Neal Preston – Exhilarated and Exhausted Book!

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“I want the reader at the end of this book to feel like they’ve just spent a year on the road with Zeppelin with one day off, then six months with Guns ‘n’ Roses, with one day off and then five years with Bruce Springsteen. Exhilarated and exhausted.” -Neal Preston

Legendary rock photographer Neal Preston has officially announced his new book, Exhilarated and Exhausted. In addition to a collection of amazing photographs, the 336 page book is crammed with personal stories, backstage intrigue and plenty of Neal’s humor. It’s really much more than just a collection of photos, it’s an insightful look from Neal documenting his 50 years in the business. The book will also include an introduction by Cameron. The book will be released on October 24, 2017.  You can pre-order your copy now at Amazon.com. More to come!

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Fast Times Deleted Scene – Spicoli on Merv Griffin

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We thought it would be fun to wrap this Fast Times 35th anniversary celebration with this Spicoli scene that was not to be. In Cameron’s book, Spicol’s dream sequence occurs on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. After Johnny turned it down, it was written for Merv Griffin, Tom Snyder and finally David Letterman. All of them graciously turned it down for a variety of reasons (more here), so the scene was re-written as a surf competition interview with Stu Nahan. We thought you might like to read the Merv Griffin version. Enjoy!

DARKNESS

We are in the middle of a deep, dark void. After a

moment, a pinprick of light appears in the

distance. We head towards the light. We are being

led somewhere important.

 

As we draw still closer, curtains suddenly part to

reveal a wildly cheering studio audience. We hear

the voice of Merv Griffin.

 

MERV GRIFFIN (O.S.)

Will you please give a warm welcome

to… Jeff Spicoli!

 

The Merv Griffin Show band begins playing a Merv

Griffin Show version of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell”.

Someone hands Jeff Spicoli a microphone. He works

the studio audience into a frenzy as he sings the

words to “Highway to Hell”: Merv Griffin show

style.

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Fast Times 35th Anniversary Screening This Weekend!

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As we previously mentioned, Fathom is hosting the TCM 35th Anniversary screening of Fast Times at Ridgemont High this weekend on over 750 screens. These screenings will take place this Sunday and Wednesday, but check for theaters and times in your area over at the official site. The screening will be hosted by TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz.Check out the trailer above and the poster below!

 

 

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Summer Screenings

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Hi all. Long time, no talk. Sorry for the lack of updates, but things should be heating up again soon as summer is in full swing. Speaking of summer, we wanted to share a few film screenings we’ve heard about around the country. If we missed some, please let us know.

July 20th – Almost Famous – Rooftop Cinema Club – Montalban – Los Angeles, CA

July 30th/Aug 2nd – Fast Times at Ridgemont High – Fathom/TCM Classics – U.S.

August 9th – Almost Famous – Rooftop Cinema Club – Brooklyn, NY

 

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Exclusive: Singles – Citizen Dick – Smarter Than You Review

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Have you ever wondered what the full review of Citizen Dick’s album said? Jeff was trying to spare Cliff’s feeling, but we won’t. We keep things going for Singles Week with the full review!!

CITIZEN DICK
Smarter Than You (LP)
Real Clever Records

Once again, when the Cliff Poncier begins swinging… you know what you’re in for. More pompous, dick-swinging swill from a man who has haunted the local scene for much too long. You wish that Cliff would move to another town, like Minneapolis or Los Angeles or New York. A town where he could disappear into the masses and not stand out like the relentlessly mediocre talent that he is.

Mediocre? Well, that’s probably a rather kind term for the kind of music that Poncier’s new band purports to play. This is Seattle grunge rock at its predictable and painful best/worst. Slashing guitars mesh with sonically ‘treated’ vocals to create a kind of desperate preening, prodding and chugging mess. Mark Arm probably dreams about music like this, and then wakes up grateful. In fact, Citizen Dick makes groups like Gruntruck and Sadhappy sound like geniuses.

The very cover of this album makes me want to piss blood. There is Poncier, his arms spread like a scabarous messiah, begging to be appreciated. I remember when Poncier met my sister at the Central one night. He called her answering machine for a month straight, leaving yearning and dull-minded, semi-pornographic messages of love. And my sister is not good-looking. It makes you wonder about Poincier, and it makes me wonder about me. Why my life has come to this. Reviewing the music of a puss-faced immature pussy hound with a fake wig for hair.

And that’s me being kind.

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Exclusive: Singles Deleted Scene – The Poncier Tape

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To celebrate the release of this week’s Deluxe Soundtrack for Singles, we thought you might like this never before seen deleted scene. This would have played near the end of the film as Bailey is going to the doctor and runs into Cliff busking…enjoy!

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Say Anything… Filming Locations

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To celebrate today’s anniversary for Say Anything…, I’ve teamed up once again with the amazing Lindsay Blake to revisit all the locations from the 1989 film. While some 2nd unit footage was filmed in Seattle, all the key locations were filmed in the Los Angeles area. Let’s dive in!

