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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Encased Forever?

Being a fan of people like actors, actresses, writers, singers... or things like baseball cards, coins, maps, movie memorabelia... can be expressed in some very strange ways. One thing they all have in common is the longing of the fan to have the most complete prestine collection of whatever touches his heart. In this age of instant gratification thanks to Ebay many fans have build over the years a vast collection of beloved items. So when one has some precious items in his collection the next question arises: how do I protect my most valuable objects from decay so that they keep or rise in value over the years and will give a premium price when necessity or greed forces me to sell these objects? Thanks to some clever business men, often ultimate fans in their hearts themselves, many quality preservation tools have been developed catering to every kind of collection protection. One of the collection fields that has some of best protection techniques often developed and tested over decades is comic book collecting. I, myself, have a vast comic book collection so the techniques to preserve these books are not strange to me and I know several different methodes to keep my comic book collection in prestine order for decades to come to enjoy. So you can imagine a few days ago my surprise when I stumbled on a site that caters to the ultimate fan by offering high end collector's products, not at all related to comic book collecting, but nevertheless using a high end comic book collection preservation technique called "slabbing" in conjunction with... Marisa Mell memorabelia.
"Slabbing" or "encasing" or "encapsulation" is a conservation technique that has been developed in early 2000 by a company called "Comics Guaranty LLC", also known as "CGC", based in Sarasota, Florida. The core business of the company is being a comic book grading service as an impartial third party. After it's launch it has since gone on to become an important yet controversial part of the comic book collecting community. The company has been described as "extremely important" to the comic book collection market by Robert Overstreet, author of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, the bible in the comic book collecting field for everything grading and pricing your comic books. The encapsulation can be done either through an authorized dealer, directly by the owner through CGC's Internet partners, by paying an annual membership fee or via representatives in attendance at several comic book conventions. Upon receipt, the comics are inspected by five experts in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment. The graders look for damage and signs of alteration. The comic books are then graded on a scale from 0.5 to 10. These numbers correspond with more traditional descriptive grades such as "very fine", "near mint", and "mint", with the higher numbers indicating a better grade. In addition to the numeric grade, CGC also uses color-coded labels to categorize comics like Universal (blue) for a standard comic book; Restored (purple) for a book that has evidence of restoration, either amateur (A) or professional (P), combined with the descriptors slight (S), moderate (M), or extensive (E) and Qualified (green) for a book with a significant defect that needs specific description or one with an unauthenticated signature.After grading, the comics are placed in an inner well - a sealed sleeve of Barex, a highly gas-impermeable plastic polymer. Then, the comics are sonically sealed in a hard plastic, tamper-evident holder. This process is often referred in slang as "slabbing". A label with CGC hologram (1) is affixed at the top indicating the kind of collectable like "vintage photograph" (2), title like "Marisa Mell-Masquerade" (3), unique bar code (4) and grade like "Very Fine" (5).On first sight this kind of encapsulation looks like a great way to protect your comics. It gives them a sturdy case so that your comics will never be damaged. As a collector you are also sure that, thanks to the impartial expert grading to the highest grading standards in the field, you are buying or owning a comic book in the exact grade as mentioned and it has not been overgraded by a seller and sold to you for an inflated selling price. And last but not least thanks to the smart business techniques of the CGC in conjunction with Wizard Magazine, the dominant comic magazine in the field, a new comic book collecting market has emerged i.c. a speculator's market that specializes exclusively in (top) graded (vintage) comic books and thus willing to pay often many tenths of thousands of dollars above the normal collecting price for a near mint book but not encapsulated. Downside to this kind of encapsulation is that you will "never ever" going to read that comic book again in your life or any other life on the planet because once you open your sturdy case the value of comic book drops to the value of a normal graded uncapsulated comic book. Closing again by yourself as it was is not possible! So now this technique of encapsulation is spilling over to other fields of collectability like vintage photos of (important) movies or movie stars. Buying such a encased photo will set you back at the moment around 40 USD or more while buying this photo without a CGC grade will cost you around 9.99 USD on Ebay or at other vintage movie memorabelia internet stores. I have no problem when people are trying to earn money by slabbing photos or whatever collectability. Everybody decides how to spend their hard earned money! Where I do have problem with is the fact that using this technique on vintage movie photos as a preservation or grade guarantee is kind of useless for almost all of those movie photos perhaps with the exception of some historical important ones. Most of those pictures are available in great quantities in excellent quality which does not warrant slabbing or selling at a premium price. The only person that is getting better is the seller, certainly not the buyer in thinking having a unique collector's item. A collector's market of those pictures does not exist to the extent of the comic book collector's market for vintage important comic books like Action Comics 1 as first appearance of Superman. So why do it???

