Philip Berk served for eight years as president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and now he has published his memoir, With Signs and Wonders, in which he relates in detail his eventful journey from a childhood in South Africa to prominence in Hollywood.
Stephen Farber, president of the Los AngelesFilm Critics Association, calls the book “an engaging memoir of an unusual and fascinating life’s journey.” And writer-director Rod Lurie says of it: “Phil Berk seems to have lived a ‘crowded hour’ for his entire life and it is all spelled out beautifully, energetically and with remarkable insight in his memoir.” For as long as he can remember Berk has been fascinated by movies and the entertainment business, and his book recounts his journey from South Africa, through London, New York and eventually to Los Angeles where he says, he applied for jobs “in anything that smacked of the entertainment industry.” He attended UCLA, wrote TV scripts, filmed a pilot for a television series and worked in menial jobs, studying at night for his teaching credential.
While pursuing his career as a schoolteacher, he wrote a weekly column for the South African Argus Group and joined the HFPA.
From then on he immersed himself in the world of entertainment and movies, serving in most capacities in the HFPA.
As he writes: “I can look back on my eight years as President with pride, knowing I did my best.”
“I think I just enjoy scaring the shit out of people,” he laughed.
The prolific author was talking via Skype at one of the HFPA’s Round Table series of interviews at which celebrities not necessarily connected with the entertainment industry talk about their lives and projects.
“The nice thing about what I do is it’s kind of like psychoanalysis turned inside out,” he said. “If you have fears and anxieties you go to a psychiatrist and pay maybe $120 an hour to vent those fears, whereas I put my fears down on paper and people pay me.”
With sales of more than 300 million copies of more than 70 books, plus dozens of stories adapted for film and television, 66-year-old King has been the dominant American storyteller for more than 25 years. He rarely gives interviews but he agreed to talk with the HFPA from North Carolina, where the TV series Under the Dome, based on his novel, is being filmed.
The movie The Shining, which was directed by Stanley Kubrick, is probably the best known and most popular of the movies made from King novels, but King himself did not like it.
“I don’t think it’s a very good movie,” he said. “It’s cold. I think Kubrick created the kind of character Jack Nicholson was channeling in the motorcycle pictures of the 1960s and that Shelly Duvall was sort of an anti-feminist caricature—a scream machine, so I had problems with that.”
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It’s been four years since Jack Bauer became a fugitive from justice and the hit TV series 24 disappeared from TV screens.
But now Jack’s back and on the run in London in 24 Live Another Day, a new high-octane tale of terrorism and intrigue.
HFPA members visited star Kiefer Sutherland on the top secret set in West London where much of the 12- episode series is being filmed.
Although we have been sworn to secrecy about details of the plot, we can reveal that the U.S President has set up temporary offices in London and it is up to Jack Bauer to risk his life in averting a global disaster.
“24 has always had such a global sensibility,” Kiefer told us. “But to be able to tell this intense 24-style story with the beauty of Europe’s history and architecture as the backdrop is going to be fascinating. Hopefully, by the time you’re finished watching an episode, you’ll feel like you’ve been there…on The Edge of your seat.”
In the new series Jack Bauer surfaces in London after spending four years hiding in Eastern Europe where he intercepted some intelligence involving a terrorist plot. “So he comes out of hiding and shows himself in London to stop this thing from happening, but the second he does the CIA, MI5 and MI6 are all after him,” said Kiefer.
The award was presented to him by the current HFPA president Theo Kingma during the annual Publicists Guild Award ceremony held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills It caps a great year for Berk, a four-time president of the association.
He has just published his autobiography, With Signs and Wonders, which Ramin Setoodeh, Variety’s New York Film Editor calls: “The rare immigrant memoir that’s also a page turner.”
Julian Myers, the veteran publicist who died last month, was singled out by Kingma for helping open the doors for international journalists in Hollywood more than six decades ago.
Burnett said Lewis had inspired her love of comedy when she first saw him on the big screen as a teenager while attending Hollywood High School in 1949 in the movie My Friend Irma, which also starred his then-partner Dean Martin. She also praised Lewis for his work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, helping raise over $2.6 billion.
