Hollywood Bloopers: 1936-1947
A couple of the years won't load for me, but the ones I can watch are fun.
Love Carol Channing? The Hollywood magazine Daeida has done The Carol Channing Issue
- available online.
The universe is unfolding as it should: from White Castle
to ...the White House
. Actor Kal Penn dramatically left his medical show last night (spoilers everywhere
) to take a job in the Obama administration. He credits his interest in politics to his grandparents, who marched with Gandhi.
Coincidental to the publishing
of her memoir
, Candy Spelling
- the widow of legendary television producer Aaron Spelling
- is selling
her Beverly Hills mansion
for $150 million
. (Daughter Tori Spelling
is not expected to share in the proceeds.)
The bumping off of a famous person is the
sort of oyster that any detective delights to open, so you can just bet the
family jewels that I was pretty much elated when my Chief, the late Thomas
Lee Woolwine, District Attorney of Los Angeles County, called me into his
private office on the morning of February 3rd, 1922, and assigned me to
represent his office in the investigation of this greatest of all murder
-- Excerpted from an article archived at Taylorology
, a site exploring the life and death of William Desmond Taylor, a silent movie actor and director whose unsolved murder was among the earliest Hollywood true crime scandals. Researcher Bruce Long
first published his accumulated information about the case as a small fanzine which evolved into a monthly electronic newsletter and is now a vast archive of articles and interviews, official documents, photos, and more. Although the Taylor case is the main focus, there's also a wealth of supplemental information about the silent film industry and its stars. [more inside]
"The biggest problem with the metal bikini, was that it wasn’t metal. ——Not that metal would’ve been an improvement over what it was actually made of, which was kind of a hard plastic. Whatever it was, it didn’t adhere to one’s skin. MY skin. My young, soon to be popular, unlucky skin. SO, when I was relaxing leisurely against Jabba the Hutt’s gigantic, albiet grotesque stomach, my hard, plastic bikini bottom……….well, it had the tendency to make my now not so private privates quite public. Especially for the actor standing behind Jabba playing Bobba Fett—–I believe his name was Jeremy—–from where Bobba/Jeremy stood, so straight and tall and severe behind his mask——to put it simply and weirdly, Jeremy could see beyond my yawning, plastic bikini bottoms all the way to Florida."
- Carrie Fisher
goes from writing the occasional book
to daily blogging
, from substance abuse to abusing punctuation
Just Like The Movies.
Michal Kosakowski reconstructs the morning of 9/11/01 completely through clips from Hollywood movies released before 9/11. More of Kosakowski's short films are available here. [more inside]
Director Peter Watkins' web site describes the filming, distribution and critical reaction
to each of his controversial films, including Punishment Park
, the rock star satire Privilege
, The War Game
, La Commune
and more. He also offers a 10-part critique
of "the media crisis" that marginalizes non-mainstream ideas via the Hollywood monoform
and the Universal Clock, a style he claims structures almost all of the messages delivered to the public, but which sharply limits the range of relationships possible between media producers and audiences. [more inside]
Every Halloween I think about him
Vincent never wanted to be an actor
. What with the degree from Yale in Art History
and English. His intent was certainly not to be one the classic Masters
(YTV) of Macabre
(YTV). Never the less his legend surpasses his own humble ambitions. Part of our collective childhoods
(MP3) gone but not forgotten. [more inside]
Who ruined the Hollywood fight scene?
With average shot length under six seconds and falling
, are fight scenes more exciting than they used to be? Or is Hollywood's love of fast editing cutting us short
? [more inside]
Look out, New York ladies, the Goot is loose!
His experience on Dancing With the Stars "made him a better person"
; after getting the hook as a hoofer, a disllusioned Steve Guttenberg abandons Hollywood for New York.
It's been proven
that people tend to look like their dogs
, but startling new findings reveal a freakish resemblance
between Hollywood celebrities and Sesame Street puppets.
The male rejection of adulthood
is now the dominant attitude in Hollywood comedy.
