Tangerine Dream, Sorcerer, Wages Of Fear

Written by Joe D on April 5th, 2021

Here is a clip of the great synth band Tangerine Dream playing at Coventry Cathedral. They really made a big impact and did a lot of film scores as well. Including the score for a great film, William Friedkin’s Sorcere. My pal Bud Smith edited the film and also edited the trailer to their music. Sorcerer based on Clouzout’s Wages Of Fear. another great movie worth checking out. Check it out.

Radley Metzger’s The Lickerish Quartet, Music by Stelvio Cipriani

Written by Joe D on April 1st, 2021

 

Here is a scene from The Lickerish Quartet, featuring a score by the great Stelvio Cipriani,what a genius! When I was working with Quentin Tarantino he sent us some autographed CDS of his music. Thanks again Stelvio! Enjoy this time travel to a more innocent sensual universe.

Radley Metzger’s trailer for Ingmar Bergman’s Through a Glass darkly

Written by Joe D on March 31st, 2021

                                                          Radley Metzger with Andy Warhol

I read that Radley Metzger, the director of The Lickerish quartet,Camile 2000,Carmen,Baby and other films got his start in fimmmaking editing trailers. He created trailers for Janus Films, an Art House distributor that handled some of the finest European Films actually some of  the finest films ever made! He said he was particulary pleased when he got word back from Ingmar Bergman that he really liked the trailer Metzger had done for his film,Through a Glass Darkly, as it was a very difficult, complex film. I worked editing trailers in NYC as well but many years after Metzger. Anyway here it is.

The Flesh Eaters vs. Gilligan’s Island and Radley Metzger

Written by Joe D on March 25th, 2021

This is a strange combination but check it out. As a kid I became aware of The Flesh Eaters, first on the cover of Famous Monsters of Filmland.

Then I saw on  Chiller Theater or maybe on Channel 5 late at night. I liked it as a gorey crazy monster movie. A few years later Gilligan’s Island surfaced, there are several aspects of both that are very similar. First off they are both about people stranded on an island as the result of a storm. Both have a Professor, a Movie Star and a Beatnik.

In the case of Gilligan’s Island I’m referring to Gilligan himself. He had just finished portraying the worlds most famous BeatNik, maynard G. Krebs on Dobie Gillis, plus he was a Beatnik in several Beach movies. Anyway maybe Sherwood Schwartz saw Flesh Eaters like I did at midnight on TV and was inspired to make a comedy out of it. Who knows

Interesting side fact, The Flesh Eaters was edited by Radley Metzger, who later went on to fame directing sexy films in Europe, like Camille 2000 and Carmen Baby. These films are great, high production value, great music. Worth checking out.

Fellini!

Written by Joe D on March 17th, 2021

Here is a couple of cool clips abnout the grande maestro del Cinema, Federico Fellini. The first one is footage of hiim directing Juliet Of The Spirits. I have seen this footage in color and it’s even better. I can’t find the color version bnut one day I will and I’ll post it. The other is a small documentary shot on the set of 8 and a half, Otto e Mezzo, it’s so refreshing to see a great artist at work, the characters, thge amazing faces. The circus of Cinema Fellini crteated. Added Bonus , rare footage of the incomparable camerman Gianni DeVenanzo, shooting Juliet of the Spirits. The supercool thing abouit this clip is how cheap the set looks, you can see the grass is fake, the house is fake, everything is fake. But when you watch the film everything is transformed by Cinema into magical beautiful transporting atmospheric beauty.

Adua and her friends

Written by Joe D on March 15th, 2021

Here is a great film that I just watched on Amazon Prime. It was recently restored and looks great. What a cast, Simone Signoret, Marcello Mastroianni, and Silvia Milo, who is amazing in this film. This was made at the height of Italian filmmaking, so much talent! The settings, the camerwork, the clothes by the inimitable Danilo Donati. This film is a joy to watch, a masterpiece. Check it out and see what you think. Here is a scene from Youtube.

Jordan Belson

Written by Joe D on February 17th, 2021

Henry Jacobs and Jordan Belson at the Morrison Planetarium, 1959.

Here is a sample of the mystical filmmaking of Jordan Belson. Many think of him as trhe father of the 60’s psychedelic light shows, he put on a series of Abstract Visual Concerts at the Morrison Planetaium in 1957. Billed as the Vortex series, he collaborated with a sound Artist, Henry Jacobs, who played all kinds of World music, Music Concrete, Karlheinz Stockhausen, etc. I guess these concerts were too wild for the Planetarium and they stopped them. Belson began making films using his experience with the Light Shows as inspiration. I spoke to him on the telephone once many years ago at the behest of Harry Smith, another San Francisco based abstract filmmaker. Harry wanted me to have Belson send hi m some glass negatives of a series of Jazz paintings Harry did. These were Abstract Expressions of particular songs, like Bloomdido by Charlie Parker. Belson never sent the slides so I hope they are preserved somewhere and will be published one day. Anyway check this out and try to see his films projected in a theater. I saw them at the Anthology Film Archive in NYC. Now the Center For Visual Music, CVM is programming shows at museums around the world so keep your eyes open and go see them.

