If you’ve ever wondered just what it is an Executive Producer does, or maybe if you’ve heard the ambient sounds of Tangerine Dream in an 80’s film favourite without knowing who you were listening to, this is the list for you!
Here are the letters K-O…
King Vidor (1894 – 1982) was an American film director, producer and screenwriter whose career spanned nearly seven decades. He resides in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest career of any film director (it began in 1913 and ending in 1980). In 1979 he was awarded an Honorary Academy Award, having been nominated five previous times for a Best Director Oscar.
To give you an idea of how young cinema was when a teenage Vidor first caught a glimpse of his future, it was during a visit to see his first film (A Trip to the Moon by Georges Méliès), which happens to be one of the earliest films ever made.
Vidor’s first venture into sound was 1929’s Hallelujah!, a groundbreaking film which featured an African-American cast and established the new language for sound films. He was also one of a number of famous directors at the time, to work, uncredited, on the classic The Wizard of Oz (1939).
Linda Manz (1961-) is an actress who appeared in a couple of memorable and influential cult features towards the end of the seventies. Her distinctive, androgynous look caught the attention of Terrence Malick who cast her as the young narrator in his second film (1978’s Days of Heaven), but Manz is arguably best known for her appearance in the 1979 film The Wanderers, where she played the antagonistic girlfriend of the leader of the fearsome street gang The Baldies.
In 1980, Manz starred alongside Dennis Hopper in Out of the Blue (his first directorial effort since 1971’s ill-fated The Last Movie). The film competed for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in that same year.
Absent from cinema screens for over a decade now, her only remaining roles post-1980 were in a handful of films towards the end of the noughties, including a small part in David Fincher’s The Game and a bigger one in Harmony Korine’s 1997 mid-west oddity Gummo.
Mumblecore is an American independent film movement which began life with the release of 2005’s Funny Ha Ha, a low-budget character piece by filmmaker Andrew Bujalski. It is primarily characterised by a modest production (often employing digital video cameras), focusing on personal relationships between twentysomethings, improvised scripts, and non-professional actors.
The name was actually coined by a sound editor on one of the early films and reflects, to some extent, the semi-improvisational, sometimes inaudible speech inflections delivered by some of the performers involved. Filmmakers in this field include Lynn Shelton, Bujalski, Mark and Jay Duplass, Aaron Katz and Joe Swanberg.
The Duplass brother scored a recent mainstream success by using many elements of Mumblecore within the studio system (Fox Searchlight) and with big name actors (John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, Marisa Tomei and Catherine Keener) in last year’s dark comedy Cyrus. Bujalski’s third independent feature Beeswax was released last year to great acclaim and praise.
Ned Ryerson is a character from much-loved comedy Groundhog Day played by “I know the face, not sure about the name” supporting actor Stephen Tobolowsky. Ryerson the is supremely annoying insurance salesman and former high school classmate of Phil Connors (Bill Murray) whom he has the unpleasant misfortune of running into every morning as he continually relives the one day.
Tales from the set of this film have been covered a number of times in Tobolowsky’s Podcast series, The Tobolowsky Files. A jovial and erudite storyteller, the actor (who has appeared in more than 200 films and TV show throughout his career) shares both personal and industry-based stories in each instalment.
Tobolowsky was actually reunited with Murray 11 years on from ‘Groundhog’ when they both appeared in the movie version of the comic strip Garfield. Probably safe to say it wasn’t a reunion which either actor celebrate. “Bing!!!!”
Ozploitation films are a type of low-budget horror, comedy and action (sometimes combining all three genres) features which were predominant in Australia from the early 1970’s to late 80’s. Made after the introduction of the R rating in 1971, filmmakers took full advantage of the new liberal landscape, and created a number of exploitation films with distinctly antipodean sensibilities.
Mad Max is perhaps the most famous example from the New Wave era, but there were many other notable films, including Alvin Purple (a crude sex comedy featuring Animal Kingdom co-star and Oscar nominee from this year, Jacki Weaver), Razorback, Roadgames, The Man from Hong Kong, BMX Bandits (starring a teenage Nicole Kidman) and Turkey Shoot.
The term Ozploitation was first used in 2008’s revealing and often hilarious documentary on the movement, Not Quite Hollywood. Quentin Tarantino (one of the interviewees and an unsurprising vocal admirer of the films produced) coined the phrase Aussiesploitation, which documentary director Mark Hartley then shortened to Ozploitation.
Check out F-J here.