Forums > Queen - General Discussion > It's A Hard Life Video... Inpired by Poe?

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ScaramoucheFandango user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 21 Jan 07, 20:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The "It's A Hard Life video has always reminded of the story by Edgar Allen Poe, The Masque of the Red Death. Read and watch... do you agree with me?

The Masque of the Red Death

THE "Red Death" had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal --the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men. And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour.
But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys. This was an extensive and magnificent structure, the creation of the prince's own eccentric yet august taste. A strong and lofty wall girdled it in. This wall had gates of iron. The courtiers, having entered, brought furnaces and massy hammers and welded the bolts. They resolved to leave means neither of ingress or egress to the sudden impulses of despair or of frenzy from within. The abbey was amply provisioned. With such precautions the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion. The external world could take care of itself. In the meantime it was folly to grieve, or to think. The prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure. There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet-dancers, there were musicians, there was Beauty, there was wine. All these and security were within. Without was the "Red Death."
It was toward the close of the fifth or sixth month of his seclusion, and while the pestilence raged most furiously abroad, that the Prince Prospero entertained his thousand friends at a masked ball of the most unusual magnificence.
It was a voluptuous scene, that masquerade. But first let me tell of the rooms in which it was held. There were seven --an imperial suite. In many palaces, however, such suites form a long and straight vista, while the folding doors slide back nearly to the walls on either hand, so that the view of the whole extent is scarcely impeded. Here the case was very different; as might have been expected from the duke's love of the bizarre. The apartments were so irregularly disposed that the vision embraced but little more than one at a time. There was a sharp turn at every twenty or thirty yards, and at each turn a novel effect. To the right and left, in the middle of each wall, a tall and narrow Gothic window looked out upon a closed corridor which pursued the windings of the suite. These windows were of stained glass whose color varied in accordance with the prevailing hue of the decorations of the chamber into which it opened. That at the eastern extremity was hung, for example, in blue --and vividly blue were its windows. The second chamber was purple in its ornaments and tapestries, and here the panes were purple. The third was green throughout, and so were the casements. The fourth was furnished and lighted with orange --the fifth with white --the sixth with violet. The seventh apartment was closely shrouded in black velvet tapestries that hung all over the ceiling and down the walls, falling in heavy folds upon a carpet of the same material and hue. But in this chamber only, the color of the windows failed to correspond with the decorations. The panes here were scarlet --a deep blood color. Now in no one of the seven apartments was there any lamp or candelabrum, amid the profusion of golden ornaments that lay scattered to and fro or depended from the roof. There was no light of any kind emanating from lamp or candle within th


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Posted: 21 Jan 07, 20:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

He had directed, in great part, the moveable embellishments of the seven chambers, upon occasion of this great fete; and it was his own guiding taste which had given character to the masqueraders. Be sure they were grotesque. There were much glare and glitter and piquancy and phantasm --much of what has been since seen in "Hernani." There were arabesque figures with unsuited limbs and appointments. There were delirious fancies such as the madman fashions. There was much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre, something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have excited disgust. To and fro in the seven chambers there stalked, in fact, a multitude of dreams. And these --the dreams --writhed in and about, taking hue from the rooms, and causing the wild music of the orchestra to seem as the echo of their steps. And, anon, there strikes the ebony clock which stands in the hall of the velvet. And then, for a moment, all is still, and all is silent save the voice of the clock. The dreams are stiff-frozen as they stand. But the echoes of the chime die away --they have endured but an instant --and a light, half-subdued laughter floats after them as they depart. And now again the music swells, and the dreams live, and writhe to and fro more merrily than ever, taking hue from the many-tinted windows through which stream the rays from the tripods. But to the chamber which lies most westwardly of the seven, there are now none of the maskers who venture; for the night is waning away; and there flows a ruddier light through the blood-colored panes; and the blackness of the sable drapery appals; and to him whose foot falls upon the sable carpet, there comes from the near clock of ebony a muffled peal more solemnly emphatic than any which reaches their ears who indulge in the more remote gaieties of the other apartments.
But these other apartments were densely crowded, and in them beat feverishly the heart of life. And the revel went whirlingly on, until at length there commenced the sounding of midnight upon the clock. And then the music ceased, as I have told; and the evolutions of the waltzers were quieted; and there was an uneasy cessation of all things as before. But now there were twelve strokes to be sounded by the bell of the clock; and thus it happened, perhaps, that more of thought crept, with more of time, into the meditations of the thoughtful among those who revelled. And thus, too, it happened, perhaps, that before the last echoes of the last chime had utterly sunk into silence, there were many individuals in the crowd who had found leisure to become aware of the presence of a masked figure which had arrested the attention of no single individual before. And the rumor of this new presence having spread itself whisperingly around, there arose at length from the whole company a buzz, or murmur, expressive of disapprobation and surprise --then, finally, of terror, of horror, and of disgust.
In an assembly of phantasms such as I have painted, it may well be supposed that no ordinary appearance could have excited such sensation. In truth the masquerade license of the night was nearly unlimited; but the figure in question had out-Heroded Herod, and gone beyond the bounds of even the prince's indefinite decorum. There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion. Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made. The whole company, indeed, seemed now deeply to feel that in the costume and bearing of the stranger neither wit nor propriety existed. The figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave. The mask which concealed the visage was made so nearly to resemble the countenance of a stiffened corpse that the closest scrutiny must have had difficulty in detecting the cheat. And yet all this might have been endured, if not approved, by


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Posted: 21 Jan 07, 20:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's A Hard Life

http://youtube.com/watch?v=YFwOe0EPOJs


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Posted: 21 Jan 07, 20:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Prince Prospero - Freddie
The character even has Freddie-like characteristics (an eye for fashion :) )

Death: Brian

Party-goers: John, Roger, guests

The colors: the colors of the room they are in change to black and blue.

