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Filmmaking Legends on How New York’s Era of Decay Sparked a Creative Revolution

Filmmaking Legends on How New York’s Era of Decay Sparked a Creative Revolution
In the 1970s and early ’80s, New York City embodied the revolution taking place in American cinema. It was brash and brutal, crude and powerful, sexy and grimey, and had a swagger that was unmistakable.

It was also a low point for the city. The Bronx was burning, crime was rising and city hall was broke. But even as respectable folks fled for the safety of the suburbs, New York became a canvas for talented filmmakers. From “The French Connection” to “Saturday Night Fever,” it posed as the setting of classic films that ushered in a new era of on-screen realism. It was the age of De Niro and Pacino, Scorsese and Lumet, talents who upended the sterile and factory-like approach to making movies that dominated the studio system.

It’s a revolution in filmmaking that’s over. Just as Times Square, the setting of “Taxi Driver,” has been replaced by a fantasyland for tourists, movies
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film Review: ‘The Fabulous Allan Carr’

Film Review: ‘The Fabulous Allan Carr’
A life lived very large — although his plus-size physicality would be the source of perpetual insecurity and eventual health woes — Allan Carr was both the quintessential Hollywood showman and an exception to most of its rules. His attraction to glamour and glitz was old-school, yet the camp edge he brought to it as a “flamboyantly” out gay man was often a bit much for staid industry mind-sets. His hits (big-screen “Grease,” the stage “La Cage aux Folles”) were record breakers, though some might argue his flops were even more unforgettable — one, the notorious 1989 Academy Awards ceremony he produced, stirring such intense backlash it abruptly ended his career.

Garishly colorful, packed with stars, legendary parties, and a wide streak of pathos, it’s a singular life story entertainingly recounted in “The Fabulous Allan Carr.” This latest documentary by Jeffery Schwarz isn’t as warts-and-all dishy an approach to that saga as the 2010 print tome “Party Animals,” by
See full article at Variety - Film News »

John G. Avildsen, 'Rocky,' 'The Karate Kid' Director, Dead at 81

John G. Avildsen, 'Rocky,' 'The Karate Kid' Director, Dead at 81
John G. Avildsen, the Oscar-winning director of Rocky and The Karate Kid, died Friday in Los Angeles following a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 81.

Avildsen’s son Anthony confirmed the filmmaker's death to the Los Angeles Times, adding that Avildsen died at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Avildsen won the Academy Award for Best Picture for his work on 1976's Rocky. Like the titular boxer played by Sylvester Stallone, the film was an underdog itself: Despite a minuscule million-dollar budget, Rocky became the highest-grossing film of 1976, winning three Oscars
See full article at Rolling Stone »

John Badham interview: Saturday Night Fever at 40

Don Kaye May 15, 2017

Director John Badman looks back at his disco classic four decades later...

Saturday Night Fever is the film that made John Travolta into a legitimate star, launched the Bee Gees to the pinnacle of pop success and introduced the world to the subculture, music and fashion of disco dancing - specifically the scene in the clubs of the insular blue collar Brooklyn neighbourhood of Bay Ridge. The movie made the scene and music into a national phenomenon that lasted several years, until the disco craze petered out in the early '80s.

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The whole thing was based on a New York magazine article called 'Tribal Rites Of The New Saturday Night', written by a British journalist named
See full article at Den of Geek »

UK industry veteran Terry Glinwood dies aged 82

  • ScreenDaily
UK industry veteran Terry Glinwood dies aged 82
Glinwood worked with Roman Polanski, Jeremy Thomas, Karel Reisz and Terry Jones.

UK industry veteran Terry Glinwood has died aged 82 following complications from surgery for a minor complaint.

Glinwood’s career spanned fifty years as a producer and sales executive during which time he worked closely with some of the European industry’s leading figures.

He entered the business in the 1960s as a production controller working on Roman Polanski films Repulsion and Cul-De-Sac.

