frame-paradiso
frame-paradiso:

Hollywood (1980-TV-series)
- A Celebration of the American Silent Film -
Here is the definitive video history of the art of the American silent film. This 13-episode documentary was literally produced in the nick of time, as many of those interviewed would be deceased in a few short years - their wonderful memories lost forever.Produced in 1980 for Thames Television, this is certainly one of the crowning achievements of the British team of Kevin Brownlow & David Gill, who together have done so much to preserve not only the history of silent cinema, but also the actual films themselves.The one great lesson of the series is that non-talking films were a distinct art form, complete & satisfying, which had developed a universal language, understood everywhere, through the perfected medium of mime. This was all swept away with the arrival of Talk. So complete was the dismissal of silent films (which were never really silent) that within a short period of time they would be disparaged as intrinsically valueless & technically inferior.As HOLLYWOOD triumphantly shows, nothing could have been further from the truth. Films of enormous expertise & intense emotional impact were almost routinely created by the pioneers who were perfecting their new invention. The achievements of Silent Cinema’s 35 years constitute a new cultural renaissance.
Narrated by James Mason, this mini-series is presented in thirteen episodes. Here’s One to Four.
"The Pioneers" - The evolution of film from penny arcade curiosity to art form, from what was considered the first plot driven film, The Great Train Robbery, through to The Birth of a Nation, films showing the power of the medium. Early Technicolor footage, along with other color technologies, are also featured. Interviews include Lillian Gish, Jackie Coogan and King Vidor.
 Alternate source: 
"In the Beginning" - Hollywood is transformed from a peaceful village with dusty streets and lemon groves to the birthplace of the industry in California. Silent film transcends international boundaries to become a worldwide phenomenon. Interviews include Henry King, Agnes de Mille, and Lillian Gish.  Alternate source:  "Single Beds and Double Standards" - Fast success in Hollywood brings a cavalier party lifestyle, which led to shocking scandals such as Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle’s trial and subsequent acquittal for manslaughter. To tone down the image of Hollywood and curtail films with footage unsuitable to all audiences, Will H. Hays is appointed and introduces Hollywood’s self regulated Production Code, which would be enforced well into the 1960s, while filmmakers still found creative ways to present ‘adult’ situations. Interviews include King Vidor and Gloria Swanson.  Alternate source:  "Hollywood Goes To War" - The outbreak of World War I provides Hollywood with a successful source for plots and profits. Peacetime curtails the release of war movies, until the release of King Vidor’s The Big Parade in 1925. Wings (1927) earns the first Academy Award for Best Picture. As movies transition to sound, Universal releases Lewis Milestone’s All Quiet on the Western Front, showing the German side of the conflict, becoming a powerful statement of war by the generation that fought it. Interviews include Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., King Vidor, Blanche Sweet and Lillian Gish.  Alternate source: 
In North America, the series was released in 1990 by HBO Video on VHS and  laserdisc. Attempts to release the series on DVD  in the United Kingdom in 2006 were met with legal entanglements of copyright issues and clip clearances, due to the overwhelming number of participants and film clips involved in the series; it was briefly available in a few online stores in the UK before being quickly pulled. Check back for the rest.

frame-paradiso:

Hollywood (1980-TV-series)

- A Celebration of the American Silent Film -

Here is the definitive video history of the art of the American silent film. This 13-episode documentary was literally produced in the nick of time, as many of those interviewed would be deceased in a few short years - their wonderful memories lost forever.
Produced in 1980 for Thames Television, this is certainly one of the crowning achievements of the British team of Kevin Brownlow & David Gill, who together have done so much to preserve not only the history of silent cinema, but also the actual films themselves.
The one great lesson of the series is that non-talking films were a distinct art form, complete & satisfying, which had developed a universal language, understood everywhere, through the perfected medium of mime. This was all swept away with the arrival of Talk. So complete was the dismissal of silent films (which were never really silent) that within a short period of time they would be disparaged as intrinsically valueless & technically inferior.
As HOLLYWOOD triumphantly shows, nothing could have been further from the truth. Films of enormous expertise & intense emotional impact were almost routinely created by the pioneers who were perfecting their new invention. The achievements of Silent Cinema’s 35 years constitute a new cultural renaissance.

