Branded to Kill is among the Nikkatsu films to be screened.
The BFI will showcase a month long London film festival tribute to Japan's legendary Nikkatsu Studios during the month of June. Below is press release information:
The oldest of Japan’s film studios, Nikkatsu was established in 1912 as the Japan Cinematograph Company (Nippon katsudo shashin kaisha). Home to ‘father of Japanese cinema’ Shozo Makino, it fostered early directors like Kenji Mizoguchi, Daisuke Ito and Tomu Uchida, until restructuring of the industry by the wartime government in 1942 saw its production facilities hived off to form the new Daiei Corporation, with Nikkatsu surviving only in an exhibition capacity.
In 1954, Nikkatsu resumed production, rising phoenix-like under the guidance of studio head Kyusaku Hori to carve out a unique identity in the highly competitive market of the postwar Golden Age. Its breakthrough came with the 1956 double whammy of Takumi Furukawa’s Season of the Sun and Ko Nakahira’s Crazed Fruit, kicking off a boom in so-called ‘Sun Tribe’ (taiyôzoku) movies. Such films, with their controversial youths-on-the-loose narratives and sunny beachside settings providing a Japanese mirror to Hollywood titles like Rebel Without a Cause and Blackboard Jungle, were emblematic of a new era of carefree hedonism and sexual liberation for a generation of postwar baby-boomers, and were soon emulated by other studios.
In the 1960s, Nikkatsu cultivated its ‘Borderless Action’ (mukokuseki akushun) brand – the onscreen worlds drawing from American and European cinema and bearing little resemblance to contemporary Japanese reality. Produced at a conveyer-belt pace by directors including Koreyoshi Kurahara, Toshio Masuda and Takashi Nomura and featuring the company’s ‘Diamond Line’ roster of matinee idols like Yujiro Ishihara, Hideaki Nitani, Akira Kobayashi and Jo Shishido, these gaudy mash-ups of genres including musicals, film noir, gangster movies and even American Westerns defined the company’s product against its rivals. While the playful populism of most of its productions saw them fall beneath the radar of international critics, Nikkatsu’s output as a whole remained eccentric enough to spawn talents such as Shohei Imamura and Seijun Suzuki.
With the steady loss of innocence across the decade marked by the collapse of the Japanese studio system at its end, an era in Japanese cinema came to an end, although it would be Nikkatsu, arguably, who defined the new one too, when from 1971 onwards, it launched its new Roman Porno erotic line.
Lancaster gave a superb performance in Ulzana's Raid (1972).
Commencing May 17, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will present a Burt Lancaster film festival to celebrate the iconic actor's 100th birthday. Films to be screened include From Here To Eternity, Sweet Smell of Success, The Swimmer, Elmer Gantry, Twilight's Last Gleaming and Ulzana's Raid. For info click here
Retro has received the following press release:
Friday May 24th Bruce Crawford will present his 32nd classic film event
with a salute to the legendary music and lyricist team of Rodgers
and Hammerstein with a screening of their musical classic,
"Carousel", with special guest, star of the film, Oscar winning
actress and TV legend Shirley Jones. 7pm. at the Joslyn Art Museum's
Witherspoon Hall 2200 Dodge St. Omaha Ne.
Mandy MacRae Daley, the daughter of co star Gordon MacRae, will also be in
World renowned pop artist Nicolosi will also unveil an original art design he
created for this event honoring Miss Jones, MacRae and Rodgers and
Hammerstein and it will be available as an official United States Postal
Service commemorative envelope.
Tickets are $20 at all Omaha Hy Vee food stores customer service counters.
Proceeds benefit the Omaha Parks Foundation. For more information call:
Over four days the
2013 Bradford Widescreen Festival located at ThePicturevilleCinema played host to a mixture of classics
in 70mm,CinemaScopeand Cinerama formats. There was a
special tribute to the 60th anniversary of CinemaScope,
the famous widescreen process developed for Twentieth Century Fox back in the
kicked off with a rare 70mm screening ofThe
Longest Daypreceded by an
informative introduction by Sir Christopher Frayling. This was followed by the
much- lovedThe Great Escapepresented for the first time in 4K
Digital and the picture and sound were simply stunning. Cinema Retro
contributor Dr. Sheldon Hall provided an illuminating introduction to this war
classic. Following the delegates’ reception in the Kodak Gallery,The Sound of Music was presented in 70mm. The print was
generally good although three quarters of the way through, a reel snapped
resulting in a 10 minute wait for reparations to take place. When the show
resumed, the audience cheered and applauded.
provided a different selection of features commencing with a wonderful short
directed by Grant Wakefield in 2k calledRemnants.Filmed using motion controlled
time-lapse photography, Remnants
captures on film the thousands of complex stone monumentsconstructed by the Neolithic peoples
of Northern Europe from 3800 to 1000 BC. Stunning 2K resolution and
extraordinary music provided by Tangerine Dream member Thorsten Quaeschning.
Strohmaier and RandyGitschwho
do so much for the preservation and restoration of the Cinerama documentary
features updated the audience on Seven
Wonders of the World, another 3 strip Cinerama classic that required
extensive work to bring this forthcoming restoration to a new generation of
audiences. Following this came the European premiere of Cinerama Holidayshown in 2k Digital on the curved
screen. Randy Gitsch provided the introduction and background to the extensive
work needed to bring this second of the three Cinerama travelogues up to date.
A highly rewarding experience for all. (Cinerama
Holiday will be released later this year along with another Cinerama
feature South Seas Adventure on the
Flicker Alley label).
afternoon concluded with the European premiere of David Strohmaier'sIn the Pictureshort, which was filmed in 3 panel
Cinerama for the first time in 50 years! This was followed byThe Last Days of Cinerama,an affectionate look at the making of
the aforementioned feature. A 70mm print ofHelloDollyrounded off the Saturday evening, again
an excellent presentation.
opened with the regular and popularCineramacanaa montage of shorts and news items that
included DTS demonstration reels and a 70mm reel of Tomorrow Never Dies which never saw a 70mm release in the UK. The
traditional onstage photograph followed. Sunday afternoon ran the 3 strip
feature ofThe Wonderful World
of The Brothers Grimm, the only known print in existence. It looked
magnificent on thePictureville'scurved
to Marry a Millionaire was screened on Sunday
afternoon, with a beautiful CinemaScope print that was well received by all
present. Tony Sloman provided a fascinating and amusing intro to this Fox
Classic. The day concluded with a screening ofThe Guns of Navarone,shown for the first time in a 4k
print. Again patrons were experiencing a much improved presentation of this war
movie classic. This was introduced by Author Brian Hannan who has just written
two books: The Making of the Guns ofNavaroneand
The Making of Lawrence of Arabia.
final day Monday showed the marathon featureGettysburgover two parts which was introduced by
Dr. Sheldon Hall.
Bradford 2013 Widescreen festival will go down as one of the best ever, with
improved organisation allowing delegates longer breaks between features and
also arguably for the first time ever, ran pretty much to schedule!
organised by Bill Lawrence and Duncan McGregor patrons seemed very happy with
both the presentation and quality of the features on offer.
to all concerned and roll on 2014.......
The Museum of London pays tribute to a local boy-made-good, Michael Caine. The Cockney legend is the subject of an exhibition at the museum that includes rare photos and film clips. It runs through 14 July. For more click here
“There is no one like Jack Black… No, I read
that wrong- no one likes Jack Black,”s aid Roastmaster Bob Saget as the School
of Rock star and Tenacious D musician was honored at star-studded Friars Club
event held at the New York Hilton on Friday April 5.
Saget masterfully set the tone for the roast:
“To say that Jack Black is a one-trick pony is an insult to ponies… Jerry
Lewis, you’re an icon,” he told the Friar’s Club Abbott, who announced that he
is celebrating his 84thyear in the entertainment business, “but I’m
glad you don’t take a bow- you’d yank your balls out of your socks.”
“It’s unusual for Sarah Silverman to be at table
with comedians,” Saget said introducing her, “she’s usually under a table
jerking them off.” “Anyone who’s seen Bob do comedy knows it’s nothing like
Full House,” Silverman replied. “He played a sweet Dad in Full House, and now
plays a lousy comedian for a half-full house.” Turning to the corpulent actor
Oliver Platt, she said: “you’re distantly related to Princess Diana, which
means that bulimia is not an inherited trait… Jeff Ross made a sex tape and the
next day his girlfriend was arrested for bestiality.”
The star-studded guest list ranged from Al
Roker, Oliver Platt, to KISS founder Gene Simmons, Debbie Harry, Chad Smith,
Richard Marx, The Beach Boys’ Mike Love, The Spin Doctors, Boyd Tinsley, Dee
Snider, Dreamworks’ co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg to Black’s Tenacious D
partner Kyle Gass.
“There are so many fossils here, I thought that
Ben Stiller was shooting another Night at the Museum sequel,” Silverman said.
Turning to Lewis, she said: “The last person who thought you were funny in
France just died. Jerry Lewis doesn’t think that women are funny and now no one
thinks Jerry Lewis is funny.”
“Jack Black is very shy- he prefers to be left
alone- that’s why he made Nacho Libre…School of Rock changed my life- because
you can’t get rid of anal warts… Jack is so fat, his last movie was shot by
Google Earth. He’s not starved for attention, just onion rings.”
Introducing Roastmaster General and creator and
star of Comedy Central’s “The Burn” Jeffrey Ross, Saget said: “Before the roast
he was standing next to Jerry Lewis in the lobby and somebody made a donation.
And Jerry took it. And then he humped the guy.”
“Bob is currently on a stand-up tour of
colleges, and it’s just nice to see someone not killing at a school these
days,” Ross said. “What a turnout: Dee Snider, Debbie Harry, Joan Osborne. Last
time I saw these three musicians together was in a Dollar CD bin… Is this a
roast or a charity concert for shingles? Turning to Mike Love, he said: “Don’t
you think it’s about time you change the name of the band to something more age
appropriate, like The Grateful Dead?”
Turning to the guest
of honor, he added: “Jack is widely considered a show business triple threat:
Diabetes, blood pressure, and gout… Anybody see Jack in the remake of King
Kong? Your version sucked so bad, King Kong jumped off The Empire State
Building! Jack sounds like Meat Loaf and his partner Kyle smells like meatloaf…
This is fun- I never roasted a marshmallow before!”
In its best incarnation, the roast is a
celebration of a career or life through testimonials barely veiled as insults
(and more often just insults themselves). Saget introduced Ross as one of his
closest friends (“he came to my father’s Shiva, and he was so funny he made my
mom choke on his kishka, which is what he calls his balls.”)
Ross’ interplay with Saget harkened back to the
legendary era of Friar’s roasts where most of the roasters were lifelong
friends, where Frank Sinatra, Milton Berle, Buddy Hackett, Red Button, and Jan
Murray would jab each other like expert swordsmen. Comrades in insulting arms, they were
skilled at honoring someone they loved and respected through devout,
passionate, and creative dishonor. As
much as they were coming to see the guest of honor, audiences wanted and still
want to be part of the beloved family of friends that made fun of each other
with regularity and deep affection. With
close friends Saget and Silverman, Ross continued the private party tradition
where the roasters were happy to have you become a part of, where the
friendship made even the harshest barbs affectionate.
to Gene Simmons, he said: “You look like a Rabbi fucked an Indian Chief. What
happened, Gene? You used to rock and roll all night and party every day- now
you get up six times a night to go to the bathroom.” Getting Simmons to show
his infamously large tongue, he added “you’re two pieces of pumpernickel away
from being the Number 3 at the Carnegie Deli!”
Ross’ observation about Lewis: “We make fun
of Jerry Lewis, but what about the good things Jerry Lewis does? What about the
fact that just a few years ago, a six year old boy got up out of his wheelchair
and walked for the first time- to turn off the Jerry Lewis Telethon,” brought
down the house with the greatest laughs coming from Lewis himself.
