Merry Christmas! Look, if you’re one of the high class tastemakers that visits BBP regularly, you’ve likely got friends and family who are fans of the single greatest musical to hit the stage since Webber decided to put dancers in cat suits. And by that, I mean Hamilton: an American Musical.
But once they’ve stepped across the threshold of artistic genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop musical about the founding father without a father, what the heck are you going to get them?
Hold onto your tricorn, friends, because after the jump, we delve into the perfect gift list for the Hamilhead in your life.
When you talk about legendary directors, it’s no stretch to put John Landis in that category. Let me just run down a few of the classic films he’s given us – National Lampoon’s Animal House. The Blue Brothers. An American Werewolf In London. Trading Places. Spies Like Us. Three Amigos. Coming To America. It’s a pretty amazing cv, isn’t it? This is the man who directed Thriller, the greatest music video of all time. Hell, he even co-wrote Clue, which is one of the most beloved films of the 80s.
A few years ago, John Landis added author to his list of credits with Monsters In The Movies, a gorgeous DK coffee table book that delivers what’s on the cover. I’d been hoping to talk to him about the book, his movies and the horror genre, and I’m happy to say, the interview finally came to pass, thanks to the folks at DK and the Toronto International Film Festival, who are putting on Toga! The Reinvention of American Comedy, a monthlong film fest which includes among its featured directors, John Landis. It’s all worked out so nicely. Let me preface our chat by saying that, of all the interviews I’ve done on our site, this was the most freewheeling, and in many ways, the most fun.
So, without further adieu, check out our interview with the one and only John Landis.
Andy Burns: I’ve been waiting to talk you about Monsters In The Movies for a few years now, since DK sent it to me, so thank you for taking the time. First of all, how did you wind up writing the book. It’s a gorgeous book.
John Landis: I was in London making a movie, and in the U.K., An American Werewolf In London is a big movie. It’s like being in Chicago with The Blue Brothers. When you’ve made a lot of movies, certain movies have more resonance in certain countries. I was approached by four different publishers asking me to write a book about horror films. And I thought, “gee, I don’t want to”(laughs). But they were offering me money. Then, totally coincidentally, I met a woman named Loretta Dives who runs with her husband The Kobal Collection, which is the largest collection of motion picture photography in the world, and she asked me if I wanted to do a picture book. And I didn’t want to write a book about horror films, but the monsters themselves are so interesting visually that I thought that would make a fun book. She said, “Great, let’s do that”, and she went to several publishers, and we chose DK mainly because of the quality of their books.
It took about three months. I was doing other things too, but the writing of it went rather smoothly. I mean, it’s written in a conversational tone. I wrote the chapters, and then I thought that I wanted to hear from important and influential people in the monster world. So the ones who were in the book – Rick Baker, Ray Harryhausen, who sadly just passed, Christopher Lee, Sam Raimi, Guillermo Del Toro, Joe Dante, John Carpneter – they’re all friends of mine. I’ve known all those guys for 35, 40 years, so I did these conversations where I sat with them and recorded it. I enjoyed those, but unfortunately because of the limitations of the book ,I had to heavily edit them, because they were quite lengthy. The two most interesting things about them were that, they’re old friends, so they can’t bullshit me. I can challenge them. And two – I think they all had really interesting and insightful things to say.
Pixar’s Brave Shoots To The Top – Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Wrap-Up Report, Weekend of June 22nd, 2012
As predicted, the latest Pixar flick had a huge weekend at the box office, claiming the top spot with ease. But how did the rest of the new releases fair? Find out after the jump.
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Brave vs Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter – Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Predictions, Weekend of June 22nd, 2012
Three new releases will do battle for your box office bucks this weekend – the latest from Pixar, a Vampire Hunting former president and an under the radar comedy from Steve Carrell. Will any of these be able to claim top spot? Here are our predictions:
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Rock Of Ages and That’s My Boy Have Disastrous Openings – Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Wrap-Up Report, Weekend of June 15th
It was an absolutely abysmal weekend for two new releases looking to connect with audiences. Just how bad was it? Find out after the jump!
Tom Cruise and Rock Of Ages Battles Adam Sandler’s That’s My Boy – Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Predictions, Weekend of June 15th, 2012
An R-rated comedy from two Saturday Night Live alum and a rock and roll musical that will take you back to 1987 are the big films opening this weekend. Will either of them manage to knock Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted from the top of the box office? Here are our predictions:
The latest episode of South Park helps to explain a phenomenon I’ve never personally understood: the ongoing obsession with musical theatre. I’d say Trey Parker’s well qualified to enlighten us… he’s won 9 Tonys. But more importantly, I learned why so many men put up with taking their women to musicals; the magic of subtext!
Starring my favourite adult South Park character Randy Marsh, Broadway Bro Down pits him against some of the most hardcore musical composers in the industry; and also reveals that despite recent events, Randy and Sharon’s marriage is stronger than ever… thanks to blow jobs. Oh, and vegans suck.