Narrated by James Mason, this mini-series is presented in thirteen episodes. Here’s One to Four.

"The Pioneers" - The evolution of film from penny arcade curiosity to art form, from what was considered the first plot driven film, The Great Train Robbery, through to The Birth of a Nation, films showing the power of the medium. Early Technicolor footage, along with other color technologies, are also featured. Interviews include Lillian Gish, Jackie Coogan and King Vidor.

Alternate source:

"In the Beginning" - Hollywood is transformed from a peaceful village with dusty streets and lemon groves to the birthplace of the industry in California. Silent film transcends international boundaries to become a worldwide phenomenon. Interviews include Henry King, Agnes de Mille, and Lillian Gish. Alternate source: "Single Beds and Double Standards" - Fast success in Hollywood brings a cavalier party lifestyle, which led to shocking scandals such as Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle’s trial and subsequent acquittal for manslaughter. To tone down the image of Hollywood and curtail films with footage unsuitable to all audiences, Will H. Hays is appointed and introduces Hollywood’s self regulated Production Code, which would be enforced well into the 1960s, while filmmakers still found creative ways to present ‘adult’ situations. Interviews include King Vidor and Gloria Swanson. Alternate source: "Hollywood Goes To War" - The outbreak of World War I provides Hollywood with a successful source for plots and profits. Peacetime curtails the release of war movies, until the release of King Vidor’s The Big Parade in 1925. Wings (1927) earns the first Academy Award for Best Picture. As movies transition to sound, Universal releases Lewis Milestone’s All Quiet on the Western Front, showing the German side of the conflict, becoming a powerful statement of war by the generation that fought it. Interviews include Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., King Vidor, Blanche Sweet and Lillian Gish. Alternate source:

In North America, the series was released in 1990 by HBO Video on VHS and  laserdisc. Attempts to release the series on DVD  in the United Kingdom in 2006 were met with legal entanglements of copyright issues and clip clearances, due to the overwhelming number of participants and film clips involved in the series; it was briefly available in a few online stores in the UK before being quickly pulled. Check back for the rest.

cinephiliabeyond
cinephiliabeyond:

Attention fellow aging gen-X geeks: the archives of Cinemagic magazine are now online. Between 1972 and 1987, Cinemagic was the only publication dedicated to showing filmmakers how to make science fiction, fantasy, and horror movies on backyard project budgets. In the mid 60’s Don Dohler came up with an idea for a magazine for filmmakers. It would feature illustrated step-by-step articles for amateur special effects filmmakers. Inspired by his underground comix friends Dohler set off to publish the magazine on his own. The magazine featured articles by industry professionals and went on for 11 issues before being purchased by Starlog in 1979. Cinemagic inspired several young filmmakers who later went on to have successful careers in Hollywood, including J.J. Abrams, Tom Sullivan, Ernie Farino and Al Magliochetti.




The documentary tracks the evolution of the magazine from an indie fan mag to a national pulpit backed by Starlog, the granddaddy of all science fiction publications.

We’ll catch up with the people behind some of the most beloved projects featured in its pages, and see how some of them went from making homemade Super8 epics to creating the biggest blockbusting movies coming out of Hollywood today. We’ll also show how this humble publication laid the groundwork for today’s indie do-it-yourself filmmaking revolution. When completed, the documentary will feature interviews with Kerry O’Quinn, Gregory Dohler, John Dods, Al Magliochetti, Ernest Farino, Tim Sullivan, and many, many others. Currently in production by Swords & Circuitry Studios.


For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

//

cinephiliabeyond:

Attention fellow aging gen-X geeks: the archives of Cinemagic magazine are now online. Between 1972 and 1987, Cinemagic was the only publication dedicated to showing filmmakers how to make science fiction, fantasy, and horror movies on backyard project budgets. In the mid 60’s Don Dohler came up with an idea for a magazine for filmmakers. It would feature illustrated step-by-step articles for amateur special effects filmmakers. Inspired by his underground comix friends Dohler set off to publish the magazine on his own. The magazine featured articles by industry professionals and went on for 11 issues before being purchased by Starlog in 1979. Cinemagic inspired several young filmmakers who later went on to have successful careers in Hollywood, including J.J. Abrams, Tom Sullivan, Ernie Farino and Al Magliochetti.

