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Obituary

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    See Len Lesser ('Uncle Leo') as the Original Winklevi in "Baadasssss!"

    It's fine that Len Lesser, who died yesterday of cancer-related pneumonia, is being primarily remembered now for "Seinfeld," on which he played Jerry's Uncle Leo. It was a good, memorable role. But I prefer to think of him as the cinema owning twins Manny and Mort Goldberg from Mario Van Peebles' "B...

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    Justin Bieber for "Logan's Run," Another "Black Swan" Parody and More Discussion Fodder

    - The favorite shot from the "X-Men: First Class" trailer (watch it after the jump) seems to be this "Twin Peaks"-like one.

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    Watch Pete Postlethewaite in the Sci-Fi Documentary "The Age of Stupid"

    Oscar-nominated British character actor Pete Postlethwaite has passed away at the age of 64 from cancer. You may have seen him last year in "Clash of the Titans," "Inception" and/or "The Town," but he was also in a very interesting work that SnagFilms showcased in their 2010 SummerFest: "The Age of Stupid." Postlethwaite seemed to be dabbling in documentary in recent years, narrating the afterlife portrait of Brian Clough, simply titled "Clough," and appearing in "Tattoos: A Scarred History, in which he displays his own body art. He does something a little different for "The Age of Stupid," though, functioning as sort of an onscreen narrator ...

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    Watch Blake Edwards Document His Wife in the Rare Film "Julie"

    I'll let the bigger Blake Edwards fans out there recognize his fiction works, including his semi-autobiographical "S.O.B." Anne Thompson wrote up a nice post in response to the filmmaker's passing yesterday, and of course I recommend Monika Bartyzel's obit at Cinematical. I'd instead like to spotlig...

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    George Hickenlooper Worried That Death Would Be Very Boring

    I hope this blog isn't seeming too bleak lately as I continue to indulge my morbid side by showcasing documentary appearances made by the recently deceased. I was honestly going to give George Hickenlooper a pass, partly because it's been a few days since the indie filmmaker's sudden death over the weekend. But then I was re-watching a promotional clip of the director from Morgan Spurlock's recent documentary TV special "Committed: The Toronto International Film Festival" (which re-airs on AMC tomorrow morning at 9:30am EST), and he actually talks about death. This was less than two months ago. While he's getting his hair done in preparation ...

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    James MacArthur's Unfortunate Cameo in Oliver Stone's "JFK"

    I've never seen "Hawaii Five-O," never saw Disney's "Kidnapped," and though I grew up loving "Swiss Family Robinson," my least favorite character in the film was James MacArthur's Fritz. Enough that I kinda forgot about the elder brother of the shipwrecked clan until hearing about the actor's death ...

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    Gregory Isaacs in "Rockers," "Land of Look Behind" and "Made in Jamaica"

    The great reggae singer Gregory Isaacs died today after a long battle with lung cancer. As per tradition, I'm going to use this moment to celebrate the deceased through his documentary appearances. Isaacs can be seen prominently in three films ("Rockers," "Land of Look Behind" and "Made in Jamaica"), and though one is not technically or completely non-fiction, it does somewhat fit the documentary tradition and format. This is his first, "Rockers," a 1978 musical from Ted Bafaloukos originally intended to be an actual doc about reggae. It has a plot, inspired by realist films like "Bicycle Thieves," and some bad acting, mostly from the non-non...

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    Tom Bosley in "Paper Clips"

    We lost Tom Bosley to lung cancer today, and though he'll certainly be best remembered as the dad on "Happy Days" and might also be thought of for his ability to endorse garbage bags, it's becoming my tradition here to spotlight documentaries featuring the recently deceased (previously with Sally Me...

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    Tony Curtis in 'The Celluloid Closet' and Talking About Cary Grant

    Tony Curtis was a great actor. But he's one of those guys I remember as well for his off screen personality as for his on screen performances. And given that I said goodbye to Sally Menke this week by spotlighting an appearance in a documentary, I'm going to do the same for the man better known for playing iconic roles in "Some Like it Hot," "Spartacus," "Sweet Smell of Success" and, of course, "The Great Race." He's also one of the most memorable figures in "The Celluloid Closet," a 1995 documentary about the history of homosexuality in Hollwyood and its cinema. Talking about the first two films I mentioned, he comes off fairly tolerant of t...

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    Sally Menke and Quentin Tarantino. A Short Tribute to an Editor-Filmmaker Relationship

    I can't believe anyone went hiking in L.A. in that record-high temperature yesterday, but Oscar-nominated editor Sally Menke did. And sadly, she was later found dead in Griffith Park, where she had been walking with a friend and the friend's dog. The heat is obviously being said to be a possible fac...

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