Kolchak The Night Stalker

Written by Joe D on September 1st, 2021

I just happened upon this on YouTube last night. One of the best TV Movies ever made! Super influential! X-Files Creator Christopher Carter sites it as a major influence. Written by Genius Richard Mathesson, he wrote the book Psycho was adapted from, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Trilogy of Terror, many TYwilight Zones, The Last Man On Earth, which has been adapted many times. The list goes on and on. A big part of why this movie is so good, Plus a great cast, Darren McGaven, Carole Lynley, Ralph Meeker, Charles McGraw, Simon Oakland, Claude Akins and Elisha Cook Jr. Some icons of Classic Film Noir. And an incredible score, kind of Dirty Harryesque, really cool. And I must say some really terrific stunt work! Makes it all seem belivable.  Many Years ago I took a Cinematography class at the Hollywood Film School, kind of a low budget AFI on Hollywood Blvd. It was taught by Michel Hugo, the guy who shot tyhis masterpiece. A very nice Frenchman and an excellent cameraman. Anyway check it out, a real blast from the past.

The Sunchaser

Written by Joe D on May 27th, 2021

Here is one of my favorite scenes from The Sunchaser, a movie I edited for Michael Cimino. This was the last film I edited on film, in 35mm on a KEM editing machine, with splicing tape! It was a lot of work. But I did get to work with some amazing talents, Woody, Jon Seda, Anne Bancroft, Maurice Jarre, Michael Cimino. PS The whole part of them following the hawk to the sacred mountain was created by me. Wasn’t shot that way or in the script, I did it all in editing.  Thanks to the person who put this clip up, and if any of you are interested in watching the entire movie please make sure to get the Scope version not the square 4X3 that they put out. It’s a totally different experience.

GBU IN 4K!

Written by Joe D on May 18th, 2021

They have released a new transfer of Sergio Leone’s Masterpiece  The Good, The Bad and the Ugly in 4K! This film deserves it! One of the greatest films ever made. And Ennio Morricone’s magnificent score accompanying these hi rez visuals is a delight for any lover of Cinema. Be sure to pay close attention to the title sequence as this is the best it has ever looked on something you can watch at home. In all honesty some of the exteriors were a bit bright for my taste but you judge for yourself. I did think the final duel was spot on. Really looked great. So here it is from youtube. Check it out.

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.

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

Ennio Morriconel

Written by Joe D on July 6th, 2020

The Maestro of Cinema Music has checked out of the Hotl Earth. He’s listening to the Music Of The Spheres from his Moon Base. Hobnobbing with Bernard Herrmann and Miklos Roza. The world has lost one of it’s greatest Cinematographic/Musical Treasures. A double blow to the sensitive beings on this spinning rock. Bless you Ennio for all the pleasure you gave people in the dark.

Serious Ennio,                                                                                                             With Sergio Leone

Cutural Impact of The Exorcist

Written by Joe D on April 22nd, 2019

I remember the insanity surrounding the release of The Exorcist. People waited in lines for hours to see any showing, midnight or 10 AM. I heard Warner Brothers had employees, who were heading home for the Holidays, hand carry prints to their local theaters. They were working round the clock to finish the film and make the Christmas Eve release. My pal Bud Smith edited the film, a magnificent job! My other friend, the late, great, Jack Nitzsche recorded special sound effects for the film, that add immensley to the experience. But here is a short documentary on the phenomenon of The Exorcist’s first release.

A Walk Through Old Warsaw

Written by Joe D on September 29th, 2018


Here is a beautiful short film that is really a showcase for it’s amazing electronic score. The music and organized sound is by the great Eugeniusz Rudnik, a veteran of The Polish Radio Experimental Studio (PRES), check out The Saragossa Manuscript with music by Penderecki, another alumnus. This film is gorgeous, shot in 35mm color (It looks like Technicolor to me) in an old city that still had it’s Eighteenth Century charm. I can’t embed it here but I can post this link. So click the magic portal and be transported to another world.

Le Gros et le maigre (The Fat and the Lean) – Roman Polanski – 1961

Written by Joe D on March 24th, 2016

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This is a great short by the ultra-talented Roman Polanski. It really demonstrates what an amazing physical actor he is, Chaplinesque. Featuring music by the super genius Krzysztof Komeda.

The Man Who Fell To Earth Soundtrack

Written by Joe D on February 2nd, 2016

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Here’s a great little documentary about the soundtrack to Nic Roeg’s The Man Who Fell To Earth starring David Bowie in his greatest role. I always really liked this soundtrack, John Phillips came through big time.

Video Essay: The Man Who Fell to Earth from Film Comment on Vimeo.

Fred Katz

Written by Joe D on September 15th, 2013

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Damn! I really wanted to write a fan letter to Fred Katz! What a genius! He just died at 94 years of age, he really crammed a lot into his stay here on planet Earth, Classical musician, Jazz musician, Composer, Ethnologist, child prodigy on two instruments, maybe the first guy to play Jazz Cello! I grew up digging his score to Corman/Griffith movies like Little Shop Of Horrors, a great score, quirky, idiosyncratic, unique just like the movie. There is really no other score like it that I can think of.  Plus he played with the great Chico Hamilton, he even appeared with Chico’s band in the sublime Sweet Smell Of Success ( a reference to the marijuana that features so prominently in the plot) .

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Then he switched gears and became a professor of Shamanism, Mysticism, Magick! I wish I had taken one of his courses, I wish I had met him and told him how great he was. Too lAte! But maybe up in Film Music Heaven Fred can hear my compliments, I hope so. Dear Fred You were a giant talent and enriched my existence through your music, Fare Thee Well.

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