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#76 Post by jesus the mexican boi » Wed Feb 01, 2006 5:52 pm

Ballerina-actress Moira Shearer dies

LONDON - Moira Shearer, the ballerina and actress whose debut film, "The Red Shoes," created an international sensation in 1948, has died, her husband said Wednesday. She was 80. Shearer died Tuesday at the John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, said her husband, Ludovic Kennedy. He said she had become weak since her birthday last month, but did not reveal the cause of death.

Shearer, born in Dunfermline, Scotland, became principal dancer at London's famous Sadler's Wells in 1942 and won her first major role in 1946, playing Sleeping Beauty at London's Royal Opera House.

A stunning redhead, she won her the role as the doomed dancer Victoria in "The Red Shoes," directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It was a huge international hit and was nominated for the Oscar for best picture; it won Oscars for best art direction and best music. The film, loosely based on a Hans Christian Andersen story, is celebrated for its rich use of color and the intimate view of backstage life in the world of ballet. Shearer's character becomes a great star but is torn between her love for a young composer and her career, which is guided by a jealous impresario. The film contained a complete ballet danced by Shearer and others.

Though she took roles in later films - including Powell and Pressburger's "The Tales of Hoffmann" in 1951 and Powell's 1960 thriller, "Peeping Tom" -- Shearer remained ambivalent toward films, preferring to focus her efforts on dance. "The ballet was the thing to which she was really committed - the film industry was a bit of a distraction," Kennedy said.

Alistair Spalding, artistic director of Sadler's Wells, said members of the company were saddened by news of her death. "She was deeply connected with the history of Sadler's Wells. She started her career here and danced and toured with the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet," said Spalding.

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#77 Post by Rufus T. Firefly » Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:29 pm


Controversial Polish director Walerian Borowczyk died of heart failure at age 82. Walerian Borowczyk began his career as a respected animator. He produced animated short films for nearly 20 years before turning to live action features. Mr. Borowczyk directed five films in the late 60s and early 70s that challenged the sensibilities of moviegoers worldwide. Borowczyk explored the new freedom and pushed the borders of cinematic sexuality. His films "Goto, Island of Love," "Blanche," "Immoral Tales," "The Story of a Sin" and especially "The Beast" brought, if for just a short time, Walerian Borowczyk to the forefront of world directors. As the 70s wore on, Mr. Borowczyk's work lost its spark and he turned out sub-par erotica. "Immoral Tales" involved four individual stories. The third tale starred Pablo Picasso's daughter as a character based on Elisabeth of Bathory, a noble woman who believe she would remain young forever if she bathed in the blood of virgins. Ingrid Pitt starred in the Hammer version of the story: "Countess Dracula." Mr. Borowczyk's most controversial film was "The Beast." Based in part on "Beauty and the Beast," the film was originally supposed to be part of "Immoral Tales." Borowczyk expanded the story to a feature length film. It was banned in some countries for the visuals of a beast having sex with the female characters in the movie. Sometimes it was rape and at other times, it was consensual. No matter, Borowczyk crossed a boundary that many viewers and censors thought went too far. His film "The Story of a Sin" was nominated for the Golden Palm at Cannes in 1975. "Blanche" won the Gran Prix at the 1972 Berlin International Film Festival. Mr. Borowczyk was nominated for a BAFTA for his short animated film "Dom."

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#78 Post by Kirkinson » Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:18 am

Ifukube, composer for Godzilla films, dies at 91

TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese musician Akira Ifukube, a former forestry officer who became a prolific composer and wrote the score to "Godzilla" monster movies, has died. He was 91. He died late Wednesday of multiple organ failure, said the Tokyo College of Music, where he was president between 1976 and 1987.

Beside the "Godzilla" tunes, he is said to have composed some 300 to 400 musical pieces for film throughout his career and received a Person of Cultural Merit award, one of Japan's highest honors, in 2003.

Born in 1914 in the northern island of Hokkaido, Ifukube taught himself to compose music as a teenager even though his formal training was in the lumber industry. His work was heavily influenced by the culture of the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido who practice an animist faith.

While working as a forestry officer in Hokkaido during World War II, Ifukube started his prolific musical career on the side, composing works ranging from Western classical music to pieces in his own distinctive style. Ifukube began to build his international reputation in 1935 when his "Japanese Rhapsody" won the first prize in a contest promoted by Russian-born composer Alexander Nikolayevich Tcherepnin.

