hollywood

Rob Edelman: Hail Joel And Ethan Coen

Mar 21, 2016

In HAIL, CAESAR!, which came to movie theaters last month, Joel and Ethan Coen offer a knowing parody of Hollywood and movie industry types as they existed 60-plus years ago. You have pretty faces, both male and female, who are superstar personalities. But once the cameras stop rolling, they are crass, pushy, or laughably thickheaded. Is this any different from some of those in the current celebrity set? Well, your guess is as good as mine.

  Tomorrow night at 7 p.m. USA Today bestselling author Alison Gaylin will be at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts for a reading from her new novel, What Remains of Me, a novel of psychological suspense, set in the glamorous, wealthy world of Hollywood a darkly imaginative and atmospheric tale of revenge and betrayal, presumed guilt and innocence lost, dirty secrets and family ties reminiscent of the bestsellers of Laura Lippman, Gillian Flynn, and Harlan Coben.

The event is presented by The Golden Notebook and New York Times bestselling author Abigail Thomas will interview Gaylin and discuss What Remains of Me.

  On the centennial of his birth, the defining wunderkind of modern entertainment  -- Orson Welles -- gets his due in Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane Hardcover by Patrick McGilligan.

In the history of American popular culture, there is no more dramatic story—no swifter or loftier ascent to the pinnacle of success and no more tragic downfall—than that of Orson Welles. The tales of his youthful achievements were so colorful and improbable that Welles, with his air of mischief, was often thought to have made them up.

McGilligan sorts out fact from fiction and reveals untold, fully documented anecdotes of Welles’s first exploits and triumphs.

    Best known for The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in 1896, in St. Paul, Minnesota. The success of his first novel made him famous and let him marry the woman he loved, but he later descended into drinking and his wife had a mental breakdown.

Following the unsuccessful Tender is the Night, Fitzgerald moved to Hollywood and became a scriptwriter. He died of a heart attack in 1940, at age 44, his final novel only half completed. Today marks the 75th anniversary of his death.

In novelist Stewart O' Nan’s latest novel, West of Sunset, he imagines F. Scott Fitzgerald's final years, which he spent in Hollywood. He is living in an apartment, in poor health, struggling with alcoholism, and is increasingly despondent over his declining literary reputation.

  Whether we’re ready or not -- the holiday season is upon us. Time for family visits, parties with friends and co-workers, and attempts at general merriment. These are also the weeks and months when the best films of the year start showing up on movie theater screens.

Tim Federle’s newest mixology book combines those two interests: cocktails and movies. Gone with the Gin: Cocktails with a Hollywood Twist follows Federle’s Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist and Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist.

Federle is also the author of the best-selling Better Nate Than Ever and Five Six Seven Nate. His kids book is called Tommy Can’t Stop. Before he was an author he was a dancer, performing on Broadway in Gypsy, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Little Mermaid, and Billy Elliot: The Musical.

TRUMBO

Nov 25, 2015

  Dalton Trumbo was the central figure in the "Hollywood Ten," the blacklisted and jailed screenwriters. One of several hundred writers, directors, producers, and actors who were deprived of the opportunity to work in the motion picture industry from 1947 to 1960, he was the first to see his name on the screen again. When that happened, it was Exodus, one of the year's biggest movies.

Bruce Cook wrote a biography of Dalton Trumbo and there is now a feature film based on the book. We speak with Cook's widow, Judith Aller.

  After many years in front of the camera acting for the likes of Brian DePalma, Quentin Tarantino, Wes Craven, Robert Rodriquez, among many others, Rose McGowan has turned her eye to directing.

She premiered her directorial debut, the short film, Dawn at the Sundance Film Festival. It garnered not only critical praise, but a Grand Jury Prize nomination and qualified for the Academy Awards. McGowan is now preparing for her feature length debut.

She will appear with Anne Hubbell, Leah Meyerhoff, in the Woodstock Film Festival's Women in Film and Media Panel entitled Enough, Already! Changing the Status of Women in Film and Television moderated by Alexis Alexanian.

  Legendary dancer, director and choreographer Gene Kelly brought astonishing grace and athleticism to the movies. His engaging onscreen personality is so accessible we feel like we know him. In fact, we know very little.

In her one-woman show Patricia Ward Kelly—his wife and biographer—gives us the real story. Taking audiences behind the scenes, she presents an intimate portrait of this innovative artist who gave us such iconic works as An American in Paris and Singin’ in the Rain.

Gene Kelly: The Legacy – An Evening With Patricia Ward Kelly will be at The Egg in Albany, NY on September 19th.

  Legendary talk show host, Broadway actor and three-time Emmy Award Winner Dick Cavett will be on hand to host the one-night-only Shakespeare & Company Benefit Performance of Broadway in the Berkshires on Monday, August 3 at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA.

Cavett has been nominated for eleven Emmy awards (the most recent in 2012 for the HBO special, Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett Together Again), and won three. He is a master interviewer. He started at ABC in 1968, and also enjoyed success on PBS, USA, and CNBC.

He has appeared in movies, TV specials, and several Broadway shows including Into the Woods, The Rocky Horror Show, Otherwise Engaged. His most recent book is: Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic moments, and Assorted Hijinks – a collection of his online opinion column, written for The New York Times since 2007.

