Peter Bogdanovich Says It Only Took ‘One Good Idea’ to Make His Buster Keaton Doc ‘The Great Buster’
Almost half a century after he made a documentary about director John Ford, Peter Bodganovich is back with his second look at a classic filmmaker. “The Great Buster: A Celebration,” in which the director of “The Last Picture Show” and “What’s Up, Doc?” follows the life and career of pioneering silent comic and peerless stuntman Buster Keaton, opens on Friday at the Nuart in Los Angeles.
Featuring abundant Keaton footage, from the classic boulder chase in “Seven Chances” to television commercials he made near the end of his life, “The Great Buster” also finds Bogdanovich talking about Keaton with a potpourri of fans that includes Quentin Tarantino, Mel Brooks, Werner Herzog and Johnny Knoxville.
The film is structured chronologically, with one big exception: When it gets to 1923, when Keaton began a string of 10 landmark features that included “The General” and “Steamboat Bill, Jr.,” it jumps forward six years and saves the best stuff for last.
Bogdanovich, who was also instrumental in Netflix’s recent completion of the early ’70s Orson Welles movie “The Other Side of Midnight,” spoke to TheWrap about Keaton, old movies and why he’s not worried about the demise of the video store.
You haven’t done a documentary on a filmmaker since “Directed by John Ford” in 1971, have you?
So why do one on Buster Keaton?
Did you pass up chances to meet them?
I definitely had a chance to meet Noel Coward, and it was sort of stupid of me. I was in Vevey in Switzerland, shooting “Daisy Miller,” and he was just up the mountain there. I thought, “Well, he’s not going to want to meet some young American director, why should I bother him?”
But he died about a year later, and about a year after that I met his executor, Graham Payn, because Audrey Hepburn and I were talking about doing “Private Lives” on Broadway. And Graham said, “You know, one of the last films that Noel saw was ‘Paper Moon,’ and he loved it.”
And I thought, “S—.” I would like to have heard him say that.
Do you remember your first exposure to Keaton?
I loved Keaton. In fact, when I made the chase sequence in “What’s Up, Doc,” I said, “This is a Buster Keaton chase.” There were only a couple of jokes we stole from Keaton, I think, but the idea was sort of Keaton-esque.
I assume you started the film with a pretty good idea of the story that you’re going to tell. Did it change much in the making?
Luckily, the Venice Film Festival had celebrated him a year before he died, so I could use that in the plot to bring the features back.
It’s tricky, though, when you’re going through the chronology and then you get to the great features and say, “We’ll come back to these later.”
You have to trust that the audience will say, “OK, you can skip the good stuff.”
We’ve all seen the classic Keaton sequences, and you can never watch that boulder chase from “Seven Chances” enough. But were you conscious of trying to create a mixture of stuff that Keaton fans would have seen with stuff they wouldn’t have seen?
But you also have things that aren’t familiar, like the TV commercials he did late in his life. Was there footage you found that surprised you?
So making this film sounds like a pretty smooth process.
We’re in an era now where if you want to see an old Buster Keaton movie, you can probably do it with a few clicks. With the rise of Netflix and Amazon and all, more old movies are available immediately than ever before. But if you can’t find it online, the video stores that would actually have stuff like that are…
Is that troubling to you?
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www.thewrap.com | 10/20/18
Tele München Group’s world sales unit, TM International, has sold its high-end television series “The Name of the Rose,” starring John Turturro, to multiple territories, including the BBC in the U.K., Sky in Germany and OCS in France. Additionally it has been acquired by YLE in Finland, NRK in Norway, DR in Denmark, SBS in […]
variety.com | 10/15/18
Maria Sten is joining the cast of “Swamp Thing,” Warner Bros. announced Friday.
Sten will play Liz Tremayne, who is described as “a close childhood friend of Abby Arcane’s (played by Crystal Reed, splits her time between reporting for the local paper and bartending at her aging father’s roadhouse bar. Her no-nonsense attitude belies a deep compassion for her friends and family as she sets out in her uncompromising quest to expose the secrets that threaten her beloved hometown.”
