Monthly Archives: June 2011

Harold and Maude: A Look Back

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Cameron hosted a special (almost) 4oth anniversary screening of Harold and Maude this past Sunday at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. He was there to praise the film he cherishes so much, but even more importantly, to honor former Paramount VP Peter Bart. Mr. Bart was instrumental in Harold and Maude being made (along with many other films including another of my favorites, Paper Moon). Bart, who was the editor of Variety from 1989-2009, recently authored Infamous Players: A Tale of Movies, The Mob (and Sex), which recalls his time at Paramount in the early 70s.

Unreleased Still from the Film

Cameron and Peter talked about the challenges of getting an unconventional romance like Harold and Maude made. When Bart was asked if this kind of film could be made today he said “probably not, unless it starred Betty White and Justin Bieber”. Cameron also read an excerpt from a Variety review that wasn’t very kind. Based on the reactions I’ve seen on Twitter, a good time was had by all. If for some reason you haven’t seen the film, please do yourself a favor and check it out. Here’s the trailer:

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Jun 16, 2011

Paste: 11 Vinyl Albums, 10 Essential Films & More!

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Today we look back at the Paste magazine profile of Cameron and Elizabethtown from September 2005. The cover art was done by none other than Joni Mitchell and the issue included an interview with Cameron, his 11 Albums to Seek Out on Vinyl, 10 Essential Films for Stormy Night and Crowe on Crowe (as he reflects back on his all his major projects from Fast Times to Vanilla Sky). I sure do miss holding the physical Paste magazine in my hands, but at least they are still alive and kicking online.

 

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Jun 14, 2011

Inquire Within: Zoo Homework

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We are back with another edition of Inquire Within… Through your submissions, Cameron will answer your questions in his own words. The goal is to have a new question and answer posting every week or two leading up to the releases of The UnionPearl Jam Twenty and We Bought a Zoo this fall.

The Uncool: What films were required viewing this time around for your cast and crew before you started filming We Bought a Zoo?

Cameron: Local Hero and the Sigur Ros documentary Heima.  Both had a warmth and a feeling of getting lost in another world, a place you might never want to leave.  At this point, I’ve ordered so many copies of these two films, if Amazon had a button that just said — “AGAIN” — I would press it.

Fun Fact: Heima was even used on the signs to guide people to the set of We Bought a Zoo!

Please send in your questions for Cameron and maybe yours will be part of a future installment of Inquire Within…

 

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Jun 11, 2011

Crowe’s Nest: Fast Times Reunion, PJ20 Companion Book, Reader Art & More!

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The Crowe’s Nest is a feature that collects random tidbits, etc. in one blog post. Here’s the latest:

  • Many of the stars of Fast Times at Ridgemont High gathered for induction into the Guy Hall of Fame as part of Spike TV’s Guy Choice event. Cameron was unable to attend the taping on June 4th, but actors Sean Penn, Judge Reinhold, Brian Backer, Robert Romanus, Forest Whitaker, and director Amy Heckerling appeared together onstage in L.A. to accept.  You will have your chance to see it this Friday, June 10th on Spike TV. Check your local listings.
  • Contributors to the Pearl Jam Twenty companion book coming out on September 13th include Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl and Neil Young. Cameron is providing the foreword. The book was compiled and edited by authors Jonathan Cohen and Mark Wilkinson. It will include personal drawings, behind the scenes photos and much more chronicling Pearl Jam’s twenty years.
  • The Dallas Film Society will include Almost Famous as part of a free outdoor screening series. Almost Famous will screen on October 15th. More details can be found here.
  • Reader Jon Sholly dropped us a line to share his entry into a recent Indianapolis film festival. Local designers and artists are asked to create posters that reinterpret films from all eras. They are then sold to raise money for the festival. Jon choose Almost Famous and I thought you’d like to see his poster. Pretty cool, huh?

