Monday, January 9, 2017

Born Today January 9: Luis Coloma


Spanish writer Luis Coloma was born on this date in Jerez de la Frontera.  He would go on to study at the University of Seville, where he focused on law.  He eventually graduated from there with a master's in law, though he never actually practiced.  He began writing in the 1880's, starting with a well known political satire of Madrid high society prior to the Bourbon Restoration for a newspaper in Madrid. Despite being widely criticized at the time of it's publication, and pronounced to have no lasting importance, it remains one of his most well known works.  He would go on to be a prolific writer of short stories, and longer complete works in the fields of history and biography.  Ironically, Coloma had a dislike for the novel form, believing them to be overly sentimental on the subject of religion and a medium through which human life was idealized; ironic because it was one of his few novels that was first used for source material in the world of the motion picture.  His novel, simply entitled Boy, was first adapted for the screen in 1926.  The film was directed by Benito Perojo, a Spanish director and producer, who also personally adapted the work into the screenplay for the film.  The film is sadly amongst many from the 1920's that is lost.  The Internet Movie Database page can be found here.  His story, "Pequenecas" was made into a television series in Mexico in 1971.  The last adaption (so far) came in a Spanish television series entitled  Novela, which adapted famous Spanish works into television films; in 1976 they adapted that same story into a made to TV film.  Coloma died in his adopted city of Madrid in 1915 at the age of 64.  He is buried in Madrid's Sacramental de San Justa cemetery.

Poster for Boy lost film from 1926 Spain.

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Wikipedia (English language bio)

Biografia page (in Spanish, can be translated by Google)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Born Today December 5: E. or Eugenie Marlitt


Friederieke Henirette Christiane Eugenie John was born on this day in Arnstadt.  Her father was a popular portrait painter, and as such, his daughter would gain a patron in the Princess of Schwarzburg-Sonderhausen after studying music with her.  She was sent to court in Vienna for three years because she was such a fine singer; while there she attended the Vienna Conservatory focusing on opera.  However, she became completely deaf after a virulent ear infection and returned to her patroness in Sonderhausen 1853.  The Princess then suggested that she take up novel writing as all her correspondence was so well penned.  For the purposes of writing, she returned to the birth town.  She published under the name E. Marlitt (or, rarely, as Eugenie Marlitt). Her works spanned between 1864 and 1874 and comprised both short stories and novels.  He works were exclusively published in Die Gartenlaube and were so popular that subscriptions doubled during the time that he works appeared in the publication. More that half of the films that used her novels for source material were produced in the silent era, with the first in 1917:  Im Hause des Kommerzienrats.  The last silent film to use her work for the basis of a screenplay was Das Geheimnis der alten Mamsell in 1925.  The first sound film to use  her work came in 1945 just before the end of the second world war and was produced in Mexico.  The most recent use of her work in a film was in 1985 and was made in what was then West Germany.  She died of natural causes in her hometown on the 22nd of June in 1887 and wad buried in the cemetery there.

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Saturday, December 3, 2016

13 Days Of Creepmas: Vintage Christmas "Wierdness"

13 Days Of Creepmas: Scrooge or Marley's Ghost (1901)

This is the very first film treatment of Charles Dickens' classic Christmas ghost story.  

Born Today December 3: Ludvig Holberg


Ludvig Holberg, Baron of Holberg was born on this date in Bergen Denmark-Norway (now exclusively part of Norway).  He was a playwright, philosopher, essayist and historian.  He studied theology at the University of Copenhagen and taught himself languages, history and law.  During this period, it was customary for law students to travel abroad for purposes of study; it was his travels that lead to an interest in writing.  Though he wrote prolifically in philosophy and history, it is his comedic plays that became of interest to the world of film (he was also a prodigious writer of satirical poetry).  The first film to make use of his work for a narrative production came in 1908 with Jeppe paa bjerget, a short Danish film produced by Nordisk Film.  One other film in the silent era made use of his plays for a screenplay:  Skomakarprinsen (1920), a feature length comedy produced in Sweden.   The latest film to use is work for a screenplay came in 2002, with a made for television film in Denmark, Jean de France. A lifelong bachelor, Holberg died in Copenhagen Denmark-Norway (now the capital of Denmark) on the 28th January 1754 at the age of 69.  He is interred in an elaborate crypt in Sorø klosterkirke (Church of Soroe Cloister) in Sjaelland, Denmark.  For more on his highly influential life, follow the link to Wikipedia below.  

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Friday, December 2, 2016