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Sesame Street Turns 45!

Sesame Street Turns 45!
You don't get to be the longest-running children's show in U.S. TV history by doing the same thing over and over. So even though parents who grew up watching Sesame Street can still see old favorites like Big Bird, things on the street have changed since the show debuted 45 years ago on Nov. 10, 1969. Cookie Monster now exercises self-control and sometimes eats fruits and vegetables. Millions of kids watch the show on phones and computers instead of TV. And there's less time spent on the street with human characters. They're just not energetic enough for today's viewers. In Britain, a BBC kids' show,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Sesame Street Turns 45!

Sesame Street Turns 45!
You don't get to be the longest-running children's show in U.S. TV history by doing the same thing over and over. So even though parents who grew up watching Sesame Street can still see old favorites like Big Bird, things on the street have changed since the show debuted 45 years ago on Nov. 10, 1969. Cookie Monster now exercises self-control and sometimes eats fruits and vegetables. Millions of kids watch the show on phones and computers instead of TV. And there's less time spent on the street with human characters. They're just not energetic enough for today's viewers. In Britain, a BBC kids' show,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Elvira is Headed for Hulu Weve Got an Exclusive Clip

Cassandra Peterson is back and shes all decked out in that sexy Elvira getup. The legendary horror host will make a move to the subscription based Hulu this year for the new series 13 Nights of Elvira. Shell reprise her dual roles of Alistair Cooke and Roger Ebert. Expect the Personification of Instant Gratification to bring her quick wit and silly puns to the broadcast it wouldnt be an Elvira production without them
See full article at Best-Horror-Movies.com »

Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark Heads To Hulu For Halloween

Hulu’s heart is on fire for Elvira. The Mistress of Dark is headed to the subscription-based and (perhaps soon-to-be slightly less) ad-supported “premium streaming TV destination” for a brand new series this Halloween season. 13 Nights of Elvira will feature Cassandra Peterson once again suited up in what very well may be the original stereotypical sexy girl’s Halloween costume to reprise her dual roles of Alistair Cooke and Roger Ebert for the B grade horror movie set. The program is a streaming iteration of Peterson’s cult classic Elvira’s Movie Macabre (which is also currently available on Hulu), and will feature pithy intros, and poignant, punny commentary from the self-proclaimed Personification of Instant Gratification. Elvira will playfully praise and skewer the following terrifically terrible flicks on the daily starting October 19: Cannibal Women In The Avocado Jungle of Death, Puppet Master, Demonic Toys, Hobgoblins, The Gingerdead Man, Dollman,
See full article at Tubefilter News »

From the archive: Burton and Taylor, private lives played out in public

As a new BBC4 drama examines the turbulent relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, we take a look at how it played out in the pages of the Guardian and Observer

Though Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were once one of Hollywood's hottest couples, their relationship was controversial from the start. When they met on the set of Cleopatra in 1962, they were both married to other people, and their 'immoral' behaviour so incensed the film's producers, Twentieth Century Fox, that the company sued the couple for $50m, while the Us State Department considered revoking Burton's work visa. Cleopatra opened to poor reviews, although Alistair Cooke blamed that on snobbery.

Despite all the drama, their wedding in March 1964 barely warranted a mention on the Guardian's front page. Theirs was a tempestuous marriage. In an article for the Observer Review in 1971, Burton summed up their bond, writing: "I love Elizabeth to the point of idolatry.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

From the archive: Burton and Taylor, private lives played out in public

As a new BBC4 drama examines the turbulent relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, we take a look at how it played out in the pages of the Guardian and Observer

Though Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were once one of Hollywood's hottest couples, their relationship was controversial from the start. When they met on the set of Cleopatra in 1962, they were both married to other people, and their 'immoral' behaviour so incensed the film's producers, Twentieth Century Fox, that the company sued the couple for $50m, while the Us State Department considered revoking Burton's work visa. Cleopatra opened to poor reviews, although Alistair Cooke blamed that on snobbery.

