This is the first fanzine to appear from my new address, though it was run off at my old one -- the LASFS Rex being one of the things that still has to be moved out of the former fanzine factory of L.A. My big move is only half completed, with only the essentials necessary for living making the trip last weekend; the bookcases and fanzine publishing equipment will hopefully be coming down this weekend. Fewer people than I'd hoped for showed up to help me move, and those of us who did come were too few to get everything moved in one day. (Thanks to those who did come by, willing to work: Al Lewis, Len Bailes, the Pelzes, the Craynes, and the Johnstones.)
Right now, my new home is mostly a clutter of unpacked boxes, mostly waiting for my bookcases to be installed before they can be unloaded. A temporary disadvantage is the lack of much lighting in the house, except for the kitchen. As with most recently-built private homes, there is almost no actual lighting provided; instead, a number of electric wall sockets are scattered everywhere to allow the tenant to install his own lighting where he wants it. As 1825 Greenfield Avenue had plenty of built-in lighting, I never had any occasion to buy any separate lamps; and I can't buy any now until I find my checkbook, which must be in one of these boxes here, but it's not easy looking in the dark. Oh well, I can put up with it for a few more days.
I understand that Lon Atkins' party last Saturday was a lot of fun, but I wouldn't know; I never got there. En route, I discovered a theatre that was showing a double bill of Jean Cocteau's "Orpheus" and "Beauty and the Beast", both pictures I'd been wanting to see for years; so I allowed myself to be sidetracked. I'm glad I did; both pictures impressed me more than anything I've seen since ... well, "Things To Come" at the 1962 WesterCon, I guess.
Of the two, I liked "Orpheus" the better. "Beauty and the Beast" was basically a straight retelling of the fairy story, with magnificent costuming -- especially the Beast's -- and a rather surrealistic enchanted palace. "Orpheus" was even more surrealistic, presenting the ancient legend in modern dress, with a romantic triangle between Orpheus, Euridice, and Death, represented as a modern dilettante Princess, who dispatches those who are scheduled to die by sending two motorcyclists to run them down. The entrance into the Afterworld is through mirrors, very much like Heinlein's "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag", and the camera effects used are really entrancing. Both films had the original French sound tracks, with English subtitles. "Orpheus" was very well translated, but "Beauty and the Beast" is one of those films in which everyone talks for almost a solid minute, and only one or two words of translation flash on the screen. My comic-book knowledge of French got a good workout.
One reason both films are so great is that they are a perfect blend of technical cinematography and story. Both are fantasies, and full opportunity is taken through the use of special effects and outré sets to display this fantasy. On the other hand, everything done is integral to the mood and the story; the plot is not just an excuse to let the producer show how arty and clever with a camera he is. In "Orpheus", the people really seem to walk through the mirrors, instead of having the camera following them up to the mirrors and then cutting to the other side. The opening scenes in the Afterworld must've been shot with a triple exposure, at least -- one for the background, a ghostly counterpart of our own world; one for Orpheus, struggling as though wading through quicksand to get through it; and one for his guide, Heurtebise, floating calmly ahead of him. Also, in both cases, the story is presented very seriously; there's no clowning around because they're "only" fantasies. This doesn't mean that there's no humor in them; there is, but it's skillfully applied, not tossed in at random. These are "art" films that are genuinely works of art, and I'm not sorry that I missed Lon's party to see them -- I wish I'd had the time to sit through the next showing of them. I wonder how much it'd cost to rent them for the Pan-Pacificon...
-- BEING COMMENTS ON LAST WEEK'S DISTRIBUTION
Ted Johnstone -- Good to see you every now & then, though pieces like this sure make us wish you'd contribute more regularly. If you've got any extra copies of this one-pager around, I'll take one to tuck inside my copy of The Weapons of XXX when I get it. Since you've been writing your stuff to Ace's specifications so far, I don't suppose you've had any trouble with your manuscripts being cut by large amounts -- like "Howard Cory's" Sword of Lankor (reportedly cut by about 1/4), or Gary Edmonson's The Ship that Sailed the Time Stream (cut by 1/2), or numerous others. It's too bad that all such cuts can't be preserved like this, though yours was of an unusually convenient length for making a fanzine record.
Tom Digby -- Contributions to fanzines are always getting lost, due to gafiating publishers. I blush to admit that I'm still sitting on a few items in my SALAMANDER files, though I still plan to use it soon as I get more material to get another issue out. (When the third egg hatches...) A rule might be needed, but how would you enforce it? Some fans are conveniently close enough to be raided, but not too many. About the only solution is for the author of the piece to keep a copy of it, and include a note on his submission that if it isn't used within a six-month period, he'll consider himself at liberty to submit his other copy to another publisher. (The fan who gets this thus has an incentive to publish it rapidly, if he wants it to be original material; the fan who may get the second copy also has an incentive to publish it rapidly, so the first fan doesn't beat him to it. Of course, you may have two separate fanzines with the same original article appearing almost simultaneously.) ## When I was going to high school, most of the girls would go barefoot when it rained, rather than wearing boots; and I'm not aware that the administration ever complained about it. ## I don't think your graph dips low enough in a few places, but on the whole, it's a very good job -- particularly if it's first-draft work.
Lon Atkins -- if you got down to within 4 miles of the end of the San Diego Freeway, you must've been pretty near to my new home. As far as I can tell, I'm just about in the middle of a very rough square formed by the Garden Grove Freeway to the North, the Santa Ana Freeway to the East, the Newport Freeway to the South, and the San Diego Freeway (not yet completed) to the West. As you noticed, traffic down here is extremely light compared to that in Los Angeles; it turns out that, even in the midst of the morning commuter traffic, I'm only a 5-minute drive from my new job, instead of the 10 minutes I'd allowed for. (And I pass the neighborhood Post Office en route, which will probably turn out to be real handy.)
Bĵo Trimble -- The main stock of Las Vegas newsstands seems to be sex paperbacks & magazines, from what I could tell on my two trips there.