In the 1970’s he would work closely with fellow-producers Ned Sherrin and Beryl Vertue and director Bob Kellett on a string of UK comedies including Up Pompeii and The Alf Garnett Saga as well with UK producer John Heyman and Grease and Saturday Night Fever producer Robert Stigwood.

In the same decade Glinwood struck up a fertile collaboration with Rpc boss Jeremy Thomas for whom he would work in a sales and financing capacity on Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, The Last Emperor and [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Tony Nominee Dan Knechtges to Helm Drury Lane's Saturday Night Fever

Drury Lane Theatre announces principal casting for disco musical Saturday Night Fever, revised and rewritten for the Drury Lane stage, featuring music and lyrics by The Bee Gees, based on the smash-hit ParamountRSO Film and the story by Nik Cohn, and adapted for the stage by Robert Stigwood in collaboration with Bill Oaks. This North American version was written by Sean Cercone and David Abbinanti and is helmed by Tony-nominated director and choreographer Dan Knechtges.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

11 Music Icons Who Died in 2016, From David Bowie to Prince (Photos)

11 Music Icons Who Died in 2016, From David Bowie to Prince (Photos)
Iconic singer-songwriter and style icon David Bowie died on Jan. 10, two days after the release of his 25th album “Blackstar.” He was 69 years old. Prince Rogers Nelson, known simply to his fans as Prince, died at age 57 on Apr. 21. Prince was known worldwide as one of the biggest rock stars of the 80s, with songs like “Purple Rain” and “Sign o’ The Times.” Malik Taylor, a.k.a. Phife Dawg, died on Mar. 23 at age 45. The rapper was the co-founder of the legendary hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest. Robert Stigwood, former manager of Cream and The Bee...
See full article at The Wrap »

John Travolta and Barry Gibb Pay Tribute to Grease and Saturday Night Fever Producer Robert Stigwood

John Travolta and Barry Gibb Pay Tribute to Grease and Saturday Night Fever Producer Robert Stigwood
John Travolta and Barry Gibb have paid tribute to Robert Stigwood. The longtime manager of the Bee Gees and Eric Clapton died at 81, it was announced Monday. Travolta, who starred in Stigwood's productions Saturday Night Fever and Grease, expressed his condolences telling People, "Robert changed the world and only for the better and he was certainly important to my career. His legacy lives on and he will forever be remembered." The Australian-born producer's death was announced by his godson and Robin Gibb's son Spencer on Facebook. "I would like to share the sad news with you all, that my godfather,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

John Travolta and Barry Gibb Pay Tribute to Grease and Saturday Night Fever Producer Robert Stigwood

John Travolta and Barry Gibb Pay Tribute to Grease and Saturday Night Fever Producer Robert Stigwood
John Travolta and Barry Gibb have paid tribute to Robert Stigwood. The longtime manager of the Bee Gees and Eric Clapton died at 81, it was announced Monday. Travolta, who starred in Stigwood's productions Saturday Night Fever and Grease, expressed his condolences telling People, "Robert changed the world and only for the better and he was certainly important to my career. His legacy lives on and he will forever be remembered." The Australian-born producer's death was announced by his godson and Robin Gibb's son Spencer on Facebook. "I would like to share the sad news with you all, that my godfather,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Robert Stigwood dead at 81; The Legendary producer of Grease, Saturday Night Fever

Robert Stigwood dead at 81: The Australian born entrepreneur produced film musicals Saturday Night Fever and Grease. Robert Stigwood dead at 81

Robert Stigwood, the producer of 1970s hits Saturday Night Fever and Grease, has died at the age of 81. The Australian also produced a number of successful musicals, and guided the career of the Bee Gees and the solo career of Eric Clapton.

