Pasolini’s Arabian Nights

Written by Joe D on October 12th, 2011

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Another rare discovery on Netflix streaming, the 1974 Grand Prize Winner of the Cannes Film Festival, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Arabian Nights or Il fiore delle mille e una notte. I saw this film on it’s initial release back in 1975 in NYC and this is the first time I’ve watched it since then, I started watching it around midnight last night and couldn’t turn it off, I was so caught up in it’s mystic spell of storytelling, just like the caliph who can’t bring himself to kill Scherezade because he wants to hear how her story turns out.

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It took a lot of courage for Pasolini to travel to these exotic locals (Yemen, Ethiopia, etc.) for one he was homosexual and in some of these places at that time that was punishable by death. He got the creme de la creme of Italian film artisans to work on the film, costumes-Danilo Donati, Set Design- Dante Ferretti, Editing- Nino Baragli, Music Ennio Morricone, Camera-Giuseppe Ruzzolini.

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Pasolini and his intrepid crew penetrated hermetic societies, filming in locations that had never been seen by Western audiences, these places are like something out of a dream, it imbues the film with a sense of poetry and magic, bringing the intertwined tales of the Arabian Nights to life in a primal, savage, beautiful way. It is interesting to compare it with Korda’s Thief Of Bagdad,they both spring from the same source and have similar scenes, the prince transformed to an animal, discovering a princess in her garden, taking on a beggar’s clothing, but Arabian Nights tells the tales in a more authentic way, truer to the original. Pasolini was fascinated with the early roots of the novel, picaresque tales of travelers, collections of anecdotes that gave rise to the novels form. The Decameron and The Canterbury Tales come to mind, storytelling at it’s most basic interpreted by a 20th Century poet. A beautiful work of Art by a great artist. Check it out.

I Walked With A Zombie

Written by Joe D on December 8th, 2010

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I went, I watched, I walked with I Walked With A Zombie. It was incredible! Really the best way to see this film is in a big theater with 35mm projection! There is no substitute, you pick up so many more nuances, the atmosphere becomes all pervasive, your psyche is opened up to the incredible images and fantasy pours in through your eyes and ears to your very soul! This is how the makers designed the film to work, they didn’t think about TV or video. To say the least it was a moving experience and it clocked in at a rocket fast 70 minutes!

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This film is crammed with ideas, Lewton and his team did exhaustive research and it shows, the music, the dancing, the Afro Caribbean culture give Zombie a rock hard foundation on which to build a castle of fantasy and terror. But terror in a Fairy Tale like way, sort of innocent yet savage, ruthless as Nature and as pure. This film is a textbook of studio filmmaking at a peak of artistry. The B&W photography,the lighting, the production design, the process photography, amazingly executed.

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The Great RKO Artisans of Storytelling-P.S. Check out the legal disclaimer at the bottom of the frame for a joke.

We start in Canada, in a Victorian office, snow falls furiously outside the window. Our Heroine (Francis Dee) is ta nurse being offered a job in the Caribbean, one stock shot of a big sailing schooner later we’re on board (thanks to process photography) with the boss of the plantation and his men, who sing a strange island song in the background. The scene here between Francis Dee and Tom Conway is a brilliantly written piece, it expertly sets the mood for the rest of the film. “It’s so beautiful” Dee thinks to herself only to be interrupted a second later by Conway telling her “It isn’t beautiful” Dee answers “You read my mind” , Conway replies, “You see those flying fish, they’re jumping in terror to escape being eaten, that phosphorescence in the water? The putrescent bodies of dead organisms, This is a place of death.” He sets a tone of unease, he unsettles Dee by reading her mind(supernatural), he belittles her naivety, he fascinates her with his honesty. That sets up their complicated relationship for the rest of the film. All in a couple of minutes.

