Sunday, September 21, 2014

Robert Forster on Sci-fi, Lucky Breaks, and Better Call Saul





















New York Magazine          
Robert Forster on Sci-fi, Lucky Breaks, and Better Call Saul
         By Bruce Fretts

Robert Forster knows a thing or two about reincarnation. The 73-year-old character actor has reinvented himself more than once, most notably with his Oscar-nominated 1997 role as bail bondsman Max Cherry in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown. Now he’s occupying a new body, as the shadowy hit man Frank Shepherd on the life-after-death sci-fi mystery Intruders, which BBC America is showcasing tomorrow from 4 to 8 p.m. with a marathon of the show’s first four episodes, leading up to the new episode featuring Forster at 10 p.m. “When I was 9 or 10 years old, I was sure reincarnation was how life progressed,” Forster says. “Why waste a whole life on one person if you don’t get another one? I haven’t been at all sure about the subject matter since.” Forster is sure about a few other things, however, like the fact that his legendary Breaking Bad character, the Disappearer, will return in the AMC spinoff Better Call Saul, as he exclusively revealed to Vulture in this wide-ranging chat.
Do you understand what Intruders is about? And is Frank Shepherd a good guy or a bad guy?
Truthfully, I asked an awful lot of questions, and Rose Lam and Glen Morgan and several other producers spent good time with me before I uttered my first words, because as an actor, you’ve got to know what you’re saying and why you’re saying it. You’ve got to know what your backstory is. They gave me a lot of answers, some of which are not for publication. But the point is, I seem to have a fairly good knowledge of what the show is about and the function I serve on it. It’s a good gig.
You’ve done many sci-fi projects over the years, including playing Milo Ventimiglia’s dad on Heroes. Are you a fan of the genre?
Yes! One of the earliest in my career was The Black Hole. I was thrilled when I got to be in the space version of the Jules Verne story 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which is what that was. I did Alligator, and, oh, boy, there’s a list of them. I’ve done a lot of genre pictures in my career. They’ve been a staple of my career, and I’ve always liked them. This is what movies were really about when I was a kid. I was watching Flash Gordon with the terrible effects. I grew up on those.
Any chance you’ll be returning for the reboot Heroes Reborn?
I didn’t know they were doing a reboot of the show, so obviously, it hasn’t come to me. They are doing a reboot of Breaking Bad, and though I have not been told a date, I have been told that the character I played will be seen on Better Call Saul
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Exciting! What kind of reaction did you get from that episode?
Oh, you know, there are a few things that actually buoy your career, give you some lift you didn’t expect. Of course, Jackie Brown did. And that episode of Breaking Bad was probably seen by more people than have ever seen Jackie Brown, even this many years later. It gave me a huge lift. Suddenly people start pointing and saying, “Hey, how ya doin’?” What a thrill at this point in my career!
You played characters created by Elmore Leonard so well in Jackie Brown and on the too-short-lived ABC drama Karen Sisco. Is there a reason why his words sound so good coming out of your mouth?
I started with [the 1972–73 NBC series] Banyon, which was about a 1930s private detective with old cars, old clothes, old jokes, and fast women — the same kinds of things that Elmore Leonard usually deals with. If I have a genre that I really relate to, it is the detective. I’ve done them since the beginning of my career and enjoyed them. So I have a background in those hard-boiled words.
You also played a detective — briefly — in David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr., which started out as a TV pilot. If it had gone to series, would your character have come back?
It would have continued. After the first take, David said, “Do it slower.” So I did it slower. He came to me after that and said, “Do it slower.” This goes on two or three more times, and it doesn’t sound believable to me. So I go to him, and he says, “Do it slower.” Months later, I discovered I was in a dream. So David Lynch is one of those guys who, when he says, “Do it slower,” even if you don’t believe it, you do it slower.
You’ve done several films with Fred Williamson and Pam Grier, including the upcoming Old School Gangstas, which bills you as one of the “legends of Blaxploitation cinema.” How did that happen?
I worked with [director] William Lustig on a number of exploitation films during the depressed period of my career, starting with Vigilante and going on to Maniac Cop and Maniac Cop 2 or — I can’t remember how many we did.  Then Fred Williamson started putting me in his movies, and I did three or four of those.
for the rest go here:
http://www.vulture.com/2014/09/robert-forster-intruders-better-call-saul-jackie-brown.html