He became most famous for producing the main theme in 1954 to the first "Godzilla" film, using his characteristic repetition of musical phrases to create a dynamic rhythmic score with a tribal feel. Since then, Japan has produced another 27 movies on the fire-breathing, city-stomping reptile, who has become an unofficial national symbol for cinema buffs, with Ifukube's score occasionally reappearing.

Ifukube left the forest after World War II to become a music instructor. His first stint was between 1946 and 1953 at a school that would become the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. His work regained popularity in Japan in the late 1990s, with the launch of new CDs of his work played by younger musicians.

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#79 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:34 pm

'Godfather' Actor Killed by Bus in NYC

NEW YORK - Richard Bright, a character actor who appeared in all three "Godfather" movies and more recently on "The Sopranos," was struck and killed by a bus, police said.

Bright, 68, was hit by a private Academy Bus as he crossed the street at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday in his Manhattan neighborhood, police Detective Bernard Gifford said. There were no arrests as of Sunday but police said the investigation was continuing. The bus driver told police he was not aware that he had hit anyone.

Bright played mob enforcer Al Neri in the "Godfather" movies, a bodyguard to the Corleone family patriarchs played by Marlon Brando and Al Pacino.

He played a con artist hustling Ali McGraw in 1972's "The Getaway" and acted in dozens of other films such as Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America" and "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" and in TV shows such as "Hill Street Blues."

"He always said it was the work that was the reward," said Brett Smiley, a friend and fellow actor. Bright was arrested in 1965 on an obscenity charge for language he used in a San Francisco production of poet Michael McClure's two-person play "The Beard," which was shut down.

The American Civil Liberties Union took up the case and the charges against Bright were later dismissed in what was considered a precedent for artistic expression rights.

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#80 Post by neuro » Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:54 am


The forum awaits your response, Matt.

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#81 Post by Matt » Sun Feb 26, 2006 1:26 am

It was expected, but I'm inconsolable.

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#82 Post by dx23 » Sun Feb 26, 2006 2:37 am

:cry: .

RIP Mr. Limpet

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Rufus T. Firefly
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#83 Post by Rufus T. Firefly » Sun Feb 26, 2006 2:55 am

Also reported dead today is Darren McGavin, star of The Night Stalker.

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#84 Post by HerrSchreck » Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:33 am

Great Shelley Winters Story:

When I was in my early 20's I used to study at the famed Actor's Studio here in NYC. Shelley used to teach her own off-session acting class seperate from the tues & fri Acting Unit sessions & Friday Playwrights & Directors Unit.

So this young guy-- I think he was an Observer-- gets up & starts doing a scene with this girl... the guy is a pretty boy doing Stubbly Rugged in tight jeans, leather jacket, has his hair all slicked back, is mumbling out all his lines with a deliberate Mister Kool nonchalance, wrinkling up his eyebrows with your standard 50's screen-icon puppy-furrow, appropriated ad nauseum by Jason Priestly/Luke Perry & every subsequent wanna be toughguy-silver-screen idol.

Shelley is wincing & squinting through her opera glasses (she had terrible terrible eye-problems-- either cataracts or horrific glaucoma but I think the former-- & needed binoculars to see just about anything beyond 12" away) as this guy twists & poses his way thru the scene-start, hunching & sucking in his cheeks & puckering his insolent pouting rictus (Zappa, "Punky's Whips", 1976) so he catches the light Just Right...

Shelley shoots up out her chair sending it screeching back behind her knees spilling papers & pad & pen this way & that, yelling "Stop stop stop, please honey, just stop just... stop," in that great Winters shriek & crossing out the air in front of her with her hands & grimacing like she just swallowed a hunka bat guano.

"W-what?" asks the stunned pair of actors, eyes darting around the room nervous.

Shelley snapping her fingers while pointing at the girl, then the guy, says "Young lady siddown... You, young man-- take off your pants!"

Like Ned Beatty in DELIVERANCE, "Uh... 'Take..'?"

"That's right," screech cutting the room in half, snapping her fingers again. "Take em off-- take off those stupid boots too, and the jacket too," the kid was wearing Fonz type MC-boots and a leather jacket.

The kid cracked up nervously, like, Okay.. you're joking, right?

"Why what do you mean?"