 1. Corey Flood’s House (2545 Ganesha Avenue, Altadena) – Though an establishing shot of a traditional two-story home at 3627 Northwest 65th Court in Seattle was used to portray the residence of Lloyd’s gumptious BFF Corey Flood (Lili Taylor), all actual filming took place a good 1,100 miles away at a dwelling in Altadena.


 

2. Lloyd’s Apartment (318 South Canyon Blvd #3, Monrovia) – The non-descript apartment building where Lloyd lives with his sister, Constance (who was played by Cusack’s real life sister, Joan), and nephew, Jason (Glenn Walker Harris Jr.), is another San Gabriel Valley locale. The two-story complex can be found on a shady street in Monrovia, looking much the same today as it did onscreen 28 years ago. The actual interior of Unit #3, including the bathroom where Lloyd calls Diane for the first time, was utilized in the film.

3. Lakewood High School Graduation – Santa Monica College Amphitheatre (1900 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica) – The large amphitheater where Diane gives her famous “I’ve glimpsed our future and all I can say is, ‘Go back!’” valedictorian speech is sadly no longer standing. Formerly located at Santa Monica College, the arena was razed in 2009 to make way for a student services building.

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Billy, How Did You Do it?

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Billy & Cameron. Photo By Neal Preston

We lost the great Billy Wilder 15 years ago today. I thought it would be great to remember him with this 2005 Sight & Sound piece that Cameron wrote. It’s new to The Uncool and we hope you seek out a Wilder film to watch tonight!

Billy, how did you do it?

‘Elizabethtown’ director Cameron Crowe pays tribute to Billy Wilder

 The first Billy Wilder movie to ever grace my family’s living room was Some Like It Hot. I was too small to catch all the subtext of those cross-dressing musicians, but this much was clear: something was going on inside that movie. A subversive sense of humour was at play, and those big laughs rocked our house. Later, someone pointed out that the same man made Sunset Blvd., another movie we all watched together as a family. Both were late-night ‘movies of the week’ on TV. The magic was palpable, even on that small screen.

I decided to become a film-maker to protect a script I’d written called Say Anything… A number of other directors had passed on it, and the script was about to fall into the hands of someone who cared a lot less about it than me. Wilder, a journalist who became a director for similar reasons, was one of the first masters I turned to in preparing to direct. Most writer-directors seeking inspiration eventually go to Wilder. I worked through his pictures one by one. His work was like a drug – character-rich stories filled with laughs and story turns so deft you could get a body rush sitting in the theatre. Eventually, I got to The Apartment, sadly after my father had passed away. Halfway through, it was already my favourite. When I heard the last line of the movie, “shut up and deal”, I realised where one of my dad’s favourite phrases had come from.

Part of the great fun of being a fan of Billy Wilder is that your favourite Wilder pictures change over the years. For me, sometimes it’s Love in the Afternoon; other times it’s A Foreign Affair; but usually I return to The Apartment. The characters, the score, the melancholy and the perfection of the script and performances… It’s hard to top. though the fizzy comic wallop of Some Like It Hot sure gives it a run for its money.

In my experience of interviewing him, Wilder usually chose Some Like It Hot or The Apartment as his personal favourite. His reasons he said, were mostly script-based. He just loved the structure and the successful collaborations with his writing partner Izzy Diamond. He often mentioned the ‘cracked mirror’ scene in The Apartment as one of his favourite moments in any of his films He explained that these pictures and Sunset Blvd. “just worked”. Of his audience favourites, the only one that seemed to displease him was Irma la Douce. As for his favourite actors, he always mentioned Lemmon and Matthau and, with an extra twinkle, Charles Laughton.

Double Indemnity survives because of its masterful victory of tone and performance and direction. For a still young director, it was a work of sly bravura. And Wilder’s favourite element – the inner ‘love story’ between Fred MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson – gives the movie its freshness and a dark kick. Many try for this tone; few get there.Wilder used to say that a masterful comic actor like Cary Grant would forever be beaten at the Oscars by a less talented, furrow-browed serious actor with a “physical ailment of some kind”. It was his way, I think, of waving the flag for what he felt to be a far more difficult exercise – comedy. He was a great fan of modem pictures that had a certain graceful comic perfection, like the Japanese film Shall We Dance?. He also loved the deep-tissue satire of American Beauty. As for his own legacy, Wilder sometimes scoffed, “Why would anyone care about me?” But, in fact, he’d noticed the parade of younger film-makers who cited him and made a point of telling me it genuinely surprised and touched him. “A lot’?” “A little,” he’d answer with a trademark flick of his eyebrow that indicated the opposite might also be true.

As Wilder once said of Audrey Hepburn, “there is only one”. But his lessons to other modern directors are clear: protect your script and your characters; observe the values of script structure… Take a look at the work of Wilder’s own heroes, from Ernst Lubitsch to William Wyler, and then go out there with a camera and tell your stories with glee and a ferocious lack of false sentimentality. But most of all, “don’t bore them”.

Courtesy of Sight & Sound – Cameron Crowe – October, 2005

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  • Almost Famous- Starz
  • Aloha- FX Now
  • E-Town- TubiTV
  • Fast Times- Cinemax
  • Jerry Maguire- Starz
  • Vanilla Sky- Hulu