Ross poignantly closed his set by telling the
capacity crowd how much the roasts mean to him. “I love, love coming to these
Friar’s roasts every year. Some of my best friends are on this dais and in this
room. I started out at these roasts. I will finish my life at these roasts. And
the fact that Jack Black knows enough about the traditions of comedy that he
would agree to do this is an inspiration to people with Downs Syndrome
Roast-contest winner and newcomer Amadeo Fusca
did an impressive job, starting by telling Saget “Thank you, Uncle Jesse.” To
Katzenberg he said, “I’ve seen your movies. Your dreams don’t work… Jeff Ross
is a veteran of these roasts- he shows up once a year and will probably be
“Jack Black will do anything for a movie role,
except sit-ups and pushups,” said Vh1’s Carrie Keagan; “This is my first
Friar’s roast and obviously Jerry Lewis’ last,” said Amy Shumer, “it’s hard to
film School of Rock when you’re not allowed 500 feet in front of one… how are
you holding a pen,” she said to Saget, “don’t your hands hurt from hanging on
by a thread for so long?” “In your version of Gulliver’s Travels, Gulliver
travelled right the video store,” Artie Lange said. “It’s very expensive to
bring Jerry Lewis to the roast- it costs $10,000 to bring him here and $10,000
to tell him where he is.”
There were also videos from Seth Rogen, James
Franco and Danny McBride, Matthew McConnaughey (“Jack Black is a very nice man,
unless you’ve met any other men”),Will Ferrell in his Ron Bergundy persona,
accusing Black of not returning “the AMC Hornet he borrowed,” and Shirley
MacLaine, talking about how much she loved Jack in “Save the Tiger,” confusing
him with former co-star, Jack Lemmon.
Cinema Retro contributor Eddy Friedfeld
teaches film and comedy history at NYU and Yale and will be hosting the Dick
Van Dyke Lifetime Achievement Award program at New York’s 92nd
Street Y on April 26th.
The annual Off Plus Camera independent film festival opens on April 12 in Krakow and runs through April 21. The festival honors independent filmmakers and celebrates contemporary and classic/cult indie movies. Guests include Costa-Gavras, Melissa Leo, Johhn Rhys-Davies and many other notable actors, directors and film scholars. For more click here
Oscar winners Daniel Day Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway and Christoph Waltz.
By Lee Pfeiffer
Although it's fashionable (required?) for critics to dump on the annual Oscar telecast, I've been impressed by some of the ceremonies in the last few years. Despite the length of the broadcast (only David Lean could be counted on to provide a longer running time), last night's presentation moved at a much faster pace than usual. It was hosted by Seth MacFarlane, someone whose presence on the show initially left me less-than-thrilled. I'd heard of him, of course, but had never seen him. That may mean that I'm out of touch with contemporary pop culture, especially television, but I'd wager that anyone would agree that MacFarlane is the least-known person to ever host the show. Having said that, he did a fine job, given his thankless job as ringmaster. The show got off to a mildly amusing start with William Shatner as Captain Kirk "beamed" in from the future to warn MacFarlane that his reviews would prove to be terrible if he didn't improve his jokes. The gimmick worked well at the start but went on for an interminable 15 minutes until I wish someone had beamed me out. Fortunately, MacFarlane's monologue was clever, as was an intentionally distasteful "tribute" to actresses, a song titled "We Saw Your Boobs", which was turned into an admittedly funny production number.
The producers succeeded in their quest to get big names to attend. Clint Eastwood may have opted to watch the show at home, but Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, Christopher Plummer and other legends added star power to the event.
One of the best gimmicks was the slowly-encroaching theme from Jaws which was played when winners went on too long in their acceptance speeches. The one winner who chose to ignore the warning lost the battle and came across as a windbag.
Fashion-wise, there were no show-stoppers, but neither were there any overt embarrassments. Everyone looked elegant.
The obituary segment was improved by the fact that it wasn't accompanied by live music, which generally caused the camera to focus on the musician instead of the screen where the dearly departed are being honored.
It's a pity that the once-vaunted Jean Hersholt Award is now relegated to a brief sound bite from an earlier presentation ceremony (Jeffrey Katzenberg was the honoree this year.)
It was great to see Barbra Streisand pay tribute to the late Marvin Hamlisch by singing The Way We Were, but for some reason the arrangement left me unmoved and this great song didn't resonate the way it should have.
The "banter" between co-presenters was pretty lame and got exponentially worse with the number of presenters on stage at any one time. (The cast of The Avengers appearing together must have seemed like a great idea but the result was awful in terms of witty byplay.)
The much-anticipated James Bond 50th anniversary tribute would have been enthusiastically received by fans of the series, but the producers blundered early on by hinting that they were arranging for an on-stage appearance by all six 007 actors. When that fell apart, they then hinted something phenomenal was in the works, but aside from Shirley Bassey's brilliant rendition of Goldfinger, the long-overdue tribute to the series consisted of a pretty routine film clip compilation. Later in the show, Adele sang her theme from Skyfall and won a well-deserved Oscar. Skyfall also won in a sound category, thus breaking the Bond "Oscar Curse." (The last 007 film to win an Oscar was Thunderball back in 1965).
There were a number of surprises among the winners: Christoph Waltz, Ang Lee, Quentin Tarantino were all considered to be dark horses this year.
Production numbers were generally very good, especially the gathering of the Les Miserables cast who were in fine form.
The inclusion of First Lady Michelle Obama in a live feed from the White House to "help" present the Best Picture award was as bizarre as it was superfluous. It may have gone over well with the crowd in the auditorium but probably left most viewers scratching their heads. Let's hope this overt blending of politics and Hollywood doesn't start a trend or we'll be seeing senators and congressmen in future production numbers.
MacFarlane's closing production number "tribute" to the losers was as witty as anything Billy Crystal ever came up with and ended the show on a high note.
Overall, a good presentation that moved briskly and rarely proved to be boring. MacFarland will suffer the slings-and-arrows of the professional Oscar-bashers, but he acquitted himself well in the eyes of this reviewer, who incidentally, had a very mediocre result from his Oscar predictions. I only managed to nab some of the foregone conclusions and completely misjudged many of the other categories. The sheer unpredictability of this year's winners helped to inject some genuine suspense into the proceedings.
Here we go again. In the past, I've had a fairly good record of predicting Oscar winners...Let's see if the trend holds. Last week, I helped to host an annual Oscar prediction event at New York's legendary private club The Coffee House. I went against the popular consensus on some predictions, so let's see if my well-thought out analysis (to which I devoted about 30 seconds) will pay off this year, as well.
BEST PICTURE: Argo. Everyone is saying Argo. They may be right. Academy voters were humiliated that Ben Affleck failed to secure a nomination for Best Director, so they may try to atone by giving the film Best Picture. (It was the directors who snubbed Affleck but all Academy members can vote for Best Picture). However, it would be only the third time in Oscar history that a Best Picture award went to a film for which its director was not nominated. (The others were Wings, Grand Hotel and Driving Miss Daisy.) As of this morning I was still thinkin' Lincoln, but I now think Argo will pull it off...and voters can console Spielberg by giving him the Best Director nod.
BEST DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg. It's probably between Steven Spielberg for Lincoln and David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, a fine but over-rated flick that built in momentum during the crucial voting period. I'll go with Spielberg, however, because his track record has been pretty checkered in recent years and the Academy would like to re-inspire him to strive for meaningful projects such as Lincoln, a film that proved he still has the old mojo.
BEST ACTRESS: Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook. It's a remarkable performance by a 22-year-old actress who was still in high school when the movie was first put into development.
BEST ACTOR: Daniel Day Lewis for Lincoln is the odds-on favorite and I'm sticking with him, though Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings could be a dark horse winner.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook. One of the toughest categories to call. Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained is probably out of the picture, having recently won for another Tarantino flick. Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master might stand a chance as an upset win, but few people saw the movie. Tommy Lee Jones was great in Lincoln, but he's grouchy and turns off Academy voters. Alan Arkin was great in Argo but he won the award a few years ago. That leaves Robert De Niro, who I believe will win. My friend, actor Simon Jones who hosted the Oscar event at the Coffee House with me, said disparagingly "De Niro was acting, alright- with a capital "A"!" To some De Niro was trying too hard to make up for a string of low-end movies he did for a fast paycheck. But I enjoyed his performance and I think the Academy will want to inspire him (as with Spielberg) to use his talents for worthy projects.
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Michael Haneke for Amour. The screenplay categories always feature the quirkiest winners. Tarantino might be a favorite but many voters would have been turned off by the sheer violence of Django Unchained. Mark Boal's screenplay for Zero Dark Thirty has been compromised by political controversies and criticisms about artistic license. John Gatins for Flight might be deserving but is still a long-shot and perpetually overrated Wes Anderson (with Roman Coppola) probably don't stand a chance for Moonrise Kingdom.
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook. Almost impossible to call this highly competitive category. Tony Kushner's screenplay for Lincoln is a strong contender, but it has also been embroiled in controversy about accuracy, though most of that surfaced after the votes were in. I think they'll give it to Russell because Silver Linings is a feel-good, uplifting movie and they will want to afford him a consolation prize for not giving him Best Dirctor.
VISUAL EFFECTS: The Life of Pi
SOUND MIXING: Les Miserables
SOUND EDITING: The Life of Pi
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Lincoln
SCORE: John Williams for Lincoln
MAKEUP: The Hobbit
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Amour
FILM EDITING: Argo
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Searching for Sugar Man
COSTUME DESIGN: Les Miserables
ANIMATED FEATURE: Frankenweenie
BEST SONG: Skyfall
I have to say I have feeling I'm going to bomb out this year...too many categories are crap shoots but that should make for a suspenseful and fun Oscar night. Will check in the day after to see how I fared.
Cinema Retro's man-about-town in London, photographer Mark Mawston snapped some fantastic shots of stars arriving on the red carpet. It was a glamorous evening and Oscar could take some pointers in terms of the pacing of the show and the comedic factors. There was scarcely any of the interminable "spontaneous" byplay among couples presenting the Oscars...instead, everyone was left to their own devices and the results were far more amusing. Best of all was host Stephen Fry, who deftly laid waste to any hint of pretentiousness by using a rapier wit to take on one and all. It was also a glamorous affair, proof positive that the Brits are still tops at this sort of thing. Best of all, most of the awards actually made sense! (All images copyright Mark Mawston. All rights reserved)
George Clooney and Ben Affleck, big winners for Argo.
(L to R) Louise Quick, Marisa Berenson, Robert Osborne, Joel Grey, Nicole Fosse and Michael York. (Photo copyright Cinema Retro. All rights reserved.)
Warner Home Video has pulled out all the stops to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Bob Fosse's film adaptation of Cabaret. Cinema Retro Editor-in-Chief Lee Pfeiffer was invited to a press junket held yesterday at the Trump Towers hotel at Central Park and Columbus Circle in New York. Among the dignitaries present were cast members Joel Grey (an Oscar winner for his performance in the film), Michael York, Marisa Berenson and Louise Quick, who was a dancer in the Kit-Kat Club sequences, Nicole Fosse, daughter of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon and Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne.
Joel Grey discusses his memories of the film.
(Photo copyright Cinema Retro. All rights reserved.)
(Photo copyright Cinema Retro. All rights reserved.)
The event afforded journalists to interview each of the attendees and hear some fascinating anecdotes about the making of the movie and the reasons why its impact resonates decades later. The promotions continue with Warner Home Video's release of the Blu-ray special edition release of the film leading up to tonight's star-studded "re-premiere" of the restored movie at New York's legendary Ziegfeld Theatre, where the original premiere took place in 1972. In addition to the aforementioned dignitaries, Liza Minnelli will also be attending. It should be a great night in Gotham.
(L to R) Legendary movie poster designer Bill Gold next to the commemorative WB 90th anniversary poster that honors his designs; Cinema Retro Editor-in-Chief Lee Pfeiffer and contributing writer Doug Gerbino.
