Friday, November 7, 2014

Very busy

This blog will be going bye-bye in the near future as I don't have time to post much here for the next several months.  I'm super busy--as I've just come back from being gone for over half of the month of October.   I'm scrambling now to put together a book on the films of Norman Mailer (schedule for release in early Oct. 2015) and I'm also hard at work on my biography of filmmaker Frank Perry.   I have some other book projects that are in the pipeline as well that I plan on bringing to fruition in the following year too.    This site-will be going offline and I'll be launching an official website shortly which will be a one-stop resource for information about my projects, archival interviews I've done as well as a place where one can download all past and any future episodes of the Mondo Film Podcast.  



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Updates and some Blonde On Blonde Interviews

Outtake photo of Dylan from BOB photo shoot
If I'm guilty of anything it's that I have a bunch of great ideas and that I never follow up on them...Like when I envisioned a Magnificent Ambersons podcast back in 2011, or when I told people that I was working on a book about 2001: A Space Odyssey in early 2012.    The latter, of which, was a extremely naive idea considering what I know now about the Kubrick estate thanks to these two years of work on a book about The Shining.  I'm glad these things are behind me.

I have to say that 2014 has been a great year for me.   2013 was awful in many ways, but it was still an improvement over 2012.  2012, was probably the worst year of my life since the late '90s.

Keeping in the tradition of closing the door on old ideas and focusing on new ones--I decided at the start of 2014 that I was going to clean my work's closet.    This meant that I was going to be cleaning my backlog of interviews or anything else associated with writing/researching that may have been  left behind lingering unfinished since 2006.      I'm happy to say that it's October and I've nearly done this as of today.    I'm almost done.  I've got a few left to knock-out before the end of the year and I'm feeling great about it actually.   Almost all of my 2001: A Space Odyssey interviews are up online. I have, yet, a couple to finish.    Any single interviews that had been done prior are now up online or off towards appearing in a magazine.   I've managed to clean 90% of my backlog.  It feels great.

These aren't hanging over my head any longer, and I know I'll be at 100% by the end of this December.

I'm notorious for biting off more than I can chew.  I come up with great ideas--I start to work on them--then another great idea comes along--and then I go and work on that.   This is how a backlog gets started.   Avoid it.  It's my goal in 2015 to not allow any of this to happen ever again.

Part of this would be the several interviews I did in late 2013 and early 2014 about the recording of Bob Dylan's masterpiece Blonde On Blonde.  It's one of my all-time favorite albums and I was thrilled to get the opportunity to talk to a handful of the Nashville studio musicians who recorded the album with Dylan.   I'm placing these up online now.   I've put up two thus far.   The first, with Hargus 'Pig' Robbins--Dylan's piano player on the BOB sessions.  And today, Charlie McCoy--Dylan's guitar and harmonica player on the BOB sessions, firstly, in New York City, and then eventually finishing out the recording with Dylan in Nashville.  

Check out Hargus 'Pig' Robbins HERE:
Check out Charlie McCoy HERE:

I'm solely focused on finished the books I have moving now.   Spending two years working on Studies In The Horror Film: Stanley's Kubrick The Shining has really inspired me and opened my eyes into exactly what goes into a valid and important volume of work.   I'm confident that the book projects I'm working on now will come out in the same manner.   

This week I'm traveling to Wilkes-Barre University to talk about Norman Mailer's Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987).   There I'll be sitting down with Mailer's estate to discuss the possibility of editing  a volume of essays/transcripts/interviews about Mailer's film work.   It's something that I'm looking forward too, because, damn, I get to edit something associated with the greatest writer of the 20th Century, Norman Mailer.  

A week later--I travel back to the East Coast for several days to research through the private archives of Frank Perry.  The '60s filmmaker--as I've written about here--is the sole subject of the book I'm working on now.  I'll be the first person granted access into Frank's archives, as the archive is not open to the public and I'm working with his estate on this project exclusively.

In January of 2015--I'm traveling to Los Angeles to visit another film archive associated with Frank Perry's work but also to sit down and discuss a project that I'd like to work on afterward with another filmmaker that I admire.  This time, someone who's still alive!

Then in March 2015--I have to focus on marketing The Shining book.

Can't you see that I'm doing again exactly what I told you above that I was trying to avoid !?!?!

It's safe to say that I'm legitimately tied up until the end of 2016, and that still doesn't account for the documentary that I've been prepping!

As for the podcast?  Well, I'm sort of leaving it up to Aaron for the time being.   Aaron is busy too though.  He's a Unit Production Manager in Canada and has worked on several feature films and television series after all.  I can't see myself focusing on anything that doesn't pay me for my efforts, and I'm not talking about "stats" or "emails" for the time being.    Aaron has been editing the next episode of the podcast, so hopefully he'll be able to get that finished and out before the end of this year.   I'm sure we'll squeeze out a few shows in early 2015 on top of that too.

Sayonara, love stuff...






Friday, October 3, 2014

The end of a two-year journey...