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Then theirs a scene in the town of San Sebastian, probably the RKO backlot dressed up by D’Agostino and Keller. They filmed here maybe a day or two at most, it’s used a couple of times in the film but sparingly, you really get the impression that everything was planned out and organized with maximum efficiency, the budget was $134,000! A scene in a buggy (process) as an old black islander drives Dee to the plantation is also illuminating. The driver tells her how the slaves were brought to the island in chains on a ship, the figurehead of which is now prominently displayed at the plantation. “It’s so beautiful here” “He replies “If you say so miss, if you say so” She naively ignores the whole slavery aspect, the inherent inhumanity, brutality, focusing on the lush scenery. Lewton’s comment on Western insensitivity.

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Figurehead of St. Sebastian, a representation of the slave based history of the island

The story continues and some of the high points are, the first night at the plantation, Dee is awakened by a woman crying, she goes out to investigate and enters the Tower where the wife of Ellison is kept. It’s pretty creepy, the tower set is particularly effective consisting of a stone stairway slashing across a black frame. Dee climbs the stairs and is confronted by the wraithlike zombie wife of Conway, Jessica Holland. The zombie advances upon her and I swear they applied a skull like make up to her face, it’s shot in a long shot so you can’t see her too clearly but I want to watch it again and check.

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The next great set piece and my favorite scene of the film is when Dee brings Mrs. Holland to a Voodoo ritual, she leads the entranced blonde through a swamp, all artfully created on soundstages, the native drums beat ominously, they come across several talismans , a cow skull, a hanging goat, a human skull and finally a huge zombie guard, he reminds me of Gort from Day The Earth Stood Still.

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But due to their protective amulets , pinned to them by the maid at the plantation, they pass unmolested. The ceremony is great, excellent music by real voodoo drummers and authentic dancing that must have blown peoples minds back in 1943. Here’s another aspect of this film that added to it’s tabu appeal, the underlying hint of interracial sex, the way the maid wakes Dee up by tickling her foot, the fascination of the voodoo priests for the tall beautiful white zombie. The confession by Conway’s mother that she participated in zombie rituals and was possessed by a voodoo god! This is 1943! Lewton so skillfully implies all this and gets away with it! Genius! Also he employed a lot of black actors, including Sir Lancelot, the calypso singer who Lewton also used in Curse Of The Cat People and Theresa Harris who is wonderful as the maid Alma. She is funny and sexy and appears in Out Of The Past and many other classic films.

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The beautiful Theresa Harris-she is the crying woman that awakened Francis Dee on her first night on the Island. She was crying because her sister had a baby. The Islanders cry at a birth and rejoice at a death. The only freedom from their slavery.

There’s a transitional device used in this film that’s very subtle. I first noticed this technique in Cat People which was edited by the same person, Mark Robson. It’s a sort of a wipe, but it’s as if a black shape passed in front of the lens, in Cat People it feels like a black panther crossed very close to the camera, it creates a subconscious sense of unease, you’re not really aware of what happened, it seems like a quick fade out fade in but it isn’t. Watch Cat People and Zombie carefully and try to catch it. In Zombie it occurs late in the film, a transition between Dee talking to Conway at night at the plantation and Mrs. Holland trying to leave. Somewhere around there. A very subtle masterful stroke that I’ve never heard anyone speak of. The end of the film is a brilliant study in visual poetry, economy of storytelling, and the power of an ending. The drunk half brother kills Mrs. Holland with an arrow from the figurehead in the garden, just as the voodoo priest pierces the doll of Mrs. Holland with a pin.

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The half brother(James Ellison) carries Mrs. Hollands body away pursued by the giant zombie guardian. He walks into the ocean to escape the zombie only to be swallowed up by pounding waves.
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Dissolve to native fisherman spearfishing in the shallows ( a tank on a sound stage artfully lit and decorated) as they fish and sing they discover Mrs. Holland’s body,

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Studio Artifice

dissolve to them carrying her in a funeral procession back to the plantation where Dee and Conway wait. The END! No dialog explaining what happened, no happy ending with Dee and Holland rushing off to get married, we don’t know what they’re going to do, it’s ambiguous and it’s great! As a matter of fact there is no dialog at all in the last 10 minutes of the film! Pure visual poetry accompanied by music! Try that today. All I can say is thank you LACMA for showing this film in a theater, with 35mm projection! And every film lover out there should see it this way, it’s a blessing!

