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Since 2008, The Silver Screen Oasis has been visited by over forty generous individuals who engaged in an online Q & A with our members about their books and experiences. Those prior visits are online and available to all here. As our friends at TCM inaugurate this new message board, we will be using this thread to post notices about upcoming guests when they visit. Continuing in that tradition this weekend, the members are preparing to welcome the next author, Matthew Kennedy, who will be the guest of the non-profit message board from April 18th-21st. Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s (Oxford University Press) by Matthew Kennedy is a story that is by turns epic, funny, puzzling, gossipy, and historically fascinating as it traces a cultural shift away from the musical at the center of American entertainment. This account of what happened to the big musicals made by Hollywood movie studios in that singular decade is the subject of our upcoming visitor's book to be discussed this weekend at the SSO. Matthew Kennedy, who has previously written biographies of Marie Dressler, Edmund Goulding and Joan Blondell, will discuss how high-priced, reserved-seat, two-show-a-day runs of big budget epic movies became wildly popular among studios after the success of Mary Poppins (1964), followed by My Fair Lady (1964) and the remarkable, record-breaking success of The Sound of Music (1965). Suddenly, producers at MGM, Warner Brothers and Twentieth Century Fox threw money at a series of musical films that followed a certain formula for movie box office success: Lavish productions of non-controversial, family friendly topics + Julie Andrews + or, in a pinch, Rex Harrison + the notion that everyone can "sing" in the style of Harrison. On top of this, the directors who could guide such lumbering projects to success were few and far between (Vincente Minnelli's name came up...a lot). Unfortunately, the results were often critically and financially disappointing. A phenomenal conglomeration of talents behind the camera and in front of the lens could not stem the tsunami of change that was washing over the world of entertainment, especially when the films' stories were overshadowed by the salaries of those involved. Lavishly made movies such as Doctor Dolittle (1967), Camelot (1967), Star! (1968), Paint Your Wagon (1969), and Man of La Mancha (1972) ultimately led to the demise of the roadshow, with their huge publicity campaigns, reserved seating, costumed ushers, souvenir programs and the idea of going to the movies as a special occasion becoming but a memory. In his highly entertaining and well-researched book, Matthew Kennedy brings the creative and corporate dramas surrounding this aspect of film history alive with great detail, telling anecdotes and portraits of the often all-too-human figures involved, just as he did previously when he was our guest author, discussing the impact of such diverse figures as comedic actress Marie Dressler [Marie Dressler : A Biography], director Edmund Goulding [Edmund Goulding's Dark Victory: Hollywood's Genius Bad Boy] and actress Joan Blondell [Joan Blondell: A Life between Takes]. Please accept this invitation to learn more this weekend about Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s, which has been described as "a brilliant, gripping history of film musicals and their changing place in our culture." All are welcome! Below are links to Matthew Kennedy online, news about the excellent critical reception to Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s, and a link to his previous Q & A when he was a guest at the SSO previously in 2008: Matthew Kennedy Books Matthew Kennedy on Facebook Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s Critical Reception Online Matthew Kennedy Q & A on the SSO in 2008
In Kendra Bean & Anthony Uzarowski's new take on the life of movie icon, "Ava Gardner: A Life in Movies" (Running Press), the co-authors shift the focus from the publicity writers' descriptions of her as"the world's most beautiful animal" to her real life as a person who was an imperfect but vibrant human being and working actress. If you would like to learn more about Ava Gardner, the individual, please join us at The Silver Screen Oasis on Sat., July 29th & Sun., July 30th for an online Q & A about the actress' life and career. She was an astonishing beauty when young (and a more interesting one when older). as well as a movie star, and a wife to three dynamic but rather wearying men. As Anthony Usarowksi explains, beyond all that, Ava Gardner “was a real person, and she was an actor as well. There is a legacy there that needs to be looked at. It’s not just image.” The pair have fashioned a beautiful coffee table book that celebrates Gardner's humor, friendships, and vulnerability as well as making a thoughtful inquiry into the contrast between how a woman looks and how she feels in society. Described by critics as "a compelling, photograph-rich portrait of a complex, talented actress," the book can be found at the links below, as can a link to the Silver Screen Oasis Guest Authors Index where you are welcome to post a question (simple registration is required to post queries). All are invited on July 29 & 30. :Please join us in this celebration of all things Ava! To Purchase a Copy of "Ava Gardner: A Life in Movies": https://tinyurl.com/ybjf6as6 The Silver Screen Oasis Guest Authors Series: http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/viewforum.php?f=69 The Authors: Kendra Bean, who visited the Silver Screen Oasis in 2013 to discuss her book, "Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait," is a historian and curator. She runs the popular classic film blog VivAndLarry.com. Her writing has also been published by the British Film Institute and Bright Lights Film Journal, and she has lectured on cinema at the National Portrait Gallery (London), Victoria and Albert Museum, the BFI, the San Francisco Presidio Officers' Club, and the Walt Disney Family Museum. She lives in London. Anthony Uzarowski has an MA in Film Studies from University College London. He has written articles and essays on different aspects of classic and contemporary cinema, with his work published in The Guardian, Film International, and Queerty. He lives in London, where he works at the British Library. A podcast with the authors can be heard here: http://ticklishbusiness.podbean.com/e/bonus-episode-6-interview-with-authors-kendra-bean-and-anthony-uzarowski/