News

Oscar-Winning Doc Filmmaker Murray Lerner Dies at 90

Oscar-Winning Doc Filmmaker Murray Lerner Dies at 90
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Murray Lerner, who captured Bob Dylan going electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival and preserved legendary music acts like Jimi Hendrix and Leonard Cohen forever on film, has died, said his son, Noah. He was 90.

Lerner died Sunday in New York City, his son said.

The filmmaker earned an Oscar nomination in 1967 for Festival, his examination of the Newport Folk Festival, and won the best documentary statuette in 1981 for From Mao to Mozart, which followed violinist Isaac Stern in China. In 2009, he received a Grammy nomination for Amazing Journey: The Story of...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Bob Dylan Documentarian Murray Lerner Dead at 90

Bob Dylan Documentarian Murray Lerner Dead at 90
Famed music documentarian Murray Lerner, who captured Bob Dylan going electric and Jimi Hendrix's legendary Isle of Wight performance, died Saturday from kidney failure, Variety reports. He was 90.

Lerner's son, Noah, said the filmmaker died at his home in Long Island City, New York after falling ill about three months ago. "He was a complete filmmaker," Noah Lerner said. "A cinematographer first and foremost, but someone who also wrote, edited, produced and directed."

Along with Dylan and Hendrix, Lerner's myriad subjects included the Who, Miles Davis, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Leonard Cohen.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Oscar-Winner Murray Lerner, Who Documented Bob Dylan Going Electric at Newport, Dies at 90

Oscar-Winner Murray Lerner, Who Documented Bob Dylan Going Electric at Newport, Dies at 90
Murray Lerner, a seminal music documentary filmmaker of the ′60s and ′70s, has died at age 90 in New York City. The cause of death was kidney failure.

Though less famous than his contemporaries D.A. Pennebaker and the fraternal duo Albert and David Maysles, Lerner was every bit their equal in the cultural significance of his work, recording historic footage of Bob Dylan going electric at the 1965 Newport Jazz Festival and Jimi Hendrix and The Doors giving the final performance of their careers in 1970 at the Isle of Wight Festival.

Lerner died Saturday in his home in Long Island City, N.Y., following an illness of about three months, according to his son Noah Lerner, a writer and producer at HBO. “He was a complete filmmaker,” Lerner tells Variety. “A cinematographer first and foremost, but someone who also wrote, edited, produced, and directed.”

Film producer and friend Martin Lewis remembers Lerner as “one of the most significant music
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Meryl Streep's Best Musical Moments on Screen

  • PEOPLE.com
Meryl Streep's Best Musical Moments on Screen
She's known as the greatest living actress - but acting isn't Meryl Streep's only talent. We know she's funny, a great mom, a total pro at public speaking, an amazing cheerleader and she can sing. In fact, her daughter Mamie Gummer says it¹s pretty much Streep¹s favorite activity. "She loves, loves, loves to sing," she told Entertainment Weekly. "[She] loves it more than almost anything." As she's set to hit the big screen in a musical role in Florence Foster Jenkins this month and is in talks for yet another in Mary Poppins Returns - alongside her Devil
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Film Review: ‘The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble’

Film Review: ‘The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble’
The fabled Oscar-winning documentary “From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China” (1980), which followed Stern as he taught the children of Communist China to play — and love — Western classical music, captured a new kind of synergy between the West and the East. In “The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble,” a documentary directed by Morgan Neville (who made the Oscar-winning “20 Feet from Stardom”), musicians from all over the world join the legendary cellist to form a virtuoso ragtag band, and they create a joyful noise — a percolating life force that’s equal parts klezmer and Bollywood, with maybe a hint of disco. The instrumentalists, who hail from Spain, Syria, Japan, Iran, and other nations, are so at home with global musical fusion that they might almost have been among the Chinese teenagers taught by Isaac Stern — and, in fact, one of them was (we see
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Amy’ and ‘What Happened, Miss Simone?’ Join Long List of Music-Related Docs Nominated for Oscars

By Patrick Shanley

Managing Editor

This year’s best documentary feature nominees continues a long trend of music docs being recognized by the Academy, as two music-related films have earned nominations at this year’s Oscars.