The creative team behind the 90th anniversary documentary: (L to R) producer Bill Gerber, director Gary Khammar, moderator and Oscar winning sound man Christopher Newman and Jeff Baker, Exec VP of Warner Home Video.
Cinema Retro was invited to attend the world premiere of the new documentary Warner Brothers 90th Anniversary: Tales From the Lot on January 29th at the Paley Center for Media in New York City. The festivities included a champagne reception pre-screening party and the opportunity to interview the creative team behind the documentary: producer Bill Gerber, director Gary Khammar and Jeff Baker, Executive Vice President of Warner Home Video. Remarkably, the 145 minute documentary doesn't utilize any film clips from classic Warner Brothers films. Baker said he wanted the story told through people who have worked for and with WB over the decades. Thus, we get fascinating insights into the physical studio itself as well as enlightening anecdotes from artists, technicians, directors such as Richard Donner and Christopher Nolan, producers Joel Silver, Jerry Weintraub, David Foster, studio executives and actors including Mel Gibson, Paul Rubens, Morgan Freeman and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. The film also features interviews with Clint Eastwood, who is simply and appropriately described as "Icon". Also present for the festivities was legendary film poster designer Bill Gold. Bill's career extends back to creating the one sheet poster for The Adventures of Robin Hood in 1939. Bill's other classic poster designs include Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The Wild Bunch, Bonnie and Clyde, Bulllitt, Dial M for Murder and each of Clint Eastwood's films over the last 35 years. At the event, WB unveiled a new poster commemorating Gold's poster designs for WB. It is available in select boxed sets of DVDs and Blu-rays pertaining to the 90th anniversary.
A one-hour version of Warner Brothers 90th Anniversary: Tales From the Lot airs on Turner Classic Movies (North America) this Saturday and Sunday, February 2-3.
To commemorate the 90th anniversary, Warner Home Video has released the largest boxed set of DVDs ever produced, featuring 100 classic movies either produced by Warner Brothers or now owned by the studio. (Click here for publicity clip about the set)Click hereto order from Amazon and save 36%
The studio has also released a 50 disc classic Blu-ray set. Click here to order from Amazon and save 39% off retail price.
Both boxed sets include the full, 145 minute version of the 90th anniversary documentary as well as the special Bill Gold commemorative poster. Both sets also include commemorative post cards based on classic Bill Gold movie posters.
The Humphrey Bogart Estate, run by the legendary star's son Stephen, is holding the first annual Humphrey Bogart Film Festival in Key Largo (where else?), Florida on May 2-5, 2015. There will be theatrical screenings of Bogie classics as well as other crime-related movies. Stephen Bogart will be attending along with Leonard Maltin. There will also be an opportunity to ride on the original African Queen and view Bogart memorabilia. Click here for more
Produced by Alexandre Poncet, Co-produced by Tony Dalton
Featuring Ray Harryhausen, Tony Dalton, James Cameron, Terry Gilliam, John Landis, Nick Park, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Tim Burton,
Joe Dante, Guillermo Del Toro
Release date: At cinemas from 9th November 2012
Running time: 94 mins
“I think all of us who
are practitioners in the arts of science fiction and fantasy movies now, all
feel that we’re standing on the shoulders of a giant. If not for Ray’s
contribution to the collective dreamscape we wouldn’t be who we are.” James Cameron
remarkable career of the movie industry’s most admired and influential
special-effects auteur, the legendary Ray Harryhausen, is the subject of Gilles
Penso’s definitive documentary Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan.
Leaving no doubt as to Harryhausen’s seminal
influence on modern-day special effects, the documentary features enlightening
and entertaining interviews with the man himself,Randy Cook, Peter Jackson, Nick Park,
Phil Tippet, Terry Gilliam, Dennis Muren,
John Landis, Guillermo Del Toro, James
Cameron, Steven Spielberg and
many more. These filmmakers, who today push the boundaries of special effects
movie-making, pay tribute to the grandfather of Stop Motion animation and films
such as ‘The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms’, ‘It Came From
Beneath The Sea’, ‘The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad’, ‘Mysterious Island’, ‘Jason
And The Argonauts’ and ‘The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad’ – the films that
enthralled them as children and inspired them to becomefilmmakers in their own right.
The interviews are combined with archival
footage and contemporary clips plus the added delight of behind-the-scenes
footage, stills and original drawings plus recently discovered unseen takes of
tests and experiments. The filmmakers were granted unprecedented
access to film all aspects of The Ray Harryhausen Collection including models,
artwork and miniatures as well as Ray's private study, where he designed most
of his creations, and his workshop where he built them.
This story of how a hobby became a profession,
from Ray’s first childhood experiments with dinosaurs made in his parents
garage, to the ground-breaking techniques he developed to intricately
interweave Stop Motion animation with live action and the birth of Dynamation
viewing for any fan of science-fiction, fantasy and adventure filmmaking.
and his movies transport us to the magical other worlds of ancient mythology in
the company of fantastical creatures such as the Talos, the Cyclops, the
Skeletons and the Kali without which the likes of Avatar, Jurassic Park, Star
Wars and The Lord Of The Rings would not even have been imagined. The
documentary reveals the painstaking detail, concentration and patience required
to do by hand, what a computer now creates artificially in seconds, and it was
all one man. A lost art, perhaps, but Ray Harryhausen’s influence will resonate
for many generations to come.
Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan
(Arrow Films) is released at cinemas
from 9th November 2012.
2012, Manchester: Last night
saw more than 1,000 Manchester film fans experience a spectacular screening of
James Cameron’s unforgettable film, The Terminator, hosted by
Jameson Cult Film Club.
Jameson took over
Victoria Warehouse for the unique 80s-inspired film event, re-enacting the
famous nightclub scene from the film and hosting a techno rave at ‘Tech Noir’.
Guests encountered all sorts of strange scenes as they reached the warehouse,
walking past a homeless man by a fire pit and two cops searching for a man last
seen naked running in the direction of the club. Once inside guests could join
Sarah Connor for a Jameson drink at the bar, surrounded by flashing lights, red
neon, smoke and 80s music.
Guests also got the
chance to meet original cast member, Brian Thompson who played opposite Arnie as
one of the ‘Punks’ in the film. Brian – who flew in from Hollywood especially
for the event – took to the stage to introduce the film and answer fans’
questions about all things Terminator.
As guests explored
the club further they discovered the LAPD Homicide Unit’s office where the
Lieutenant and his colleague Ed were examining pictures of the various Sarah
Connors who had been executed that morning. In another corner, blue flashing
lights and smoke blew around the stage as Sarah Connor sat nervously at the bar,
eyeing the door as a strange figure dressed in a leather jacket and dark shades
stalked around the club scanning for his victim.
After the film,
guests got to attend an after party where they danced the night away to classic
80s tunes from Manchester DJ, OldBoy.
Any Manchester film
fans that missed the event this time round don’t need to worry, as Jameson Cult
Film Club WILL BE BACK (in 2013)!
Jameson Cult Film
For the uninitiated,
Jameson Cult Film Club screens cult films in unique locations across the UK,
transporting audiences into cinematic worlds of fun, fear and fantasy. From
September 2012, Jameson will tour around London, Liverpool, Manchester,
Birmingham and Newcastle – treating film fans to the best of cult film, screened
in amazing locations.
Whiskey is the UK’s No 1 selling Irish whiskey and is amongst the elite of the
fastest growing international spirit brands in the world. The success of the
Irish brand is down to its great quality and smooth taste, coupled with a
fantastic heritage, established in 1780 by the legendary John Jameson. It has
the quality credentials which allow it to be consumed straight, but is versatile
and is equally great when mixed.
Cinema Retro has received the following press release from Park Circus film distributors in the UK:
Leading international classic and repertory film distributor Park Circus is pleased to announce a stellar line-up of restorations and newly discovered classics as part of the 2012 BFI London Film Festival Treasures from the Archive strand.
Otto Preminger’s BONJOUR TRISTESSE,starring David Niven and Deborah Kerr, receives its UK premiere in a sparkling new digital restoration courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing. The film will screen on the 12th and 13th October.
Following a world premiere at Cannes, Sony Pictures’ restoration of David Lean’s LAWRENCE OF ARABIA will be screened in a stunning 4K digital presentation on 20th October. This will be the first time the 4K version of the film screens in the UK. Released in 1962, the film celebrates its 50th anniversary this year with a return to cinemas worldwide. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, which Park Circus is rolling out internationally, will receive a UK theatrical release from 16th November 2012.
Sony Pictures’ restoration of Sergio Solima’s THE BIG GUNDOWN will receive its international premiere in a new 4K restoration featuring the original Italian soundtrack. The screening will take place on 20th October.
An archival 35mm print of Jack Garfein’s SOMETHING WILD will receive rare screenings on the 18th and 20th October.
Robert Aldrich’s 1962 WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?, starring screen legends Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, will be presented in a brand new restoration by Warner Bros. to honour the film’s 50th anniversary. Screening on the 18th and 20th October. The LFF screenings mark the start of Park Circus’ international plans for the film, including a UK release from December 14th2012.
Originally released in 1955, London will host the world premiere of the Film Foundation’s restoration of RICHARD III, directed and starring Sir Laurence Olivier, on 14th October.
The London Film Festival marks a very active season for Park Circus Films with a number of additional titles being released into the cinema market place worldwide including a US re-release of David Lean’s BRIEF ENCOUNTER and, internationally, a special Christmas re-release of GREMLINS.
For the first time since 1997, the Monkees will reunite for twelve concert dates in the United States commencing November 8 and running through December 2, where the group will close out the tour at the landmark Beacon Theatre in New York City. Michael Nesmith, who had not participated in most of the reunion concerts, will be on board with band mates Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork. The tour marks the first Monkees event since the death of Davy Jones earlier this year. For more click here
PRESENTED IN AMAZING ALAMOSCOPE: 70MM AT THE RITZ!
A Brand New Programming Series Goes Big, Including Paul Thomas Anderson’s THE MASTER
A Alamo is pleased to announce a new ongoing film series beginning August 24, titled“Presented in Amazing AlamoScope: 70mm at the Ritz!” In the world of film presentation, nothing -- digital or otherwise -- can ever match the power and glory of 70mm film. A gargantuan creation of the 1950s, 70mm quickly became the permanent benchmark of quality, transforming every title released in the format into a mind-expanding epic. The depth, the sharpness, the beauty and the history make every 70mm screening an unforgettable event for any movie fan. While movie studios and theaters dump celluloid to replace with computer files and giant TVs, the Alamo is proud to instead leap into the tremendous, triumphant arena of 70mm.
A The incredible lineup at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz in Austin, TX includes WEST SIDE STORY, CLEOPATRA, GHOSTBUSTERS, INDIANA JONES, BARAKA, PLAYTIME andPaul Thomas Anderson’s highly anticipated new film THE MASTER, all shown the way they were meant to be seen, in glorious 70mm.
"I am thrilled that Tim has helped us present the film in its intended way. This is a special format, and keeping it alive is important," said director Paul Thomas Anderson.
A “Paul Thomas Anderson has bucked the trend of digital conversion and shot his new American epic THE MASTER in glorious 70mm. As an homage to his bold ambition, we have made a long-term commitment to celebrate 70mm, both as a lead-up to the release of his new film and as an integral part of our programming for years to come,” says Tim League, founder and CEO of Alamo Drafthouse.
A Tickets to WEST SIDE STORY are on sale now. A badge providing access to all 7 films including THE MASTER is also on sale. The badge includes access to the first show on Saturday for all repertory films and the premiere screening of THE MASTER on 9/21 at 7:00pm
A THE MASTER will run exclusively in 70mm at the Ritz in Austin beginning September 21. The Ritz will continue to screen 70mm films in the years to come as part of the Alamo Drafthouse’s continued commitment to film preservation.
