The general consensus seems to be that Julia Roberts is a pretty woman. However, she's made the unforgivable sin of reaching middle age, so her new ad touting Lancombe cosmetics appears to have been horrendously retouched in the attempt to "improve" her looks. If the ad has not been retouched, then the only other explanation is that Roberts sat for several hours with her face under an industrial sander. Does it strike anyone at the cosmetics group that if they are promoting makeup that is supposed to be very flattering, won't the average woman wonder why their ads need to doctor up one of the most glamorous ladies in show business?
With the only remaining Aston Martin DB5 to have been driven on screen by Sean Connery going on the auction market this fall, the New York Times takes a look back on Bond's vehicles and why they are pop culture icons. Click here to read
CNN host John King has just announced that legendary talk show host Larry King has confirmed by Twitter that he will end his long-running talk show this fall. No other details were given but King will address the decision this evening on his program. There has been speculation that CNN would not renew King's contract due to plummeting ratings and what many believe is an outdated style of conducting interviews. King's achievements include many memorable sit-downs with legendary actors and politicians, but his penchant for conducting sparse research has often led to criticism that he was conducting lightweight interviews and throwing softball questions. Nevertheless, King's record is among the most impressive in all of TV history and he has been a main figure at CNN since the early days of the network.
UPDATE: On his program this evening, King told guest Bill Maher that it was his decision to quit the show and that he had not been pressured by CNN. He expressed gratitude that the network allowed him to remain on the air for 25 years but said he wanted more time to spend with his wife and kids. King said he would still be affiliated with the network and would host various specials in the future.
Good news: now you can pay to have your intelligence insulted by watching episodes of shlock like The Bachelorette on Hulu.
Hulu, the popular web site that allows viewers to watch recent episodes of major TV series for free, has bowed to pressure from investors and launched an optional pay-per-view service that will cost $10. Here's the kicker: even after paying, you'll still be subjected to the same amount of ads that viewers of the free service have to suffer through. Advertisements are understandable on the free version of Hulu - after all, the viewer isn't paying to watch the episodes. However, one would think that after dropping $10 per month, you would be spared the type of annoying advertisements that have made television viewing virtually unwatchable in recent years. Hulu counters the complaints by saying paid subscribers will have a wider range of episodes to view and that maintaining the ads will keep the subscription price low. Remember in the early days of cable TV how we all naively believed that by paying for service, we would get commercial-free broadcasts? Before long, we were subjected to infernal assaults on our senses as both movies and re-runs of TV series were not only aired with commercials, but were chopped to pieces to accommodate more and more ads. Hulu does offer episodes of some classic, vintage shows but here's hoping the public doesn't fall for the same trap again. Stick with the free Hulu and relish the knowledge that you aren't paying for suffering through those ads. Besides, how brain dead do you have to be to pay to watch episodes of The Bachelorette? - Lee Pfeiffer
Photo: Rick Baker, John Landis, Ray and Peter Jackson with a statue of the famous stop-motion animator. Photo(c) 2010 Mark Mawston. All rights reserved.
To celebrate Ray Harryhausen's 90th
special party was hosted at The London Film Museum, which also launched
exhibition of props and artifacts to celebrate the great film legend's
Friends from within the industry, all famous in their own right, turned
pay their respects to the great man, including Peter Jackson, John
Gilliam, and SFX make-up supremo, Rick Baker. Cinema Retro was invited to cover the event and our on-the-spot photographer Mark Mawston captured the action. A full report
Peckinpah’s The Deadly Companions
starring Maureen O’Hara and Brian Keith has never been released in Germany in
any form other than being shown on television, so Retro ‘regular’ Mike Siegel,
one of the world’s foremost experts on the renegade director, was more than
pleased when his friend Ulrich Bruckner of Koch-media asked him to co-produce a
special edition DVD for the German/Austrian market. Koch-media also specialize
in rare and niche titles on DVD, with titles including The Sergio Sollima
Western box set, Blindman, and
special editions of certain Hammer films, to name but a few.