Amy, which tells the story of late songstress Amy Winehouse in her own words through never-before-seen archival footage and unreleased tracks and is nominated for best doc this year, earned nominations for the Queer Palm and Golden Eye awards at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival for director Asif Kapadia.

Filmmaker Liz Garbus earned the second nomination of her career with the Netflix documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? The film focuses on the life of iconic R&B singer Nina Simone and her life as a singer, mother, and civil rights activist. Garbus earned her first Oscar nomination in 1998 for her documentary The Farm: Angola, USA.

Music-related docs have been a hot topic for the Academy in years past,
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Unusual Craven Film: Sentimental 'Music' Is Superlative Streep Show

'Music of the Heart' cast: Meryl Streep, Gloria Estefan, Aidan Quinn and Angela Bassett. 'Music of the Heart': Unusually bloodless Wes Craven movie works as Meryl Streep showcase Wes Craven, the director of the Scream franchise and of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, is hardly the kind of filmmaker from whom one would expect a syrupy motion picture about a determined violin teacher who wins the hearts and minds of her inner-city school students. Yet Craven is the man responsible for Music of the Heart, a film utterly devoid of slashed faces, lethal stabbings, and deadly fingernails. Instead, this distaff version of Mr. Holland's Opus – with touches of To Sir with Love – offers loads of sentiment, some classical music (violinists Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, and Mark O'Connor appear as themselves), plenty of bad pop tunes, and a superb performance by Meryl Streep as a
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Oscar Film Series: Death and Music in Melodrama Saved by Crawford

'Humoresque': Joan Crawford and John Garfield. 'Humoresque' 1946: Saved by Joan Crawford Directed by Jean Negulesco from a screenplay by Clifford Odets and Zachary Gold (loosely based on a Fannie Hurst short story), Humoresque always frustrates me because its first 25 minutes are excruciatingly boring – until Joan Crawford finally makes her appearance during a party scene. Crawford plays Helen Wright, a rich society lush in love with a tough-guy violin player, Paul Boray (John Garfield), who happens to be in love with his music. Fine support is offered by Paul's parents, played by Ruth Nelson and the fabulous chameleon-like J. Carroll Naish. Oscar Levant is the sarcastic, wisecracking piano player, who plays his part to the verge of annoyance. (Spoilers ahead.) Something wrong with that woman The Humoresque scenes between Paul and his mother are particularly intriguing, as the mother conveys her objections to Helen by lamenting, "There's something wrong with a woman like that!
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Ronald Perelman to Succeed Sanford Weill as Chairman of Carnegie Hall’s Board of Trustees

  • The Wrap
Ronald Perelman to Succeed Sanford Weill as Chairman of Carnegie Hall’s Board of Trustees
Sanford I. Weill, chairman of Carnegie Hall’s Board of Trustees since 1991, will retire from his post after 24 years of service and a total of 32 years as a Carnegie Hall trustee. He’ll be succeeded by Ronald O. Perelman, who was elected Friday as the new Chairman of the Board of Trustees at a meeting of the organization’s Board of Trustees. Weill will continue to serve as a member of Carnegie Hall’s board, transitioning to a new role as president, a title formerly held by the late violinist Isaac Stern. Weill is only the second person to hold the title.
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Keep on Keepin’ On’ Could Join 17 Music-Related Oscar-Nommed Docs

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor

Keep on Keepin’ On, director Alan Hicks’ debut film, follows four years of the friendship and mentorship between jazz legend and trumpeter Clark Terry, who played with Count Basie and Duke Ellington and taught a young Quincy Jones how to play, and Justin Kauflin, a talented 23-year-old blind pianist. The two musicians support each other as Terry begins to lose his eyesight due to health issues and as Kauflin deals with stage fright as a semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. The film is one of 15 films on the Oscar documentary shortlist, five of which will be nominated on Jan. 15.