Cinema Retro has received the following press release from the British Film Institute:
The BFI is
pleased to announce that the grand finale of The Genius of Hitchcock project
(June – October 2012) will be the BFI London Film Festival’s Archive Gala
screening, presented in association with The Krasner Fund for the BFI, of the
world premiere of the BFI National Archive’s new restoration of Hitchcock’sThe Manxman(1929). This powerful love triangle
set among the fishing community on the Isle of Man will be shown at The Empire,
Leicester Square with a new score by Stephen Horne on 19October 2012.
BFI London Film Festival runs from 10 -21 October 2012.
Stewart, BFI Head of Exhibition & Artistic Director, BFI LFF said,“The Manxmanas the BFI London Film Festival
Archive Gala will be a fitting culmination to the BFI’s extraordinary series of
screenings of Hitchcock's newly restored silent films this summer. Critics and
audiences alike have thrilled to see these films afresh, transformed by great
new music and exciting settings. We are delighted to be showingThe Manxmanat The Empire, a cinema which
Hitchcock knew, with an accompaniment from Stephen Horne, a hugely talented
composer who is guaranteed to produce something worthy of the LFF’s prestigious
screeningmarks the start of a
valuable partnership with Ella Krasner, whose significant donation launches The
Krasner Fund for the BFI: supporting film treasures in the BFI Collections. The
Krasner Fund for the BFI will underpin a series of events throughout the year
which, in turn, will leverage additional support for the unparalleled
collections held in the BFI National Archive.
Nevill, BFI CEO said, “We are delighted to welcome Ella Krasner to the BFI. Her
donation will support the work of the BFI collections and the fund we are
launching with her at the Archive Gala will act as a meaningful catalyst to
leverage additional significant funds for the same cause. We are very
grateful to her for initiating a new concept of support for our Archive in a
Alfred Hitchcock’s last wholly silent film and one of the best and most mature
works of his early career. Adapted from the novel (originally published in
1894) by Sir Hall Caine, a bestselling author who specialised in stories set on
the Isle of Man, the location work was actually done in Cornwall. Set in a
small fishing community, two boyhood friends take markedly different paths in
adulthood, one a humble fisherman, the other a lawyer destined to become
‘Deemster’, the local chief justice. Both fall in love with the same
woman, forcing them to deal not only with their own moral code but also that of
the strict Manx society. Although an untypical Hitchcock work,The Manxmansucceeds brilliantly on its own terms
and features superlative performances from Hitchcock favourites, Malcom Keen,
Carl Brisson and the luminescent Anny Ondra.
Horne has been associated with the BFI for over 20 years and is an internationally
renowned accompanist to silent films and a composer in his own right. His
involvement with The Genius of Hitchcock began when he performed a partially
improvised score at the world premiere screening of the BFI’s new restoration
of The Ring at the Cannes Film Festival in May to great acclaim, playing piano,
flute, accordion and percussion. He will also play a musical accompaniment to
Hitchcock’sEasy Virtuein the autumn for screenings at BFI
Genius of Hitchcock is the biggest ever project undertaken by the BFI.The Manxmanis the last of nine new restorations
of Alfred Hitchcock’s surviving silent films to be presented with new music,
part of a series of spectacular events, launched as part of the Cultural
Olympiad. The project continues through August into October with a complete
retrospective at BFI Southbank, many international guests and a nationwide
release ofThe Lodgerin cinemas. Now in the final stage of
the campaign, there is still a chance for anyone who would like to help ensure
all nine of Hitchcock’s surviving silent films can be restored to make a
donation by visitingwww.bfi.org.uk/saveafilm. The BFI has also published a new
book39 Steps to The Genius of
Hitchcockand there is a
supporting exhibition at BFI Southbank alongside a series of new resources on
the BFI website.
The Manxman credits
Ross Christian (uncredited)
Company: British International Pictures
from the famous story by: Hall CAINE
Director: Frank MILLS
Director: Wilfrd ARNOLD, Emile DE RUELLE
restoration and presentation ofThe
Manxmanhas been generously
supported by Daniel & Joanna Friel, Ronald T Shedlo, and an anonymous
provided by Deluxe 142.
also gratefully acknowledge the support and collaboration of STUDIOCANAL,
rightsholders ofThe Manxman.
thanks must go to everyone who has supported the BFI's Hitchcock 9 campaign,
including: The Eric Anker-Petersen Charity; Arts Council England; British Board
of Film Classification; Deluxe 142; Shivendra Singh Dungarpur; The Mohamed S.
Farsi Foundation; The Film Foundation; Pia Getty; The Headley Trust; Simon W
Hessel; The Hollywood Foreign Press Association; Ian & Beth Mill; Col &
Karen Needham; PRS for Music Foundation; Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler
Foundation; Martin Scorsese; and, Matt Spick.
Beatty at the Hollywood premiere of How the West Was Won in 1963.
Cinema Retro has received the following notification from the British Film Institute:
Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine appear side by side in what is perhaps a first-ever BFI pairing of siblings in competing screens. Beatty has long been regarded as one of the most influential players in modern American cinema, whose considerable achievements as a director and producer are equal to those as an actor. Alongside him, MacLaine has had similar success with a dazzling, hugely celebrated career spanning over sixty years. Both of them are Oscar winners in their own right, and with highlights including Bonnie & Clyde, McCabe & Mrs Miller and The Apartment, these seasons have something for everyone.
there something about classic movie fans that makes us more obsessive than your
average cinemagoer? Does the fact that we often have to search for years for
that obscure Western or noir on DVD mean we're more appreciative when we
finally see it? Would most of us rather watch a 1960s Bond movie at the
multiplex than a modern CGI-fest?
are some of the questions I asked myself as I left my home (and DVD collection)
in the UK to fly 5,000 miles to the third annual TCM Classic Film Festival in
Hollywood over the weekend of 12-15 April 2012. A
gathering of thousands of movie aficionados from around the globe, this
spin-off from the US cable TV channel promises attendees that they'll see some
of the best films ever made, often in the company of the people who made them,
in the way they were meant to be seen. Planning
for TCM is akin to a military operation, albeit one that involves popcorn and
soft drinks. This is a festival that offers up around 80 films from all genres
and multiple decades across its four days, usually with a choice of around five
films at any one time. The choice can be between 1962's How the West Was Won
(in Cinerama), 1955's To Catch a Thief (at Grauman's Chinese Theatre), 1949's
Criss Cross, 1968's Rosemary's Baby and a few more, all scheduled against each
Festival started with a stop at the red carpet as the celebrities filed into
Grauman's for a screening of 1972's Cabaret, in the presence of Ms Liza
Minnelli. Tippi Hedren, Michael York, Debbie Reynolds, Richard Anderson, Larry
Hagman and John Landis were just some of those in attendance, most of them
rushing past this Cinema Retro reporter and into the palatial surroundings of
the theatre. One
of the finest actors on that carpet, at least for this fan of The Pink Panther,
was Robert Wagner, who stopped for a few moments to share his memories of
working with Peter Sellers in the 1964 comedy. “I
loved Peter, we were great friends and had a marvellous time together,” said
Wagner. “It was very exciting seeing him bring that character together with
Blake Edwards. You had the feeling it was going to be a hit, you just knew.”
Robert Evans and Robert Towne with Robert Osborne.
next few days went past in something of blur as I queued, changed my mind about
what films to see, heard stories about screenings and introductions I'd missed,
made new friends and attempted to get some sleep. I
shivered as Lon Chaney Jr morphed from Larry Talbot into The Wolf Man in the
1941 Universal classic; was in awe at the aerial footage shot by William Wellman
in 1927's Wings; smiled as Kirk Douglas, at the age of 95, sang a verse from
1954's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea before a screening of the film; and laughed
as Dick Powell breezed his way through 1951's film noir, Cry Danger, as co-star
Rhonda Fleming discussed suffering from appendicitis on set to an audience at
The Egyptian Theatre.
that was just days one and two.
night back at Grauman's saw Roman Polanski's 1974 film, Chinatown, shown in the
presence of screenwriter Robert Towne and producer Robert Evans, the pair
introduced by TCM host, Robert Osborne. Nominated
for 11 Academy Awards, Chinatown was the first film that Robert Evans produced.
Towne explained that Evans had originally requested he adapt F Scott
Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby for the screen, but that he didn't want to do it. “We
were having dinner at Dominick's on Beverly Boulevard and Evans was trying to
figure out why I didn't want to do Gatsby,” noted Towne. “I told him [about
Chinatown]. Bob said “I don't understand a goddamned thing but I do like the
title”. He got all of us in there who knew each other and cared about each
other so that we could fight and have a good time.”
Betty White makes a memorable entrance at the Friars roast in her honor. (Photo: Marion Curtis, Starpix/Associated Press)
By Eddy Friedfeld
Television legend Betty White was the target of this
year’s Friars Club Roast, held in New York’s Sheraton Hotel.
From an eclectic dais that ranged from Matt Lauer, Liza
Minelli, and Dick Cavett, to Dominic “Uncle Junior” Chianese, to The Office’s
Oscar Nunez, to former New York star John Starks, to boxing great Ray “Boom
Boom” Mancini, to Best Picture The Artist’s Uggie the Dog, the event was up to
its usual biting and merciless humor, poking fun at the guest of honor’s age
and sexual proclivity.
Barbara Walters served as Roastmaster, marking the
first time in Friars history that women were both host and subject. “Yesterday, I was talking to the President of
the United States,” Walters said, referring to Barack Obama’s appearance on The
View, “and today I am with second rate comedians and a dog.”
Walters kicked off the festivities by skewering her
longtime friend: “What has been said
about Betty White that hasn’t been said about her contemporaries: Moses, John the Baptist, and General Custer…
Betty was the first woman banned by the TSA for requesting too many pat downs,
the first person to try and send a text from a land line, and the first woman
to do Shakespeare at The Globe Theater. Literally- she did him in the balcony.”
“Regis Philbin, Abe Vigoda, Larry King, what is this, a
roast or are we Sitting Shiva,” Walter’s co-host, Joy Behar, said about her
elderly dais companions. “Larry King’s
latest wife is not only compatible romantically; she is also a compatible
donor… When Katie Couric had her last colonoscopy televised, they found Sarah
Palin’s high school diploma… Betty White is so old her first sitcom was “Hot
for Grover Cleveland.”
White’s Hot in Cleveland costars Valerie Bertinelli and
Jane Leeves took the podium together: “Betty has slept with every Cy Young award winner- including Cy Young;
and when Joe Jonas lost his promise ring, Betty didn’t rest until he didn’t
need it anymore,” Bertinelli said. “Betty asked a young waiter: “How
many times does 20 go into 90?”” Leeves added.
Roastmaster General Jeffrey Ross, creator and host of
the upcoming Comedy Central’s The Burn, congratulated Walters on her interview
with the President on The View, “or as Fox News reported it: “Muslim Terrorist Invades Lesbian Orgy!”
“Larry King is to comedy what Martin Luther King is to
comedy,” he said to “the great hunchback of CNN.”
Turning to the “Ghost of Honor,” the hysterical Ross
said: “Betty is truly the only person
who truly saw The Titanic in 3-D… she is so old that the color white is named
after her… Poor Betty has had more men die on top of her than Mount Everest,”
and that he was “really looking forward to her next movie: “Weekend at Betty’s.”
“Betty, just for the record- I don’t think videotaping
your orthoscopic surgery counts as a hidden camera show. And this big comeback- “Betty-Mania,” all
started with a Snickers commercial. Did you guys see it? And I thought The Kardashians were the only
ones who got famous by stuffing chocolate in their mouths.”
Although his office was three blocks away, David
Letterman appeared on a video clip, offering a Top Ten List of little known
facts about Betty White, including that “she was only 33, but lived a hard
life; has seen seven Presidents naked, many at the same time; shaved the backs
of co-stars Ed Asner and Bea Arthur; is the sister of Barry White; and once, on
The Match Game, handled Gene Rayburn’s “blank.””
