Category Archives: Film & TV
Another contest courtesy of Erie Gay News and Applause Books has begun! You could be the lucky winner of Dale Sherman’s book, MASH FAQ Everything Left to Know About the Best Care Anywhere. The contest runs from April 26 through May 17 so be quick and enter before time runs out! Click on the link below to enter the contest and learn more about it.
Here’s the lowdown on the unforgettable show about the Forgotten War. M*A*S*H began as a novel written by a surgeon who had been in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War. After being rejected multiple times, the novel would go on to become a bestseller, leading to 14 sequels, an Oscar-winning movie that propelled its director and actors to stardom, and a multiple-Emmy-winning television series that lasted nearly four times the length of the war.
MASH FAQ looks at how the novel came to be, its follow-ups in literary form, the creation of the popular movie, and – most importantly – the television series that transformed comedy and television in the 1970s. Included are chapters on the top-20 pranks of M*A*S*H, the cast members’ careers before and after the television show, famous guest appearances, and movies shown in the mess hall.
Beyond the fiction, MASH FAQ also features a brief chapter to put the war into perspective for easy referral – and looks at what led to the Korean War, how such medical units functioned, and how M*A*S*H shaped our perception of the era.
Dave Thompson, author of The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ,spoke with Dale Johnson of Lincoln Live. They spoke about the writer of the play Richard O’Brien, what drew Dave Thompson to writing the book, and more! Listen to what they had to say in the podcast below!
When assessing the cultural impact of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, author Dave Thompson does not pull his punches: “Forty-plus years on from its debut in a tiny London theater; four decades, too, from its transition to the silver screen, Rocky Horror stands among the 1970s’ most lasting, and successful, contributions to modern culture.”
Thompson’s latest contribution to the Applause Books FAQ series, The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ (April 2016, Applause Books, $19.99) is the in-depth story of not only the legendary stage show and movie, but of a unique period in theatrical history, in both the movie’s UK homeland and overseas.
Inside these pages, we see Rocky Horror as sexual cabaret and political subversion, as modern mega-hit and Broadway disaster. At the movie house, we learn when to shout, what to throw, and why people even do those things. Here is the full story of the play’s original creation; its forebears and its influences are laid out in loving detail, together with both the triumphs and tragedies that attended it across the next 40 years.
Packed with anecdotes, The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ is the story of dozens of worldwide performances and the myriad stars who have been featured in them. From Tim Curry to Anthony Head, from Reg Livermore to Gary Glitter, from Daniel Abineri to Tom Hewitt, the lives and careers of the greatest ever Frank N. Furters stalk the pages, joined by the Riff-Raffs, Magentas, Columbias, and all the rest.
The book also includes the largest and most in-depth Rocky Horror discography ever published, plus a unique timeline – The Ultimate Rocky Horror Chronology – detailing the who, what, where, and when of absolute pleasure.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ will have you doing the Time Warp again!
Michael White, who produced the first stage version on The Rocky Horror Show, has passed away at age 80. Dave Thompson discusses White’s vital contributions to show and, indirectly, to the movie that followed in The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ. Below is an excerpt.
Born in Glasgow, educated at the Sorbonne, and a Wall Street runner in the New York of the 1950s, Michael White entered the world of theater following his return to the UK in the late 1950s. Pursuing a long-held interest in theater, he became assistant to Sir Peter Lauderdale Daubeny, as he launched the renowned World Theatre Season at the Aldwych Theatre in London (home to the Royal Shakespeare Company), with the cosmopolitan goal of introducing British audiences to new plays from around the world.
In 1962, White made his own debut as a West End producer, overseeing Jack Gelber’s The Connection; since that time, he had handled works as disparate as Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1966); the long-running Sleuth (1969); and, most notoriously, Hair, Oh! Calcutta! and The Dirtiest Show in Town.
He was instrumental, in 1967, in plans to bring Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground to London, for a week long engagement at the Chalk Farm Roundhouse, beginning May 21, 1967—a significant venture in that it would have marked the first and only time the original incarnation of that so legendary band, featuring Lou Reed, John Cale and Nico, made it to European shores. Sadly, events conspired to stymie the shows, among them White’s own schedule calling him to New York, at precisely the time Warhol would be in London, to oversee the launch of his production of Joe Orton’s Loot.
White was introduced to The Rocky Horror Show by Nicholas Wright. He detailed that phone call in the booklet accompanying the show’s fifteenth anniversary CD box set.