The Academy is particularly fond of music-related documentaries, nominating 17 since 1942, with eight winning. Keep on Keepin’ On could join the following Oscar-nominated films:

Festival (1967)

Director Murray Lerner’s black-and-white documentary offers a glimpse into three years (1963-1966) of the Newport Folk Festival, which
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Don Mischer Receives His Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Don Mischer Receives His Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
It’s probably just as well that Don Mischer’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame will be planted in concrete on Dec. 11, since he has run out of space on his mantle for yet another award. The highly decorated producer-director already has 15 Emmys, a record 10 DGA awards, two NAACP Image Awards, a Peabody and a raft of others.

“My wife doesn’t want any more around the house,” he admits, “so they’re mostly at the office.”

The 74-year-old industry veteran spends as much time at Don Mischer Prods. as ever, and has little interest in either retiring or resting on his laurels, which include some 200 producing and directing credits ranging from the 2009 Obama Inaugural Celebration to the Oscars, the Emmys, the Olympics, the Kennedy Center Honors and the Super Bowl halftime shows starring the likes of Prince, the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney.

Instead, he’s focused on his latest project,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Anniversaries: Johannes Brahms Born 181 Years Ago on May 7, 1833

A classicist using Romantic harmonies, Johannes Brahms (1833-97) was hailed at age 20 by Robert Schumann in a famous article entitled "New Paths." Yet by the time Brahms wrote his mature works, his music was thought of as a conservative compared to the daring harmonies and revolutionary dramatic theories of Richard Wagner. But in the next century, Arnold Schoenberg's 1947 essay titled "Brahms the Progressive" praised Brahms's bold modulations (as daring as Wagner's most tonally ambiguous chords), asymmetrical forms, and mastery of imaginative variation and development of thematic material.

The son of a bassist in the Hamburg Philharmonic Society, Brahms was an excellent pianist who was supporting himself by his mid-teens. His first two published works were his Piano Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2, and throughout his career he penned much fine music for that instrument, not only solo (including the later Piano Sonata No. 3) and duo but also his landmark Piano Concertos Nos.
See full article at CultureCatch »

Highlights From the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival

The Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Film Festival wrapped up its 5th annual hoorah in Hollywood on Sunday and this year was chock full of joyful and exciting films and special guests. There were so many wonderful old movies that most people have seen, but for me the true thrill was the chance to see a beloved movie on the big screen, the way it was intended.

Throw in some amazing guests and it was absolute gold.

Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book (1967)

Screened at the beautiful El Capitan Theater, The Jungle Book was the last Disney animated feature that was overseen by Walt Disney himself. After the success of Mary Poppins and other Disney hits such as The Parent Trap, The Absent Minded Professor and The Sword in the Stone, Disney went back to the well and asked songwriters Bobby and Richard Sherman to take a swing at its animated
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Blu-ray Feature: The 10 Best Blu-rays of 2011

Chicago – Does it say something about the current market of Blu-rays that nine of our top ten releases of the year (and, honestly, most of the runner-ups considered) are for catalog releases and special editions instead of films produced in the current era? More and more often, modern releases seem kind of lackluster. Throw on a featurette, maybe a deleted scene or two, and put it on the shelf.

More often, it is the anniversary editions, special release, and, of course, The Criterion Collection that lives up to the true potential of the format. Critics Matt Fagerholm and Brian Tallerico have assembled their ten best of 2011, all of which should be added to your collection as soon as possible. Or ask Santa if you think you’ve been good enough this year.

Matt Fagerholm’s Five Best Blu-rays of 2011

5. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Photo credit: Paramount
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

'Law & Order: Svu's' Tamara Tunie robbed of $1 million by business manager

  • Pop2it
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" star Tamara Tunie -- who has appeared in over 200 episodes of the series as medical examiner Dr. Melinda Warner -- was robbed of over $1 million by her accountant, Joseph Cilibrasi.

Cilibrasi plead guilty to first degree grand larceny for stealing from Tunie and admitted that he also stole $75,000 from Michael Stern, musical director of the Kansas City Symphony and son of late violinist Isaac Stern, while doing his taxes in 2007.