Here is the complete list of the Publicists’ prizes:
Motion Picture Showmanship Award
Rob Friedman, Patrick Wachsberger
Television Showmanship Award
Linda Blue Bell
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Les Mason Award
American Press Award
Scott Mantz, Access Hollywood
International Media Award
Maxwell Weinberg Campaign Award, Motion Picture
Maxwell Weinberg Campaign Award, TV
American Horror Story: Coven
Excellence in Still Photography, Motion Pictures
Excellence in Still Photography, TV
A rare black and white photograph of Marilyn Monroe with her Golden Globe at the 1952 awards ceremony has been discovered at a West Hollywood memorabilia shop and is now in the HFPA archives. The original print, a bit yellowed at the edges but in good condition for its age, shows the actress seated at a table with her statuette as her unknown tablemate looks on.
The photograph is not signed and has no stamps or markings on the back, so the photographer is unknown. Explained Scott Forter, a leading expert and collector of all things Marilyn: “At that time, the Globes was a smaller, more open affair, with no official photographer, no tight security, and a large group of press photographers moved freely among the tables.”
Marilyn Monroe received the Golden Globe in a ceremony at the Club Del Mar in Santa Monica when she was 25 years old. More accurately it was the Henrietta award, an almost two foot tall statuette of a woman, but named after a man, Henry Gris, one of the first presidents of the Foreign Press Association of Hollywood, a predecessor of the HFPA. At the time the Henrietta was given to the actor and actress deemed “best young box office personality,” according to a survey of the viewing and reading public of members’ home countries. Monroe won the 1951 poll, the year before she had her first leading role, in the noirish Don’t Bother To Knock.
In all the HFPA honored her four times: Three times for her popularity and once for her performance as the Lead Actress in a Comedy, for Some Like It Hot, in 1959. Her last win came in 1962, a few months before her death at age 36. That recognition turned out to be very important to Monroe, as Dr. Susan Doll wrote in an article….”Marilyn’s February 1962 purchase of her new home and her winning of the Golden Globe Award as World’s Film Favorite in March, would be the last two high points of her life.”
The Golden Globe for Some Like it Hot (she was also nominated for a Golden Globe for best dramatic actress in 1956 for Bus Stop) would be Monroe’s only American acting award. She won several awards from magazines (Look, Redbook, Photoplay) and several European film awards, but she never received as much as a nomination from the Academy. Only the HFPA recognized and awarded Monroe for her acting, and only the HFPA gave Some Like it Hot the recognition it so richly deserved.
The presenter of Monroe’s 1962 award was actor Glenn Ford (a three times Golden Globe nominee, who finally won in 1962 as Best Actor for his performance in Frank Capra‘s Pocketful of Miracles). The awards ceremony was held at the Ambassador Hotel’s Cocoanut Grove. It was the first time the two met, and as told by Ford’s son, Peter, in his Glenn Ford: A Life, it led to a later romance —not the first or the last time that the Golden Globes acted as a matchmaker. Ask Harrison Ford who met his future wife, Calista Flockhart at the 2002 Golden Globes, when he received the Cecil B. DeMille award.
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A collection of photographs and correspondence from veteran Hollywood stuntman Chuck Waters’ 40 years of work on films ranging from The Exorcist and the Indiana Jones trilogy to Pirates of the Caribbean is on display this month at Pepperdine University in Malibu.
Waters, 80, donated the digital collection, which captures the stunt industry at its height, before green screens, wires and computer-generated imagery.
“It is really a wonderful glimpse into an old, but important, part of the Hollywood film making industry,” said Mark Roosa, dean of libraries at Pepperdine University.
Waters worked for some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, William Friedkin and Francis Ford Coppola. He more recently performed stunts in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the
Black Pearl, Changeling and J. Edgar. Those are just a few of the 130 films on which he served a stunt performer or stunt coordinator, according to City News Service.
Waters has been set on fire, rolled in crashing cars, clotheslined off motorcycles, driven off cliffs, dropped from helicopters and hurled down stairs.
“We, my fellow stuntmen and stuntwomen, had to figure out how to do our stunts as safe as possible so that we could live to see another day of stunts, as dangerous as they were,” Waters said. “And sometimes they did not get to see the next day.”
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Four times Golden Globe winner Tom Hanks can now add another accolade to his name—America’s most trusted celebrity. In Forbes magazine’s annual list of the most trustworthy celebrities, Hanks came out on top with a trustworthiness score of 25 and an appeal of 81. Rounding out the top five were Carol Burnett, Morgan Freeman, Michael J. Fox and Betty White – all of them multiple Golden Globe nominees.
