Stanley’s bad behaviour
Confronting the beast in American culture
Of the two Stanleys in Alex North’s creative life, Stanley Kubrick was the biggest jerk. North, born on this day (December 4) in 1910, was the A-list composer that director Kubrick called in to score his 1968 sci-fi feature 2001: A Space Odyssey. At the time, North had nine Academy Award nominations to his credit, including one for his previous collaboration with Kubrick, the 1960 epic Spartacus. At the 2001 premiere screening, North was shocked to discover that his music had been replaced by an eccentric selection of cuts from the director’s own classical record collection. Lied to and insulted by the self-indulgent Kubrick, North enjoyed better relations with such directors as Daniel Mann, with whom he worked on seven features, John Huston (five features) and Martin Ritt (four features). The other Stanley closely linked to North was Stanley Kowalski. The brutish creation of playwright Tennessee Williams, Kowalski first strutted the stage 70 years ago yesterday (December 3, 1947), when A Streetcar Named Desire premiered on Broadway. Four years later, its director Elia Kazan was preparing a movie adaptation. He called the New York-based North to Hollywood to write the music. More than up to the task, the innovative composer created film’s first all-jazz score. It earned him the first of his 15 Oscar nominations, as well as the enduring respect of his artistic colleagues. Included on the American Film Institute’s 2005 list of all-time best movie scores, North’s music remains the highlight of Kazan’s 1951 screen classic A Streetcar Named Desire.
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In pursuit of something more
“Reliable” is the word often used to describe James Naughton, the New York-based character actor who’s been a familiar face on television since 1972. Born on this day (December 6) in 1945, his first feature film starring role was in director Don Shibib’s 1976 tale of inner conflict, Second Wind.
Celebrating secret love
Life less like tango, more a fandango
She is one of just 23 performers to claim acting’s triple crown — an Oscar, a Tony and an Emmy Award. Born on this day (December 7) in 1932, Ellen Burstyn reprised her Broadway triumph on the big screen, co-starring with Alan Alda in director Robert Mulligan's 1978 adaptation of Same Time, Next Year.
The hills are a life
Alpine acting bred a love of geology
In town to promote the 1973 re-release of The Sound of Music, retired child actor Duane Chase was unexpectedly forthcoming about his tolerance for X-rated movies. Born on this day (December 12) in 1950, the 22-year-old Chase admitted to seeing “a lot of them.”
From stage to screen
My Blog; Your Guide to What's New
Happy Place, Pamela Mala Sinha’s look into the lives of seven women who have attempted suicide, has its Vancouver premiere tonight (October 20). Last week during a “meet & greet,” the Winnipeg-born actress-playwright talked about her play’s upcoming motion picture adaptation.