6 items from 2014
The Post-1960S, Pre-Digital Age: Real-time One-offs, 1975-1998
British filmmaker John Byrum is responsible for the first (and in some ways only) real-time period film. Inserts (1975), set in the early 1930s, is about a Boy Wonder movie director (called Boy Wonder, played by Richard Dreyfuss fresh from American Graffiti (1973) and Jaws (1975)) now washed up before the age of 30, resigned to making porn because of Hollywood’s conversion to sound. Not only is Inserts scrupulously real-time (with the exception of the opening credits sequence, which offers glimpses of the stag film we’re about to see made) and period, but it’s rather long for such a film, just shy of two hours. To tell the entire story would be spoiling the fun, but the Boy Wonder deals with recalcitrant actresses, the problem of his own potency, career problems, death, sex, after-death and after-sex…and in the end, as »
- Daniel Smith-Rowsey
Sidney And The Sixties: Real-time 1957-1966
Throughout the 1950s, Hollywood’s relationship with television was fraught: TV was a hated rival but also a source of cheap talent and material, as in the case of the small-scale Marty (1955), which won the Best Picture Oscar. These contradictions were well represented by the apparently “televisual” 12 Angry Men (1957), which began life as a teleplay concerning a jury with a lone holdout who must, and eventually does, convince his fellow jurors of the defendant’s innocence. Its writer, Reginald Rose, persuaded one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Henry Fonda, to become a first-time producer of the film version. Fonda and Rose took basement-low salaries in favor of future points, and hired a TV director, Sidney Lumet, for next to nothing because Lumet wanted a first feature credit. Technically, there’s an opening bit on the courtroom steps that keeps this from being a true real-time film, »
- Daniel Smith-Rowsey
Ask Walter Bernstein what makes for a good screenplay, and he’ll answer you with a (possibly apocryphal) story about Henry David Thoreau. “He was living out at Walden Pond and a friend came to tell him that Samuel Morse had just made the first successful wireless telegraph transmission from Boston to Portland, or something like that,” Bernstein says with the practiced storyteller’s delight in a well-told tale. “And Thoreau asked, ‘But what did it say?’ That’s always stuck with me. With all the technology and everything else, what’s it about?”
“What’s it about?” is a question Bernstein, who turned 95 this month, has been asking himself in one form or another for most of his 65-year career, which has stretched from the early days of live television to the modern era of binge watching, and from the lionized “golden age” of the studio system to the low-budget indie renaissance. »
- Scott Foundas
Chicago – Next year will mark the 50th Anniversary of the seminal 1960s sitcom, “I Dream of Jeannie.” Unforgettable – for many reasons – was Barbara Eden, who portrayed a genie named Jeannie. Ms. Eden was at the “Hollywood Show” Chicago last year, and was interviewed by HollywoodChicago.com.
Eden was born Barbara Jean Morehead in Tucson, Arizona. After her family moved to the West Coast, Eden began singing, first in the church choir and eventually in night clubs. This led to acting and performance classes, including the City College of San Francisco and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. After winning the title of Miss San Francisco, Eden moved to Los Angeles, and began a series of appearances on classic TV shows including “I Love Lucy,” “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” “Perry Mason,” “Gunsmoke,” “Father Knows Best” and “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Barbara Eden at the “Hollywood Show Chicago” in 2013
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
The House Of Cards showrunner is looking to expand his political influence from the White House to the union hall. Beau Willimon is among the candidates announced today for a two-year term on the WGA East Council. Fifteen other candidates also will vie for the seven open Freelance seats including incumbents John Auerbach, Jenny Lumet, Terry George, Richard Vetere, Patrick Mason and Walter Bernstein, the 94-year-old Fail-Safe and The Front scribe who was blacklisted during the 1950s. The other candidates are Kyle Bradstreet, Andrea Ciannavei, Timothy Cooper, Marin Gazzaniga, Chris Kyle, John Marshall, Jo Miller, Oren Moverman, Danielle Paige and […] »
The ultimate punchline to the nuclear satire of "Dr. Strangelove"? As absurd as Stanley Kubrick's imaginative black comedy about World War III seemed when it opened 50 years ago this week (on January 29, 1964), it all turned out to be true.
Everything in the movie that the Pentagon said couldn't happen in real life -- from Air Force officers launching nuclear strikes without Presidential approval, to the Ussr being ready to respond with an automated doomsday system of its own -- actually could have happened. The safeguards really were as flimsy as Kubrick and his screenwriters imagined them to be. (Which begs the question: How safe are we now from a nuclear apocalypse?)
That's just one reason -- albeit the most chilling one -- that Kubrick's 50-year-old comedy holds up shockingly well today. But there are many other reasons that the aftershocks of "Dr. Strangelove" continue to have an impact.
- Gary Susman
6 items from 2014
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