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R.I.P. Sally Menke

Written by Joe D on September 28th, 2010

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Sally Menke, at my wine harvest party, 9/19/2010

I can’t believe I’m writing about the sudden passing of a dear friend, Sally Menke. I’ve known Sally and her husband Dean Parisot for a long time, over 23 years. I met them in NYC , I worked with Dean on The Appointments Of Dennis Jennings. We were all very close , I played guitar for Sally’s baby girl Isabella. Sally came out to Hollywood shortly after me. She cut Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Then she met Quentin Tarantino and edited Reservoir Dogs for him. He liked her so much that she cut all his subsequent films. Four Rooms, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill, Death Proof, and Inglorious Basterds. Between Tarantino jobs she edited Heaven And Earth for Oliver Stone, All The Pretty Horses and Mullholland Falls. She was nominated for an Oscar for Inglorious Basterds and Pulp Fiction. She should have won. Sally brought me onboard on Kill Bill and I worked with her on all the Tarantino films after that. I can never thank her enough for her generosity, friendship and love. I saw her about a week ago at a grape harvest, pizza party at my house and she looked great, seemed to be in a great place, relaxed, really cool. Peace Be With You Sally, we all miss you and love you.

Quentin loved Sally so much, he always had his actors say hello to her.

Val Lewton’s Curse Of The Cat People, Mario Bava’s Operazione Paura

Written by Joe D on September 21st, 2010

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I recently re-watched Curse Of The Cat People, Val Lewton’s masterpiece. Running an extremely efficient 70 minutes, it’s incredible how much story, atmosphere, character, and artistry the filmmakers have packed into this B thriller. The brilliant script by DeWitt Bodeen picks up the characters from 1942’s Cat People 7 years or so later and now living in Tarrytown, NY, nearby to where Lewton grew up. This setting enables Lewton to inject local lore from his own childhood, notably the legend of the Headless Horseman Of Sleepy Hollow. Lewton was primarily a writer and even though he gets no screen credit as such, this script was a collaboration between Bodeen and him. Robert Wise, crack editor of such RKO gems as Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, The Devil And Daniel Webster was called in to replace the original director Gunther Von Fritsch, who had fallen behind schedule, Wise began his directing career with a bang. Cinematography was by the terrific Nicolas Musuraca, lensman of the incomparably shot noir Out Of The Past. Art Direction by the prodigiously talented Albert S. D’Agostino ( perhaps a distant relation of mine) and Walter Keller. Top it off with excellent performances most notably that of the wonderful child actress Ann Carter. Curse Of The Cat People is an incredibly sensitive film, dealing with the fantasies of a lonely, mis-understood child. Amy Reed creates a “friend” that cares for her and plays with her, partly because her father refuses to believe her stories. Oliver Reed (played by Kent Smith) was married to Irena (Simone Simone) in the original Cat People. He’s afraid his daughters’ flights of fancy will lead her to a similar end as Irena. His loss of the woman he loved has made him afraid for his daughter and really for himself, he does not want to go through the loss of a loved one again, as a result he clamps down on his daughter, seeking to snuff out her “dangerous” imagination. He only succeeds in driving her into the arms of her friend Irena. Amy had discovered a picture of Irena and her mother’s guilty response triggered an unconscious identification with the beautiful, mysterious figure in the photo.

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Winter comes and it gives Musuraca and D’Agostino a chance to really shine. Irena gives her Xmas present to Amy, transforming the garden behind the family home to a glittering cathedral of shimmering lights, fantastic winter forms of ice, snow, the bare limbs of trees, a magical application of Movie Studio Artifice, effects done in camera with lighting changes, some of the most beautiful examples of this lost Art ever created.