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Haluk Özözlü-From Istanbul with Love!

(c) Haluk Özözlü-www.sihirlitur.com

In the 60's and 70's during the height of Marisa Mell's career as a member of the jet-set she traveled a lot in the world history and so one day her plane landed in Istanbul, Turkey. Let's hear from a special eyewitness: photo journalist Haluk Özözlü. Mr Haluk Özözlü, thanks for granting this interview to the Marisa Mell Blog!

My pleasure!

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Sure, I am a photo journalist for almost 40 years now. I am now 60 years old, living and working in Istanbul, Turkey.

How did you meet Marisa Mell in Istanbul?

Well, I can not remember extactly the year but it must be between 1976 - 1979, unfortunately it is a long time ago. One day she came to the popular newspaper "Hürriyet". My editor then wanted me to photograph her for the newspaper. So we decided to go the very famous Topkapi Palace because it is such a beautiful place and would make a great setting for photo's of her. The newspaper was situated around one kilometer from the palace, so quite nearby. Marisa Mell and I walked together to the Palace for about 20 minutes. At the Palace we went to the portrait wing. There I took several pictures of Marisa Mell in front of the world famous picture of Fatih Sultan Mehmet. Looking back, what do you still remember of Marisa Mell?

I can say that she was extremely beautiful with beautiful eyes and magnificant lips! She looked very wild and sexy. I noticed that she was a heavy smoker. After the photoshoot Marisa Mell and I went back to the newspaper for an interview. Once done she went back to her hotel, the Intercontinental Hotel in Taksim. After that I never saw her again.

Where can people see your work and learn more about Istanbul and Turkey?

I have a website at http://www.sihirlitur.com/ where people can find a lot of my photographs and more practical information about my work, home country Turkey and the city where I live Istanbul! I would be honored if people would visit my site!

(c) Haluk Özözlü-www.sihirlitur.com

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Clarkes - Empty Spot

Although Marisa Mell is almost gone 20 years it is amazing that she still is able to touch the hearts of many people around the world by her beauty, character and performance on the silver screen. She even keeps being an artistic inspiration for fans who have never been to an original screening of her movies in the cinema's many years ago but became fans after viewing one of her movies in recent years. Let's meet one of those younger fans!

Hey Jarrod, thanks for granting this interview and showing your video! What can you tell about yourself?

I'm just a real big fan of rare and unusual European cinema from the 60s and 70s (mostly French and Italian). I live in New York and I'm in the process of finishing up a college degree in a Bachelor of Arts in film and media studies. I am honored to share my Clarkes' video on your Marisa Mell Blog, and thanks for watching!

What gave you the idea to combine the great music of the group "The Clarkes" with a Marisa Mell movie?

The lead singer and lyricist of the band (Tony Johnson) is one my very dearest friends and my ex-roommate. When I lived with him, he was in the midst of writing this album and demoing it, as I was collecting hundreds of films and editing together clips. Well my friend put out the Clarkes in 2003 and the two song writers split ways (another friend Peter Weldon is the musician and songwriter). Having realized that there were no live performances available on video, or any videos made for any of their songs, I decided to take it upon myself to make videos out of rare european films that have had little attention in the world. The Clarkes is an album that I like quite a bit, not just because the songwriters are my friends, but I sincerely think it's a beautifully written, harmonized and performed record. I really wanted more people to hear it and this is why I'm sharing it with the world.

What is it about Marisa Mell that fascinates you?

As for Marisa Mell, well, she is just quite simply beautiful! With every Clarkes' video, I dedicate each one to a specific favorite actor or actress of mine. When I started out this project, I knew that I would specifically do a video for Marisa Mell (as well as Claudine Auger, Edwige Fenech, Stefania Casini and Barbara Bouchet). Though, what makes Marisa Mell a little different, is that she seems the most mysterious. Where other actresses seem to share an external expressionism, I've always found Marisa to be expressive in an internal way. Though I only have a handful of Marisa's films, she completely fascinates me with her acting and beauty. The scene I used from "The Great Swindle" is one that just happened to strike a cord with me, and when I listened to the song the images of the film came to mind, and I couldn't really say "why." I crossed the two together (song and film) and it really seemed to work for me.

What are your favorite Marisa Mell movies?

As for the Marisa Mell films that I like, well "Danger Diabolik" was the first one I saw back in 1991, and I was pretty struck by her. I really love "Secret Agent Superdragon," "One On Top Of The Other," "The Great Swindle," "Seven Bloodstained Orchids," "Diary Of An Erotic Murderess," "Born Winner," "Casanova & Co.," and "Beast With A Gun." My Marisa Mell holy grail is to find "Anyone Can Play," which is one that I've been searching years for.

