Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Movie Poster Collection: The Autographed Ones

I've never been one for autographs, UNLESS said autographs rest upon a movie poster, in which case I'm freakin' in! This is my small collection of signed posters, accompanied by my comments. Many thanks go out to estimable Tim O'Donnell for taking the photos!

2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 68); signed by Keir Dullea.


I met Keir Dullea at a screening of Otto Preminger's Bunny Lake Is Missing at the Film Forum in New York City in 2008. He wasn't surprised at seeing my 2001 poster; it seemed quite familiar to him. But I stunned him moments later (see the later entry for David and Lisa). After the show, I ran into Keir outside as he was waiting for his ride back home. I struggled for a question to ask him, and I somehow came up with the following: "Did Stanley Kubrick strike you as a funny guy on the set?" I think I asked him this because I remembered how much fun Malcolm McDowell has had with him shooting A Clockwork Orange. Dullea seemed uncomfortable at the query. "No, he was all business. There weren't many laughs while filming." I was rather disappointed at the abruptness of his answer, but somehow was not surprised--2001 was a complicated movie, after all.  And then I watched Keir Dullea board his ride and drive away.

The Breakfast Club (John Hughes, 85); signed by Molly Ringwald, John Hughes, and Anthony Michael Hall.




I met John Hughes and Molly Ringwald at the Mondrian Hotel in Los Angeles, in 1986, the day after the premiere of Pretty in Pink. I'll never forget being the first person in the room as Molly sat and read a book, with her glasses on. We walked in, and she immediately took them off, getting down to business. I like that she dated her signature. What a smart lady. I wasn't expecting to get a John Hughes autograph, but I saw him there and I had to go for it. Anthony Michael Hall's autograph came a few years later, when he came to Atlanta to promote Out of Bounds. I love how he dedicated his signature.

David and Lisa (Frank Perry, 62); signed by Keir Dullea.


This is the poster that shocked Keir Dullea. As he signed it, he exclaimed "I haven't seen this in 20 years!" I then showed him my The Thin Red Line poster--the 60s version, extremely rare--and he was flabbergasted. But I didn't ask him to sign it. I didn't even bother to bring my Black Christmas one-sheet.

Deliverance (John Boorman, 72); signed by Ned Beatty.

My favorite of all my signed posters. "To Dean--watch out for outdoor types--know what I mean?--Ned Beatty." How cool is that? I met Ned as he was in Atlanta promoting 1988's Switching Channels. I felt incredibly glad to meet him.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Amy Heckerling, 81); signed by Cameron Crowe.

Cameron Crowe signed my poster without my seeing him do so. When I was a co-host of Film Forum on Atlanta's public access station, host Aron Siegel and I had the opportunity to interview Kate Hudson and Patrick Fugit in connection with Almost Famous. Crowe couldn't attend, but I trusted this poster to the PR reps, and they had him sign the one-sheet. Meanwhile, I was a nervous wreck--until I saw the final outcome upon its return.

Midnight Express (Alan Parker, 78); signed by Oliver Stone.

While I was working at Turner Network Television, Oliver Stone paid a visit to our home office, in connection with the publication of his long-awaited A Child's Night Dream novel, published in 1997. He seemed puzzled at seeing a Midnight Express poster before him, by the way, but he was happy to sign it. .

Mystic Pizza (Donald Petrie, 88); signed by Julia Roberts.

Julia Roberts was not yet a star, but so obviously was one, when a crowd of low-level journalists met her in 1988 at a California Pizza Kitchen at Lenox Square Mall to promote her breakthrough film Mystic Pizza. This was Julia's home base, you know, and as she had yet to do many films, there was a moment where the interview turned to her personal life and a recent rumored on-set affair she'd had with a much older actor. The dalliance ended badly, apparently, because the questions drove Julia to tears. I felt bad for her and the incident confirmed my lifelong dislike of celebrity gossip. But apparently, Julia didn't hold anything against me, seeing as how I didn't join in in all this falderal--when she signed my poster, she paid me a compliment, too! Cool! (Now that I look at it, though, was her printing her last name on a dark background a backhanded slap?).

O Lucky Man! (Lindsey Anderson, 73); signed by Malcolm McDowell.


 
Signed by Malcolm McDowell in 2009, right after a screening of Lindsay Anderson's great film at the Walter Reade Theater in Manhattan's Lincoln Center. He signed my Time After Time poster AND my copy of The Stanley Kubrick Archives, much to the dismay of his "handler," who seemed annoyed at my triple request, even though we were the only ones in the lobby and McDowell obviously had some down time. It was McDowell who clued me in that the handwriting on the poster is Anderson's. I happened to have a Lindsay Anderson autograph someone got for me, and when I ran into it again, I realized this was indeed so. Is this the only example of a poster with the director's handprint almost literally on it? (PS: I sat in the theater with Malcolm to watch the last minutes of O Lucky Man, and as Alan Price's song was playing for the final time, I leaned over to him and whispered "Greatest rock and roll score ever written for the movies." He smiled and punched me on the arm as if to say "Damn right!")

School Daze (Spike Lee, 88); signed by Spike Lee.

Spike Lee could tell that I was the only one, out of four college interviewers, who had bought and read his book about the making of She's Gotta Have It. So he was particularly kind to me.

Stand and Deliver (Ramón Menéndez, 88); signed by Edward James Olmos

An effusive dedication-"Thank you for your respect and friendship. --KINO--" from the dignified Edward James Olmos. The only poster I have signed by an eventual Oscar nominee, for the film for which he was nominated.

Talk Radio (Oliver Stone, 88); signed by Eric Bogosian.

A fine piece of advice from writer/actor Eric Bogosian.

Time After Time (Nicholas Meyer, 79); signed by Malcolm McDowell.

My second Malcolm McDowell signature.

