I would like to play a game of pretend. Let’s pretend that you are one of the most in-demand actors of your time and your contract with the studio says you have to perform in any film they choose. The studio you are working for takes an unknown, unproduced and previously refused play and begins adapting the play for the screen. They are in such a rush to start production and don’t wait for the first draft of the screenplay to be finished before they begin filming. At one point the director calls you on the set and tells you to just stand still and give a short nod of your head towards the camera. You don’t know why you are nodding or where the nod will occur in the movie, you are just told to nod. Every day the script changes. Not just the little daily changes common to movies, but massive story changes take place. No one at the start of filming, not even the director, knows exactly how the movie is going to end. The film is half-way through production before the ending is finally settled upon. Can you imagine how unhappy you would be and how horrible you believe the final product would turn out? This is what happened to actors Humphry Bogart and Actress Ingrid Bergman when they starred in a film that when finished won the Best Picture, Best Screen Play, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor Academy Awards. Since its production in 1942, it has continued to win honors and awards. The play was called “Everyone Comes to Ricks”, the movie, Casablanca.Read more about Casablanca
I remember the first time I became aware of the movie Brazil. I was reading through “Variety” magazine in an effort to keep up with the films of the day when I suddenly came across a strange full-page advertisement. It didn’t say much. It was a full page sheet bordered in black with the question, “Dear Sid Sheinberg, when are you going to release my film Brazil? Terry Gilliam.” At the time, I had not heard of the film Brazil and did not know the controversy surrounding its release in the United States. Read more about Brazil
First Line: “I am, beyond a doubt, the last of the old-timers. My name is Jack Crabb. And I am the sole white survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn, uh, uh, popularly known as Custer's Last Stand.”
Even though Little Big Man is a comedy it was one of the first movie westerns to portray Native American’s in a positive light and our treatment of them as the horror it often was. Read more about Little Big Man
Civil War Colonel Robert Gould Shaw of the Union Army is not a man most of us would think of as having an important role in the history of African Americans in the United States, but he did. Col. Shaw was chosen to lead the Massachusetts 54th Regiment of the Union Army. With the exception of himself and his second in command this regiment was made up entirely of African Americans and was one of the first to actually be allowed to carry arms into battle. Read more about Glory
January 14, 2016 marked the passing of Alan Rickman. Rickman was best known in recent years as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter Movies. One of his earliest roles to command attention was that of the villain Hans Gruber in the first Die Hard. You might also remember him as Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest, the classically trained actor resigned to be forever remembered for playing an alien in a television series. Like his Galaxy Quest character Alan Rickman was a classically trained actor who was equally at home on stage as he was on screen, though he preferred the stage and often passed up choice movie roles to appear on stage.
The link below will provide a list of films and other materials featuring Alan Rickman.
On January 10th of this year we lost one of the most the most innovative musical performers of the late 1960’s on: David Bowie. David Bowie managed to re-invent his stage persona and musical style to fit the times and keep himself relevant. Bowie was not just a talented musician and singer. He was also a talented actor and he starred in a number memorable and now classic films. In his first major role his acting ability and unique looks brought the alien character of Thomas Jerome Newton to a life in The Man Who Fell to Earth. And few who have seen the film Labyrinth can forget him as the King of the Goblins in his M.C. Escher inspired castle.
Below I have provided a link which will bring up a list of Monroe County Public library’s holdings wish feature the music, writing or acting talent of David Bowie. Mr. Bowie, you will be missed.