After 65 Years The Hollywood Reporter addresses its role in the hollywood blacklist, including an apology from W.R. Wilkerson III, son of THR founder Billy Wilkerson whose "A Vote For Joe Stalin" editorial named writers such as Dalton Trumbo, Lester Cole, Howard Koch and John Howard Lawson as communist sympathisers.
During the Golden Age of Hollywood and until 1967, mainstream movie studios were banned by the Production Code from depicting taboo topics like drug addiction, explicit murder and venereal disease, or even showing explicit nudity. But in the 1930's and 1940's, films marketed as "educational" could and did fly under the radar, and three of the best known 'educational' propaganda exploitation films are: Sex Madness (1935), Reefer Madness (1936) and The Cocaine Fiends (1938). [more inside]
How Philip K Dick transformed Hollywood, who could be Hollywood's next PKD and how PKD could change your life.
Scandals of Classic Hollywood* is a fantastic series of articles exploring the careers and private lives of old Hollywood's most legendary performers, written by self-styled "doctor of celebrity gossip" Anne Helen Petersen. [more inside]
Director and/or star of many of the greatest films ever made including The Great Dictator (2:05:16) [Globe scene and the eternally goosebump providing Final speech], The Immigrant (20:01), The Gold Rush (1:11:49), City Lights (1:22:40), Modern Times (1:27:01), and Monsieur Verdoux (1:59:03), Charlie Chaplin's movies have entered the public domain in most countries. Below the fold is an annotated list of all 82 of his official short and feature films in chronological order, as well as several more, with links to where you can watch them; it's not like you had work to do right? [more inside]
The world has ended many times - a supercut of apocalyptic visions.
The Flick Chick - 11 Days of Garbo: "I recently bought the Greta Garbo Signature Collection...I've been enjoying the collection so much that I've decided to dedicate the next 11 days to looking at the 11 films included in the collection: three silents, the pre-code films which helped establish her as a star who could continue into the sound age, the films made towards the end of her film career for which she is perhaps best known, and a documentary feature produced by Turner Classic Movies." [more inside]
How Making Love Changed Us. Screenwriter Barry Sandler discusses the legacy of the 1982 gay-themed drama with "The Advocate".
The wonderful, and fairly rare, 13-part documentary series from 1980 - Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film - is narrated by James Mason for Thames Television. Episode One - The Pioneers - [52 mins] [the rest are linked inside] shows:-
"the evolution of film from penny arcade curiosity to art form, from what was considered the first plot driven film, The Great Train Robbery, through to The Birth of a Nation, films showing the power of the medium. Early Technicolor footage, along with other color technologies, are also featured. Interviews include Lillian Gish, Jackie Coogan and King Vidor.*"[more inside]
Brad Pitt's Zombie Nightmare: Inside the Troubled 'World War Z' Production The Hollywood Reporter sorts through the problems causing the release of the film version of Max Brooks' post-apocalyptic UN report to be delayed until next June. Via the A.V. Club, which adds links to previous stories about the filming.
Mythbusters' Tested Blog recently posted a special feature from the Toy Story 2 DVD, in which Pixar's Oren Jacob and Galyn Susman recounted how the files for the movie (just 10gb of data!) were almost lost due to both an erroneous Linux command and a bad backup. The folks at The Next Web: Media followed up with Mr. Jacob, and learned that the movie was actually tossed out and reworked from scratch again nine months prior to a release date that was set in stone, not by the computers, but by the filmmakers themselves: How Pixar’s Toy Story 2 was deleted twice, once by technology and again for its own good.
A very long interview with screenwriter Lem Dobbs. Single link to text on a page but it's a wonderful interview and those who love film, culture, the arts... will dig it I think.
Name all the female movie directors you can in one minute, right now. No Google. I’ll wait. This movie gave me cooties why there are no female directors.
What you see here is a prime example of what happens to film that is neglected and improperly stored. This is an original reel from It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World that is now untouchable. The film has turned acidic, sporting the strongest and most foul vinegar-like odor I have ever smelled. In fact, Robert Harris told me a story of how his contact lenses were singed by the fumes the film produced, causing temporary retinal damage to his eye. [more inside]
Joe Eszterhas (writer of The Music Box, Basic Instinct, and many other films) has written a letter to Mel Gibson after the actor neglected to contact him regarding his screenplay for "the Jewish Braveheart," which Gibson had hired him to write.
