THE SHARK IS FINALLY WORKING!
For a couple years now I have been singing the praises of a little film I was proud to be a part of, no matter how small. The film is called "The Shark Is Still Working" and is a two part documentary on the film "JAWS." Part one is strict behind the scenes stuff, with the producers capturing stories and footage never seen before. Part two shows the impact the film has had, both on Hollywood and, more importantly to me, the fans. Directors like Kevin Smith, Bryan Singer and M. Night Shyamalan attest to the influence the film had on their career decisions (though the way Shyamalan is going, I'm curious if maybe he saw the Vic Morrow film "The Great White" instead). After much back and forth between Universal, the studio which holds the rights to "JAWS" the filmmakers have finally been given permission to show the film to the public. The "World Premiere" will be held on Saturday, May 2, at the Los Angeles United Film Festival. The place to be is the Los Feliz 3 Cinema; showtimes 9:45 pm and Midnight.
WHAT? I'M 500
April 22 will bring a milestone to anyone who grew up with "Spy vs Spy" and the art of Don Martin, Al Jaffe or Sergio Aragones. "MAD" magazine is publishing issue #500 that day, a tribute to the slightly twisted minds of those that created it and, more importantly, those that love reading it.
David "Pop" Winans, the leader of the multiple award winning family gospel group The Winans, died this week in Nashville at the age of 74. No cause of death was listed.
Tom Wardell Braden, former CIA agent who was responsible for two very different television shows, also died this week. He was 92. In 1975, he wrote a novel about his crowded household, which he entitled "Eight is Enough." It was made into a popular television series that ran for several years (though I believe in the show Dick Van Patten wrote for a newspaper, he wasn't a CIA agent). In 1982 he conceived an idea of political partisan sparring and created "Crossfire" with Pat Buchanan.
If you ever heard your mother tell you "you'll shoot your eye out," you can thank Frederic J. Gaynor, a child model who appeared on posters and in magazine ads for Daisy air rifles. He died this week in Florida at the age of 74.
Steven Bach, former head of United Artists and author of one of the best books EVER on the workings of Hollywood, passed away after a bout with cancer. He was 70. In 1978, Bach was made head of production at United Artists. While still learning the ropes he caught an early preview of Michael Cimino's "The Deer Hunter" and was pursuaded by those around him to pursue Cimino's next project. He did. The resulting film, "Heaven's Gate," is still a Hollywood punchline almost three decades after it premiered. Originally budgeted at $6 million the film ended up costing $36 million to produce as Cimino strove for perfection in every shot, even taking the time to rearrange extras in different takes to get different background shots. The original film debuted at a length of almost four hours, was quickly pulled, re-cut and reissued with almost 90 minutes excised. Typical of the reviews at the time, Roger Ebert wrote, "If the film was formless at four hours, it was insipid at 140 minutes," Roger Ebert wrote. "At either length it is so incompetently photographed and edited that there are times when we are not even sure which character we are looking at." Bach was soon relieved of his duties at United Artist but the experience inspired him to write the book "Final Cut," which dealt in depth with the workings of Hollywood.
Lou Perryman, Texas born actor who appeared in such films as "Boys Don't Cry" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2," was murdered in his home this week in Austin, Texas. He was 67. After getting a job working as an assistant cameraman on the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," Perryman began a career that kept him both in front of and behind the camera. Despite work in such popular fare as "The Blues Brothers" and "Poltergeist" and on television's "Walker: Texas Ranger," Perryman was remembered best in his native Texas for his work with fellow independent filmmmaker Eagle Pennell, including 1978s "The Whole Shooting Match."
Nick Adanhart, 22 year old pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels, died this week from injuries sustained in an auto accident. He had just pitched six scoreless innings in his season debut earlier in the day when the vehicle he was riding in was struck by a drunk driver. Along with Adanhart, two of his friends also died. The driver has been charged with three counts of felony murder.
As noted here shortly after his passing, much of the collection of Forrest J. Ackerman is scheduled to be auctioned off at the end of the month. Along with goodies from the Ackermansion, such desired collectables as Darth Mauls' Light Sabre from "Star Wars: Episode One" and Charlton Hestons costume from "Planet of the Apes." Also included is Harrison Ford's blaster from "Bladerunner." Estimated costs: light sabre $60,000, Colonel Taylor's outfit: also $60,000. But don't despair, they also have a lot of other stuff that's not that expensive. The auction begins at noon on April 30th. If you want to see what's available: http://www.profilesinhistory.com/new/
Bid early and bid often!
MY FAVORITE FILMS, PART II. THE YEAR WAS 1997...
Cop Land / Good Will Hunting|
Starring: Sylvester Stallone / Matt Damon
Directed by: James Mangold / Gus Van Sant
DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES (LIKE MY TEMPLATE NOT RETAINING THE WORK) THIS SECTION IS NOT FINISHED. IT'S 2:00 A M AND I'M NOT ABOUT TO DO IT AGAIN. SORRY. BLAME TECHNOLOGY. I'LL TRY AND UPDATE IT BEFORE THE NEXT ISSUE. SORRY AGAIN!
"Mike's Rant" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.