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!

Jean Rollin- The Nude Vampire

Written by Joe D on November 26th, 2020

Here’s a scene from Jean Rollin’s Nude Vampire. It is so cinematic, no dialog, just images and music and sound effects. So atmospheric. Let it be a lesson to filmmakers out there. Rollin had a talent for creating creepy atmospheres out of nothing, a unique voice in Cinema. He fell on hard times with the closing of movie theaters in the 80’s and had to make porno films. I’ve never seen any but I bet they are different. I just ordered a box set of his films from France, I’ll report on them soon.

Bob Downey ( A Prince)

Written by Joe D on November 10th, 2020

Here is a great interview with the superfantastic Bob Downey, father of Robert Downey,Jr. I know Bob very well, we worked on a lot of projects together and he really is a Prince. The folks at the ReelBlack Vault in Philadelphia did a great job on this interview, I’ve talked to Bob about his films many, many timess and these guys got him to reveal a lot of incredible information, stuff I knew about but never heard it so clearly expressed. Bob loves Philadelphia, he made several films ther with Max Raab, an old friend, they were planning a documentary when Max died. Anyway enjoy this wonderful interview and maybe check oput some of Bob’s films. I think Greaser’s Palace is on Amazon Prime these days.

La Camarista

Written by Joe D on September 26th, 2020

 

 

Lila Aviles-Filmmaker

 

Here is a very cool new film that is really worth checking out. La Camarista (The Chambermaid) is the story of a hard working young single mom that works as a chambermaid in an upscale hotel in Mexico. The subtle performances really make this film great, the commentary on the class system, done in a naturalistic almost invisible manner. So well done. Lila Aviles, the director is talented, she is an actress and directs theater and you can tell from the acting. Real characters, no fake stereotypes waltzing around the screen. All The Actors are great especially the title character ,Gabriela Cartol and Teresa Sánchez as Minitoy. Here’s the trailer:

Antonio Margheriti

Written by Joe D on September 19th, 2020

Here is a short documentary about the great director,Antonio Margheriti. Margheriti was a very prolific director, who did a lot with very little money. His cheap Italian Sci-Fi films got American distribution, a big deal back in the ’60s. He made every kind of film,Horror, Sci-Fi, Action, Cannibal, Westerns, Hercules, he did it all.

Mullholland Drive Analysis

Written by Joe D on September 10th, 2020

Here is a great analysis of Mullholland Drive. This London Girl really breaks it down for you. I suggest you watch the film before watching this but if you have seen the film you will enjoy this. I know I did.

Pull My Daisy

Written by Joe D on August 24th, 2020

 

Here is the Beat Film to end all Beat Films, written and narrated by Kerouac, directed by Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie. It gives you a view into the Art Life of 50s NYC. I lived there in the late 70’s. It was pretty similar. I remember being at Guffanti Film Lab and seeing this film, they were making a print for Marty Scorsese. I think this film was a big influence on him. This version has Italian subtitles so you can practice your Italiano.