Tag Archive for Film Studies

Tyrnauer ’91, Leff ’90, Burden ’89 Create Valentino Documentary

Matt Tyrnauer '91, left, talks with Valentino.

Matt Tyrnauer '91, left, talks with Valentino.

Matt Tyrnauer ’91, special correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine, has produced and directed an engaging new documentary, Valentino: The Last Emperor, which was released nationwide in March. (The film opened in Manhattan on March 18 at the Film Forum.)

Co-produced by Adam Leff ’90 with Carter Burden ’89 as executive producer, the film celebrates the colorful career of the renowned Italian fashion designer Valentino, covering the period between his 70th birthday and his final couture show. It tells the story of his extraordinary life, examines the fashion business today, and deals with the designer’s relationship with fame.

The Last Emperor</em>.

Valentino, center, in Valentino: The Last Emperor.

At the center of the documentary is the unique relationship between Valentino and his business partner and companion of 50 years, Giancarlo Giammetti. Tyrnauer and his crew had exclusive, unprecedented access to Valentino and his entourage. In production from June 2005 to July 2007, the filmmakers shot more than 250 hours of footage.

In March, Valentino and Giammetti were guests on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and the film was also featured on The Charlie Rose Show and The View. The documentary has been received favorably in the press. Lisa Berman of Entertainment Weekly says: “I really enjoyed Matt’s film. He did an amazing job, and the access was phenomenal. I found it fascinating how it … became a business story.”

Tyrnauer comments: “The movie, in certain ways—thanks almost entirely to its stars—plays more like a feature film than a documentary. What started as a journalistic inquiry, in the end, revealed a unique love story with the world of fashion as a backdrop.”

Tynnauer was recently interviewed by several publications, including Women’s Wear Daily and IndieWire.

Film website:

Mark ’71 Produces 2009 Oscar Telecast

Laurence Mark '71 (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The New York Times’ Michael Cieply recently interviewed Laurence Mark ’71, the producer, and Bill Condon, the executive producer, of the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony, scheduled to be telecast on ABC on Feb. 22, 2009.

Mark said he hoped to bring back “a little bit of the party flavor” of past ceremonies and also would welcome “a few shocks and shivers, intended or otherwise.” Both producers expect to make the ceremony more popular with viewers by featuring 2008 films that moved audiences, including films that did not receive nominations.

Mark is currently preparing for the release later this year of a film he produced, Julie & Julia, written and directed by Nora Ephron and starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. The film deals with a young woman’s obsession with cooking star Julia Child.

John Frazer: Professor of Art, Emeritus Taught Drawing, Film for 42 Years

John Frazer, professor of art, emeritus, taught drawing and film classes consecutively at Wesleyan from 1959 to 2001. He's pictured here in his Middletown studio with two of his own paintings. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)

John Frazer, professor of art, emeritus, taught drawing and film classes at Wesleyan from 1959 to 2001. He's pictured here in his Middletown studio with two of his own still life paintings. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)

After 42 years of teaching, and a lifetime of painting and drawing, John Frazer isn’t ready to rinse his brushes clean just yet.

Although the professor of art, emeritus, is wheelchair-bound after six knee surgeries, his art studio remains intact. Set-up easels, brushes and oil paints, a painter’s palate and untouched cotton canvases await his return.

“I haven’t been able to paint in over a year, but I will return to painting. I am sure of that, but I prefer to work standing up,” Frazer says. “It’s the only way I’ve ever worked.”

Frazer, a Texas native, came to Wesleyan in 1959 for a one-year appointment teaching painting and drawing to undergraduates.

“I got off the bus on Main Street in Middletown, walked up to campus and looked at the Davison Art Center, and said, ‘I’m going to stay here,'” he recalls.

Frazer, now 76, was 27 years old at the time. He had recently completed a Fulbright grant

Film Studies Benefit Raises Homelessness Awareness

"Where God Left His Shoes" will be shown at the Center for Film Studies Oct. 25 to raise funds for Middlesex County Homelessness Prevention Fund.

When Frank, Angela, and their two children are evicted from their New York City apartment, they have no choice but to move into a homeless shelter. After a few difficult months, an apartment becomes available in a nearby housing project. There’s only one catch: Frank needs a job in order to qualify or the apartment will get rented to someone else. While the rest of the city prepares for Christmas, Frank and his 10-year-old stepson, Justin, roam the cold streets of New York trying to find a job by day’s end.

While this is the story line for the feature film, “Where God Left His Shoes,” the same scenario resonates in the local community.

Senior Writes for 2 Film Publications

Matt Connolly '09

Matt Connolly '09

Matt Connolly '09 is the author of several film reviews , published in Reverse Shot, a quarterly, independently published film journal. Last winter, Connolly sent writing samples to the Reverse Shot editors and he was offered a contributing writer position. Since, he has written reviews on the films Boy A, The Chronicles of Narnia: Price Caspian, Felon, The Incredible Hulk, Frozen River, and others online here.

Connolly also had the opportunity to attend press screenings for select films and have his reviews published the day a film is released.

“As film criticism is ultimately a field I want to pursue, its been a truly amazing experience,” he says. “I’ve even had the privilege of having my articles looked at by the editor Michael Koresky, who has offered wonderful advice on both writing and film.”

In addition, Connolly had the opportunity to intern with American Theatre Commuications Group this summer, where he wrote articles for American Theatre magazine on notable upcoming productions throughout the country for the September and October 2008 editions.

“Interning at American Theatre was a dream, and I’d recommend it to anyone interested in arts journalism,” he says. “The magazine allowed me to interview playwrights, actors, directors and even makeup artists.”

Basinger Speaks on Paul Newman for NPR

Jeanine Basinger.

Jeanine Basinger.

Jeanine Basinger, the Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, chair of the Film Studies Department, curator of Cinema Archives, discussed the life of actor Paul Newmanfor “On Point” Oct. 2  on National Public Radio.  The show can be heard online here.