Saturday, April 14, 2012


I'd say 100 would be about right for the number of times an average person has said to himself: "I never ever again want to hear or read anything about The Titanic (1997), Jon Landau, stuffy Kate Winslet, and especially hi-techie hack James Cameron." (If you must, please check out here and here by the great David Walsh.)

So let us turn to One Step Beyond. No liberal social psychology. No story warnings, however metaphored, about the evils of Worldwide Communism. No Corporation Network slickness. Just lots of mystification, with a genuine and creepy grayness about things and people (and Harry Lubin's always strong background score), an opaqueness, a kind of retardation which tries to brake the ordinary rhythm of TV viewing, often intensifying a sense of a world where nothing is fixed or certain, and the people glide slowly through a vague whitish mist like drowned men.

Thanks to our guide to the world beyond, Mr. John Newman. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio (!), Newman seems straight out of the halls of Eton. As television director, his strongly auteurist output of the late-50s and early-60s includes segments of Bachelor Father, Route 66, Naked City, The Defenders and all 96 episodes of OSB. The connection among many of these Newman shows is a rejection of the cultural  takeover by corporate military science, emanations wandering through his floating halls, as technology was driving insanity out of the wind and out of the attic, out of all the lost primitive places.

The second episode of the series from 1/27/59, "Night of April 14th."