Moira12

Guest Authors at The Silver Screen Oasis

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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. 

 

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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). 
 
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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: 
 
 
 
 

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As someone who lived through the great (and I do mean great) roadshow era (from the 50's through the early 70s), this book was a disappointment to me.  For one thing, the author never actually saw a roadshow film in its intended venue; and while I'd be the first to state that a truly great film transcends venue, it's still a bit unfair to pass complete judgement over films, where, even at their worst, there was much to enjoy in SuperPanavision70, Technirama, Todd-AO, or any number of other great film formats.  The thrill of the 70 milimeter 6-track stereophonic experience of the roadshow musical is not represented properly in a book about roadshows.  Nor is the excitment of the slowly dimming theater lights or the programs sold, the buzz of patrons at intermission, etc.  Much of the book appears to be cribbed from other sources (acknowledgements are given) and Kennedy, rather than celebrating the greatness of the roadshow musical, shows a tremendous amount of disdain for it. For someone who knows nothing of the films, represented, the book is well researched (although I spotted a few inaccuracies), but it just doesn't give a good representation of the experience.  It was a fantastic time for movie-going.  The like of which will never be seen again.  I loved it, and wish someone who also loved it, wrote the book.  Even those of us who loved the era, can understand and accept how and why it ended.  Every motion picture era or fad, ends.

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The Silver Screen Oasis is pleased to welcome author Scott Eyman on May 8th & 9th to discuss his recently published biography, John Wayne, The Life and Legend (Simon & Schuster). This book has been one of the most anticipated biographies in recent years by many readers.

 

Why the excitement? 

 

There have been several biographies of the iconic actor, but none of them quite captured the humanity of the individual whose remarkable journey over seventy-two years took him from a hard-scrabble boyhood to worldwide fame. In details large and small, Scott Eyman's recounting of the story of Wayne's life illuminates the comment made by the actor in his later years: “The guy you see on the screen isn’t really me. I’m Duke Morrison, and I never was and never will be a film personality like John Wayne. I know him well. I’m one of his closest students. I have to be. I make a living out of him.”

 

As known by those who relished the recent week-long observation of John Wayne's career on Turner Classic Movies with Robert Osborne & Scott Eyman introducing many films, the author's insight into this actor's legacy is notably lacking in cant, but he has a keen eye for Wayne's qualities, ambitions, and foibles as an actor and a man. As well as covering the major films, the colorful individuals, and often unexpected aspects of the actor's life, the author touches on the impact of his presence on the shifting American cultural landscape and his enduring effect on people of every ideological stripe as Wayne shaped a strong, yet often remarkably vulnerable definition of American masculinity. 

 

The keen anticipation of this book is hardly surprising, considering the incisive quality of Eyman's previous books such as Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise, John Ford: Print the Legend, Mary PIckford - From Here to Hollywood and The Speed of Sound: Hollywood and the Talkie Revolution 1926-1930. Each of these were enriched by our guest's meticulous and insightful research, gifted storytelling, and a welcome eye for the humorous element in these accounts. Please click here for more about these books.

 

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In his previous visit to The Silver Screen Oasis in 2007, Scott Eyman discussed several of these rich topics with us. This opportunity to explore this definitive Wayne biography also allows us to ask the author about the books released since his last visit. These include his compulsively readable and unprejudiced assessment of a legendary mogul in The Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer and his take on a legendary filmmaker in Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille, among others. This sojourn also comes at a time when another book that Scott has since co-authored, the just-released memoir You Must Remember This: Life and Style in Hollywood's Golden Age, a follow-up to his earlier work with Robert Wagner, Pieces of My Heart. The recent book, documenting the sea change in Hollywood in Wagner's time, has been described by reviewers as providing a "convincing sense of what it was like in the glittering firmament a half-century or more ago" and is told with "great affection and a twinkle in [the] eye" within its pages. Please click here for more about this collaboration. 

 

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Please join us on Thursday, May 8th & Friday, May 9th for this rare opportunity to share in an online Q & A with Scott Eyman. All are welcome. 

 

Below are links to reviews of John Wayne: The Life and Legend as well as Scott Eyman's other books and appearances online and in the media:

 

Scott Eyman's website: http://www.scotteyman.com/

 


 


 


 

Scott Eyman on youtube discussing his latest book:

 

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The Silver Screen Oasis is pleased to welcome author Scott Eyman on May 8th & 9th to discuss his recently published biography, John Wayne, The Life and Legend (Simon & Schuster). This book has been one of the most anticipated biographies in recent years by many readers.

 

Why the excitement?