had just completed and co-produced the very successful German 2-disc special
edition on Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs. Although
Bruckner has since left Koch-media, the label owned the rights to The Deadly Companions and Siegel agreed
to supply the bonus materials for this new release, for which a superb new
widescreen transfer was utilized. (The same print had been used for the
Japanese release DVD, which unfortunately, did not contain any bonus
produced all the supplements, including a 28-minute featurette about Peckinpah’s
early days; Passion & Poetry: The
Early Sam, a 16-page booklet, and an extensive gallery featuring over 130
rare posters, lobby cards, stills and pressbooks. He also provided material for
the artwork and recorded an audio-commentary. However, the latter is in German
only, unlike the featurette, which has an English track.
new DVD marks the only really worthwhile DVD release of Peckinpah’s debut film
as a director, and fans will certainly want to add it to their collections. It
is currently available from Amazon.de and various online dealers.
Goofa Man Productions is
happy to announce a brand new online animation that dares to go where no
man has gone before!
Yes! G.M. Productions' new
animation — Trek Babe Supreme — dares to answer the question,
"Which Star Babe in all of the ORIGINAL Star Trek series
is the most awesome?"
Goofa Man operatives
interviewed Star Babe experts from all over the galaxy in order to
determine the answer to this question. After many sweaty hours
of tabulating votes and cross-referencing fetching females from Mr.
Gene Roddenberry's retro-sci-ficlassic, we determined a
winner! And if you'd like to see who we selected as Trek Babe Supreme
from that sexy 1960s tv show,then just click on the following
link to see the Trek Babe Supreme animation. Posted on the Goofa
Man Productions' YouTubechannel, the 3.5-minute animation is
a fun salute to Star Trek and its beautiful women.
Mike Fisher says, "We don't need another oil-soaked pelican or
robot-voiced pop song, but we DO need a firm,unwavering statement
from a reliable authority declaring one woman as the supreme Star Babe
from the original Star Trek series."Fisher went on to
say, rather defensively, "I know we're talking about a television show
that is almost 50 years old. And yes, yes,we should all move
on with our lives like that nice William Shatner has done."
I'm NOT one of those guys who thinks only of tv shows and movies from
the 1960s," Fisher loudly stated.
"I like TV
shows and movies from the 1970s, too!" he sobbed as he ran upstairs.
that? You say you disagree with the Goofa Man choice of Trek Babe
Supreme? Well, feel free to leave a note at the YouTubechannel
stating who YOU would have chosen as Trek Babe Supreme... Who knows?
Maybe there will be another Trek Babe Supremeanimation in
Goofa Man Productions is the
animation and cartoon studio of Mike Fisher. Mike has been producing
award-winning independent, shortanimations for over 10 years.
He also creates cartoons and illustrations for Animation Magazine, Scary
Monsters Magazine and, for over15 years, created
cartoons for Starlog magazine.
Disney's Toy Story 3 continued to reign supreme at the North American box-office, reaching $200 million in only 9 days in release. Adam Sandler's annual sophomoric comedy- this one titled Grown Ups- had a very good opening, proving that the comedian still has boxoffice appeal among the younger set. The teaming of Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in Knight and Day was less than stellar for audiences. The expensive action pic opened soft, thanks in no small part to the devastating reviews. The A-Team also continues to be one of the season's major under-performers, proving that there are still some people out there who need more than exploding cars to justify the cost of going to a movie. For more click here
The Idaho Statesman newspaper recalls when Clint Eastwood came to to Boise to film his gentle modern cowboy fable Bronco Billy. Hard to believe, but it was 30 years ago that the future Oscar winner directed and starred in this movie, which was considered a box-office disappointment at the time but went on to generate critical acclaim retrospectively. Click here to read
Film Score Monthly has released a special 2-CD soundtrack of Jerry Goldsmith's score for Peter Hyams' 1981 sci-fi film Outland. The loose remake of High Noon starred Sean Connery. This set includes the original soundtrack album vinyl release along with many unreleased tracks and cues. Click here to order
There's a new Amityville horror: the price tag of the allegedly haunted house in New York that was the basis of a bestselling book and several cheesy movies. Owners want $1.5 million bucks to reside in the otherwise nondescript Long Island home. In fact, there was indeed a horrible incident that took place there in 1974, when a mentally disturbed man slaughtered six members of his family. The new owners, the Lutz family, claimed that a series of terrifying and bizarre incidents occurred on the premises, though no one else had ever witnessed any such activities either before or after the Lutzes moved in. The increasingly over-the-top tales woven by the family went far beyond the "things that go bump in the night" activities that creep us all out from time to time. However, in an increasingly gullible world, the Lutz family found a willing audience for their tale, even though many skeptics regard it as an entertaining work of fiction. For more click here
A rare snippet of film of Alfred Hitchcock making a provocative quip on the set of his 1929 early sound film Blackmail has surfaced. The clip shows Hitch in an unusually jovial mood. Click here to view
Move over, has been film critics! Cody Gifford is bringing his own brand of "irrelevance" to The Today Show!
