Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.
Has anything positive come out of the pandemic that hit America? Not much, though there have been a been a few exceptions (very few). Consider drive-in movies.
New York-based reporter Bryan Reesman says:
“At a time when few people can patronize traditional indoor theaters, they are serving a useful function by providing a communal experience that people crave right now. Accordingly, many indoor theaters are converting their parking lots to drive-ins. But this shouldn’t be just a move of desperation: The drive-in has many reasons to recommend itself, pandemic or not. People have space to spread out and aren’t on top of one another, and thanks to FM and Bluetooth transmission, they could easily have stereo sound sent into their car speakers. It also really lends itself to dates (wink-wink), which was a big draw for young people back in the day. And many of the big screens tower over cineplexes with smaller, chopped-up spaces. High-quality HD movies will look fantastic projected on giant screens.”
Just this week Tribeca Enterprises, IMAX and AT&T announced the initial lineup for its summer series of films, comedy and football, running every weekend from July 2 through Aug. 2 in cities like Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Miami and Seattle. Venues will include beaches (Nickerson Beach in Nassau County, New York, and Orchard Beach in the Bronx), stadiums (AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California) as well as conventional drive-in locations.
Drive-ins have already started popping up all over the country, not just in these big cities. This week we feature a few of the films and their music that drive-ins will be offering.
Let’s get started.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, from 1978, a cinema favorite that has a memorable scene that takes place at a drive-in!
Question. Can you guess which of the Grease stars I interviewed back in the mid-1980’s when I worked in public radio? Wasn’t Travolta or Newton-John. I’ll have the answer later.
It was 87 years ago this month the first drive-in opened in Camden, New Jersey. The cost: a whopping 25 cents per car, 25 cents per person, $1 for 3 or more persons. In 1958 there were 4,063 drive-ins in the United States.
I never get tired of this classic from the summer of 1975.
Jaws director Steven Spielberg said the music gets the credit for “half of the success’’ of the movie.
“You can’t really think about the movie without the music,’’ said Jack Freeman, professor of film scoring at Berklee College of Music. “It’s about as simple a theme as you can think of, but it’s primitive and it’s driving and it really captures the essence of the shark.’’
The 3rd James Bond movie was the best. Auric Goldfinger, who is out to rob Fort Knox, was named the forty-ninth greatest movie villain. Gert Fröbe played the part. His dialogue was dubbed by Michael Collins, since Fröbe was not a native English speaker.
There are some interesting gadgets, and Bond is faced with squirming his way out of some dangerous traps.
The vocal version of the movie’s theme song hit #8 on the Billboard chart in 1964.
Actress Shirley Eaton underwent two hours of make-up application that involved being gild painted to become a gold painted corpse. A doctor was on set at all times in fear of possible skin suffocation, and her stomach left bare for the same reason. Her shots lasted less than five minutes in the finished film and the filming of them was shot quickly, wrapped in a morning’s work. Then she was scrubbed down by the wardrobe mistress and the make-up girl, and sweated off the remaining gold in a number of Turkish baths. After the film was released, rumors circulated that she had actually died on set, owing to the misconception that the gold paint caused asphyxiation.
WOW! Pretty exciting stuff so far. I think you could use a short break.
Time to go back to 1985 and that year’s highest grossing film. Yep. 1985. Or was it 1955?
Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson were among the key people who took part in a “Back to the Future” cast remote reunion in May. Are there plans for a another film in the series. Not really. But if there could be Thompson said, “I’d like it to go back to, like, January where they could warn us about the coronavirus” in a line that drew laughter.
That’s it for this week.
Have a great weekend.
To answer the question about Grease from earlier. What star did I interview and cover in the mid-1980’s when I worked in public radio?
Didi Conn who played Frenchy.
Conn visited Milwaukee to, if memory is correct, advocate on the issue of children and hunger. Since 2008 she has also become a spokesperson for autism.
Drive-ins this summer promise to have something for everyone, even the kids. But I think we all can relate to this scene.