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Ron Berkeley, Makeup Artist on Richard Burton Films, Dies at 86

Ron Berkeley, an Emmy-winning makeup artist who worked with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor on such films as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Taming of the Shrew, has died. He was 86.

Berkeley died May 9 at the Motion Picture & Television Country Home in Woodland Hills, his family announced.

Berkeley was Burton's makeup guy on about two dozen projects, also including Staircase (1969), Bluebeard (1972), Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), Equus (1977), The Wild Geese (1978) and the 1980s TV series Wagner.

In addition to Who's...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Ron Berkeley, Makeup Artist on Richard Burton Films, Dies at 86

Ron Berkeley, an Emmy-winning makeup artist who worked with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor on such films as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Taming of the Shrew, has died. He was 86.

Berkeley died May 9 at the Motion Picture & Television Country Home in Woodland Hills, his family announced.

Berkeley was Burton's makeup guy on about two dozen projects, also including Staircase (1969), Bluebeard (1972), Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), Equus (1977), The Wild Geese (1978) and the 1980s TV series Wagner.

In addition to Who's...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

DVD Review: "Behind The Candelabra" (2013) Starring Michael Douglas And Matt Damon

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

When I screened this DVD presentation of the much-hyped HBO movie Behind the Candelabra,  about the love affair between Liberace and his young boy toy Scott Thorson, the three people I viewed the movie with unanimously voiced an almost vitriolic response to the film. It had nothing to do with the gay love affair content (they are all dyed-in-the-wool liberals who support gay rights.) Their complaints centered on the fact that the film was boring and pointless and a colossal waste of talent. I was taken aback by the degree of their hatred for this movie but I will concede it was distinctly disappointing. First the background. In 1977 Scott Thorson was a hunky young guy who was introduced to Liberace. They entered an intense relationship that Thorson, in his memoirs, maintained was a legitimate May/December love affair. Before long Thorson had displaced Liberace's previous live-in
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Welles, Wood, and Zadora: Greatest Bad Movies Ever?

From John Travolta to Bob Dylan, from Ed Wood to Orson Welles: ‘The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time’ (photo: John Travolta in the Scientology-inspired movie ‘Battlefield Earth’) Phil Hall’s The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time, tagged as a "new celebration of cinematic inanity," was published by Bear Manor on August 12, 2013. According to the book’s press release, the Greatest Bad Movies "are the films that inspire wonder" — of a unique variety: "You are left wondering how seemingly intelligent people could gather together and spend money to create such bizarre productions." According to Phil Hall, among the most wonder-inspiring movies ever made are John Travolta’s Roger Christian-directed Scientology-inspired megabomb Battlefield Earth; John Huston’s sort of The Maltese Falcon send up Beat the Devil, starring Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, and Gina Lollobrigida; Robert Altman’s Health, featuring a classy cast that includes Glenda Jackson, James Garner,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Rex Harrison hat on TCM: ‘My Fair Lady,’ ‘Anna and the King of SiamRex Harrison is Turner Classic Movies’ final "Summer Under the Stars" star today, August 31, 2013. TCM is currently showing George Cukor’s lavish My Fair Lady (1964), an Academy Award-winning musical that has (in my humble opinion) unfairly lost quite a bit of its prestige in the last several decades. Rex Harrison, invariably a major ham whether playing Saladin, the King of Siam, Julius Caesar, the ghost of a dead sea captain, or Richard Burton’s lover, is for once flawlessly cast as Professor Henry Higgins, who on stage transformed Julie Andrews from cockney duckling to diction-master swan and who in the movie version does the same for Audrey Hepburn. Harrison, by the way, was the year’s Best Actor Oscar winner. (See also: "Audrey Hepburn vs. Julie Andrews: Biggest Oscar Snubs.") Following My Fair Lady, Rex Harrison
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Review: John Schlesinger's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (1971) Criterion Blu-ray Edition

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

You don't have to be gay to admire John Schlesinger's 1971 film Sunday Bloody Sunday, but it probably helps in terms of appreciating just how ground-breaking the movie was in its day. As a straight guy of high school age when the film was released, I do remember it causing a sensation, although it would literally take me decades before I finally caught up with it. Gay friends always spoke reverently of the movie and expressed how the most refreshing aspect of the story was how "normally" a loving relationship between two adult men was portrayed. In viewing the film as a recent Criterion Blu-ray release, I feel I can finally appreciate that point of view. Gay men have long been portrayed in movies, of course, but for the most part they have been depicted as objects of ridicule or as sexual deviants. There were the odd
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Gay culture doesn't begin and end with Grindr and the scene | Paul Burston

Now that gay people have won the right to marry along with other freedoms, it's time we reclaimed all of culture for ourselves

If I say the words "gay culture"', what do you think of? Pride parades with muscle boys in leather hot pants? Kylie Minogue? Antiquated drag queens miming to Shirley Bassey? "Lip Service"?

