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.

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.

Hugh A. Robertson,Frank G. Host, Carl Lerner, Pablo Ferro, Midnight Cowboy

Written by Joe D on December 12th, 2020

This is a crazy combination of people but what the heck it breaks down like this: I got into filmmaking by attending a one time Manpower funded program at T.U.I. (the Theater of Universal Images) in downtown Newark,N.J. (my hometown). The editing teacher was a great guy named Frank G. Host. We became friends and he got me my first job at Editor’s Hideaway on 57th and Madison Ave. in NYC. A commercial editing facility. Anyway Frank was always talking about his old friend Hugh Robertson, how they had started out together.  (there were very few Afro-American film editors at that time, John Carter was another.) Frank got his break from some leftist types from California , who fled the Hollywood Anti Communist witch hunts and were willing to give a young talented Black guy a break. Hugh worked for the great editor Carl Lerner, a priogressive person who went on to direct Black Like Me, about a white reporter who takes an experimental drug that turns him Black so he can see what it’s like to live as a Black person.

so these two friends were at the cutting edge of Black Filmmaking in the US. Frank got drafted and was stationed in Paris, luckily missing out on being sent to Korea. Then he attended the Sorbonne Film School on the G.I. bill, meanwhile Hugh A. Robertson continued to work in NYC, eventually landing the editing job on Shaft and  Midnitght Cowboy,then directing some films.  I had never met Hugh or even seen a picture of him until running across this intervbiew on YouTube posted by the ultracool Black Film Network. So I finally got to see him and hear him speak. Here it is.

It also just so happens that my old pal Pablo Ferro worked on Midnite Cowboy as 2nd unit director. Pablo told me he shot a lot of the psychedelic party scene in that film and here it is

Robert Aldritch’s Ulzana’s Raid

Written by Joe D on December 10th, 2020

Here is the trailer for one of my favorite Westerns, Ulzana’s Raid. I got turned on to this amazing movie by none other than Quentin Tarantino, who also loves the film. He gave me a VHS or maybe a Laser Disc to watch, I later saw it at the New Beverly as well. I found a review Quentin wrote and it is a brilliant piece of film criticsim, full of his personal insights into not only this film but film history as well. Here is the link to the review. Check it out.

Interview with Jean Rollin

Written by Joe D on December 3rd, 2020

Here’s an interview with Vampire film maker Jean Rollin. A unique character in The History Of Cinema. Very Cool stories of his influence, especially the serials! Dr. Satan! Check it Out!