The documentary tracks the evolution of the magazine from an indie fan mag to a national pulpit backed by Starlog, the granddaddy of all science fiction publications.

We’ll catch up with the people behind some of the most beloved projects featured in its pages, and see how some of them went from making homemade Super8 epics to creating the biggest blockbusting movies coming out of Hollywood today. We’ll also show how this humble publication laid the groundwork for today’s indie do-it-yourself filmmaking revolution. When completed, the documentary will feature interviews with Kerry O’Quinn, Gregory Dohler, John Dods, Al Magliochetti, Ernest Farino, Tim Sullivan, and many, many others. Currently in production by Swords & Circuitry Studios.

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

nitrateglow
nitrateglow:

cinephiliabeyond:

Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film  is a 1980 documentary series produced by Thames Television which explored the establishment and development of the Hollywood studios and its impact on 1920s culture. The series consists of thirteen fifty-minute episodes, with each episode dealing with a specific aspect of Hollywood history. The actor James Mason, an enthusiast of the period, supplied the narration; a lilting score was contributed by Carl Davis. In North America, the series was released in 1990 by HBO Video on VHS and LaserDisc. Attempts to release the series on DVD in the United Kingdom in 2006 were met with legal entanglements of copyright issues and clip clearances, due to the overwhelming number of participants and film clips involved in the series; it was briefly available in a few online stores in the UK before being quickly pulled. Frame-paradiso comes to the rescue. This is a marvelous documentary series and required viewing for film buffs. Here’s the first four episodes of the series.
THE PIONEERS
The evolution of film from penny arcade curiosity to art form, from what was considered the first plot driven film, The Great Train Robbery, through to The Birth of a Nation, films showing the power of the medium. Early Technicolor footage, along with other color technologies, are also featured. Interviews include Lillian Gish, Jackie Coogan and King Vidor.

IN THE BEGINNING 
Hollywood is transformed from a peaceful village with dusty streets and lemon groves to the birthplace of the industry in California. Silent film transcends international boundaries to become a worldwide phenomenon. Interviews include Henry King, Agnes de Mille, and Lillian Gish.

SINGLE BEDS AND DOUBLE STANDARDS 
Fast success in Hollywood brings a cavalier party lifestyle, which led to shocking scandals such as Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle’s trial and subsequent acquittal for manslaughter. To tone down the image of Hollywood and curtail films with footage unsuitable to all audiences, Will H. Hays is appointed and introduces Hollywood’s self regulated Production Code, which would be enforced well into the 1960s, while filmmakers still found creative ways to present ‘adult’ situations. Interviews include King Vidor and Gloria Swanson.

HOLLYWOOD GOES TO WAR
The outbreak of World War I provides Hollywood with a successful source for plots and profits. Peacetime curtails the release of war movies, until the release of King Vidor’s The Big Parade  in 1925. Wings  (1927) earns the first Academy Award for Best Picture. As movies transition to sound, Universal releases Lewis Milestone’s All Quiet on the Western Front, showing the German side of the conflict, becoming a powerful statement of war by the generation that fought it. Interviews include Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., King Vidor, Blanche Sweet and Lillian Gish.

Also, highly recommended viewing: Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood  (1995) is a documentary series produced by David Gill and silent film historian Kevin Brownlow. Chronicles the birth of European cinema, from the Lumiere brothers to World War I, and then the first golden age of Swedish cinema, from the formation of Svenska Bio to the departure for Hollywood of Stiller and Sjöström.
 
For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

// 

This documentary is one of the best ever. I found it early in my development as a silent film enthusiast and it is astounding. It’s criminal how legal issues have prevented it from a DVD release!

nitrateglow:

cinephiliabeyond:

Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film  is a 1980 documentary series produced by Thames Television which explored the establishment and development of the Hollywood studios and its impact on 1920s culture. The series consists of thirteen fifty-minute episodes, with each episode dealing with a specific aspect of Hollywood history. The actor James Mason, an enthusiast of the period, supplied the narration; a lilting score was contributed by Carl Davis. In North America, the series was released in 1990 by HBO Video on VHS and LaserDisc. Attempts to release the series on DVD in the United Kingdom in 2006 were met with legal entanglements of copyright issues and clip clearances, due to the overwhelming number of participants and film clips involved in the series; it was briefly available in a few online stores in the UK before being quickly pulled. Frame-paradiso comes to the rescue. This is a marvelous documentary series and required viewing for film buffs. Here’s the first four episodes of the series.

