Brother, Can You Spare a Job?

September 1, 2011

F Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that there are no second acts to American lives––an odd statement because Americans have always sought new challenges and adventures. During the Depression, people lost their careers, their savings and their homes, and families were forced to discover new ways to survive. Three-quarters of a century later, the current generation is experiencing similar joblessness, foreclosures and bankruptcies, which have caused national anxiety. […]

Wide, Wide World

July 6, 2011

In the Jean-Luc Godard film Contempt (1963), director Fritz Lang, portraying himself, acidly jokes that CinemaScope “wasn’t meant for human beings. Just for snakes and funerals.” […]

Mike Figgis’ ‘Leaving Las Vegas’

July 1, 2011

Over time, I realized I was married to an alcoholic. For me, Leaving Las Vegas was the film that most moved me in my adult life. Nicolas Cage plays Ben, an alcoholic Hollywood writer struggling greatly with the disease. […]

Schlepping My Way to the Top

January 1, 2011

I love movies and TV shows. I love watching them and I love making them. I always have, for as long as I can remember. My career as an editor would have been just about perfect if I could have slept my way to the top. Unfortunately, with my looks, I was destined for a more conventional approach. […]

Blue Grit

January 1, 2011

During the transition week between the Jimmy Carter and the Ronald Reagan presidencies 30 years ago this January, Hill Street Blues premiered on the NBC net- work. […]

Hitchcock Railway

January 1, 2011

The signature Alfred Hitchcock thriller frequently involves an innocent person accused of a politically motivated murder committed by twisted villains who are terrorists, Nazis, fascists or Communists. […]

David Lean’s ‘The Bridge on The River Kwai’

November 1, 2010

Unlike many of my colleagues, I did not grow up a film nut. I was a sports nut, particularly baseball, and following my parents’ lead, a Gershwin, Sinatra and Broadway musical nut. For me, movies were fun, but nothing like watching the Yankees lose (a rare occurrence) or pretend- ing I was Frank, or Oscar Levant playing “Rhapsody in Blue” before a rapt audience at Carnegie Hall. […]

Striking Just the Right Balance

November 1, 2010

A ”Jack-of-all-trades and master of none” is what I thought of myself until I turned 30. That’s when my wife, Carole Ann, found an ad for an engineering job at CBS. Knowing nothing about the broadcasting industry, I was reluctant, but with the help of my degree from the Western Electronic Institute and some last-minute cram sessions at the library, I was hired as an engineer in the videotape department. […]

Eisenstein on the Breach

November 1, 2010

The Battleship Potemkin, or Potemkin as it is generally known, galvanized filmmakers around the world because of the audacity of its film editing––especially in the iconic Odessa Steps massacre. Its impact on editors and directors since its premiere in Moscow on Christmas Eve, 1925 is immeasurable. […]

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