“I received a phone call from [Wright], who said they were doing a new musical in the Theatre Upstairs and were looking for a producer to put up £3,000 towards the cost of production, in return for the West End rights.” And later, in his autobiography, he described it as a career high point he never tired of.
“Many of my productions I have admired objectively, abstractly. I loved every minute of Rocky Horror . . . it is the only show I have ever done that I can watch time and time again—I must have seen it a hundred times. It is snappy; only an hour and twenty minutes; non-stop, no interval. Every three minutes you are being socked with another song or event. Everything about it works. The Rocky Horror Show is critic proof.”
In later years, White would work with some of the greatest comics of the British 1970s and 1980s, both as producer of the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail and then as co-creator of The Comic Strip Presents, an early 1980s TV series starring (among others) Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Ade Edmondson and Nigel Planer.
White published his autobiography, Empty Seats, in 1985, and was the subject, in 2013, of Gracie Otto’s documentary The Last Impresario. It was a fine portrait of, and a fitting tribute to, a man who had seemingly dedicated his career to confronting the British theatergoing public with the unusual, the risqué and the controversial.
In her book, Love, Peace, and Soul Behind the Scenes of America’s Favorite Dance Show Soul Train: Classic Moments, Ericka Blount Danois tells the story of Don Cornelius and the television juggernaut he created. Watch the video below to learn more about the book and and the show that inspired it!
Love, Peace, and Soul tells the story of the television phenomenon known as Soul Train, a show created in the land of bell bottoms, afros, and soul power; a show that became the touchstone of the Baby Boomer generation. Don Cornelius, host and owner of the show, was one of the coolest cats on television. With his platform shoes, wide neckties, and mellifluous voice, he showed the world just how corny American Bandstand was in comparison. In 2012, fans were shocked to hear one of the most powerful men in the music and television business took his own life.
Love, Peace, and Soul is a celebratory, behind-the-scenes collection of anecdotes, stories, and reflections, from the people who were there, about the host, the show, and the power of black music and dance on television.
Music and television connoisseurs will enjoy the history of not just Soul Train, but of other shows, including Shindig!, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, Hullabaloo, American Bandstand, and Graffiti Rock. Entrepreneurs will be interested in Cornelius’ humble beginnings with the local version of the show in Chicago, created with his own money. Fans will delight in the lively images and the quirky details. The first mass market book on Soul Train since Cornelius’s passing, this volume has something for everyone. Includes afterword by Gary Harris.
Dave Thompson, author of Haunted America FAQ, spoke with Eric Olsen and Joel Sturgis of After Hours AM. They spoke about his current book and how he manged to write over 100 books! Click on the link below to hear the entire interview!
Asked if she was believed in ghosts, Marie Anne de Vichy-Chamrond, Marquise du Deffand (1697-1780) replied, “No, but I am afraid of them.”
Whether you share the Marquise’s position or not, there is no doubt that the idea visitors from the afterlife has gripped humankind since time began. Ancient cultures East and West took spirits for granted, and reported sightings continue to this day—many of them close to home in every corner of the United States.
In Haunted America FAQ, Dave Thompson has created a fast-paced survey of the ghosts, ghouls, and associated denizens of the country’s haunted history. Tracing local ghost stories back to Native American legends and then forward through horror tales both ancient and modern, the book revisits some of the best-known haunted locales, as well as some of the most obscure creepy places, in America.
Delving deep into the cultural history of American hauntings, Haunted America FAQ features chapters on ghosts in cemeteries, amusement parks, government buildings, hospitals, and more, as well as ghostly books, movies, and television. Also included are a roundup of reality-TV ghost hunts and a state-by-state gazetteer of haunted spots.
Haunted America FAQ will amaze believers and skeptics alike with the history and range of spectral sightings it uncovers from around the country and, maybe, just around the corner.
Black and Blue: The Redd Foxx Story, written by Michael Seth Starr this book tells the story of the veteran comedian and “overnight sensation” at the age of 49 whose early life was defined by adversity. Featured below is an interview with Michael Seth Starr on St. Louis Public Radio, where he talk about the book and the life of a true comic genius — Jon Sanford a.k.a Redd Foxx.
Black and Blue: The Redd Foxx Story tells the remarkable story of Foxx, a veteran comedian and “overnight sensation” at the age of 49 whose early life was defined by adversity – and his post-Sanford and Son years by a blur of women, cocaine, endless lawsuits, financial chaos, and a losing battle with the IRS.
