SAY YE YE, IT'S FRENCH POP WEDNESDAY!AUDREY ARNO - Un Collège Anglais 1963
A favourite feature of the Telekino blog has been absent the past few weeks - namely a regular Wednesday dose of charming French Euro Pop. I for one have been missing the posts, so in tribute I'm sticking up a bit of 'Ye Ye' myself. This has nothing to do with the fact I've been gawping at Scopitones all week and the psychotronically salacious shorts have started to burn a hole in my tiny mind...
The video above features German-born Audrey Arno, who started her showbiz career as a circus horseback rider. Sort of a sexed-up Euro version of ex-Mouseketeer and Beach Party veteran Annette Funicello (with improved vocal cords), Arno played the 60s international club circuit to great success, appearing in a handful of European movies (such as 1963's Sing, But Don't Play With Me) with a string of hit singles to her name. In the 1970s she landed in Las Vegas as part of the Moulin Rouge show and still resides in the US today. Perhaps a revival for the virtually forgotten Arno starts here - pity the poor girl, she doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry...
If you enjoyed that mini-masterpiece you may want to check out this page on Scopitones - the 60s video jukebox - run by the brains behind Bedazzled. They've got oodles of vids to download and stacks of DVDs for sale, although many are mastered from prints whose best days are far behind them. These astoundingly entertaining time capsules all look like they've been cranked out over a damp afternoon - which is all part of the charm, along with the camp, saucy, oh-so-European tone that pervades virtually every one...
JAPANORAMA NO MUSUKOJonathan Ross, national treasure and erstwhile otaku, has just returned with another series focusing on all facets of Japanese Pop Culture, albeit shoved away in the late night schedules on BBC3 (in the UK, that is). It's a sequel to his 2002 BBC Choice series also entitled Japanorama, which subsequently led to Adam & Joe Go Tokyo in 2003, both from Ross' own Production Company. I'd be telling a strawberry lie if I said I wouldn't have preferred a return trip by Buxton & Cornish - whose Go Tokyo series I'd recommend one of the finest of it's kind - but who can begrudge the ebullient Ross bounding around his favourite country like a kid in a day-glo candy store?
The eclectic choice of subjects in episode one (Kakkoii - Cool) included video artist Nagi Noda, star of Ichi the Killer Tadanobu Asano and a pop round to the palatial pad of Nigo, the billionaire brains behind Bathing Ape, another big kid whose massive toy collection Ross eyed appreciatively. A few of sections shot by too quickly and others were slightly damp squiddy - such as a somewhat pointless interlude with beardy tunesmiths The Magic Numbers - but on the whole it's a series well worth catching. (Extra points for continuing to use the eye-popping animated links from series one, designed by Junko Mizumo).
Expert author Patrick Macias was a consultant on the show, which may account for the high quality of the contributors - you'd be well advised to pick up his fantastic book Tokyoscope, which is crammed full of cult film illumination.Never afraid to be a spoil sport however, I'd like to leave you with a clip from the aforementioned Adam & Joe Go Tokyo, illicitly uploaded on Youtube (not by myself I might add). It's the chaps themselves doing a spot of simply brilliant busking in the guise of Gaijin Invasion, part of their series long mission to become big in Japan. Sumimasen!
...4...3...2...1 Morte - a Torgo Future Shock!Meet a man who, when it comes to Youtube, says pish to people who only post trailers and pours scorn on those that just upload clips. Somehow an individual known only as Torgo has managed to post a series of entire full-length motion pictures in his ongoing series - Torgo's Movie Drive-In!
One movie in particular which caught my fancy is 1967 Eurotrash Sci-Fi mish-mash ...4...3...2...1 Morte, also known as Mission Stardust, SOS Aus Dem Weltall, Mortal Orbit, Operation Stardust and You Only Live Once - a somewhat downbeat cash-in on the then current Bond epic. Under any title, it's based on a long running series of novels starring German über-astronaut PERRY RHODAN and, as far as I'm aware, can't be purchased on any half-decent format - a few old VHS tapes can be had, but this is the 21st century, baby - who wants to watch one those?. In my opinion this sexed up slice of 60s psychedelia deserves a spruce up and DVD release as it’s dubious pleasures are hard to enjoy whilst squinting at a tiny Youtube branded screen. Nonetheless we're indebted to Torgo for giving us all a chance to gawp at it in the first place. Any movie that features the moon being menaced by space-spies, alluring aliens and rampaging robots is surely worth a watch?
Rhodan is portrayed by Canadian thesp Lang Jeffries, with Swedish Essy Persson co-starring as his skin-tight space suited squeeze. Director Primo Zeglio was a prolific director of Spaghetti Westerns whilst co-screenwriter Sergio Donati helped pen Leone's Once Upon A Time in the West, Fistful of Dollars and the underrated Duck You Sucker/Fistful of Dynamite.Thankfully it's soundtrack and glorious theme song can be obtained via all the usual sources. The latter was most recently heard flogging underarm deodorant - perhaps not exactly the illustrious future composer Marcello Giombini had in mind back in '67.