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Nostalgia from May 14th Educated Retirement Show

May 11, 2021

 

Special Holidays…May 14

National Dance Like A Chicken Day..encourages everyone to dance like a chicken.  This day is from start to finish with people flapping with their arms and strutting chicken- like.  In the 1950’s Swiss accordionist Werner Thomas wrote “The Chicken Dance” which is usually associated with polkas and is suggested that the song was written as a drinking song for Oktoberfest.  It didn’t arrive to American till late 70’s.  So dance like a chicken, be silly, and serve chicken nuggests, fried chicken or chicken fried steak.

 

National Buttermilk Biscuit Day…The buttermilk biscuit (or hardtack) first appeared in the US in early 19th century and many times is served with gravy instead of butter and jam.  Celebrate by serving them as a dumpling in your favorite soup or with meat and gravy and mashed potatoes.  Some restaurants will have an all biscuit menu for Buttermilk Biscuit day.

 

International Astronomy Day…May 15

This event was started in 1973 by Doug Berger, the president of the Astronomical  Association of Northern CA, his intent was to set up various telescopes in busy urban locations so that passersby could enjoy the view of the heavens.  Since then the event has expanded and is sponsored by a number of orgagnizations associated with astronomy.

On This Day…. May 14

Griffith Park Observatory formally dedicated its Planetarium on May 14, 1935.  Griffith Observatory is one of the only major facilities in the world that still produces exclusively live planetarium shows,  Over 100,000 shows since 1935.  The Terminator, The Rocketeer, Rebel Without A Cause and La La Land are just a few of the many movies that have been filmed at the Observatory and this still is one of the best places to view the Hollywood Sign.

 

“The Adventures of Robin Hood” was released May 14, 1938.

This Technicolor swashbuckler film from Warner Bros. was directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca, The Sea Hawk, Young Man with A Horn) and William Keighley and starred Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone and Claude   Rains.  It was the most expensive film Warner Bros.  had made up to that time and used the three-strip Technicolor process.

James Cagney was originally cast as Robin Hood but walked out on his Warner Bros contract.  Location work included Chino, CA, Calabasas and Busch Gardens in Pasadena. 

 

Erich Korngold did the music which gave him an Academy Award for Best Original Score.

Composer John Williams said that Korngold was his major inspiration in scoring the Star Wars films.

Birthdays for May 14

George Lucas …1944

American film director, producer and screenwriter. 

George was born and raised in Modesto, CA.  Growing up he was interested in comics, science fiction and television serials his favorite… Flash Gordon.  In High School he wanted to be a racecar driver and would race on the underground circuit at fairgrounds and hanging out at garages  A few days before his high school graduation Lucas was driving his souped up Autobianchi Bianchina when another driver broadsided him flipping his car several times before he crashed into a tree.  His seatbelt snapped letting him go which saved his life. His lungs were bruised from severe hemorrhaging and required medical treatment…this caused him to lose interest in racing as a career.

 

His father owned a stationery store and had wanted George to work for him when he turned 18.  Lucas had planned to go to art school.  He began shooting with an 8 mm camera.  He and his friend became interested in Canyon Cinema.  Canyon cinema was an exhibition outlet for independent motion picture film with screenings of films from underground and avant-garde 16mm filmmakers.  This cinema began by 1960 as a filmmakers cooperative with films projected onto an army surplus screen from the kitchen window as a community oriented venue for films by neighbors…later spun off San Francisco Cinematheque in 1975.

 

Lucas went to USC School of Cinematic Arts and became good friends with Steven Spielberg.  He was interested in camerawork and editing, as a filmmaker and made abstract visual films.

 

In 1969 Lucas co-founded the studio American Zoetrope with Francis Ford Coppola.  They produced THX 1138 as George’s first full length feature film which was not declared a big hit.

