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The writer of “Silver Screen Reflections” remembers film historian and Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne, who died this morning at the age of 84.
Born on May 3, 1932 in the town of Colfax, Washington; Osborne would discover the art of motion pictures at an early age. He majored in the field of journalism at the University of Washington, he graduated in 1954. He would spend two years in the United States Air Force, serving as a lieutenant.
Osborne in Hollywood
Shortly after his stint in the Air Force, Osborne decided to pursue an acting career. According to Mike Barnes’ retrospective on Osborne in The Hollywood Reporter, he appeared in a regional stage production of “The Night Must Fall” with veteran actress Jane Darwell. Darwell encouraged Osborne to pursue his acting career in Hollywood.
He was then signed to Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball’s production company, Desilu in 1959. That same year, he appeared in “The Desilu Revue,” which was part of the “Westinghouse-Desilu Playhouse” anthology series.
The writer of “Silver Screen Reflections” remembers actress Carrie Fisher, who died on the morning of Dec. 27 at the age of 60.
According to Deadline.com (an offshoot of Variety Magazine), Fisher suffered a massive heart attack on Fri., Dec. 23 during her flight from London to Los Angeles.
Born on Oct. 21, 1956 to actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher, her parents’ marriage did not last long due to her father’s scandalous affair with actress Elizabeth Taylor. According to Jenna Girard’s online retrospective on Carrie Fisher for Turner Classic Movies, Carrie Fisher decided to follow her mother’s footsteps by going into the entertainment business.
In 1975, Fisher made her silver screen debut by appearing in Hal Ashby’s comedy “Shampoo,” featuring Warren Beatty, Goldie Hawn and Julie Christie. Two years later, Fisher would act in a role that would transform her into an international icon. The rest is motion picture history.
The “Star Wars” Franchise
Beginning in 1977 with George Lucas’ “Star Wars” (Episode IV: A New Hope), Fisher would play the role of Princess Leia, alongside Harrison Ford (as Han Solo) and Mark Hamill (as Luke Skywalker). Lucas’ film was a smash success and launched a cultural phenomenon. She would reprise her role of Leia in “The Empire Strikes Back” (Episode V, 1980) and “Return of the Jedi” (Episode VI, 1983). 32 years later, Fisher would reprise her role of Leia, this time as a General in “The Force Awakens” (Episode VII, 2015), directed by J.J. Abrams.
In addition to her involvement with the original “Star Wars” film trilogy, she also made appearances in various films, including “The Blues Brothers” (1980, opposite Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi), “When Harry Met Sally…”(1989, with Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan and Bruno Kirby) and numerous other motion pictures. Aside from numerous guest appearances on television shows throughout her screen career, her most recent television role was playing the mother of Rob Delaney’s character in the series “Catastrophe” (a co-production of Amazon Studios and Britain’s Channel Four Television).
According to Seth Kelley and Cynthia Littleton’s article in Variety, Fisher recently filmed several episodes of the show in London.
She would overcome her drug and alcohol problems in her screen career, which would be the basis for her successful novel, “Postcards from the Edge,” which was made into a film by Mike Nichols in 1990 (with Meryl Streep in the role of actress Suzanne Vale, based off of Fisher’s real-life accounts). Fisher also wrote the screenplay for the motion picture adaptation of her novel, thus becoming a script doctor and screenwriter for numerous film and television programs.
This year, she earned a lifetime achievement award from Harvard University in the field of cultural humanitarianism.
Update (12/28): The Associated Press reported this evening that Fisher’s mother, actress Debbie Reynolds died at the age of 84, one day after the death of her daughter. Survivors include Fisher’s brother Todd, her daughter Billie Lourd (who is currently starring in the Fox series “Scream Queens”) and a canine companion, a French bulldog named Gary. A retrospective post on Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds will be on “Silver Screen Reflections” soon.
Silver Screen Reflections remembers iconic actress Carrie Fisher (1956-2016).
Tribune’s Antenna TV network will honor the life and legacy of Carrie Fisher by showing her 1983 appearance on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” (alongside guest Garry Shandling, who died earlier this year) on Wed., Dec. 28 at 11 p.m. Eastern/10 p.m. Central. The episode will repeat on Antenna TV at 2 a.m. Eastern/1 a.m. Central.
