15 items from 2011
In October of 2010, Sound on Sight asked me to do my first commemorative piece on the passing of filmmaker Arthur Penn. I suspect I was asked because I was the only one writing for the site old enough to have seen Penn’s films in theaters. Whatever the reason, it was an unexpectedly rewarding if expectedly bittersweet experience which led to a series of equally rewarding but bittersweet experiences writing on the passing of other filmdom notables.
I say rewarding because it gave me a nostalgic-flavored chance to revisit certain work and the people behind it; a revisiting which often brought back the nearly-forgotten youthful excitement that went with an eye-opening, a discovery, the thrill of the new. Writing them has also been bittersweet because each of these pieces is a formal acknowledgment that something precious is gone. A talent may be perhaps preserved forever on celluloid, but the filmography »
- Bill Mesce
Footage of Ken Kesey's 1964 LSD road trip has finally been edited into a (mostly) coherent film
In 1964 Ken Kesey embarked on a coast-to-coast-and-back road trip, spreading the word of LSD with a busload of costumed cohorts; it is the stuff of pop-culture legend, and the founding gospel of the hippie movement. But most of what we know comes from Tom Wolfe's florid account in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. It's said that if you can remember the 60s, you weren't there, and in a way, Wolfe wasn't; he didn't meet Kesey and his Merry Pranksters until they had returned.
It was largely forgotten that Kesey planned his own account of the trip in the form of an improvised movie. The film would be "a total breakthrough of expression", wrote Wolfe, "but also something that would amaze and delight many multitudes, a movie that could be shown commercially as »
- Steve Rose
"[T]he shadow of Alfred Hitchcock would loom heavily over the works of the young critics who took up cameras and formed the French New Wave," writes Fernando F Croce in Slant. "Whether direct or circuitous, traces of Hitch can be felt in Godard's insistence on filmic technique visibly and violently manifesting itself, Chabrol's fascination with human duality and repressed beastliness, Rohmer's Catholic examinations of private moralities, and even Rivette's view of a world precariously suspended over various trap doors. Curiously, the upstart who related most ardently to the older auteur was also the one with the least in common stylistically and spiritually: François Truffaut, whose freewheeling camera and affection for hypersensitive characters put him at the opposite side of the spectrum from the implacable visual exactitude and jaundiced worldview which characterized the Master of Suspense…. Think of Truffaut's The Bride Wore Black  as the lumpiest fruit borne out of that union, »
It’s likely that most folks became aware of the hippie movement because of the Woodstock music festival in the late 1960′s. Surely these peace-loving flower children didn’t spring from that mushy, muddy ground fully formed. Did they emerge earlier in the decade? Perhaps they were an off-shoot of the espresso-drinking, bongo-playing beatniks of the 1950′s. Well, a brand new documentary culled from some very old ( about fifty years ) home movie footage directed by Alex Gibney ( Enron:the Smartest Guys In The Room ) and Alison Eastwood attempts to answer some of those questions. For a groovy history lesson hop about the Merry Pranksters’ bus and take a Magic Trip.
The film begins with a look at celebrated author Ken Kesey. Old high school yearbook photos paint him as a real straight arrow jock type. But then he decided to become a writer and penned the classic novel “One Flew Over »
- Jim Batts
Long-lost footage of journey across America by the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and his Merry Pranksters to spread the word about acid has been turned into a documentary
Flush with funds from the success of his debut novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey, then 29, drew up plans in 1963 to drive a bus across the Us to the World's Fair in New York. In June 1964, an exotically painted 1939 Harvester school bus rolled out of his ranch in La Honda, California. This was to be no ordinary journey. Kesey's Beat Generation associate Neal Cassady – the inspiration for Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac's On the Road – was driving the bus they called Further. On board were half a dozen travellers who called themselves the Merry Pranksters and a jar of orange juice laced with LSD. The trip, immortalised in Tom Wolfe's book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, »
- Edward Helmore
Documentary film director Alex Gibney, an Oscar winner for 2007's bleak Taxi to the Dark Side, is known for works featuring cynical plotlines such as Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, and Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer. Gibney's new film, the significantly more upbeat Magic Trip, hit theaters on Friday, and details the cross-country bus trips taken by author Ken Kesey and his blissed-out chums in the sixties. You're probably familiar with Kesey from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (whose film adaptation Kesey hated, incidentally, because it took the viewpoint away from Chief Bromden), or Sometimes a Great Notion, but you may not be aware that Kesey, as a Stanford grad student in 1960, was a volunteer subject for a CIA-financed research project which tested a number of hallucinogens, including LSD, which was legal at the time. The project was known as [...] »
In 1964, Beat literature icon Ken Kesey gathered his friends and favorite musicians in a bus and drove east from California to New York. That trip became legendary in American counter-culture — and the subject of journalist Tom Wolfe’s 1968 “Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” — and is now the basis for a new documentary from directors Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood. The 107-minute film is largely composed of 16 mm footage shot by passengers on the “Further” bus, »
- Nick Andersen
Ken Kesey felt that the novel was no match for what was happening around him in 1964. After rising to literary prominence with his debut, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, in 1962, Kesey wrote Sometimes a Great Notion, a union-busting saga set in an Oregon logging town. Due in New York for the book's publication, which coincided with the World's Fair happening there, Kesey decided to make an event of the trip, and to document the proceedings with a creative instrument more suited to the quickening times: A 16-millimeter camera. »
Ted Streshinsky/Corbis Ken Kesey, October 1966, San Francisco, Calif.
