Wednesday, June 9, 2010
London Ontario to Hollywood: A short hop, skip and JUMP!
GROUCHO MARX COMEDIAN
MARLENE DIETRICH ACTOR
Today I am stoked; Feeling powerful and it is due to music! Downloading the latest widget to give my blog "umpf". However, it did not d/l and I gave away my password. Duh! So what to do? Hopelessly lost in a sea of duh! Won't it be nice when all these things are streamlined and automatic? Maybe or maybe not?
It happened early this a.m. For some unknown reason I had to wake up early; again. This time it was 5 a.m. On the tv I was watching the tail end of the movie with the late great Dennis Hopper named Night Tide. Wow what a movie! I really, really enjoyed it. The cinematography was typical of independent films very arty. The sun streaming over Dennis Hopper's head a foggy-sunny-irradiant late 40's feel; simply amazingly atmospheric. http://www.ovguide.com/movies_tv/night_tide.htm
There were many other elements of the film that attracted me; in particular the gypsy theme; the tarot reader; the mermaid greek legends; even the name of Captain Murdock.
I think this film must have be filmed in the San Diego area. The place seemed vaguely familiar to me; AND YET I HAVE NEVER BEEN THERE BEFORE! Dennis Hopper was fantastic, looking very cleanly classic in his navy uniform. His beautiful star-lit eyes! His first film! He played low key; and just hit the nail on the head with his performance. He brought the film up a few notches; it could have easily have become schlocky, but he brought must taste and refinement to the role.
Director Carrington; truly a master. Having an obsession Ior crush?)for his mentor director Joseph Von Sternberg who directed Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel, etc. Amazing bit of history here; Joseph Von Sternberg taught Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek of The Doors at UCLA a course called "film aesthetics". Riders In the Storm still a favorite of mine.
I took two film courses, in particular; the International Film course at UWO. It still amazes me how a little town like London, Ontario can be the residence of such notables from Hollywood as John Warner (Warner Brothers), Paul Haggis the Director, and the writer of House, David Shore.
Thinking back to Von Sternbery the director. He had this incredible house and drove an incredible Rolls Royce. So did Paul Haggis when he returned from Hollywood in the 70's with his sisters aboard. I often wondered what happened to his sister Joey?Did she ever get that houndstooth coat she wanted so badly. Those were good times! Certainly would love to find out how she is doing; as I went to school with her in Grades seven and eight. Yes it is a small world after all. Life IS indeed like that!
Joseph Von Sternberg's modern house torn down in '72 to make way for silicone valley by the company; Teledyne.(I know dentists invest heavily in Hollywood so why would they tear down a house of this historic significance? Before the Heritage laws I suppose). To this day "Ve vill shoot dis next scene Mit Out Sound!" (With Out Sound) MOS ~ a Von Sternberg phrase still used today"*
Suddenly, I'm reminded me of the various theatre productions staged in London by Paul Haggis in particular Snow White in the 70's. Also all the Theatre London productions in particular remember helping with props on James Reaney's Antler River production. A 150 year commemrative play sponsored by the City of London Ontario. Also remember Our Town in the 60's or 70's starring a friend of ours; actor Don McKay who also starred in episodes of The Twilight Zone.
For a relatively small town theatre is rather a strong influence in the London and surrounding area. The Stratford Shakespearean Festival being the place where Will Shatner, Lorne Greene (Bonanza) got started. I believe Paul Haggis' sister (who I wanted to emulate) was a great actress as well. Helen Shaver from St. Thomas Ontario, Jackie Pillon, from Windsor, oh my gosh, the talent from SW Ontario...truly amazing!
To think how much like California's governor; Von Sternberg (an American/Australian like Arnie Schwartzenegge "May the Schwartz be with you). And the sychronistic almost esoteric mystique with novelist Ayn Rand when she purchased Von Sternberg's modern house; as modern as portrayed in her novel and movie "The Fountainhead". Talk about your "synchronicity"!
There was something so sexy about the movie The Fountainhead; I wonder what that could be; standing on top of his architectural masterpiece and Patricia Neale looking up at him Canada's own Raymond Massey, wantonly (won ton lee?) SPELL CHECK!!! If that wasn't a phallic image; I don't know what is! Reminds me of art class but that's another story!
So this was brief learning lesson today. Next I want to find out more about Gorgons!So much I have learned and have recalled from my good ol' school daze from Magpie Tales and all the fine writers there.