 

There have been several biographies of the iconic actor, but none of them quite captured the humanity of the individual whose remarkable journey over seventy-two years took him from a hard-scrabble boyhood to worldwide fame. In details large and small, Scott Eyman's recounting of the story of Wayne's life illuminates the comment made by the actor in his later years: “The guy you see on the screen isn’t really me. I’m Duke Morrison, and I never was and never will be a film personality like John Wayne. I know him well. I’m one of his closest students. I have to be. I make a living out of him.”

 

As known by those who relished the recent week-long observation of John Wayne's career on Turner Classic Movies with Robert Osborne & Scott Eyman introducing many films, the author's insight into this actor's legacy is notably lacking in cant, but he has a keen eye for Wayne's abilities, ambitions, and foibles as an actor and a man. As well as covering the major films, the colorful individuals, and often unexpected aspects of the actor's life, the author touches on the impact of his presence on the shifting American cultural landscape and his enduring effect on people of every ideological stripe as Wayne shaped a strong, yet often remarkably vulnerable definition of American masculinity.

 

The keen anticipation of this book is hardly surprising, considering the incisive quality of Eyman's previous books such as Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise, John Ford: Print the Legend, Mary PIckford - From Here to Hollywood and The Speed of Sound: Hollywood and the Talkie Revolution 1926-1930. Each of these were enriched by our guest's meticulous and insightful research, gifted storytelling, and a welcome eye for the humorous element in these accounts.

 

Want to be a part of the Q & A?

Simply visit The Silver Screen Oasis, register with our website, and pose a question to Mr. Eyman: http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/viewtopic.php?f=90&t=6659

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TCM's own Scott McGee-Buster Keaton fan, TCM staffer and just all around great guy- will be our next guest at the SSO:

 

http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/index.php

Scott will be joining us to take your questions from Friday, May 30th - Sunday, June 1st.

Scott is a senior writer/producer for TCM’s Programming and Studio Production departments. He created the Essentials, Jr. franchise in 2007, a summertime lineup of classic movies to introduce to kids that is now in its eighth season. Scott is also part of the TCM Classic Film Festival and TCM Classic Cruise planning and programming. He has introduced films and interviewed guests on stage at each. Scott also hosts TCM’s online video podcast. 

In addition to his other Film Festival duties, he moderates the The Meet the Staff panel and he produces the discussions/panels in Club TCM (where I tend to spend the majority of my time, it seems).

 

Last year, he had a terrific panel on stunt work in the movies and is currently working on a book on the subject.

He has produced a number of TCM interstitials including the one for Kim Novak:

 

This one on Mack Sennett:

 

 

The TCM podcasts he produces can be found here:

http://www.tcm.com/this-month/podcast.html

So, I hope you will join us this weekend and welcome Scott McGee to the SSO family!

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Since there seems to be a limit to how many Youtube clips you can have in a post, here is some more of Scott's great work:

 

And this memorable one on Lauren Bacall:

 

And for Ben Hur:

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Ever wonder what goes into producing a great TCM Star of the Month promo (like the one for Kim Novak or Lauren Bacall, for example) or what goes into producing Essentials, Jr every summer, or how guests are chosen for the monthly TCM podcast?

 

Find out beginning Friday, May 30th through Sunday, June 1st, when TCM's own Scott McGee (who produced the Novak and Bacall SOTM promos among many others, came up with the idea of Essentals, Jr and produces the monthly podcasts) visits the Silver Screen Oasis and takes your questions!

 

So join us beginning this Friday to find out the answers to these and other questions you might have!

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Do you like Buster Keaton and want to know more about him?

Did you enjoy the TCM Mack Sennett month and want to learn more about the films shown?

Do you ever wonder about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into producing promos, interstitials and regular spots like "Word of Mouth" of "TCM Extras?

Ever wonder what the difference is between choosing films for The Essentials and Essentials, Jr are?

Bring your questions to Scott McGee beginning tomorrow for a three-day funzapalooza Q and A session!

 

http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/viewforum.php?f=111

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Author Phillip Done will be a guest at The Silver Screen Oasis on August 8-10. Currently, copies of his latest book, a biography of actress Ann Rutherford, is offered for free on Kindle for the next two days: http://www.amazon.com/The-Charms-Miss-OHara-Hollywood/dp/0615987311/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405777484&sr=8-1&keywords=the%20charms%20of%20miss%20o'hara&tag=viglink20412-20

Here's a link to my review: http://www.examiner.com/review/phillip-done-s-the-charms-of-miss-o-hara-a-panorama-of-hollywood-s-golden-age

 

Ann Rutherford was a great friend to TCM, appearing in several original "Word of Mouth" productions, and attending the TCM Film Festivals in 2010 and 2011.

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Meeting TCM Film Festival friend Preston Neal Jones at a screening of Night of the Hunter during the Turner Classic Film Festival 2013 was a lovely treat for me, and I am happy to write that he will visit The Silver Screen Oasis this weekend, November 1 & 2.

