Fellow Film Club Members & Movie Buffs:
The theme for this month is “A Writers Journey”, covering the lives of authors David Foster Wallace, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, & Hunter S. Thompson.
My goodness, Summer appears to be waning. The wonderful wind storms & rain storms have cleaned the wildfire smoke out of the air, & subjected us to some dramatic & rapid changes. Join the Tacoma Film Club’s tribute to famous authors when we screen CROSS CREEK this Friday, September 4, 2015.
The film was directed by veteran Martin Ritt. who started his career as an actor/playwright in the late 30’s, involved in leftist politics. He worked in the National Theater, & became good friends with Elia Kazan, & was very involved with the Actor’s Studio; even filling in for Kazan often on the staff. He had directed over 100 plays before directing in television.In 1952 he was blacklisted by HUAC, & the TV industry would not hire him. So he returned to working in NY Theater, & was a teacher at the Actor’s Studio. He began directing motion pictures in 1956, & never looked back.
He directed 13 actors over the years to Oscar nominations. He helmed 30 films, including EDGE OF THE CITY (1957), THE LONG HOT SUMMER (1958), PARIS BLUES (1961), HUD (1963), THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD (1965), HOMBRE (1967), THE GREAT WHITE HOPE (1970), SOUNDER (1972), CONRACK (1974), NORMA RAE (1979), & MURPHY’S ROMANCE (1985).
Martin Ritt said, “I don’t have a lot of respect for talent alone. Talent is genetic–it’s what you do with it that counts.”
The cinematography was done by John Alonzo. This very talented lenser made 183 films since 1964; the first 14 films were all documentaries–other films included BLOODY MAMA (1969), HAROLD & MAUDE (1971), SOUNDER (1972), LADY SINGS THE BLUES (1972), CHINATOWN (1974), FAREWELL, MY LOVELY (1975), NORMA RAE (1979), TOM HORN (1980), SCARFACE (1983), & STEEL MAGNOLIAS (1989).
The music was composed by Leonard Rosenman, a winner of two Oscars, who was nominated for two more, & the winner of two Emmys. He has written scores for 112 films from 1955, including EAST OF EDEN (1955), REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955),
PORK CHOP HILL (1959), HELL IS FOR HEROES (1962), FANTASTIC VOYAGE (1966), HELLFIGHTERS (1968), A MAN CALLED HORSE (1970), BIRCH INTERVAL (1976), & THE JAZZ SINGER (1980).
TRIVIA: The film was released 30 years after Rawlings death in 1983, the same year the Japanese version of THE YEARLING was released. Mary Steenburgen was married to Malcolm McDowell at that time, & he appeared uncredited in CROSS CREEK. The movie was filmed in several of the same locations in Florida that were used in THE YEARLING (1946).
CROSS CREEK (1983)
Directed by Martin Ritt @ 127 minutes.
The film stars Mary Steenburgen, Peter Coyote, Rip Torn, Dana Hill, Cary Guffey, Jay O. Sanders, & Malcolm McDowell.
Synopsis: In the 1930’s, author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings moved to backwater Florida so that she could “write in peace”–but she is bothered by affectionate men, anxious editors, & confused neighbors. Out of all that she was inspired to write THE YEARLING.
Tagline: The portrait of a woman who, at the edge of survival, found a world of meaning.
The film was nominated for 4 Oscars, winning none.
Rotten Tomatoes rated the movie at 64% of Critic’s Approval, & 76% Audience Approval. IMDb rated the film at 7 stars.
Janet Maslin or the NEW YORK TIMES, “Somehow, Mr. Ritt manages to use this very artificiality in the service of an optimism that is very much his own.”
So mark your calendar for this Friday, September 4, 2015, & join us for a screening of this classic movie, CROSS CREEK (1983). It will be shown at the Center for Spiritual Living, the church building we rent for our events, parties, & meetings. It is located at 206 North J. Street, on the corner of Division & J Streets, across from the Group Health Hospital.
Arrive early, around 6:30 pm, & join many of us downstairs in the kitchen area for fun, fellowship, & snacks. It is permitted to bring snacks & beverages, including wine & beer, to share with others. Please clean up after yourselves before coming upstairs to enjoy the movie. There is a Donation Box by the entrance to the sanctuary. All donated funds are used for rent of the space & Club expenses. CROSS CREEK will screen at 7:15 pm & it runs at 127 minutes. See you at the movies!