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Another noteworthy sequence is when Irena appears in Amy’s bedroom, telling her little friend she must go, never to be seen again. This is accomplished with a tracking shot, Irena is there and then she is obscured by the camera tracking behind a chair,when the camera emerges Irena is gone, the open window letting some mist cascade in where she once stood, also pay careful attention to the sound track lest you miss the whispered “Goodbye” a beautifully mixed sequence. A group of carolers comes by the house and the shots of the family framed in the front door of their home listening are superb.

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Sir Lancelot appears as the faithful man-servant and he is as always great. Lewton used him several times in his films and he always played a character of great dignity, a tribute to Lewton’s egalitarianism. Lewton was hired at RKO ( my favorite studio) to run their “B” horror unit. The movies had to be short ( these were the days of the double bill), produced for under$150,000, and based on a title the studio brass came up with. Lewton disliked this title and the marketing of the film was off base suggesting a straight horror revisit to the original Cat People but I think the title is good, the curse is what happens to the traumatized survivors of the first film, mainly Oliver and Alice Reed. Cat People was a huge hit, saving RKO from the brink of ruin so the studio left Lewton alone and he was able to create some wonderful fantasies on a shoestring budget, a real tribute to the talents involved. Culminating in his masterpiece Curse Of The Cat People, a very personal film.

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Val Lewton
This brings me to Part Two of this essay, something that struck me while recently viewing this film. Does it contain the root of a character from Mario Bava’s masterpiece Operazione Paura (Kill Baby Kill) .Curse Of The Cat People was made in 1944, as soon as WWII was over the USA flooded Europe with films. They had been prevented from distributing films in Europe during the war. I’m sure Mario Bava went to see this film in Rome and it made a deep impression on him. Bava’s father was a special effects artisan, a sculptor who made creatures for films. Bava was an effects cameraman, master of the in camera effect, matte painting, trick lighting etc. He had to have seen this masterpiece of studio artistry and been deeply moved. The story goes that when he was casting Operazione Paura he searched high and low for a young girl to play the part of the ghostly killer. He couldn’t find one, finally he got a young boy to don a wig and play the part. I think he was looking for his own Ann Carter. A child that resembled her. There are some similar images in the films, for example when the girls are seen in Close Up looking through a window pane.

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Another paralell, a child’s ball provides the key to another dimension in both films, in Curse Irena is first revealed tossing Anne’s ball back to her, the little girl throws the ball offscreen to her friend and Simone enters with it and throws it back. In Paura the bouncing ball of the devil girl is often the first sign of her coming.

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Bava’s film is an illusion inside of an illusion, a puzzle at the heart of which is a subversion of innocence to evil, a baroque fantasy about the loss of childhood innocence. Perhaps not so far fetched considering the realities of a war torn country. One thing that always struck me about Curse Of The Cat People is the hominess, domestic peace of it’s setting. You want to live there in Tarrytown amongst the legends, old bridges, fireplaces, gardens. Life seems so peaceful, serene. Maybe Operation Paura is a reaction to that idyllic vision from an artist that lived through real horror. Another interesting fact, the girl who falls to her death, impaled on a wrought iron fence at the begining of Operazione Paura is named Irena.

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Mario Bava

Gone With The Pope to screen at the New Beverly

Written by Joe D on July 13th, 2010

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Damn, I wish I could go see this film tonight but I’m working! Duke Mitchell’s lost film,Gone With The Pope,finally finished by Bob Murawski will unspool at the super cool New Beverly Cinema tonight July 13th at 7:30 pm. The story goes that Murawski tracked down Duke’s son and was given 10 boxes of film, some notes and a VHS copy. He began working on it in his spare time and now it’s ready. Hats off to Bob for dedication and perseverence and honoring the work of a deceased filmmaker. A Great Accomplishment! Duke Mitchell had an act in the 50’s with Sammy Petrillo, they were like Dean Martin,& Jerry Lewis clones, they made one film Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla before a lawsuit put an end to their act. So thanks to Murawski and his partner Sage Stallone for resuscitating this lost gem and their Grindhouse Releasing for getting it out.

