6 items from 2014
Shirley Clarke’s final feature film emulates the free form style of its subject, legendary jazz musician Ornette Coleman, playfully editing fragments of live performances, interviews and fictionalized visions of the saxophonist’s upbringing with the fervent energy of early MTV music videos. The result is a sort of telegenic collage that allows Ornette to age and mature in stature over the course of decades through performative observation and on screen accolades from colleagues and critics alike. Yet, Coleman’s career has continued to grow and flourish since the release of Ornette: Made in America back in 1985, having even been awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for music for his record Sound Grammar.
From the opening of the film Ornette’s seen being honored, in this case by the mayor of his hometown, Fort Worth, Texas, with a key to the city. It’s a recurring theme. Though at first misunderstood in his local musical community, »
- Jordan M. Smith
A few weeks ago HBO and then CBS announced that they would launch stand-alone online services in U.S. in 2015. Before that, Netflix had made known that it would start producing features, crushing theatrical release windows once and for all, after it had contributed to the change of the patterns of attention and the way TV series are made by releasing its House of Cards episodes all at once, as a 13-hour movie. ‘Now the real shakeout begins’, wrote Ted Hope in Hollywood Reporter. ‘We are witnessing the march from once lucrative legacy practices built around titles to a new focus on community.’ Michael Wolff, writing also in the Hollywood Reporter, disagrees: ‘Streaming services from the two networks don’t signal television’s capitulation to Netflix and the web; it’s actually the opposite, as the medium expands yet again to gobble up more revenue.’ And in that sense, he says, »
- Christina Kallas
Jerry McNeely, Emmy-nominated television writer and creator of series including “Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law,” died Monday in Tarzana, Calif. He was 86 and had suffered from Parkinson’s Disease for several years.
McNeely was one of TV’s busiest writers in the 1960s and ’70s, penning multiple episodes of “Dr. Kildare,” “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” “Ironside,” “The Name of the Game” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.” He also created and wrote multiple episodes of the lawyer series “Owen Marshall,” the high-school-teacher series “Lucas Tanner” and the family drama “Three for the Road.”
In the 1980s, he developed and produced the medical series “Trauma Center” and produced the family drama “Our House.” He also wrote individual scripts for such popular series as “The Twilight Zone,” “Mr. Novak,” “The Virginian,” “The Streets of San Francisco” and “McMillan and Wife.”
McNeely received Emmy and Humanitas nominations for writing the 1977 TV movie “Something for Joey, »
- Jon Burlingame
Joan Lorring, 1945 Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee, dead at 88: One of the earliest surviving Academy Award nominees in the acting categories, Lorring was best known for holding her own against Bette Davis in ‘The Corn Is Green’ (photo: Joan Lorring in ‘Three Strangers’) Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee Joan Lorring, who stole the 1945 film version of The Corn Is Green from none other than Warner Bros. reigning queen Bette Davis, died Friday, May 30, 2014, in the New York City suburb of Sleepy Hollow. So far, online obits haven’t mentioned the cause of death. Lorring, one of the earliest surviving Oscar nominees in the acting categories, was 88. Directed by Irving Rapper, who had also handled one of Bette Davis’ biggest hits, the 1942 sudsy soap opera Now, Voyager, Warners’ The Corn Is Green was a decent if uninspired film version of Emlyn Williams’ semi-autobiographical 1938 hit play about an English schoolteacher, »
- Andre Soares
‘Gone with the Wind’ actress Mary Anderson dead at 96; also featured in Alfred Hitchcock thriller ‘Lifeboat’ Mary Anderson, an actress featured in both Gone with the Wind and Alfred Hitchcock’s adventure thriller Lifeboat, died following a series of small strokes on Sunday, April 6, 2014, while under hospice care in Toluca Lake/Burbank, northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Anderson, the widow of multiple Oscar-winning cinematographer Leon Shamroy, had turned 96 on April 3. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1918, Mary Anderson was reportedly discovered by director George Cukor, at the time looking for an actress to play Scarlett O’Hara in David O. Selznick’s film version of Margaret Mitchell’s bestseller Gone with the Wind. Instead of Scarlett, eventually played by Vivien Leigh, Anderson was cast in the small role of Maybelle Merriwether — most of which reportedly ended up on the cutting-room floor. Cukor was later fired from the project; his replacement, Victor Fleming, »
- Andre Soares
Television and film writer-director S. Lee Pogostin died following a long illness on March 7, one day before his 87th birthday.
Pogostin won a Writers Guild Award and was nominated for an Emmy for his original teleplay “The Game,” for the anthology series “Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre.” Though Pogostin lost, director Sydney Pollack and actor Cliff Robertson won Emmys in 1966 for “The Game,” and actress Simone Signoret also won that year for another Pogostin-scripted Chrysler segment, “A Small Rebellion.”
Pogostin’s other feature credits as a writer were “Pressure Point” (based on his teleplay “Destiny’s Tot”), starring Sidney Poitier and Bobby Darin; “Synanon”; “Nightmare Honeymoon”; “Golden Needles”; and “High Road to China.” He also wrote telepics, including the acclaimed “The UFO Incident, »
- Variety Staff
6 items from 2014
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