HOLLYWOOD MOVIE INVESTING - MOVIE INVESTING
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Hollywood Movie Investing
- The cinema of the United States has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century. Its history is sometimes separated into four main periods: the silent film era, classical Hollywood cinema, New Hollywood, and the contemporary period (after 1980).
- Buy (something) whose usefulness will repay the cost
- the act of investing; laying out money or capital in an enterprise with the expectation of profit
- Expend money with the expectation of achieving a profit or material result by putting it into financial schemes, shares, or property, or by using it to develop a commercial venture
- Devote (one's time, effort, or energy) to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result
- (invest) endow: give qualities or abilities to
- (invest) make an investment; "Put money into bonds"
THE MAGNATE Howard Hughes promoted the careers of several film actresses both before and during his tenure as head of RKO Studios, but the two stars in whom he invested most time and money were Jane Russell, who made it to the top, and Faith Domergue, who didn't.
Hughes nurtured the career of the sultry, dark-haired beauty Domergue for seven years, starting when she was only 16 years old. The first film in which she starred, Vendetta, is one of Hollywood's legendary disasters, finally released in 1950 four years after starting production, having gone through five directors, including such illustrious names as Preston Sturges and Max Ophuls. The same year that Vendetta opened to damning notices and an indifferent public, Where Danger Lives, in which Domergue co-starred with Robert Mitchum, also did poor business, and Hughes lost interest in his protege.
The exotic actress eventually achieved a fame of sorts, becoming a cult favourite for her roles in science-fiction movies such as It Came From Beneath the Sea, Cult of the Cobra and one of the most notable Fifties sci-fi films, This Island Earth.
Born in New Orleans in 1925, she was the adopted daughter of Annabelle Quimet and Leo Domergue. In the early Thirties the family moved to California, where Domergue attended Beverly Hills Catholic School and St Monica's Convent School. Shortly after leaving school in 1942, she attended a party aboard Howard Hughes's yacht, and so impressed him with her striking looks that he signed her to a long-term contract. Over three years of voice, diction and drama lessons followed before he considered her ready for the camera.
After a small one-scene role in Young Widow (1946) starring Jane Russell, Hughes cast her in the leading role in Vendetta. Domergue told Filmfax magazine in 1997,
Howard had formed a company with Preston Sturges called California Pictures and Preston had an idea to do what was then called Colomba (based on the novel by Prosper Merimee). He told Howard that he wanted to do a film with his girlfriend Frances Ramsden and Harold Lloyd called The Sin of Harold Diddlebock [later retitled Mad Wednesday] and, if Howard would allow Preston to produce and direct that, then Preston would produce Colomba with me. He told Howard, "I will make a star of Faith", which of course is what Howard wanted to hear.
Sturges chose Max Ophuls to direct Colomba and worked with him on the script, but when shooting started Sturges decided to take over the direction. According to Domergue,
Max would be allowed to say "Action!" and that was it - he was not allowed to say "Cut" or instruct any of the actors. Just before we started shooting Howard had been piloting his plane and had crashed into a house and remained between life and death for weeks, so now Sturges had total control of the company and at this point he lost his bearing. So much hubris came into his actions, this arrogant pride. Actor Nigel Bruce became short- tempered and my leading man George Dolenz wanted to leave. The whole picture was supposed to be for my benefit and here it was all going down the drain.
When Hughes became aware of the situation, the company was dissolved and Sturges and Ophuls dismissed. Stuart Heisler was hired, primarily to shoot close-ups, before the film was temporarily abandoned. Two years later Hughes, having taken over RKO, shot more footage for the film (now retitled Vendetta), then hired Mel Ferrer (who received sole screen credit as director) to shoot six weeks of retakes. In 1947 Domergue had married the director Hugo Fregonese, and on completion of the film went with him to his native Argentina:
The Vendetta experience was still on my mind - all that time and money wasted. By the time it was all over, I had no drive left, and, to be perfectly frank, I lost my first child because of Vendetta. I had a miscarriage and this was heartbreaking.
Domergue returned to Hollywood when Hughes offered her an RKO contract and the lead in John Farrow's film noir Where Danger Lives, in which Domergue was a psychotic who lets a doctor (Robert Mitchum) believe he killed her husband when in fact she has smothered him herself. "Robert Mitchum was wonderful," commented Domergue.
There was a scene where I was to get hysterical and it was difficult for me. After we shot the scene, Robert said to me, "I like you. You don't know what you're doing, but you're in there doing it with all your heart!" There was an enormous publicity campaign for me after I finished the film. I was on practically every cover of every magazine - 15 pages in Pageant, four pages in Life, the cover of Look - you name it.