On stage, Stigwood produced the stage musicals Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as Evita, Sweeney Todd and Pippin, along with film musicals Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy and Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Spencer Gibb, son of Bee Gees member Robin wrote on his official Facebook page:

I would like to share the sad news with you all, that my godfather, and the longtime manager of my family, Robert Stigwood, has passed away. A creative genius with a very quick and dry wit, Robert
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Robert Stigwood, Bee Gees Manager and Film Producer, Dead at 81

Robert Stigwood, Bee Gees Manager and Film Producer, Dead at 81
Robert Stigwood, manager of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame groups like Cream and the Bee Gees and producer of films like Saturday Night Fever and Grease, passed away. Stigwood was 81. Spencer Gibb, the son of Bee Gees' Robin Gibb and Stigwood's godson, was the first to confirm Stigwood's death, Reuters reports. No cause of death was given.

"A creative genius with a very quick and dry wit, Robert was the driving force behind The Bee Gees career, as well as having discovered Cream, and subsequently managing Eric Clapton,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Robert Stigwood, Former Bee Gees Manager, Dead at 81

  • The Wrap
Robert Stigwood, Former Bee Gees Manager, Dead at 81
Robert Stigwood, a former music manager for the Bee Gees and Cream, died on Monday. He was 81. The Australian entrepreneur and impresario produced films including “Saturday Night Fever,” “Grease,” “Gallipoli,” “Staying Alive,” “Tommy” and “Evita.” He also introduced theatrical productions such as “Hair” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” to audiences Down Under. Born in Adelaide, South Australia, Stigwood moved to England in 1954 and went on to partner with Cream in the mid-1960s, producing the supergroup’s debut album “Fresh Cream” in 1966. Also Read: Craig Strickland, Backroad Anthem Singer, Found Dead at 29 After Oklahoma Storm He continued to work with Cream
See full article at The Wrap »

Robert Stigwood, ‘Grease’ & ‘Saturday Night Fever’ Producer, Dies at 81

Robert Stigwood, ‘Grease’ & ‘Saturday Night Fever’ Producer, Dies at 81
Rock opera and disco impresario Robert Stigwood, who produced “Grease” and “Saturday Night Fever” and managed the Bee Gees, died Jan. 4 at 81. Stigwood also produced Broadway shows including “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Evita.”

Spencer Gibb, the son of Bee Gee Robin Gibb, confirmed the news on Facebook.

“I would like to thank Robert for his kindness to me over the years as well as his mentorship to my family. ‘Stiggy,’ you will be missed,” he wrote.

Born in Australia, Stigwood moved to England and launched a theatrical management agency, soon turning to music. He managed hit bands Cream and the Bee Gees during the late 1960s and early ’70s, and then started producing for Broadway.

Jesus Christ Superstar,” the first show from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, was a huge Broadway hit in 1971. He also produced the 1973 film version. The vogue for “rock operas” continued with the 1975 film “Tommy,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Robert Stigwood Dies: Produced ‘Grease’, ‘Saturday Night Fever’ & Broadway Classics

Robert Stigwood Dies: Produced ‘Grease’, ‘Saturday Night Fever’ & Broadway Classics
Robert Stigwood, the former music manager who produced the highest-grossing film musical in Hollywood history — Grease — along with Saturday Night Fever, Tommy and Broadway shows including Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, has died. He was 81. Stigwood managed the Bee Gees during their heyday, and Robin Gibb’s son confirmed the news on Facebook. He called Stigwood “a creative genius with a very quick and dry wit.” Born on April 16, 1934 in Adelaide, Stigwood relocated to…
See full article at Deadline »

Robert Stigwood -- Legendary Bee Gees Manager Dies

  • TMZ
Robert Stigwood, the famed music exec behind the Bee Gees, Cream and several huge movies and musicals ... has died. Stigwood was the agent and manger for the Bee Gees as well as rock legends Cream before he went on to form Rso (Robert Stigwood Organisation). Rso produced famous musicals like "Hair" and "Jesus Christ Superstar." His biggest success as a producer though would be the movies "Saturday Night Fever." Of course the soundtrack for that
See full article at TMZ »

Director Alan Parker on His Days as a ‘Melody’ Scribe

Director Alan Parker on His Days as a ‘Melody’ Scribe
Alan Parker, director of such movies as “Midnight Express,” “Fame” and “Evita,” is being honored with a British Film Institute retrospective through Oct. 25 in London. Parker was a 24-year-old ad copywriter when he was first mentioned in Variety — in 1970, as screenwriter for “Melody.”