THE PIONEERS

The evolution of film from penny arcade curiosity to art form, from what was considered the first plot driven film, The Great Train Robbery, through to The Birth of a Nation, films showing the power of the medium. Early Technicolor footage, along with other color technologies, are also featured. Interviews include Lillian Gish, Jackie Coogan and King Vidor.

IN THE BEGINNING

Hollywood is transformed from a peaceful village with dusty streets and lemon groves to the birthplace of the industry in California. Silent film transcends international boundaries to become a worldwide phenomenon. Interviews include Henry King, Agnes de Mille, and Lillian Gish.

SINGLE BEDS AND DOUBLE STANDARDS

Fast success in Hollywood brings a cavalier party lifestyle, which led to shocking scandals such as Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle’s trial and subsequent acquittal for manslaughter. To tone down the image of Hollywood and curtail films with footage unsuitable to all audiences, Will H. Hays is appointed and introduces Hollywood’s self regulated Production Code, which would be enforced well into the 1960s, while filmmakers still found creative ways to present ‘adult’ situations. Interviews include King Vidor and Gloria Swanson.

HOLLYWOOD GOES TO WAR

The outbreak of World War I provides Hollywood with a successful source for plots and profits. Peacetime curtails the release of war movies, until the release of King Vidor’s The Big Parade  in 1925. Wings  (1927) earns the first Academy Award for Best Picture. As movies transition to sound, Universal releases Lewis Milestone’s All Quiet on the Western Front, showing the German side of the conflict, becoming a powerful statement of war by the generation that fought it. Interviews include Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., King Vidor, Blanche Sweet and Lillian Gish.

Also, highly recommended viewing: Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood  (1995) is a documentary series produced by David Gill and silent film historian Kevin Brownlow. Chronicles the birth of European cinema, from the Lumiere brothers to World War I, and then the first golden age of Swedish cinema, from the formation of Svenska Bio to the departure for Hollywood of Stiller and Sjöström.

 

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

This documentary is one of the best ever. I found it early in my development as a silent film enthusiast and it is astounding. It’s criminal how legal issues have prevented it from a DVD release!

cinephiliabeyond
cinephiliabeyond:


There is an old story of how the cathedral of Chartres was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Then thousands of people came from all points of the compass, like a giant procession of ants, and together they began to rebuild the cathedral on its old site. They worked until the building was completed—master builders, artists, laborers, clowns, noblemen, priests, and burghers. But they all remained anonymous, and no one knows to this day who built the cathedral of Chartres. Regardless of my own beliefs and my own doubts, which are unimportant in this connection, it is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God. He lived and died without being more or less important than other artisans; “eternal values,” “immortality” and “masterpiece” were terms not applicable in his case. The ability to create was a gift. In such a world flourished invulnerable assurance and natural humility.
Today the individual has become the highest form and the greatest bane of artistic creation. The smallest wound or pain of the ego is examined under a microscope as if it were of eternal importance. The artist considers his isolation, his subjectivity, and his individualism almost holy. Thus we finally gather in one large pen, where we stand and bleat about our loneliness without listening to each other and without realizing that we are smothering each other to death. The individualists stare into each other’s eyes and yet deny the existence of each other. We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster’s whim and the purest ideal. Thus if I am asked what I would like the general purpose of my films to be, I would reply that I want to be one of the artists in the cathedral on the great plain. I want to make a dragon’s head, an angel, a devil—or perhaps a saint—out of stone. It does not matter which; it is the sense of satisfaction that counts. Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral. —Ingmar Bergman, Four Screenplays via oldhollywood


In case you somehow missed it: this is just absolutely brilliant and by far the best interview with Ingmar Bergman I’ve ever come across: Ingmar Bergman: a conversation with the students of the American Film Institute. In addition to this, I would also recommend George Stevens Jr.’s marvelous book, Conversations with the Great Moviemakers of Hollywood’s Golden Age: At the American Film Institute.