I only can remember them from Popeye anymore!The menopausal brain. Did not reading the Iliad or The Odyssey have any effect on my subconscious? It definitely should have stuck like glue or wet cement on some limbic system. Some kind of Jungian complex of the archetype.Like the Mask of Argemenon in the sky. Set like sticky wet cement or concrete image; a template these images.Like Dan Akroyd in Ghostbusters. Also a fellow Canuck! And Kate Nelligan!Jennie Jones talkshow host. What happened to her after that reality tv fiasco? How could she have known that secret lovers would turn deadly? Impossible! Not in one's wildest dreams. I am sure there are waivers now. Were there back then? Maybe it was too much kiss and tell? Who knows. Anyway her mom made my sister's wedding gown and my bridesmaid dress. I cannot find a pic on the web of her, not on google pics anyway. Hmmm. How would one remove oneself from google if at all famous. Maybe I am not searching carefully enough. I got things to do; I cant spend all day and half the night searching for pics of Jenny Jones! Her mom's Sophies was in the basement of the old New Yorker Cinema where I got to see for the first time Apocalypse Now and Eraserhead. Sophie was such a lovely Greek-Canadian lady; what a business person! I felt sorry when Jennie had to have implants removed. And Sophie's was right across the street on Richmond from Mark Emery's City Lights Bookstore. Where I use to search for underground R. Crumb comics and other things. Oh boy, how does this synchronicity happen; 7 degrees of separation how does it happens?
ALERT CATTLE CALL!!!Cattle Call!!!: Does anyone have any good Greek mini anthologies? Need to refresh my Greek lit classes of the many interconnected gods; I remember a really good poster hanging in my English professor's class; all the gods and demigods. Easy peasy!It is really like remembering all of music's 5200 chords by rote which rots the brain. Yes, Y-E-S!!! there are an awful lot of gods to remember. Maybe a refresher course in Mnemoics would do? That and a couple of diode inserted to the left medula oblongata aka chips for the brain to eat!
And then of course I want to find out all I can about Groucho Marx; my favourite comedian ever. BTW; Did you know Harpo was a Dr. of music? His favourite instrument being guess what? The Irish Harp! Right on! I'll never bore of what I am learning here; what a dream! I think I'll pull up to Von Sternberg's in my Rolls! See you there!jj
GRAND THEATRE LONDON ONTARIO CANADA
Regarding London, Ontario's famous Grand Theatre now called Theatre London (Ontario CAN)
"On September 9, 1901 the New Grand Opera House welcomed its first patrons. Men in elegant evening attire and women in rich gowns took their seats for the opening night performance of the popular melodrama Way Down East. As they applauded that night, the audience did not know they were establishing a century-long tradition.
It was Toronto entrepreneur Ambrose Small who built the theatre and operated it until his mysterious disappearance on December 2 1919. That day, Mr. Small deposited one million dollars in a Toronto bank account, lunched with his wife and was never seen again. Weeks after his disappearance, the night watchman swore he saw Mr. Small entering The Grand Theatre. Despite this lead, police were never able to close the file.
Many believe that Mr. Small’s ghost still keeps a benevolent eye on his beloved theatre.
In 1924, the theatre was purchased by Famous Players Inc. and became a movie house. Between 1945 and 1971, the building was owned and operated by the London Little Theatre. It was one of Canada’s most active and successful amateur theatre companies.
The theatre began a three-year process to become a fully professional regional theatre in 1971. The building itself was beginning to show signs of age and in 1977 it underwent a $5 million renovation. It reopened in 1978 to reclaim its status as one of the most beautiful theatres in Canada. The architectural firm that undertook the renovations was awarded a Governor-General’s award for their re-design of The Grand.
The Grand is an excellent example of the Proscenium Arch Theatre and is one of the more traditional forms of theatrical design. It was designed to send music and sound from the stage into the audience.
Among the great actors who have performed under the magnificent proscenium arch of The Grand are: W.C. Fields, Sarah Bernhardt, Michael Redgrave, Donald O’Connor, Sidney Poitier, Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, Maggie Smith, Michael Burgess, William Hutt, Martha Henry, Karen Kain, Victor Garber, Sandra Oh and Leonard Nimoy."((Yes I saw Leonard Nimoy in 'Letters to Vincent' about Theos letters to the artist Vincent Van Gogh in the early 80's- it was fantastic!)
JACK WARNER DIRECTOR
KATE NELLIGAN ACTOR
RAYMOND MASSEY ACTOR
DAN AYKROYD ACTOR
LORNE GREENE ACTOR
DAVID SHORE PRODUCER DIRECTOR WRITER
JAQUELINE PILLON ACTOR
PAUL HAGGIS DIRECTOR PRODUCER WRITER
HELEN SHAVER ACTOR
FESTIVAL THEATRE STRATFORD ONTARIO
SPACEBALLS THE MOVIE
GOV ARNOLD SCHWARTZENEGGER ACTOR POLITICIAN
DENNIS HOPPER ACTORNIGHT TIDE
JOSEPH VON STERNBERG DIRECTOR
JAMES REANEY PLAYWRIGHT
MARK EMERY ACTOR
VON STERNBERG DIRECTOR
R CRUMB NATURALMAN AKA MR. NATURAL
(FROM R.CRUMB website)http://www.crumbproducts.com/
KING FEATURES TM
DR HARPO MARX