“Forgotten Hollywood”- Let’s Look at Tote Board (#1) …

January 11th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   The Indiegogo funding campaign for our FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD Documentary Pilot – Development Phase – is off to a brisk start. For complete information on the project… click on the Indiegogo link:

http://www.indiegogo.com/forgottenhollywoodseries/x/1999460

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CONTRIBUTIONS

thelma reyna~ Thelma Reyna ($40) – Thelma Reyna is author of The Heavens Weep for Us and Other Stories (2009: Outskirts Press). Her stories, poems, essays, book reviews, and other nonfiction have earned publication in literary and academic journals, textbooks, anthologies, blogs, and in regional media for over 30 years. She has served as a city commissioner in Pasadena, and has been an adjunct professor at California State University, Los Angeles. Dr. Reyna writes for the following blogs:

American Latina/o Writers Today  http://www.LatinoWritersToday.blogspot.com

The Literary Self  http://www.TheLiterarySelf.blogspot.com

Powerful Latinas – http://www.PowerfulLatinas.com

AlleneOct232011_jpg_w180h276~ Allene Symons ($25) – Allene Symons published work includes books, reviews,  columns, and magazine articles as a staff editor and freelance writer covering topics from travel to business, health care to the arts. She’s affiliated with the California Writers Club, National Book Critics Circle, Authors Guild, PEN West and Southern California Independent Booksellers Association. Symons is an instructor for Communications / Media Studies at Santa Ana College.

   Radio and television interviews include on Today Show (1997), Regis Philbin (1988), CNN, three Los Angeles programs, and a dozen national and regional radio programs, and twice as a spokesperson for Publishers Weekly.

steph~ Stephanie Martindale ($25) – Stephanie Martindale is a typographer at the Book Publishers Network. The programs she uses are InDesign CS5, Acrobat Professional, and PrintShop Pro. Her work has been extensive, laying out hundreds of books since 2002 (including Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History and Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History).

   Martindale previously worked for Epicenter Press, John Broadbanks Publishing, Great Little Book Publishing, SMB Nation, and Forward Books.

PROMOTIONS / LINKS

   Thanks to the following folks who are helping me promote the FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD Documentary Pilot on their social network sites (Facebook):

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Stephanie Martindale ~ Laura Danforth (Danforth Book Distribution) ~ Michelle Merker  Deborah “Cookie” Cooke ~ Ray Jordan

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   Through this initial 2013 campaign, I’m asking my friends, family, and supporters of our FORGOTTEN HOLLYWOOD franchise to help us reach a 120-day goal of $5000YOU can  contribute ANY AMOUNT. This step will ensure the Develpment Phase, and we’ll be able to:

  1. Hire a research archivist to track down footage and photos; and secure licensing
  2. Hire a consultant / casting director to book actors and behind-the-scenes folks from Hollywood’s Golden Age; plus cinematic historians for original interviews
  3. Set up a production shoot to tape these candid moments

   Again, here’s the link for your chance to participate:

http://www.indiegogo.com/forgottenhollywoodseries/x/1999460

   I appreciate your official future consideration… And, THANKS SO MUCH to our valued initial contributors and supporters (above).

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Evolution of Modern Screenwriter…

January 9th, 2013

Manny P. here… 400px-Gatsby_1925_jacket

   It seems, no novel has been adapted to the screen more times than The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work has been filmed five times, and is again, in production. Notable versions include a 1926 silent film starring Warner Baxter and a very young William Powell; a 1949 Golden Age  motion picture with Alan Ladd and Shelly Winters; and arguably, the most popular adaptation in 1974, featuring Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, and Sam Waterston, and a script by Francis Ford Coppola. The upcoming epic will star Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire.

   Fitzgerald joined Ernest Hemingway as American authors of novels and short stories, whose works reflected the times known as the Jazz Age. Before the start of their significant careers, works of noted living scribes weren’t considered  viable material for the stage and screen. Of course, the great works of Shakespeare, Dickens, Victor Hugo, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Jack London were often adapted by  early screenwriters. And, science fiction translated well on the silent screen (especially H.G. Wells and Jules Verne).

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   F. SCOTT FITZGERALD              ERNEST HEMINGWAY

   Influenced by the very-real social commentary of Sinclair Lewis and Upton Sinclair, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway used actual history as a backdrop to their fictional stories. Gertrude Stein dubbed these survivors of World War I (The Great War) as the Lost Generation, which included composer Cole Porter, singer Josephine Baker, dancer Isadora Duncan, and painter Pablo Picasso, among others. John Steinbeck also comes to mind as an American author who developed fiction based on the normal, if dreary, lives of real people. It was T.S. Eliot who first popularized the notion of turning modern fiction into dramatic theatre. Recently, Woody Allen paid homage to these artists of the Lost Generation in his 2012 film, Midnight in Paris.

Eugene_ONeill_stamp   Eugene O’Neill introduced into American drama a stylistic realism  associated with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen, and Swedish playwright August Strindberg. American theatre was forever changed. Billed as an alternative to light musical comedy revues from folks like Florenz Ziegfeld, O’Neill’s plays included  dialogue in a popular vernacular, and involved characters on the fringes of society, where they struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations, but ultimately slide into despair and disillusionment; plots resonating with Depression-era audiences.

