That was his first starring role! Didn't realise. The film is a "cult classic" and was released as half of a double bill with I Married a Monster from Outer Space. In The Blob, Steve McQueen "plays a typical oversexed, car-lovin' highschooler who can't get anyone to believe his story", says the internet. Oh, wow. Compare and contrast Steve and Aneta with, say John Travolta and Nancy Allen in the original Carrie (1976; the one with Sissy Spacek). Depictions of oversexed, car-lovin' highschoolers changed a lot in that eighteen-year period, and I'd say that Nancy Allen's character was certainly dominant in that relationship.
I did want to say something about the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, released on Friday 9th March, showing that manufacturing is up while construction is down, but given last week's observation that my "unique visitors" prefer film talk to boring stuff about Brexit, et cetera, maybe I should say first that there was a remake of The Blob in 1988, and the title is listed as "in development" on IMdb. Expect more blobs. Such a divergence in relatively long-term economic data - no, don't go! I saw Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri last night. Dixon's character arc was interesting, and no wonder Sam Rockwell won an Oscar for it - just quickly, if you don't mind, such a divergence is yet more evidence that the world is changing....
...well, I find it interesting. In one window of my local cinema is a b/w (grey, geddit?) poster bearing the injunction "Don't Miss The Climax" and in the next window is a colourful poster depicting a group of garden gnomes. Front and centre is, I do believe, Sherlock Gnomes. And yes, I have just looked that up, and it is a film. Clever old me. As for the other one - you know, it's just occurred to me, out of nowhere, that back around the time of the original The Blob, the term "women's picture" meant something completely different from what it might mean today...
...so I've looked up "women's picture", scrolled down the search results, and on second thoughts, given current sensitivities** and realising that I'm completely out of my depth here, maybe I will finish by insisting on saying that a dramatic divergence of economic data might as well be welcomed as a sign that the world is changing. We don't need to - probably shouldn't, although so often it's the automatic response - defend the status quo in manufacturing or indeed in construction. Or membership of international trade bodies like the European - but you're right. Enough already.
The Blob - spoiler - ended with the blob itself being flown off to the arctic, where the cold would render it inert. Pity they didn't take it to Antarctica, where it would have really helped Kurt Russell in The Thing (1982), which was another remake of a (1951) cult classic - but I could go on all day, and there'll be more economic data next week. Don't want to use up too many film references all at once.
*The 1951 film The Thing from Another World became John Carpenter's The Thing of 1982, and then Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.'s The Thing of 2011. All of them were based on John W Campbell Jr.'s 1938 novella Who Goes There? which was first published in the August 1938 edition of Astounding Stories - at around the time Campbell was appointed editor, oddly enough. Campbell was successful in the role, Wikipedia tells me, and remained editor until his death in 1971. Note: the magazine went through several titles; I've abbreviated one.
**Posters up outside our little cinema this morning include Tomb Raider, with Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, and Mary Magdalene ("Her Story Will Be Told"), which I found described online just now as the "Rooney Mara Jesus Movie". We are so very much of our time, aren't we? If we're speaking in movie titles - Analyse That!***
***Since you ask, 2002 sequel to 1999's Analyse This.
You sit in your car, which is a cross between a mobility scooter, a Smart car or equivalent, and one of those ancient Heinkel three-wheeler one-person cars (click here to see one - the front opens, in case you're wondering), and if somebody else wants to come with you, the decision is: which side to put his car? Then, let's say, his front wheel on that side and your back wheel on that side retract as the cars dock with each other. Then you roll back your window, he does the same, then you're both front-seat drivers while the AI and the GPS do the actual work. Maybe the convention is that only one of two docked cars is powered to drive - the one on the right, say, shuts down for the journey.
Any more friends (family) - bolt them on behind. Give it time, and augmented reality - AR? Is that right? - can do the road signs. The sensors in the road talk to the AI whenever there's a junction coming up, and our little cars route us round any potential traffic jams. If we take some kind of Nudge* approach to speed limits and distance, all slowing down together and gradually adjusting our ideas of how far is too far, maybe we'll all end up so local that we talk to our neighbours as easily we do the staff at the reception desk today.
*Nudge by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler, Yale, 2008. "Nudge Theory" advocates changing behaviour via interventions that are "easy and cheap to avoid". Example: put the junk food on a high shelf and the fruit at eye level. For speed and road safety - I think of those tiny shrines of flowers, cards and photographs that flash past occasionally on the verge, and also of those roadside signs showing the black silhouette of a motorcyclist, with a number beneath.
We would have to "harness the power of technology" to do this, of course, reducing our intelligence to the level of the computers we were applying to the project, but that would be okay because we could also go back to using "Space Age technology", in the sense that these cars would dock in the way that Command Modules docked with Lunar Modules - Columbia docked with Eagle on the Apollo 11 mission, for example.
And more, actually. It's a good book. Token television reference: I came across a Freeview channel the other night, on which they were making a great deal of fuss over the news that Lost in Space was going from black and white into colour. Pretty sure I was there when that happened first time round. I struggle to describe my feelings at this evidence of how far we've come in all those years.