A recent piece in The Huffington Post described Grindr as an example of "gay culture". For those unfamiliar with modern gay dating rituals, Grindr is an app which enables men to track the locations of potential sexual partners. First launched in 2009, it now claims to have four million users worldwide. In fact, so successful has Grindr been that it recently spawned a lesbian version, called FindHrr.

Is this what passes for gay culture these days? An app which offers the quickest, easiest way to arrange sexual hook-ups? If Grindr really is an example of
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

What Burton, who faked friendships with journalists, really thought of them

My Los Angeles holiday gave me a chance to read The Richard Burton Diaries*, which were published at the end of last year (reviewed at the time in The Guardian here).

One of the fascinating aspects of the diaries was the actor's relationship with journalists. Though he loved to read newspapers, he didn't have much time for the people who wrote them.

He was, as many journalists reported during his lifetime (1925-1984), very friendly towards most of them. He ate and drank with them, and appeared at ease in their company. But, in private, he clearly despised them.

A voracious reader of books and papers, his diaries contain several references to his enjoyment in reading the International Herald Tribune and the British Sunday papers. At one point, he reveals that his then wife, Elizabeth Taylor, loved him to read out stories from the News of the World.

On 11 November 1968, he
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Milo O'Shea obituary

Irish stage and screen character actor who appeared in Barbarella, The Verdict and the BBC's 1969 sitcom Me Mammy

For a performer of such fame and versatility, the distinguished Irish character actor Milo O'Shea, who has died aged 86, is not associated with any role in particular, or indeed any clutch of them. He was chiefly associated with his own expressive dark eyes, bushy eyebrows, outstanding mimetic talents and distinctive Dublin brogue.

His impish presence irradiated countless fine movies – including Joseph Strick's Ulysses (1967), Roger Vadim's Barbarella (1968) and Sidney Lumet's The Verdict (1982) – and many top-drawer American television series, from Cheers, The Golden Girls and Frasier, right through to The West Wing (2003-04), in which he played the chief justice Roy Ashland.

He had settled in New York in 1976 with his second wife, Kitty Sullivan, in order to be equidistant from his own main bases of operation, Hollywood and London. The
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Milo O'Shea obituary

Irish stage and screen character actor who appeared in Barbarella, The Verdict and the BBC's 1969 sitcom Me Mammy

For a performer of such fame and versatility, the distinguished Irish character actor Milo O'Shea, who has died aged 86, is not associated with any role in particular, or indeed any clutch of them. He was chiefly associated with his own expressive dark eyes, bushy eyebrows, outstanding mimetic talents and distinctive Dublin brogue.

His impish presence irradiated countless fine movies – including Joseph Strick's Ulysses (1967), Roger Vadim's Barbarella (1968) and Sidney Lumet's The Verdict (1982) – and many top-drawer American television series, from Cheers, The Golden Girls and Frasier, right through to The West Wing (2003-04), in which he played the chief justice Roy Ashland.

He had settled in New York in 1976 with his second wife, Kitty Sullivan, in order to be equidistant from his own main bases of operation, Hollywood and London. The
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Twelve Straight Actors Who Went Gay-For-Pay ... And Had Us Demanding Refunds

Our post about gay actors playing straight characters got us thinking about the flipside, straight actors playing gay characters.

But a list of straight actors successfully playing gay would be obvious (Tom Hanks, Heath Ledger, Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and frankly dull. So we decided instead to sharpen our knives and make a list that's a hell of a lot more fun.

Straight actors who crashed and burned attempting to play gay.

Most of these performances rely on cliche and stereotype, and to be fair, a lot of our favorite gay performances from straight actors do lean heavily on the flamboyant. But actors such as Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) manage to inject warmth, heart, and sincerity into the theatrics.

These actors, on the other hand, either try way too hard, or not hard enough, and embarrass themselves ... and us.

Mark Adair-Rios and Peter Oldring, Love That Girl

If you've never seen
See full article at The Backlot »

Rare Movies Alert! Fox Movie Channel Wednesday

  • CinemaRetro
On Wednesday, April 21, The Fox Movie Channel in America will present three rarely-telecast films: Prince of Players, an early starring role for Richard Burton as the great American actor Edwin Booth, brother of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth and founder of the legendary Players Club. Later, the network presents the off-beat 1969 comedy Staircase that presents Burton and Rex Harrison in daring roles as two gay lovers. Next is the 1977 box-office hit The Other Side of Midnight that made men around the world groan when a naked woman applies ice cubes to a very strategic area. Check your cable guide for times.
See full article at CinemaRetro »

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