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If you have ever wondered about the filming of Director Charles Laughton’s Night of the Hunter, you might want to read Preston Neal Jones’ Heaven and Hell to Play With: The Filming of Night of the Hunter if you haven’t already, or listen to the commentary on the Criterion DVD of the iconic 1955 film that is now being required viewing in some freshman college classes.

 

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If you are a Star Trek fan, you might enjoy Jones' latest book, Return to Tomorrow: The Filming of Star Trek, The Motion Picture.

 

Author Preston Neal Jones, originally from Connecticut, calls himself a producer-writer-actor-director-teacher-artist-lyricist-poet-raconteur-bon vivant. "In New York, a producer is someone who has a show running. In Hollywood, a producer is anybody who knows a writer. I know myself, and that's why I call myself a producer."

 

In high school, Jones produced and directed Masters' Spoon River Anthology at the University of Bridgeport and acted onstage in Death of a Salesman as Willy Loman opposite future troubadour Loudon Wainwright III as his son Biff.

 

Jones has studied directing, writing, and acting at Carnegie Mellon University alongside future thespic luminaries including Judith Light, Francesca James, Sonya Monzano and William Atherton, and production notables including producer Paula Wagner, composer Stephen Schwartz and playwright John Michael Tebelak. He originally came to Hollywood after being an early winner on The 10,000 Pyramid, and calls his relocation funds, "a grant" courtesy of the game show. He also worked as a Columbia Pictures Television executive, a free-lance script analyzer, and a play doctor making minor contributions to Godspell.

 

As a production assistant in Connecticut, Jones worked on the films The Swimmer with Burt Lancaster and Man on a Swing with Cliff Robertson and Joel Grey.

 

Jones has also hosted and introduced screenings at UCLA and American Cinematheque, as well as lecturing on film music at UCLA in Society of Film Music events.

 

His brushes with greatness include encounters with baseball immortal Jackie Robinson, actors Fred Astaire, Peter Sellers, Joan Rivers, Hans Conried, Barney Miller cast members, composers David Raksin, Miklos Rozsa, Ernest Gold, Henry Mancini, John Barry and Elmer Bernstein, sci-fi authors Theodore Sturgeon, Fritz Leiber, musician/comedían Victor Borge, and actor Hal Holbrook during his appearance as Mark Twain, as well as the muscial group, The Manhattan Transfer. His list of celebrity contacts also include the casts and crews of NIght of the Hunter and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Jones was also befriended by actor Raymond Massey and Hans J. Salter, composer of Universal Monsters fame, about whom he authored the Cinefantastique cover story, "The Ghost of Hans J. Salter."

 

In the 1970s, he served two years as a conscientious objector as noted in Sherry Gottlieb's oral history entitled Hell No, We Won't Go, which also includes comments from Actor Richard Dreyfuss, who was recently a guest at the Turner Classic Film Festival, and the TCM Cruise.

 

Jones' liner notes appear on soundtrack albums for classic film scores by Alfred Newman, Cyril J. Mockridge, and Hans J. Salter, and he has also corresponded with writer Ray Bradbury and director John Huston.

 

His current book projects include interviews with various movie crew members in Los Angeles and other áreas of the country.

 

Join the Q & A this weekend on November 1 & 2:http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/viewtopic.php?f=113&t=6791

 

Jones’ Interview with Dan Gunther of Trek Core on Return to Tomorrow: The Filming of Star Trek, TMP: http://trekcore.com/blog/2014/08/interview-with-preston-neal-jones-authoreditor-of-return-to-tomorrow-the-filming-of-star-trek-tmp/

 

The Criterion Collection: Night of the Hunter: http://www.criterion.com/films/27525-the-night-of-the-hunter

 

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To purchase Return to Tomorrow: The Filming of Star Trek-TMP, follow the link: http://creaturefeatures.com/product-tag/preston-neal-jones/

 

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To purchase Heaven and Hell to Play With: The Filming of Night of the Hunter, follow the link: http://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Hell-Play-With-Filming/dp/0879109742

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It's today and tomorrow!

Meeting Preston Neal Jones at a screening of Night of the Hunter during the Turner Classic Film Festival 2013 was a lovely treat for me, and I am happy to write that he will visit us this weekend, November 1 & 2.

 

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If you have ever wondered about the filming of Director Charles Laughton’s Night of the Hunter, you might want to read Preston Neal Jones’ Heaven and Hell to Play With: The Filming of Night of the Hunter if you haven’t already, or listen to the commentary on the Criterion DVD of the iconic 1955 film that is now being required viewing in some freshman college classes.

 

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If you are a Star Trek fan, you might enjoy Jones' latest book, Return to Tomorrow: The Filming of Star Trek, TMP.

