Martian Mania: The True Story of The War of the Worlds (1998)
Outstanding documentary on what has been dubbed “The Night that Panicked America”. Filmmaker James Cameron narrates a behind the scenes look at the infamous “War of the Worlds” broadcast of 1938 by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater Company. Includes rarely seen/heard footage of the great huckster and his statement to the world following the harrowing night of the hoax, and even a footnote of a greater tragedy that took place following a similar broadcast in Mexico two decades later. For fans of old time radio, WW2 and Scifi, this is a must see. I particularly liked the real comments from residents of New Jersey who listened to the actual broadcast on that Halloween eve. While we have heard stories about the various fears and panics of persons who witnessed the events of that night, this is the one documentary I have seen or heard that truly puts it all into perspective. As a companion piece, I recommend the film, “The Night that Panicked America” which starred John Ritter.
Rarely seen photos from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly: The final duel.
Sergio Leone’s 1966 cult masterpiece “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” is well known for its final standoff in a circular cemetery (created especially for the film). The final shot of the film was intended to be a long helicopter shot of “Blondie” (probably Clint Eastwood’s double/stand-in) riding into the wide open countryside. However after the footage came back with too much bounce and shake, the shot was discarded (a static shot from the ground was used instead). The photos come from various sources, mostly my own collection of rare stills and a book called “Western Cult”. Photography by Angelo Novi. —Jordan Krug, the edit room floor
Rare interview with Sergio Leone: The great director speaks about his trilogy; A Fistful of Dollars, For A few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and his desire to make a new type of film in the USA.
Henry Fonda talks about his casting in Once Upon A Time in the West. The funny reason Sergio Leone cast him as the villain in Once Upon A Time In The West in this rare 1975 interview:
Leone’s West and Leone’s Style. It has lengthy interview material with both Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach, along with English version supervisor Mickey Knox, producer Alberto Grimaldi, restorer John Kirk and critic Richard Shickel. Wallach tells his favorite stories and shows that he’s still as feisty as ever; Eastwood is in a reflective mood, as if he hadn’t thought about this period of his career in a long time. Both have fun remembering comical details of the shooting. They relate the story of the bridge scene as one of the funniest (but expensive) filming flubs of all time.
I made 58 films as an assistant—I was at the side of directors who applied all the rules: make it, for example, a close-up to show that the character is about to say something important. I reacted against all that and so close-ups in my films are always the expression of an emotion… so they call me a perfectionist and a formalist because I watch my framing. But I’m not doing it to make it pretty, I’m seeking, first and foremost, the relevant emotion. —Sergio Leone
The Private War of J. D. Salinger by David Shields and Shane Salerno. Available for Pre-order now.
Shane Salerno is also the producer and director of the forthcoming documentary Salinger about reclusive author J. D. Salinger which will be released theatrically by The Weinstein Company on September 6, 2013 and then premiere as the 200th episode of American Masters in January, 2014. His first book (with David Shields), The Private War of J. D. Salinger will be released by Simon & Schuster in September, 2013.
I just hope these people stay persistent because sometimes it’s six or eight scripts before they have that great script. All the people they admire went through these things and had adversity. Oliver Stone wrote 10 scripts before he wrote Platoon which got him all of his first jobs which got him Midnight Express and then he waited 10 years to get Platoon made… I attended all these (film industry) functions, the classes and the bookstores reading all the time. I have a 10,000-book library in my house from collecting books over the years. Young writers and beginning writers need to stay persistent and understand what the odds are against them succeeding. —Shane Salerno
Salvador Dalí’s incredible illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” (published in 1865) have caused it to become one of the rarest and most sought-after Dalí suites. This collaboration brings together arguably two of the most creative minds in Western culture, as both are considered ultimate explorers of dreams and imagination.
Someone was kind enough to post an HD file of “Desinto,” the animated short that Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí and Walt Disney collaborated on for over eight months in 1945 and 1946.
Dreams designed by Dalí in Spellbound (1945). The dream sequence is full of psychoanalytic symbols—eyes, curtains, scissors, playing cards (some of them blank), a man with no face, a man falling off a building, a man hiding behind a chimney dropping a wheel, and wings. Spellbound caused major contention between Alfred Hitchcock and producer David O. Selznick.
Further contention was caused by the hiring Dalí to conceive certain scenes of mental delusion. Hitchcock himself had very little to do with the actual filming of the dream sequence. Selznick thought that it was not Dalí’s fault, for his work was much finer and much better for the purpose than he ever thought it would be, and although much of Dalí’s work was used, one dream sequence depicting Bergman turning into a statue of the Roman goddess Diana was cut.
Ingrid Bergman is quoted in the Hitchcock biography The Dark Side of Genius (1983) by Donald Spoto that the Dalí sequence ran for almost 20 minutes before it was cut by Selznick. The cut footage apparently no longer exists, although some production stills have survived in the Selznick archives. Eventually Selznick hired William Cameron Menzies, who had worked on Gone With the Wind, to oversee the set designs and to direct the sequence.