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

//

cinephiliabeyond:

There is an old story of how the cathedral of Chartres was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Then thousands of people came from all points of the compass, like a giant procession of ants, and together they began to rebuild the cathedral on its old site. They worked until the building was completed—master builders, artists, laborers, clowns, noblemen, priests, and burghers. But they all remained anonymous, and no one knows to this day who built the cathedral of Chartres. Regardless of my own beliefs and my own doubts, which are unimportant in this connection, it is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself. In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God. He lived and died without being more or less important than other artisans; “eternal values,” “immortality” and “masterpiece” were terms not applicable in his case. The ability to create was a gift. In such a world flourished invulnerable assurance and natural humility.

Today the individual has become the highest form and the greatest bane of artistic creation. The smallest wound or pain of the ego is examined under a microscope as if it were of eternal importance. The artist considers his isolation, his subjectivity, and his individualism almost holy. Thus we finally gather in one large pen, where we stand and bleat about our loneliness without listening to each other and without realizing that we are smothering each other to death. The individualists stare into each other’s eyes and yet deny the existence of each other. We walk in circles, so limited by our own anxieties that we can no longer distinguish between true and false, between the gangster’s whim and the purest ideal. Thus if I am asked what I would like the general purpose of my films to be, I would reply that I want to be one of the artists in the cathedral on the great plain. I want to make a dragon’s head, an angel, a devil—or perhaps a saint—out of stone. It does not matter which; it is the sense of satisfaction that counts. Regardless of whether I believe or not, whether I am a Christian or not, I would play my part in the collective building of the cathedral. —Ingmar Bergman, Four Screenplays via oldhollywood

In case you somehow missed it: this is just absolutely brilliant and by far the best interview with Ingmar Bergman I’ve ever come across: Ingmar Bergman: a conversation with the students of the American Film Institute. In addition to this, I would also recommend George Stevens Jr.’s marvelous book, Conversations with the Great Moviemakers of Hollywood’s Golden Age: At the American Film Institute.

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

cinephiliabeyond
cinephiliabeyond:

Edward G. Robinson cuts the cake commemorating his 101st motion picture, Soylent Green. Director Richard Fleischer, M-G-M’s Vice President of Production Daniel Melnick and Charlton Heston were on hand at the champagne party. Fleischer was the son of the famous animator Max Fleischer, the man who created Betty Boop  and Koko the Clown? He also directed such fantasy and sci-fi favorites as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Fantastic Voyage, Dr. Dolittle, Conan the Destroyer, and Red Sonja. Among his many movies, however, Soylent Green  appears to be the popular cult favorite, and people still love to quote that unforgettable line from the film, “Soylent Green is PEOPLE!!!”