By Lee Pfeiffer
When Sarah Palin mentions her fellow "grizzly moms", it warms the cockles of her supporter's hearts, even as it sends her critics heading toward the nearest barf bag. However, Ms. Palin has nothing on the definitive overly-protective mother: obnoxious chat show host Kathie Lee Gifford, who has driven many a viewer to the brink of jumping out their windows with her incessant talk about her kids over the years. After being off the air for years, Gifford is now one of the hosts on NBC's top-rated The Today Show. The network has apparently done an exhaustive search to find the most qualified person to do film reviews on the show and -shockingly- it turns out to be Gifford's own 20 year-old son Cody! There was a time when seasoned professionals were given these plum spots but Cody's main qualification is that the 20 year old likes movies and is studying film in school. Good thing he doesn't like airplanes or mama probably would have pulled enough strings to have him play around with steering airbuses over to Europe. Gifford may think she is doing her son a favor, but his reviews don't indicate he's in any danger of becoming a veteran film critic once her influence is gone. Young Gifford says the word "like" countless times in...you know, like, many different sentences. Worse, he's forced to do his reviews while chatting with mama grizzly herself (apparently Kathie Lee doesn't want to cede a moment of the spotlight even to her son). Cody says he can bring more "irrelevancy" to the reviews than older critics could. We think he meant "irreverence", but this is one Freudian slip that is accurate. He should take a lesson from Ben Lyons, the last high profile victim of a nepotism-obsessed father. His dad, critic Jeffrey Lyons, help land Ben a co-host job on At the Movies, the show founded by Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. His lack of qualifications made him a laughing stock and ultimately Ben took the heat for driving a show that had lasted 30 years off the air. To watch Cody in action click here
Generally speaking, when the Catholic Church weighs in on a motion picture, it's generally to criticize its content. No so in the case of director John Landis' 1980 blockbuster comedy The Blues Brothers. The Vatican has proclaimed the film "a Catholic classic" because of the dedicated efforts of Jake and Elwood Blues to save the Catholic orphanage in which they were raised. No word on whether Landis' An American Werewolf in London will now be honored by the Queen as "a British classic"! For more click here
Cleopatra first became the subject of a major film in the 1930s with Claudette Colbert playing the sultry Egyptian queen. In the 1960s, Elizabeth Taylor starred in the legendary mega budget epic biopic of the the Queen of the Nile. Now Angeline Jolie is preparing to play her in a new film and British TV is about to broadcast a major multi-part documentary about the real Cleopatra. In conjunction with that, scientists have released what they feel is an accurate depiction of how one of history's most legendary females actually looked - and while she might not be Liz Taylor, she ain't bad.
