Fellini’s Three Bank of Rome Commercials, the Last Thing He Did Behind a Camera (1992)

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It happened before, and it still happens now and again today, but in the second half of the twentieth century, auteurs really got into making commercials: Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard, David Lynch. Not, perhaps, the first names in filmmaking you’d associate with commerciality, but there we have it.


Saul Bass’ Jazzy 1962 Animation Tackles the 1626 Sale of Manhattan

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You know that story about Dutch settlers buying the whole of Manhattan for $24 (or 60 guilders) worth of junk jewelry? Not true. 
What really happened in 1626 is closer in spirit to those old yarns about hapless suckers tricked into buying the Brooklyn Bridge by cunning locals.


Don Pardo (1918-2014), Voice of Saturday Night Live, Suggests Using Short Words

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Don Pardo voiced the introductions of Saturday Night Live for 38 seasons. He began calling out the names of the S.N.L. cast members during the first episode in October, 1975, and (except for the 1981-82 season) he kept calling out those names straight through last May.


Charles & Ray Eames’ Iconic Lounge Chair Debuts on American TV (1956)

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Living in Los Angeles, I suppose I could go up and have a look (albeit a distant one) at Charles and Ray Eames‘ Eames House any time I like.


Watch the First Episode of Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy, Of Which Stanley Kubrick Became a Big Fan

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Osamu Tezuka is one of the great creative forces of the 20th century. Known in his native Japan as the “god of manga,” Tezuka was mind-bogglingly productive, cranking out around 170,000 pages of comics in his 60 years of life.


The 1985 Soviet TV Adaptation of The Hobbit: Cheap and Yet Strangely Charming

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If you call yourself a Tolkien fanboy or fangirl, you’ve almost certainly kept up with the various film and television adaptations of not just the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but of its predecessor, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. Tolkien’s first children’s novel (or so the literary world first received it).


Dick Van Dyke, Paul Lynde & the Original Cast of Bye Bye Birdie Appear on The Ed Sullivan Show (1961)

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Think back, if you will to the dawn of the 60′s, or failing that, the third season of Mad Men, when Broadway musicals could still be considered legitimate adult entertainment and Bye Bye Birdie was the hottest ticket in town.


A 17-Year-Old David Bowie Defends “Long-Haired Men” in His First TV Interview (1964)

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Have you heard of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men? If not, you can’t say you know all of David Bowie’s groups.


Leonard Cohen Guest Stars on Miami Vice (1986)

≡ Category: Music, Television |3 Comments

Leonard Cohen is the Canadian Bob Dylan. While best known perhaps as a singer-songwriter who penned the tune “Hallelujah” — which was covered by Jeff Buckley, John Cale and just about everyone else under the sun — he was also at varying points in his colorful life a poet, a novelist, a law student and a Zen monk.


Ubu Roi: Alfred Jarry’s Scandalous Play Strikingly Adapted for Television (1965)

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“Merdre,” the very first word spoken in Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi, needs no introduction. When it first opened — and closed — on stage in 1896, it didn’t have to do much more than that to get its audience worked up.


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