gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
Somebody put my father's movie Face of Fire (1959) up on YouTube. My dad wrote the script (from a story by Stephen Crane), but he also makes a cameo appearance at the 33-minute mark. He's the guy in the barber's chair who makes fun of the barber's accent and laughs. My dad wore glasses, so it's odd to see him without them...but also he's six years younger than he was when I was born. (My mom has a brief non-speaking part in the film, but I can't remember exactly where.) The movie was shot in Sweden, shortly after my parents were married.

gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I've finished chapter 21 of this draft of the Jo book, and am working on chapter 22 (though it's a tough one).

Word count: 65,553

Page count: 229

Four chapters to go?!


Today is General Hospital's 49th anniversary. I do hope ABC lets it live until 50, at least. Someone posted a cool early GH promo on YouTube, and to my surprise, it also features a promo for the ABC daytime show my dad wrote, Day in Court. As far as I know, this is the only available footage of the show, as ABC wiped the tapes. I hadn't realized that the show my dad wrote was GH's lead-in! I did know that my dad knew Frank and Doris Hursley, GH's creators, but now I understand why--they were working for ABC Daytime at the same time!

gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
While the rest of the country is having a snowpocalypse, we in LA are having a mini-summer. The Garage Kitty is pleased, and I can't say I'm not. Today I braved the mall, which was not fun (especially driving in and out of the parking lot), but my holiday shopping is now pretty much done. Hooray.

Last night I watched a documentary on the late John Cazale, who appeared in only five films, but what five films: the first two Godfather movies, The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon (possibly my favorite movie ever), and The Deer Hunter (which my dad co-wrote). My dad would've loved this documentary. I hadn't realized Cazale and Meryl Streep were a couple, and I couldn't remember whether Cazale had come to the Academy Awards the year The Deer Hunter won awards--but no, he died of lung cancer before the movie was released. I remember seeing young Meryl Streep in the ladies' room at the Oscars, but I had no idea of everything she'd just been through. Anyway, the documentary is wonderful.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I remember the day John Lennon died so clearly. I thought I would write about that today, but I find I don't want to. Instead I've been thinking about my dad taking me to Beatles and solo Beatles marathons at movie theaters and Beatlefests back in the 1970s, when that was the only way you could see this stuff, back in the pre-DVD, pre-YouTube age.

My sisters were teenagers in the 1960s, so I grew up hearing the Beatles on the radio (along with Donovan and Tiny Tim). My sister Luane took me to see Yellow Submarine when I was tiny. Then in 1976 I became a full-fledged Beatlemaniac. I had a burning crush on Ringo Starr, but I wanted to BE John Lennon.

Back then the sixties didn't seem that far off. There were still rumors that the Beatles would get back together, and all four Beatles had active solo careers. (John Lennon's career was on hiatus, but in 1976 no one really knew that yet.) It was somewhat more of an endeavor back then to acquire all the Beatles' and solo Beatles' recorded output--but I set about doing that, and then moved on to the bootlegs. Here's a Lennon 10-inch bootleg I particularly enjoyed.

As for the Beatles feature films, it was possible to see them on TV (though the first time I saw HELP! on the 3:30 movie, they'd cut out about half an hour!). But for the promo films and other assorted appearances, you had to be on the lookout for Beatle marathons at revival houses (and, once a year, Beatlefest). My dad kindly drove me to these events and sat through hours upon hours upon HOURS of Beatle and solo Beatle material. Thankfully he liked 'em, and it's a happy memory for me, seeing John Lennon sing "Instant Karma" with my dad. I'm pretty sure I saw this clip with him too:

gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I'm drinking Rhysling and enjoying the tailend of my weekend. Today has included: noveling (revising and researching the Jo book), watching Dark Shadows (Julia Hoffman accidentally turns Barnabas into an old man, oh noes! and he must drink blood to look younger again, so lovestruck Julia volunteers, but Barnabas demurs and instead attacks Carolyn, who lets out a bloodcurdling scream), working on a poem, and watching Dexter and Sherlock.

I am enjoying the hell out of Sherlock, which, like the best Sherlock Holmes media, makes me fannish about Holmes all over again (and also makes me want to write a Holmes story, which I've wanted to do for many, many years).

Sherlock Holmes was probably my first fandom (unless you count the Oz books). I was aided and abetted by my father, who took me to a day-long Holmes conference at UCLA when I was maybe ten years old, who bought me the Annotated Sherlock Holmes and took me to meetings of the Noncanonical Calabashes. (I was the youngest member, probably by at least thirty years.) Christopher Lee gave a wonderful, witty talk at one of these meetings. Around the same time (sometime in the mid-70s?), I also saw Leonard Nimoy play Holmes in a theatrical production! I think the pre-teen Holmes geek I was would be glad to know I'm still having fannish Holmes moments...
gwynnega: (Default)
Here's the trailer for my dad's extremely silly (but successful) movie The Doberman Gang (1972). I remember seeing the movie in the theater when it first came out, and liking it a lot. (I must've been seven at the time!) It spawned two sequels, one starring Fred Astaire. After The Deer Hunter came out, I told my dad he ought to always put animals in the titles of his films, since they were so successful...

gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
Because it's Father's Day, here's the trailer for one of my dad's movies, I Bury the Living.

The whole movie's on YouTube, too.
gwynnega: (Default)
Some of you will remember that my dad, Louis Garfinkle, co-wrote The Deer Hunter. So I went with my parents to the Oscars in 1979. My parents sat up front, and I sat further towards the back with my cousin. My dad's movie was up for lots of awards, and it was very nervewracking, which I hadn't expected it to be. I remember John Wayne announcing that The Deer Hunter had won for best picture. I also remember being in the ladies' room with a young Meryl Streep. (I think she got her first ever Oscar nomination that year, though she didn't win.)

I remember Christopher Walken winning for best supporting actor. But what I didn't remember is that Christopher Walken beat out John Hurt! I was in the same room with John Hurt, and I didn't even know it!?! (Because I hadn't become a fan of his quite yet.)

My dad and his writing partners were nominated for best screenplay but didn't win--Coming Home did. But wow, also in that category were Woody Allen (for Interiors, not a great film as I recall), Ingmar Bergman (for the awesome Autumn Sonata), and Paul Mazursky (for the very good An Unmarried Woman). Excellent company, Dad!
gwynnega: (Obama hope)
From Neil Gaiman's blog, and elsewhere:

The religious right is mounting a nationwide campaign to push back against the loosening of restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, during this current 15 day comment period. 99% of the thousands of comments received so far are from people who oppose it. Those of us in favor of loosening the restrictions are asking folks to get informed on the new guidelines, comment (there's an online NIH form; see below), and alert their friends and family members to do likewise.

Here's more info:


My late father suffered from Parkinson's disease, so stem cell research funding is very close to my heart. I've commented on the NIH form here. You have until May 26th to weigh in on the subject.
gwynnega: (Ernest Thesiger)
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Forrest J Ackerman. My dad knew him, and according to my mom, my parents visited his memorabilia-laden home many years ago. My mom can't remember how my dad and FJA met--whether perhaps it had to do with some project they were working on (my dad was a screenwriter).

When I was a monster-movie-loving kid in the mid 1970s, my dad presented me with several issues of Famous Monsters of Filmland FJA had given him, including ISSUE #2. As I recall, these issues had great photos from the 1930s Universal films I loved and the silent horror films I hadn't yet seen--but they also included lots of photos from later movies I had no interest in. Thus I, being a child and having no idea of what these items might be worth, proceeded to cut the magazines up and save my favorite pictures. ACK! It seems to me I had at least one late 1960s issue that featured Dark Shadows, however this was about thirty years before I became a Dark Shadows fan.

After my dad gave me those issues, I faithfully bought Famous Monsters from my local newsstand every month and read it cover to cover.

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