Click here for the Daily Mail's article on the real Cleopatra. (Note: the article repeatedly erroneously states that the 1963 epic was released in 1961)
It's become fashionable in critic's circles to pronounce Tom Cruise's career as a reliable box-office draw as dead. Cruise was always held in high regard, but his bizarre, Scientology-fueled public relations campaign during the release of War of the Worlds some years ago made him the butt of endless jokes. In the interim years, Cruise has made only two films: the poorly-received political movie Lions for Lambs and the WWII thriller Valkyrie, which didn't gross as much as most Cruise films but didn't tank in the manner many had predicted. The big test is his new action flick Knight and Day. The trailer may look awful, but writer Scott Mendelson predicts the film will do well- and says that, in the aggregate, Cruise is a more reliable box-office attraction than he is given credit for. To read click here
Studios should stay away from certain titles. Back in 1946 Cary Grant starred in a widely-disdained, watered down version of Cole Porter's life titled Night and Day. Half a century later, with only the slightest variation, Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz star in the action flick Knight and Day. It's obviously geared for audiences dumb enough to consider The A-Team too Bergmanesque - and New York Times critic A.O. Scott lets loose, blasting the film as a brainless, incoherent excuse to waste money on CGI effects. To read click here
Film historian and author Scott Eyman reports in the Palm Beach Post that a very rare silent film titled A Thief Catcher has been discovered at a Michigan antiques fair by collector and preservationist Paul Gierucki, who initially did not realize the importance of the 16mm reel he had purchased. Gierucki finally viewed the movie and discovered it to be a long-lost silent film from 1914 that featured a cameo by Chaplin. Click here for the fascinating details.
Sir Sean Connery was in an unusually sentimental and jovial mood when he introduced a screening of John Huston's 1975 classic The Man Who Would Be King at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Adding to the delight was his reunion with actor Saeed Jaffrey, who gave such a wonderful portrayal of Billy Fish in the film. Click here to watch
In a long-awaited ruling, a judge has sided with YouTube in a landmark case that pitted the popular web site against Viacom. The latter company sought a fortune in damages from YouTube, claiming that the site had knowingly built its profits on copyrighted video materials used without consent. However, the judge ruled that YouTube had always acted in good faith and promptly removed specific videos when alerted that they violated copyrights. Viacom promises to appeal, so the case will drag on through the years with more astronomical sums being spent on both sides. However, for the moment, free speech advocates are celebrating YouTube's victory. For more click here
On Thursday June 10th, three girls from Royal Docks
Community School were treated to a day out at the world-famous Pinewood Studios
on the outskirts of London, England. They were greeted by Julia Hillsdon, Head
of Marketing at the studio, who gave them a tour of the mansion building
originally known as Heatherden Hall, which the studios have been built around.
Julia took them through the picture gallery and explained the studio’s
illustrious history, films made there, and the many famous stars that have
walked its corridors during the past 50 years or so.
This was followed by a tour of the vast garden area, this time
given by Dave Worrall, co-publisher of Cinema Retro magazine, who explained to
the girls how the gardens were used in various James Bond and other major films
over the years, including Chitty Chitty
Bang Bang, the Hammer Horrors and Harry
Potter. This was followed by a very interesting tour of Technicolor. Hosted
by Chris Smith, the girls were given an overview of how the laboratory
operates, including a preview of their new 3D technology in their luxury
(Photo copyright Georgia Landers/All rights reserved)
By Matthew Field
Photos by: Georgia Landers
Fountainbridge in Edinburgh welcomed back its most famous son, Sir Sean
Connery, at a special event celebrating his legacy to the area, on Thursday
(June 17). Cinema Retro was present as Sir Sean returned to the street on which
he was born 80 years ago to unveil a plaque in his honour, and to meet local
community organisations and businesses involved in the regeneration of the
area.His ‘homecoming’ was sparked by
the need to reinstate the plaque originally erected by the Scottish Film
Council to celebrate the Centenary of Cinema in 1996. It was taken down four
years ago as work began on the Springside development currently transforming
the former Scottish & Newcastle bottling site in Fountainbridge. Now, as work on the first development phase is completed, the plaque has
been restored, with Sir Sean’s blessing. It’s now been erected at the entrance
of Springside on Fountainbridge - just yards away from the site of the original
tenement building in which Sir Sean started his life.
Something more terrifying than Margaret Hamilton's Wicked Witch awaits Wizard of Oz fanatics: a prequel.
