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Entries in Jeffrey Schwarz (3)

May 25 2017

The Link Down

It's impossible to keep up these days.So herewith a bunch of news we haven't covered and other enjoyable places to go on the web today...

Baz Lurhmannhas written a letter to fans about the cancellation ofThe Get Down,his Netflix series.My favorite bit because I like having him on the big screen in 2 hour doses:

All sorts of things have been thrown around for the future...even a stage show (can you imagine that?I can,concert version anyone?Next summer?Just saying.) But the simple truth is,I make movies.And the thing with movies is,that when you direct them,there can be nothing else in your life.Since The Get Down stopped,I have actually been spending the last few months preparing my new cinematic work...

VarietyIFC is on a buying spree at Cannes,including Lars Von Trier's latest,a serial killer drama namedThe House That Jack Builtstarring Matt Dillon and Uma Thurman
BBCStar Wars' John Boyega hits the London stage inWoyzeck.Reviews are a bit mixed but everyone seems to love that he challenged himself to such an extent post stardom
Cartoon BrewPixar has a new experimental shorts division without executive oversight.This sounds like a great idea for the company,fostering new creative visions without much investment or interference
Kenneth in the (212)Jeffrey Schwarz,who specializes in documentaries about gay or gay-interest historical figures (I Am Divine,Vito,etcetera) has a new documentary on Producer Allan Car (Grease 2,Can't Stop the Music)
Broadway WorldGlenn Close stops a performance of Sunset Blvd to address a rude audience member:

We can have a show or we can have a photo shoot

VarietyKirsten Dunst gets emotional atThe Beguiledpremiere
VarietyGina Prince-Blythewood (Beyond the Lights) tapped to directSpider-ManspinoffSilver and Blackabout the characters Silver Sable and Black Cat.
Angry Asian Manthere's aJoy Luck Clubtv series in the work and they're looking for Chinese American women

Good Reads
Vanity Fairon that new unforgivably hideousSpider-Man Homecomingposter
Jezebelon the terribleDirty DancingTV remake.(I have to ask though,why do people keep watching TV remakes of movies.They're all just t-e-r-r-i-b-l-e...remember that trainwreck that wasBeachesrecently?)

For Fun
Gay Comic Geek[nsfw site] Wonder Woman cosplay...by men
The New YorkerJoe Dator draws a comic about his fortieth anniversary withStar Wars.Cute.

Exit Video
Dynastyis getting a reboot.

I object that Krystle isn't a blonde and doesn't look that much different than Fallon (why does the CW have such trouble varying haircolors/styles and overall looks in their casts inalltheir shows?) but otherwise some of the changes are fun.The most potentially interesting touch being that trashy golddigger Sammy Joe (the Heather Locklear role) is a gay man this time but still after the same mark,Steven Carrington (the family's gay son).But,is this really the right era to idolize the super wealthy?Not sure it will sit as well in 2017 as it did in the 80s when people were more naive about the 1%'s havoc-wreaking on the economy of everyone else.

Jul 11 2013

Emmy AND Oscar-Nominated Documentaries

The eligibility of documentaries for awardage from both that lusted after winged woman (Emmy) and the coveted naked man (Oscar) is a labyrinthine maze from which we would never exit were we to foolishly enter.In fact,someone needs to make a documentary about THAT to sort it all out.Documentaries leave strange crumbs all over both the big and small screens on their long walking journey through often complicated and extremely protacted "releases".

I bring this up becausea portion of the Emmy nominations were announced today(like The Grammys there arehundredsof categories) in the non-fiction fields of news and documentary.I was surprised,for example,to seeSemper Fi: Always Faithful,The Loving StoryandWe Were Hereas nominees.You may recall they wereallOscar finalists (though not nominees)back in 2011and now they're up for 2013 Emmys! Actual nominees from that Oscar year show up too,particularly those fromthe Best Documentary Short category.I thought we'd highlight a few categories in case you've seen any of these films.They might be familiar to you even if you spend more time in theaters than in front of your television.