Shelley said (I swear it's all true):

"Sonny, you're acting like Marlon Brando-- sonny-boy, I fucked Marlon Brando. I know a Brando-imitation when I see one, even bad ones like you! Every guy wants to be Marlon Brando except Marlon Brando. You're standing here trying to pull one over on me, and you're leaning on your silly boots & jacket & your old blue jeans, with your hair all done up, and you haven't done a stitch of acting. I want you to strip down to your underwear, with a tee-shirt and your socks and do the scene without any of this--" waved her hand dismissively up & down him, "stuff on. I want to see you do something from within you... She's," jacking thumb at girl, "gonna sit off to the side & read her lines out to you while you sit up here alone in your underwear & start doing some real acting.." etc etc.

Whereby the kid had to strip down and do it in his droopy Fruit of the Loom white cotton briefs & tube socks. It was the first day of the kids actual Acting Life. You didn't fuck around with Shelley Winters & acting. But she had a heart of gold & was the most unaffected, straight up Name you'd ever meet.

R.I.P. Shelley, love Frick (or Frack, I never knew which I was)

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#85 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Feb 26, 2006 8:33 pm

Darren McGavin, the amazingly prolific actor whose best-known roles included reporter Carl Kolchak in the cult TV hit The Night Stalker and the irasicble father in A Christmas Story, died Saturday in Los Angeles of natural causes; he was 83. An actor who received his training at the Neighborhood Playhouse and the Actors Studio in New York, he first came to prominence with a number of supporting parts in the 50s, most notably The Man With the Golden Arm, The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell, and Summertime, all released in 1955. Previously, he had undertaken a number of TV roles, and his familiarity with the medium, along with his tough guy persona, landed him the starring role in the Mike Hammer TV series, based on Mickey Spillane's rough=hewn detective. Though he also appeared in films and onstage throughout his career, McGavin was a constant presence in television, most often as a guest star on shows such as Dr. Kildare, Gunsmoke, Mission: Impossible and a veritable ton of others; the IMDb credits him with parts in over 170 individual films and TV shows. In 1974, McGavin landed the role of investigative reporter Carl Kolchak, who in The Night Stalker went up against a number of strange, supernatural creatures. Though the show lasted only one season, it became an instant cult hit, and a major influence for the "X-Files" school of spookiness and mystery (in fact, McGavin later made a two-episode appearance on The X-Files). In the 80s, McGavin played the profanity-spouting, lamp-obsessed "Old Man" in the modern-day holiday classic A Christmas Story, a gambler/bookie in an uncredited part in The Natural, and the father of Candice Bergen's Murphy Brown, which earned him an Emmy nomination. Those roles are just the tip of the iceberg, as McGavin worked non-stop up through the late 90s. Appropriately, his last credited role is for a part in the updated version of The Night Stalker, which lasted only one season. McGavin is survived by four children -- York, Megan, Bridget and Bogart -- from his first marriage to Melanie York McGavin

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#86 Post by dx23 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 3:23 pm

'Gunsmoke' Actor Dennis Weaver Dies

Dennis Weaver, the slow-witted deputy Chester Goode in the TV classic western "Gunsmoke" and the New Mexico deputy solving New York crime in "McCloud," has died. The actor was 81.
Weaver died of complications from cancer Friday at his home in Ridgway, in southwestern Colorado, his publicist Julian Myers said.

Weaver was a struggling actor in Hollywood in 1955, earning $60 a week delivering flowers when he was offered $300 a week for a role in a new CBS television series, "Gunsmoke." By the end of his nine years with "Gunsmoke," he was earning $9,000 a week. When Weaver first auditioned for the series, he found the character of Chester "inane." He wrote in his 2001 autobiography, "All the World's a Stage," that he said to himself: "With all my Actors Studio training, I'll correct this character by using my own experiences and drawing from myself."

The result was a well-rounded character that appealed to audiences, especially with his drawling, "Mis-ter Dil-lon." At the end of seven hit seasons, Weaver sought other horizons. He announced his departure, but the failures of pilots for his own series caused him to return to "Gunsmoke" on a limited basis for two more years. The role brought him an Emmy in the 1958-59 season.

In 1966, Weaver starred with a 600-pound black bear in "Gentle Ben," about a family that adopts a bear as a pet. The series was well-received, but after two seasons, CBS decided it needed more adult entertainment and cancelled it. Next came the character Sam McCloud, which Weaver called "the most satisfying role of my career."