NOTE: My mother still owns two autographed posters that I sold her: A Dead Zone one-sheet signed by Stephen King, and a Ferris Bueller's Day Off poster signed by Matthew Broderick. I could not get photos of these.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Five Best Recent Trailers

This is saying a lot, since trailers blow these days. Hell, I've been waiting literally TWO DECADES for movie previews to change. Finally, there's a glint of light on the horizon. Each of these pieces signal inventive new voices in movie marketing--SMART voices, finally:

Intriguing. THE TREE OF LIFE (Terrence Malick, 2011)

Chilling. RED STATE (Kevin Smith, 2011)

Moving. BLUE VALENTINE (Derek Cianfrance, 2010)

Funny. SUPER (James Gunn, 2011)

Exciting. SUPER 8 (J.J. Abrams, 2011)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hitchcock Reexamined, All At Once

I was alerted to this TRULY amazing bit of cinema academia via movie geek extraordinaire Ron Salvatore on Facebook. Here, courtesy of the fantastically talented ultraculture, we have 30 murder scenes from the films of Alfred Hitchcock, all synched up perfectly (and all climaxing with the requisite death knells). Their sound, images and especially their editing rhythms clash wonderfully on one screen (notice how the speed of the edits increase as the piece goes along; and just look at the latter-day infusion of color--with one Psycho black-and-white blip). I've truly never seen anything like this---it's utter brilliance through and through. I could seriously watch it a hundred times; it represents the purest, and most accurate and innovative, of film studies. The ending gives me more chills than does the actual sampled film (the nevertheless legendary Strangers on a Train)!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cinema Gallery: 200 MORE Movie Images: DARKNESS (Part 3 of 5)

I have to admit: I love a blackened frame. These are some of my favorite hard-to-see moments from movies. I think I love the dark on film because that's where we can catch the most abstract images, if only for a brief moment. By the way, I just want to be clear: these are actual frame grabs and, in that way, they are completely unique. I say this only because these image-only posts of mine might seem slight, but they actually take me MUCH longer to compose than any literary efforts I make on this site. In other words, this stuff ain't easy, guys. Anyway, click on the images to see them in their fullness.

Miss Lowell is banked by a coupla goons in The Big Combo. (Joseph H. Lewis, 55) 


Loretta Lynn (Patrick Flynn) singing "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)," from Coal Miner's Daughter 2. (Patrick Flynn, 94) 


The Bride sends one of the Crazy 88s to the blood-spattered floor in Kill Bill (Volume One). (Quentin Tarentino, 2003)


Rooftop fight from The Racket. (John Cromwell et al., 51)


Meshes of the Afternoon. (Maya Deren, 43)

Mike Hammer makes a foe's switchblade drop in Kiss Me, Deadly. (Robert Aldrich, 55) 


The hidden gun. Dog Day Afternoon. (Sidney Lumet, 76)


Dead man walking in The Man Who Was Not There. (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2001) 


Stalking. Made in Britain. (Alan Clarke, 82)

A flashlight barely sheds light on the case of The Thin Man. (W.S. Van Dyke, 34) 


Cliff Robertson in Obsession. (Brian De Palma, 76) 


Just one mighty hiss scares the bad guys away in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. (Tim Burton, 85) 


Daniel Plainview, squenched and baptized in oil, as his partner drowns in the stuff. There Will Be Blood. (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) 


Illusion. Black Ice. (Stan Brakhage, 94) 


Talking and working, down in The Hole. (John and Faith Hubley, 62)

Jesse assures an untrustworthy friend is dead in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. (Andrew Dominick, 2007)

A frug, starring Sal Mineo, from Who Killed Teddy Bear? (Joseph Cates, 65)

Sidney Falco recognizes his complicity in evil. Sweet Smell of Success. (Alexander Mackendrick, 57)

The opening image from Star Wars. (George Lucas, 77)

Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip. (Joe Layton, 82)

Her daughter points towards Heaven in The Rapture. (Michael Tolkin, 91)

The title character cries and prays for her mother's return in Ponette. (Jacques Doillon, 96) 


Safe as a church. Point Blank (John Boorman, 67) 


Salina, left alone by the tree for the night in A Patch of Blue. (Guy Green, 65)

The daughter comes alive again--sort of--in Night of the Living Dead. (George A. Romero, 68)

Eve's preparation for suicide in Interiors. (Woody Allen, 78)

Pip runs right home at the beginning of Great Expectations. (David Lean, 46) 


"Go ahead, Melly. Scream all you want." Gone With The Wind. (Victor Fleming et al., 39)

"Come on out, you bastard." Barbara Hershey, brave and resplendent, in The Entity. (Sidney J. Furie, 81) 


A black man struggles for survival in the white man's army. The Dirty Dozen. (Robert Aldrich, 67)


Daniel watches his biggest mistake in Defending Your Life. (Albert Brooks, 90)

As Cool Hand Luke is whipped out in the yard, his fans and fellow prisoners respond. (Stuart Rosenberg, 67)

The fat man steps outside in the rain for a shower in Carny. (Robert Kaylor, 80)

Max Cady as upside-down, inside-out, black-is-white horror in Cape Fear. (Martin Scorsese, 91)

Boris Karloff in Black Sabbath. (Mario Bava, Salvatore Billitteri, 64)

A general (Sam Shepard) ponders his next move in Black Hawk Down. (Ridley Scott, 2001) 


A high for Charlie Parker (played by Forrest Whittaker) in Bird. (Clint Eastwood, 88)

Hal Holbrook as Deep Throat in All The President's Men. (Alan J. Pakula, 76)

Modern man touches the future. 2001: A Space Odyssey. (Stanley Kubrick, 68)

John Doe's most intimate thoughts, in black and white, from Seven. (David Fincher, 95)