Foxx’s frank, trailblazing style as the “King of the Party Records” opened the door for a generation of African-American comedians including Dick Gregory, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and Chris Rock.
Foxx took the country by storm in January 1972 as crotchety, bow-legged Watts junk dealer Fred Sanford in Sanford and Son, one of the most beloved sitcoms in television history. Fred’s histrionic “heart attacks” (“It’s the big one, Elizabeth! I’m comin’ to join ya, honey!”) and catchphrases (“You big dummy!”) turned Fred Sanford into a cultural icon and Redd Foxx into a millionaire. Sanford and Son took Foxx to the pinnacle of television success – but would also prove to be his downfall.
Interviews with friends, confidantes, and colleagues provide a unique insight into this generous, brash, vulnerable performer – a man who Norman Lear described as “inherently, innately funny in every part of his being.”
Applause books has partnered with Erie Gay News to give away a copy of TV Finales FAQ to one lucky winner! Visit the page below to enter the contest, but hurry contest ends on February 16th. Best of luck!
From Mary Richards’ heartfelt goodbye to the WJM-TV newsroom in the classic finale of The Mary Tyler Moore Show to the puzzling conclusion of the enigmatic adventure series, Lost, to the tumultuous final hours in the life of Breaking Bad’s Walter White, TV Finales FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Endings to Your Favorite Shows by Stephen Tropiano and Holly Van Buren takes an up-close, insightful, and entertaining look at the most memorable final episodes of television’s most popular prime time, daytime, and late night series.
Crafting the final episode to a long-running television series can be challenging for producers and writers who want to remain faithful to the show’s characters and history, yet, at the same time, satisfy the high expectations of its loyal fan base. TV Finales FAQ offers television viewers the inside story on the creation, broadcast, and aftermath of the most famous (and infamous) final episodes of more than 50 television series from the 1960s through the present day.
In TV Finales FAQ, Tropiano and Van Buren dissect the final episodes that broke ratings records, like The Fugitive and M*A*S*H; those that left us scratching our heads, like Roseanne and The Sopranos; and the ones that propelled characters into the future – successfully or not – like Dawson’s Creek and Will & Grace. The book also looks at soap operas, daytime and late-night talk show finales, and, in a section called “Saying Goodbye,” looks a series finales that presented their main characters with only one option: close up shop and move on. Finally, the authors make their case for the best series finales, the ones that left critics thrilled, fans satiated, and television history changed.
The closing acts of Mad Men, Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends, Dark Shadows, Donahue, Sex and the City, All My Children, and dozens more shows can be found in TV Finales FAQ. Packed with details about casts and guest stars, airdates, ratings, production, and episode plots, it is a delectable read for any TV buff.
John Kenneth Muir author of The X-Files FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Global Conspiracy, Aliens, Lazarus Species, and Monsters of the Week, spoke with Joel Sturgis and Eric Olsen about his book and the X-Files TV series! Listen to the podcast below to learn more!
The X-Files FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Global Conspiracy, Aliens, Lazarus Species, and Monsters of the Week explores Chris Carter’s popular 1990s science-fiction TV series, which aired on Fox for nine seasons and inspired spin-offs, including feature films, TV shows, toys, novels, and comic books. The book explores the series in terms of its historical context and analyzes how many of the episodes tackle the events of their time: the Clinton era. The X-Files FAQ also tallies the episodes that are based on true stories, selects touchstone moments from the almost decade-long run, and organizes the series by its fantastic subject matter – from serial killers to aliens, from prehistoric menaces to ethnic and religious-based horrors.
The X-Files FAQ also features a foreword written by screenwriter Chris Carter who credits John Muir for his impressive and thoughtful musings. In the book you’ll read that the writing on the show, X-Files, was only half what made the show what it is today. The people who worked on the show were working in a visual medium, and as Chris Carter states in the foreword “the show somehow managed to turn that rectangle box we all viewed each week into something special and often unexpected.”
In addition, the book recalls the TV antecedents (Kolchak: The Night Stalker) and descendants (Fringe) of The X-Files, examines the two feature films, and investigates Chris Carter’s other creations, including Millennium, The Lone Gunmen, Harsh Realm, and The After. Featuring numerous stills and the show’s most prominent writers and directors, The X-Files FAQ allows readers to relive the “Mytharc” conspiracy and the unforgettable monsters of the week – from the Fluke Man to the Peacocks.