The "McCloud" series, 1970-1977, juxtaposed a no-nonsense lawman from Taos, N.M., onto the crime-ridden streets of New York City. His wild-west tactics, such as riding his horse through Manhattan traffic, drove local policemen crazy, but he always solved the case.

He appeared in several movies, including "Touch of Evil," "Ten Wanted Men," "Gentle Giant," "Seven Angry Men," "Dragnet," "Way ... Way Out" and "The Bridges at Toko-Ri." Weaver also was an activist for protecting the environment and combating world hunger.

He served as president of Love Is Feeding Everyone (LIFE), which fed 150,000 needy people a week in Los Angeles County. He founded the Institute of Ecolonomics, which sought solutions to economic and environmental problems. He spoke at the United Nations and Congress, as well as to college students and school children about fighting pollution and starvation.

"Earthship" was the most visible of Weaver's crusades. He and his wife Gerry built a solar-powered Colorado home out of recycled tires and cans. The thick walls helped keep the inside temperature even year around. "When the garbage man comes," Jay Leno once quipped, "how does he know where the garbage begins and the house ends?" Weaver responded: "If we get into the mindset of saving rather than wasting and utilizing other materials, we can save the Earth."

The tall, slender actor came by his Midwestern twang naturally. He was born June 4, 1924, in Joplin, Mo., where he excelled in high school drama and athletics. After Navy service in World War II, he enrolled at the University of Oklahoma and qualified for the Olympic decathlon.

He studied at the Actors Studio in New York and appeared in "A Streetcar Named Desire" opposite Shelley Winters and toured in "Come Back, Little Sheba" with Shirley Booth. Universal Studio signed Weaver to a contract in 1952 but found little work for him. He freelanced in features and television until he landed "Gunsmoke."

Weaver appeared in dozens of TV movies, the most notable being the 1971 "Duel." It was a bravura performance for both fledgling director Steven Spielberg and Weaver, who played a driver menaced by a large truck that followed him down a mountain road. The film was released in theaters in 1983, after Spielberg had become director of huge moneymakers. Weaver's other TV series include "Kentucky Jones," "Emerald Point N.A.S.," "Stone" and "Buck James." From 1973 to 1975, he served as president of the Screen Actors Guild.

Weaver is survived by his wife; sons Rick, Robby and Rusty; and three grandchildren.

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#87 Post by Gregory » Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:54 pm

I just noticed DeepDiscountDVD is doing a sales promotion for the occasion of Don Knotts' passing (at the bottom of their homepage). It's the first time I've noticed this sort of thing at DDD. They call it a "close up" but it's really just a page with all the Knotts DVDs they have for sale. Interest generated by the news of his death has catapulted the Reluctant Hero "Pack" (which consists of one DVD) to #1 on their best-seller list. It's currently #13 at Amazon. I picked up a used copy of it a while ago and have found it interesting how well a lot of the humor of these films has held up.

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#88 Post by dx23 » Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:56 pm

Actor Jack Wild Dies at 53

LONDON - Jack Wild, who earned an Oscar nomination as a teenager for his role as the Artful Dodger in the 1968 film "Oliver!" has died from cancer, his agent said Thursday. He was 53. Wild died Wednesday, agent Alex Jay said. The actor was diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2000, and surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy had left him unable to speak.

Born in Royton, northwest England, in 1952, Wild was spotted by a talent agent while playing soccer in a London park and later attended stage school. He appeared in the London stage production of "Oliver!" Lionel Bart's adaptation of Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist." Wild was cast in the film as cheeky pickpocket the Artful Dodger, a role that earned the 16-year-old an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.

Wild also was known to a generation of children as the hero of "H.R. Pufnstuf," a psychedelic TV series about a boy stranded on a fantastical island with a talking flute, a friendly dragon and eerie, chatty trees. A feature film, "Pufnstuf," was released in 1970. He became a teen music idol, releasing three albums — "The Jack Wild Album," "Everything's Coming up Roses" and "Beautiful World."

But Wild struggled with alcoholism and his adult acting career was fitful, although he had a role in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" in 1991. The actor blamed his cancer on years of heavy drinking and smoking. "My lifestyle had made me a walking time bomb," he said last year.

Wild is survived by his wife, Claire Harding.