Then, with both my films about to open in New York, I told the studio I couldn't go there because I was tired, angry and pregnant again. Howard phoned me and told me there was a lot of money tied up in the campaign. When I told him I was going to have a baby he said, "OK, goodbye Faith", and that wa
???Tom Milne????,?????????????"Godard on Godard"
Eric Rohmer obituary
Idiosyncratic French film-maker who was a leading figure in the cinema of the postwar new wave
* Tom Milne
* guardian.co.uk, Monday 11 January 2010 20.09 GMT
In Arthur Penn's intelligently unconventional private eye thriller Night Moves (1975), Gene Hackman's hero – who finds the mystery he faces as unfathomable as his personal relationships – is asked by his wife whether he wants to go to an Eric Rohmer movie. "I don't think so," he says. "I saw a Rohmer film once. It was kind of like watching paint dry."
Behind that exchange lies a jab at Hollywood's mistrust of any film-maker, especially a French one, who neglects plot and action in favour of cerebral exploration, metaphysical conceit and moral nuance. The Dream Factory, after all, had proved through trial and error that cinema is cinema, literature is literature, and the twain shall meet only provided the images rule, not the words.
Of the major American film-makers, perhaps only Joseph Mankiewicz allowed his scripts, fuelled by his own sparkling dialogue, to wag the tail of his movies. While acknowledging the brilliance, Hollywood punditry never failed to complain that Mankiewicz characters simply talked too much.
Rohmer, who has died aged 89, pushed even further into this disputed territory. The oldest of the group of critics associated with the film review Cahiers du Cinema, who launched the French new wave in the late 1950s, Rohmer had (writing initially under his real name of Maurice Scherer) established impeccable credentials for a future film-maker. Among the objects of his admiration were Dashiell Hammett, Alfred Hitchcock (about whom he wrote a monograph with Claude Chabrol), Howard Hawks, and above all FW Murnau, the great visual stylist of the German expressionist era (on whose version of Faust he published a doctoral thesis). As a film-maker, however, he turned instead to such literary-philosophical luminaries as Blaise Pascal, Denis Diderot, Choderlos de Laclos and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
His first feature, Le Signe du Lion (The Sign of Leo), completed in 1959 after one false start and a handful of shorts, fitted comfortably into the early new wave formula of Parisian life, with its tale of a student musician, tempted into debt by a promised inheritance, who lapses into abject destitution after the legacy turns out to be a hoax. In retrospect, one can clearly see in it the seeds of Rohmer's later work. Showing little interest in plot or action, Rohmer concentrates on demonstrating how Paris itself becomes an objective correlative to the hero's state of mind, gradually metamorphosing from a welcoming city into a bleak stone desert as he realises that the friends from whom he might hope to borrow are all away for the vacation.
With Le Signe du Lion failing at the box office, Rohmer retreated into television where, while working on educational documentaries, he hatched his daring conception for a series of Six Moral Tales. Variations on a theme, each film would deal with "a man meeting a woman at the very moment when he is about to commit himself to someone else". Furthermore, as Rohmer later observed, the films would deal "less with what people do than with what is going on in their minds while they are doing it".
Made for TV, the first two films in the cycle, La Boulangere de Monceau (The Baker of Monceau, 1962) and La Carriere de Susanne (Suzanne's Career, 1963), shot in black and white and running for 26 and 60 minutes respectively, were too cramped in every respect to be more than clumsy foretastes of what was to come.
Completing the series for the cinema with La Collectionneuse (The Collector, 1966), Ma Nuit Chez Maud (My Night With Maud, 1969), his international breakthrough Le Genou de Claire (Claire's Knee, 1970) and L'Amour l'Apres-midi (Love in the Afternoon, 1972), Rohmer found exactly what he needed in the bigger screens, longer running times, more expansive locations and availability of colour (actually in black and white, My Night With Maud uses the snowy landscapes of Clermont-Ferrand as a perfect counterpoint to its chilly Pascalian thematic). Backed by the richly sensuous role now played by the visuals, the somewhat arid intellectual dandyism of the first two films flowered into a teasingly metaphysical exploration of human foibles.
Le Genou de Claire, for instance, perhaps the most accomplished of the six films, is about a French diplomat, on the brink of both middle age and marriage, enjoying a brief lakeside vacation in Switzerland. Seduced by his idyllic summery surroundings, he begins casting an appreciative eye over the young women on show. Innocent dalliance, he assures himself, proclaiming that his courtly fancy has been captured by the perfection of the eponymous heroine's knee. Deeper
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