Download Bio-pics : a life in pictures by Ellen Cheshire PDF

By Ellen Cheshire

Bio-pics: A existence in photos bargains a chain of case reports which throw mild in this most unusual of genres. Is the bio-pic a style in its personal correct? Or are such motion pictures in basic terms footnotes in different extra conventional genres equivalent to the western or dress drama, looking on the historic determine less than scrutiny. not like different style varieties bio-pics probably proportion no normal iconography, codes or conventions. they are often set at any place and at any time. What hyperlinks them is kind of easily that the flicks depict the lifetime of an 'important' individual. via a delicately chosen variety of thematically associated (English-language) bio-pics published due to the fact that 1990 this booklet explores key matters surrounding their resurgence, narrative constitution, creation, topic illustration or misrepresentation, and demanding reaction. the flicks below dialogue are grouped round a occupation (writers, singers, politicians, sportsmen, criminals, artists) bearing in mind comparisons to be drawn in ways to related topic matter.

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It is a business that on the surface is all glitz and glamour – but what lies beneath is something much darker. The more successful films about ‘Hollywood’ tend to explore and explode the myth of the ‘dream factory’. The stars chosen for bio-pics are often ones who have become tarnished by gossip, or have suffered at the hands of the industry itself. These films offer us a glimpse of what lies behind the cameras, how this powerful industry works, and how they have re-told their own past. The three case studies here focus on the film career of Ed Wood, hailed as the worst film director ever; film and aviation mogul Howard Hughes; and the little-known (outside the US) 1960s TV star Bob Crane.

They returned to an idea Alexander had had in 1983, an Ed Wood bio-pic then entitled The Man in the Angora Sweater, and began work on a speculative script. They approached director Michael Lehmann, who in turn went to producer Denise Di Novi who was then working with Burton. It transpired that Burton, noting parallels between his and Wood’s passion for film, wanted to direct it. Lehmann stepped aside. Burton said, ‘I hate most biopics. I find they are really stodgy and boring, because people take a much too reverential approach, and it’s fake.

The setting is Hollywood in the 1950s (and the film is shot in black and white to mirror this period). Wood is a wannabe director/star/ writer making a series of (really) low-budget movies with no scripts, sets, costumes or functioning actors. Scenes from his films, Glen and Glenda (1953), Bride of the Monster (1955) and Plan 9 From Outer Space are all lovingly restaged. Wood remains incredibly optimistic, unfazed by disasters, financial problems, interfering producers. For some, he secured funding from his local Baptist Church, who insisted the entire cast be baptised.

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