In this scene from A Day at the Races, Harpo Marx uses a combination of whistling and charades to get the point across to Chico. The whistling imitates the melody of spoken English, crossed with a canary, and is kind of like the whistling language silbo gomero found on the isle of La Gomera. In the Canary Islands!
Thermae Romae, a manga about a Roman architect who time travels between the reign of the Emperor Hadrian and the bathrooms of modern Japan, came out in an English translation in November, but in Japan it has already been made into an anime and a feature-length film. Manga review. Film site. Through a hilarious series of misunderstandings Douglas asked Heather for the French edition for Christmas, but that's cool too.
Miyoshi Umeki, Hokkaido-born singer and actress, won the Oscar as best supporting actress in 1958 for her role in Sayonara, the film of James Michener's novel about post-war Japan. She was later nominated for a Tony for her performance in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Flower Drum Song, and made the cover of Time on Dec. 22, 1958. Here's her Oscar acceptance speech. Here she is on the Gisele MacKenzie Show the week after. The "Strange Things Are Happening" song she begins to sing for Gisele is a novelty song by Red Buttons, who also won an Oscar for Sayonara, not the now more famous spiritual by Rosetta Tharp.
This film clip, shot during the separation of two stages of a Saturn rocket, is an astonishing piece of cinema, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Kubrick and Lucas both consciously quoted from it. I can see the flight path of the Pan Am space plane in 2001 about halfway in, and the launch of the escape pod in Star Wars right here at the beginning. The appearance of the Earth at the end of this clip has as much beauty and eventfulness as in 2001.
When was the last time Holywood made a major motion picture about an actual space flight? Apollo 13 (1995)? Last summer the Japanese released Hayabusa, a drama based on the journey of a Japanese unmanned probe to the asteroid Itokawa. Does the male leader look like Ethan Phillips? I think so. Is another actor in the trailer the spitting image of DeForrest Kelly? Yes. There are actually two other Hayabusa films in the works, one of them starring Ken Watanabe. How about an Apollo 11 movie, Hollywood? How about a Soyuz T-15 movie?