February 28, 2010
AS A STUDIO EXECUTIVE: " Philadelphia" ( Jonathan Demme's movie starring Tom Hanks as a lawyer dying of AIDS): "It was based in part on an idea that I came up with. I did it with the group that had done "The Silence of the Lambs," but it was a very risky undertaking.…There were distribution challenges in many parts of the world, where its subject matter was taboo. It was a landmark not just because of the Oscars for Tom Hanks and Bruce Springsteen. It also was a great entertainment that changed the way people viewed a segment of the population.
February 9, 2007
PHIL LUCAS, 65 Film producer Mr. Lucas, an award-winning film producer and director who made a career of telling the stories of American Indians, died Sunday in Bellevue, Wash., of complications after heart surgery, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and The Seattle Times. In his four decades as a filmmaker, Mr. Lucas wrote, produced or directed more than 100 feature films, television series and documentaries in an industry that often stereotyped Indians. Among them were The Broken Chain, about the Iroquois Confederacy, and The Honour of All, a documentary about how the Alkali Lake Indians in British Columbia became almost entirely sober in the 1980s after being 100 percent alcoholic 20 years before.
March 2, 2005
The guy in the dark glasses, knit cap and rumpled cargo pants sways in apparent ecstasy, his hands coaxing improvised rhythms from a bongo-like drum. The percussive sounds echo off the walls and the high ceiling, turning the atrium of the historic Senator Theatre into a noise chamber on a chilly midafternoon. It's not exactly the way you expected to meet actor Matthew McConaughey, who's in town for a couple of days to spread the word about his soon-to-be-released movie. Then again, the 35-year-old star-turned-producer has been following his own instincts when it comes to bringing Sahara, a wry, big-budget action picture slated to open April 5, to the public's consciousness.
February 15, 2004
It was a shotgun wedding of sorts, with an HBO executive playing pastor. I was there to get a book that I had written, an account of a year on a Baltimore drug corner, made into television. I had another writer with me, a trusted college friend with experience in episodic drama. David Mills had worked a few years on NYPD Blue, just as I had a couple years under Tom Fontana on Homicide. And we had already hired a line producer who would help us put film in the can. So why was I being ushered to this New York office to meet another producer?
September 29, 2002
The 1950s were a time of great change for the movies: greater use of color, the inception of wide-screen Cinemascope, the influence of Method actors and directors and increasingly more self-conscious approaches to style and form. James Harvey's Movie Love in the Fifties (Knopf, 448 pages, $35), is a brilliant and original book that examines this period of American social history through its movies. Many of the traditional forms -- Musicals, Westerns, war films, family comedies and mystery films -- remained strong in the 1950s, but Harvey explains how they were modified and subverted by certain directors and actors who wanted not to just entertain audiences but to challenge and astonish them.
February 14, 2000
In conjunction with its screening of "A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies," TCM has put together a slate of 19 films, including three of Scorsese's own works: 1974's "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" (3: 30 a.m. tonight), 1977's "New York, New York" (3 a.m. tomorrow night) and 1978's "The Last Waltz" (4 a.m. Wednesday night). Other highlights: Vincente Minnelli's "The Bad and the Beautiful" (1953), a tempestuous look at the art vs. commerce tug-of-war in Hollywood, with Kirk Douglas as a perfectly corruptible film producer (9: 30 p.m. tonight)