“Swamp Thing” tells the story of CDC doctor Abby Arcane as she investigates a seemingly deadly swamp-born virus in small-town Louisiana. But Abby soon discovers that the swamp holds secrets, and when unexplainable horrors emerge, no one is safe.
Sten began her career as a dancer and a model, and was named Miss Denmark in 2008. She will star in the upcoming fourth season of Syfy’s anthology horror series “Channel Zero.” She is repped by CAA, Grandview, and Andre Des Rochers of Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers.
James Wan, Mark Verheiden, Gary Dauberman, Michael Clear and Len Wiseman executive produce “Swamp Thing,” which is based on DC characters created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson. Rob Hackett is co-producer. The series is produced by Atomic Monster in association with Warner Bros. Television. Verheiden and Dauberman are writing the first episode and Wiseman is set to direct.
“Swamp Thing” is based on the DC characters created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson. Mark Verheiden and Gary Dauberman write the series, from James Wan’s Atomic Monster in association with Warner Bros. Television.
“Swamp Thing” is one of several live-action series coming to the new digital platform DC Universe, including “Stargirl,” which was announced at Comic-Con, “Doom Patrol,” a revival of the Cartoon Network series “Young Justice,” the live-action Lois Lane-Lex Luthor series “Metropolis,” and an animated Harley Quinn series.
DC Universe will launch its streaming service on Sept. 15, with its first series, “Titans” premiering on Oct. 12.
Deadline was first to report the news of Sten’s casting.
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www.thewrap.com | 9/7/18
Please give a warm welcome to celebrity blogger Louise Roe!
The English television star and style expert married Mackenzie Hunkin in October 2016, at Eton College Chapel in her native England.
Roe, 36, and Hunkin welcomed their first child, daughter Honor Florence Crosby, on Jan. 11, giving PEOPLE an exclusive peek at her baby girl’s English-inspired nursery shortly after her birth.
You can following along with the new mom’s adventures in all things style and parenting on her blog at louiseroe.com, and on Instagram and Twitter @louiseroe.
Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter.
RELATED GALLERY: Inside New Mom Louise Roe’s English Country-Inspired L.A. Home
I’ve talked a bit about this subject on the blog before, but today I wanted to have an honest conversation with you guys about something that has become very personal to me in recent months: the idea of “maternity leave,” and defining what it means in 2018.
Before I go into what I went through myself, I did a little digging on the history of maternity leave. You might be shocked by the results. First off, less than 50 years ago, there was no such thing as maternity leave. And until the 1940s, women working in the civil service in the U.K. had to retire when they married. And even as more women entered the workforce, provisions for maternity leave (which protected them from being fired when they became pregnant) weren’t introduced until the ’70s in many European countries.
What’s worse, laws demanding a minimum of 12 weeks unpaid leave weren’t introduced in the U.S. until as late as 1993. 1993?! The point is — the act of balancing work and family life has been a large issue for working women over the last half century or so.
RELATED: Co-Workers Gifting New Moms PTO to Help Extend Short Maternity Leaves — and People Have Opinions
After having Honor, it really hit home that the notion of maternity leave isn’t the same for everyone — in fact, for many, it doesn’t exist at all. With my own story, it’s a bit of a toss-up. On the one hand, I am extremely lucky — Mackenzie and I mostly get to plan and arrange our own schedule, work from home a lot and therefore see a lot of Honor. But on the flip side, I was back shooting and writing just days after the birth, and I returned to filming an 11-hour day on my feet, when she was just 6 weeks old.
It was my first time back on the red carpet — the Oscars. No pressure there, then! There was a lot more prep and pressure than usual, trying to do research while my brain was still fuzzy and on very little sleep, finding a dress to flatter a newly postpartum middle, pumping enough for Honor in the bathroom just minutes before going out onto the carpet and praying that the boob pads inside my gown didn’t leak or fall out (which they nearly did!) during filming. And on top of that, I felt so guilty leaving her so soon.