What do you think of the Marisa Mell Blog?

Your Marisa Mell blog looks absolutely great! I hadn't seen some of the awesome poster art before! Real nice job with great dedication.

Where can interested people see more of your work?

I have a YouTube Channel called "igotmobilephone" with more than 75 videos ranging from trailers, clips of Eurocult movies and more great songs from "The Clarkes".

I would be honored if your readers came to visit my channel at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/igotmobilephone

Thanks Jarrod and good luck with future projects!

Thanks to André Schneider for signaling this video to me!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The lion finally roars...at Philadelphia's QFest

André Schneider, gifted actor, (screen)writer, producer and filmographer of everything Marisa Mell movies is proud to annonce the World Premiere of his latest movie "Alex und der Löwe" or with international title "Alex and Leo" at the 16th Philadelphia QFest held during the month of July from the 8th untill the 19th.
The press book of QFest discribes this movie:"In this German comedy that features six characters in search of love, director Yves Yuri-Garate and screenwriter Andre Schneider bring a light touch to a hip urban tale. Alex (Andre Schneider) walks in on his boyfriend fucking someone else – and out he goes – much to the relief of his friends Tobi (Udo Lutz) and Steffi Graf (Sascia Haj) (and yes, the character not only has the unusual name of the tennis star, she’s a gossiping astrologer therapist). German porn star/actor Marcel Schlutt stars as Leo, who, after a dinner party, reveals to his girlfriend that he’s got sexual feelings for men and it’s best that they break up. Six weeks later they all have a wild night at a Berlin performance art club. Leo goes out with his friend, who happens to be a patient of Steffi’s and Alex goes out with his friends.. Tobi is smitten with a gorgeous waiter, but he loses the power of speech whenever he sees the man. On a wondrous night, Alex meets Leo, and Tobi discovers his waiter (and they go home together). But what about Steffi? Have no worries, she’ll be fine. Alex and Leo vibrates with the energy of the hip Kreutzberg, Berlin streets and clubs where it was filmed." The film will be shown in German with English subtitles.
The movie will be shown:

First showing on Tuesday, July 13th, 5.00 PM at the "Ritz East Theater 1"
Second showing on Sunday, July 18th, 7:30 PM at the "Ritz at the Bourse "
Tickets are on sale starting June 18th.

If you would like more information about the movie or the 16th Philadelphia QFest in general:

http://www.qfest.com/film-details.cfm?id=9508

André Schneider has also a blog about his work:

http://vivasvanpictures.wordpress.com/

The official trailer of the movie

video

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Dutchess


Augen wie eine Sphinx

MARISA MELL

Diese Frau ist wie für den Film geschaffen. Selbst wenn sie überhaupt keine schauspielerisches Talent besässe, hätte sie das Zeug zum grossen Star, denn ihre blosse Erscheinung fasziniert. Ideal Ihre Masse, katzenhaft elegant ihre Bewegungen,wunderschön und voller Rätsel ihr Gesicht. Aber diese Marisa Mell, die aussieht wie ein Männermordernder Vamp, wie ein moderne Version der “Lulu” oder des “Blauen Engels”, hat ihre Sphinx-Augen auf höchst bürgerliche Lebensziele ausgerichtet: Sie is seit einiger Zeit mit einem Kaufmann verlobt, möchte bald heiraten und Kinder haben. Ihre Karriere bedeutet keineswegs alles, aber dennoch hat sie ihren Beruf nie auf die leichte Schulter genommen. Marisa, am 25 februar 1939 in Neumarkt (Steiermark) als Marlies Moitzi geboren und in Graz aufgewachsen, erlernte die hohe Kunst des Schauspiels am renommierten Wiener Reinhardt-Seminar. Susi Nicoletti und Fred Liewehr waren ihre Lehrer. Direkt im Anschluss an ihr driejähriges Schauspielstudium erhielt sie ihr erstes Filmangebot für “Im Nachtlokal zum Silbermond”. Danach gab ihr der junge Regisseur Edwin Zbonek die schöne Chance, in dem anspruchvollen Film “Am Galgen hängt die Liebe” mitzuwirken, der weit besser war als sein Titel und mehrfach preisgekrönt wurde. Die Filme “Wegen Verführung Minderjähriger”, “Der Brave Soldat Swejk”, “Lebensborn”, “Ruf der Wildgänse” und “Das Rätsel der roten Orchidee” schlossen sich an. Marisas eigentlicher Durchbruch abert erfolgte in dem umschritten Rolf-Thiele-Opus “Venusberg”. Es steht allerdings zu befürchten, dass die Rolle der morbiden und liebestollen Frau, die sie darin verkörperte, sie auf eine ganze Weile in ihrem Filmfach festlegen wird. Allerdings ist Marisa intelligent genug, sich dem Film nicht mit Haut und Haaren zu verschreiben. Als sie neben Heinz Rühmann ein kleine aber attractive Rolle im “Braven Soldaten Swejk” spielte, sagte sie zu einem Reporter:”Ich glaube nicht, das das zufällige hineinrutschen in die Filmbranche mir ein paar kleinen oder grosseren Rollen auf Grund eines zufällig fotogenen Gesichts mir die Erfüllung dessen bringen kann was ich von meinem Beruf erwarte. Ich möchte mich auf der Bühne freischwimmen.”
Marisa Mell ist unter der Anschrift c/o Agentur Jovanovich, München 22, Widenmayerstrasse 23, zu erreichen.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Spanish Connection

