Legendary director Mike Nichols, who made an incredible debut nearly fifty years ago with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and then managed to follow that up with The Graduate, has died at the age of 83. Younger audiences may also know him for The Birdcage, the HBO miniseries Angels in America and his last film Charlie Wilson's War.
Nora Ephron, best known for writing the 1989 romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally, has died at 71 from pneumonia as a complication of acute myeloid leukemia. [more inside]
Arthur Laurents (wiki), writer of the libretti for West Side Story and Gypsy, among many other things, has died at the age of 93. [more inside]
Arthur Penn, the director of Bonnie and Clyde, Little Big Man, The Miracle Worker, and Night Moves, has died of congestive heart failure one day after his 88th birthday.
Back in 1972, there was a fellow who had a novel idea for a porno flick. But when his producer objected to the movie's title, fearing no one would understand it, Gerard Damiano reassured him: "Don't worry, "Deep Throat will become a household word." And indeed it did. Now, 36 years after the infamous and influential film's release, director Gerard Damiano, aka Jerry Gerard, has gone on to that deep, deep throat in the sky. [more inside]
"Porky's was about anti-Semitism, about racism, it's not just about boys with erections," claims Clark. He then adds, pun intended, "It was a seminal film." Bob Clark, Director of two iconic 1980's films that profoundly impacted some of your childhoods (no doubt in decidedly different ways), and his 22 year-old son were in a fatal car crash on PCH this morning. This was set to be a promising year for the man who brought Ralphie and his bunny suit to the world. R.I.P.
Influential experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage died in hospital today after an operation for a long illness. If he is known at all, he is known as the director of short films like "Dog Star Man" and the controversial "Window Water Baby Moving", whose graphic portrayal of his first son's birth incited feminist ire and inspired the spoof "Misconception". Those who have no exposure to his work should mourn the loss of a filmmaker whose collagist, primarily non-camera work was colorful and revelatory. (more inside)
Hollywood loses another giant. Billy Wilder passes on at 95. Just the quick list of movies at the top of the article gives me pause..Stalag 17, Some Like it Hot, The Seven-Year Itch. Damn, this is definitely a sad week in the entertainment business.