Monday, September 24, 2007

Do You Do This Too?

Years ago, in the late seventies, my parents bought our first color (console) TV.

Then in 1978 or 1979, they subscribed to HBO. Back during those days, they only started movies on the hour or half hour. So if a movie finished at 7:47pm, they would show commercials for upcoming movies and also really neat little film shorts to fill the time until the next movie was to start.

Younger Brother and I loved these things. One favorite was a homemade looking movie short called Hardware Wars, a spoof of Star Wars with kitchen appliances as the space ships.

Thanks to the internet, you can sometimes find these old films on places like youtube and get to watch them again for the first time in 25 years or so.

Not too long ago I saw Hardware Wars, but it had been since forever that I had seen one called Closet Cases of the Nerd Kind, a short that spoofs Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

A week or so ago, when I had been out photographing things to make the panoramas I've shown here recently, I came across this:

and this:

and wondered why I felt compelled to make those photos in the first place.

But every time I have seen a row of mailboxes like that for the past 25 years I sing the song from Closet Cases of the Nerd Kind.

In the classic movie Close Encounters, the character played by Richard Dreyfuss stops his work truck and a space ship comes over him. He looks out the truck window and the force of the space ship going over makes a row of mailboxes rattle and shake. It's a creepy part of the movie.

But in the spoof Closet Cases of the Nerd Kind, the mailboxes sing a song in the style of an old spiritual song.
Gonna build a mountain!
Gonna build a mountain (gonna build a mountain)
In your livin' room (your livin' room)
Gonna build a mountain
And it's gonna be keen!

It's funny how stuff like that sticks with you all of your life, and you can't help but think of it whenever you see a row of mailboxes.

You can see Closet Cases of the Nerd Kind on youtube. It's in two parts there on youtube, and the mailbox scene is in part 1 here. The mailbox scene is about 5:30 into part one.


Travis said...

I remember that there were those short films on HBO, but I don't really remember much about them.

I still recall the very first film we ever saw on HBO...Grand Theft Auto with Ron Howard. It seemed like it was on 10 times a day for 3 months.

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