R.I.P. Dede Allen

Written by Joe D on April 18th, 2010

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The great editor Dede Allen has passed on. She was the Queen of New York Editors and she started the careers of many big name editors working today. I met her several times and spoke to her about mutual friends. She knew my old buddy and mentor Frank G. Host and started out Frank’s pal Hugh Robertson on his career. Frank and Hugh were some of the first Afro American film editors in New York. Dede cut some incredible films. Some of my favorites are Odds Against Tomorrow, The Hustler, Bonnie and Clyde, Dog Day Afternoon, and Slaughterhouse Five. But I really love The Hustler in my opinion one of the best edited films of all time. I knew the apprentice film editor, a guy names John Taylor, a black filmmaker. Dede integrated the cutting room before almost anyone else. Dede edited Warren Beatty’s massive film Reds. I remember when it was being edited in NY. They took over Trans Audio on 54th street, right upstairs from Studio 54. It was a gigantic job, there must have been 50 people working in Post on that film. She leaves behind a son, Tom Fleischman, an excellent mixer and a great guy. I had the pleasure of working with him back in the 80’s, my condolences go out to him. This is the end of an era, Dede changed film and editing for all time. She will be missed.
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Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451

Written by Joe D on January 24th, 2010

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A film of overwhelming moods, everything in this film seems filtered through a veil of sadness. Visually stunning, the art direction and cinematography are wonderfully rich. The colors jump off the screen in beautiful compositions. Director of Photography Nic Roeg really outdoes himself here. And Bernard Hermann’s music sinks you deeper and deeper into a state of lugubrious drugged oblivion, like a person slipping deeper and deeper into a bottomless vat of viscous oil. The powerful rhythms and images of dream logic make this film even more effective. For example the woman who burns herself with her books and Montag’s nightmare.

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Also I love films made in the 60’s yet set in the future for their take on design, it’s the 60’s taken to a super cool extreme, like they had reached the apogee of design and then found a way to show that somehow in the future it would be improved upon in interesting ways.

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The firetruck, the monorail, the doors that slide open on their own. Big flat panel TV’s hanging on your living room wall.Truffaut didn’t like this film that much although Ray Bradbury did. I think Truffaut is not always a fair judge of his own films since he didn’t like The Bride Wore Black either and to me that’s one of his best films. A fascinating depressing work of Art, check it out on a rainy Saturday afternoon. The opening credits are spoken over images of TV antennas, no writing allowed in the future! Montag forces a group of his wives friends to listen as he reads from a book by Charles Dickens, an emotional passage about the death of the writer’s wife. One woman breaks down in tears, the rest say he’s disgusting, “people aren’t supposed to upset other people, that’s why they did away with books in the first place!” This sounds to me like our politically correct society of today where you can’t say anything slightly off center without being pilloried. Also everyone takes massive amounts of prescription drugs, the whole population is medicated! The mindless totalitarian society hypnotized by Television and since there is no writing allowed, there can be no scripts for the actors on TV, sounds to me a lot like Reality Shows. Now The that the Supreme Court has allowed Corporations to spend as much as they want on political campaigns Fahrenheit 451 doesn’t seem so far away. I just heard that it will be re-made with Tom Hanks as Montag, Ray Bradbury is in frail shape this could finish him off. So check it out and see what you think, it is a very unique, disturbing film.

Influence and Controversy- More Performance

Written by Joe D on December 25th, 2009

I bought the dvd of Performance and this cool documentary was on there. Jack Nitzsche. Jr. is interviewed and a lot of other interesting people. Frank Mazzola’s interview is informative and deep. Jack Jr. says his father got one of the 1st Moog synthesizers for this score ( the 9th one made), how cool is that.