Special added Bonus Harry Smith’s Jazz painting of Dizzy Gillespie’s Manteca.

The Baroness and The Jazz Genius

Written by Joe D on February 10th, 2021

Here is a cool BBC Jazz film made by the grand niece of thr Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, Hannah Rothschild. She did a beautiful job in telling the story of their friendship. Monk suffered from” mental illness”. In West Africa he would have been a shaman, inother cultures what we look at as illness is seen as a special talent to communicate with the Spirit World. Who’s right? You decide. Anyway check out this cool film.

Charlie Parker and the baroness, 1955

Invisible Men in Comics and Film- Frank G. Host, Hugh A. Robertson, John Carter

Written by Joe D on February 8th, 2021

I just read a great book, it’s called Invisible Men, it’s about ground-breaking African American Artists that among other pursuits worked in the Comic Book field. They opened the door for other Black artists to make a living as illustrators, portrait painters, comic book creators. I highly recommend it. Ken Quattro did a great job in telling the stories of these under recognized artists. It also reminded me of when I was first starting out in the Film industry in NYC. I was fortunate to have been mentored by a great film editor named Frank G. Host.

He was one of only a few African American Film Editors at the time. I knew another one, John Carter, I worked on some films at his penthouse cutting room on 54th street and Eight Avenue. Another Black Film Editor , who became a director was Hugh A. Robinson.

I never met him but Frank and he had come up together as assitant editors and negative matchers and I heard a lot about him. So I was inspired by Invisible Men to write something about these breakthrough Black filmmakers. Frank told me he got a break because some leftist film people split from California (due to McCarthy witch hunts), came to NYC and were progressive enough to give a young, talented Black man a chance. Hugh Robertson worked with the great editor and director Carl Lerner.

Lerner made a film called Black Like Me where James Whitmore , a reporter, took an experimental drug that turned his skin dark, so he could write an article on what it was like to be a Black Man in America and experience the racism first hand.

Hugh also worked with DeeDee Allen, I spoke to her at a party one time and when I mentioned Frank she immediately asked if I had any news of Hugh, unfortunately I didn’t.

Frank worked with an Editor named Irv Fajans, a Union founder and veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Progressive Americans who voulenteered to so to Spain and fight Fascism.

I don’t really know John Carter’s history, I just knew him as a very nice person, who worked on some big Hollywood films until he passed in 2018. But a quick visit to IMDB gives me some more info on his history. First of all he was born in my hometown of Newark, New Jersey.

He was in the Army and trained in the Signal Corps. A lot of film people wound up in the Signal Corps. Making films for the Army. John was hired by CBS in 1956, and he was the first African American  editor for Network Television in NYC. He was also the first African American to join A.C.E. (the American Cinema Editors Society). My pal Frank G. Host was involved with creating Shell’s Wonderful World Of Golf and won a Peabody Award for documentary work. He attended the Film School of the Sorbonne in Paris on the G.I. Bill. There he worked on Pickpocket for the great Robert Bresson. Later he was invited to sit on a Unesco panel on Filmmaking in Africa. If his wife had not died they were planning on moving to Africa to make films there. I’m sure there are other African Americans that played important roles in opening up the industry but these are the three I had personal knowledge of. In any case buy Invisible Men, it is really great, inspirational. I will write soon about another African American group of artists that are getting some great exposurfe these days. Kamoinge, a workshop of great Black photographers, several of whom I was lucky enough to know and call friends.

Orson Welles Voodoo Mac Beth

Written by Joe D on January 19th, 2021

Here is some newsreel footage of the famous version of MacBeth set in Haiti, Orson Welles directed for the Federal Theatert Project, an organization created during the Great Depression to bring live performance to the masses.  It was a smash hit.

And here is a documentary on the making of.

Alex In Wonderland, Donald Sutherland, Federico Fellini, Paul Mazursky

Written by Joe D on December 31st, 2020

After making his big hit film, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, Paul Mazursky could make anything he wanted, so he made this crazy film. As Mel Brooks once said, “After a hit, you can film the phone book!” or words to that effect. This film is pretty insane but one of the great things about it is Donald Sutherland visiting Cinecita and seeing Fellini in an editing room, working with a woman editor, who is wearing a glove and splicing, at a CineMonta? editing table. Pretty Cool. The Maestro in action. Check it out

Too Much Sun, Robert Downey Sr & Jr.

Written by Joe D on December 28th, 2020

Here’s a clip from a film I edited for Robert Downey Sr. Downey Jr. is in it along with Ralph Macchio,Eric Idle , Andrea Martin, Alan Arbus, Leo Rossi, James Hong, Jennifer Ruben,and a host of others, including Howard Duff, it was his last film. In this clip you will see Laura Ernst harrassing Downey Junior at the begining. She was a great friend and married to Robert Downey Sr. But here are some funny moments. Enjoy.