White’s age there is a fine line between a roast and a cremation,” Larry King
told the audience. He shared the advice
Betty allegedly gave other people: “She
told Arnold Schwarzenegger- “Don’t pay the maid, just give her a big tip under
the table;” to Abraham Lincoln- “the tickets are a gift, enjoy!” to John
Edwards- “enjoy the girl, she probably won’t say anything;” to the Captain of
The Hindenburg- “ignore the no smoking sign;” to John Travolta- “I know a great
male masseur;” and to Mel Gibson- “they don’t control the media, say whatever
“Larry King is a
triple threat,” said closer Lisa Lampanelli,” at any given moment he can have a
heart attack, stroke, or shit his pants… Jeff Ross is so ugly that when he
whacked off his hand froze… Matt Lauer is thinner than a Hot in Cleveland plot
line… Regis is so old that his Social Security number is in Roman Numerals…
Betty White was born in Oak Park, Illinois and lived with her parents, or as we
knew them as- Settlers… she is so old that on the first game show she was on
the grand prize was fire.”
White thanked The Friars for all the charity work that
they do and for the event: “I had a
great time when I didn’t expect to.”
(For Eddy Friedfeld's coverage of the Friars Roast for Jerry Lewis, see Cinema Retro issue #6)
I'm not sure that a course such as this will ease the pain of parents struggling to pay for sky-high college tuition, but Cornell University is embarking on a study about what makes certain movie lines resonate with the public-in some cases long after the movie's impact has receded. Click here to read
Cinema Retro has received the following press release concerning the Horrorfind Weekend. Celebrity guests include Kim Darby, Dee Wallace, Count Gore Devol, Lisa Marie and Meg Foster.
Greetings from Horrorfind,
The Horrorfind Weekend Convention and Film Festival is now accepting submissions for the 2012 Film Fest. This is the 14th Annual Horrorfind Weekend convention and the 3rd year with the addition of the Film Festival. The dates for the event are August 31, 2012 - September 2, 2012 at the Gateway Gettysburg Complex in Gettysburg Pa. http://www.gatewaygettysburg.com
The convention attracts thousands of people and the film festival is quickly becoming popular with fans and filmmakers alike. All films selected for the film fest are shown in real movie theaters on the same property as the convention hotel and are open for viewing by all convention attendees at no additional charge
Get your films in early to take advantage of discounts and to get ahead of the flood of submissions that come in later.
For more information on the Horrorfind Weekend Convention and Film Festival logon to
Thanks and good luck,
Mike aka Horrormaster
Thomas Hauerslev, who runs the fantastic retro movie web site In70mm.com, provides this full schedule for this year's Widescreen Weekend festival in Bradford, England. (Thomas also does yeoman work as one of the programmers for the festival.) The theme of this year's program is the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Cinerama. It will be a treasure trove of films rarely seen in their original format, ranging from three-panel Cinerama to Super Panavision 70 prints. Titles include the rarely-seen Russian Adventure, How the West Was Won, Ryan's Daughter, This is Cinerama, Cinerama Adventure, Around the World in 80 Days and The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, shown for the first time in 40 years in three panel Cinerama (co-sponsored by Cinema Retro). The festival draws classic film historians from around the world, this year including Kevin Brownlow and Sir Christopher Frayling. Cinerama historians Dave Strohmaier ad Randy Gitsch will be premiering two exciting films: a documentary about the Cinerama production Windjammer and rare, never-before-seen outtakes of cast and crew interviews from their documentary about the making of How the West Was Won. The dynamic duo will also be updating attendees about their incredible latest venture: shooting a new production in 3 panel Cinerama! As usual, the Pictureville Cinema's dedicated projectionist, Duncan McGregor, will be working tirelessly to ensure this historic event will live up to expectations. All this- and a bar on the premises, too! In 2010, Cinema Retro's Movie Magic tour took attendees to the Pictureville cinema to see a special showing of How theWest Was Won. All classic movie lovers should make an attempt to attend this wonderful, annual event. Click here to read more and see full schedule. - Lee Pfeiffer and Dave Worrall.
On March 16, The Friars Club presented an 86th birthday celebration honoring Jerry Lewis. The sold-out event saw hundreds of Lewis fans packed into the fabled 92nd Street Y on Manhattan's upper East Side. The show was hosted by actor/comedian and fellow Friar Richard Belzer (Lewis is the club's "Abbot"). Belzer waxed eloquently about the impact Lewis has continued to have on generations of comedians. He then showed some truly fascinating clips from director Gregg Barson's recent documentary Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis. Then Lewis was introduced to a standing ovation. At 86 years old, there were few signs that age had taken its toll on the comedy legend. He walked a bit more cautiously and his hair was flecked with gray, but he cut a fit figure for a man of any age. Lewis and Belzer indulged in some predictable shtick, with Belzer taking most of Lewis' acid-tongued insults. Lewis covered many topics during the course of the interview, which was followed by an extended Q&A session with the audience. As usual, such opportunities seem to result in most normal people remaining in their seats while various nutcases take to the microphone to ask questions. The ratio here was about 50/50,which is certainly light years better than one usually finds at such events. Lewis made mincemeat of some of the people, though he admitted his hearing is not what it was and he came down hard on some people who asked sane questions, quite possibly because he misheard them. Lewis begged the audience not to use their time extolling their love for him and their childhood memories of his films, as he said the rest of the audience would become bored. Nevertheless, some hams and opportunists couldn't resist the lure of the spotlight. An aspiring standup comic insisted on shaking his hand, and Lewis conceded. However, a name-dropper in the audience kept reminding Lewis of some ties between their families and presented Lewis with what he claimed to be a photograph of his daughter at the man's house many years ago. "Bullshit", said Lewis, who claimed he didn't know the man or his family. In a cringe-inducing moment, he tossed the photo on the floor. A young woman who introduced herself as an aspiring director presented Lewis with a birthday card, saying that she wasn't out "drinking" like other people her age, preferring instead to concentrate on studying filmmaking. (This desperate plea for praise showed her ignorance of the fact that everyone else in the audience was at least temporarily refraining from drinking. Was Lewis supposed to praise us all?) Lewis was effusive in his praise of his fans and audiences, which helped offset some of the crueler instances of his dismissal and public humiliation of some of those who had addressed him. One person who escaped Lewis' wrath was fellow Friar Jerry Stiller, who greeted Lewis fro the audience and received a warm response.
A wide variety of topics were covered. Here are some highlights:
Lewis said that Dean Martin was the most underrated man in show business because he had to endure being regarded as window dressing, as Lewis would gain the lion's share of praise from critics and audiences. He said Martin gamely pretended it didn't bother him, even though Lewis said he knew that it did.
He recalled being terrified at starring in his first post-Martin & Lewis film, The Delicate Delinquent, fearing that audience interest in him would wane in the wake of the team's break-up.
Lewis confirmed the rumor that he had indeed been fired from the annual telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. He had hosted the show since the mid-1960s. The audience gasped at the revelation and he said the new management of the charity disagreed with him on some concepts so they dismissed his services. He did not expand on the reasons behind the dispute but said he took satisfaction that the telethon still raised a great deal of money for those afflicted with the disease.
When Paramount wanted to move the release of Cinderfella to the summer, Lewis insisted that he had created the film with a Christmas release in mind. When the studio begged him for a summer film, Lewis wrote the entire script for The Bellboy in a matter of days, then shot the movie in an amazingly abbreviated period of time. It went on to be a huge boxoffice success.
Lewis spoke about making The King of Comedy with Martin Scorsese. Originally his character, a Johnny Carson-like TV icon, was named Robert Langford. Lewis insisted that Scorsese change the character's name to Jerry Langford. He told the puzzled Scorsese that this would help him gain some valuable footage in a scene in which Langford is shouted to by fans as he walks through Times Square. Lewis demonstrated this by simply taking Scorsese on a walk through the area they would be filming in. Immediately, passersby started shouting out, "Hey, Jerry!" Scorsese realized instantly that he could simply film Lewis walking through the area and not have to hire extras to shout the name, "Robert". Lewis also recalled being somewhat nervous about Scorsese asking him to direct a scene in the film while he observed.
Lewis is making a new movie Max Rosen but was most enthused about discussing his forthcoming Broadway musical adaptation of The Nutty Professor. The show is geared to open in November with a score by Marvin Hamlisch and a book by Rupert Holmes. Lewis will direct.
Lewis said the worst film experience of his career was Slapstick of Another Kind, a 1982 bomb that he said "I never should have done." Lewis explained he wanted to help the film's young director (who he mercifully didn't name. It was Steven Paul). He said the film emerged as such a disaster that Lewis is disturbed to even think about it even today. However, he said, he had given his word that he would do it and "when you shake a man's hand, you don't back out."
Lewis expressed satisfaction that his 1960s book about the techniques of film directing is still widely used in schools and that Scorsese regarded it as so vital that he kept on the set of his films. He also said that when he got into an argument with Scorsese about how to film a scene, Scorsese got the upper hand that by showing Lewis a paragraph in his own book that dispelled his argument. Lewis had to concede and Scorsese got his way.
He spoke very highly of his mother and father, both stage performers, who got Jerry into their act at age five in order to get a $5 increase in their paychecks. On his first night on stage, Jerry was taking a bow when he slipped and knocked out one of the stage lights, causing a mini-explosion. When the audience roared with laughter, Jerry was determined to continue to perform in front of audiences. He said the memory is still so vivid it seems like it was yesterday.
He talked with pride about his technological achievements, specifically in popularizing the Video Assist camera system that became widely used in the industry.
Lewis choked up a bit when talking about other comedy legends. He paid homage to the largely forgotten comedy genius Harry Ritz and recalled a particular anecdote regarding Charles Chaplin. Lewis had befriended jim legend in the 1960s. In 1971, Lewis opened his stage act in Paris to much acclaim. On opening night, his performance in front of European show business royalty lasted almost three hours. The following morning, he was having breakfast with Geraldine Chaplin, daughter of Charles. She revealed to him that Chaplin had attended the performance and greatly enjoyed it. Lewis was astonished. "But I didn't see him in the audience", he said. Geraldine explained that Chaplin had stood in the hot projection booth for the entire performance because he knew that if he was spotted, the attention would be diverted from Jerry's achievement on stage. Lewis is still moved by the fact that the elderly Chaplin stood for almost three hours in an uncomfortable environment, then sneaked out rather than detract from Lewis' performance.
Most moving was Lewis' recollections of his friendship with Stan Laurel, who he still regards as a prince among men. He said Stan told him about the day he received a telephone call telling him that Oliver Hardy had been diagnosed as terminally ill. Laurel recalled that his arm that held the telephone literally froze up as though it were made of stone and he could not move it, as he was so shaken by the news. Lewis said Laurel refused to leave his house for a period of time because he could not hide his depression and thought it would be too upsetting for young children to see him in anything but a happy mood. Most fascinating was Lewis' stories about trying to hire Laurel as a script consultant on his films. Laurel knew that Lewis was only trying to make him feel relevant in the new age of comedy and refused his offer of a $150,000 fee per movie. Nevertheless, Laurel did contribute some opinions. He sent one script back to Lewis with a red marker through a scene and wrote, "Don't shoot this!" Lewis felt it was one of the best scenes in the movie, and he had written it himself. Regardless, he wasn't about to second-guess Stan Laurel when it came to comedy and he never shot the scene. He said that one day he was at Laurel's house and he noticed a small ID card laying on a table. It was Laurel's studio pass card dating from 1920. Laurel gave it to him and Lewis still carries it to this day. (He produced it from his wallet and showed the audience.)
Following the Q&A, Belzer was joined on stage by David Letterman's band leader Paul Shaffer, who played the piano as the audience sang "Happy Birthday" to Lewis. This was followed by some very amusing video tributes from stars such as Tom Hanks, Woody Harrelson, Steve Martin and a joint appearance by Letterman and Martin Short who expressed their disappointment at not being at the event but said they couldn't attend because they were at least "four or five blocks away."