Deadline Hollywood Daily reports that Sam Raimi has been hired by Disney to direct the 3-D film Oz: The Great and Powerful, a prequel to The Wizard of Oz. Robert Downey Jr. is being wooed to star in the film, which is sure to infuriate Oz purists but just may end up making a fortune, a la Tim Burton's critically-lambasted Alice in Wonderland. For more click here
It's never too late in life for celebrities to use the new media to communicate with admirers. Acclaimed British actress Dinah Sheridan has done just that by launching her first official web site at age 90. Ms. Sheridan made her screen debut in 1937 and gained acclaim and attention over the decades through her performances in dozens of British films, including her starring role in the classic adaptation of The Railway Children. Her web site offers full biographical information, filmography and the opportunity to purchase autographed photos. Click here to visit
Those who have been wondering when Orlando Bloom might be seen in another major film production got their answer with the announcement that he will play the villain in the forthcoming 3D version of The Three Musketeers. For more click here
The Pixar juggernaut of hits continues with the huge opening weekend of Toy Story 3, which nailed an estimated gross of $109 million. The film has been polling strongly with viewers and seems to have matched its predecessors in terms of having equal appeal to kids and adults. The remake of The Karate Kid continues to surprise, and emerges as one of the year's most unexpected hits. It also helps establish Jackie Chan's star credentials for a new generation. Not faring well were the poorly-reviewed big screen version of The A-Team and the new action film Jonah Hex. We're probably not in danger of seeing sequels to either. For more click here
Party girl: Marilyn Monroe is alleged to have attended sex orgies.
Recently released memos from the FBI files on the late Senator Edward Kennedy include a memo pertaining to a New York socialite who claimed she had considerable information regarding sex orgies that were attended by (at various times) Ted, Bobby and John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. Peter Lawford. (Hey, those Rat Packers really did do everything together!). The one page memo appears to be from a larger report that was not included in the released file so there is no way of knowing whether the FBI ever investigated these allegations. The 1965 memo was written during the reign of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, whose penchant for gathering scandalous material on the rich and powerful ensured his long tenure on the job, despite being despised by most presidents Similarly For more click here
It's hard to believe that it was 35 years ago today that Steven Spielberg revolutionized the film industry with the release of Jaws. I recall being a college student at the time, and while there was anticipation for the film because of the book's status as a best-seller, no one could believe the lines at the box-office. I saw the movie opening night in my hometown of Jersey City, New Jersey- and the next day my girlfriend and I went to the beach. The impact of the film was not lost on me. Although New Jersey has some of the finest, most popular beaches in the world, the water was pretty light on swimmers even though the beach was packed. So many people had seen the film opening night, or spread the word about its impact, that people were frightened to go into the water. We do have sharks off the Jersey coast but attacks are very rare. Nevertheless, the impact of Spielberg's film made the possibility of even the slightest encounter reason enough to stay on solid ground. I think people were expecting a hokey B monster movie and they emerged from the theater knowing they had seen a cinematic work of art - not to mention three unexpectedly great performances by Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and -especially- Robert Shaw. Today's era of computer-generated special effects has ensured we'll never seen a film that has this kind of impact again - a true masterpiece of suspense created by craftsmen who worked diligently against nature, nervous studio executives and a soaring budget. Thirty five years from now it will still be seen as a textbook example of how to produce and direct a great tale of suspense. Click here for Slashfilm's photo tribute to the movie including vintage newspaper ads.
Click here to read Cinema Retro's exclusive interview with the producers of the Jaws documentary The Shark Is Still Working
Click here to order special edition DVD from Amazon
Cinema Retro columnist Dean Brierly has created two blogs to celebrate his favorite crime films of the 50s and 60s. As usual, Dean shows his taste for esoteric fare by avoiding many of the acknowledged classics in favor of films like Big House U.S.A., Hail Mafia!, Warning Shot and Kaleidoscope and other gems that rarely get the attention they deserve.
