Director Mel Brooks spent a lot of money on white handkerchiefs while making his 1974 tour de farce, Young Frankenstein. "I gave everybody in the crew a white handkerchief," said the 88-year-old comedy legend during a recent phone interview. "I said, 'When you feel like laughing, put this in your mouth.' Every once in a while, I'd turn around and see a sea of white handkerchiefs, and I said, 'I got a hit.'"An interview with Mel Brooks on the 40th anniversary of Young Frankenstein, with an overview of the events that lead to what Mel Brooks calls 'by far the best movie I ever made.' [more inside]
Young Frankenstein was more than a hit. It is a comic masterpiece.
Corey Feldman is probably most widely recognized as a child star of the 1980s, but since then he has branched out into music. Yet with two group albums and two solo albums, his only music video appearances have been cameos (Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night" [Funny or Die] and Mac Miller's "S.D.S." [YouTube]). That is, until now: "Ascension Millennium" (YT) is the first song off his forthcoming album, and it's "a musical journey through his 'Feldmansion' in this Day in the Life Adventure," complete with an appearance from his pal Sean Astin from "The Goonies" and tributes to Michael Jackson. [more inside]
His artistic obscurity - relative to the stars of the New York School - had nothing to do with his personality, which was gregarious, funny and stimulating, and everything to do with his music, which was concerned with values of reticence, quietness, faintness, stillness; hardly the sort of thing to make headlines in a world where the avant garde was supposed to épater and outrage. As Michael Finnissy, one of his most stalwart British advocates, put it, "I don't think Morton Feldman's music is ever going to be that popular." There are lots of reasons for this, and they are all good reasons for listening to the music.  [more inside]
In February, author Deborah Feldman spoke with xoJane's (and Metafilter's own) hermitosis about the backlash she experienced from the Hasidic community in the days leading up the release of her tell-all memoir "Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of my Hasidic Roots." Today xoJane granted another Hasidic woman from the interview post her own rebuttal to the original article, "What Women's Media Needs to Know About Chassidic Women," in which she defends her religion against feminists and "poor Deborah Feldman" sympathizers. Metafilter's own hermitosis responds in the comments.
"Most actors will go their entire careers without doing a movie like Stand By Me, or working with a director like Rob Reiner. I got to do both when I was 12. For a long, long time, I felt like I needed to top or equal that, and it wasn’t until I was in my early 30s that I accepted that it’s unlikely to happen -- movies like Stand By Me come along once in a generation."The cast of Stand By Me(link has autoplaying sound,) recently recorded some interviews to promote the re-release of the movie on Blu-Ray. Wil Wheaton has blogged about reuniting with the cast and missing River Phoenix. (Via)
Pictures of Music - fascinating site about graphical music notation, i.e., "non-traditional musical symbols arranged in a visual design rather than conventional musical syntax." Includes zoomable example scores, bios of folks like Morton Feldman, instructions for musicians, lots of sound clips and a detailed animated analysis of Cornelius Cardew's Treatise, the "Mount Everest of graphic scores."