 

 Lucas went on to creating his own company Lucasfilm, Ltd and directed American Graffiti in 1973.  When he was unable to obtain the rights to “Flash Gordon” for an adventure film which led him to write an original space adventure that would eventually become Star Wars.  It was influenced by samurai films of Akira Kurosawa and quickly became the highest grossing film of all time until five years later it was topped by Spielbergs’s  “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.”

Short  List  George Lucas films

THX 1138…1971…written and directed

American Graffiti…1973…written and directed

Star Wars…1977…Produced, wrote and directed

The Empire Strikes Back…1980…and sequels produced

Raiders of the Lost Ark…1981…and sequels produced

 

George Lucas produced over 57 films and directed 6

 

Robert Zemeckis…1952

American film director, producer and screenwriter

Robert was born in Chicago.  He said that “there was no art in my family, no music, no books, no theatre…the only thing I had that was inspirational was television.”  He said… “you hear so much about the problems with television but I think that it saved my life”.

 

He loved television and was interested in using his parents’ 8mm movie camera.  He started off by filming family events and went on to use stop motion work and special effects.  He learned about film school thru an episode of  The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  His parents disapproved of the idea of film school and learning about directing. He said they would sit there and say…”Don’t you see where you come from?  You can’t be a movie director”. He said that he had to persue those things in spite of them.

 

Robert worked as a film cutter and edited commercials for NBC News during a summer break.  He transferred to USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles where he was disappointed in the programs that they were made of a “bunch of hippies and was an embarrassment to the university.”  He met Bob Gale and the two hit it off and decided they wanted to make Hollywood movies and were not interested in the French New Wave. They were interested in Clint Eastwood, James Bond and Walt Disney.

 

He won a Student Academy Award at USC for his film “A Field of Honor” and came to the attention of Steven Spielberg.  Zemeckis had trouble finding work in the early 80’s.   He and Gale kept busy writing scripts for other directors even tho some did not end up getting made.  He was jobless till he was hired by Michael Douglas (producer) to do “Romancing the Stone” which starred Michael along with Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito.  Following was “Back to the Future” and the sequels and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and then “Forrest Gump” which was the top grossing film of 1994.

 

Robert Zemeckis directed 17 films and produced over 46.

He wrote for “Kolchak: The Night Stalker”…his first professional credit for him and Bob Gale

 

Short List of Robert Zemeckis films

1941….1979….writer

Romancing The Stone…1984…Director…film nominated for AA award best film editing… Back To The Future…1985…writer and director…won AA award Best Editing

Who Framed Roger Rabbit..1988…Director…film won 4 AA awards…Best visual Effects, Best film editing, Best Sound Editing and Special Achievement Academy award Richard Williams (animator)

Forrest Gump…1994…Director..film won 6 AA awards…Best Picture, Best Actor (Tom Hanks), Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Effects

Contact…1997….director and producer…nominated for AA award Best Sound Mixing

The Polar Express…2004…writer, director, producer….nominated 3 AA Awards

 

David Byrne….1952

Scottish American singer, songwriter, filmmaker…lead singer for The Talking Heads.

 

David was born in Scotland and later his family moved to Canada then to the US.  Before high school Byrne already knew how to play the guitar, accordion and the violin.  He was rejected from his middle school’s choir because he was too “off key”.  He would constantly play hs phonograph from age 3 and played the harmonica at age five.  As an older adult he realized he had Asperger’s and said that music was his way of communicating when he felt he couldn’t do it face to face.

 

He started his musical career in a high school band in 72’.  Byrne attended the Maryland Institute College of Art and eventually moved to NYC where he and his good friend Chris Frantz contemplated putting a new band together.  They founded “The Talking Heads” in 1975 and were signed to Sire Records and released eight studio albums.  Byrne announced the band was breaking up in 91’ and they had a brief reunion for the single “Sax and Violins” before he went solo.

 

He partnered with choreographer Twyla Tharp in scoring music for a ballet that appeared on Broadway “The Catherine Wheel”.  He was responsible for the stage design and choreography of documentary “Stop Making Sense.”  David’s work was used extensively on soundtracks such as “The Last Emperor” which won an Academy award for Best Original Score.

