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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Myths turned into legendary movies

Por sumily

It was almost a decade before Universal produced the next film about mummies, "The Hand of the Mummy" in 1940, the previous production had been in 1932. This, the new film production was a rather simplistic sequel to the original.

The idea of ​​a mummy in motion would have been completely alien to the ancient Egyptians and goes against the whole concept of mummification, which was used to preserve the dead to ensure a peaceful and peaceful life in the afterlife. For its part, Hammer Studios brought the mummy back with "La mumia" by Terence Fisher, in 1959, a film that honored the original legend and recognized the romantic appeal of the creature by reincorporating the figure of Ankhesenamun in the princess Ananka.

This time, screenwriter Jimmy Sangster borrowed the irregular sequels from Universal and nicknamed Kharis the creature, mistakenly assuming it was the true name of an Egyptian god.

It has been 95 years since the excavation of the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun and the phenomenon continues to provoke fascination. According to the complicated procedure to follow of the mummification used in Ancient Egypt, the body was then washed and covered with oils.

The truth is that the story with its myths, legends and mysterious characters, has fed the imagination of filmmakers, usually in the form of a malevolent bandaged character who kills to avenge cultural desecration and forbidden love.And although it is fundamentally a cinematographic creation, the mummy that comes back to life is apparently inspired by the so-called Curse of Tutankhamun.

According to newspaper reports of the early 1920s, several people linked to the expedition of British archaeologist Howard Carter to the Valley of the Kings in 1922 died prematurely, including its financier Lord Carnarvon, who died from a mosquito bite.

And although the legend shares similarities with other representations of living monsters, such as Dracula or Frankenstein, it seems to be more rooted in the collective memory because its starting point is a real fact: the exhumation of King Tut. The mediatic impetus for the excavation made a particular idea of the Egyptian take over the popular imagination, even feeding the development of an architectural style: Art Deco.

Many were American movie theaters of the 20s that were adorned with extravagant decorations that imitated the opulence of Ancient Egypt. And to treasure that Egyptomania Universal Studios produced "The Mummy" in 1932. The film became famous, especially for the interpretation of Boris Karloff as Imhotep, a mummified high priest who was resurrected by reading a magical scroll. Imhotep, with the absolute certainty that his lost love, Ankh-es-en-amon, name given him by Ankhesenamun, the half-sister and wife of King Tut, has reincarnated as a woman who has an amazing similarity to his deceased wife.

The scriptwriter of the film, John L. Balderston, had been one of the correspondents who informed on the opening of the tomb of the king Tut, which gave certain touch to him of legitimacy to the film.And, in its essence, this atmospheric psychological thriller directed by the German expressionist filmmaker Karl Freund, is a cautionary tale about the dangers of interfering with the ancestral customs of a foreign culture.