Ronald Neame, the legendary cinematographer-turned-screenwriter-turned producer-turned director, has died from complications from a fall. He was 99 years old. Neame's impressive resume goes back to the early days of sound films, having worked on on Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail. The multi-talented Neame also took up screenwriting and earned Oscar nominations for co-writing the scripts for the classics Brief Encounter and Great Expectations. He was considered a pioneer in the use of Technicolor and was so revered in the British film industry that he was made a Commander of the British Empire. Neame represented the by-gone era of gentleman directors who generally dressed nattily on film sets and brought a wealth of culture to their productions. He directed such high profile films as Tunes of Glory, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Chalk Garden, Gambit, Scrooge, The Odessa File and the blockbuster 1972 hit The Poseidon Adventure. For more click here
John Carpenter is the latest director to revive the Dracula legend. Hammer Films successfully launched an entire series of Dracula films starring Christopher Lee that ran from the late 1950s through early 1970s.
John Carpenter will direct a modern-day version of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Based on the novel Fangland, the new film will focus on a female TV producer who travels to Transylvania to meet with an Eastern European arms dealer who turns out to be "you-know-who". Hilary Swank is being wooed for the female lead. For more click here
The producers of the Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker are taking legal action against thousands of people who have illegally downloaded the film onto their computer or other electronic device. The E mail addresses of the violators are known and the producers promise to take a stand to discourage others from participating in film piracy. The acclaimed film has not been a major boxoffice success and the impact on video sales from illegal downloads could cut considerably into profits. For more click here
Cinema Retro's Matthew Field is covering the action at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Here is his first report:
Big Tam, as Sir Sean was nicknamed in childhood, arrives and greets fans (Photo copyright Matthew Field. All rights reserved)
The 64th Edinburgh
International Film Festival kicked off Wednesday night and CINEMA RETRO were
there on the red carpet. The film chosen for the opening gala was Sylvain
Chomet’s The Illusionist - an animated feature by Academy Award® nominated
filmmaker Sylvain Chomet - which was made and set predominantly in the Scottish
(Photo copyright Matthew Field. All rights reserved)
Arrivals at the Edinburgh Festival
Theatre, a venue used for the first time by EIFF, were greeted by the
eight-piece Horndog Brass Band which entertained the huge crowds that lined
Nicolson Street. The biggest star of the night was none other than Sir Sean
Connery - one of the festival’s patrons. He entertained the crowds and
happily signed autographs for fans. He later entertained the paps with a dance
outside the after party in Bristo Square!
Click here for video of Connery dancing with the band.
Films like Custer of the West starring Robert Shaw portrayed the general as a gallant hero - but many feel he was a blunderer.
In reviewing Nathaniel Philbrick's The Last Stand, New York Times critic Bruce Barcott comes to the conclusion that General George Armstrong Custer was a bumbler akin to Inspector Clouseau and compares President Grant to Clouseau's perpetually frustrated boss, Dreyfus. Philbrick's biography of Custer sheds a new perspective on the oft-analyzed battle that cost Custer his life and his entire command. Philbrick points out that Custer benefited from a few lucky breaks in his career that resulted in his gaining a reputation as a brilliant strategist- when, in fact, he was merely a reckless fool who lacked any inherent understanding of battlefield tactics. In the wake of his legendary defeat, his widow Libby teamed with notorious liar Buffalo Bill to propagate the myth that Custer was a national hero. As such, Philbrick says, Custer became one of the first artificial American celebrities - someone who gained fame for the wrong reason. (Think Paris Hilton) For more click here
To order The Last Stand discounted from Amazon click here
following is an abbreviated excerpt of the Foreword by David Frangioni from his
Eastwood: ICON (reprinted with permission
from Palace Press). The book is a lavish collection of rare Eastwood international movie advertising materials from the author's extensive personal archive.
There are two types of people in the world:
those who collectand those who
I’ve found that the group of people that
don’t collect anything really doesn’t “get” how we collectors think, act, or
obsess. So I’ve come to appreciate the collectors of the world, and what makes
us tick. We’re a passionate bunch, inspired by the idea of completion around a
subject—whether its manifestations be art, books, cards, coins, stamps, posters,
toys, or the like—and we devote ourselves to realizing this idea. Driven by
this need for totality (some would say perfection), we pursue our desire to
possess by trying to find everything on our “want list,” not resting until
we’ve achieved the immediate goal of acquiring a particular object—with the
eventual aim of completing our ideal collection. We define ourselves through
this search for rare and unique items and the archive that results from the
And then there’s the high you get from
collecting. Lists and notations aside, collecting is a visceral business, too.
