"Don Draper lived on hard drives for half a decade before anybody paid him any notice. In 1999, Matthew Weiner, then an unfulfilled writer on CBS' Ted Danson sitcom Becker, spent his every off-hour doing research on the 1960s: what people wore, how they decorated their offices, what they ate and drank -" The story of how Mad Men went from a risky pitch to an unknown network to one of the most popular and celebrated dramas of the decade. (Hollywood Reporter) Bonus: Ten Mad Men Characters we need to see again. (Vulture)
'Looper's Noah Segan (aka Kid Blue) Explains What It's Really Like As a Working Actor
While waiting to interview Looper director Rian Johnson during Fantastic Fest, a chance encounter challenged even my notions of what it meant to be a movie star. Sitting there, in the garish luxury of the Four Seasons hotel lobby, I met a rather lost-looking young man with whom I struck up a conversation. He was passionate and sharp, and it took a good five minutes before I recognized him as Noah Segan, the actor who played Kid Blue in Looper. I assumed he too had been sent by the studio to promote the movie, but in fact he had come of his own volition, on his own dime, and was being soundly ignored by the publicists.[more inside]
Talking with Noah, it became clear that, though he had appeared in several theatrical films, he was far from living the life of privilege and extreme comfort we tend to associate with movie stars. Noah’s experience echoes those of many with occupations in the creative field; the epitome of the blue-collar artist. This interview was completely unexpected, and we didn’t end up talking much about the movie, but if you’re struggling with the financial logistics of doing what you love professionally, you too will probably find a kindred spirit in Kid Blue.
ER One Shot (YT): one long opening shot from the Quentin Tarantino-directed episode of the TV series ER. Blog post | less bloggy, more pagey, format. [more inside]
Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau speaking at UCLA 12/1/1971 (audio with rotating pictures, 45 min 25 sec) [SLYT]
23. On screen, your hero can blow away 500 bad guys, but if he smokes one fucking cigarette, you’re in deep shit. Sam Mendes’s 25 Rules for Directors
BBC Radio 4's 'The Film Programme' talks to George A Romero. 'Forty five years after the release of genre-defining Night of the Living Dead, Francine Stock talks to the director George A Romero about inventing the undead zombie and where he might unearth horror in contemporary society. Plus why he doesn't rate Stanley Kubrick as a horror director.' [SL BBC Radio 4 episode] [more inside]
"I believe in the things I make. The fact that God doesn’t want me to make them is beside the point."
"The thing is, some really good scripts come my way, but there’s nothing in them for me to come to grips with, they are complete in themselves ... There’s no uncertainty. I don’t look for answers; I look for questions. I like when people leave the cinema and feel like the world has been altered for them somewhat." Terry Gilliam: The Heir of Fellini and the Enemy of God. (Also, recently on the blue.) [more inside]
For the past year, director Stephen Soderbergh has been recording and sharing a list of the books that he has read, and films that he has watched. The writers at Flavorwire noted Soderbergh's decision to watch Raiders of the Lost Ark in black & white three times, and have compiled a list of color films that work better in monochrome. [more inside]
It was not easy to get Terence Malick to direct again, as this article about the making of "The Thin Red Line" from Vanity Fair shows.
The recession has hit the theatre world (and the arts scene in general) very hard - but some argue that theatre practitioners aren't doing themselves any favours when seeking funding. The main question insufficiently addressed is "who is the funding for?" - hint: it's not about you. Approaching theatre as a product isn't working, not when MFA acting programs don't often allow its graduates to earn enough to earn back their debt. So now the question is: how can the economics of theatre be changed?
Director John Frankenheimer is dead. I don't want to make this out to be one of those "random celebrity dies and is suddenly hailed as a genius" things, but Frankenheimer's made quite a few damn good movies (and, yes, some bad ones). While his later works weren't nearly as great as some of his earlier films, his gift for filming action never went away: his 1998 film Ronin wound up on several lists of the "best car chases on film". He was supposed to helm the upcoming Exorcist prequel, but failing health forced him to step aside. Despite the dodgy source material, I would have really liked to see Frankenheimer's take on it. He'll be missed.
Ardent Twin Peaks fanatics are rallying behind Operation: Creamed Corn, in efforts to convince New Line to release the deleted scenes hand-picked by David Lynch from Fire Walk with Me. Will it work? I sure hope so.