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Jack Nitzsche, a genius at creating music that made films come alive

Mazzola talks about intercutting the opening sequences and how “everything they tried worked” or “was right”. I know from experience that sometimes in the editing room you can reach a state of consciousness, some times from exhaustion or ingesting mind altering substances, where the energy flows right through you into the film, the film becomes alive on the editing machine, it seems to breathe on the picture head, the characters get off the screen and walk around on your flatbed editing machine.

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Besides being a great editor Frank M. was also an actor, that’s him on the right in Rebel Without A Cause. Dig That Crazy Pompadour!

If you want to experience that kind of editing watch the opening of Performance, actually the entire film but the opening is particularly strong. Mazzola said they worked from 7 at night to 5 in the morning, I think they cut it at Warner Hollywood in Sam Goldwyn’s old office.

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Get Out Of My Office!

Funny to think of Goldwyn’s ghost watching these two visionaries making this psychedelic poem of violence, sex, drugs, music, polymorphous perversity that was like a bomb going off in Hollywood and Midnight Movie house across the world. Like a virus of decadence infecting the minds of the stoned out audiences in movie theaters in middle class suburbs. What a trip!

Donald Cammell, Performance, Jack Nitzsche, Frank Mazzola

Written by Joe D on December 12th, 2009

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Here for your viewing pleasure is a documentary about Donald Cammell, director of Performance , a hugely influential film that captures the drug infused psychedelic culture of 60’s London like no other. I knew the composer Jack Nitzsche for a long time, this was one of his greatest scores. He told me Mick Jagger had gotten him the composing gig on this film. When the Rolling Stones first came to America, they sought out Nitzsche because they loved his arrangements of the Phil Spector produced hits and wanted to work with him. I guess this was payback. It’s a unique score calling on a rostrum of enormous talents, Ry Cooder, Merry Clayton ,The Last Poets, Randy Newman, Lowell George, Mick Jagger to name just a few and Jack was the connective tissue that brought them all together. I must comment on Frank Mazzola’s editing as well. it’s groundbreaking, hallucinatory, fracturing reality like a broken mirror then putting the pieces back together in a beautiful, psychedelic way. Once again hugely influential although there is no one today following through on the potential revealed. Like a real Fairy Tale where Magic is beautiful, fascinating but dangerous, potentially deadly or perhaps capable of driving one mad.

Holiday Cheer From Dr. Strangelove

Written by Joe D on December 16th, 2008

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“Peace On Earth” or ” Purity Of Essence”! The letters P.O.E. are the A-bomb attack recall code thought up by General Jack D. Ripper in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece Dr. Strangelove or How I learned to stop worrying and love the Bomb!

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Rainwater and Grain Alchohol!

My old pal Pablo Ferro told me that WeeGee was the still photographer on Strangelove. Stanley knew WeeGee from his days as a young New York photographer for Look magazine.

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Watch The Birdie!
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Pablo also told me that Peter Sellers was going to play bomber pilot Maj. T. J. “King” Kong but Sellers broke his leg and Kubrick brought in Slim Pickens.

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Major Kong Rides The Bomb!
Another friend. Ray Lovejoy, worked as the assisstant editor on the film. He told me that Peter Sellars did many improvised variations in his performances as President Muffley and Dr. Strangelove. Maybe one day Stanley’s daughter will investigate the outtakes.
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Lt. Mandrake trying to cope with Gen.Ripper

Legend has it that some negative was destroyed in a lab in England, Kubrick flipped and moved his negative to another lab but he insisted it be moved in an armored car! Ray also told me that Pablo went to the lab late one night, he was working on the title sequence. He barges in at midnight, sporting a Mohawk haircut and wearing an electric Indian blanket. The entire negative cutting department resigned! They quit, walked off! Pablo was ahead of his time.
So Happy Holidays from Dr. Strangelove and all his friends here at Film Forno. Peace On Earth, Purity Of Essence or whatever floats your holiday boat.
Here’s Peter Sellers interviewing WeeGee:

Sellers riffs on English accents on the Strangelove set.

