Monday, July 25, 2011

Casablanca with the San Francisco Symphony

Last Friday night I attended a very special screening of "Casablanca with the San Francisco Symphony" at Davies Hall. Conductor Michael Francis led the orchestral accompaniment and a full house spent the evening in thrall to Warner Bros.' sublime 1942 film classic and composer Max Steiner's unforgettable score.

Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco
The sell-out audience of 2,800 or so was a mix of film and music lovers of every generation. Some of the young and old attended in full 1940's attire; most spent time sipping champagne and cocktails on the mezzanine before the program got underway...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lyle Wheeler - Setting the Scene

Watercolor pre-production painting of Tara for Gone with the Wind (1939)
by guest author Captain Gregg  
The art director is one of the most important artists in the film industry for it is his talent and skill that bring a script to visual life. Lyle Wheeler was a master craftsman in this field of production design. In his career, he created the environments to over 350 films. From their initial sketches on paper to the purchasing of the props and furnishings, to the costumes of the characters, to the construction of the studio and outdoor sets, his eye oversaw each and every process.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Jean Cocteau...born July 5, 1889...

Jean Cocteau, French filmmaker/poet/writer/artist and more (dramatist, boxing manager...), was born July on 5, 1889, into a prominent and bourgeois family in Maissones-Lafitte - a village not far from Paris. His father, an attorney and amateur artist, took his own life when the boy was just nine; young Cocteau was soon enrolled in a private school. After he was expelled in 1904, he ran off to Marseilles.