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Posts Tagged ‘Billy Wilder’

The Long Lineage of Garry Marshall and The Medill School

When Garry Marshall recently guested on Late Night with Seth Meyers, he joked with the fellow Northwestern alum that his comedy writing days began when he was sports editor for the school’s newspaper. The football team was so bad, Marshall recalled, that it became a matter of article ledes like, ‘By the time “The Star Spangled Banner” was over, the team was 14 points behind.’

BillyRayPoster

Marshall has been busy talking up Billy & Ray, a play about the collaboration of Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler for the filmmaker’s 1946 classic Double Indemnity. Directed by Marshall and written by WABC-TV editor-producer Mike Bencivenga, it’s in previews through October 20 at the Vineyard Theatre in Union Square.

The Medill School also came up during Marshall’s conversation with American Theatre magazine editor Suzy Evans. This time, a little more formally:

“I went to the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, which is a great school — I learned a lot, but mostly I learned how to meet a deadline. So I’m never late. My three kids went to Northwestern, and it was the highlight of my life just a month ago when my first grandchild, Charlotte, started at Northwestern. She’s in media studies. She’s a whiz on the Internet. I don’t even have a computer.”

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Live from Old Hollywood… It’s Bill Hader!

The number of cool events taking place this weekend in Hollywood at the 2013 Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Film Festival is head-spinning.

Saturday alone, there’s Jane Fonda getting her hand and footprints done at the Chinese Theatre; Ms. Fonda making an appearance at the screening of On Golden Pond; and more. For example, two hours before SNL usually cold-opens on the east coast, there is also this 6:30 p.m. PT event: a screening of the classic Western Shane introduced by Bill Hader.

Hader is getting ready to host his third season of Essentials Jr. in June and also jumped in last fall as a TCM guest programmer. The four movies he picked for viewers in September included efforts by Billy Wilder and Akiro Kurosawa.

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Downtown Loft Boom Frames Indie Rom-Com Dorfman in Love

Producer Leonard Hill, who got his start in Hollywood as a writer on the TV series Adam-12, is intimately familiar with downtown LA’s residential renaissance. As an LA Times article by Richard Verrier documents, he and a partner converted a pair of landmark buildings into the trendy Biscuit and Toy Factory loft complexes.

After a break from the TV movie business he once dominated, Hill is back with the independent romantic comedy Dorfman in Love, due to hit theaters and VOD in March. The film tells the story of a San Fernando Valley woman (played by Sara Rue) whose life is shaken up when she temporarily relocates to cat-sit at a downtown loft. From Verrier’s piece:

“The truth is, old producers die hard,” Hill said. “Making movies is more fun than making buildings. I really missed the creative aspect of the business.”

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Posthumously, Billy Wilder Authors a Much More Joyous Sunset Blvd. Tale

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is located at 4650 Sunset Boulevard, eight and a half miles east of Norma Desmond‘s fictitious, haunted lair. Billy Wilder‘s timeless Tinseltown tale was made for around $1.75 million and now, all these years later, the filmmaker together with his late wife Audrey has reached out from beyond the grave. Six-fold.

From the hospital announcement:

Stars of the silver screen have had a huge impact on our hearts and minds for decades and at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles we are grateful when Hollywood stars partner with us to benefit the health of our patients.

This year, our hospital received a very special Christmas gift when the trust of Billy and Audrey Wilder sent an $11 million gift to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles that will support the work of our division of Neurosurgery, the Neuro-oncology program and the division of Rheumatology while still leaving money left over to provide for the under and unreimbursed care for children we provide each year.

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The Uneven Brilliance of Blake Edwards

Here’s an odd premise that Blake Edwards, who passed away in Santa Monica Wednesday at the age of 88, would have appreciated. The best first-wave remembrance comes not from Hollywood but rather Hollywood North.

Edwards would also have chuckled at the title of Macleans Magazine writer Jaime Weinman‘s piece, because it’s so true: “Blake Edwards: The Genius Without Quality Control.” No danger of an overly reverential obit here. While Weinman applauds Edwards’ Billy Wilder-like talents and flair for the visual, he also ponders one of the writer-director’s most prominent flaws:

The trouble is, along with the good scenes in bad movies, you get the bad scenes in good movies. And there are lots of them. I’m not a big fan of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but it’s sort of emblematic: one of the most popular and beloved movies of his career, and every so often it’s interrupted by Mickey Rooney as a Japanese guy. Who thought this was a good idea?

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