My Houston-based colleague, film critic, teacher and author Joe Leydon, has just turned 59, and feels that with a milestone year in front of him, it’s high time he caught up with famous films he’s never seen. We all have such a list, though some of us are more reluctant to admit it than others. Joe has not only decided to go public, but to publish a weekly diary of his observations. If you don’t read his reviews in Variety, or any number of other outlets, this may be a nice way to catch up with a good writer and lifelong film buff.
To quote him directly,
“I'm launching—with , I admit, no small amount of trepidation—a project that I've dubbed Take 59. During the next 52 weeks—from Aug. 22, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012—I’m going to view, once a week, a 20th century movie that I've never seen before, that I feel I should see before I turn 60. But wait, there's more: I'm also going to post an appraisal of each movie, and each posting will come with the Take 59 label.
“I’m likely going to embarrass myself, and get a fair amount of heckling, when I fess up and name the names of—
I’ve run out of shelf space for books relating to the life, career, and films of Walt Disney, but it seems there are always more coming along—and a surprising number of them have worthwhile new material to share. But the one even I didn’t know about was published some months ago by the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. When you visit the Museum—which you absolutely should—you’ll find that photographs are not allowed inside the exhibit rooms. That’s why there’s a handsome book called Picturing The Walt Disney Family Museum with photography by Jim Smith, text by Richard Benefield, and an introduction by Walt’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller. It’s the next best thing to actually walking through the galleries that trace—
It’s taken ten years, but I can finally announce that all 78 episodes of the Zorro TV series produced by Walt Disney in 1957-58, along with four one-hour Zorro specials that aired on Walt Disney Presents, are now available on DVD as part of the Walt Disney Treasures. This marks the ninth installment of the series which I pitched to then-Disney chairman Dick Cook ten years ago. I wanted Zorro to be among...
You might think that everything to be said about Walt Disney and his career has been said by now...but you’d be wrong. Film buffs and scholars are unearthing all sorts of material on the many facets of Walt’s life and career. Ted Thomas, son of legendary Disney animator Frank Thomas, has written and directed a fascinating new documentary called Walt & El Grupo that’s now showing in specialized theaters around the country (and will continue to rack up play dates throughout the fall). It’s an eye-opening look at Walt’s Good Will tour of South America in 1941—the trip that inspired Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros. Thomas uses home movies, photographs, sketches and paintings made by the artists who traveled with Walt, and their eloquent letters home (read aloud by—
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