- The full 1970 documentary, “Soft Self-Portrait of Salvador Dali.” Just during the opening scene: insane piano solo, screeching cats, Orson Welles on narration. Tremendous stuff!
- Two Vintage Films by Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel: Un Chien Andalou and L’Age d’Or
I like to drink. I like women. It has to be about life. If we have something to say, it’s because we have something to say, not because we want to say something. Have you been in jail recently? Have you fucked a black woman? Have you been in a car crash? If you haven’t had any of these experiences then what the fuck are you going to talk about?
You see the world, you end up in jail three or four times, you accumulate experience. And it gives you something to say. If you don’t have anything to say then you shouldn’t be making films. It [has] nothing to do with what lens you’re using. —Christopher Doyle
In The Mood for Doyle (2007). Christopher Doyle is one of the best known and most acclaimed directors of photography in world cinema. Born in Australia, he sees himself as an Asian citizen rather than a Westerner. His artistic contribution to the films of Wong Kar-wai, Zhang Jimou and Fruit Chan films, among others, is indisputable. Filmed in DV and Super8, this documentary is a kind of wild and stylized road movie — from Bangkok to Hong Kong, via New York. The camera follows this eccentric and outrageous artist as he gives us his thoughts on his past and present work. From the recent sets of Invisible Waves by Thailand’s Pen ek Ratanaruang, and M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water, to the locations in Hong Kong where he shot some of his most famous pictures, such as In The Mood for Love and Dumplings, Chris Doyle talks about his cinematic fascination for Asian culture.
Came across this page — the back of John Wayne’s script. He scribbled some words for his iconic turn as Rooster Cogburn in the original 1969 True Grit. Movie magic! The Duke’s handwritten note reads “Fill your hand and meet your maker.” In the film he actuall said, “Fill your hand you son of a bitch.” Not bad either. If you feel like watching the glorious clip, scroll down and enjoy!
BBC Omnibus: Robert Altman in England (2002). On the eve of the release of his first film shot in England, Gosford Park, Omnibus profiles the maverick American director.
“(Robert) always surprises you,” says fellow director Kenneth Branagh. “Even if the subject matter may be familiar or the genre may be familiar, his treatment of it always has an original characteristic.” Former colleagues and associates including Mike Hodges, Stephen Frears and Stephen Altman, his son and Production Designer for Gosford Park, offer their insights into working with Altman and examine his lasting appeal.
Scene by Scene: Woody Allen (2000). BBC Interview with Woody Allen discussing his work in film.
The cool thing about the show is that they play some scenes from Allen’s catalogue and gets him to comment on them. Presenter Mark Cousins presents plenty of reservations. In particular he brings up interesting criticisms of Allen. Negative comments we’ve never heard before from Billy Wilder, Sam Shepard and Michael Caine. He even manages to give Allen the big question about how his private turmoil affected his films. It’s also amazing how much he remembers of making each film, like the very first day of filming Annie Hall. Of course, the show replays some of greatest scenes in Allen’s films. It’s a very open and frank discussion, and well worth watching.
Kubrick sitting next to the Panavision 70mm camera for the scene on the space station with the Russian scientists.
The wide-angle lens specially made for the Panavision 70mm camera which served to shoot the ultra-wide angle shots in 2001. It also shot the fish-eye point-of-view shots of the HAL 9000 computer by putting an extension tube between the rear of the lens and the Panavision camera’s lens mount.
The lens in action. Look at how enormous that front element is in relation to the camera. This was necessary because 2001 was shot on 65mm film, which is twice as wide as standard 35mm film. The “T-AO” on the film magazine above the lens is for “Todd-AO.” The “AO” is for “American Optics.” Todd-AO was the format invented and used in the 1950s to shoot Around The World In 80 Days. It was owned by Mike Todd, then was inherited upon his death by his wife Elizabeth Taylor. This camera was also most likely used to film Cleopatra.
The camera set up on an improvised dolly inside the Discovery centrifuge. This was probably the camera set-up for filming Gary Lockwood jogging around the centrifuge.
