REMEMBER TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT FOR THE MARTIN SCORCESE VAL LEWTON DOCUMENTARY--
Here' a preview from Cinema-Retro:
"(Tonight) Turner Classic Movies premieres a major tribute to producer Val Lewton followed by an eight film marathon. Cinema Retro was provided with an advanced screener of the documentary, Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows and we found it to be one of the most unique and informative documentaries about a filmmaker that we've ever seen. The tribute is a collaboration between Martin Scorsese and writer/director Kent Jones.
"I don't want to go into too many details regarding this remarkable man's life and career. It's best you let these fact unravel as you watch the documentary. Director/writer Kent Jones has worked wonders with the little material that is available on Lewton. There is no known film footage of him or even any audio recordings of his voice, thus the documentary's sub-tirle, The Man in the Shadows. The film contains interviews with Roger Corman, Lewton's son Val, Ann Carter Newton (star of Lewton's Curse of the Cat People) and archival interviews with directors Jacques Tourneur and Robert Wise, both of whom distinguished themselves by working on Lewton films."
Update on Cassie Edwards
Mediabistro reprints a piece from Smart Bitches updating the Cassie Edwards plagiarism story:
(Blog co-propreitor) Candy Tan.. "Using passages, word-for-word, of research material still isn't a good thing by a long shot, but I can understand somebody being confused about the protocols of how much to acknowledge in a work of fiction. Using descriptive passages from another work of fiction, however, changes the tenor entirely."
The usual chart juxtaposing Edwards' prose with that of her likely source material is provided.
From MarkEvanier's News From Me
"Someone on eBay is selling a pair of Gary Coleman's pants, autographed by the former star of Diff'rent Strokes and gubernatorial candidate. The other night on his show, Jimmy Kimmel put in a bid and warned viewers, "Don't try to outbid me on this." Well, of course, people are trying. The other day when I checked, the top bid was up to something like a million and a half dollars with many folks bidding six and seven figure amounts. I immediately thought, "Hmm...I may be wrong but I have a hunch some of these aren't legitimate bids."
"eBay has since cancelled out all the six and seven figure bids, labelling them as "bogus bids." But the auction is still on and as I write this, the top bid is $33,433.33 ..."
Think of all the people, charities who could use the money. Hell, Coleman could probably use the dough.
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On the new Lewton doc: Very briefly...it's good, not superb, but worth your time and better than the one in the Lewton Unit box.
Don't watch if you haven't seen CAT PEOPLE yet...watch it after CAT PEOPLE and THE LEOPARD MAN, at least, since it all but inevitably spoils major portions of those films. Likewise ISLE OF THE DEAD and I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE, albeit to a lesser extent. Bad enough that so many of you won't see CAT PEOPLE, et al., in a theater-like setting, or a real theater, first.
Good interviews, and a nice demonstration of how often the staircase from THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS was reused by the Lewton Unit.
And what an unrewarding and short life for Lewton himself.
I would give a body part to have people make horror films without blood and guts like Lewton used to, but I guess we're simply not clever enough to do that anymore. Maybe THE OTHERS came closest, but that's about all.
Same goes for 'comedies.' Beyond me how lazy comedies like KNOCKED UP and SUPERBAD get such glowing reviews. I tell ya', THIS GIRL FRIDAY and BRINGING UP BABY they ain't!
Actually, you could say the same about almost any genre. I have a feeling that screenwriters were simply just more talented back in the 30's through the 70's. Since then....ugh.
In watching the Lewton documentary, I was reminded of how much Guillermo del Toro took away from those films. The thread runs through them and such subsequent projects by Lewton Unit folk as THE HAUNTING and CURSE OF THE DEMON, through such rather similar projects as NIGHT OF THE EAGLE and the television series THRILLER, through Bergman in one direction and Bava in another. Del Toro isn't alone, today, either, even if he is everybody's favorite working in this mode.
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