About 2 miles into the park... things start to get strange. A forbidding padlocked wrought-iron gate, surrounded by a low lying stone wall sits nestled on the edge of the trail.... Strange rusted debris starts to appear on the side of the paths. What looks like an old water filtration system, broken pieces of farm equipment, half buried sinks, strange concrete slabs with graffiti . A lovely little steam appears and makes delightful background noises, lizards and birds scatter about your feet. And then you see it. A burned-out overgrown concrete building completely covered with graffiti. Cartoon of Hitler? Check. Declaration of undying teenage love? Check.... The bunker of the building is exposed and filled with trash; a metal cage sits menacingly in the corner, and outside a series of stone steps wind up to what seems to have once been a sustenance garden. The steps then continue all the way to the top of the canyon (3,000 steps in all) and ghosts of America Nazis patrolling the wilds fill your head. Baby, we aren't at the Grove anymore... We are at the Los Angeles Nazi Compound! Well, it's actually the ruins of a small community built by Nazi sympathizers, in the hills outside of greater Los Angeles. [more inside]
Classic Hollywood Guide on how to react when you screw up a scene. Movie bloopers with Bogie, Bette Davis, Carole Lombard, Claudette Colbert, Errol Flynn, Claude Rains, Kay Francis, Edward G. Robinson, Jane Wyman, George Brent, Merle Oberon, Patricia Neal, Mickey Rooney and more.
I Went to the Pre-Oscar Celebrity Gifting Suites and All I Got Was This Sense of Disgust [more inside]
"Most of the filmmakers surveyed...were not aware of the perishable nature of digital content or how short its unmanaged lifespan is." After the Motion Picture Academy's release last month of "The Digital Dilemma 2," a warning aimed at independent filmmakers and nonprofit archives, cinematographer John Bailey talks with one of the report's authors about the perils of data migration ("It’s not unreasonable to say that the term "digital preservation" is an oxymoron") and the need to educate filmmakers who are so "enamored with the perceived benefits of digital image capture and workflow" that they fail to realize preservation concerns start to appear almost immediately after their work is completed. Film professor David Bordwell covers the report in a detailed post about preserving "born-digital" films, sixth in his "Pandora's Digital Box" series about the worldwide conversion to digital projection, with lots of good links at the bottom.
John Carter, previously John Carter of Mars, previously A Princess of Mars, could be the biggest movie write-off of all time.
The Seventh Art is an independently produced video magazine about cinema with three sections: a profile on an interesting group/company/organization in the industry, a video essay and a long-form interview with a filmmaker.
Le Blues De Memphis — behind the scenes at STAX & FAME Recording Studios (1969) and Hollywood Blues, a 1969 Hollywood Recording Session. Just a sample of the vintage 50s, 60s & 70s music, movies, microcode and high-speed pizza delivery at Bedazzled.tv. [sacré bleu]
New York Mag presents the balance sheets of an A-List actor for our perusal.
Yet by 1944 the IRS named Barbara Stanwyck the highest-paid woman in America. From 1930-57, she did a minimum of two pictures a year, sometimes even four or five. Yet it wasn't workaholism, according to the actress: "I was afraid they'd get somebody better, frankly. I never really thought I had any clout. For a lot of years I was free-lancing, by choice, but I think discipline stays with you. It's this fear that maybe somebody can come in and take over. Maybe a Redford or a Streep can take the luxury of a year off, but I never thought I could. Of course, we were more workable in those days. And they make more money now. Anyway, I never had self-assurance about leaving."
Homicide detectives who have reopened an investigation into the death of Natalie Wood after three decades said on Friday that the film star's husband, actor Robert Wagner, was not considered a suspect. [more inside]
Director, writer, and raconteur, Peter Bogdanovich has a blog where he talks movies -- and you better believe it's called BLOGDANOVICH. [more inside]
Will Your Favorite Star Survive Color? This article from a 1935 issue of the Hollywood fan magazine Photoplay breathlessly anticipates a new standard of screen beauty due to the spread of Technicolor motion pictures. You can read or download the whole magazine, for free, legally, at the Media History Digital Library. [more inside]
Yellowface: A Story In Pictures - A chronicle of Asian/Middle Eastern characters as performed by white actors. (Previously on MeFi)
"You know something very bizarre is going on in Hollywood when the movie Rise of Planet of the Apes tells more about the black experience in America than The Help." Max Gordon reflects on the truths that Hollywood can't talk about openly, and the dangers involved in sugarcoating the past.
