Sheldon Leonard's Wonderful Life
Sheldon Leonard produced such iconic sitcoms as Make Room For Daddy, The Andy Griffith Show, and The Dick Van Dyke Show, as well as the globetrotting adventure series I Spy. This documentary looks back on Leonard’s enduring achievements and features footage of stars Jimmy Durante, Jack Benny, Danny Thomas, Milton Berle, Don Knotts, Bill Cosby, Gene Hackman, and Carroll O’Connor. It boasts personal interviews with Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Robert Culp, and Sheldon Leonard himself. The accomplished producer recounts the troubles of getting a television show made in the 1950’s and 60’s. This was often due to studio politics and social (read: racial intolerance) setbacks. Leonard discusses his not-so-secret and surprisingly simple format of making a successful television show with an effective leading man: If the star is an entertainer, make his character an entertainer (Jack Benny, Make Room For Daddy); if he’s a country boy, make him a country boy (Andy Griffith, The Andy Griffith Show). Mr. Leonard’s death in 1997 was the inspiration for making this film. Luckily, he was one of the first 6 interviews from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Archives. Over the next decade and a half, the film has been updated with TV Academy Archive interviews with those whose lives he touched so deeply and happily.
Allan Holzman has stuttered his way through college, disillusionment with the Vietnam War, and through an acting scholarship at the all-girls Bennington College. After three years of directing plays, making short films and working as a film editor in New York, Holzman attended the American Film Institute and edited Candy Stripe Nurses and Crazy Moma for legendary B-Movie Producer Roger Corman. He screened his AFI movie for him and asked, “Roger, can I d-d-d-d” (he was attempting to say “direct”) and after a minute of stuttering Roger nodded politely and said, “Thank you very much, Allan. I’ll see you later.” Holzman’s directing career was delayed for four more years, after which he saved Corman’s Battle Beyond the Stars in the editing room, and a grateful Corman gave Holzman his directing break. It was not until Allan wrote his autobiographical novel that he discovered the source of his lifelong stutter. The trials and travails continue unabated, unending and not always stutter-free in C-C-Cut.
For over thirty years, Professor Chip Sullivan (UC Berkeley) has developed a dynamic and graphic approach to appreciating and understanding the depth, meaning and importance of landscape architecture and art. From Rube Goldberg fantasies and pop-up books and urban renewal, Chip uses visual storytelling to inspire his dynamic cadre of students, constantly exploring worlds of imagination and reality. Winner of the Rome Price, he has written three influential books in the Landscape arena: Garden and Climate, The Art of Drawing and The History of Architecture. In addition to being loved and admired by his students, he has the biggest toy train set in Berkeley.
An emotional autopsy of Marilyn Monroe’s life, Allan Holzman's “My Marilyn” paints a picture of the eternal feminine from the perspective of those who have devoted a significant part of their lives to revealing the truth about her life, her loves and her death. Featured most prominently in this independent feature by Emmy Award winning director Allan Holzman (Survivors of the Holocaust, Sound of Memphis, Old Man River) is: The Kennedy’s hairdresser, Mickey Song, who styled her hair on the Happy Birthday Mr. President night and befriended her during her last two months, who reveals startling details on her daring relationships with Jack and Bobby and their possible culpability in her tragic demise. Both Norma Jean Baker, the future Marilyn Monroe grew up in several foster homes in Los Angeles. At eleven she was molested by a boarder in one of the homes, a traumatic event which led to her stuttering and at sixteen, her foster parents married her off to a neighbor. This start in life, however uncompromising, only served to fuel her ambitions to reach higher, ultimately blazing her way into our consciousness. An illuminating spotlight on the dark psychological corners of the life of Hollywood’s greatest icon, “My Marilyn” reveals a complex woman set alongside the men of power she pursued with unrelenting abandon, who challenged the conventions of her time of what a woman should be in mind, body and career.
Survivors of the Holocaust
Steven Spielberg, in association with Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation and Turner Original Productions, presents SURVIVORS OF THE HOLOCAUST, an unprecedented and historic documentary which chronicles the events of the Shoah (Holocaust) as witnessed by those who survived. The program weaves together archival footage and an original music score with survivors’ personal testimonies and photgraphs, chronicling life in pre-war Europe, the devastating impact of Nazism, the liberation of the concentration camps and life fifty years later. As survivors relive their stories on camera, many for the first time, those who watch can not come away without being deeply affected. It was the profound impact of the survivors’ stories that prompted Steven Spielberg to establish Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, a non-profit effort to videotape tens of thousands of these precious accounts and make them available for education around the world.
From Walt's Table: Disney's Nine Old Men
Walt Disney depended on nine character animators (nicknamed the nine old men to
reference the justices on the Supreme Court) to animate all of his feature films until
his death. These films include: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Bambi. Dumbo,
Fantasia, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan,
Lady and The Tramp, One Hundred and One Dalmatians and finally Jungle Book. Their
interviews plus a round table meeting with today's leading animators who they mentored
supply the narrative. Their amazing work supplies the visual expressions that so
influenced our youth.
The Gullah culture evolved with the enslavement of Africans and their transportation to the Sea Islands which exist from the Carolinas to Florida. GULLAH presents a glimpse into their history , their present way of life, and their desire to continue Gullah traditions despite overwhelming odds.
Invisible Art/Visible Artists
"Invisible Art/Visible Artists" features the Academy Award nominated editorsand winners since 2001 discussing the art of editing from dailies to distribution.These distinguished editors offer rare insights into their varied processes and styles and speak before a standing room only crowd at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood with their intelligence, charm and wit.
Sounds of Memphis
Allan Holzman chronicles the evolution of Rock and Rock from Blues, County and Gospel at Stax and Sun Records with some of the greatest names in music history, including Otis Redding, Elvis Presley, Sam and Dave, Isaac Hayes, Booker T and the MGs, Sam Phillips. Produced with the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in Memphis.
Based on rare footage of the Harold Lloyd Master Seminars with Alfred Hitchcock in 1968 and Steven Spielberg in 1983, the two greats of cinema reveal their philosophy of filmmaking with incredibly brilliant and tremendously engaging stories of the challenges they faced in creating
The Art of Directing
Beyond the Mesas
Beyond The Mesas is a 30 minute documentary about the forced removal of the Hopi people to off-reservation boarding schools , and their experiences at schools such as Sherman Institute, the Phoenix Indian School, Ganado Mission School and Stewart Indian School. Topics covered include Hopi understandings of education and early government efforts to assimilate and acculturate Hopis, the Orabi Split, Hopi language loss at American schools and the future of Hopi people. Beyond The Mesas was made with the full cooperation and involvement of the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office in Kykotsmovi, Arizona.
Beautiful Resistance interweaves America's attempt to assimilate Native American children through the stringent Boarding School system, stressing progress with phrase, "Kill the Indian to save the Man," and contemporary Native American artists' courageous efforts to keep their culture alive by communicating their stories, myths and experiences through their art.