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#89 Post by toiletduck! » Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:25 pm

Photographer, filmmaker Gordon Parks dies

[quote]Artist chronicled black America for 'Life' magazine, directed movie 'Shaft'

NEW YORK - Gordon Parks, who captured the struggles and triumphs of black America as a photographer for Life magazine and then became Hollywood's first major black director with “The Learning Treeâ€

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#90 Post by dx23 » Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:12 pm

Actress Maureen Stapleton Dies at 80

LENOX, Mass. - Maureen Stapleton, the Oscar-winning character actress whose subtle vulnerability and down-to-earth toughness earned her dramatic and comedic roles on stage, screen, and television, died Monday. She was 80. Stapleton, a longtime smoker who had been living in Lenox, died from chronic pulmonary disease, said her son, Daniel Allentuck.

Stapleton, whose unremarkable, matronly appearance belied her star personality and talent, won an Academy Award in 1981 for her supporting role as anarchist-writer Emma Goldman in Warren Beatty's "Reds," about a left-wing American journalist who journeys to Russia to cover the Bolshevik Revolution. To prepare for the role, Stapleton said she tried reading Goldman's autobiography, but soon chucked it out of boredom.

"There are many roads to good acting," Stapleton, known for her straightforwardness, said in her 1995 autobiography, "Hell of a Life." "I've been asked repeatedly what the 'key' to acting is, and as far as I'm concerned, the main thing is to keep the audience awake."

Stapleton was nominated several times for a supporting actress Oscar, including for her first film role in 1958's "Lonelyhearts"; "Airport" in 1970; and Woody Allen's "Interiors" in 1978. Her other film credits include the 1963 musical "Bye Bye Birdie" opposite Ann-Margret and Dick Van Dyke, "Johnny Dangerously," "Cocoon," "The Money Pit" and "Addicted to Love."

In television, she earned an Emmy for "Among the Paths to Eden" in 1967. She was nominated for "Queen of the Stardust Ballroom" in 1975; "The Gathering" in 1977; and "Miss Rose White" in 1992.

Brought up in a strict Irish Catholic family with an alcoholic father, Stapleton left home in Troy, N.Y., right after high school. With $100 to her name, she came to New York and began studying at the Herbert Berghof Acting School and later at the Actor's Studio, which turned out the likes of Marlon Brando, Paul Newman and Julia Roberts.

Stapleton soon made her Broadway debut in Burgess Meredith's 1946 production of "The Playboy of the Western World." At age 24, she became a success as Serafina Delle Rose in Tennessee Williams' Broadway hit "The Rose Tattoo," and won a Tony Award. She appeared in numerous other stage productions, including Lillian Hellman's "Toys in the Attic" and Neil Simon's "The Gingerbread Lady," for which she won her second Tony in 1971.

She starred opposite Laurence Olivier in Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Stapleton's friendship with Williams was well-known and he wrote three plays for her, but she never appeared in any of them.

Along the way, she led a chaotic personal life, which her autobiography candidly described as including two failed marriages, numerous affairs, years of alcohol abuse and erratic parenting for her two children. She often said auditioning was hard for her, but that it was just a part of acting, a job "that pays."

"When I was first in New York there was a girl who wanted to play 'St. Joan' to the point where it was scary. ... I thought 'Don't ever want anything that bad," she recalled. "Just take what you get and like it while you do it, and forget it."

Cast throughout her career in supporting roles, Stapleton was content not playing a lead character, Allentuck said. "I don't think she ever had unrealistic aspirations about her career," he said.

Beside Allentuck, Stapleton is survived by a daughter, Katharine Bambery, of Lenox and a brother, Jack Stapleton, of Troy, N.Y.

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#91 Post by dx23 » Sun Mar 26, 2006 10:02 pm