Lewis was effusive in his thanks to his benefactors and to the audience. Toward the end of the night, a young man in a wheelchair, James Lacerenza, addressed Lewis, telling him he suffers from cerebral palsey and that he had once been on Lewis' telethon with him. He told Lewis how much his efforts to eradicate the disease meant to those who are afflicted by it. Lewis, clearly moved, said he would meet the man backstage and talk with him personally.
In all, a memorable night for a true comedy legend. On a personal basis, I have been pursuing Lewis for an interview for Cinema Retro for the last couple of years. He's personally called me a couple of times and promised it will happen. I hope it will - but it will require him to stop working for an hour or two, and right now that doesn't appear to be in the cards any time soon.
(Following publication of this article, we were contacted by James Lacerenza, who asked us to publish the following: James Lacerenza has cerebral palsy but has been an MDA volunteer for the last 12 years, due in part to Lewis' tireless dedication. He has raised nearly $110,000 since 2005 for MDA's Summer Camp Program and has just added a second camp, run by the Jett Foundation for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, known as Camp Promise East to his fundraising efforts. Please visit James' site, and feel free to give whatever you can at www.mdactkids.org)
Cinema Retro has received the following press release:
The yearlong 35th anniversary commemoration of the life and legacy of
Elvis Presley continues in Memphis with the third and largest exhibit
launching at Graceland in 2012. Check out the photo gallery from the "ICON: The Influence of Elvis Presley Presented by Fender" Exhibit which will be open March 1, 2012 through February 2013.
Curated by the Graceland archives team in partnership with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum,
this groundbreaking exhibit features 75 artifacts on loan from the
famed Cleveland museum, along with items from the collections of many of
today’s biggest names in music who have been influenced by the King of
Rock ‘n’ Roll. The exhibit celebrates Elvis’ status as a music pioneer
and icon that paved the way for many of today’s artists and celebrities.
Items on display in this exhibit include Bono’s “MacPhisto” suit from U2’s Zooropa performances, Bob Dylan’s leather jacket that appears on the album cover "Real Live,” James Brown’s jumpsuit and vest worn in concert in the 1970s, along with artifacts from Elton John, Trisha Yearwood, Joan Jett, Wanda Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, The Beatles, Katy Perry and many others.
Grammy award-winning artist Amy Grant, a well-known
Elvis fan, gladly accepted the invitation to display her personal copy
of lyrics for “Heartbreak Hotel,” handwritten for her by the songwriter,
Mae Axton. “The ink is fading on the page, but the special memory of
spending time with one of the great writers who gave Elvis a song to
sing never will,” said Grant when asked about being included in the
Earlier in 2012, two additional exhibits opened at Graceland. "Elvis on Tour"
celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Golden Globe award-winning
documentary of the same name. The documentary takes an in-depth look at
Elvis’ multi-city tour during April of that year. Artifacts from the
exhibit include the producer’s Golden Globe award, jewelry and stage
clothing worn by the king during the concerts, rarely-seen photos,
videos and more.
A new addition to the VIP Tour, "Elvis…Through His Daughter’s Eyes"
opened on February 1, Lisa Marie Presley’s birthday, and highlights the
relationship between Elvis and his only child. Presley was personally
involved in the exhibit’s development and planning. Visitors will see
numerous items including family photos and home movies that explore her
experience of growing up at Graceland and the relationship with her
famous father. Artifacts include Presley’s baby footprints, clothing,
childhood tricycle, record player, crib, gold ID bracelet given to her
by Elvis and much more.
Cinema Retro is always on the lookout for classic
and cult movies being screened in unique ways by film clubs and societies. We
seem to have found one that could really top them all- literally at a dead end!
I learned about The Flicker Club via the B-Movie
Podcast (www.bmoviecast.com) recently and I was intrigued. This February
they ran a short season of Hammer Films. Nothing exceptional about that, you
may say, bar the fact that they have screened rarities such as The Reptile, The Witches and the obscure
The Lost Continent. If that wasn’t
enough, in conjunction with Hammer, they screened the newly restored Dracula from 1958 with found footage
that was missing for decades.. However- wonderful though this is - it is the
location and the way in which the Flicker Club screened these gems that elevates
them beyond the norm. They chose to screen the films in the tunnels under
London’s Waterloo that were once part of the London Necropolis railway station.
I’d heard mention of this years ago and was always fascinated by it.
The London Necropolis
Railway was opened in 1854 as a reaction to severe overcrowding in the city’s
existing graveyards and cemeteries. Specifically, the rail system was used to move
as many grave sites as possible to the
newly-built Brookwood Cemetery in Brockwood
Surrey. This location was within easy travelling distance of London, but
distant enough that the dead could not pose any risk to public hygiene. It was
at one time the largest cemetery in the world.
The Station was used for many years (it even had first to third class
tickets!) until it was bombed in the war, when it was abandoned and further
demolished to make way for offices (and the usual car park). However, the
tunnel system under the railways remained intact and this is where the films
were screened- in the actual tunnel room that was used as the morgue for the
dead bodies awaiting their final trip- of their mortal remains at least. It was
chilling in more ways the one, no matter who many coffees you had! However, the
warmest reception was when Fenella Fielding of Carry On Screaming and The
Prisoner fame headed to stage to give a reading from Mary Shelly’s famous
novel. She enraptured the audience and you could hear a pin drop until one of
the trains pulling into Waterloo rumbled like thunder above. This happened on cue
as Fenella read about an oncoming storm. It was quite a moment. Frankenstein Created Women (a Martin
Scorsese favourite) was then introduced by author Alan Barnes, who co- wrote
excellent books on Hammer with Marcus Hearn (who could not be present but who
sent a very informative introduction to be read out.)
All in all this was a very memorable night and hats off to Juliette and
Clive at Flicker (www.theflickerclub.com) for putting on such a great
“underground” season! The Club will have further events and screenings and we
will keep you posted on where and
when these will happen in the future.
Cinema Retro's go-to London photographer Mark Mawston gets invited to the A list events. Here is a great on-line scrapbook of his exclusive photos from last week's BAFTA awards, taken on the red carpet.
(All photos copyright Mark Mawston. All rights reserved)
Skyfall Bond girls Naomi Harris and Bernice Marlohe.
The big winners at this year's BAFTA awards were The Artist, which won seven major honors, and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy which was named Best British Film. For full list of winners and nominees, click here
Cinema Retro has received the following press release from the BBC:
Eve; 10:40pm; BBC FOUR)
Bristol’s Timeshift reveals the Ten Commandments of Big Cinema as it goes
behind the scenes of the biggest film genre of them all - the Hollywood Epic. See
the biggest sets ever known! Hear the sound of Ancient Rome! Count the
spiralling costs as budgets soared!
Ben-Hur to The Ten Commandments, from El Cid to Cleopatra, these were films
that set a new standard in BIG. In the days before computers they recreated
ancient worlds on a vast scale, and they did it for real. Epic cinema hired
armies, defied the seasons and changed cinema. Even the screen wasn't big
enough for the epic, so Hollywood made it bigger - and some cinemagoers
experienced vertigo watching these vast productions.
the Epic lives on in the Oscar-laden Gladiator and the spectacular sweep of
Avatar. As this documentary reveals, the stories behind the films are as
spectacular as the films themselves.
programme will include a number of classic Hollywood Epics from the 1950s and
1960s, and will include rare behind the scenes footage of Charlton Heston being
interviewed on the set of El Cid.
Four will also see a Season of Classic Epics, including The Fall of the Roman
Empire, El Cid, Land of the Pharaohs and many more.
info can be found on the BBC Four Timeshift Programme Page:
(Photos copyright Jon Walmsley. All rights reserved.)
For many years I’ve been impressed by the enduring legacy of The Waltons, the hit CBS TV series from
the 1970s that lives on in reruns today. There have been reunion movies and a
remarkably enduring and enthusiastic fan base. Actress Michael Learned, the female lead of the series, was among other
cast members who recently reunited at a 40th anniversary celebration of the
show at the legendary Loew’s Theatre in Jersey City, New Jersey. Learned
describe the key to the show’s success as “love of family’.The surviving principal cast members, as well
as supporting players, really do consider themselves an actual family and keep
in close contact, often participating in each other’s personal lives and
activities.The Loew’s event was not only
a very sentimental reunion of the cast members but it also touched all those
fans in attendance, as well.
Ray Castro, who has known many of the cast members for over decades,
organized the event. He realized that the year 2011 marked the 40th
anniversary of the telecast of The
Homecoming, the classic TV movie that inspired The Waltons. Castro was determined to celebrate the date with a
special event and was delighted that cast members were in agreement. The Loew’s
proved to be the perfect venue for the event. The wonderful old movie palace
had been saved from the wrecking ball years ago and is staffed by a remarkable
and enthusiastic group of volunteers.This ‘diamond in the rough’ frequently shows old movies in original 35mm
format via carbon arc projectors on a 35 foot screen.The Waltons
event included a screening of The
Homecoming and a tribute to its star, the late Patricia Neal, a panel discussion and even a few songs; a
holiday entertainment treat for a reasonable $20.
Retro's Dave Worrall with magazine contributor Madeline Smith, who starred with Ingrid Pitt in the Hammer horror hit The Vampire Lovers.
By Matthew Field
(Photos all copyright Mark Mawston)
On Wednesday 7th December Riverside Studios - a unique arts and media
centre on the banks of the Thames in Hammersmith, London played host to
special screening of the Hammer classic The Vampire Lovers.
to celebrate the launch of Dave Worrall and Lee Pfeiffer’s new coffee
table tome Cinema Sex Sirens – actress Madeline Smith was on hand to
introduce the screening. Based on La Fanu's short story Carmilla, The
Vampire Lovers was the first Hammer horror film of the 1970s and broke new
ground with its erotic lesbian themes. Addressing the audience Smith
amusingly recalled “I got a very worried phone call from the producer
who said he was concerned about my lack of bosom. He said 'We like you a
lot, but we don't think you are voluptuous enough'. I reassured him,
and then I scuttled off to Hornby and Clarke dairy round the corner and I
bought every yoghurt I could find and stuffed myself like you might
fatten cattle, and it worked!”
Following the screening
Dave Worrall was joined by Madeline to autograph copies of the book, which has been listed as one of the best film books of the year by the Evening Standard of London.
Lavishly illustrated throughout the book is dedicated to Vampire Lovers
star Ingrid Pitt. In attendance was Ingrid Pitt’s widower Tony Rudlin.
(Please note: Cinema Retro's limited, signed and numbered editions of Cinema Sex Sirens are now sold out in the UK. Click here to order from Amazon UK and get an extensive look at the inside of the book.) A small number of copies are still available through our U.S. office for shipment with America. Click banner ad at top of page for details)
(For Madeline Smith's memories of making The Vampire Lovers, see her article in Cinema Retro issue #3,available in our back issues section)
Landis at Forbidden Planet, London (Photo copyright Mark Mawston. All rights reserved.)
By Mark Mawston
The Halloween season found famed director
(and Cinema Retro contributor) John Landis in London to launch his new, very
well received book, Monsters in the Movies. (Click here to visit the DK Publishing web site for a peek into the book's contents.)
The link above will take you to just some
of the wonders this book holds, along with a short introduction by John himself.
As a fan of most of the films featured within its pages as well as the films of
John Landis himself, it was a real honour to have a couple of my own photo’s
deemed worthy enough (in historical importance)to be included alongside the many
stunning images this book holds.
