Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Television: The Prisoner, The Tulse Luper Suitcases

Only time for a brief entry today, so I'll call your attention to one of my favorite television shows of all time, and another that I have in my queue in its various forms.

Crackle is a free, ad-supported streaming service; it doesn't have a lot, but it does have a few gems. I'm probably making a mistake writing such a short post to call your attention to The Prisoner, about which I could go on and on. For now it is enough to say that it is one of the best, and certainly the most imaginative television series ever made.  Recently Dangerous Minds posted a link to an interesting interview with the creator and star of The Prisoner, Patrick McGoohan; I recommend watching at least a few episodes before listening to the interview.

The YouTube description of the video provides a link to a web version of the book, The Prisoner Puzzle, published in 1976.

Again, probably a mistake to try to briefly discuss Peter Greenaway's multi-media project The Tulse Luper Suitcases, which Wikipedia describes as "initially intended to comprise four films, three 'source' and one feature, a 16-episode TV series, and 92 DVDs, as well as Web sites, CD-ROMs and books." The official website for the project describes it as, "a personal history of Uranium by Peter Greenaway." One of the supplementary websites, The Tulse Luper Journey, is an interactive game where "players are required to assemble a 92 minute movie from "layers" obtained by completing short puzzles/games, each which then open one of 92 suitcases containing a piece of the 92 minute movie" (Wikipedia). Fans of Greenaway will recognize Tulse Luper as a mysterious figure in several of his early short films, including one of my favorites, Vertical Features Remake.

Three different manifestations of the project are available to stream on Netflix.  Three films, The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 1: The Moab Story; The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 2: Vaux to the Sea; and The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part 3: From Sark to the Finish, are all available in one Netflix entry (listed like three episodes of a television show).  From there you can go long, or you can go short: The TV Series is 16 episodes, and another feature film, A Life in Suitcases, is 120 minutes long. I have not yet ventured very far into this project, but the Netflix member reviews on most of these pages are worth the clicks alone.

The Prisoner (1967, 1 Season, 17 Episodes)

The Tulse Luper Suitcases (2003, 3 Episodes)

The Tulse Luper Suitcases - The TV Series (2004, 1 Season, 16 Episodes)

A Life in Suitcases (Peter Greenaway, UK, 2005, 120 minutes)

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