Despite all the drama, their wedding in March 1964 barely warranted a mention on the Guardian's front page. Theirs was a tempestuous marriage. In an article for the Observer Review in 1971, Burton summed up their bond, writing: "I love Elizabeth to the point of idolatry.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

DVD Release: Mama’s Family: Complete Series

DVD Release Date: Sept. 2, 2013

Price: DVD $199.99

Studio: StarVista/Time Life

Vicki Lawrence (ctr.) is Thelma Mae Crowley Harper in Mama's Family.

Mama’s Family: The Complete Series stars Vicki Lawrence and features all 130 episodes of the syndicated TV comedy series that ran for six seasons from 1983-1990.

Based upon the wildly-popular sketch “The Family” which aired on The Carol Burnett Show in 1974, the television show stars Ms. Lawrence as the blue-haired, purse-lipped, 65-year-old Thelma Mae Crowley Harper, an indelible, abrasive and smart-alecky widow.

Set in the fictional city of Raytown, Mama’s Family revolves around the dysfunctional escapades of the Harper clan, headed by formidable matriarch, Mama Harper, along with her journalist sister, Fran (Rue McClanahan, TV’s The Golden Girls), who lives with her; her youngest son, Vint (Ken Berry, TV’s F-Troop), who moves in with his two teenagers after he is evicted; and Naomi (Dorothy Lyman, TV
See full article at Disc Dish »

Entertainment News: Comedian Jonathan Winters Dies at 87

Los Angeles – Jonathan Winters, one of the most influential comedians of the past two generations, has died of natural causes on April 11th at his home in Montecito, California. His characteristic schizophrenic comic style inspired modern funnymen like Robin Williams, George Carlin and Jim Carrey. He was 87 years old.

The career of Jonathan Winters spanned from 1948 to the present, during which his freaky, energetic expression of humor had its own unique form. A fixture on such legendary television shows such as “The Tonight Show” (with both Jack Paar and Johnny Carson), “The Dean Martin Show” and “Hollywood Squares,” Winters would often appear as his alter ego Maude Frickert, a sharp tongued old lady character. It wasn’t just an act, as during his early career he spent time in mental institutions, and was diagnosed with manic depression.

Jonathan Winters as Lennie Pike in ‘It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Charles Chilton obituary

BBC radio producer who created the serial Journey into Space

The BBC radio producer and writer Charles Chilton, who has died aged 95, created a classic radio serial, Journey into Space, various series exploring the America of the past, and the one-off programme that eventually took to stage and screen as Oh! What a Lovely War. At the start of his career, radio could still attract audiences greater than those for television, and as well as producing popular comedy series such as The Goon Show and Take It from Here, Chilton devised some of its most distinctive material.

The first series of Journey into Space, broadcast in 1953, was described as "groundbreaking". "Well, it has to be," Chilton laughed in response. It took Captain Jet Morgan, played by the future MP Andrew Faulds, and his crew to the moon. They went on to Mars in the remaining two parts of the trilogy,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Why Does Laura Linney Introduce 'Downton Abbey'?

Why Does Laura Linney Introduce 'Downton Abbey'?
Every episode Laura Linney introduces "Downton Abbey" ... but why? The Huffington Post took that question to Masterpiece, "Downton Abbey's" producers.

"Alistair Cooke, the longtime host of Masterpiece Theatre, used to describe himself as the headwaiter, leading guests to a fabulous meal," Rebecca Eaton, Masterpiece executive producer, said in a statement. "We feel that hosts create an atmosphere and provide context for the programs that follow. When Masterpiece did its rebranding in 2008, the series was divided into three seasons. We decided that having a different host for each season would help to differentiate the programming for the audience. Laura Linney is an elegant and classic as the dramas she introduces."

Watch Laura Linney introduce the "Downton Abbey" Season 3 premiere below.

"Downton Abbey" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. Est on PBS.

Watch Downton Abbey Season 3, Episode 1 on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.
See full article at Huffington Post »

Catch-up TV guide: from Hatfield & McCoys to Brazil With Michael Palin

Hatfields & McCoys | Girls | Vicar Academy | Nts Radio | Letter From America By Alistair Cooke | Brazil With Michael Palin

TV: Hatfields & McCoys

This bloody mini-series, which continues this week on Channel 5, has a hint of Deadwood about it in its grubby, unromanticised depiction of the Wild West. That, and a gangbusters cast headed by Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton, would suggest it merits a watch.

