightening futuristic society.  It depicts a bleak world that we wouldn’t want to live it.  A wonderful cast with Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasance, and Ian Wolfe. (Ian Wolf was a wonderful old-time actor who was even in some of the early Basil Rathbone Sherlock Homes movies.)  It has great modern music, plus a wonderful use of the introductory chorus to J.S. Bach’s great Mass in B minor in the dramatic ending of this film.

FORBIDDEN PLANET  ~ 1956  This is considered to be one of the great science fiction movies of all time, which influenced many science fiction movies to come later on.  Many feel that it has a story line similar to Shakespeare’s “THE TEMPEST.”

THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES ~ 1980   Based on the stories of Ray Bradbury (the “poet of science fiction/fantasy”), his “The Martian Chronicles” was beautifully developed into this mini-series, showing the mysterious Martians and the way they interacted with Earthlings.  Fascinating.

Here are three films that were old ones, which were redone:

FLASH GORDON – 1980  This was based on the 1936 film serial of the same name.  It has a “camp” flavor to it, which is fun and stars some great actors.  Memorable ones are Max von Sydow as Ming the Merciless, and Brian Blessed as Prince Vultan.

WAR OF THE WORLDS – I know I’m speaking of films here, but I want to diverge briefly regarding a version of this famous HG Wells story.   In 1938, during the early days when people were not used to science fiction, the actor Orson Wells did a radio broadcast of the story.  He read it in such a believable way that people thought it was really taking place at that time.  As a result, it caused an awful panic, and several people were hurt.

The following two WAR OF THE WORLDS films show wonderful special effects of the invasion of the strange aliens and the terrific destruction they cause:


(1956) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_the_Body_Snatchers


Donald Sutherland is outstanding in the remake of this frightening film, in which humans are taken and replaced by alien duplicates.  It has a surprising and terrifying ending.