Sunday, July 30, 2006

Some Bava Surprises

Bava Surprise #1: Charlie Largent was driving along Sunset Blvd. the other day and happened to notice an interesting advertisement on the horizon. Fortunately, he had his digital camera with him. Click to enlarge. Only in Hollywood!

Bava Surprise #2: Happy Birthday #92 to Mario Bava!

I know what you're thinking. "Wait a minute, Tim's jumping the gun! Bava's birthday isn't until tomorrow, the 31st! All the references -- beginning with the L'ECRAN FANTASTIQUE mimeographed filmography that was the first document published on the subject of Bava's career, and the FILM DOPE filmography which was the first in English, and even the IMDb -- say so!"

Well, that's the essence of my surprise: They're all wrong.

According to the birth and death dates placed on Bava's grave marker by his family, his true date of birth was July 30, 1914 -- one day earlier than has been reported till now. He also died one day earlier than most sources claim, on April 25 (which is two days earlier than some sources, like the IMDb, claim). Every book about Bava published to date (two in France, one in Italy, and one in America) has misreported these important dates, and so have countless fanzines, pamphlets, booklets, dictionaries and encyclopedias of film. MARIO BAVA - ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK will be the first reference to report them accurately, and a photograph of his final resting place will also be included.

I had planned to reserve this surprise for the book, but I wanted to acknowledge this special day and couldn't do so sincerely a day late. So, with the book now fairly close to going to the printer, why not let the cat out of the bag?

Buon' compleanno, Maestro!

More cats still to come.


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