Freddie's Hair Growth: Prince Prospero's party went on for a long time....

People's dissaperance in middle of video: some people think that Prince Prospero was halluncinating.


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Posted: 21 Jan 07, 20:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Freddie's Outfit: scarlet/red... blood red panes... red mentioned many times in course of story


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Posted: 21 Jan 07, 21:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

<font color="FF66FF">Scaramouch Fandango wrote:

Freddie's Outfit: scarlet/red... blood red panes... red mentioned many times in course of story


eyes near his crotch area...


I'm so pissed I could spit.
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Posted: 21 Jan 07, 21:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

<font color=red>The Audacity of Charles wrote:

la paix wrote:

<font color="FF66FF">Scaramouch Fandango wrote:

Freddie's Outfit: scarlet/red... blood red panes... red mentioned many times in course of story


eyes near his crotch area...


Near ?! ...

http://www.queenzone.com/queenzone/mp3.aspx?Q=14714

I'd say he's got himself a one-eyed monster right there.


heh heh


I'm so pissed I could spit.
Voice of Reason 2014 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Jan 07, 10:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote


Yes, I'd always thought a few scenes in that movie reminded me of the video!




"Build your muscles as your body decays!"
ScaramoucheFandango user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Jan 07, 20:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

la paix wrote:

<font color="FF66FF">Scaramouch Fandango wrote:

Freddie's Outfit: scarlet/red... blood red panes... red mentioned many times in course of story


eyes near his crotch area...


I was trying to relate it to the story.


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Posted: 22 Jan 07, 21:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Mr. Death slips in without bing noticed - Brian does past the crowd on the stairs without being noticed.

Skull Guitar Thing: Skull symbolizes death hense "The Red Death".


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Posted: 22 Jan 07, 21:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

<font color="FF66FF">Scaramouch Fandango wrote:

la paix wrote:

<font color="FF66FF">Scaramouch Fandango wrote:

Freddie's Outfit: scarlet/red... blood red panes... red mentioned many times in course of story


eyes near his crotch area...


I was trying to relate it to the story.


I was trying to make a JOKE.


I'm so pissed I could spit.
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Posted: 23 Jan 07, 20:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

According to Peter Freestone in his book, Freddie Mercury (my paperback copy page 122):

"'Hard Life' was directed by Tim Pope who had made his name by releasing a single entitled 'I Want To Be A Tree' and this was to be his only collaboration with Queen. He was certainly qualified to reproduce Freddie's outlandish vision of the end product. It was filmed in the Arri film studios in the centre of Munich. Freddie had damaged ligaments in his knee inside the New York Bar in Munich in this year, 1984, as was widely reported in the international press."

"The whole point of this production from the Pagliacci opening onwards was to create a surreal fantasy. From the eyes sewn onto his costume to the feathers on his back, Freddie achieves the look of that of a giant prawn in a palace of excess. The voluptuous images were often more akin to nightmare. Many of Freddie's Munich friends were involved, Barbara Valentin as the seductive temptress and Mack’s wife Ingrid feature heavily as does a transvestite ballerina, Kurt Raab whom we also knew by the name of Rebecca.”

“The rest of the band were obviously somewhat bewildered which is maybe why it is so easy to play ‘Spot the Deliberate Mistake’. At one point, Roger is to be seen walking across the set in his trainers whereas in fact he should only have been in his tights. This incident indicates that not all the band were always in on the editing process. Had Roger been involved in this one, the mistake would probably never have been let through.”

“Towards the end of the video, on the scarlet staircase, Freddie visibly favours his damaged right knee as he inevitably sits down on the stair and the whole manner in which he lowers himself indicates the pain he was in. We were in the studio on that day until very, very late, after a couple of bottles of vodka and champagne were brought in. Only Freddie’s immediate coterie stayed on to drink as everyone else was completely exhausted.”
___________

I googled Pagliacci, but what little I read of it, I didn't see the similarities. Do we have any opera buffs out there?

I have to laugh whenever I watch that song. Yes, I suppose it would be a "tricky situation" and "a hard life" if you were running around in an outfit like that!


Yes, it was a worthwhile experience.
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Posted: 23 Jan 07, 22:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

carboengine wrote:

Freddie had damaged ligaments in his knee


poor Freddie!

Thanks carboengine, this has always been one of my very favorite Queen songs. Thanks for filling me in on that passage from your book :)




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Posted: 24 Jan 07, 07:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

i thought this was about the Teletubbies


isnt innuendo an italian suppository?

im gonna ride the wild wind!

its_a_hard_life wrote:you nutcase you rule!

joxer replies: but in a nice way :-]