Monday, May 29, 2017

RIP Bret Davidson

American actor, stuntman Bret Davidson died in Vashon Island, Washington on April 19th. He was 58. Born Bret Lane Davidson in Glendale, California on February 28, 1959, he was an Arizona state motorcycle champion in the 125 Pro Class and then was sponsored by Bultaco and ranked 29th nationally. He was encouraged to become a stuntman and actor by Jocko Mahoney and made his first film appearance as a young desperado in 1980’s “The Kid and the Gunfighter”. He finished 2nd in a National Stuntman’s Competition in 1980. His career spanned from 1980 to 2009. He then retired and moved to Vashon Island to spend time with his girlfriend and children. Bret appeared as a stuntman in Terence Hill’s “Lucky Luke” TV series and film and also as an actor in 1994’s “Troublemaker”.

Memorial Day 2017

Myriad Pictures heads to Cannes with 'Django Lives!'

By Jeremy Kay
May 12, 2017

Franco Nero to reprise legendary role as Django.

Christian Alvart will direct from a screenplay by John Sayles and Italian icon Franco Nero will reprise the role that brought him worldwide fame in Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 classic Django.

Myriad will handle international sales and introduce the project to buyers in Cannes next week.

Django Lives! will star Nero as a drifter in California in 1914 who encounters White Supremacists.

“I’m excited and honored to be a part of this great project that will update us on one of the greatest archetype characters of movie history,” Alvart said.

“Having Christian direct Sayles’s powerful screenplay is a dream come true,” Nero, who appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 western Django Unchained, said. “Even Christian’s third son is named Django. It was meant to be.”

Syrreal Entertainment’s Sigi Kamml, Josef Brandmaier and Alvart produced alongside Fast Draw Films’ Carolyn Pfeiffer, Louis Black, David Hollander, and Nancy P. Sanders.

The producers are preparing a shoot in Spain and Berlin, Germany.

New Book Release

Ricardo Freda: The Life and Works of a Born Filmmaker
Author: Roberto Curti
Publisher: McFarland & Co. (Jefferson, North Carolina)

40 photos, notes, filmography, bibliography, index
Softcover (7 x 10) 2017
Print ISBN: 978-1-4766-6970-0
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4766-2838-7

In an eclectic career spanning four decades, Italian director Riccardo Freda (1909–1999) produced films of remarkable technical skill and powerful visual style, including the swashbuckler Black Eagle (1946), an adaptation of Les Miserables (1947), the peplum Teodora, Slave Empress (1954) and a number of cult-favorite Gothic and horror films such as I Vampiri (1957), The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (1962) and The Ghost (1963). Freda was first championed in the 1960s by French critics who labeled him “the European Raoul Walsh,” and enjoyed growing critical esteem over the years. This book covers his life and career for the first time in English, with detailed analyses of his films and exclusive interviews with his collaborators and family.

About the Author
Roberto Curti is an Italian film historian and a contributor to film magazines and to books published in Italy, Great Britain and Spain. He lives in Cortona, Italy.

Special Birthdays

Herbert Selpin (director) would have been 115, he died in 1942.

Elena Santonja (actress) would have been 85, he died in 2016.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

RIP Dragomir Stanojevic

Dragomir Stanojevic, alias Bata Kameni, the most famous Serbian stuntman died on May 24, 2017 in Belgrade, Serbia. He ws 75. Dragomir appeared in more than 500 films and TV series. After he finished his elementary and secondary schooling in Belgrade, he ended up attending a stunt academy in Paris, France. During his career he lived in Paris, Munich and Berlin. Dragomir/Bata's life often exhibited risk – injuries did not count, but he said it was certainly more than 450 times he broke bones by performing various stunts. He was married to Vesna Stanojevic and had two sons Marka and Uroša who spent several years in USA, where he studied. He won numerous awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award that was given to him at the Film Festival in Nis, and an award for outstanding contribution to the Yugoslav film industry from the Yugoslav Film Archive along with many others. Dragomir appeared in three Eu-ro-westerns: “Apaches Last Battle” (1964) [stunts], “Treasure of the Aztecs” (1965) [stunts], “Ballad of a Gunman” 1967 as Wheeler.

Two Bounty Hunters for a Massacre

Due bounty killer per un massacre – Italian title
Two Bounty Hunters for a Massacre – English title

A 2007 Italian production [Cinema Bis Communication S.r.l. (Rome)]
Producer: Manlio Gomarasca
Director: Manlio Gomarasca
Screenplay: Manlio Gomarasca
Photography: Dario Biglino [color]
Music: various
Song: “Mi aspettavi piu” sung by Franco Morselli
Running time: 15 minutes

Cast: Manlio Gomarasca

An Italian documentary covering Sergio Garrone’s westerns

[This featurette is on Raro Video's 2007 DVD, and 2014 DVD & Blu-rays for “Una lunga fila di croci”]