Friday, July 27, 2007

Toys who "do horrible things to each other"....Orson Welles as Unicron



Going to see Transformers tomorrow, the Guardian gave it such a great review I kinda have to:

It's all part of the sensory-overload that the great man[Michael Bay] himself delicately calls "fucking the frame". And he has outdone himself this time. In Transformers, the director and the frame have protracted and meaningful relations, and it is over two hours before Mr Bay as it were pulls on his trousers and promises to call the frame some time next week.
It won't be long before these lovebirds get back together.


In readiness, while having some lunch I watched the first 30 or so minutes of Transformers: The Movie. I had two transformers while young, one that was a plane and one that was a dinobot, but wasn't as obsessed by Transformers as some of some contemporary artists and scholars and computer whizzes.

Of course, for the film geek the fact that planet-eating villian Unicron was Orson Welles' last role makes it worth the watch alone, I love these quotes describing his role, from Wikipedia:

Orson Welles was in declining health during production. Shortly before he died, he told his biographer, Barbara Leaming, that he had spent the day "playing a toy" in a movie about toys who "do horrible things to each other." Film historian Joseph McBride quotes Welles saying of his participation: "I play a planet. I menace somebody called Something-or-other. Then I'm destroyed."Welles' voice was apparently so weak by the time he made his recording that technicians needed to run it through a synthesizer to salvage it. The voicework for Transformers: The Movie was the last movie project he worked on, as 5 days after his final dubbing session, Welles died of a heart attack.

The sheer carnage and death of so many characters in the first 30 minutes or so of Transformer: The Movie is breathtaking also the 'hi-tech' tape/ghetto blaster type robots that shoot endless tapes out of their guts that turn into wee dogs, surely dropping something and watching Transformers must be a nightmare, as one would be afraid that one's lowly old 1980s tape deck might turn into a robotic rotweiller in the dead of night and rip your addled throat out at the drop a matrix gut energy thing....and of course a baddie who is just a big gun, who holds the gun? do all the decepticon get to hold him, bit limiting for a nemeis isn't it? Perhaps it's just my perverse mind but is there not a dodgy S&M master/slave thing going on here? Get in me guts ya wee tape!!

also:

Slate: When Orson Welles Was a Transformer

2 comments:

bobby boo said...

I'm constantly telling people about that. It's funny. Citizen Kane etc gets so much deserved attention and he seemed like a decent bloke. I read years ago that he was talked into it because it was pitched as ' a new departure in film making' blah blah blah and thats why he was interested. Or desperate for burger monry

me again said...

money.