Saturday, September 20, 2014

"Lee Marvin: Point Blank" - Dwayne Epstein's New Biography of The Merchant of Menace



MONDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2013

"Lee Marvin: Point Blank" - Dwayne Epstein's New Biography of The Merchant of Menace


 18, 2013


"Lee Marvin: Point Blank" - Dwayne Epstein's New Biography of The Merchant of Menace

fromm Classic Film n TV Cafe

In Lee Marvin: Point Blank, author Dwayne Epstein puts together a convincing portrait of the enigmatic actor that New York Times film critic Vincent Canby once called "The Master of Menace." Epstein augments Marvin's insightful letters and colorful quotes with anecdotes from family, friends, and especially former wife Betty Ebeling Marvin. The result is a lively biography of a dedicated, hard-drinking actor whose detached, violent "heroes" came alive vividly in films such as The Dirty Dozen, The Killers (1964), and Point Blank.

Born in New York in 1924, Lee Marvin--like his brother Robert--was named after Robert E. Lee. Their mother, Courtenay, was an ancestor of the famous Confederate general. Author Epstein speculates that Lee Marvin suffered from Attention Deficit Disorder as a youth as well as dyslexia. The young Marvin displayed a rebellious nature at home--he and his mother never got along--and in school. Later in life, he boasted of being expelled from fifteen schools.

He eventually played authority figures
in war films like The Dirty Dozen.
For a young man who often defied authority, it's ironic that Marvin not only enlisted in the armed services in 1942, but chose the Marines. However, as Epstein points out, "it was a time of extreme patriotism" following Pearl Harbor; Marvin's brother and father, a World War I veteran,  also enlisted. Undoubtedly, his years as a Marine shaped the rest of Marvin's life. Excerpts from his early letters show a young man at conflict. He proudly discusses his test scores and marksmanship, but also writes "sometimes I wonder what I joined up for." Marvin participated in many bloody battles following his deployment to the Pacific in 1944. When a wound ended his military career in 1945, Marvin "could not shake off the intense feeling he was experiencing: anger, frustration and worst of all, survivor guilt as the war stubbornly wore on."

Following the end of the war, Marvin contemplated working as a forest ranger and car salesman before becoming a plumber's apprentice. However, Marvin's career took a different path when he became involved in a Red Cross benefit called "Ten Nights in a Barroom" in Woodstock, New York, in 1946. That eventually led to a summer stock gig with the Maverick Theater in 1947. Epstein notes that acting provided an "outlet to express his inner demons that had been frustrating him since the war." Marvin used his G.I. bill money to attend the American Theater Wing, which led to small parts. However, he later said that Broadway "was a damn bore...the New York stage is a hustle." When colleague James Doohan (Star Trek's Scotty) recommended Marvin move to the West Coast, Marvin took the advice.

for the rest go here:
http://www.classicfilmtvcafe.com/2013/02/lee-marvin-point-blank-dwayne-epsteins.html

Friday, September 19, 2014

yes it's time for anthony mann again-oir on the range






















Noir on the Range – The Top Ten Anthony Mann Westerns


Director Anthony Mann defined the cowboys of the ’50s, creating what critics dubbed the psychological Western. Taking a note from film noir, Mann’s heroes were beset by past tragedies, frustrated ambitions, and desperate to come to terms with their own torment — often by battling villains who were all too similar to themselves.  A capable director in multiple genres, Mann didn’t need the Western — but the Western needed him.
10. The Last Frontier (1955) 
Victor Mature plays a Davy Crockett-like frontiersman who signs up to fight off warring Indians. Typically, Mann adds an element of moral complication: Mature serves under a hawkish colonel whose main interest isn’t in ending the conflict — but prolonging it! While a minor work that just scratches onto this list, The Last Frontier shows that even when he’s painting with light strokes, Mann deals in more sophisticated themes than his contemporaries.
9. Devil’s Doorway (1950)
Mann’s first Western is even more ambitious in describing the toxic relationships between Native Americans and white-folk. Robert Taylor plays a Shoshone Indian chief who fights courageously in Gettysburg, even winning the Medal of Honor. But when the Civil War hero returns home, he find truculent whites squatting on his land. The audience is meant to root for the Indians — Mann’s boldness earns this one the ninth slot.
8. The Tin Star (1957)