 

Byrne initiated his own internet radio station “Radio David Byrne” in 2005, released a sketchbook of his Tree Drawings (more like  diagrams) (as he is also a visual artist) and has been a speaker at the TED Talks conferences.

 

Honorable birthday mentions

Bobby Darin…1936-1973

(Mack the Knife,  Splish Splash, Beyond The Sea)..American singer and songwriter.

He started as a songwriter for Connie Francis, his songs won worldwide fame and as an actor he won a Golden Globe Award for his first film “Come September” with Rock Hudson, Gina Lollobrigida and Sandra Dee.

He starred in 7 films.

He passed away at 37 due to heart ailments.

 

Cate Blanchett…1969

Starred in 70 films, most notably “The Lord Of The Rings” as The Lady of Light..

The Aviator…2004

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull…2008

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button…2008

 

Sofia Coppola….1971

American screenwriter and daughter of Francis Ford Coppola

Directed 8 films

Lost in Translation…2003…screenplay and directed..won AA award Best Writing, Best Screenplay

The Virgin Suicides….1999…screenplay and directed

 

 

Special Holidays…May 14

National Dance Like A Chicken Day..encourages everyone to dance like a chicken.  This day is from start to finish with people flapping with their arms and strutting chicken- like.  In the 1950’s Swiss accordionist Werner Thomas wrote “The Chicken Dance” which is usually associated with polkas and is suggested that the song was written as a drinking song for Oktoberfest.  It didn’t arrive to American till late 70’s.  So dance like a chicken, be silly, and serve chicken nuggests, fried chicken or chicken fried steak.

 

National Buttermilk Biscuit Day…The buttermilk biscuit (or hardtack) first appeared in the US in early 19th century and many times is served with gravy instead of butter and jam.  Celebrate by serving them as a dumpling in your favorite soup or with meat and gravy and mashed potatoes.  Some restaurants will have an all biscuit menu for Buttermilk Biscuit day.

 

International Astronomy Day…May 15

This event was started in 1973 by Doug Berger, the president of the Astronomical  Association of Northern CA, his intent was to set up various telescopes in busy urban locations so that passersby could enjoy the view of the heavens.  Since then the event has expanded and is sponsored by a number of orgagnizations associated with astronomy.

 

On This Day…. May 14

Griffith Park Observatory formally dedicated its Planetarium on May 14, 1935.  Griffith Observatory is one of the only major facilities in the world that still produces exclusively live planetarium shows,  Over 100,000 shows since 1935.  The Terminator, The Rocketeer, Rebel Without A Cause and La La Land are just a few of the many movies that have been filmed at the Observatory and this still is one of the best places to view the Hollywood Sign.

 

“The Adventures of Robin Hood” was released May 14, 1938.

This Technicolor swashbuckler film from Warner Bros. was directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca, The Sea Hawk, Young Man with A Horn) and William Keighley and starred Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone and Claude   Rains.  It was the most expensive film Warner Bros.  had made up to that time and used the three-strip Technicolor process.

James Cagney was originally cast as Robin Hood but walked out on his Warner Bros contract.  Location work included Chino, CA, Calabasas and Busch Gardens in Pasadena. 

 

Erich Korngold did the music which gave him an Academy Award for Best Original Score.

Composer John Williams said that Korngold was his major inspiration in scoring the Star Wars films.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jay Kaplan profile picture
Jay Kaplan
This is the place to share. Share news, updates and opinions. The reverse is the most misunderstood item in the lending and financial home ownership arena; we need more exchange of ideas. This area is for questions and, I hope; answers. Please keep the dialogue going in the name of education, and that goes both ways. Please see that I have added two categories from The Educated Retirement show for Nostalgia and Wisdom
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This is the place to share. Share news, updates and opinions. The reverse is the most misunderstood item in the lending and financial home ownership arena; we need more exchange of ideas. This area ...
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