Posts Tagged ‘director’

Buildings in the Movies

February 24, 2011

There was an article in the February 8, 2011 Winfield Courier (Kansas) that stated officials at Southwestern College weren’t pleased that a promotional poster for the thriller Roommate featured one of their buildings. “Our concern is the association — the unauthorized association — of what we think is an iconic image of the college with a ‘slasher’ movie,” said Southwestern College president Dick Merriman in the article. In response to the college, Sony Pictures Entertainment removed the image from the film’s website and from subsequent promotional materials.

Of course, this is far from the first time that an actual building was featured in a movie. What other buildings have been featured in film? Loads of them. I can’t mention them all, but I will mention three buildings that had a “starring” role.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Actually, it was the East Entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which was made famous in the 1976 film Rocky, when the title character ran up the steps leading to the said entrance. Since then, thousands of tourists have run up the steps, just like Rocky did in the movies. At the foot of the steps is the Rocky sculpture by A. Thomas Schomberg.  This statue was made for Rocky III in 1980 and after filming was complete, Sylvester Stallone donated it to the city of Philadelphia.

The Dakota (New York City)
One of the most famous apartment buildings in New York City, if not the world, due to its famous inhabitants, such as Lauren Bacall, Leonard Bernstein and John and Yoko Lennon—just to name a few. The building had its exterior featured in two films, the 1968 film Rosemary’s Baby and the 2001 film Vanilla Sky. Interior shots were done on soundstages, since the building’s owner would not permit interior filming to be done.

The Coliseum Ballroom (St. Petersburg, Florida)
Why is this building listed? You ask. It is listed because it was featured in a dance scene in the 1984 film Cocoon. It also is famous for having the largest dance floor in the southeastern United States. How big? Try 13,000 square feet (1,207.73 square meters for those living outside of the U.S.)

So there you have it, three buildings that had a “starring” role. While buildings don’t say much, they aren’t much trouble to the director. After all, a building won’t demand that the director film the “good side” or try to rewrite the script in the building’s favor. It will just stand there, as it always does. If only some actors and actresses were as easy to work with.

Sources:

http://www.winfieldcourier.com/articles/2011/02/08/news/news/doc4d5183cc7aa41324106218.txt

http://www.nyc-architecture.com/UWS/UWS017.htm

http://www.visitphilly.com/museums-attractions/philadelphia/the-rocky-statue-and-the-rocky-steps/

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/movies/content/after-breakfast-eggs-no-oatmeal-wilfred-brimley-talks-about-cocoon-and-catching-tarpon-st-pe

http://www.stpete.org/coliseum/

Preston, Patricia Tunison & Preston, John. Frommers Tampa & St. Petersburg ’91-’92 Prentice Hall 1991 pg. 148

It Came From The Stacks

August 25, 2010

Recently, the movie Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts opened in theaters. The movie is based on the book of the same name by Elizabeth Gilbert and it deals with one woman’s post divorce soul search via travel. This is not the first time a book was the source material for a movie. In fact, many, many movies were based on books. So much so, someone could do a blog on all the movies that were based on books.  (ha-ha)

Well, if you think that I’m going to do a blog entry about books that have been made into movies, I have this to say:

You’re right.

While I can’t write about all the books that have been made into movies, I will feature some notable examples.

The Bible
Yes, the best selling book of all time has spawned quite a few movies.  They include:

The Ten Commandments
Released in 1923 and a remake came out in 1956. The 1956 version starred Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner. Based on the book of Exodus and regarding the 1956 version, in a nutshell, Moses (Heston) is raised in Pharaoh’s household and is loved by all, except by his brother Rameses (Brynner). Moses discovers he is not Egyptian is banished from Egypt, he later returns and declares “Let my people GO!” Oh and Brynner does a lot of scowling. The 1923 and 1956 films were directed by none other than Cecil B. DeMille. So, stop being mad at George Lucas for wanting to revisit Star Wars. Lucas was just following DeMille’s footsteps.

The Bible…In the Beginning
Released in 1966. Based on the book of Genesis, which means it starts with Creation and ends with Abraham being told not sacrifice his son, Isaac. This film also features director John Huston as Noah and George C. Scott as Abraham.

The Passion of the Christ
Released in 2004. Based on the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus, by way of the Gospels according to Sts. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The film starred James Caviezel as Jesus and was directed by Mel Gibson. At the time it was released, there was a lot of controversy. Some said film was anti-semitic in tone. Others took issue with the violence in the film. When the film’s theatrical release ended, the controversy died down and life went on, the same as it always did.

Gone With The Wind
Released in 1939, this is the movie most people think of when the phrase “Based on the best selling book” comes to mind. Based on the book by the same name by Margaret Mitchell, the movie deals with two people, Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler, and how they lived and loved during the time period before, during and after the American Civil War. The movie also features one of the most quoted lines in the history of American films. If I have tell you what that line is, I have this to say:

Frankly my dear, have you been living under a rock?

Wuthering Heights
Released the same year as Gone With The Wind and is overshadowed by that film. Based on the book of the same name by Emily Brontë, it deals with the love of Heathcliff, an orphan brought to Wuthering Heights and Catherine Earnshaw, the daughter of the owner of Wuthering Heights. Circumstances force them apart but their love for each other never dies. None other than Sir Laurence Olivier is Heathcliff and Merle Oberon is Catherine in this movie. The book has gone through many film and television adaptations, yet Olivier/Oberon version is considered by many to be the definitive film version. FYI: Timothy Dalton (James Bond of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s) was cast as Heathcliff in the 1970 film.

The Bridges Of Madison County
Moving up a couple of decades, this film came out in 1995. Based on the book of the same name by Robert James Waller, this deals with a four-day affair between Francesca Johnson, Iowa housewife/World War II bride from Italy and Robert Kincaid, a National Geographic photographer. Meryl Streep with a very convincing Italian accent, played Francesca (of course), Clint Eastwood played Robert and was the director of this film. Yet, for some strange reason, this film did not receive any Academy Awards. Bummer.

There you have it, several examples of books that were made into films. Of course, nowadays, many writers are interested in writing the Great American Blog, as opposed to  book. Here’s an idea for you. A movie based on a blog! Oh wait, that’s been done with Julie & Julia.

What about a movie based on a blog that deals with collecting, movie posters and pop culture as it relates to the movie industry?  Now, that would make a great movie! Don’t you think?

Sources:

http://www.amazon.com/Ten-Commandments-50th-Anniversary-Collection/dp/B000CNESNA/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1282176115&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Story-Ever-Told-Movie/dp/B0002BO05S/ref=sr_1_4?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1282176496&sr=1-4

http://www.amazon.com/Bible-Beginning-Michael-Parks/dp/B00005NKT6/ref=sr_1_14?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1282176915&sr=1-14

http://www.amazon.com/Passion-Christ-Full-Screen/dp/B00028HBKC/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1282178185&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Gone-Wind-Two-Disc-70th-Anniversary/dp/B002M2Z3BA/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1282180096&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Wuthering-Heights-Merle-Oberon/dp/B00028HCEW/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1282332941&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Wuthering-Heights-Anna-Calder-Marshall/dp/B00005R5GB/ref=pd_sim_d_5

http://www.amazon.com/Julie-Julia-Meryl-Streep/dp/B002RSDW80/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1282337444&sr=1-1