Tag Archives: movie

So What if I Learned This From a Movie Trailer (04/29)

I saw a preview for the movie, Music Within, which is based on the true story of Richard Pimentel, the man who is credited with championed the Americans with Disabilities Act, into becoming law.

Pimentel

Here is summary of his life story as found on www.miltwright.com:

Richard Pimentel was pronounced dead at birth in the delivery room. In a miraculous turn of events, he lived. His mother, who had experienced three miscarriages before his birth, left him in an orphanage, unable to come to terms with his existence. After his father’s death, he was raised by his impoverished grandmother and deemed “retarded” by a school guidance counselor. He never spoke a word until age six.

After his mother abandoned him again for a new boyfriend, Richard was left homeless and roamed from friend’s homes to his father’s old workplace, a strip bar. He lived and slept in the dressing room. During these hard times, he managed to win two national high school speech championships and was offered a college scholarship by College Bowl founder, Dr. Ben Padrow. Richard arrived on campus only to hear Dr. Padrow tell him to come back when he had “something to say.”

Richard followed Dr. Padrow’s advice and quit school. Soon after he was drafted to Vietnam, where he survived a volunteer suicide mission and became an acknowledged war hero. During his brief celebration, a stray bomb exploded in his bunker and ravaged his hearing. Not only did Richard lose his hearing, he developed tinnitus, a constant ringing in the ears. The government dismissed his dreams of college and public speaking, insisting his fate was one of insanity and rage due to his condition.

Richard refused to accept this fate. He returned to college where he met Art Honneyman, “the smartest and funniest man he has ever known,” who just happened to have a severe case of cerebral palsy. No one could understand Art due to his wheezing, garbled speech—-except for Richard, who could hear Art’s true voice due to his hearing loss.

At 3 AM, in celebration of Art’s birthday, Art and Richard sat down in a local restaurant for a pancake breakfast. Their waitress threatened to call the police, deeming him the “ugliest, most disgusting thing” she had ever seen. They refused to leave and were arrested under the “Ugly Law,” a statute that prohibited public appearances of people who were “unsightly.” This injustice propelled Richard, with the help of Dr. Padrow and a host of friends, headlong into the nascent disability movement

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Missing Something? (03/14)

Although he ranks alongside Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton as one of the most popular and influential film comedians of the silent film era – he was always less known to me – the man I am talking about is Harold Lloyd.

Harold Lloyd as his "glasses character"

Harold Lloyd as his "Glasses Character"

Harold Lloyd was a brilliant comedian, superb athlete, and daredevil who did most of his own stunts even after a 1919 accident…

On a Sunday in August of 1919, Harold posed for a photographer. The set-up called for him to light a cigarette with a prop bomb — the round, black, type you might see in the cartoons. The bomb wasn’t a prop at all; it exploded in his hand. It ripped open the sixteen-foot ceiling and left Harold blind and with most of his right hand missing. Doctors told him he would never see again. His career was over.

But the doctors were wrong. Eventually, his sight did return, the scars healed, and a glove was crafted to hide his handicap from his public. The comedian, known for doing all his own daredevil stunts, felt his audience would be concerned for his safety and not laugh at the movie if they knew about his injury. So he wore the glove in every movie he ever made after the accident.

(from the official website of Harold Lloyd)

If have ever seen his 1923 movie Safety Last! you will find it hard to believe all of the stunts that he accomplished with a prosthetic hand.

Safety First!

Safety First!

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Master of the Midnight Movie (02/11)

It has been a project of mine this winter to see all the David Lynch films that I have yet to see. Well, last night I watched Eraserhead. What I want to bring up about this movie, is not the movie, but the story behind the movie and its cult status. (The funny thing is the movie and Lynch’s story about making the movie run about the same time).

Jack Nance as Henry Spencer

Jack Nance as Henry Spencer

Eraserhead was released in 1977 and thanks to Ben Barenholtz – it reached cult status. How you ask?

Because of Barenholtz’s NYC’s Elgin Theatre, (a movie house in dire need of repairs but at which played the non-studio and art films of the day) and by originating the “Midnight Movie” concept for cultists and the youth/college market.

Sure, the first few showings may have not been sold out, but Eraserhead ran in the ‘midnight movie’ circuit for 4 years and by then there were lines around the block. A job well done.

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The Evolution of Skippy’s (02/07)

1923

the comic strip

the comic strip

Skippy was an American comic strip written and drawn by Percy Crosby that ran from 1923 to 1945. A highly popular, acclaimed and influential feature about rambunctious fifth-grader Skippy Skinner, his friends and his enemies.

1931

the movie

the movie

Skippy is one of the first films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, in 1931. The screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Don Marquis, Norman Z. McLeod, and Sam Mintz was based on the comic strip Skippy by Percy Crosby.

1933

the peanut butter

the peanut butter

10 years after Joseph Rosefield perfects a process to prevent oil separation in peanut butter, his packing company uses Skippy as a trademark for peanut butter. One of the many items in the Skippy franchise.

1982

the neighbor

the neighbor

OK – the last one is not related to the other Skippy products. Or to the Keaton’s for that matter.

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