That rush of discovering a rare item is a feeling that all collectors
understand.For instance, I remember
flipping through the Heritage Auction catalog back in 2001 and seeing listed,
for the first time, three Dirty Harry
standees. They were barely even mentioned in the official 1971 Dirty Harry pressbook, and I had never
seen any of them for sale, much less two. Talk about rare! I had a feeling they
were quite special, and knew I had to
have them. If you’re a fellow collector you know exactly the feeling I’m
talking about—and how driven I was to obtain these items! Fortunately, I won
the standees......I’ve never seen their likes again, either for sale or in
someone else’s collection. I still get “that feeling” whenever I take them out
and view them.
You’re probably wondering, though, how I
discovered my passion for movie posters, and particularly Clint Eastwood
memorabilia. It actually started very early on—when I was eight. It was 1975,
and my mother had begun taking me to the twenty-five-cent Saturday matinees at
the Regent Theater in my hometown of Arlington, Massachusetts. The Regent was a
second-run movie house, but the movies were new to me and there was no home
video at the time.
Every Saturday, like clockwork, I’d see a
new movie—and a new movie poster. It was a special form of ritual for me, and
the movie posters with their different styles of artwork became important
features of my weekly pastime. I remember seeing the “Coming Soon” posters
outside the theater and in the lobby and being overcome by a feeling of
excitement. All of the cool, pop-culture graphics would pump me up for what I
was going to see next week or next month. I loved the art, the emotions that they
evoked, and the promise of big-screen excitement that the posters represented.
To me, they seemed an integral part of the filmgoing experience. I didn’t know
it at the time, but I was hooked!
In the spirit of Cinema Retro's quest to help make audiences aware of worthwhile independent films, columnist David Savage reports on the new short Sahaja Springs.
precious few directors have exploited the inherent comedy of the ashram -- a
retreat for meditation, yoga and enlightenment -- it may be because, like the
fashion biz and network television, for example -- these realms do an awfully
good job of satirizing themselves.
director willing to take a stab at sending up the yoga lifestyle is emerging
indie director Rebecca Conroy, a recent graduate of Columbia
University's graduate film program. Her hilarious short, Sahaja Springs,
recently screened at the IFC Center in Manhattan, and has both tickled and
angered audiences, depending on whom you ask. (Men seem to be amused; women,
not so much, according to Conroy.)
film's multi-thread narrative follows a group of ashram residents as they
struggle to find inner peace promised by an Upstate New York ashram run by a
faux-Indian, fraudulent yogi. That the character is played by a real-life
Indian yogi, 92 year-old Kumar Pallana -- the Indian character actor with a
recurring role in many of Wes Anderson's films such as Rushmore, The
Royal Tenenbaums, and The Darjeeling Limited -- is a good example of
the film’s layered comedy.
a male ashram resident – a hunky, magnetic loner who speaks in mystical yet
baffling headscratchers – seems to be driving all the females crazy with
frustrated lust and confusion.
a smart, deadpan jewel from a young director who knows whence she speaks:
Conroy drew upon her own experiences as a yoga follower, ashram-crasher and
daughter of a hippie mother.
sat down recently for coffee with Conroy and discussed the idea behind her yoga
satire and “The Great Kumar”’s surprising theatrical history.