Cinevault has over 1000 full length streamable movies, most from the golden age of Hollywood.
Leonard Michaels' "The Zipper": Rita Hayworth is never seen disrobed in the movie, though it is threatened more than once. The atmosphere of dark repression and mysterious forces – the mood or feeling of the movie – might be destroyed by the revelation of her body. It scared me as she began her striptease dance in the nightclub. I didn’t want everybody to see her body, or even to see that Rita Hayworth had a body. [more inside]
An unbelievable collection of Roddy McDowall’s never-before-seen silent home movies from the summer of 1965 were uploaded onto YouTube yesterday, featuring impossibly young, impossibly gorgeous stars like Natalie Wood, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Hope Lange, and Rock Hudson frolicking on the beach. You simply MUST go to the website and watch them all. The takeaway for me, though, is Sal Mineo slinking out the back door with a guilty-looking blond who may or may not be Bobby Sherman. What were THEY up to? Also mesmerizing: The closeup of Natalie Wood’s freckles, Jane Fonda sticking out her tongue, and Paul Newman’s hunky son.
Today is the 100th birthday of Raymond Nicholas Kienzle, better known as Nicholas Ray. The seminal Hollywood-outcast-turned-French-New-Wave idol behind Rebel Without a Cause, Bigger Than Life, Bitter Victory and the hallucinatory Western Johnny Guitar made intensely emotional films about isolated people, often infused with profound desperation and a sense of the nightmarish. Francois Truffaut dubbed him "the poet of nightfall," while Jean-Luc Godard simply declared that "the cinema is Nicholas Ray." He studied architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright, mentored Jim Jarmusch and let Wim Wenders film him as he was dying of cancer. Bob Dylan even wrote a hit song about one of his movies. [more inside]
Weekend At Kermie's: The Muppets' Strange Life After Death. Elizabeth Stevens asks:
What if, in 1990, instead of recasting Kermit—something that had been done to Mickey and Bugs Bunny before him—the Muppets had continued on Kermit-less, as "The Simpsons" did after Phil Hartman died. Recall Susan’s words on "Seasame Street" about Mr. Hooper in 1982: “Big Bird, when people die, they don’t come back.” Let’s say Robin showed up saying his uncle Kermit had passed away? Or, if that was too dark for Disney, what if Kermit had left show business to go off to start a family with Piggy? Someone else could lead the gang of weirdoes..
It would’ve made more artistic sense than what happened
Photos by Irving Penn [nsfw] | Photos by Linda McCartney | Photos by Yul Brynner [nsfw] | photos by Henri Dauman | Photos by Phil Stern | A Woman We Love: Ava Gardner | Paintings by Michael Carson | Photos by Ken Schles [nsfw] | Photos by Lillian Bassman| "classic Hollywood" and more | LiveJournal collections by everyday i show.
"As part of the DGA's 75th Anniversary, DGA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and three-time DGA Award winner, Steven Spielberg, was celebrated on June 11, 2011..." [more inside]
SI has written an oral history about the making of the movie "Major League". Charlie Sheen was also interviewed for this piece.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library today launched its latest online research tool, the Production Art Database. The database contains records for more than 5,300 items from the library’s collection, including motion picture costume and production design drawings, animation art, storyboards and paintings. Nearly half of the records include images, making this an invaluable online resource for researchers interested in motion picture design.
Transformers 3 scene from The Island. SlashFilm passes along the news that Michael Bay recycled shots from his 2005 film The Island in his new film Transformers: Dark of the Moon, saving costs by adding different CGI to the same car chase scenes. "I’m not sure how often this kind of thing happens, but my guess is that it happens probably more than you would think."
A letter by director Michael Bay helpfully advising projectionists the proper way to show his new film Transformers 3 in movie theaters and a very grateful response from the Projectors' Guild.