After my own journey of 2 years of assisting in the research, conducting over 30 interviews, securing the rights to the re-printing (s) of essays and interviews with the long-time deceased and never-before-seen photographs... It's thrilling to know that in a few months this book, Studies In The Horror Film: Stanley Kubrick's The Shining will be released. It's 600 pages--I'm toiling through the first galley now... Full color goodness on almost every page. The first printing will be available via Amazon, but also a limited edition will be available that is autographed by myself, editor Danel Olson, as well as many members of the cast and crew of THE SHINING. This book will put you on the set of the film, and you will gain a profound insight into SK's working method.    Now...onto finish up my book on filmmaker Frank Perry and prep a collection of writing on the films of Norman Mailer.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Goodnight, Sweet Marilyn: Interview with Jeff Buchanan

Boy!  I sure do love Larry Buchanan.

Especially his later period films like DOWN ON US (1989), MISTRESS OF THE APES (1979), STRAWBERRIES NEED RAIN (1970; his Bergman film) and this one--A real masterwork: GOODNIGHT, SWEET MARILYN (1989).

 Many equate the name Larry Buchanan with the '60s low-budget rubber suit monster melodrama--and then there's his Marilyn Monroe twofer masterwork.   First, GOODBYE NORMA JEAN (1976), and then the pièce de résistance GOODNIGHT, SWEET MARILYN (1989).

NORMA JEAN, released 13 years prior to MARILYN features Hee-Haw's very own Misty Rowe as the pre-Marilyn Monroe Norma Jean Baker.   Where this whole thing becomes tricky is when Buchanan takes outtakes from NORMA JEAN and infuses them with new footage shot of Monroe.  GOODBYE is a string of outtakes inter cut with new footage shot at the end of the '80s with a completely different actress in the role of Monroe.  

 The NORMA JEAN story chronicles Monroe's pin-up days and the trauma that transcended her into the silver nitrate witch, Marilyn Monroe.  GOODNIGHT, SWEET MARILYN is a true masterpiece.  With its melange of sincerely and depravity, Buchanan, with the chutzpah of a true auteur casts an older Paula Lane (THE LADIES' MAN, FADE TO BLACK) to play Marilyn Monroe in the final hours of her life.

For you contemporary film thinkers--it'll make no sense.  Buchanan, true to form, breaks every rule you may have imposed on your own enjoyment of cinema.   He creates a sort of fictionalized Monroe universe, much like Norman Mailer's penned Monroe mythos that flirts with conspiracy theories surrounding her tragic death.  Buchanan uses '70s rock songs in a film written about Monroe which is set in the 1940's and 1950's.   In addition, he casts actors and actresses that all have very similar looks about them--making it difficult for us, the audience, to differentiate between any of them. It's confusing to the unconscious mind, yet, when we see Misty Rowe, firstly as Norman Jean, and then as the transformed Marilyn Monroe--we come to understand that Monroe's beauty and presence over shadows everyone around her--man or woman.

With the casting of the older Paula Lane, Buchanan creates a sort of oneiric dream fantasy that allows us to see Monroe in a very fragile aura.  Buchanan takes this notion even farther by showing the much older actress--wrinkles and all--as she fucks a visitor who comes to her house in the very final hours before her death.   Buchanan even goes so far as to point out during the scene--that Monroe's actual fans never saw her in such a compromising light in any of her Hollywood films.

The genius in GOODNIGHT, SWEET MARILYN is how Buchanan distorts aesthetic approach.  GOODNIGHT, is a cheap film.  It feels low budget--yet it blends fantasy, reality with flashback, and present tense--which is effectively the past.  It feels sleazy at times too.  It produces a great empathy in one as well.

It made my list of 100 favorite films for a reason......

With all this...Let me present an interview I did earlier in 2013 with Larry Buchanan's son, Jeff Buchanan, about both GOODBYE NORMAN JEAN and GOODNIGHT, SWEET MARILYN.    You can check it out HERE:


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pre-Order my book on Amazon now! Studies in the Horror Film: Stanley Kubrick's The Shining

Fans of Stanley Kubrick and THE SHINING can rejoice as Studies In the Horror Film: Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com

Here's the official Amazon description:

 "Edited by Danel Olson, with nearly two dozen new interviews by Justin Bozung, this is the first book of new essays by top critics and new interviews with cast and crew ever published on Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. Includes rare photographs, archival material, a special gallery of artwork inspired by the film, excellent essays, new and reprinted interviews, and much more in a handsome, full-color, brilliantly designed sewn paperback."

Modestly put, but the book at 600 pages features over 50 behind-the-scenes photographs that are NOT in Kubrick archive in London.  There are portions of the various early versions of the screenplay inside as well as an incredible selection of in-depth interviews with many members of the cast and crew such as: Jack Nicholson, Joe Turkel, Shelley Duvall, Director Of Photography John Alcott, Camera Operator Douglas Milsome, Art Director Leslie Tomkins and many more!

This version of the book is currently available now via Amazon but as we approach the actual release date of March 15th, 2015, there will be a limited edition printing made available through the publisher's website which will be autographed by Editor Danel Olson, myself, and various members of the cast and crew of the film.

I spent almost two years working as the interviewer for the project as well as a researcher and I am incredibly thrilled that the journey is coming full circle with its release.   I can promise everyone that this book will put you on the set of THE SHINING in more ways than one.

Pre-Order HERE: