David Strohmaier talks Cinerama + Tales from Dental Hell

January 11, 2015 | By

Here’s a funny story. This blog was intended to have accompanied a podcast and preceded a wave of uploads a week ago, but lo and behold, who knew the flu from Xmas would be followed by something called Cracked Tooth Syndrome, where two tiny nerves can radiate an incredible pain wave that takes over a third of the head.

Whoever designed the human body didn’t do a thorough job, because something small should not debilitate the entire vessel. It’s just dumb. A pipe rammed though the chest of its host can still permit thought and maybe absurd laughter if the host still has consciousness and a morbid sense of humour, but two tiny dental hairs feeling a little bit sad? Come on.

This is a media site, so I won’t fully rant about the inherently absurd thinking that prevents federal and provincial levels of government from adding “teeth” to the free healthcare that makes our booze so expensive. Teeth are not cosmetic, and I’d like to see the morons who decided to exclude “teeth” from healthcare to endure the cresting wave of pain that prevents one from sleeping, eating, and thinking. If you can’t eat, you die. It’s really elemental, and it’s appalling no civic, provincial or federal leader’s ever tried to follow through with a plan.

Ontario’s Premiere Dad (Dalton McGuinty) proposed a dental care plan for low income households, but as we’ve all discovered from his years in power and years of promises and proposals, he was full of bullshit.

So here’s a challenge to the NDP and Liberals (forget the Conservatives – they’re steeped in a brand of bullshit tenfold of McGuinty’s): whether you opt for a Euro-style coalition this year or work among each other as a minority government after clobbering the Conservatives in the fall 2015 election, do more than legalize pot (which is inevitable in some form greater than the present). Take the tax revenue from that skunk-stinking weed that a good quarter or third of urban dwellers seem to enjoy, and pipe some of that into a dental care program for everyone. Check-ups, consults, and partial payments towards vital surgery based on one’s income level.

Teeth aren’t cosmetic. Challenge to the dolts who argue otherwise: rip out your teeth, and try and eat food. Want that steak? Potato chips? Ice cream? Apple? Fillet of sole? Marzipan? Sandwich? Kiss them goodbye, and say hello to a new body weight, and a stylish new look called ‘jaundice chic.’

My taxes should cover my teeth, not something like poorly approved, decades-old plans to buy a bunch of over-budgeted fighter planes and arctic ships that have yet to be built.

Moving on.

While recovering from the flu that seems to have hit a good chunk of the city, I got my bearings back to finish up a batch of reviews and podcasts, so a quick nod of thanks to the fine shows by The Faculty of Horror featuring Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West , and Hello Cinema with Tina Hassnia and Amir Soltani with guest Diana Barboza.

NotWithoutMyDaughter_videoposterAn interesting point was raised by the Hello Cinema trio in the Rosewater-themed episode regarding the film Not Without My Daughter, a critically derided film version of Betty Mahmoody’s saga of snatching back her daughter from an abusive husband after the family moved to Iran.

I’ve never seen the film, and am familiar with just a handful of its aspects. 1) Jerry Goldsmith’s score was meh, and overstated to audiences within its opening bars that ‘This is the story of an evil man!’; 2) British director Brian Gilbert likely accepted the project because his prior effort, the Judge Reinhold teen comedy Vice Versa (1988) isn’t the kind of serious work that opens further doors in America; 3) Betty Mahmoody was doing the talk show circuit after the book’s publication, and the story made steady headlines (and spawned related news pieces) about South / North Asian & Middle Eastern husbands engaged in nasty custody battles with their western wives after voyaging back to their country of birth.

The CBC aired its own variants – a tale involving a Saudi-Canadian marriage gone bad comes to mind – but certainly in the film poster for Daughter, having a western (white) woman looking highly agitated in a head scarf was unnerving to western (white) TV audiences in 1991, which is why the gravitas of the image is trite today. Perhaps it’s appropriate that Sally Field was nominated for a Razzie Award that year for Worst Actress, but the poster deserves an award for its classic Big Actor Head design that reads ‘Sally Field in foreign garb? What on earth is going on? Who’s done this to her!?!?!?’

Note the reworking of key art for the French poster where Field’s head is now angled, mouth open in horror, and the daughter’s head’s been re-aligned to a hard 90 degrees, looking at YOU because, well, you’re EVIL:



Really. How is this not comically bad? Is she being usurped by Communist ideology? Is her emotional pain the colour of blood? Is the head scarf really a Transformers-like cloak that envelopes its wearer and anyone within her grasp?



Naturally, this is all a segue towards KQEK.com’s podcasts, which are  now available on iTunes, as I spent a chunk of last week upgrading a few podcasts missing from the Libsyn site, updating links, and making sure the RSS feed is working swell.

So, in a nutshell, all audio-only podcasts are available on iTunes and Libsyn, and those with background images (mostly composer podcasts) are still available on KQEK.com’s YouTube channel.



You know, for a scene that’s short and really just a cameo for Diana Dors, it sure gets a lot of attention at KQEK.com.


Additionally, I’ve added the first podcast of 2015: a lengthy conversation with Cinerama Restoration Director David Strohmaier, who participated in an earlier Q&A with Redwind Productions’ Brian Jamieson regarding the restoration and Blu-ray release of Holiday in Spain / aka Scent of Mystery (1960 / 1962), the first & last film in Smell-O-Vision.



There’s some lengthy Basil Expositional intro text, but it’s not as dry as it sounds. Note: there is a visual version of the Strohmaier Q&A on YouTube, but it also works swell as an audio-only podcast on iTunes. (See Podcast #6.)







Those familiar with Toronto might find the last subject of interest, as Holiday in Spain was originally exhibited in the rival Cinerama format Cinemiracle, and at the time the only Canadian venue sanctioned by Cinemiracle was the old Eglington Theatre, a great Art Deco cinema that was shuttered and reworked into an events venue. The cinema’s glory years were neatly profiled by Eric Veillette at Silent Toronto. I kind of wonder how they tried to fit a large curved screen into that theatre. In any event, it was a shock to find posters tying Holiday to one of my most beloved cinemas.

Lastly, a submission page will be added shortly to Mondomark.com, so those interested in audio editing, restoration, and mixing services for podcast interviews prior to publication can shoot me a query (although the current contact address – “multimedia” ” services” “at” “mondomark” “dot” “com” – works fine).

A set of reviews will be up Monday, and coming shortly is the first in a short-short series on Euro and U.S. films shot in Iran, using the country’s landscapes as a backdrop. This will be a brief series, because I’ve only been able to track down a whopping three films shot during the pre-Revolution era.

Which films are they? One is often erroneously summarized as a remake of a John Ford film, another is a baroque whodunnit, and the last features a collage of fine French & Italian actors portraying characters gradually going nuts from boredom in stark isolation.




Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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