The que at London’s Forbidden Planet Store
for a signing session with John on the 1st of Nov stretched around
the block. The book has already sold out in its original run (another has
commenced)but those lucky enough to get into London should head straight to
Forbidden Planet as well as the famed Cinema Store on St. Martins Lane as both
stores hold a limited amount of signed copies.John has stressed the fact that this is a fun book, with conversations
rather than in depth interviews with many of his friends ranging from Ray
Harryhausen, Sir Christopher Lee and Joe Dante. What it is however, is a book
of definitive monster images, many of which have never been seen before and as
such it is a must for any fans of the genre. My personal favourite, along with
many of those whom have read it, is the inspired Monster Carry spread, featuring
gals held by ghouls from all the different decades of dread. It’s also worth
pointing out that this is a great looking tome in its own right. I highly
recommend this wonderful book but if you do venture into the Capitol to get a signed
copy, then “Stay On The Roads…..”, as was advised in
Landis’ classic An American Werewolf in
The Duke's head gear from The Green Berets and The High and the Mighty.
crazy”, Ethan Wayne whispered, as the bids in the auction started to climb way
over the estimates. The youngest son of movie legend John Wayne and other
members of the Wayne clan were present at the Beverly Hills auction on Oct 6th,
announcing that this would be the once in a lifetime shot for fans to get a
piece of the Duke, “and we’re not going to do it again” – and still, they could
not imagine that the fans would dig so deep in their pockets to collect their
father’s artifacts. The total of the two day sale eventually exceeded $5.4
million, a portion of the proceeds of which will fund the John Wayne Cancer
Hat from Big Jake
weeks after John Wayne passed away in 1979, his house in Newport Beach was
sealed, an intensive inventory was taken of the Duke's personal items. Michael Wayne, then head honcho of
Wayne Enterprises, locked it all up. The boxes were transported in a warehouse almost to be forgotten for three decades, a la The Lost Ark. When
Michael passed away, Ethan (named after Wayne’s character in ‘The
Searchers’) took over running Wayne Enterprises. Michael had often mentioned his plans to open a John
Wayne museum, and it was well known among collectors that he had retained many of his father's film costumes. Why then, after all
this time, does the family allow the personal property – over 700 items - to be
scattered all over the world? “Michael had 30 years to do it – so why didn’t
he?”, Ethan makes his point to Cinema Retro. His explanation why he feels great
about the auction is as simple as it is touching: “My father inspired people
through his films. And people have been calling the office for 32 years, asking
for a hat, a vest, a shirt. Because they have this strong connection. So for
me, I look at all these items, and they're going to go all over the world, and
they're going to inspire people. So all that attitude of John Wayne will be out
there living with these items, all over the globe.”
Joyce Randolph, who played Trixie Norton on the classic TV series The Honeymooners, will be appearing at a charitable fund raiser at the Episcopal Actors Guild in New York City on the evening of October 20. Ms. Randolph will be interviewed on stage by Cinema Retro Editor-in-Chief Lee Pfeiffer who will discuss her experiences working with such legendary co-stars as Jackie Gleason, Audrey Meadows and Art Carney. The event coincides with MPI's new release of a fabulous boxed set of "lost" episodes from the series that contains an incredible number of previously unseen bonus extras. MPI Home Video will be donating boxed sets as raffle prizes and Ms. Randolph will autograph these for the winners.
Only a small number of tickets to this event remain. Click here for more information.
Click here to order the Lost Episodes set from Amazon and save!
The invitation to the private party following the screening was based on a note Holly Golightly writes to "Fred" in the film.
By Lee Pfeiffer
Paramount pulled out all the stops on September 16 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Blake Edwards' classic screen adaptation of Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffanys at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City. Presented in conjunction with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the event showcased the superb new digital restoration of the movie. Sadly Blake Edwards passed away last year but his wife Julie Andrews was on hand to celebrate his great cinematic achievement. The evening began with a "blue carpet" (to tie in with the new Blu-ray release) event attended by celebrities, fashion models and Ms. Andrews, who posed for photos and met with the press.
The ageless Julie Andrews arrives on the blue carpet.
(Photo copyright: Paramount)
On stage, Film Society director Richard Pena interviewed Ms. Andrews, who somehow looks as though she has found the secret to eternal youth. In her chat, Andrews said that she had seen Breakfast At Tiffanys when she was living in New York - and never dreamed she would end up marrying its director. She also said that Marilyn Monroe had been considered for the role of Holly Golightly and confessed she was delighted that the part eventually went to Audrey Hepburn. Andrews discussed the ironies that affected both she and Hepburn's careers. It was Andrews who became a sensation on stage as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady but it was Hepburn who got the coveted part in the film version. Nevertheless, Andrews managed to win the Best Actress Oscar that year because the loss of the Doolittle role afforded her the opportunity to play Mary Poppins. She said that she and Hepburn always joked about those ironies and the two became great friends.
film preservation community has been excited about the 2010 discovery of 75
hitherto lost American films found at The New Zealand Film Archive. One of the
most heralded finds is a John Ford silent from 1927 entitled UPSTREAM. On
Monday, June 20 Cinema Retro had been invited by A.M.P.A.S. to attend a screening of this film at the
Academy Theater at Lighthouse International in New York City. The opportunity
to see any new aspect of John Ford’s work is not be missed, and while it did
not bear the stamp of what we have now come to know as the JOHN FORD STYLE, the film
screening was introduced by Brian Meacham, a
preservationist for the Los Angeles archive of the Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences. Mr. Meachham spoke of how he undertook a vacation to New
Zealand in 2010 that wound up being a busman’s holiday. As is his want, he told
us, whenever he takes a personal trip he tries to contact film archives in the
city he is traveling to. After he arrived in Wellington the folks at The
New Zealand Film Archive told him that they had some cans of film he might be
interested in seeing. The result of that little visit proved to be a major find
to the American cinematic history.
Lumet with his honorary Oscar. Shockingly, he never won a competitive Academy Award.
By Lee Pfeiffer
Yesterday the family of the late legendary film director Sidney Lumet, in association with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, hosted a tribute to Lumet at Alice Tulley Hall. Cinema Retro contributing writer Doug Gerbino and I arrived at Lincoln Center not knowing exactly what the program would consist of. However, as we are both great admirers of Lumet's work, we could not pass up the invitation to attend. The tribute turned out to be one of the most extraordinary film-related events we had ever witnessed. An extraordinary number of diverse talents contributed their personal memories of working with Lumet through often hilarious anecdotes. Screenwriter Walter Bernstein said Lumet saved his career by hiring him to write TV productions even though he was blacklisted at the time. Christopher Walken recalled how Lumet gently guided him to giving a memorable performance in his first feature film, The Anderson Tapes. Lauren Bacall says she is still grateful to Lumet for casting her in Murder on the Orient Express because it gave her the opportunity to work with so many legends. Jonathan Demme said that as a young man one of the most visceral cinematic experiences he had was watching Lumet's The Hill. And on it went,with the event being capably hosted by Jenny Lumet, the director's charming screenwriter daughter. Amidst the tributes there were brilliantly edited clips from Lumet films interspersed with a variety of interviews he had given in recent years.
Much was made of the fact that Lumet disdained working anywhere but his beloved New York City. Jenny Lumet joked that some years ago Lumet and his wife found themselves unavoidably living for a period of time in Hollywood. As each light bulb in the house eventually burned out, Lumet refused to invest in new ones because the thought of being there long enough to burn through two bulbs depressed him greatly. James Gandolfiini recalled being a little-known out of work actor who was throwing in the towel on his chosen profession. One day Lumet called and he didn't believe it was really him. "Fuck off!", Gandolfini shouted into the phone, convinced the call was a prank by a friend. As he deliberated, he came to the nauseating realization that such a gag "would have been too complicated for my friends." Fortunately, Lumet called back and offered Gandolfini a job that, in essence, saved his career. Marshall Brickman spoke of Lumet's well-known dedication to working fast and efficiently. He joked that Lumet could shoot a 90 minute movie in 43 minutes. Phillip Seymour Hoffman spoke lovingly of starring in Lumet's final feature film, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. Finally Glenn Close brought the house down with a soulful, closing rendition of Bye Bye Blackbird.
In the lobby on the way out, it was clear there were plenty of other notables who had attended ranging from film historian and interviewer James Lipton to MSNBC political commentator/TV producer Lawrence O'Donnell. Walter Bernstein, who is among the last of the legendary screenwriters, graciously conceded to an interview for a future issue of Cinema Retro. I also got to chat a short bit with Vanessa Redgrave, who was amused when I showed her that a copy of a book I'm currently reading: Marc Connelly's book about the making of Tony Richardson's The Charge of the Light Brigade, in which she starred. Redgrave agreed enthusiastically that the film was drastically under-rated in its day and needs to be re-examined for the major work it is. (I see another article in Cinema Retro's future...)
I had only met Lumet twice but, like every member of the audience, you came to feel you knew him intimately as a friend. In all, a wonderful day and a brilliant tribute by the Film Society of
Lincoln Center to one of the true giants of the motion picture industry.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center will be presenting a major Lumet film festival during July including screenings of rarely seen films such as The Offence. For more click here
Cinema Retro's London photographer Mark Mawston reports on a very special evening in honor of a very special man.
By Mark Mawston
On one special day in June 2007 I found myself in dream land. Not only was John Barry playing the Meltdown festival that night but I was allowed access to the rehearsal of the show in the hope that I would gain some informal photographs of Barry. As it transpired, those formal shots did indeed happen - to an extent I simply could not have imagined, as towards the end of the rehearsal John's wife Laurie asked if I could return later that evening and take some intimate family portraits and some informal shots of John himself. This was a great honour, but that’s another story.
Cut to last Monday evening, another very special day in June. I found myself attending the Memorial concert of the great man himself. This was organized by Laurie in conjunction with the Broccoli Foundation to establish and raise funds for The John Barry Scholarship In Film Composition, on behalf of The Royal College Of Music.
The evening started off with a very warm introduction from close family friend Sir Michael Parkinson, followed by a video message from Sir Michael Caine. Although it was disappointing that he wasn’t there in person, the message showed a very emotional Mr. Cain, telling some witty and emotive tales about his ex-flat mate. The favourite reminiscence for most was Michael describing his horror at being kept awake by John at the piano on the first night of his elongated stay at the composer'sluxury flat overlooking the Thames in the early 60s. The next morning he inquired what John had been doing and the composer confirmed, in a Yorkshire lilt, “Oh, it’s something for the new Bond, do you want to hear it”? Of course Caine said yes and then commented, in his usual laconic manner, “So I ended up being the first person in the world to hear the tune Goldfinger……All Night!”
What followed was an amazing night of music, conducted by the superb Nicholas Dodd and performed by the The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Musical highlights included wonderful themes such as The Ipcress File, Born Free and Midnight Cowboy, as well as the early 60s classics The Knack and Zulu. However, it wasn’t till they played the very emotive theme from Somewhere In Time that I realized exactly why we were really here. Although John’s son, JonPatrick had given a very brave and emotive introduction earlier in the evening, this theme from Somewhere In Time and the 'John Dunbar Theme' from Dances With Wolves really made me rather teary-eyed, knowing that the great mind that had given the world these wonderful pieces of music had been transported into the 'Beyondness of Things' - another tune that was very emotional, accompanied on the big screen by some wonderful photos from the family archive.
Elia Kazan's 1960 film Wild River starring Montgomery Clift and Lee Remick is the subject of a new documentary titled Mud On the Stars, the title of one of two books that the screenplay was based on. The documentary looks at how the filming affected the lives of people in rural Tennessee and includes personal reminiscences of individuals who were involved in the production or witnessed it being shot. A screening of the documentary takes place on June 2 in Cleveland, TN. Click here for info
The Players, the legendary private club for the arts located at Gramercy Park in Manhattan, recently held their 2011 Hall of Fame ceremony. The annual event inducts members into the Hall who have made outstanding contributions to the arts. The roster of this year's ceremony was particularly impressive, including many familiar names who were inducted posthumously along with current club members. Among them: Humphrey Bogart, Dick Cavett, Mary Tyler Moore, Sir John Gielgud, Jerry Stiller, Lauren Bacall, Hume Cronyn, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Carol Burnett, Walt Disney, Jimmy Fallon, Arthur Miller, Gregory Peck, Tony Randall, Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Katharine Hepburn, John Carradine, Harry Belafonte, Charles Laughton, Sir John Gielgud and others. Also inducted were two prominent names from American politics: President Dwight D. Eisenhower and former New York City Mayor David Dinkins.