If you think the world is going to the dogs, then Soylent Green (1973) will confirm your worst fears. Based on Harry Harrison’s classic science fiction novel, Make Room! Make Room!, Soylent Green is an apocalyptic vision of the future set in the year 2020. Pollution, overpopulation, and a chaotic social order have turned New York City into a giant roach trap for humans. But that’s not the worst part. Wait till you see what they’re serving for lunch! Synthetic wafers made out of plankton. Or is it some other top-secret ingredient that the government refuses to reveal? Although Soylent Green remains one of the most popular science fiction films of the seventies (it won the much coveted Nebula Award), it did take several liberties with Harry Harrison's original novel, resulting in some major disagreements between the author and MGM, the studio that made the film. In the book, Omni’s Screen Flights/Screen Fantasies, edited by Danny Peary, Harry Harrison discusses the mutilation of his novel in the following excerpt:
"As is standard Hollywood practice, the author of the book upon which this film is based was treated shabbily. All the usual tricks were used: a dummy company was set up to disguise the fact that it was really MGM buying the film rights; a contract was drawn up to prevent the author from having any control over the screenplay — and, of course, creative bookkeeping made certain none of the film’s profits reached the author… Although forbidden by contract to make any changes in the script, I nevertheless pointed out a number of inaccuracies and mistakes I discovered… I propagandized everyone in sight, from grips to actors, by giving them copies of the original book. When Charlton Heston got his, he called across the set to the director (Richard Fleischer), ‘Hey, Dick, why aren’t you using this title instead of the crappy Soylent Green?’ The answer, which Fleischer perhaps did not know, was the decision made in high places that my title might be associated with a long-dead TV series named ‘Make Room for Daddy.’ Moral: When you throw away a good title, you always get a bad one… The idiotic cannibal-crackers (not in the book) and the ‘big’ revelation that they are made from corpses will have been twigged by the audience early on. This, and the murder and chase sequences, the ‘furniture’ girls (not in the book) are not what the film is about — and are completely irrelevant. The film, like the book, shows what the world will be like if we continue in our insane manner to pollute and overpopulate Spaceship Earth. This is the ‘message’ of film and book. Both of them deliver this message in a manner unique to science fiction: The technique of background-as-foreground… Am I pleased with the film? I would say fifty percent. The message of the book has been delivered. It was an exciting experience to see a major film produced by a major studio. It was a humbling experience to meet Edward G. Robinson. A great actor and a great human being. He alone knew that he had terminal cancer when he made the film. He must have chosen to make one more film rather than sit quietly at home and await death. He died before the film was released and it is a tribute to the hard-nosed film executives that they did try to cut out the suicide-parlor scene before the film was released. But it is such an integral part of the film that it could not be done." —Jeff Stafford, TCM

Thanks to the wonderful TCM website we can watch the original movie promo — a behind the scenes featurette on the making of Soylent Green  — from back in 1973. [via Retroist]
Soylent Green

// 
Stanley R. Greenberg’s screenplay for Soylent Green. Based on Harry Harrison’s classic science fiction novel, Make Room! Make Room!  [pdf]. (NOTE: For educational purposes only). Thanks to Write to Reel’s Paul Tomlinson. The DVD/Blu-ray of the film is available at Amazon and other online retailers.

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

//

cinephiliabeyond:

Edward G. Robinson cuts the cake commemorating his 101st motion picture, Soylent Green. Director Richard Fleischer, M-G-M’s Vice President of Production Daniel Melnick and Charlton Heston were on hand at the champagne party. Fleischer was the son of the famous animator Max Fleischer, the man who created Betty Boop  and Koko the Clown? He also directed such fantasy and sci-fi favorites as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Fantastic Voyage, Dr. Dolittle, Conan the Destroyer, and Red Sonja. Among his many movies, however, Soylent Green  appears to be the popular cult favorite, and people still love to quote that unforgettable line from the film, “Soylent Green is PEOPLE!!!”

If you think the world is going to the dogs, then Soylent Green (1973) will confirm your worst fears. Based on Harry Harrison’s classic science fiction novel, Make Room! Make Room!, Soylent Green is an apocalyptic vision of the future set in the year 2020. Pollution, overpopulation, and a chaotic social order have turned New York City into a giant roach trap for humans. But that’s not the worst part. Wait till you see what they’re serving for lunch! Synthetic wafers made out of plankton. Or is it some other top-secret ingredient that the government refuses to reveal? Although Soylent Green remains one of the most popular science fiction films of the seventies (it won the much coveted Nebula Award), it did take several liberties with Harry Harrison's original novel, resulting in some major disagreements between the author and MGM, the studio that made the film. In the book, Omni’s Screen Flights/Screen Fantasies, edited by Danny Peary, Harry Harrison discusses the mutilation of his novel in the following excerpt:

"As is standard Hollywood practice, the author of the book upon which this film is based was treated shabbily. All the usual tricks were used: a dummy company was set up to disguise the fact that it was really MGM buying the film rights; a contract was drawn up to prevent the author from having any control over the screenplay — and, of course, creative bookkeeping made certain none of the film’s profits reached the author… Although forbidden by contract to make any changes in the script, I nevertheless pointed out a number of inaccuracies and mistakes I discovered… I propagandized everyone in sight, from grips to actors, by giving them copies of the original book. When Charlton Heston got his, he called across the set to the director (Richard Fleischer), ‘Hey, Dick, why aren’t you using this title instead of the crappy Soylent Green?’ The answer, which Fleischer perhaps did not know, was the decision made in high places that my title might be associated with a long-dead TV series named ‘Make Room for Daddy.’ Moral: When you throw away a good title, you always get a bad one… The idiotic cannibal-crackers (not in the book) and the ‘big’ revelation that they are made from corpses will have been twigged by the audience early on. This, and the murder and chase sequences, the ‘furniture’ girls (not in the book) are not what the film is about — and are completely irrelevant. The film, like the book, shows what the world will be like if we continue in our insane manner to pollute and overpopulate Spaceship Earth. This is the ‘message’ of film and book. Both of them deliver this message in a manner unique to science fiction: The technique of background-as-foreground… Am I pleased with the film? I would say fifty percent. The message of the book has been delivered. It was an exciting experience to see a major film produced by a major studio. It was a humbling experience to meet Edward G. Robinson. A great actor and a great human being. He alone knew that he had terminal cancer when he made the film. He must have chosen to make one more film rather than sit quietly at home and await death. He died before the film was released and it is a tribute to the hard-nosed film executives that they did try to cut out the suicide-parlor scene before the film was released. But it is such an integral part of the film that it could not be done." —Jeff Stafford, TCM

Thanks to the wonderful TCM website we can watch the original movie promo — a behind the scenes featurette on the making of Soylent Green  — from back in 1973. [via Retroist]

Soylent Green

Stanley R. Greenberg’s screenplay for Soylent Green. Based on Harry Harrison’s classic science fiction novel, Make Room! Make Room!  [pdf]. (NOTE: For educational purposes only). Thanks to Write to Reel’s Paul Tomlinson. The DVD/Blu-ray of the film is available at Amazon and other online retailers.

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

cinephiliabeyond

cinephiliabeyond:

This is just absolutely brilliant and by far the best interview with Ingmar Bergman I’ve ever come across: Ingmar Bergman: a conversation with the students of the American Film Institute. In addition to this, I would also recommend George Stevens Jr.’s marvelous book, Conversations with the Great Moviemakers of Hollywood’s Golden Age: At the American Film Institute.

I am very nervous. I am almost fainting. I always feel very scared when I have to meet so many people. But you look very friendly, and I will do my best. Somebody told me the first day I was here that I would come to your lecture and I fell into pieces. I said, ‘Lecture? What’s that?’ Somebody said, ‘You go to see the students and say hello to them, and it’s all over.’ I think you will be asking questions, but I don’t know what you want from me. I will try to be as honest as possible. It’s very difficult because I can’t speak in my own language. Sometimes it’s absolutely impossible to find the right words. So we will help each other, yes? —Ingmar Bergman, October 31, 1975

Each film, you see, has its moment of contact, of human communication: the line ‘Father spoke to me,’ at the end of Through a Glass Darkly; the pastor conducting the service in the empty church for Marta at the end of Winter Light; the little boy reading Ester’s letter on the train at the end of The Silence. A tiny moment in each film but the crucial one. What matters most of all in life is being able to make that contact with another human. Otherwise you are dead, like so many people today are dead. But if you can take that first step toward communication, toward understanding, toward love, then no matter how difficult the future may be—and have no illusions, even with all the love in the world, living can be hellishly difficult—then you are saved. This is all that really matters, isn’t it? —Ingmar Bergman, a candid conversation with Sweden’s one-man new wave of cinematic sorcery, Playboy, June 1964

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The photographic early works of cult film director Stanley Kubrick are on show in the Bank Austria Kunstforum. The picture of an old newspaper salesman sadly looking on the newspapers announcing president Roosevelt’s death (“F.D.R. dead”), taken on the way to school, was the first picture with which Kubrick was employed as a photographer by Look magazine in 1945, at the age of 16. The picture was not a snapshot though, but rather meticulously rehearsed, staged and composed — as a film director would do. The conception of his photographs already point towards the later cinematographic work of one of the most important film directors of the 20th century, as demonstrated by curator Lisa Ortner-Kreil on the basis of numerous works by Kubrick as photographer. Text and video by CastYourArt.