  Born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal in New York City, actress Lee Grant spent her youth accumulating more experiences than most people have in a lifetime: from student at the famed Neighborhood Playhouse to member of the legendary Actors Studio; from celebrated Broadway star to Vogue “It Girl” and Oscar-Winner for Shampoo.

At age twenty-four, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Detective Story, and a year later found herself married and a mother for the first time, her career on the rise. And then she lost it all. Her name landed on the Hollywood black­list, her offers for film and television roles ground to a halt, and her marriage fell apart.

Her memoir is, I Said Yes to Everything.

  In novelist Stewart O' Nan’s latest novel, West of Sunset, he imagines F. Scott Fitzgerald's final years, which he spent in Hollywood. He is living in an apartment, in poor health, struggling with alcoholism, and is increasingly despondent over his declining literary reputation.

  Novelist Emily St. John Mandel found out last week she is a fiction finalist for the National Book Award for her fourth novel, Station Eleven.

Set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, Station Eleven tells the story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

    For years, there were rumors that filmmaker Henry Jaglom had taped hours of his conversations with Orson Welles but that the tapes had been lost. They weren't.

Now the transcripts have been released in a new book, edited and introduced by Peter Biskind. The new book is My Lunches with Orson: Conversations between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles.

    For four consecutive years Shirley Temple was the world’s box-office champion, a record never equaled. By early 1935 her mail was reported as four thousand letters a week, and hers was the second-most popular girl’s name in the country.

What distinguished Shirley Temple from every other Hollywood star of the period—and everyone since—was how brilliantly she shone. Amid the deprivation and despair of the Great Depression, Shirley Temple radiated optimism and plucky good cheer that lifted the spirits of millions and shaped their collective character for generations to come. In The Little Girl Who Fought The Great Depression: Shirley Temple And 1930s America, distinguished cultural historian John F. Kasson shows how the most famous, adored, imitated, and commodified child in the world astonished movie goers, created a new international culture of celebrity, and revolutionized the role of children as consumers.

 With a career spanning more than five decades, perhaps few actors are more qualified to recount the glamorous Hollywood era of the late 1940s and early 1950s than Robert Wagner.

His new book, You Must Remember This, is Wagner’s ode to a bygone age, to its incomparable style and how it was displayed, and to its legendary stars.

        Mary Birdsong is an actor with 57 acting credits on IMDB - she’s likely most recognizable from her work on the Comedy Central Series Reno 911 and in the films Adventureland, and The Descendants.

Mary and 4 other actors - Jason Antoon, Greg Cromer, Tricia O'Kelley and Romy Rosemont - were cast in an NBC sitcom pilot together - the show wasn’t picked up but they were determined to work together more - even if that meant on a low-budget talk-show web-series.

  In Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright, we learn about Scientology’s complicated cosmology and special language. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how such stars are used to advance the church’s goals. And we meet the young idealists who have joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, signing up with a billion-year contract.

  Over the past decade, producer Lynda Obst gradually realized she was working in a Hollywood that was undergoing a drastic transformation. The industry where everything had once been familiar to her was suddenly disturbingly strange.

Combining her own industry experience and interviews with the brightest minds in the business, Obst explains what has stalled the vast moviemaking machine.

    Tom Donahue’s documentary, Casting By, takes us through the last 50 years of Hollywood history from an entirely new perspective -- that of the casting director. Pioneers like Marion Dougherty and Lynn Stalmaster were iconoclasts whose exquisite taste and gut instincts helped to put an end to the studio system and usher in a new Hollywood. They broke away from traditional typecasting and brought actors like James Dean, Dustin Hoffman, Bette Midler, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, and Gene Hackman to the screen.

Tom Donahue combines personal narratives from actors, directors, and casting directors with extensive archival material to reconstruct the untold tale of Hollywood’s most invisible and unheralded profession.

Casting By will screen as part of The Berkshire International Film Festival on Sunday, June 2 at The Triplex in Great Barrington, MA. A Q&A will follow the screening with Casting Directors 
Gretchen Rennell and Elissa Myers.

"Hopper" by Tom Folsom

Apr 8, 2013

    

  Dennis Hopper was the chopper-riding hippie outlaw in Easy Rider, the prophetic madman in the jungle in Apocalypse Now, the terrifying psychopath in Blue Velvet and the kid gone wrong in Rebel Without a Cause.

The actor was taken under the wing of James Dean, a friendship that set Dennis Hopper on his path to becoming a star. He was a quintessentially American dreamer longing to be the next Orson Welles, a hell-raising director who revolutionized Hollywood.

    For years, people have been asking Ezekiel “Zeke” Emanuel, the brash, outspoken, and fiercely loyal eldest brother in the Emanuel clan, the same question: What did your mom put in the cereal? Middle brother Rahm is the mayor of Chicago, erstwhile White House chief of staff, and one of the most colorful figures in American politics. Youngest brother Ari is a Hollywood super-agent. And Zeke himself is one of the world’s leading bioethicists and oncologists, and a former special advisor for health policy in the Obama administration.

In the new memoir, Brothers Emanuel: A Memoir of an American Family, Zeke tells his family's story.

Lately, I’ve been seeing and savoring quite a few foreign language films: titles that have not enjoyed across-the-board theatrical releases in the U.S. This lack of theatrical exposure is not because these films are lacking in quality. They are in fact engrossing and provocative.