Savant Column

Saturday May 5, 2018


Olive Films has announced three Blu-ray releases for May 29 — Norman Lear’s Cold Turkey (which I’ve never seen but is recommended), Robert Wise’s Odds Against Tomorrow (which I’ve seen many times and has been needing a Blu-ray release forever) and a DVD of Roger Corman’s A Bucket of Blood (which is sublime but we wish it was a Blu, too).

I used up all my good disc news last time out, so it’s time for a CineSavant creepy culture break.

Signs in Cusco, Peru: These three street signs were within a block of our hotel in Cusco, just off the main square in the old part of town. The signs give the place a . . . contemplative feeling, especially when one is walking back down the cobbled streets at 1am.

Note that the little pedestrian streets (Via peatonal) have cars running through them, with maybe two feet of clearance on either side. They’re all within shouting distance of a cathedral, which makes the name of the first sound appropriate, if a little harsh.

The second is about two blocks away from the church, and ought to have a story associated with it. Anyway, it’s intriguing. ‘Siete culebras’ translates as ‘Seven snakes, or vipers.’ Would make a nice movie title.

I went up this street and didn’t find an undertaker’s shop. But the name felt like someplace where Eddie Poe or Vinny Price might hang out. There’s not going to be a children’s show called ‘Calle Ataud’ — ‘Ataúd’ means coffin, or crypt. An elaborate, decorative ironwork sign, I thought. When a place is 500 years old, you wonder what kind of secrets are in the basements.

That’s the culture corner offering for the day, completely esoteric . . . Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson