20 items from 2012
He brought dance to everyone, using his company, the Joffrey Ballet, as ambassadors of dance, traveling the country, putting on shows.
It's not an overstatement to say that Robert Joffrey revolutionized dance in America.
"I always thought it was important to represent the country, to use American music," Joffrey says in the film.
He went beyond traditional ballet, which many found effete and difficult to embrace. He set dance to contemporary music, but used basic ballet moves, melded with modern dance. His choreography was modern, but not so abstract that it shut out audiences for being too avant-garde.
Dancers quoted Joffrey as saying, »
Tom Hanks has a problem with his dressing room.
The two-time Oscar winner and generally agreed-upon national treasure has just arrived backstage at UCLA's Freud Playhouse, dragging a duffel bag in each hand with his wife, Rita Wilson, trailing behind. (Wilson's wearing a neck brace, for some reason.) It's been 35 years since Hanks made a living in a place like the Freud – a 567-seat theater whose last big show was a student production of A Chorus Line – and though he has a reputation as a down-to-earth, easygoing guy, he's also, »
Call it one entertainment icon's tribute to another.
When Michael Jackson's classic release "Bad" debuted in 1987, Spike Lee's filmmaking career was just starting to take hold. The director pays tribute to the fifth-best-selling album of all time -- which yielded such singles as the title cut, "Man in the Mirror," "The Way You Make Me Feel," "Smooth Criminal" and "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" -- in the documentary "Bad 25," which ABC gives a Thanksgiving night television premiere Thursday, Nov. 22.
Lee interviews such other Jackson collaborators as fellow moviemakers Martin Scorsese and Joe Pytka in creating a remembrance of how "Bad" came to be, utilizing archival footage that also recalls the global concert tour Jackson launched in support of the album. Results included sales of approximately 45 million copies and five chart-topping singles, a record tied only relatively recently by Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream."
Why Watch? In 1965, Jim Henson started working on a paper-cut animation with a pun title. This was in the midst of his commercial work – 2 years after he founded Muppets, Inc. but still a full year before his appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show which put him firmly on the map. It’s also the same year he made Timepiece, the experimental short that the Academy was smart enough to recognize with an Oscar nomination. Praise be to io9 for spotting this gem from the Henson Company YouTube channel. It’s a fantastic unfinished piece with the gaps filled in by conceptual material. Haven’t we all dreamed of being a watermelon? What will it cost you? Only 4 minutes. Skip work. Watch more short films. »
- Cole Abaius
There's an abyss-sized hole in my heart during weeks when So You Think You Can Dance doesn't air, and in case that feeling is communal, I'm prescribing a round of classic TV dancing to heal us all. Accordingly, here are my picks for the ten greatest moments of dance in TV history. I've excluded things like music videos because they lack the immediacy and specific showmanship of live TV, comedy, and drama. Let's move.
1. Elvis' waist-up mania
The Ed Sullivan Show didn't want to unleash Elvis' pelvis on puritanical America, so it filmed Mr. Presley from the waist up to prevent sexual hysteria in the lower 48 states. Joke's on Ed Sullivan: The censored version felt even more carnal, and the screeches of female audience members let the nation know just how much thrusting was going on beneath the lens. Legendarily hot.
Andy Griffith and Ernest Borgnine were early, trend-setting examples of stars who made the transition from movies to television, often (in Borgnine’s case) oscillating between them. And because they both jumped mediums, Griffith and Borgnine, who died within a week of each other (Griffith on July 3, Borgnine on July 8), had fans of every phase of their career who didn’t necessarily overlap. Yet during this last week or so, as I thought back over the many, many decades of pleasure that both these actors had given us, I kept returning to what were, for me, their two greatest performances. »
- Owen Gleiberman
By Rachel Bennett
Less than a week after the loss of film legend Nora Ephron, critics and fans mourned the passing of another, older Hollywood great: Andy Griffith died at the age of 86 on Tuesday, July 3. The actor, who most notably starred in the TV series The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock, passed away at his home in Dare County, N.C., and was buried later the same day. The cause of death was a heart attack.
Griffith, who popped up on The Ed Sullivan Show throughout the 1950s, appeared as Sheriff Andy Taylor in a 1960 episode of Danny Thomas‘s show Make Room for Daddy, which served as the inspiration for The Andy Griffith Show, which aired from 1960 to 1968.
After his self-titled show went off the air, Griffith sought out film roles, but rarely found work worthy of his talents. His actually gave his best big screen performance before becoming widely known, »
- Rachel Bennett
American actor whose career was defined by his role as the folksy Sheriff Andy Taylor
It may seem unfair that the nine seasons (1960-68) during which the actor Andy Griffith, who has died aged 86, distributed folksy wisdom as Sheriff Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show should define his career, but that is partly because the television programme has lived on in syndication for the past 44 years, and also because Griffith brought such verisimilitude to the character. The shrewd country bumpkin is a staple of American myth, and Griffith was its finest practitioner since Will Rogers. His finest roles allowed him to explore multiple facets of that character, which he reprised as the defence attorney Ben Matlock (1986-95). He claimed modestly that "any time I try to play anything that doesn't come natural, I'm just plain bad".
And it did come natural. Griffith was born in Mount Airy, North Carolina, »
- Michael Carlson
He was “America’s Favorite Sheriff,” and today, television icon Andy Griffith is dead at age 86.
Best known for starring in The Andy Griffith Show between 1960-1968, the actor, writer, director, singer and producer died at about 7 a.m. at his coastal home in Manteo, North Carolina, Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie said in a statement.
Griffith was a regular on The Ed Sullivan Show in the 1950s, but it was his portrayal of Sheriff Andy Taylor, a wise widower who kept the peace in the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina, that propelled the actor’s career. Mayberry was based on Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy, Nc.
The series was a huge hit, with its final season finishing first in the Nielsen ratings. TV Guide named the CBS »
- Robert Falconer
HollywoodNews.com: TV Land will honor the life and work of beloved actor Andy Griffith, who passed away today at the age of 86, with blocks of programming highlighting his most treasured work, “The Andy Griffith Show.” On Wednesday, July 4th from 8am-1pm Et/Pt and Saturday and Sunday, July 7th and 8th from 11am to 8pm Et/Pt, TV Land will air some of the most memorable episodes in marathons of “The Andy Griffith Show.” The TV Land Facebook page (www.facebook.com/tvland) will also pay tribute to Andy, celebrating some of his best TV moments.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend, Andy Griffith,” said Larry W. Jones, President, TV Land. “His contributions to the entertainment industry and his role as Sheriff Andy Taylor will live forever in the minds and hearts of generations of television viewers past, present and yet to come. »
- Josh Abraham
Legendary multihyphenate Andy Griffith has died, his close friend and Unc president Bill Friday told North Carolina’s Witn-tv. Griffith was found in his Dare County, N.C. home on Tuesday morning; he was 86.
Television viewers first met Griffith through his 1950s appearances on variety programs such as The Ed Sullivan Show and The Steve Allen Show, but it was the role of Sheriff Andy Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show, which ran from 1960 to 1968, that made him a household name. Watch the opening:
Ron Howard, who played Sheriff Taylor’s son Opie, remembers Griffith for “his love of creating, »
- Matt Webb Mitovich
Andy Griffith, the beloved Sheriff Andy Taylor of TV's iconic The Andy Griffith Show and dramatic defense attorney on Matlock, died at his North Carolina home Tuesday morning. He was 86. Andy's close friend, former Unc President Bill Friday, broke the news to North Carolina's Witn News, saying Griffith died at his Dare County home around 7:00 a.m. A native of Mount Airy, N.C., Griffith originally wanted to be an opera singer, then a preacher, before turning to acting in college. In the late '40s, he and his new bride, the former Barbara Edwards, set out with song-and-dance »
- Stephen M. Silverman and Kristin Boehm
Update to include Ron Howard’s reaction: North Carolina’s Witn News is reporting that legendary TV and movie actor, director, producer, singer, and writer Andy Griffith died this morning in his Dare County home, according to former University of North Carolina President Bill Friday and a close friend of the actor. Griffith was 86. The native of Mount Airy, North Carolina, lived on Roanoke Island. He gained prominence in the starring role in director Elia Kazan’s epic film, A Face In The Crowd (1957) before he became better known for his television roles as the folksy Southerner who was the sheriff or lawyer people always wanted and the father figure people rarely had. Griffith was a regular on The Ed Sullivan Show in the 1950s and then earned the title as “America’s Favorite Sheriff” on The Andy Griffith Show set in fictional Mayberry. The hit show ran from 1960- »
- NIKKI FINKE
North Carolina’s WITN News is reporting that legendary TV and movie actor, director, producer, singer, and writer Andy Griffith died this morning in his Dare County home, according to former University of North Caroline President Bill Friday and a close friend of the actor. Griffith was 86. The native of Mount Airy, North Carolina, lived on Roanoke Island, not far from the Lost Colony, a play he performed in right after high school. He gained prominence in the starring role in film director Elia Kazan’s epic film, A Face in the Crowd (1957) before he became better known for his television roles. Griffith was a regular on The Ed Sullivan Show in the 1950s and then earned the title as “America’s Favorite Sheriff” on The Andy Griffith Show set in fictional Mayberry. The hit show ran from 1960-1968 propelling a handful of spin-off programs and launched the child acting »
- NIKKI FINKE
Kaiju fans are in mourning today. Emi Ito may not be a household name but anyone who grew up watching the Godzilla movies on television remembers the two magical fairies who would sing those lovely lullabies to Mothra, the giant moth. The identical twins were perhaps the most memorable human characters in the Godzilla series, and Emi and Yumi Ito were the two actresses who played the roles. They recorded hit albums in Japan going by the name “The Peanuts” and were one of that country’s first pop sensations, one of the few that became well known internationally.
The sisters Emi and Yumi Ito, were born Hideyo and Tsukiko Ito on April 1, 1941 in Aichi prefecture. They were discovered by Watanabe Pro founder Sho Watanabe, a music impresario who first saw them performing at a club in Nagoya as the Ito Sisters. In 1958 brought them to Tokyo, where they were dubbed The Peanuts. »
- Tom Stockman
DVD Playhouse—April 2012
By Allen Gardner
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (Warner Bros.) An eleven year-old boy (newcomer Thomas Horn, in an incredible debut) discovers a mysterious key amongst the possessions of his late father (Tom Hanks) who perished in 9/11. Determined to find the lock it matches, the boy embarks on a Picaresque odyssey across New York City. Director Stephen Daldry and screenwriter Eric Roth have fashioned a film both grand and intimate, beautifully-adapted from Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel, thought by most who read it to be unfilmable. Fine support from Jeffrey Wright, Sandra Bullock, John Goodman, Viola Davis and the great Max von Sydow. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Featurettes. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS-hd 5.1 surround.
Battle Royale: The Complete Collection (Anchor Bay) Adapted from Koushun Takami’s polarizing novel (compared by champions and detractors alike as a 21st century version of A Clockwork Orange) and set in a futuristic Japan, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Davy Jones, who was part of the ’60s rock group The Monkees and starred in the group’s groundbreaking television show, passed away earlier today at the age of 66. The cause of death is being reported as a heart attack.
Jones, who achieved teen heartthrob status during The Monkees’ chart reign, sang lead on the group’s hits “Daydream Believer,” “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You,” and “Valleri.” Although the group officially split in 1971, massive exposure on MTV in the mid-’80s led to a Monkees resurgence, including reunion tours, new music, and a 1997 TV special. The group most recently toured last year to mark its 45th anniversary.
Last year, we spoke to Jones, who told us he still looks back fondly upon his days a a Monkee. (Click on the media player to hear Davy Jones.).davy jones web 1
Although “The Monkees” didn’t premiere on TV »
Former Monkee Davy Jones, who has died of a heart attack aged 66, enjoyed a long career as a TV and radio star. Here are some clips to remember him by
Davy Jones always had a penchant for entertaining, but it was his mother's death from emphysema in 1960 that prompted him to drop out of school and become, of all things, a jockey.
Only 14 at the time, the diminutive Jones apprenticed under jockey Basil Foster, who was the first to recognize the boy's charm and talent. Foster encouraged Jones to pursue acting and before long he had landed parts on the British soap Coronation Street as well as BBC's Z Cars. He makes his appearance in this Z Cars clip at about the 50-second mark.
- Brian Braiker
Getty Davy Jones in July 2011.
Monkees lead singer Davy Jones has died of a heart attack, Reuters reported, citing his longtime publicist. He was 66.
His death was confirmed by a representative for the medical examiner’s office in Fort Pierce, Florida, near the Martin Memorial Hospital South where the performer had been taken.
- Barbara Chai
The Muppets, depending on where you live, are about to return or have returned to the big screen, with that wonderful new blockbuster paradigm of a movie that is both a reboot and sequel (or prequel) at the same time.
Simply titled The Muppets, the movie stars and is co-written by Judd Apatow regular, Jason Segel. The original songs are written by one half of Flight Of The Conchords, Brett McKenzie. The traditional Muppet movie roster of celebrity cameos includes the likes of Sarah Silverman, Zach Galifianakis and Neil Patrick Harris.
So: are the Muppets getting a little edgier this time around? If you look at the history of the Muppets, not really.
Right from the start, the Muppets (much like Bugs Bunny, Popeye and »
20 items from 2012
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