What are your memories of “Melody”?

I hadn’t really thought about writing a screenplay at the time. I hadn’t started directing, except for a few commercials in the basement of the agency where I worked. I was quite happy in advertising and had some success as a copywriter, so to get a film made of my script was as much a surprise as a thrill.

How did the idea come to you?

David Puttnam and Charles Saatchi (colleagues at the Cdp ad agency) took me to lunch in Soho (Central London). They leaned across (the table), conspiratorially, and said, “Alan, we’re thinking of going into film,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Grease - the film that puts the pap into pop: archive, 14 September 1978

Derek Malcolm is unimpressed by grim dancing, an aging cast and a misplaced disco soundtrack

“If you can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter,” says someone in Grease (Empire, A). It’s one of the few funny lines in this all-conquering movie but then, such is its lack of real panache, one is not quite sure whether it understands the double meaning. The Robert Stigwood film, already pre-sold to countless millions, is a grave disappointment to anyone in search of style or substance. But one thing this botched fifties pastiche does achieve is an increased affection for George LucasAmerican Graffiti.

Based on the pop musical which took Broadway by storm in 1972, which Time correctly described as “like an old yearbook in the carton of high school memorabilia we all keep stored somewhere in the back of our lives,” the film shrewdly but impertinently inserts a huge dose
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

What to Expect in the New Asian Tour of Saturday Night Fever

'The younger generation has not had a chance to witness the impact of the movie 'Saturday Night Fever' made in the '70s. I'd be great to see a new generation of theatergoers dancing in the aisles to the timeless tunes of The Bee Gees,' says Patrick Bywalski, deputy chairman of Robert Stigwood Organisation Ltd., which co-presents the upcoming Asian Tour of the hit West End and Broadway dance musical Saturday Night Fever alongside Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group Ateg and Ten Bridges Media Corp.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Photo Coverage: First Look at the Stars of 2015 Asian Tour of Saturday Night Fever

Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group, Ten Bridges Media Corp., London's Robert Stigwood Organisation, and New York's Tara Rubin Casting, announced yesterday, March 19, that New York-based actors Brandon Rubendall 'Spider-man Turn Off The Dark,' 'Broadway Bares Rock Hard' and Jenna Rubaii 'American Idiot,' 'Fifty Four Forever' will star as Tony Manero originally played by John Travolta in the film adaptation and Stephanie Mangano, respectively, in the 2015 Asian Tour of the hit West End and Broadway musical Saturday Night Fever.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Theatre Review: Saturday Night Fever (UK Tour)

Director: Ryan McBryde.

Starring: Danny Bayne, Naomi Slights, Bethany Linsdell, Alex Lodge.

Synopsis: The date is 1979 and in Brooklyn, New York, Tony Manero, a young man with a dead-end job and an extraordinary ability to dance, has only one ambition in life – to become the disco king. When he meets Stephanie, who also dreams of a world beyond Brooklyn, and they decide to train together for a dance competition, their lives begin to change forever.

Nights On Broadway, If I Can’t Have You, More Than A Woman, You Should Be Dancing, How Deep Is Your Love and the iconic Stayin’ Alive – all songs featured in one of the most popular movies of the late 1970s, Saturday Night Fever. The glitzy, and indeed very dark drama, arrived at the same time as that other John Travolta teen movie of the day Grease, and made him a household name, while at the same time,
See full article at The Hollywood News »
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