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Mel Brooks - American Master Mel Brooks Talks about Friend and Mentor Sid Caesar

Comedic legend Sid Caesar passed away February 12, 2014 at the age of 91. Caesar was a friend and mentor to Mel Brooks and the two worked together through much of Brooks’ early career. See Brooks talk about Caesar’s genius for comedy in this film excerpt from American Masters Mel Brooks: Make A Noise.

Feb 13th, 2014 | 0 comments

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Marvin Hamlisch - Film Excerpt: Sweet Smell of Success

The Broadway musical "Sweet Smell of Success," based on the 1950s film, earned Tony nominations for Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score. Its star John Lithgow, who won the Tony for Best Actor, describes Marvin Hamlisch's score as having hallucinogenic colors. Hear parts of the music and see annotated pages from the score.

Dec 23rd, 2013 | 0 comments

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Marvin Hamlisch - Film Excerpt: Leaving Hollywood for Broadway

Early in his Hollywood career, Hamlisch won three Oscars in one night. But Broadway, the composer's first love, beckoned. His next project was writing the score to the Broadway sensation and Pulitzer Prize winner, "A Chorus Line."

Dec 19th, 2013 | 0 comments

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Marvin Hamlisch - Film: Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love

Composer, conductor, genius, mensch: Marvin Hamlisch earned four Grammys, four Emmys, three Oscars, three Golden Globes, a Tony Award, and a Pulitzer Prize before his untimely death, making him one of only two PEGOT winners ever. Hit after hit — “The Way We Were,” “Nobody Does It Better” and scores for The Sting, Sophie’s Choice and the Broadway juggernaut A Chorus Line — made him the go-to composer and performer for film, Broadway, every U.S. President since Reagan, and concert halls worldwide. With exclusive access to Hamlisch’s personal archival treasure trove, American Masters explores his prolific life and career.

Nov 23rd, 2013 | 0 comments

Mel Brooks - Spaceballs: The Art of the Trope (or, making the cliché absurd)

What came first: the Mel Brooks movie or the cliché? The classic Hollywood Sci-Fi spaceship always gets gratuitous screentime from every camera angle. Mel Brooks’s Hollywood spaceship appears in a continuous one minute and 40 second scene detailing its ridiculous length.

Jun 2nd, 2013 | 0 comments

Mel Brooks - Young Frankenstein: The Art of the Homage (or, to spoof with accuracy)

For Mel Brooks the spoofing is in the details. The classic Hollywood Horror film is always black-and-white and includes scene transitions like iris outs, wipes and fades to black. Mel Brooks’s Hollywood Horror is no different. He even tracks down the original equipment from the mad doctor’s lab first used in the 1931 Frankenstein film.

Jun 2nd, 2013 | 3 comments

Mel Brooks - Blazing Saddles: The Art of the Stereotype (and turning it on its head)

Mel Brooks never met a stereotype he couldn’t upend. The classic Hollywood cowboy is always white. Mel Brooks’s Hollywood cowboy is black. And his Indian chief speaks Yiddish.

Jun 2nd, 2013 | 3 comments

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Mel Brooks - Film: Mel Brooks: Make a Noise

Mel Brooks: Make a Noise journeys through Brooks’ early years in the creative beginnings of live television to the film genres he so successfully satirized in Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety, and Spaceballs — to the groundbreaking Broadway musical version of his first film, The Producers. The documentary also delves into his professional and personal ups and downs, capturing a never-before-heard sense of reflection and confession.

May 20th, 2013 | 21 comments

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Mel Brooks - Film Excerpt: The Difference Between Comedy & Tragedy Is...

The logic here is, as long as it isn't happening to Mel Brooks, it's funny.

Apr 30th, 2013 | 1 comment
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