The NY Post reports that Cilibrasi opened a credit card account in Tunie's name. He also wrote himself checks from her bank account and used the stolen funds toward his business, and also invest in theater and movies and take vacations.

He will go to jail for at least two and a half years, though he faces up to seven and a half years behind bars. His sentencing is set for January 4.
See full article at Pop2it »

Kennedy Center Honors Recipients: From Marian Anderson to Meryl Streep

The Kennedy Center Honors have been handed out since 1978. Recipients hail from various branches of the American performance art world — including film, stage, music, and dance — even though performers more closely associated with British show business have managed to sneak in every now and then, e.g., Paul McCartney, Roger Daltrey, Elton John, Pete Townshend. Since recipients are supposed to attend the Washington, D.C., ceremony in order to take home their Kennedy awards, Doris Day has remained unhonored by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Katharine Hepburn kept putting it off until she finally relented in 1990. (Irene Dunne, see above photo, was one who managed to be honored though absent due to ill health.) Ginger Rogers, for her part, was present at the ceremony, but her films with Fred Astaire weren't — because Astaire's widow, Robyn Astaire, demanded payment for the televised clips. At the time, Kennedy Center Honors
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Blu-Ray Review: Timeless ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ Bursts With Life

Chicago – Norman Jewison’s 1971 adaptation of the Broadway smash “Fiddler on the Roof” offers a textbook example of the best possible way to make a musical for the big screen. It came out at a time when movie musicals were quickly becoming a dying art form, and yet Jewison somehow managed to avoid all the mistakes that marred so many other filmmakers.

His first excellent decision was to avoid casting any big names. Topol was a 35-year-old actor who first played the main role of Tevye in a 1967 West End production. In the massive array of extras contained on this sensational 40th anniversary Blu-Ray edition, Jewison claims that he utilized clipped fragments of his own graying hair to age his preferred leading man. Yet the director’s efforts were obviously not in vain. Topol turned out to be such an indelible choice that it’s practically impossible to think of anyone else in the role.
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Music Of The Heart Review – Meryl Streep – d: Wes Craven

Music Of The Heart (1999) Direction: Wes Craven Cast: Meryl Streep, Angela Bassett, Aidan Quinn, Cloris Leachman, Gloria Estefan, Kieran Culkin, Charlie Hofheimer, Michael Angarano, Jay O. Sanders Screenplay: Pamela Gray Oscar Movies Recommended with Reservations Meryl Streep, Music of the Heart Wes Craven, the director of the Scream franchise and of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, is hardly the kind of filmmaker from whom one would expect a syrupy motion picture about a determined violin teacher who wins the hearts and minds of her inner-city school students. Yet, Craven is the man responsible for Music of the Heart, a film completely devoid of slashed faces, lethal stabbings, and deadly fingernails. Instead, this distaff version of Mr. Holland's Opus — with touches of To Sir with Love — offers loads of sentiment, some classical music (violinists Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, and Mark O'Connor appear as themselves), plenty of bad pop [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

SoCal Arts Leader Lars Hansen Dead at 60

(Palm Springs, California – February 1, 2010) Lars Hansen died Sunday night, January 31, of complications from liver cancer. He was 60. Hansen had a distinguished career in cultural arts management. In Los Angeles, he was Executive Director, Office of Cultural Relations, for the University of Southern California (2001-2004) where he was responsible for creating and maintaining strategic relationships with the cultural institutions of Los Angeles. At USC, he also produced the President's Distinguished Artist/Lecture Series, presenting such notable speakers as Lech Walesa, Isaac Stern, and Bishop Desmond Tutu. Prior to that position, he was President of Theatre League Alliance (now La Stage Alliance), an association of more than 200 member theatres and producers throughout Southern California, which provides various programs and presents the annual Ovation Awards. While there, Hansen began publishing La Stage Magazine. He also served as the General Manager for the presentation of the Bolshoi Ballet at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in
See full article at Backstage »

See also

Credited With | External Sites