The center of attention is usually a guy
, his buddies and his toys. He will, most of the time, be nudged toward responsibility, forgiven for his quirks and nurtured in his needs and neuroses
by a woman who represents an ideal amalgam of supermodel and mom
There is something creepily colonialist in Madonna’s attitude to Africa. First we had the White Man’s Burden -– now we have the White Madonna’s Burden. More and more celebrities are treating Africa as a wide-eyed child that needs a Hollywood hug -– or as a wicked devil that needs a Hollywood hammering. [more inside]
died on this day 22 years ago at 79 years old, and was buried
at Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY. [more inside]
's 25 Most Important Films On Race
as illustrated in the 2008 Hollywood Portfolio from Vanity Fair
Immaculate Heart College Art Department Rules.
A truly inspirational set of values
that could add everything to the life of anyone in education. What makes this set of rules even better is that they came from the students
themselves. But they couldn't have done so without the pioneering work of Sister Mary Corita [more inside]
On Tuesday, A.V. Club critic Nathan Rabin's reassessment of the rabidly ambitious Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
marked the culmination of his Year of Flops
project, a reviewing marathon of 104 commercial and critical failures. Here's the index of the films,
sorted into Elizabethtown
-derived categories of good but luckless movies, ordinary losers, and disasters of mythic proportions. [more inside]
Hollywood Midget Movie Stars.
They started as popular vaudevillians
. (From a review
: "The chief feature, however, was the ten scenes in which the Singer Midgets appeared. The Midget strong man, the Midget conjurer, the Midget "Cleopatra" with the winning ways--these and many more were there.") They stormed the New York stage
. They were members of The Lollipop Guild
(YouTube link), as well as playing other Munchkins
. They were suspected of being German sympathizers
. But they may be best remembered for starring in the world's first all-midget musical western
. Now available for your viewing pleasure from YouTube: Part 1
I've internally debated the merits of addressing my appearance in, (and thus tacit condoning of) "Alvin and The Chipmunks". I am not stupid nor unobservant. I knew going into this movie that I would be eating a lot of delicious sh*t for it.
-David Cross, on appearing in the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie.
Francis Ford Copolla owns the Blancaneaux Lodge
, Clint Eastwood owns the 22-acre The Mission Ranch
, John Malkovich owns The Big Sleep Hotel
, Liz Hurley owns Number 11
. What is it with movie people and hotels? And where are the arthouse establishments?
Prior to his critically acclaimed program The Wire, creator Edward Burns wrote the HBO miniseries The Corner
, which also focused on the drug trade in Baltimore. Charles S. Dutton
, an African-American Baltimore native and former convict probably best known to most as TV's "Roc," was chosen to direct the miniseries. Who Gets To Tell a Black Story?
, part of a Pulitzer-prize winning NYT series
on race in America, examines Dutton's take on how to make a TV program which portrays a mostly African-American cast of characters, the struggles and differing perspectives of Dutton and Burns, and how race is portrayed in Hollywood. [more inside]
As the WGA strike enters its second week, the writers
have begun to flood the internet with brief videos explaining
(and even making light of
) their situation. A small collection after the jump. [more inside]
As the Writer's Guild of America strike wears on into its second week,
it seems appropriate to remember why they're striking in the first place. If you ask me, the terms seem almost too reasonable.
But in the defense of the studios, I'm sure the businessmen involved
have gotten used to spending those millions of dollars, and wouldn't want to see them go. Now that Broadway has shut down
in allegiance to their Hollywood compatriots, things are looking grim for anything to be resolved without more financial bloodshed.
A Hollywood writer's strike
now looks all but certain. With late night TV due to go dark immediately and your favorite network series drying up around Christmas, maybe you'd like to get your popcorn out
between the writers
and the producers
. Meanwhile, the trade dailies
provide coverage which reflects their dependence on the studio advertising dollar. Me? I'll be writing my novel
Yes, that is indeed Mick Jagger playing a Chinese emperor.