Paul Newman’s directorial debut, Rachel, Rachel

Written by Joe D on October 13th, 2008

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Newman Directs Woodward

Although there are probably millions of words being written about Paul Newman this very second due to his recent passing I felt inspired by seeing his 1968 directorial debut last night on TCM, Rachel, Rachel. Starring his wife Joanne Woodward and a lot of other great actors, most noticeably Estelle Parsons and Frank Corsaro, I mention Corsaro not only because of his fine acting but also because this is his only film role! He achieved fame as a stage director and as head of The Actor’s Studio, a legendary character.

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Newman and Estelle Parsons on the Set

The story goes that Newman and Woodward shopped around for a director and didn’t get any takers. Newman had studied directing at Yale and decided to go for it. He created a rare and wonderful film, the sum effect being so much greater than all it’s parts. By this I mean that as I watched the film, there were parts that I thought great, parts I thought OK, maybe the direction seemed a little naive but at the end I was overwhelmed with the sensation of having just watched a great film. Due in a large part to the performance of Joanne Woodward, It is literally unlike any other film acting I have seen. She is such a unique talent, so unaffected, so true, it’s hard to put into words the way she works in this film. Once again at the end of the film I was overcome at how great she was in it. Not any one scene but the whole cumulative effect of the film, it’s magical. This is the kind of film that I wish would get made here in America more often, real people, real parts, no explosions or car chases. Just great characters struggling with their existence here on planet Earth at a particular time in a particular place. The stuff Life is made of, in this case in Connecticut in 1968. And it’s not just acting that makes this film great, there are some wonderful images as well, a date at his family’s dairy farm that James Olson takes Joanne woodward on, he makes her drive the tractor, she forks some hay on him from the hayloft. Things youngsters would do and here she is a middle-aged woman on her first date. Also the end sequence of Joanne and a baby at the beach , so beautiful, so moving. And a flashback scene of Woodward as a young girl sneaking into the basement where her father worked as a mortician. Seeing her father prepare a young boy’s body for burial. The way he tends to the dead boy, incredible. Paul was ably abetted by the great editor Dede Allen, here at the peak of her creative powers and it shows. Joanne Woodward was angry that Paul did not get nominated for an Academy Award for this film, she threatened to boycott the ceremony (She was nominated) but Paul talked her into it. Let’s all praise Paul Newman, he could have just acted in films and raced cars and enjoyed his life but he was an Artist, he had to struggle and make films and I salute him for that.
p.s. Here’s an article about the shooting of Rachel, Rachel, reminisces by the towns people that were there. It sounds like they had a great time. Article
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2001 to screen at The Edison

Written by Joe D on September 18th, 2008

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They’re screening Stanley Kubrick’s mega opus 2001 at the Edison as part of the Jules Verne Fantasy Film Festival right here in downtown LA. Info here. I saw this film in a re-release in 1975 at the Bellvue Theater in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. It was projected in 6 track 70mm. I went to a matinee show with my girlfriend and when we got to the box office the ticket seller said “Wait a minute.” Then she came back and said “OK, the manager said we’ll run it.” We were the only people at that screening! Just the two of us in the gigantic theater with an enormous screen! It was incredible. I knew the editor of 2001. A guy named Ray Lovejoy. This was the first film he edited! He had been 1st Assistant editor on Dr. Strangelove and Lawrence Of Arabia. He told me that Kubrick basically lost his mind making this film. Before 2001 he was a fun guy, great to hang out with. But 2001 was such a gigantic, complicated project and Kubrick was such a perfectionist he lost himself in the overwhelming tide of technical details, personally overseeing every aspect of the film, even ( so I’ve been told) calling every first run theater the film was shown in to make sure it was presented properly! Yow! Oh well, hats off to Stanley Kubrick, Ray Lovejoy, Arthur C. Clark and everybody else who worked on this film and passed on through the Stargate or obelisk or whatever portal to the next dimension.
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P.S. I met this guy at the Chelsea Hotel back in the 70’s