   This style of writing led to a development of Broadway thespians, eventually discovered by movie moguls searching for new stars for their talkies of the 1930s. Actors such as Spencer Tracy, James Cagney, Paul Muni, Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, and Humphrey Bogart emerged in realistic cinematic dramas based on the writings of Hemingway, Steinbeck, and O’Neill. Early entries popular among film-goers included A Farewell to Arms, Strange Interludes, and Of Mice and Men.

   In the thirties, a European style of filmmaking became popular as Axis aggression swept two continents. Dubbed film noir… writers such as Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler were quickly hired by the movie studios to update how gangster-films were put together. Hammett was particularly adept at this gritty nuanced style, since elements of the technique were introduced in the Thin Man series of motion pictures of the 1930s. It came together in 1941 with the production of The Maltese Falcon. A hero with duplicitous motives, menacing dark evening streets, and a femme-fatale, made stars of Alan Ladd, John Garfield, Veronica Lake, Robert Mitchum, William Bendix, etc. Iconic movies, including The Glass Key, Out of the Fog, Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice, and The Asphalt Jungle still play remarkably well in rich black-and-white cinematography, and a fascinating film noir script.

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                  DASHIELL HAMMETT

   Meanwhile, new productions were developed from Hemingway, Steinbeck, and O’Neill. For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Grapes of Wrath, and Mourning Becomes Electra were among the works receiving accolades from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences each year. And, these fine motion pictures inspired new generations of authors / playwrights. Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller began influencing how actors studied their craft.

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                                            STANISLAVSKY

   The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute trained actors in a technique known as The Method. This teaching style owed much to the Russian director, Stanislavsky, whose book, An Actor Prepares, dealt with the psychology of interpretation in acting. Actors such as Marlon Brando, James Dean, Paul Newman, Montgomery Clift, Marilyn Monroe; and early directors as Elia Kazan and Sidney Lumet embraced this theatrical concept.

   This acting technique was extraordinarily popular in live television of the 1950s, particularly  in anthology dramas of the day. Teleplay writers emerged… Rod Serling and Paddy Chayevsky comes to mind. Rod Steiger, Robert Redford, Lee Remick, Joanne Woodward, George C. Scott, Jack Klugman, Cloris Leachman, among others, were plucked from the small screen to become cinematic stars. And, Requiem for a Heavyweight, Patterns, and Twelve Angry Men were  adapted into successful film productions.

   Later, Dustin Hoffman, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel also ushered a new-realism that exists in movies today. The Hays Code, established in the 1930s, was a first casuality of this modern-day cinematic revolution. The Motion Picture Ratings were created in 1967 to  help families decide which films might be appropriate for their children. Screenwriters now had the dramatic license to tackle the most delicate of issues.

Gatsby_banner_art-275x300   It remains to be seen if F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work still excites theatre-goers. My guess is… if the material is strong and well-adapted… and if the actors hit their marks… ticket sales will be brisk. The Great Gatsby is set for a May 10, 2013 release.

 Until next time>                              “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Driving Miss Daisy Tours Australia…

January 7th, 2013

Manny P. here…

   Following the Brisbane premiere season of Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning classic play Driving Miss Daisy, the production will tour to Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. This latest  effort stars two of the world’s greatest living actors: Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones.

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   This timeless American drama, which inspired the beloved Oscar-winning film, Driving Miss Daisy tells the affecting story of the decades-long relationship between an elderly Southern Jewish woman and her compassionate African-American chauffeur. In addition to performing on Broadway and London’s West End, Lansbury and Jones have also most recently been performing together in the Broadway production of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man.

Angela_Lansbury_in_The_Picture_of_Dorian_Gray_trailer    Broadway and Hollywood royalty, Angela Lansbury has garnered many of the industry’s top awards in cinema, theatre and television in a career that has now spanned seven decades. Nominated for three Oscars, including one for her motion picture debut in Gaslight (1944), Angela continued with a dazzling body of work on film (The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Manchurian Candidate, and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast); television (Murder She Wrote); and stage (Gypsy, Mame, Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, Hamlet).

james earl jones<— James Earl Jones voice is known by people of all ages (Star Wars fans know him as the voice of Darth Vader; children know him as Mufasa from Disney’s The Lion King). Jones made his Broadway debut in 1957, and has conquered Shakespeare (Othello, Macbeth, King Lear), as well as, stage classics (The Iceman Cometh, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, On Golden Pond). He was equally successful in movies (Dr. Strangelove, The Great White Hope, Field of Dreams,The Hunt for Red October); and television (Roots: The Next Generation. Last year, Jones was honored with an Lifetime Achievement Academy Award in recognition of his long and distinguished career.

   The tour Down Under begins February 3rd to an already sold-out crowd in Brisbane.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- TCM to Honor Two Comedians…

January 5th, 2013

Manny P. here… TCM_website_logo

   Turner Classic Movies is set to honor Danny Kaye and Dick Van Dyke with extensive programming. This is a great opportunity to re-visit their iconic work.