In the Frederick, Maryland/Washington, D.C. area, Antenna TV can be found on WDCW-TV 50.2 (over-the-air) and on Comcast 201.
The writer of “Silver Screen Reflections” wishes all readers (and “fellow fiends of the Matinee”) a happy and safe Halloween! Be sure to watch your favorite vintage (or modern) horror flick on this day full of spooks, tricks and treats. From Dracula to The Wolf Man, to Frankenstein’s monster and the Gill-Man (“Creature From The Black Lagoon”), to The Mummy and The Invisible Man– there’s something for every fan of horror-riffic cinema!
And if you haven’t checked it out: Svengoolie’s legendary “Svengoolie Stomp” (performed by Sven and legendary Rock & Roll icon Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, is now available on iTunes and on a special limited edition 45 RPM single)!
There will be more in store throughout the month of November on “Silver Screen Reflections.” Stay tuned (and once more, Happy Halloween)!
SIDEBAR (For all posts): The author of this site does not endorse/approve any WordPress political advertisements. The author of this blog is not affiliated with any of the advertisers on WordPress.
One year ago today, the companion site to “At the Matinee” launched on WordPress as a blog that was originally written for Online Journalism.
“Silver Screen Reflections:” One-Year Anniversary
The management of “Silver Screen Reflections” has experienced interesting (and entertaining) motion pictures in cinemas (including revival screenings), television showings (including streaming) and interesting facts about classic/cult films.
From the latest information in vintage/cult film (and television programs), to revival screenings, fun facts about motion pictures and related events to classic cinema in the Frederick area (and beyond), the writer of “Silver Screen Reflections” has covered many stories on the art of classic movies.
There will be more in store for October on “Silver Screen Reflections”
Be on the lookout for future articles on classic/cult film throughout the month of October on “Silver Screen Reflections.” To all friends of the Matinee, thanks for reading! “Don’t ignore good entertainment.”
-All the best,
Blog Writer/Creator, “Silver Screen Reflections”
Host of “Yours Truly, Chris Hamby” on Hood College’s Blazer Radio
SIDEBAR (For all posts): The author of this site does not endorse any WordPress political advertisements.
PROLOGUE: This editorial piece is not endorsed or approved by any studio or cinema circuit/firm.
Throughout the years, many cinema venues have come and gone in Frederick. Today, the area’s cinema choices consist of Regal’s first-run 16-plex Westview Promenade complex, the second-run Holiday Cinemas and for classic/retro screen entertainment, The Weinberg Center For The Arts (the former Tivoli cinema, whenever live stage performances are not taking place).
With the industry’s transition from releasing physical film prints to distributing content through digital cinema platforms (via hard drive or satellite-fed content), it has opened the window to classic, cult and special movie events being shown in select theaters from coast-to-coast in addition to current releases.
“Silver Screen Reflections” asks: Is it time for another first-run cinema venue in Frederick?
Due to the area having only one first-run cinema location, the Frederick area has missed out on many opportunities to showcase special Fathom Events screenings of cult/classic films and special events.
Other estimated factors may include licensing costs, lack of equipment (and auditorium/venue space) to showcase content, or lack of interest.
These include (but are not limited to) Turner Classic Movies’ “Big Screen Classics” classic/cult film showcase, “RiffTrax Live” theatrical film riffing events (featuring MST3K alums Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy), independent features, along with live broadcasts of rock concerts, performances direct from the Metropolitan Opera and other popular big-name venues throughout the world.
Viable possibilities for another first-run cinema in the Frederick area:
Something for everyone: Classic, cult and independent films, along with other special cinema events (including live events being broadcast) would be a perfect complement in addition to recent releases.
Discount ticket prices for college students and senior citizens (in addition to “bargain matinee” showdates): Perfect for every taste in cinematic entertainment.
A theater that’s visually appealing in theatrical picture and sound presentation: A venue that would rival the traditional “cookie-cutter” cineplex exhibition rooms of today.
People may not want to drive far to see their favorite films on the big screen (if the film is unavailable for showing in the area):**– Though this may sound awkward to some, many are still saving money due to the lackluster economy.
