Wednesday, May 26, 2010

John Astin Goes Psychotronic!

The John Astin Interview
Psychotronic Video #11

Issue #11 of Michael Weldon's Psychtronic Video was one of the best ever, not only for this profile of Baltimore's own great John Astin, but for its other great pieces on Drew Friedman (including his Mark Newgarden collaboration Toxic High School!), Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo (Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla!), and Ken Smith (Mental Hygiene!). Those are some heavy hitters - and Psychotronic Video is one of the reasons I can NEVER throw anything away!

Here's the John Astin interview/retrospective:

I like that the article not only references Astin's film and TV work (besides playing Gomez on The Addams Family, Astin also appeared in two Batman episodes as The Riddler!), but the film he wrote, produced, and directed: Prelude (1968). Astin's Oscar-nominated short Prelude commented on consumerism and "noise pollution" and has been described as "8 1/2 with shopping carts and veggies." It starred former Miss Scotland Quinn O'Hara as Astin's wife and was lensed by Vilmos Zsigmond, who would rise to prominence in the 1970s lensing films like Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye and Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I was lucky to have caught a rare screening of this short at Astin's alma mater, Johns Hopkins University (where Astin still teaches), during the 2006 Johns Hopkins Film Festival.

Related John Astin Links:
Gomez-en-Scene (Accelerated Decrepitude)
Gomez Gala (Accelerated Decrepitude)


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