When Marisa Mell was mentioned in the yellow press during her high time as an Eurocult actress she was often qualified as an Italian actress living and working in Rome, Italy being part of the Italian jet-set. This was true but she was also part of the broader latino "in"-crowd starting in Spain and going down all the way to almost all the Middle and South-American latin countries. So a lot of her movies from the beginning of her career made for the German-Austrian market untill almost the end of her career had often one way or the other a latino influenced connection from members of the crew like directors, actors, producers... to the financial backers for a movie made in coproduction with an Italian production company. The fact that this was true and still is true can also be derived from the many Marisa Mell fans following this blog each and every day who are located in the latin part of the world. So I found it a good idea to show in this entry some of the latin movie posters for her movies.

1960-Am Galgen hängt die Liebe

1962-Das Rätsel der roten Orchidee

1965-Train d'Enfer

1966-Che Notte, Ragazzi

1969-Una sull'altra

1970-Les Belles au Bois Dormantes

1971-Historia de una Traicion

1971-Marta

One of my favorite all time movie posters

1972-Tutti fratelli nel west...
Per parte di padre!

1973-Milano rovente

1973-Pena de Muerte

1975-La Encadenada

1977-La Belva col Mitra

1980-Traficantes de Panico

Thursday, June 3, 2010

THE SWITCH

Last month I had an item about the part of Marisa Mell in the Quentin Tarantino film "Jackie Brown". Today's entry handles about the possibility of a prequel to that acclaimed movie as reported on the movie site "JoBlo" (http://www.joblo.com/index.php?id=32260). JoBlo reports: "It seems as though a prequel has already been written to Jackie Brown called "The Switch". Now before we get ahead of ourselves, let me say this: Tarantino has given his blessing on the project, but is not involved. We have to get that straight just so the internet isn't crazed with "Tarantino's doing a prequel to Jackie Brown" because that's not the case. With that out of the way, here's the deets. Like I said, the project is titled, The Switch after the name of the book that's being adapted for the screenplay. Dan Schechter penned the script and is working with Michael Siegel (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as a producer. Author of The Switch, Elmore Leonard will be executive producer to the film. Currently, there is no studio attached. However, the script is done and the search for a director and cast is about to begin. Leonard and The Switch were a huge inspiration to Tarantino. He was quoted on the subject of both in an interview with Telegraph UK back in February: “He was probably the biggest influence on my life: I have been reading Leonard since I was 14 and got caught stealing his novel The Switch from K-Mart. I got in huge trouble. I was grounded all summer long. But I was so pissed off that I didn’t manage to get the book that two days later I went back and stole it proper.” Jackie Brown characters Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson) and Louis Gara (Robert De Niro) originated from The Switch, but the story from the book didn't carry on to the film. Tarantino's film centered on Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) who gets caught with Ordell Robbie's (Jackson) money. Ordell employs Gara (De Niro) amongst many others to help murder Jackie. The Switch will cast younger versions of Robbie and Gara. But who will they choose? Here's a brief synopsis of the book: Ordell Robbie and Louis Gara hit it off in prison, where they were both doing time for grand theft auto. Now that they're out, they're joining forces for one big score. The plan is to kidnap the wife of a wealthy Detroit developer and hold her for ransom. But they didn't figure the lowlife husband wouldn't want his lady back. So it's time for Plan B and the opportunity to make a real killing -- with the unlikely help of a beautiful, ticked-off housewife who's hungry for a large helping of sweet revenge."

I wonder if this prequel has also a clip on a tv from a Marisa Mell movie like Jackie Brown did with a clip from the movie "La Belva col Mitra". Time will tell!