Director Richard Fleischer Dies at 89

Director Richard Fleischer, a prolific filmmaker who helmed such movies as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Fantastic Voyage, and Soylent Green, died Saturday of natural causes in Los Angeles; he was 89. The son of pioneering animator Max Fleischer (one of the men behind famed characters Betty Boop and Popeye), Richard joined RKO's New York branch in the early 40s as a writer and producer for the studio's Flicker Flashbacks series and won an Oscar for the documentary Design for Death. By the end of the decade was ensconced in Hollywood, directing a number of low-budget noir thrillers, one of his most famous being the train-set The Narrow Margin, one of the first films to use a handheld camera and filmed in only 13 days; it was later remade in the 90s. In 1954, Fleischer got his big break courtesy of Walt Disney (his father's rival), who tapped him to direct the big-screen adaptation of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea starring Kirk Douglas and James Mason. Disney's first entire live-action movie made in the United States, it became one of the studio's most famous and well-known films, inspiring attractions at Disney's theme parks that utilized versions of the Nautilus submarine and the famed battle with a giant squid. Fleischer's career was marked by forays into numerous genres, with some of his more notable movies being The Vikings (1958), Fantastic Voyage (1966), The Boston Strangler (1968), Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), Soylent Green (1973), and the Neil Diamond version of The Jazz Singer (1980). He also directed some of Hollywood's most well-known flops, including the Oscar-nominated musical Doctor Dolittle, the biopic Che! and the slave drama Mandingo. Throughout the 80s, Fleischer worked on a number of modern-day B movies, including cult faves Conan the Destroyer (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Grace Jones) and Red Sonja. He is survived by his wife, Mary, three children and five grandchildren.

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#92 Post by dx23 » Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:17 pm

Author of 'Solaris' Dies at 84

WARSAW, Poland - Stanislaw Lem, a science fiction writer whose novel "Solaris" was made into a movie starring George Clooney, died Monday in his native Poland, his secretary said. He was 84. Lem died in a Krakow hospital from heart failure "connected to his old age," the secretary, Wojciech Zemek, told The Associated Press.

Lem was one of the most popular science fiction authors of recent decades to write in a language other than English, and his works were translated into more than 40 other languages. His books have sold 27 million copies. His best-known work, "Solaris," was adapted into films by director Andrei Tarkovsky in 1972 and by Steven Soderbergh in 2002. That version starred Clooney and Natascha McElhone.

His first important novel, "Hospital of the Transfiguration," was censored by communist authorities for eight years before its release in 1956 amid a thaw following the death of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. Other works include "The Invincible," "The Cyberiad," "His Master's Voice," "The Star Diaries," "The Futurological Congress" and "Tales of Prix the Pilot."

Lem was born into a Polish Jewish family on Sept. 21, 1921, in Lviv, then a Polish city but now part of Ukraine. His father was a doctor and he initially appeared set to follow in that path, taking up medical studies in Lviv before World War II. After surviving the Nazi occupation, in part thanks to forged documents that concealed his Jewish background, Lem continued his medical studies in Krakow. Soon afterward, however, he took up writing science fiction.

Lem is survived by his wife and a son, Zemek said. Funeral arrangements were not disclosed.

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#93 Post by ola t » Mon Apr 10, 2006 8:45 am

Local media is reporting that Swedish author and director Vilgot Sjoman -- best known for the I Am Curious films and (to Criterionites) the documentary series Ingmar Bergman Makes a Movie -- died on Sunday after having suffered a stroke. He was 81.

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#94 Post by Galen Young » Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:21 pm

Sorry to hear about Vilgot Sjoman -- weird too, because I had just tracked down this past week copies of his books I Am Curious (Blue) and I Was Curious, as well as the Lars Gorling novel 491, that he made into a film in 1964. Has anyone here seen it? Its sounds like something right up Criterion's alley... The more I watch the Curious films, the more I really like them.

Here's a hilarious excerpt from Sjoman's book L136, his diary about working on Bergman's Winter Light:

Dagens Nyheter today tells of Bunuel's love of Bergman:

Ingmar Bergman - a tragic case

thinks the Mexican director Luis Bunuel, who in the latest issue of ABF's magazine The Window is interviewed by Bjorn Kumm. According to Bunuel, Bergman is "a man who squanders his talent on rubbish. He is a very good director, but he is taken up with questions that are not interesting. What is it he asks about in every film? God, evil, good, whether God exists -- you can't keep on with that sort of thing! I can hardly sit his films out. He can keep on selling this superficial quasi-philosophy to the decadent public. It's typical that he has gained such success in America. The Americans, these gringos, are interested in that sort of thing."

Love passionately requited. This was noticeable when a TV program on films ran the communion parody from Viridiana last winter; IB's disgusted mutter:

" utterly tasteless and puerile."

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#95 Post by What A Disgrace » Tue Apr 11, 2006 7:53 am

I Am Curious Director Dies

Swedish director Vilgot Sjöman, whose controversial I Am Curious…Yellow and I Am Curious…Blue caused a sensation in international art houses when they were released in 1967, died this week, on April 9, at St. Görans Hospital in Stockholm. Emblems of the sexual revolution of the late sixties, the I Am Curious films titillated American audiences with their unabashed nudity and eroticism, paving the way for more freedom of expression in film. Sjöman was 81 years old.

