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Resources and Downloads. Get a FREE e-book by joining our mailing list today! More books from this author: Ray Bradbury. Carl alternately bullies Willie and hypnotizes him, slowly forcing the young man into living out the hallucinations that are suggested by the tattoos. Of the three stories dramatized here, I can recall only the first and the best from the original Bradbury book.
It's the one about the paranoid parents in some future time, whose two, zombie-like children trap them in a very chic, environmental playroom.
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The other two stories concern a crew that has been spacewrecked on a distant planet and a pair of concerned parents facing the end of the world. Bradbury's stories, at their best, are ironic comments on the contemporary scene projected into a nightmare future; at their worst, they are hoked up O. Henry, wearing space helmets. I suspect they always tell better than they read, and read better than they play in dramatized form. Kreitsek's screenplay is unsharp, without focus, working into and out of the hallucinations with great awkwardness.
It also is so thinly structured that it simply cannot contain Mr.
The Illustrated Man Characters
Steiger's baroque performance as the man whose very skin is haunted. Claire Bloom is wintry and beautiful in several roles, including that of the witch who specializes in "skin illustrations. Though it was a hot late afternoon, he wore his wool shirt buttoned tight about his neck. His sleeves were rolled and buttoned down over his thick wrists. Perspiration was streaming from his face, yet he made no move to open his shirt.
Do you mind company. He sat down heavily, grunting. That's why I'm walking.
Here it is, early. September, the cream of the Labor Day carnival season. I should be making money hand over fist at any small town side show celebration, but here I am with no prospects.
Then something happens and they fireme. By now every carnival in America won't touch me with a ten-foot pole. For answer, he unbuttoned his tight collar, slowly. With his eyes shut, he put a slow hand to the task of unbuttoning his shirt all the way down.
He slipped his fingers in to feel his chest.
I always hope that someday I'll look and they'll be gone. I walk in the sun for hours on the hottest days, baking, and hope that my sweat'll wash them off, the sun'll cook them off, but at sundown they're still there. They follow me along country roads. Everyone wants to see the pictures, and yet nobody wants to see them. He was covered with Illustrations from the blue tattooed ring about his neck to his belt line.
On his palm was a rose, freshly cut, with drops of crystal wake among the soft pink petals. I put my hand out to touch it, but it was only an Illustration. As for the rest of him, I cannot say how I sat and stared, for be was a riot of rockets and fountains and people, in such intricate detail and color that you could hear the voices murmuring small and muted, from the crowds that inhabited his body. When his flesh twitched, the tiny mouths flickered, the tiny green-and-gold eyes winked, the tiny pink hands gestured. There were yellow meadows and blue rivers and mountains and stars and suns and planets spread in a Milky Way across his chest.
The people themselves were in twenty or more odd groups upon his arms, shoulders, back, sides, and wrists, as well as on the flat of his stomach. You found them in forests of hair, lurking among a constellation of freckles, or peering from armpit caverns, diamond eyes aglitter. Each seemed intent upon his own activity, each was a separate gallery portrait. How can I explain about his Illustrations? If El Greco had painted miniatures in his prime, no bigger than your hand, infinitely detailed, with all his sulphurous color, elongation, and anatomy, perhaps he might have used this man's body for his art.
The colors burned in three dimensions. They were windows looking in upon fiery reality. Here, gathered on one wall, were all the finest scenes in the universe the man was a walking treasure gallery. This wasn't the work of a cheap carnival tattoo man with three colors and whisky on his breath. This was the accomplishment of a living genius vibrant, clear, and beautiful. I've tried sandpaper, acid, a knife. The moon was already up in the East.
But at night--the pictures move. The pictures change. It laid me up; I had to do something to keep my band in, so I decided to get tattooed. What happened to the artist? She was an old woman in a little house in the middle of Wisconsin here somewhere not far from this place. A little old witch who looked a thousand years old one moment and twenty years old the next, but she said she could travel in time. I laughed. Now, I know better. Illustration instead of tattoo! So he had sat all night while her magic needles stung him wasp stings and delicate bee stings.
By morning he looked like a man who had fallen into a twenty color print press and been squeezed out, all bright and picturesque. Now the first stars were shining and the moon had brightened the fields of grass and wheat. Still the Illustrated Man's pictures glowed like charcoals in the half light, like scattered rubies and emeralds, with Rouault colors and Picasso colors and the long, pressed out El Greco bodies. They don't like it when violent things happen in my Illustrations.
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