In 1964, author Ken Kesey and an entourage known as the Merry Pranksters lit out from La Honda, Calif., bound for New York, on what would become one of the longest, strangest trips of all time. Armed with 16mm video cameras, musical instruments and copious quantities of LSD, they traveled in a 1939 International Harvester school bus painted day-glow colors and driven by beat generation icon Neal Cassady.
- Rachel Dodes
Updated through 4/23.
"Michael Sarrazin, a tall, dark-eyed Canadian actor who starred opposite Jane Fonda in Sydney Pollack's 1969 film They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, died of cancer Sunday," reports Claire Noland in the Los Angeles Times. He was 70. Noland quotes from a 1994 interview given to the Toronto Star in which Sarrazin recalled working on Horses: "You could have paid me a dollar a week to work on that. It hits you bolt upright; I still get really intense when I watch it. We stayed up around the clock for three or four days.... We stayed in character. Pollack said we should work until signs of exhaustion. Fights would break out among the men; women started crying."
"Sarrazin was one of the last actors to come up through the old studio system, signing with Universal in 1965," writes John Griffin in the Montreal Gazette. "After an indifferent start in television and movies-of-the week, »
Canadian actor who had a decade of Hollywood success playing anti-heroes
The Canadian-born actor Michael Sarrazin, who has died of cancer aged 70, was so visible in Hollywood movies from 1967 to 1977 that one may wonder what happened to his subsequent career. A facetious answer might be that he moved back to Canada and made Canadian movies. Another answer might be that his sensitive, gently rebellious, flower-child persona and his lanky, boyish looks, with his long hair and soulful eyes, were no longer appropriate to the roles he took as he got older.
However, during the decade of his stardom, Sarrazin seemed to fit the anti-hero ethos of the era, often playing rootless characters, typically in his most celebrated role as the ex-farmboy drifter in Sydney Pollack's They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969). Sarrazin, idealistically willing to let fate take a hand, is paired with an embittered Jane Fonda in a dance »
- Ronald Bergan
Actor Michael Sarrazin, whose star rose in the 1960s, has died after a brief battle with cancer. He was 70 years old. The charismatic and handsome Sarrazin found stardom almost as soon as he entered the film business, with a prominent co-starring role with George C. Scott in the 1967 comedy The Flim Flam Man. Other prominent roles in the 60s and 70s included The Sweet Ride, The Reincarnation of Peter Proud, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, For Pete's Sake, Sometimes a Great Notion, The Gumball Rally and most prominently, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? Sarrazin was said to have been the first choice for the role of Joe Buck in Midnight Cowboy, but Jon Voight ultimately rode to stardom in the role. Sarrazin's career went into decline by the late 1970s but he continued to work in low-budget films and on television. Click here for more »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Michael Sarrazin, whose late '60s and early '70s movies included the Oscar-nominated They Shoot Horses, Don't They with Jane Fonda, died of cancer Sunday in a Montreal hospital, his agent told the Los Angeles Times. The Quebec City-born actor was 70. Among his other movies were The Flim-Flam Man with George C. Scott, The Sweet Ride with Jacqueline Bisset - with whom he had a long relationship - as well as Sometimes a Great Notion and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, both with Paul Newman, and For Pete's Sake, with Barbra Streisand. Although never a full-fledged box-office name, »
- Stephen M. Silverman
Actor Michael Sarrazin has died after a battle with cancer. He was 70.
The Canadian star, who found fame starring opposite Jane Fonda in 1969 movie They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, passed away on Sunday in Montreal, Canada with his family by his side.
Director George Mihalka, who cast Sarrazin in 1993's La Florida, says, "Michael was one of the most talented, generous and committed actors I have ever worked with. He never stopped surprising me with his wit, charm and, above all, his humility and simple decency." »
Originally cast as Joe Buck in Midnight Cowboy, only to be replaced at the last minute by Jon Voight, Sarrazin never achieved real stardom and his career sort of faded away but he did star in a string of memorable films in the 1970′s including They Shoot Horses, Don't They (1969), Sometimes A Great Notion (1970), Harry In Your Pocket (1973), and as the title character in The Reincarnation Of Peter Proud (1975). Originally from Canada, he was an excellent actor who will always be best remembered for the 1973 made-for-tv epic Frankenstein The True Story in which he played the soulful monster opposite Leonard Whiting’s Dr. Frankenstein.
From Yahoo News:
Sarrazin died Sunday surrounded by family.
In Sydney Pollack’s Depression era-set “Horses, »
- Tom Stockman
15 items from 2011
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