Combing The Galaxy At The PlanetariumThursday, August 23, 2012
Guest Blog by Michael John Unger aka Johnny Tomorrow
Combing the Galaxy with Johnny Tomorrow
I am a collection of molecules called Johnny Tomorrow, and I am a traveler of space and time.
This is the 4th and final installment of this blog to celebrate the introduction of movies into the planetarium. Previously I’ve talked about the Star Wars Generation. I define it as those that would have been kids and seen any of the three Star Wars films in theatres. For them the biggest most exciting moments of their childhood in large part probably came from some sort of entertainment, and back then there was nothing bigger than Star Wars. Sure perhaps the specific movie for that individual may differ, but Star Wars whether you liked it or not was a huge part of this generation upbringing. Seeing Return of the Jedi in the theatre started my love for cinema that was furthered by the age of VHS. My parents worked together at a store and would often bring me with them in the summer instead of getting a babysitter. Their store was right next to a video rental place and they had arranged with them that I could rent movies for free if I returned them immediately afterwards. I devoured those VHS tapes, especially anything that was in the Sci-Fi or Action categories. Unfortunately relative to some other genres there isn’t a large catalog of high quality Sci-Fi or even action films. Usually we are relegated to liking a film for its kitsch factor, but usually there aren’t even many of those films that have high re-watch-ability. For me Star Wars was a step above every other Sci-Fi film from the 80’s, so it was hard to compare. Since Sci-Fi films also tended to be on the kitschy side, they were ripe to be made fun of, so in 1986, master comic Mel Brooks released Spaceballs, his Star Wars parody. With characters such as Lone Star, Barf, Dark Helmet, Yogurt, and Pizza the Hutt, it’s a screwball parody that has tickled my funny bone almost as many times as I have been mesmerized by the actual Star Wars films, and in fact it is probably a more important movie to the Star Wars universe that any of the other films that came after it.
On Friday August 24, the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre will be presenting Spaceballs in the Planetarium Star Theatre at 8pm. We will be combing the galaxy with our Rat Tail Combs in search of who really does have the biggest schwartz.
The Right Stuff at the Vancouver Planetarium
The F-104 and The Right Stuff at the Vancouver Planetarium
Spock meets Harold
2001:A Space Odyssey at the Planetarium
Dilithium crystals at the Planetarium
2001:A Space Odyssey -An Appreciation of Sorts
Addendum by Alex Waterhouse-Hayward
Technical info on photograph: I used a Mamiya RB-67 Pro SD and a 90mm lens. My film was Fuji b+w instant film 3000 ISO. I scanned the negative. Because I slightly over-exposed the negative, it manifested the Sabatier Effect (it was solarized) when I reversed it in Photoshop. I then increased the contrast and used Corel Paint Shop Pro X2 Time Machine on the cyanotype setting. I thank the Vancouver Planetarium, Michael Unger and specially Harold for access into the inner sanctum.