ltmurnau: (CX)
OK, a brief post to show you how brilliant my cousin Hall is.
There are people in one's life that you just hold in awe - they are creative, smart, happy and great to be around.
My cousin is one of these, for me.
Ever since he was a boy, he was fascinated with dinosaurs, and film, and motion.
He has made a career of animating dinosaurs and much of his business involves preparing exhibits for museums etc..
But his latest little film is a fun little short, a hat-tip to Melies and done to inspire kids to use simple illusory tricks to make their own films.
This is the sort of thing he would have made at age 10, if he had had the tech kids do today.
But that was over 40 years ago, and he had to make do with 8mm film shot one frame at a time ... like I and my friends did, but didn't stick with as he did.

Anyway, have a look!

ltmurnau: (Default)
Yaaaaayyyy!!!! LOS ANGELES, Dec. 11, 2009

Pee-wee Herman Back, and Bigger than Ever
New Live Show in L.A. Costs Millions to Produce; Pee-wee "Ready to Get Back Out There"

(AP) The star may be Pee-wee, but his new live stage show is absolutely huge.

"The Pee-wee Herman Show," opening next month in downtown Los Angeles at Club Nokia theater, cost millions to mount. It boasts 11 actors, 20 puppets and marks the show's first production since 1982.

So, why now?

"Well, you know, I really want to make a movie version of 'The Playhouse,' my Saturday morning kid show!" said actor Paul Reubens, in an interview earlier this week in which he stayed in his exuberant Pee-wee persona.

"This seemed like a great way to do it: reintroduce it, get back out there, introduce Pee-wee to the new generation that didn't know about it."

An impulsive, sometimes naughty child living a fantastical world, the Pee-wee character first made a big splash with the live "The Pee-wee Herman Show," which debuted at Groundlings theater in Los Angeles in 1981. An HBO broadcast of the show spread the Pee-wee gospel across the country later that year, and a 1985 Tim Burton-directed feature film, "Pee-wee's Big Adventure," was an acclaimed and popular success.

Then came the television series, "Pee-wee's Playhouse" (1986-91), which ran for five seasons, earned 22 Emmys and attracted not only children but adults to Saturday-morning television.

Pee-wee was shelved after Reubens' July 1991 arrest for indecent exposure in an adult-movie house in Sarasota, Florida, resulting in a small fine. Reubens, now 57, continued to act, playing characters other than Pee-wee, scoring successes as the Penguin's father in "Batman Returns" (1992) and a 1995 Emmy nomination for a recurring guest role on "Murphy Brown." But Pee-wee would ultimately rise again.

"Well, I went back and forth between wanting to do it and not wanting to do (the new stage show)," Pee-wee said. "I had a producer that was calling me every two months for two years. And every two months, I would change my mind. And then, finally, one day I woke up and decided, 'This is it, I'm coming back."

As with the original stage show, the new production spins around Pee-wee's desire to fly. The menagerie of "Playhouse" characters is back, as are some of the original cast members, including Lynne Stewart as Miss Yvonne, John Moody as Mailman Mike and John Paragon as Jambi the Genie.

"I think I am grateful for my friends," Pee-wee said. "I am grateful for my fans. I am grateful that people still support me. I am grateful that people are going to buy tickets to come see my fabulous, fantastic, unbelievably incredible show at Club Nokia opening January 12th, playing until February 7th. I hope people have tickets and that is pretty much what I am thankful for."

"The Pee-wee Herman Show" is scheduled to run for a limited four-week engagement, Jan. 12- Feb. 7.

Where do I go when I wanna do what I want?
Pee-Wee's Playhouse, that's the place for me
ltmurnau: (Default)

I will watch anything that has Patrick Magee (1922-82) in it.
He was one of those actors who always worked, no matter how crappy the movie.
In his case, it was so he could carry on with the theatre, which he loved, and which loved him - Samuel Beckett wrote Krapp's Last Tape specifically for Magee and his low, raspy maniac voice.

So how many of his 34 films have you seen, bunky? Bold the ones you have, as I have done, and feel free to append any Magee-positive comments....

The Servant
The Young Racers
Dementia 13 (as a psychiatrist)

Zulu (as a surgeon - "Damn you, Chard! Damn all you butchers!")
Seance on a Wet Afternoon
The Masque of the Red Death

The Skull
Die, Monster, Die!