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Jun 8, 2011

Linda Ronstadt – 1976 Rolling Stone Cover Story

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I’m really excited about today’s new Journalism addition. A 1976 Rolling Stone cover story that Cameron did on Linda Ronstadt. At the time, there was no bigger name on the planet. She had three consecutive platinum albums and a greatest hits album looming (which has gone on to sell nearly 20 million copies). Cameron visits her home and takes a peek behind the curtain as Linda deals with fortune and fame. I think Linda is vastly underrated and is one of the best vocalists on the planet. Her run of albums with Prisoner in Disguise, Hasten Down the Wind and Simple Dreams are still three of my favorite records from that period. Check it out!

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Jun 7, 2011

The Union – Press Release – HBO Debut January 2012!

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Great news today! Here’s the press release:

HBO Documentary Films Acquires Cameron’s Crowe’s The Union

CHRONICLING THE COLLABORATION BETWEEN MUSICAL GIANTS ELTON JOHN AND LEON RUSSELL

NEW YORK, June 6, 2011 – HBO Documentary films has acquired the domestic TV rights to THE UNION from Vinyl Films, it was announced today.  Directed by Cameron Crowe (“Almost Famous,” “Jerry Maguire”), the film will debut on HBO in Jan. 2012.

THE UNION takes an unprecedented look at the creative life of Elton John and his remarkable collaborative album with his early-career idol, Leon Russell, produced by award-winning music producer T Bone Burnett.  Never before filmed in his composing process, John is captured by Crowe in this candid portrait of one of the world’s most treasured artists and performers.  Begun in Nov. 2009, THE UNION chronicles the entire writing and recording process of the heralded album John recorded with Russell.

“I’m a great fan of HBO and their extraordinary programming, so I’m particularly thrilled that they will be airing THE UNION,” commented Elton John.

The film had its world premiere as the opening night selection at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.  Creative Artists Agency (CAA) represents Crowe and Burnett and negotiated the deal with HBO on behalf of the filmmakers.

THE UNION is directed by Cameron Crowe; produced by Cameron Crowe and Michelle Panek; executive producer, Johnny Barbis; editor, Kevin Long.

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Jun 6, 2011

Singles – Nine Deleted Scenes

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More brand new (well 20 years old actually) content for you today. We’d like to share with you nine deleted scenes from 1992’s Singles! These were from Cameron’s script dated January 4, 1991. What I found most interesting when I read the script was how much of it is presented in a different order than the finished film. This speaks to previous comments where Cameron said he was going for Manhattan vignette approach. This made it easy to shuffle scenes around, but still maintain continuity. In addition to the two deleted scenes (Bailey’s French Club Fantasy and Advice to Lovelorn Steve) that can be found on the Singles DVD, we present an animated sequence, Elvis talk, the debut of Mirror Guy #1, a Janet/Dr. Jamison romantic subplot, a Debbie Hunt marathon monologue and much more with Bailey.

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Jun 2, 2011

Inquire Within: Zoo Origins

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Today is the debut of a new feature entitled Inquire Within… Through your submissions, Cameron will answer your questions in his own words. The goal is to have a new question and answer posting every few weeks leading up to the releases of The Union, Pearl Jam Twenty and We Bought a Zoo this fall. I’ll kick it off with a question around We Bought a Zoo and how it came to his attention.

The Uncool: How did We Bought A Zoo come to your attention?

Cameron: We Bought A Zoo came to us from Fox Studios, and producer Julie Yorn. It was immediately interesting, a true story that really stayed with me. I loved the book. There was also a wonderful script by Aline Brosh McKenna and a documentary that the BBC produced on Benjamin Mee’s story. It was rich with characters and had a strong beating heart in the tale of Benjamin and his family’s quest to bring the Dartmoor Zoo back to life. Gail Levin (our longtime casting director) also read all the materials and said “let’s have a blast.” Which we did. So happy to have had a chance to work with these actors, each one different and each one so committed.   It’s the kind of movie that they say doesn’t get made much anymore – a big story without a lot of fancy fireworks. Just strong actors, a great cinematographer in Rodrigo Prieto, and a chance to tell a human story with every emotion built into it. I could have never written this out of thin air – it all happened to Benjamin Mee – but I related so much to his journey.  I felt like it was my job to bring it to life.   I told Clay Griffith, my friend and production designer, “get ready to build a zoo.”  And so it began…

Please send in your questions for Cameron and maybe yours will be part of a future installment of Inquire Within…

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Jun 1, 2011


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