"...and afterwards, these mysterious figures, faces masked with lead: these are ourselves, men, kings of the earth, trying to measure the extend of the destruction they themselves have created."
Recently, on an evening when I was too tired for anything more resonable, I was zapping through Youtube, in search for some old monster movies. The last thing I stumbled upon before finally going to bed was this British/American B-Movie from 1959, called "The Giant Behemoth" (the plot being a mix between the more successful "Godzilla" and "The Beast from 20.000 Fathoms").
Reversing the good old tradition of the "sermon" near the end of the movie, this one starts with (more or less) a monologue by the main character, a marine biologist, and it struck me just how much aware people were already back then - in 1959 - of the environmental problems that the use of atomic energy implies (...of course I knew that in the 50ies people were afraid of the bomb and radiation in general. But here we have also the consideration of long term effects of atomic waste and the accumulation of radioactive particles in the atmosphere and in the food chain, etc.)
I also liked the voice of actor Gene Evans, and immediately had the idea that it would sound just fine in an ambient track...
One day later, it came to my awareness that today (that's Monday, the 22. of April 2013) is "Earth Day", and I thought maybe it would be nice to dedicate a track to this occasion (...although I'm rather of the opinion that one Earth Day per year is not quite enough - why not have 365...?).
Obviously, both ideas seemed to go together well, and the track makes use of the complete monologue; I half wrote, half improvised different parts around it, and was rather astonished that after all was arranged and unfolded properly, the track was almost 45 minutes long.
Actually, it's something like a little "ambient suite" with different distinct parts. I decided to leave it as one long track, however, here are some "sub titles" and their corresponding starting times:
1. "These mysterious figures" 0:00
2. "Gentlemen, we are witnessing a biological chain reaction..." 2:05
3. "...but how little do we know about it?" 5:22
4. "Rise to the surface" 12:30
5. "...that was Bikini" 18:20
6. "Men, Kings of the Earth" 24:16
7. "...but in the tiny plankton" 30:00
8. "We cannot fence off the ocean" 37:46
9. "That's EXACTLY what I meant...!" 42:12
I guess i have comitted a little violation of copyright here, but since the film is really old and never had any success in the first place either, and hopefully I put the quotations to some good purpose, I'll get away with it.
Here's a bit from the film's Wiki (on -Pedia...):
"Behemoth, the Sea Monster (1959) is an American-British science-fiction film co-production. Originally a story about an amorphous blob of radiation, the script was changed at the distributor's insistence to a pastiche of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), though elements of the original concept remain in the early parts of the film and in the "nuclear-breathing" power of the titular monster. The script was written by blacklisted author Daniel James under the name "Daniel Hyatt," with Eugène Lourié co-writing as well as directing. Released in the United States as The Giant Behemoth, the film starred Gene Evans and André Morell. It was distributed by Allied Artists Pictures."
Full info here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behemoth,_the_Sea_Monster
The movie's intro, including the speech:
(Unfortunately, this clip starts with some unconnected crap, and the trailer of the movie.
The monologue in question can be found at around 7:00 min...)
For those of You who want to learn more about Earth Day (from wikiPedia):
"Earth Day is an annual day on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. E is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and is celebrated in more than 192 countries every year.
The name and concept of Earth Day was pioneered by John McConnell in 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco. He proposed March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature's equipoise was later sanctioned in a Proclamation signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations. A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. While this April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues."
Full info here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_day