**Unless if it is a good cinema/theatrical venue.
The Management of “Silver Screen Reflections” would like to hear from you!
Whether you are for or against the idea of another first-run cineplex venue in the Frederick area, “Silver Screen Reflections” gladly welcomes comments and additional suggestions on this.
The thought of another first-run cinema venue means that it doesn’t have to be the size of the ArcLight cineplex in Bethesda, Cinemark’s Egyptian 24 multiplex at Arundel Mills or an Alamo Drafthouse venue- just something that would give Regal’s Westview cineplex some competition.
All comments and suggestions are welcome through:
It’s time for “RiffTrax Live: Time Chasers Encore Presentation”
About 40 theatergoers attended the re-broadcast of the RiffTrax Live event at Regal Cinemas’ Germantown 14 cineplex venue on the evening of May 17. Presented in conjunction with Fathom Events, the RiffTrax event was originally seen live via satellite in select theaters from coast-to-coast earlier this month.
The special presentation featured RiffTrax founders (and MST3K alums) Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett riffing David Giancola’s 1994 low-budget sleeper, “Time Chasers.” The event was filmed on May 5 at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s James K. Polk Theater in Nashville, Tennessee.
Before “Time Chasers:” A Short Subject
Shortly before the presentation of “Time Chasers,” the cast of RiffTrax hilariously mocked the 1948 Castle Films* short subject oddity that was released for the home movie market, “Chimp the Fireman.”
According to Scott MacGillvray’s book, “Castle Films: A Hobbyist’s Guide,” the film was a condensed version of a film that was originally released by Paramount Pictures in 1936, titled “The Rookie Fireman.” The short was later reissued by Universal Studios** as “Mr. Chimp to the Rescue” in 1946.
After the riffed Castle short, it was time for the RiffTrax version of “Time Chasers.” The film was originally mocked on “Mystery Science Theater 3000” (Episode #821), which originally aired on Nov. 22, 1997.
Filmed in Vermont four years before it was released (according to Satellite News), the film was about a Castleton University professor and amateur aviator (portrayed by Matthew Bruch) that developed a time machine through the use of his Commodore 64 computer, only to prevent the misuse of the device from the hands of an evil CEO (portrayed by George Woodard).
“Time Chasers” had all essential elements of cheesy movies- instances of overacting, various continuity problems and unusual dialogue bits. In the spirit of MST3K, Mike, Kevin and Bill made the film more hilarious through the fine art of riffing.
The entire audience at the “RiffTrax Live: Time Chasers” rebroadcast in Germantown enjoyed every minute of the event. According to one Germantown moviegoer who identified himself as “Pete,” he enjoyed his first taste of RiffTrax on the big screen.
“This was a lot of fun,” he said.
An exciting time that was enjoyed by all
From the jovial pre-show trivia segment, to the digital goodie pacakge, to the riffing of “Chimp the Fireman” and “Time Chasers,” this RiffTrax presentation was a hilarious and worthwhile experience. It would have been nice if Regal’s Germantown cinema complex had posters or placards identifying the RiffTrax event, instead of a generic “special presentation” placard.
Aside from all that, RiffTrax’s presentation of “Time Chasers” was fun and enjoyable.
A “Silver Screen Reflections” Shout-Out: The writer of “Silver Screen Reflections” (along with a friend who declined to be mentioned in this blog post) would like to thank the people at RiffTrax and Fathom Events for the press passes to the rebroadcast of “RiffTrax Live: Time Chasers.” It was an enjoyable and fun experience. Thank you letting us be a part of the presentation!
SIDEBAR: *Castle Films was better known for reissuing short “highlight” versions of older Universal films for the home market, including Abbott & Costello comedies and the studio’s legendary horror features (after 1947, when Universal acquired the home movie distribution firm and put it under the studio’s nontheatrical unit, United World Films).
**”Chimp The Fireman” was not connected to Universal’s later acquisition of the pre-1948 Paramount Pictures sound motion picture library. The pre-48 Paramount films (excluding shorts) were acquired by MCA for television syndication in the late 1950s and would become a part of Universal’s library in 1962, when MCA acquired Decca Records (American Decca), then-parent of Universal.