Thursday, January 16, 2014

Further prophecies of Nostradamus

Coming up in the TCM shorts lineup is Further Prophecies of Nostradamus, at about 4:00 AM overnight, or early tomorrow morning. Or, to put it another way, it's just after They All Kissed the Bride, which starts at 2:30 AM and runs 87 minutes.

This short is based on the writings of Michel de Nostradame, commonly called Nostradamus for short. Nostradamus among other things wrote a whole bunch of rhymed quatrains, which can be interpreted any way you like them. Nostradamus himself did call them prophecies, or at least the French equivalent, since he was writing in 16th century French. But of course this is stuff everybody knows already.

As I said, the prophecies could be interpreted in whatever way fits your agenda, since they were vague. Since Nostradamus' death in 1566, they've been interpreted and reinterpreted, with all sorts of people using them presumably in an attempt to fool the gullible. MGM even got in on the act, with four or five shorts on the subject in the early 1940s, showing how Nostradamus' prophecies are supposedly coming true. In the particular short that's running tonight, those prophecies deal with World War II. Apparently, one of the quatrains referred to a "Hister", which was obviously supposed to mean "Hitler". One wonders how the people trying to curry favor with Hitler interpreted the prophecies for him. That would make for a more interesting short, but one that MGM wouldn't have been able to make back in 1942.

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