RELATED VIDEO: Khloé Kardashian Admits She’s “Very Anxious” About Leaving Baby True to Return to Work
I had a similar experience leaving for a 48-hour work trip to Italy when she was 3 months. Even though my mother-in-law came to L.A. to help me and it was such a short trip, I felt incredibly guilty again and had to deal with crazy new experiences — like pumping regularly in the loo of an airplane and trying to sterilize 12 pieces of pumping equipment every three hours around the clock, in a 15th-century hotel room in Verona! Sounds more romantic than it was, trust me! This all made me realize that most of my friends in L.A. are self employed or freelance, and therefore have no traditional “maternity leave” either. So while we have more flexibility in our schedules, it’s often even harder to balance and juggle everything because work never stops.
We are not the only ones. Between 2008 and 2011, 80 percent of people entering self-employment were female, according to official figures. Not only are you bewildered and exhausted, as all new parents are, you feel extra guilty wondering if it’s too early to go back.
Unlike having traditional paid leave, as a freelancer, when you don’t work, you don’t get paid. But even for women who work at traditional companies, not all states are required to provide paid leave — so mothers are often faced with the decision of how much time to take off, balanced with their financial restrictions. Overall, it’s a lot of mixed emotions and hard decisions to make.
RELATED: Louise Roe Shows Off Daughter Honor’s “Elegant” Nursery Inspired by the English Countryside
It’s important that women know their local laws surrounding maternity leave, and even their individual company policies and benefits, so that they are able to properly communicate with their employers and know what to expect. In the U.S., there is a federal law mandating 12 weeks of unpaid leave, though not all companies provide paid leave at all. In other countries, women are entitled to much longer paid leave, ranging from 14 weeks to a year in some places like Denmark, Finland and Sweden. In England, you get six months paid leave and the option to extend to another six months unpaid, where they keep your job open.
While “maternity leave” may not mean the same thing for everyone, balancing going back to work with family life is always a juggle no matter where you work or what you do. There are practical things every mother can do to ease the transition back to work a little. Wear breast pads if you’re breastfeeding to keep from leaking, and speak to your boss about having a private place to pump (many big companies like Amazon and Facebook even have special lactation rooms for female employees, while places like airports are shockingly bad).
You may also need to communicate to them ahead of time that you will be needing certain breaks to pump throughout the day (the law requires that they allow these breaks to you, but many women — and even employers — may not be aware of these rights!). It’s also worth checking to see if your employer has childcare available. Large firms here in L.A. such as NBC Universal have nurseries for employees’ babies. See if you can negotiate a shorter week and do not be shy, embarrassed or feel guilty about making it known you will be leaving on time. There are so many company cultures in which employees feel that they can’t leave until the boss does, or feel competitive around “staying late.” This is nearly impossible as a mum and is not acceptable to be pressured into!
RELATED: Louise Roe and Husband Mackenzie Hunkin Welcome Daughter Honor Florence Crosby
Frequent traveler? With a doctor’s letter, you can freeze your air miles during pregnancy and some of your maternity leave, and you can even get a household account so that your baby can be added once they are ready to come along.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Expect to have the odd meltdown. It truly is impossible to do it all (if you need a good laugh about the idea of women “having it all” — literally, having all the responsibilities in the word — read this New Yorker article). Emotions (not to mention hormones) run high, and it’s easy to feel at times like you’re always letting someone down.
Ask for help (Granny?!), call your best friend to unload — even better if she’s a mum who has been through it), accept the fact you might have to spend a few weekends catching up on sleep instead of having fun and keep a bottle of wine open in the fridge at ALL TIMES. Use apps like Peanut or The Bump to get support from other mums, ask questions and share advice.
people.com | 8/23/18
The media of Denmark is dominated by a few large corporations. In printed media JP/Politikens Hus and Berlingske Media, between them, control the largest news papers Politiken, Berlingske Tidende and Jyllands Posten and major tabloids BT and Ekstrabladet. In television publicly owned stations Danmarks Radio (DR) and TV2 has large shares of the viewers. In radio DR has a near monopoly, currently broadcasting on all 4 nationally available FM channels, competing only with local stations.