Demand 5

TV: Girls

You've read the endless articles bigging up/slagging off Lena Durham's twentysomething comedy drama, but have you actually watched the thing? The first five episodes are available on Sky's On Demand service.

Sky Go

TV: Vicar Academy

Ever wondered what it takes to become a vicar? Well, look no further. This behind-the-scenes documentary series follows a group of wannabe clerics on their journey to earning their dog collar. The participants are sent on placements to parishes, prisons, hospitals and schools to tackle an ever-fearsome religious recession.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Simon Hoggart's week: the Bond issue and Alistair Cooke-ing

The Heineken product placement in Skyfall is all very well but our hero is clearly bombed, James bombed

✒ I saw the new Bond film, Skyfall, at the weekend, and enjoyed it mightily. But there were one or two puzzles that I can mention without spoiling it for those who haven't seen it. Heineken paid a fortune for product placement, and you do see a couple of Heineken cases during the car chase. But when Bond is drinking it, he has his fingers over the name on the label, and is clearly a boozy wreck. Does Heineken want to send the message, "the lager for drunken sots"?

There were no Americans at all, and there was no scene in America, but lots in China. Has Hollywood finally decided that's where the big money is? Oh, and I think I've spotted the baddie for Bond film 24, and I'd be interested to know
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Obama v Romney will be settled on the ground, not on the television | Martin Kettle

As Obama and Romney's latest bout shows, TV debates can distract from the real arguments. The UK risks the same in 2015

Did you listen in to the overnight news from America a little apprehensively on Wednesday morning? Log on to your favourite news website not quite knowing what you would read about the second presidential debate? I don't think I can have been the only one.

Barack Obama's seriously lacklustre performance in the first debate two weeks ago was a shock at the top end of the political Richter scale. It was felt across the world, not just in America. But a careful daytime watching of Tuesday's debate absolutely confirms the initial verdict carried by Wednesday's early bulletins. Obama is back in the contest. This was partly a matter of performance; Obama turned up this time. He was combative and engaged. A fortnight ago he had given the impression his mind was elsewhere.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Daily Briefing. New Filmmaker. Plus, Film Criticism @ 100?

  • MUBI
In the new Winter 2012 issue of Filmmaker, editor Scott Macaulay talks with Joachim Trier about Oslo, August 31, Joshua Marston (The Forgiveness of Blood) and Braden King (Here) talk about shooting in eastern Europe, Stephen Garrett offers advice on making a winning trailer and Lance Weiler: "Within a few years, most things — from cars to appliances to toys — will be able to wirelessly interface with the Internet. Think of them as objects in search of a story."

Birthdays and anniversaries. In the Guardian, Henry K Miller suggests that you might well consider today the 100th anniversary of film criticism — at least in the UK. Referring to a 1937 piece by Alistair Cooke, he notes that "the not entirely reliable consensus had it that Wg Faulkner, of the London Evening News, was author of the 'first regular criticisms of films in any British newspaper.' Faulkner, the paper's local government correspondent, had
See full article at MUBI »

The birth of film criticism – 100 years ago today

London Evening News correspondent Wg Faulkner, who began a regular 'kinema' column on 17 January 1912, gets the credit as the UK's first film critic. What's surprising is how little has changed since then

The early film critics, wrote Alistair Cooke in 1937, were presented with a new art form, unencumbered by tradition, and free "to define the movies with no more misgivings than Aristotle defined tragedy". Or at least they would have been, but the press lost interest once the novelty wore off, and so "through a trick of snobbery the simple Aristotelian lost his chance". This lapse did not pass without comment. While "every theatre play is accorded the honour of a press notice", complained the trade paper Kinematograph Weekly as late as 1918, the "perfunctory sort of acknowledgement" given the likes of The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance was "obviously written by people who bring to the kinema the prejudiced
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

From the archive, 16 December 1966: The death of Walt Disney - folk hero

Originally published in the Guardian on 16 December 1966

New York, December 15

Walt Disney, the Pied Piper of Hollywood, who made a mountain of money out of a mouse, died today in Burbank, California at the age of 65. There was very little in the early life of Walter Elias Disney to show that he would emerge by his twenty-fifth birthday as the most revolutionary motion picture talent after Chaplin. The vital statistics, padded out from newspaper files, suggest a boyhood as corny as Kansas in August.