Forbes compiles its list by using data from E-Poll Market Research whose E-Score Celebrity service ranks more than 6,600 celebrities on awareness, appeal and 46 different personality attributes. The Trustworthy Score is actually a combination of trustworthy and appeal ratings.
Tom Hanks won his Globes for Big (1989), Philadelphia (1994), Forrest Gump (1995) and Cast Away (2001). He most recently appeared as Walt Disney in “Saving Mr. Banks,” about the making of “Mary Poppins.”Read More »
Danish director Gabriel Axel, a Golden Globe nominee for his Babette’s Feast, has died aged 95.
His was one of seven Golden Globes nominations garnered by Denmark over the years, from The Word, the winner in 1956, to Susanne Bier’s In a Better World, the 2011 winner.
Ironically Axel lost to another Danish entry that was also nominated that year and won the Globe for best foreign movie of 1989, August Bulle’s Pelle the Conqueror.
By Yoram Kahana
The HFPA, which has been supporting film restoration for many years, last year gave a grant to a very specialized restoration-minded organization: the Film Noir Foundation, a San Francisco based non-profit dedicated to the research, restoration and showing of this most American of film genres.
Film noir, in the words of one historian, is made of
...” dark rooms with sunlight slicing through Venetian blinds,,, rain-slicked streets, seedy detective offices…,a perfect blend of form and content, where the desperation and hopelessness of the situations is reflected in a visual style that drenches the world in shadows….. Occasionally acerbic, usually cynical, film noir gives us characters forever trying to elude some mysterious past that continues to haunt them, hunting them down with a fatalism that teases and taunts before delivering the final blow..”..
A good description of Too Late for Tears, the 1949 film that the HFPA helped restore.
It is based on a novel by future television Hall of Fame author Roy Huggins (creator of 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick, The Fugitive, Baretta, etc.), who wrote his own brilliant screenplay. It stars Liz Scott, Dan Duryea and Arthur Kennedy [a Golden Globe winner for Trial in 1956.] The film was made by the independent producer Hunt Stromberg who unfortunately failed to renew the copyright, so Tears fell into public domain and anyone could duplicate and sell it. For many years, all the original 35mm prints were believed lost. Many of the versions on the market are degraded by bad editing and poor print quality, even more reason for the Film Noir Foundation to put Tears at the top of their to do list.
Said Scott MacQueen, head of preservation at the UCLA Film & Television Archive: “The original negatives and master positives were long gone. We had to rely on two 35mm picture sources: the 1949 nitrate French composite dupe negative that carried the original American soundtrack, a 1955 acetate reissue print which is de-composing due to acetic acid “vinegar syndrome” and a very good 16mm television print that was clean and orderly.”
Mixing and matching from these elements the restoration team created a new negative, from which fresh prints can now be struck. The new Tears had its world re-premiere at the recent annual noir film festival, Noir City 12, held in San Francisco at the historic Castro theater, where the HFPA’s Chairman of the Board Yoram Kahana was invited to represent the association at the sold out premiere.
Eddie Muller, founder and president of the FNF, said:.”The re-premiere of Too Late For Tears was one of the greatest triumphs in the history of the FNF, To hear an audience respond so enthusiastically to a film long thought lost, after so many years of hard restoration work, made me so much more grateful to the HFPA for helping us across the finish line.
“I am thrilled that Yoram was here on behalf of the HFPA to experience first hand the excitement of this resurrection. I received endless thanks during the Festival for getting this film back on the big screen, and I ‘m happy to share the accolades with the HFPA”.
Too Late For Tears will be shown at other Noir City 12 festivals across the USA in 2014, in Hollywood, Portland, Chicago and Miami, and on the international film festival circuit.Read More »
Coogan, who starred in, co-wrote and co-produced the film, was nominated for a Golden Globe for his screenplay. The film tells the story of Philomena’s search for her adopted son.
She and Coogan are campaigning for the release of 60,000 adoption files held by the Irish state, churches and private agencies.
As an unmarried mother in Ireland in the 1950s, Philomena was put into a convent as a “fallen woman” and forced to give up her three-year-old son.
“I am honoured and delighted to have been in the presence of Pope Francis, she said. “As the film portrays, I have always put great faith in the church and the good will to put the wrongs of the past right.
“I hope and believe that his Holiness Pope Francis joins me in the fight to help the thousands of mothers and children who need closure on their own stories.”
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