Jimmy Dean, who turned his brand of corn pone charm into a major asset, has died at age 81. Dean jumped to fame with his classic Country and Western ode Big Bad John in 1961. He successfully entered many different careers ranging from TV show host to entertaining before large audiences in concert. The food company he started still bares his name, though he had sold his interests in it many years ago. Dean also dabbled in acting and landed a role still revered by James Bond fans: as the reclusive billionaire Willard Whyte in the 1971 007 blockbuster Diamonds Are Forever. For more click here
One of Charlton Heston's best performances was presented in one of his least-seen films of the 1960s. The 1968 Western Will Penny, ably directed by Tom Gries, finds Heston as an aging cowhand who is facing the prospect of getting too old for his chosen profession. His life takes an unusual turn when he ends up aiding a desperate woman who is trying to raise her young son against the dangers of prairie life. Complicating matters are a family of cutthroats led by Donald Pleasence and his murderous sons - among them: Bruce Dern. . For Will Penny trailer click here
British writer Paul Johnson has hobnobbed with the rich and powerful throughout his life and career. In his just-published memoirs, he recalls some of his encounters with both major political and show business giants. Johnson remembers speaking with Richard Burton, who had recently finished filming Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor. (Bizarrely, Johnson gets the name of the film wrong. Despite the fact it's one of the most famous movies ever made, he confuses it with the play Antony and Cleopatra) In any event, he quotes Burton as espousing Liz's two best assets thusly: 'Elizabeth's tits have
the great and rare merit of being firm and soft at the same time. I
can't say more than that, can I?' Far be it from Cinema Retro staffers to argue...For more click here
There has seldom been a better example of the dearth of original ideas presently available to studios in terms of launching major films. Still, familiarity often brings big dividends for those content to put their creative instincts in mothballs. This weekend the remake of The Karate Kid stunned the industry by performing far beyond expectations. The main casualty of this Kid is the big screen version of the awful 1980s TV series The A- Team which brought in disappointing grosses. Click here for more
Movie Grooves, the soundtrack company in the UK, advises that a 4-CD soundtrack from Roger Moore's classic TV series The Saint is due out this month. The boxed set has extensive liner notes and contains Edwin Astley's score for all of the color seasons of the series. (Thanks to reader Bill Parisho for the heads up) For more click here
Steve Martin photographed in concert in London by Cinema Retro's Mark Mawston.
The web site Letters of Note has unearthed a hilarious form letter sent out by Steve Martin to fans during his early days as a comedy superstar. The vintage form letter pretends to be a personalized response to a fan named Jerry. You have to click here to view it in order to appreciate the gag. Just reminds us of how barren the comedy landscape has become in the years since Martin gave up stand-up in favor of starring in lame remakes of old family movies.
With production stalled on the next James Bond film due to MGM's precarious future, star Daniel Craig and director Sam Mendes, who are tapped to work on the new 007 flick, have lined up other high profile projects in the interim. Mendes will direct a stage version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in London and Craig may be starring in a new version of the recent film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. For more click here
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? marked Nichol's debut as a film director.
Director Mike Nichols was the honoree at a star-packed tribute held by the American Film Institute on Thursday. As was the custom, the program appeared to be more a Friar's Club roast than a staid tribute to the acclaimed director. Robin Williams chided Nichols about his penchant for having total control over his projects by saying, " "it's rumored that you even had final cut at your own circumcision." For more click here
The absurdity of casting white actors as people of color seems to be making a comeback in modern Hollywood.
If you thought the old practice of casting Caucasian actors in roles as people of color went out with Rex Harrison playing the King of Siam, you're wrong. The habit continues, even in these times when Hollywood is supposed to be more sensitive toward casting minority actors. Three potential blockbuster releases are in the eye of the storm due to casting white actors in leading roles that were written as people of color. Studios respond to the criticism by saying many minority actors are in the films, though not in the leading roles. Not to be outdone, as we reported recently, director Robert Rodriguez' forthcoming action film Machete has been the center of controversy with claims that it has an anti-white bias. For more click here
Writer Craig Henderson, who contributed the extensive 8 issue Cinema Retro coverage of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. feature films has completed his amazing, in-depth time-line tracing the history of the show. The fact-filled and fascinating achievement is on Craig's site For Your Eyes Only, along with a wealth of other great spy movie lore. Click here to view
Actor Daniel Craig is enamored with New York City - to the extent he just bought a $2 million apartment in the trendy Tribeca area. Craig had not spent much time in Gotham prior to appearing in his sell-out run of A Steady Rain last year on Broadway. He obviously liked the experience and will now be calling New York home. For a photo tour of Casa Craig, click here