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~ DANNY KAYE – To celebrate his 100 birthday, TCM is planning to spend Sunday, January 20th with films and television programs devoted to this splendid humanitarian. Included will be the rarely aired Wonder Man and Hans Christian Andersen. Also in the collection of movies: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Up in Arms, The Kid From Brooklyn, The Court Jester, and A Song is Born. An episode from The Danny Kaye Show (1963), and The Dick Cavett Show  (1971) interview rounds out this outstanding day.

~ DICK VAN DYKE – On Tuesday, January 22nd, five motion pictures are on tap featuring the 2013 SAG Awards Lifetime Achievement honoree. The prime time lineup: Divorce American Style, Cold Turkey, Fitzwilly, Bye Bye Birdie, and Some Kind of A Nut.

   The Screen Actor’s Guild Awards will be announced the following Sunday on January 27th.

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bond b-day  The 85th Academy Awards program on February 24th is planning a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the James Bond motion picture series; the longest running cinematic franchise in history. Skyfall was released in November, and made a record $1 billion-plus worldwide.

   The Oscars will be presented at the Dolby Theatre.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Democracy Counts at Skirball Center

January 3rd, 2013

Manny P. here…

democracy_button   The Skirball Cultural Center has established itself as one of the world’s most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions, and among the leading cultural venues in Los Angeles. Its mission is to explore the connections between Jewish heritage and the vitality of American democratic ideals. It seeks to inspire people of every ethnic identity in American life.

   Democracy Matters is an ongoing series of exhibits, tours, and panel discussions. A companion series of classics will be presented for FREE. The screenings are on a couple of Tuesdays at 1:30p.

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12 ANGRY MEN                                             INHERIT THE WIND

~ 12 ANGRY MEN (January 8th) –  A compelling drama directed by iconic Sidney Lumet, 12 Angry Men highlights the importance of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. It features an all-star cast, including Henry Fonda, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, Lee J. Cobb, E.G. Marshall, Ed Begley, and Jack Klugman, who died last month.

~ INHERIT THE WIND (February 12th) – In honor of Charles Darwin’s birthday, catch a free matinee of this acclaimed drama based on the famous John T. Scopes trial. The strength of the Constitution is examined in this Stanley Kramer production, which starred Spencer Tracy, Gene Kelly, Frederic March, Claude Akins, Florence Eldridge, and Dick York. Tracy received an Oscar nomination for his performance.

skirball   The Skirball Cultural Center is at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., between San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles.

For complete information, click on the link below:

http://www.skirball.org/programs/film

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517px-Patti_Page   Patti Page (right) was one of the early crossover country singers. Her pop hits included Doggie in the Window,Mockin’ Bird Hill, Allegheny Moon, Old Cape Cod, and Tennessee Waltz, her signature tune. Page also sang the title track to Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte.

   Page was quite memorable in a few motion pictures, including Elmer Gantry and Boy’s Night Out. By all accounts (from actors such as Burt Lancaster, Tony Randall, and James Garner), Patti was a joy to work with. Nice was the adjective used to describe the songstress. She became the first singer to have a television slot on all three major networks, including The Patti Page Show on ABC.

   Patti Page was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 1997. She will be posthumously honored with a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, a deserved accolade planned before her passing.

   Patti Page was 85.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

“Forgotten Hollywood”- Broadway in Revival Mode in 2013!

January 2nd, 2013

Manny P. here…

bwayhollywood-500x207   Revival productions are on tap in 2013 along 42nd Street. The works of Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, William Inge, Frank Wildhorn, and Rodgers & Hammerstein seldom gets tired.  Broadway is attracting the Star power of Laurie Metcalf, Mare Winningham, Scarlett Johansson, Keith Carradine, Cicely Tyson, Hugh Jackman, Cuba Gooding Jr., Nicole Kidman, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Lavin, George Wendt, Vanessa Williams, Nathan Lane, Alec Baldwin, and Tom Hanks.

   Here are the details:

Picnic   Cat on a Hot Tin Roof   Cinderella

~ PICNIC – Won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and was later adapted into an Oscar-winning motion picture in 1955

~ CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF – The Broadway smash became an on-screen vehicle for Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives, and Jack Carson

~ BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S – The iconic comedy featured Audrey Hepburn; and a fabulous Henry Mancini score

~ CINDERELLA – The classic musical is getting a dramatic makeover from Tony-nominated playwright Douglas Carter Beane

jekyll & hyde   Other great Broadway shows and Hollywood film classics being revived include A Trip to Bountiful, Jekyll & Hyde, Diner, A Few Good Men, Flashdance, The Philadelphia Story, and Bullets Over Broadway. In the works: Rebecca, Coal Miner’s Daughter, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Funny Girl, Sweet Bird of Youth, Dirty Dancing, Father of the Bride, Robin and the 7 Hoods, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, You Can’t Take it With You, Zorba, Brigadoon, and The Nutty Professor.

   Adaptations and remakes, popular in today’s cinema, offer nostalgia for theatre-goers in New York.

Until next time>                               “never forget”