And those are, in fact, Edward James Olmos, Bud Cort, and Barbara Hershey heading up the supporting cast of "The Nightingale,"
a particularly odd episode of Shelley Duvall's ludicrously star-studded Faerie Tale Theatre.
Throughout its early '80s run, the show used dozens of prominent actors to perform the fairy tale standards, including Klaus Kinski and Susan Sarandon in a virtual remake of the Cocteau "Beauty and the Beast;"
Paul Reubens, James Coburn, Carl Reiner, and Vincent Schiavelli in "Pinnochio;"
Helen Mirren and Brian Dennehy in "The Little Mermaid;"
and James Earl Jones and Leonard Nimoy in a Tim Burton-directed "Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp." The list
goes on and on.
Charles Lane (1905-2007)
, a character actor since 1931, and one of Hollywood's most recognizable
"that guys". Over 350 credits
from "It's a Wonderful Life" to "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" to "Petticoat Junction" and a half-dozen different characters on "I Love Lucy". Founding member of the Screen Actors guild, and more, but I'll let Mark Evanier tell you some stories
. Here's his 100th Birthday party
, and one of his few YouTube clips shows him as Ginger Rodger's 'customer' in "Primrose Path"
You can love him or hate him but Transformers made $250,000,000
last week. To some, Michael Bay
is a genius. To others he's a racist hack
. Or just a hack
. He may even be both a hack and a genius
. Is this evidence of an auteur
? Or does dude just like really big explosions
? Plus: a character driven
'In defense of film critics'
posits that 'Film critics [unlike food critics, etc] are expected to be cheerleaders.'
I guess we're not supposed to think it's odd that the piece was written by paper's resident film critic. He does ask at least one good question, though: why have so many truly awful
[and poorly reviewed
done so well at the the box office this year?
How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran
by Joshuah Bearman. As history keeps on happening, all people and events are becoming linked to each other in strange and inexplicable ways. Once in a while those links surface into view. Here, then, is the key event that connects Jack Kirby and Roger Zelazny to the CIA's handling of the Iranian hostage crisis.
Via Wired Magazine and good evening
$78 Million worth of Red Tape.
An amazing (and lengthy) LA Times article that provides an extremely rare glimpse into the finances of a major motion picture, with a line item dissection of the $160 Million disaster Sahara
. The items include $230,000+ for bribes to local officials, $2 Million for a 45 second plane crash sequence cut from the final film, and 3.8 Million to a total of 10 different screenwriters for a movie that eventually went on to be one of the largest (in pure dollar terms - not adjusted for inflation) financial disasters in film making history.
Roscoe Lee Browne
, class act from beginning to end. The first time I ever noticed him was in The Cowboys
, a western I've watched many times just to hear him speak.
Burn Hollywood Burn.
Some striking photos (from the BBC) of the conflagration that came a little too close for comfort to the iconic hillside sign. Some more details here
Premiere Magazine, "The Movie Magazine"
, one of the first mainstream magazines
to cover the moviemaking business
, is shuttering after twenty years
and 200+ issues. The current issue (with Will Ferrell on the cover), on newsstands now, will be its last.
will stay in business.
I was a subscriber for most of the 1990s, until I began to notice a shift from news and features about movies to a celebration of Hollywood celebrities.
I let my subscription lapse in 2001, when Premiere re-launched itself with a more celebrity-friendly slant, and celebrity It Girl Penelope Cruz on the cover
Reminisce about the golden years with Premiere's Cover Gallery
Who Delayed Roger Rabbit?
Rich Drees lays bare the backroom bickering and production studio drama behind one of the 1980s' most successful comedies
. For an encore, Drees reviews the unproduced script of Roger Rabbit II: Toon Platoon
. Weep for what might have been.
120 year ago today
, on February 1, 1887, Harvey Wilcox
, originally a prohibitionist from Kansas, filed a grid map of Hollywood
with the Los Angeles County recorder's office, carved from a nondescript plot of land he owned in Southern California. The rest
, as they say, is history
. Hooray For Hollywood
Essay by David Denby
on the future of our predominant art form: the film. Via Arts & Letters Daily.