Friday, April 20, 2007

Ghostly ships

I like the current news item about the 'ghostly yacht' found off the coast of Australia (BBC online).

Mysterious... found with its engine running, a table laid for dinner and a laptop set up for working, but no people to be seen... a bit spooky, but maybe there will be a logical explanation after it's been investigated.

Until then, it's a bit 'Twilight Zone'. Oh goodness, now that theme tune's playing in my head...

Actually, it reminded me of the film Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, with Ava Gardner and James Mason (1951). That was based loosely around the myth of a ghostly ship too, doomed to sail the seas for all eternity, unless the Flying Dutchman found a woman who loved him enough to die for him and save his troubled soul. Which Ava did, of course, but after her various besotted admirers had met their untimely deaths, as it was a 1950s Hollywood melodrama... not a happy ending (sorry, chaps and chapesses). Possibly elements of the gothic romance about it, with death, doomed love and superstition, but done in a lurid Technicolour way rather than the archetypal period costume drama. Also, lovely women's outfits and quite a few very surreal sets, as the director was apparently heavily influenced by the Surrealists and Max Ernst in particular. I wish it would be released on DVD over here, haven't seen it for years but really like it.... Ava Gardner's played some very interesting roles.

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