Here, Henry Fonda plays a typical Mann outsider. A former sheriff turned bounty hunter, he likes living on the periphery with no one to answer to but himself. But soon he gets stuck helping an effete Anthony Perkins learn some pistol skills so he can clean up a town. This one’s made of more conventional material than some of Mann’s Westerns, but it’s done so well you’ll hardly notice the shift.
7. The Far Country (1954) 
You know the type: Solitary, introverted, doesn’t play well with others. They usually have delusions of grandeur. In The Far Country, Jimmy Stewart plays a prospector in the Klondike who doesn’t care about anyone but himself and his precious gold flakes. But will the death of a friend finally make him care about someone but himself? Part of the genius of this movie is the sheer level of unscrupulousness it allows Stewart before he changes his ways.
6. The Man from Laramie (1955)
Poor Jimmy Stewart suffers numerous indignities in this movie as he infiltrate a frontier town in an effort to shed light on his… shadowy past. (His efforts earn this one sixth place.) But all his sufferings only amp up the audience’s bloodlust for revenge! You don’t mess with a man’s mules (they get shot) or his shooting hand (which gets plugged at point-blank range). It’s easy to imagine fans of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington chomping at the bit for dear old Stewart to blast away the bad guys.
5. The Furies (1950)
This was a switch-up pitch from Mann — a lesser known work that’s also one of his most interesting. Taking its cues from Greek tragedy, The Furies focuses on the subtly unseemly relationship between widowed cattle-baron Walter Huston and his daughter Vance Jeffords (a typically wonderful Barbara Stanwyck). The movie’s bold Freudian symbolism and fraught familial conflicts were ahead of its time — and make this one a lock for the top five.
4. Man of the West (1958)
Gary Cooper puts in a great, latter-day performance in this dark, unsung Western. Like a lot of Mann’s heroes, he’s a man who’s wounded by the past. And when the past returns — in the form of his former outlaw buddy Dock Tobin (a malicious Lee J. Cobb) — he must find a way to maintain his new identity. The movie didn’t generate much enthusiasm when it was first released, but later reappraisals (Jean Luc-Godard was a huge fan) have asserted it as one of the great psychological Westerns.
3. Bend of the River (1952)Stewart plays an ex-Missouri raider who’s found a new career: escorting wagon trains out West. But along the way he discovers an uncomfortable fragment of his own past: an old chum (Arthur Kennedy) who hasn’t given up his outlaw ways. Stewart saves Kennedy and invites him to join the journey, but Kennedy decides he’d rather steal the settlers’ goods for his own profit. Will Stewart go along with it? For the suspense hanging over that question, this one bends its way right into third place.
2. Winchester ’73 (1950)
This moody, noirish Western follows the gun of the title as it passes through many, many hands. What could have been a gimmicky frame device (see the short-lived Robert Altman TV series,Gun) becomes a powerful symbol of the history of violence that interconnects its characters and finally leads to a showdown between heavies Waco (Dan Duryea) and Lin McAdam (Stewart). For its formal daring and and crackling suspense, it’s one of Mann’s best.
1. The Naked Spur (1953)
Our number-one flick features Jimmy Stewart as you’ve rarely seen him — completely and utterly immoral. This is the pinnacle of Mann and Stewart’s long run together, and one of the best Westerns ever made. From start to finish it’s engaging and provocative, and Stewart’s quest, to catch an old friend for reward money, increasingly becomes not a noble mission but a crazed pursuit for money no matter what the cost.
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Headlines that shouldn't be true but are



















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