One thing that perhaps helped me get over being a misfit — a school misfit — was that I became interested in photography at about the same time; around 12 or 13. Now I think that if you get involved in any kind of problem-solving in-depth — almost anything — it’s surprisingly similar to problem-solving [in terms of] anything. I started out by just getting a camera and learning how to take pictures and learning how to print pictures, then learning how to build a dark room and learning how to do all the technical things, and so on and so on. And then finally trying to find out how you could sell pictures and, y’know, would it be possible to be a professional photographer? And it was a case of, say, over a period of, say, 13 to 17 you might say, going through step by step by myself — without anybody really helping me — the problem-solving [aspects] of being a photographer. And I found that, I think — in looking back — that this particular thing about problem-solving is something that schools generally don’t teach you. And that if you can develop a kind of generalized approach to problem-solving, that it’s surprising how it helps you in anything. And that most of the deficiencies that you see around you in people that you don’t think particularly are doing their job right or something, it’s really that, I mean, assuming that they care — y’know, a lot of people appear to care, or may actually care — if they’re still not going about things completely the right way, when you think about it, I generally find it’s just that they don’t have a good generalized approach to problem-solving. They’re not thorough. They don’t consider all of the possibilities. They don’t prepare themselves with the right information, and so forth. So I think that photography, though it seemed like a hobby — and ultimately led to a professional job — might have been more valuable than doing the proper things in school. —Stanley Kubrick on Photography & Problem-Solving

Here’s the complete collection of 7316 photographs by Stanley Kubrick for Look Magazine. You can also filter search Kubrick’s on-set photos of Jules Dassin’s The Naked City.

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Das Kleine Chaos  is 1966 short film directed by a 21 year-old Rainer Werner Fassbinder, one of the director’s earliest efforts. He acted in both his early films: Der Stadtstreicher  (The City Tramp), which also featured Irm Hermann (later often used in character roles); and Das Kleine Chaos  (The Little Chaos). In the latter, his mother — under the name of Lilo Pempeit — played the first of many parts in her son’s films. Only after these amateur directing-scripting-acting efforts did ­Fass­binder take lessons with a professional acting studio, where he met Hanna Schygulla, his most important actress, who thanks to him became an international star.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder gave a passing nod to Jean-Luc Godard and Bertolt Brecht with his second short film Das Kleine Chaos (A Little Chaos). The story concerns three young wannabe criminals, who take their lead from the b&w gangster films of 1940’s and ‘50’s Hollywood. Made in 1966, it’s an assured and highly stylish nine minutes of celluloid that proves Fassbinder’s ability to adapt his influences, better them and make them his own. A Little Chaos stars Fassbinder himself, Christoph Roser, Marite Greiselis and Greta Rehfeld. —Paul Gallagher 


Watching Fassbinder act and direct is a real treat. The following selection of documentaries are required viewing for every aspiring director.






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cinephiliabeyond:

Das Kleine Chaos  is 1966 short film directed by a 21 year-old Rainer Werner Fassbinder, one of the director’s earliest efforts. He acted in both his early films: Der Stadtstreicher  (The City Tramp), which also featured Irm Hermann (later often used in character roles); and Das Kleine Chaos  (The Little Chaos). In the latter, his mother — under the name of Lilo Pempeit — played the first of many parts in her son’s films. Only after these amateur directing-scripting-acting efforts did ­Fass­binder take lessons with a professional acting studio, where he met Hanna Schygulla, his most important actress, who thanks to him became an international star.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder gave a passing nod to Jean-Luc Godard and Bertolt Brecht with his second short film Das Kleine Chaos (A Little Chaos). The story concerns three young wannabe criminals, who take their lead from the b&w gangster films of 1940’s and ‘50’s Hollywood. Made in 1966, it’s an assured and highly stylish nine minutes of celluloid that proves Fassbinder’s ability to adapt his influences, better them and make them his own. A Little Chaos stars Fassbinder himself, Christoph Roser, Marite Greiselis and Greta Rehfeld. —Paul Gallagher

Watching Fassbinder act and direct is a real treat. The following selection of documentaries are required viewing for every aspiring director.

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going: