“Headmasters never sing!” –line sung by the headmaster in Help! Help! The Globolinks
DIRECTED BY: Joachim Hess, from a production of composer/librettist Giancarlo Menotti
FEATURING: The Hamburg State Opera
PLOT: In this children’s opera, the world has been invaded by bizarre alien creatures named Globolinks, who are allergic to music. A bus full of children returning to boarding school breaks down in the middle of a lonely forest, and the students are surrounded by the alien creatures. Meanwhile, back at the school, the headmaster is infected by one of the aliens, meaning that he will soon turn into a Globolink himself.
- Gian Carlo Menotti, the author of Help! Help! The Globolinks, was a well respected, Pulitzer Prize winning composer. His most popular work is the Christmas opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, which was commissioned specifically to launch the “Hallmark Hall of Fame” television series, and which was shown annually in the United States on television during the Christmas season from 1951-1966.
- Help! Help! The Globolinks, by contrast, was a flop and is rarely performed. It is usually only mentioned in complete biographies of Menotti.
- Menotti was a pioneer in adapting opera for telecast, and the film version of Help! Help! The Globolinks was originally shown on German television in 1968.
INDELIBLE IMAGE: No doubt, it’s the Globolinks themselves (pictured above), who come in two varieties: one that looks like a wriggling rook from a chess set, and one that looks like an avant-garde ballerina dressed in a full-body dayglo bungee-jumping suit.
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: A children’s opera about music-loathing aliens is already, presumptively, pretty weird. But when the opera is made in 1968, at the height of the psychedelic sixties, and utilizes all the camera tricks, distorted electronic noises, and bizarre set designs Summer of Love filmmakers developed in an attempt to mimic the disorienting effects of LSD, there’s no more need for the presumption: we’re definitely caught in a very weird nook of film.
Scene from Help! Help! The Globolinks
COMMENTS: Help! Help! The Globolinks is one of the most obscure Continue reading 9. HELP! HELP! THE GLOBOLINKS [HILFE! HILFE! DIE GLOBOLINKS] (1969)