Mayor David Dinkins with Claire Gozzo and actor and Cinema Retro contributor Joe Sirola.
Thumbs up from Tuco: Eli Wallach chats with Cinema Retro editor-in-chief Lee Pfeiffer.
The evening began with a cocktail hour in the club's famed Great Hall, where honorees mixed and mingled with other club members. A gourmet dinner followed, with club Executive Director John Martello screening a wonderful film clip compilation of the honorees' achievements. In addition to the actors and writers inducted, there were also other inductees who had distinguished themselves by their support of the club and the arts. Each inductee was honored with the unveiling of their portrait, painted by one of twenty-six esteemed artists. Among them was the famed Everett Raymond Kinstler, whose portraits of legendary members adorn the club's walls. Appropriately, Kinstler himself was inducted on the evening. Fittingly, he provided a self-portrait for the occasion.
Actor Thomas Waites (L) and collector Joe Hart display an amazing collection of memorabilia from The Thing.
By Lee Pfeiffer
Last Saturday, the Loew's Jersey City movie theater presented Thing-Fest. Contrary to what you may think, this wasn't a tribute to the famed disembodied hand from The Addams Family. Rather, it was a double feature consisting of Howard Hawks' original 1956 science fiction classic The Thing From Another World along with John Carpenter's 1982 remake, The Thing. Hundreds of fans descended on the legendary movie palace that has been restored to its former glory thanks to many years of work by dedicated volunteers. I only attended the evening screening of the Carpenter movie, having never seen it before on the big screen. Suffice it to say, it was worth the effort. Universal provided a very good print of the movie and its widescreen attributes were accentuated by the excellent sound system in the Loew's, which made every sound effect resonate through the cavernous theater. The impact was made all the more impressive by Ennnio Morricone's heart-pounding score. Carpenter's reinterpretation of the Hawks film is a work of brilliance, but much credit must go to the special effects team for their amazing creations of the monster alien that morphs into the physical form of its victims. There is literally nothing that comes close to these achievements in today's CGI-packed sci-fi films. Although the audience was reverent and well-behaved, it was clear that the theater was packed with Thing fanatics, some of whom could not help but shout out key lines of dialogue at the precise moment the actors spoke the words.
A nice surprise was the appearance of actor Thomas Waites, who played "Windows", one of the ill-fated members of the Antarctic research team who meets a gruesome fate, courtesy of The Thing. Waites introduced the film, then appeared after the screening to engage in a Q&A with audience members. One interesting anecdote he told related to an almost disastrous bus ride the key cast members took to the remote Alaskan filming location. The bus became engulfed in white-out conditions due to a fast moving blizzard, causing the vehicle to hang precariously off an embankment. Keeping in spirit to his role as the film's heroic leading man, Kurt Russell took the lead and gingerly instructed his fellow actors as to how to slowly crawl off the bus without causing it to tumble over. (Shades of the original Italian Job!) Waites also graciously sat behind a "Thingfest" table in the theater's magnificent lobby and signed photos for a seemingly endless stream of fans. Adding to the unexpected pleasures was an impressive display of Thing memorabilia set up by collector Joe Hart, who traveled all the way from Canada to attend. Hart, who runs the excellent web site Outpost31.com, which is devoted to the Carpenter film, proved to have an impressive collection that boasted many toys, prop replicas and rare international movie posters.
Despite being almost 30 years old, John Carpenter's film remains a many splendored Thing.
(All photos copyright Cinema Retro. All rights reserved)
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Cinema Retro's Graham Hill provides these photos from the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival screening of An American in Paris at the famed Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, April 28. (All photos copyright Graham Hill. All rights reserved)
TCM host Robert Osborne
Legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler
Retro movie fans gather to watch the celebs arrive
On March 30th 2011 Cinema Retro was invited to a special screening of Karel Reisz's classic British New Wave drama Saturday Night Sunday Morning at the BFI Southbank in London. Featuring an unforgettable performance by Albert Finney as rebellious, hard-living factory worker Arthur Seaton, this gritty, vital piece of cinema, is widely agreed to be one of the best British films of all time. Originally released in 1960, Saturday Night Sunday Morning was produced by Woodfall a production company that led the wave of kitchen sink dramas which explored post-war working class issues in a serious manner for the first time.
The screening was preceded with a Q & A with actress Shirley Anne Field. In conversation with the BFI’s artistic director Eddie Berg, Field credited the whole production for successfully creating credible working class characters who she felt had previously been portrayed on screen in a very patronising way. She touched on the problems the picture faced with the British censor due to the sensitive issues it explored such as abortion. Field also fondly reminisced about working with Finney and other British legends such as Hilda Baker.
A clip from the interview is available to view on the BFI Live website:
Cinema Retro's Bill Duelly was invited to tour the traveling exhibition of props from the Harry Potter films. Here is his report:
There is no doubt that the Harry Potter film series has enjoyed
success that has only been rivaled by the James Bond and Star Wars series.They are a
testament to England’s
filmmaking craft and to their benefit, the producers have saved costumes,
props, etc. from Sorcerer’s Stone
(aka: Philosopher’s Stone in the UK), up through
the last of the series.A good deal of England’s
film-making legacy has been lost already, particularly in Borehamwood, where
the MGM Studios (home to: 2001, Dirty
Dozen, Where Eagles Dare, etc) amongst others has been destroyed. Elstree
(home to the original Star Wars
Trilogy & Indiana Jones) has lost much of its acreage and facilities.Reversing this trend, plans are underway to
open a comprehensive tour/exhibit next year at the home base of the Potter
series, Leavesden Studios.
For the past two years, a massive collection of props and costumes has
been touring the US and has
now landed at the Discovery Times Square Exhibition
Center in New York.One cannot say enough about the amount of material that is at this
exhibit.Even the mildest of fans will
appreciate all this has to offer.This
certainly is a rare opportunity to glimpse into the detail of the series.One is impressed with the quality of the
costumes, the detail of the jewelry, the creatures and the sets.A good deal of the set pieces actually are
old, quality furniture, not reproductions artificially aged.
Starting out as though on a Disney ride, one weaves around on line
until groups are let in to an initial meeting area.Here some visitors are picked for a ‘sorting
hat’ ceremony, before they are then led to another area where they are treated
to a 3-4 minute, multi-panel montage of clips from the films before the
curtains part and you are greeted by steam and the front of the Hogwarts
The exhibit takes you through various themed sections, with props
& costumes: Gryffindor – for Ron, Harry, Hermione centered items like,
their wands, acceptance letter, time turner,dorm room, etc. ‘Classrooms’ takes you through areas of: Potions;
Divinations; Umbridge’s office; Prof Lockhart’s
books and pictures . ‘Quidditch’ showcases various game pieces and costumes.
‘Hagrids Hut’- allows visitors to sit in his chair as well as see the full size
On the lower level, there is the ‘Forbidden Forest’
with the Centaur, giant spiders and dragons. Then the ‘Dark Forces’ section
features a Dementor, Death Eaters, as well as Voldemort costume and set pieces
from Goblet of Fire.Leaving the is area,
you are lead to the Great Hall, with a predominance of material relating to
‘Goblet of Fire’ such as the Yule Ball costumes and table settings as well as
the Tri-Wizard cup.The last item on the
tour is the sword of Griffendor.
Some things to keep in mind during this exhibit:it is in many ways a museum, so there is a
strict ‘no touching’ and ‘no photo’ policy in effect (although they will take a
photo of you on the way in and superimpose you in front of Hagrids Hutt &
Hogwarts for $25-$45).A souvenir
program is available so in many ways it frees you up from worrying about taking
pictures on your own, although I know parents and big fans will be disappointed
by the ‘no picture’ policy. Parents also
beware- there is a BIG gift shop at the end!
There are three distinct areas where ‘touching’ is allowed:in Hagrids Hut, you are allowed to sit in his
oversized chair; by the herbology
section there is a group of Mandrakes you can pull out and make them squeal and
last, there are three Quidditch hoops that you can throw the bloggers through
for a ‘score’.
There is no way that all the items can be listed here, nor would I
want to, as one of the best things in this exhibit are discovering the details.
The Discovery Times Square is located at 44th Street, between 7th &
8th Avenues in NY and is open10AM-8PM, 7 days a week.The exhibit will run through September 5.Tickets are available in advance from:discoveryts.com.The official website for the exhibit is:http://www.harrypotterexhibition.com/
Cinema Retro contributing photographer Mark Mawston was invited to cover
Stefanie Powers’ recent appearance at a London
book signing. Here is his report:
Actress Stefanie Powers was in London on Sat April 2nd at a
signing of her book at the famed Cinema Store. Que’s went around the block with
many traveling a great number of miles to meet the much loved actress. Some
were lined up before 8am for the 11am signing. On arriving Stephanie had time
to pose for Retro photographer Mark Mawston before admiring the Escape From Athena poster behind the
signing table, sadly pointing out how many of the great cast and crew had since
left us. Stefanie looked a million dollars, which may explained why she played
a millionairess wife so successfully. Stefanie was amazing with her fans, who
came from all over Europe and she spoke three
languages during conversations with them in my short time there.
for Stefanie occurred when one of the
fans showed her the tattoo on her arm which was the signature of her brother in
law, 60’s singer Eden Kane! The fan then asked Stefanie to sign her name next
to it so that they would remain close! This tickled her no end. That intro from
Hart to Hart was true, she was
gorgeous on every level and the way she treated her fans could give pointers to
some of those currently sampling their own 15 minutes, which in some cases, is
all they will get. This was a proper star, not a flash in the pan. In looks
alone, as Max would say, this is one gal who knows how to take care of herself….
ALL PHOTOS COPYRIGHT MARK MAWSTON. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Last night at the Royal Institute of British Architects in
paid tribute to the production designer Sir Ken Adam, who turned 90 last year.
Sponsored by the Albert R. Broccoli and Dana Broccoli Foundation,guests enjoyed a champagne reception followed
by the event which was hosted by Matthew
Sweet who introduced the many guests who took to the stage and honoured the
great designer. Among them; Christiane Kubrick, Michael G. Wilson, Nicholas
Meyer, Anouk Aimee, Peter Lamont, Sir Christopher Frayling, and Lewis Gilbert
to name but a few. Actress Eunice Gayson read out a very funny letter on behalf
of Sir Roger Moore, who was unable to attend, and current-day production designers
praised Sir Ken Adam for inspiring them to enter the film business. Supplemented
by on-screen film clips and visuals, BAFTA produced a first class event worthy
of such an iconic and respected technician, and also presented Sir Ken with a
special BAFTA award for his services to the film industry.
(Photo copyright Mark Mawston. All rights reserved)
It was an honour to
have been there, and for me, a wonderful occasion to meet up and chat with
Barbara Broccoli, David Arnold, Michael G. Wilson and other people from the
Bond world who Lee Pfeiffer and I have befriended since writing our book 'The
Essential James Bond' many years back. It was also fun to catch up and gossip
with 'Bond Girls' Lana Wood, Caroline Munro, Martine Beswicke, Valerie Leon and
Shirley Eaton, who had been invited to the event too. The auditorium was packed
with architects, designers and professionals from the arts and film industry,
and I even noticed Monty Norman lurking in the background! However, it was
delightful to see Barbara Broccoli deep in conversation with production
designer Syd Cain, himself now in his nineties and wheelchair-bound, who, along
with Peter Lamont, played such an integral part in the history of the Bond
franchise as the man who was being honoured on the night.