By Mike on Feb 20, 2010 in Uncategorized | Comments Off
For a detailed chapter by chapter review of FERA co-founder Kelvin Sealey’s recent edited collection, Film, Politics and Education, see Kate van Oosten’s piece in Education Review Reviewed by Kate Van Oosten Purdue University February 19, 2009 I am an unabashed Battlestar Galactica fanatic. Ever since the re-imagined space opera (resurrected from the original 1978 [...]
By Mike on Feb 20, 2010 in Uncategorized | Comments Off
FROM ICELAND, WITH LOVE Jim Feast On Nov. 23, FERA co-sponsored a showing of From Turf Cottage to the Cover of TIME, the Dramatic Life of Holger Cahill, a biography of an extraordinary Icelandic/Canadian/American, directed by Hans Kristjan Arnason. It was the third event of its kind this term in the Gottesman Library series ably [...]
By Mike on Jan 5, 2010 in John Broughton | Comments Off
To start off the new decade, an excellent obit from the Toronto Star for the sadly missed “young country teacher,” Robin Wood: I was introduced to Wood by D.A.Miller when he taught here at Columbia in the English dept. Miller was a friend of my mentor Marilyn Fabe (Film Studies at Berkeley). I took her [...]
By Mike on Dec 15, 2009 in Ben Walters | Comments Off
In 2003, I began writing a book about Orson Welles. It was part of a series of short biographies, each of around 40,000 words. Although this was longer than any writing project I had previously undertaken, it was a small amount of space for such a large life. As I researched Welles’s career—a remarkably broad and various one—I became better acquainted with the film, radio, and theater work for which he remains famous. I was also struck by the peculiarities of his later life. Contrary to the reputation for profligacy and wasted potential that he acquired, he never stopped vigorously pursuing new and ambitious creative projects, funding them with the money he made from his widely mocked appearances on television, in talk shows, commercials, and voice-over work.
But long before television was a source of revenue for Welles, it was an area of fascination. For more than three decades, from the early 1950s until his death in 1985, he was creatively engaged with T.V., bringing as much radical insight to that medium’s particular strengths as he had to those of film, theater, and radio. Yet, despite producing a handful of intriguing programs, he was never able to gain a foothold in the industry, other than as a hired performer. Even within Welles scholarship, the story of his artistic passion for television and the lessons that it can offer to today’s very different home entertainment landscape is a largely untold one.
Although Welles’s interest in T.V. spanned several decades, I decided to focus on the production history of one particular project, an unsold half-hour pilot Welles made for American television in 1956, called The Fountain of Youth. This witty cautionary tale is, in my opinion and many others’, Welles’s best work for television, a consummate showcase of his radical and unique ideas for the medium that remains fresh and stimulating to this day. The circumstances of its production also offer an enlightening window onto Welles’s career and the T.V. industry in the mid-1950s, a period during which both were in considerable flux.
I set out to synthesize for the first time the many glancing references to The Fountain of Youth distributed throughout the numerous biographies of Welles, studies of his work, and autobiographies and memoirs of those involved in the pilot’s production. I was able to make use of notes from various screenings of rare Welles work that I have attended over the years, notably those coordinated by the Munich Filmmuseum, which holds much of Welles’s unfinished, unreleased, or little-seen work. I consulted the Paley Center’s television archive to watch other television appearances Welles made around the time of his work at Desilu, and to deepen my knowledge of the general state of American television in the mid-1950s. And I benefited from the generosity of many friends and Welles scholars, whose contributions are gratefully detailed in the acknowledgments below.
By Mike on Dec 13, 2009 in Jim Feast | 1 Comment
HK Blog Jim Feast Long Thoughts on Updating a Cahiers du Cinema Debate. Part 1: John Woo and Junichiro Tanizaki In my first blog of some months ago, I decried the fact that major Chinese films of the last few years went unreleased in the U.S., as for example, to mention my major example, Woo’s [...]
By Mike on Dec 1, 2009 in blog post | Comments Off
“Post 9/11 Sikh Immigrant Children in America” by Producer & Director: Dr. Bindu Chawla [bliptv AYGzg0gC] The documentary is a sequel to Professor Chawla’s 2003 published research Sikh Immigrant Children: Navigating Dual Cultures in Metropolitan New York. In this documentary a series of live interviews are conducted with Sikh immigrant high school teenagers. The children [...]
By Mike on Oct 22, 2009 in Uncategorized | Comments Off
Someone Else’s Face in the Mirror With Carla Bluhm & Nathan Clendenin Thursday, October 15, 4-6pm The Gottesman Libraries Russell 305 Teachers College, Columbia University 525 West 120th Street RSVP byTuesday, October 13 firstname.lastname@example.org On November 27,2005 French surgeons performed the worlds first partial face transplant on thirty-eight year old Isabelle Dinoire who suffered severe [...]
By Mike on Oct 21, 2009 in Uncategorized | Comments Off
Jim Feast (10-21-09) Just as we (my wife and I) were leaving Guangzhou this last August to return to New York, Wong Jing’s On His Majesty’s Secret Service was opening on the city’s screens. Not a James Bond remake, but a comedy about a guard (called 009) in the Forbidden City, it eventually became another [...]
By Mike on Oct 19, 2009 in John Broughton, Uncategorized | Comments Off
“Websites We Like ” Here are some useful sites for student’s doing film research. New York Times Critics’ Picks http://movies.nytimes.com/movies/critics/critics-picks A useful film studies blog, with bibliographies and commentaries:
By Mike on Oct 9, 2009 in Uncategorized | Comments Off
By Jim Feast (October 4, 2009) Revise Red Cliff, The Shinjuku Incident and Globalization as a Contraction of Possibilities John Woo’s Red Cliff (Part 1) will be playing for one night at the Asia Society on October 12 for members only. Belatedly. I say this because I saw the film when it opened in Guangzhou [...]