Marat/Sade (as the Marquis - excellent film of a play, see this if you ever get the chance)

Anzio (minor role, as a general)
The Birthday Party

Hard Contract

Cromwell (small role as a maniac Roundhead preacher)
You Can't Win 'Em All

King Lear
The Trojan Women
A Clockwork Orange (wonderful, unrestrained performance - "FOOD, all, right? Try the WINE.")
The Fiend aka Beware My Brethren

Tales from the Crypt
Young Winston
Demons of the Mind

And Now the Screaming Starts!
Lady Ice

The Final Programme
Barry Lyndon


The Bronte Sisters

The Monster Club (great movie! See this if you get the chance - "Monsters Rule OK...")
Hawk the Slayer
Rough Cut
Sir Henry at Rawlinson End

Chariots of Fire
Dr. Jekyll and His Women
ltmurnau: (Default)
I recently finished reading X Films, Alex Cox's book on the first ten films he made.

Now this, via the Austin Decider, via The Onion AV Club:

Alex Cox on his greatest films that never were
The cult director cleans out his closet

by Scott Von Doviak May 18, 2009

With the one-two punch of Repo Man and Sid And Nancy, Alex Cox positioned himself as one of the most promising young filmmakers to emerge during the indie film boom of the 1980s. Unfortunately, his eagerly anticipated follow-ups—1987’s ramshackle spaghetti Western pastiche Straight To Hell and 1987’s Walker, a politically charged allegory of U.S. intervention in Nicaragua—were not warmly embraced by either audiences or critics, and Cox has spent the better part of the past two decades in Hollywood exile, making micro-budgeted films on a catch-as-catch-can basis. He’s also accumulated a virtual file cabinet’s worth of unproduced screenplays, many of which are available for download on his website ( In honor of Cox’s visit to Austin (he presented his latest film, Searchers 2.0, last night; tonight it’s his cult classic Repo Man), Decider asked the man himself about four Alex Cox movies that never saw the light of day.

Waldo’s Hawaiian Holiday
Alex Cox: Michael Nesmith and the producers of Repo Man proposed this sequel to Repo Man to Universal about 12 or 13 years ago. The weirdest thing is Universal never got back to us, so we raised the money independently. It was kind of hard to raise money for a film with Emilio Estevez, because his career as an actor hadn’t been very illustrious. Peter McCarthy, one of the producers of Repo Man, worked and worked and was finally able to put together a deal. Then, suddenly, Emilio Estevez just dropped out, and from then all the energy just fell out of it.
Decider: It did finally get made recently as a graphic novel.
AC: As a comic book! It exists as a wonderful comic book by Chris Bones, made in Australia. So it does have an existence. And we’re working on a film called Repo Chick now, which is not a sequel, but it is set in the same environment—in the same economic crisis, only worse.

Dr. Strange (co-written with Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee)
D: What was that collaboration like?
AC: It was great! I mean, he’s remarkable. The only thing with Stan Lee is that he was writing Spider-Man in the newspapers, so every day I would have to wait on him to finish before we could start on Dr. Strange. I don’t know if he still writes Spider-Man every day, or if he’s farmed it out to someone else, but he’s still going strong. I spoke to him on the phone a couple of weeks ago and he sounds great.
D: Almost every other Marvel hero has made it to the screen. It seems inevitable that sooner or later Dr. Strange will get there.
AC: I would suspect not, for a couple of reasons. One is that he doesn’t have any superpowers; he’s just sort of intellectual and spiritual. And the other thing that would really freak out the Christian right is that he’s a witch. [Laughs.]

Keith Moon Was Here
AC: That was work for hire. I think Roger Daltrey was the executive producer, and so maybe it didn’t fit his recollection of events or vision of the story. It’s a pretty funny script. It features Peter Sellers as the antagonist. Peter Sellers is the devil!
D: He’s a giant spider at some point.
AC: He’s a giant spider, but he’s also Harry Nilsson, so Peter Sellers will go out and Harry Nilsson will come in and it’s obviously the same guy. And Peter Sellers is kind of creating this hell world for Moon. That was a funny script.
D: Somehow Roger Daltrey didn’t remember it that way?
AC: Perhaps. I think that the people who wanted to make the film were expecting more of a mainstream biopic—which is really hard, to make a guy like that sympathetic. I mean, the guy’s a serial wife beater, you know? It’s really hard to make a guy like that conventionally sympathetic.

Mars Attacks!
AC: I was the person who brought Mars Attacks! to the attention of the studio. They were bubblegum cards I had as a kid. I developed Mars Attacks! with Jon Davidson, the producer of Robocop, for quite a while, but at some point my project got shut down and it was given to Tim Burton. It was a bit of a shame, but I think both the script that I wrote and the Tim Burton one suffered from not being enough like the bubblegum cards. I was very attracted to science fiction when I was a lad, but that sort of science fiction seems to have gone away now—the hardcore Harry Harrison, Arthur C. Clarke kind of world seems to have disappeared. In the science fiction section of the bookstore now, it’s just Star Trek spinoff books and fantasy novels, flying-on-the-back-of-a-dragon stuff. That really mainstream, kind of macho science fiction of the ’50s and ’60s has just disappeared.


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