A Midwestern upbringing, the son of a carpenter who tried his hand at farming (so as to introduce the young Walt to a menagerie of adorable animals), a full stretch of grade school, an incomplete spell in high school, a boy of little scholarship and lively appetite for games who picked up pin-money in winter as a newspaper delivery boy, in summer as a candy butcher
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

DVD Playhouse--August 2011

DVD Playhouse—August 2011

By Allen Gardner

High And Low (Criterion) Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 adaptation of Ed McBain’s novel King’s Ransom is a multi-layered masterpiece of suspense and one of the best portraits ever of class warfare in post-ww II Japan. Toshiro Mifune stars as a wealthy businessman who finds himself in a moral quandary when his chauffer’s son is kidnapped by ruthless thugs who think the boy is Mifune’s. Beautifully realized on every level. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Commentary by Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince; Documentary on film’s production; Interview with Mifune from 1984; Trailers and teaser. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS-hd 4.0 surround.

Leon Morin, Priest (Criterion) One of French maestro Jean-Pierre Melville’s rare non-crime-oriented films, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo as a devoted cleric who is lusted after by the women of a small village in Nazi-occupied France. When Fr. Morin finds himself drawn to a
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

Barbara Cannell obituary

My former colleague and friend Barbara Cannell, who has died from bronchial pneumonia at the age of 81, made a major contribution to several stylish and original BBC television documentaries in the latter half of the 20th century.

As the unit manager on the series America (with Alistair Cooke in 1972) and The Long Search (with Ronald Eyre in 1978), she helped producers and directors to realise their aspirations with apparent ease, thanks to her foresight, patience, tact and admirable quick-thinking. In the production office and on location, Barbara showed that she was always aware of the needs of others. She was able to help restore any loss of confidence, reassure bruised self-regard and renew communal enthusiasm for a creative project.

The only child of an architect and his schoolteacher wife, Barbara grew up in Coventry, where she worked as an assistant stage manager at a repertory theatre before she moved to London and joined the BBC.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Party Favors: The Audio & The Visual

  • Quick Stop
Rochester, NY - Ever wonder why schools today stink compared to decades ago? Every think tank moron has their dubious reasonings that appeases their corporate masters. But the truth is extraordinarily simple: Schools dumped their education films.

Do you remember those days when the gym teacher had to pad out health class by wheeling in the 16mm projector from the Av department? They’d thread up classic tales about your body, narcotics, driving safety and manners. Things which kids nowadays can’t seem to handle.

When the Vcr arrived in schools, the 16mm projector was quickly dumped as teaching tool.

Where did these classic films go? Many arrived at the city dump. However a few lucky tens of thousands found themselves on the racks of the Av Geeks Archive. This repository of cinematic education is overseen by Skip Elsheimer. He started collecting the films after I moved out of the infamous PineHaus.
See full article at Quick Stop »

The Big Sleep – review

Humphrey Bogart's Philip Marlowe is tough without a gun and lethal with a wisecrack in this irresistible rerelease

First released in 1946 and now being revived for selected screenings around the country and an extended run at the National Film Theatre, The Big Sleep is a film of infinite interest. In its famously knowing trailer, Humphrey Bogart walks into the Hollywood Public Library and asks for "a good mystery like The Maltese Falcon". A librarian gives him a copy of what is misleadingly described as "Raymond Chandler's latest", adding: "What a picture that'll make!" Well, it did, and the result can be approached from a number of distinct and complementary directions.

First, it's a Warner Brothers production, made at the height of Hollywood's big studio era and announced by Warner's logo, which looks like a federal badge of social responsibility. Jack L Warner, who'd headed the studio since the early 1920s,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »
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