Previously on Cinephilia and Beyond:
One of the most-read article on Cinephilia and Beyond: The Making of Kubrick’s 2001
Wild at Heart screenplay by David Lynch [pdf]. (NOTE: For educational purposes only)
“My next film after Blue Velvet could have been anything, but it turned out to be this. Something about Barry´s book thrilled me enough to want to spend a year living in this little world. The book is very different from the film, but it had these two characters, Sailor and Lula, who had this kind of inner strength which carried them through adversity. I realized I could take them through hell and they´d still come out of things OK.” —‘Suburban Spaceman’, David Lynch interview, Arena 1990
- ‘Out to Lynch’, David Lynch interview, TIMEOUT, August 22-29 1990
- ‘Teasing the Lynch-Mob’, (about the marketing of Wild at Heart) Screen International, 1990
- Something really Wild, Movieline 1990
- Starring David Lynch, The Gavin Report, May 11th, 1990
- Star of David, Elle, July 1990
- Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round, Film Comment Nov-Dec 1990
- Unlaced and Weird on Top. David Lynch slices a poisoned American Pie. TIME, June 4, 1990
- Lynch´s ‘Wild’ World. USA Today, Friday August 17, 1990
- “Weird at Heart” (Kyle MacLachlan interview), Rolling Stone 1990
- David Lynch interview, People Magazine 1990
- Wild at Heart, Premiere, September 1990
- The New York Times Magazine, 14.1.1990
- ‘Movies are like ducks’, Interview, Cinema 9, 1990
Minnesota Nice is a fascinating, 30-odd minute documentary about one of the finest, strangest and funniest films to come out of America of the last couple of decades, Fargo.
Previously on Cinephilia and Beyond:
- Fargo original screenplay by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
- Joel and Ethan Coen discuss the writing and filming of Fargo, its precise characterizations, acting performances and the visual style that emphasizes the spiritual landscape of the bleak Midwestern setting
Legendary composer John Williams has been the recipient of numerous accolades and awards. He has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, seven BAFTA Awards, twenty-one Grammys, is a member of the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame, a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors and is tied with Hollywood legend Alfred Newman for the second most nominated person in Oscar history behind Walt Disney.
“No one’s had this experience except [Williams] and myself but Jaws with John is one thing and Jaws without John isn’t Jaws,” said Steven Spielberg. “I’ve always said, if I can get a tear to form in someone’s eye, John can get it to call down their cheek.”
TCM Presents: AFI’s Master Class — The Art of Collaboration is an in-depth, one-hour special focusing on the 40-year collaboration between filmmaker Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams. The Art of Collaboration takes a look at the four-decade friendship and working relationship between filmmaker Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams, one of the most prolific and influential artistic collaborations in film history.
“Steven called me to screen Schildler’s List at his house in South Hampton. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the requirements of the film. It’s certainly the most moving film I’ve ever seen. At the end of the film, you may remember, is a scene in Israel where the survivors come with their children to place stones on the gravesite of Oscar Schindler. At the end of the film, the lights came up and I couldn’t speak [because] I was so choked up.” “I just excused myself and went outside and walked around the building and came back in. I said ‘Steven’ and I meant this not to be deprecating but to be nothing but objective. ‘Steven, you need a better composer than I am for this film.’ And very sweetly he said, ‘I know, but they’re all dead.’”
This one is among the best: video footage of Steven Spielberg and John Williams tapping out an early draft of the main E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial theme on a piano.
With thanks to FlyingBearFilmSchool
Rod Serling’s final interview. March 4, 1975: Not knowing that he has less than four months to live, Rod weighs in eerily on awards, prejudice, censorship, compulsion, immortality, final unproduced screenplay The Stops Along the Way (which J.J. Abrams bought), (not) planning ahead… and crying.
by Rod Serling, 1957
The Twilight Zone 1x01 - Where is Everybody
The Twilight Zone 1x02 - One for the Angels
The Twilight Zone 1x05 - Walking Distance
The Twilight Zone 1x07 - The Lonely
The Twilight Zone 1x08 - Time Enough at Last
The Twilight Zone 1x30 - A Stop at Willoughby
The Twilight Zone 1x34 - The After Hours
The Twilight Zone 2x05 - The Howling Man
The Twilight Zone 2x06 - The Eye of the Beholder
The Twilight Zone 2x07 - Nick of Time
The Twilight Zone 2x28 - Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up
The Twilight Zone 3x08 - It’s a Good Life
The Twilight Zone 3x16 - Nothing in the Dark
The Twilight Zone 3x24 - To Serve Man
The Twilight Zone 5x03 - Nightmare At 20000 Feet
Stephen King: Shining in the Dark (1999). BBC documentary about Stephen King co-produced by The Learning Channel. This BBC Omnibus episode is a detailed biography, with scenes from the many film adaptations of his work including Needful Things (1993), The Shining (1980), The Green Mile (1999), Stand By Me (1986), Carrie (1976) and Misery (1990).
With thanks to Mark Cousens
The first page of Stephen King’s original screenplay adaptation of his novel, The Shining. Stanley Kubrick considered King’s screenplay, but soon decided that he would adapt the novel himself, with the collaboration of novelist Diane Johnson.
A 1983 Playboy interview with Stephen King, about his young hungry days before he was published. In the same interview with Playboy in 1983, Stephen King stated:
“The real problem is that Kubrick set out to make a horror picture with no apparent understanding of the genre. Everything about it screams that from beginning to end, from plot decision to the final scene — which has been used before on The Twilight Zone.”