Awesome cinephile Vito Russo with fellow AIDS Activist Elizabeth Taylor

  • The Loving Story-HBO Documentary Films
  • Vito-HBO Documentary Films (read our interview with director Jeffrey Schwartz.Vito Russo wrote the groundbreaking book "The Celluloid Closet"which is all about the problems of LGBT presence in Hollywood films.That book and his AIDS activism are his legacy.This doc was also nominated for "Best Research")
  • Jesse Owens- American Experience PBS
  • We Were Here- Independent Lens PBS [Available on Netflix Instant Watch]
  • Nostalgia for the Light-POV PBS

And there are several other categories of non fiction programming too like "arts and cultural,science,and economic".Finally,all the fields seem to unite under the umbrella category "Best Documentary"which has six nominations,all of themprevious Oscar nominees or finalists except forNostalgia for the Light,which nevertheless had a movie awards presence winning Best Documentary at the European Film Awards and winning a WGA nomination as well.That said I should note that this is no guarantee that how the docs aired on television is the same way they aired in cinema since documentaries can shape shift as they switch mediums and details of their stories continue to emerge.Some get much longer and are divvied up into segments for news programs.


  • Project NIM-HBO Documentary Films
  • Saving Face- HBO Documentary Films
  • The Loving Story- HBO Documentary Films
  • The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom- HBO Documentary Films
  • Hell and Back Again- Independent Lens -PBS
  • Nostalgia for the Light- POV PBS

Do you like docs and if so have you seen any of these films?

P.S.Of Note: 60 Minutes won a nomination for "Outstanding Interview"fortheir profile of Steven Spielberg duringLincoln's run.If winged Emmy is anything like naked Oscar,it won't win its category.

P.P.S.The Emmy nominations most people talk about when they talk about Emmys are the ones that will be announced a week from today on July 18th.We'll talk about those soon!

Jul 30 2012

"Vito"and Jeffrey

If you didn't get a chance to see the premiere ofVITOlast week,make sure to tune in to one of its final airings [July31st: 12:45 p.m.;Aug.4th: 3:00 p.m.;Aug 8th: 9:15 a.m.]or find it on alternate HBO channels or HBOGO.The documentary is about the life and activism of Vito Russo (1946-1990) who was the author of the seminal non-fiction book "The Celluloid Closet"the definitive kick off point to the now robust commonplace conversation about the depiction of LGBT people in filmed entertainment.

VITO RUSSO (1946-1990),Author,Activist,Cinephile

I spoke with Jeffrey Schwarz,Vito's director,for Towleroad last weekend.I'd previously seen Schwarz's documentary about B movie showman William Castle (Spine Tingler!The William Castle Story) and we talked for an hour about a wide range of things beyondVitoincluding his work as the producer of "added value content"for DVDs.He's worked for a who's who of auteurs (Lynch,Scorsese,the Coens,and many many more) on bonus features and "making of"projects.It's not a subject one hears much about in terms of what goes on behind the curtain -- The Making of The Making of!-- perhaps that's diving too deep down the DVD/Bluray rabbit hole?

But I thought I'd share a few notes that didn't make it into my Towleroad interview for lack of space as well as being slightly off theVitodoc topic.

NATHANIEL R: You run this company Automat Pictures that does DVD extras.You've worked with these legends,almost mythically famous directors.

JEFFREY SCHWARZ: If you love movies,what I do for a living is a like a dream come true.I started doing this in 1998 when I got a job editing and shooting behind the scenes on Gus Van Sant'sPsycho.That's how I got into this business.I didn't even have a DVD player yet!The format was first emerging and the studios were hiring independent producers to make added value content.I got lucky because I was in the right place at the right time.I'd actually pitched my William Castle movie to Sony because they own all the William Castle movies.I was a little bit naive thinking that this big studio would want to produce my documentary but they did end up hiring me to produce the DVD extras forThe Tingler!

That's really what got me started -- first it wasPsycho,then it wasThe Tingler!and that led to other jobs for other studios.

Jeffrey Schwarz at screening of SPINE TINGLER!(image viaGay of the Dead)

more after the jump including oscar protests,evil lesbians,and staying angry

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