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#96 Post by gubbelsj » Sat Apr 15, 2006 12:56 pm

Shin Sang Ok

Shin Sang Ok, a pioneering film director who said that his life was too unbelievable to be a movie plot, what with his introducing the kiss to North and South Korean cinema, being kidnapped by a movie-loving dictator and turning up in Hollywood to create the "3 Ninjas" movies, died Tuesday in Seoul. He was 80.

Two of Mr. Shin's films were shown at Cannes, where he was a judge in 1994. He gained some recognition in the United States through showings of his work at the Museum of Modern Art and art-house cinemas, as well as through a broader American release of a horror film modeled on the Japanese Godzilla movies.

In South Korea, however, he was a major figure of that nation's film industry in the 1950s and 60s, leading some to call him the Orson Welles of South Korea. He directed at least 60 movies in 20 years, introducing techniques like the zoom lens and themes like the plight of women in Korean history. The South Korean government eventually took away his license because he refused to toe the line.

Mr. Shin's greatest fame in the West came when he and his wife, from whom he was estranged, were kidnapped in 1978 by North Korean agents. When Kim Jong Il, the North Korean dictator, demanded that he make propaganda movies, he refused. After eating grass and bark in prison for five years, he was suddenly released by Mr. Kim, who told him he could make any movies he liked.

Mr. Shin made seven films before escaping in 1986 during a stopover in Vienna. He and his wife turned up in Reston, Virginia, where their insights into Mr. Kim's personality, backed up by recordings they had secretly made, were of considerable interest to United States intelligence officers.

Mr. Shin and his wife moved to Los Angeles in 1989 after living under the protection of the CIA for three years. He said that he got the idea for his humorous "3 Ninjas" movies, done for Disney, by repeatedly watching "Home Alone" and trying to think of a way to do something similar that would involve the martial arts. He returned to South Korea in 1994 and continued to produce movies there.

He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters. --NYTimes

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#97 Post by Richard » Sat Apr 22, 2006 11:32 am

Italian actress Alida Valli dies

ITALIAN actress Alida Valli, who featured in films by Alfred Hitchcock and Luchino Visconti, died in Rome on today at the age of 84, Ansa news agency said.

Alida Maria Laura von Altenburger was born on May 31, 1921, in Pola, which was then part of Italy and has since become Pula, in Croatia.

She made her cinema debut at the age of 15 and appeared in over 100 films. The best known include Hitchcock's The Paradine Case (1947) with Gregory Peck, The Miracle of the Bells (1948) by Irving Pichel with Frank Sinatra, and Carole Reed's The Third Man (1949) with Orson Welles.

She married surrealist painter Oscar de Mejo in 1994 but the couple divorced several years later.

Valli was discovered by US producer David Selznick, who gave her a contract, thinking that he had found a second Ingrid Bergman. Her English language film career was short-lived due to her thick accent but she continued to work in the Italian, and occasionally French, cinema.

(AGI) - Roma, April 22 - The Roman actress Alida Valli died this morning at home in Rome. Born in Pola in 1921, her original name being Alida Maria Altenburger, Alida Valli became a real icon of Italian cinema and appeared in such films as "The Paradine Case" by Hitchcock, "The Third Man", "The Innocents", "Oedipus Rex" by Pasolini and "Strategy of the Spider" by Bertolucci. On the wishes of Mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, the service will be carried out at city hall on Monday morning. In the afternoon the actress will be commemorated, again at city hall, in the presence of the highest state dignitaries.
Lovely actress. I really liked her in The Third Man. :(

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#98 Post by HerrSchreck » Sat Apr 22, 2006 11:48 am

I really dug her in EYES WITHOUT A FACE. She exudes eeriness without going over into campy horror acting, yet maintains the nuance of innocence exhibited by the sense of the existence of a moral line in her characters head whcih she's not willing to pass.

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#99 Post by Michael » Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:00 pm

Terribly sad. :cry:

I'd love to have images of Valli from Spider's Stratagem. Does anyone have them?

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#100 Post by david hare » Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:59 pm

Michael I have a VHS to DVDR. I'll have a look.

Two from Stratagem, one from Senso (atrocious quality) and one from Hitch!





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