 

Visit the SSO here to ask a question: http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/viewtopic.php?f=113&t=6791

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Author Brent Phillips spent Friday nights with TCM viewers this last December discussing the merits and contributions of director Charles "Chuck" Walters, and he will be visiting The Silver Screen Oasis this Saturday, February 7, and Sunday, February 8, to answer questions about his latest book, "Charles Walters: The Director Who Made Hollywood Dance."

 

Come join us and ask him questions about all the wonderful films that Charles Walters enlivened with his expertise!

 

Link to The SSO Announcement: http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/posting.php?mode=edit&f=90&p=156983

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Are you with Silver Screen Oasis? Maybe you can approve my freaking membership as it's been more than 6 months since I applied and have never heard one word in response....

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Dear Richard,

 

I'll be happy to help you! PM me your private email address, and I will take care of it today, or you can follow the process to register, and I can look for your name to pop up in the queue.

 

So sorry about your difficulties, but sometimes we have glitches, too! :)

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Sheana Ochoa, author of STELLA!: Mother of Modern Acting, visits The Silver Screen Oasis for a Q & A from Friday, April 24, through Sunday, April 26. Ask about Stella Adler's relationships with Lee Strasberg, Marlon Brando, Shelley Winters, Warren Beatty, Salma Hayek, Benicio del Toro, Mark Ruffalo, the Actor's Studio, the Group Theatre, and more!

 

Read all about it here: http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/viewtopic.php?f=90&t=6857

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Ann Blyth Biographer Jacqueline T. Lynch to Visit The Silver Screen Oasis on 6/19 & 6/20

 

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The thread for the Q & A with Ann Blyth's biographer is now open at the link below. All are welcome to participate:

 

 

http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/viewforum.php?f=116&sid=d228b4fc069ffd7345de7fdfa1932d2f

 

Ann Blyth has had a long career and noteworthy life off-screen. She played on Broadway and became a movie star and an Oscar nominee before she was eighteen. She developed into a remarkably versatile performer in dramas, comedies, fantasies and musicals. She worked with actors as storied as Gregory Peck, Joan Crawford, Tyrone Power, Donald O'Connor, Claudette Colbert, Robert Mitchum, Charles Boyer and Paul Newman, as well as directors from Michael Curtiz to Douglas Sirk. Despite her many accomplishments, (or because of them?) the actress remains an elusive figure in some ways. She managed to maintain a public reserve and private life that includes many friends, a marriage of over fifty years, and five children. Jacqueline T. Lynch, the author of Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star (CreateSpace Pub.), is visiting The Silver Screen Oasis on June 19th and 20th to explore the life and career of this vibrant lady who still participates in occasional public events celebrating classic movies.

 

Jacqueline, who has maintained Another Old Movie Blog about classic film for several years has written and published fiction, history, plays and insightful film reviews for several years, gathering many of her devoted readers to her on a weekly basis. In the last year, as she embarked on a project to review each of Ann Blyth's films, Ms. Lynch received repeated requests from readers asking her to put her analysis of Blyth's versatility and singular path through Hollywood into print as a biography. Heeding that request, the author has produced this first full length biography of the actress.

 

Please consider this your invitation to attend and participate in the online Q & A with Jacqueline T. Lynch on Friday, June 19th and Saturday June 20th at The Silver Screen Oasis. All are welcome.

 

As Jacqueline put it in Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star:

 

"If you know Ann Blyth only through her frothy MGM musicals, you don’t know Ann Blyth. In dramas she has morphed into the epitome of hateful, sensual, heartbroken and shamed.

 

If you know her only as the demon teen in Mildred Pierce, you don’t know Ann Blyth. The same colossal greedy train wreck of a girl who spit invective at Joan Crawford and smacked her in the jaw also performed a night club act to enthusiastic crowds in Las vegas, bringing them to tears with the sentimental ‘Auld Lang Syne.’

If you know her from The Helen Morgan Story or melodramas, you are missing her genuine gift for screwball comedy.

 

Sinking herself intellectually, just as much as emotionally into these roles,she swam against the powerful and unrelenting current of studio typecasting."

Below are links to The Silver Screen Oasis Guest Forum, Another Old Movie Blog, a playlist of Ann Blyth links on youtube, and places to purchase this book (and others by our guest):

 

The Silver Screen Oasis Guest Author Forum:

 

http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/viewforum.php?f=69&sid=cd826172f026ef2f6d0c4d143a982750

 

Another Old Movie Blog:

 

http://anotheroldmovieblog.blogspot.com/

 

Jacqueline T. Lynch Author Page at Amazon:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Jacqueline-T.-Lynch/e/B004583B4U/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

 

An Ann Blyth Playlist from Youtube:

 

 

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