Rosanne’s Top 5 Books for Film Buffs

Here are my Top 5 picks for the best books for film buffs.

Dunne, John Gregory. Monster: Living Off the Big Screen. New York: Random House, 1997.

Even though it’s about a film made in 1996 that even die hard Robert Redford fans have not likely seen (Up Close and Personal), this book about writing a blockbuster film by John Gregory Dunne discusses Hollywood honestly – especially as it deals with married screenwriters like he and his wife Joan Didion.

Harmetz, Aljean . The Making of Casablanca: Bogart, Bergman, and World War II. Hyperion, 2002.

You don’t need to love the film to like this book about how a classic came together. I like the way Harmetz gives backgrounds on all the supporting characters and we learn how many were refugees from Nazi regimes.

McGillligan, Patrick. Backstory: Interviews with Screenwriters of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986.

McGillligan has 4 more books in this series – each one containing long, interesting interviews with screenwriters from a particular era from the 1920s to the 1990s. And as we all know, writers are highly entertaining conversationalists!

Messenger, Chris. The Godfather and American Culture: How the Corleones Became “Our Gang.” Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002.

What’s to say except this is a great book if you love The Godfather – but even if you don’t it is a good reminder of how certain movies become entrenched in our national culture – and can do things like make us more comfortable with minorities so that they soon become majorities.

Norman, Marc. What Happens Next: A History of American Screenwriting. New York: Harmony Books, 2007.

This is the history of how screenwriters got screwed out of being considered the legal ‘authors’ of the works they write!

Article: Hey, Hey, They Wrote The Monkees – Written By Magazine

My latest article for Written By Magazine is an interview with several of the writers who began their career on the writing staff of The Monkees. You can read the entire article by clicking the page below or downloading the entire issue as a PDF.

Writtenby monkees

Hey, Hey, They Wrote The Monkees
How a few writers changed the hair-length (and face) of television

Early 1960s television characters came in a one-size-fits-all,  squeaky-clean-cut style, from Dr. Kildare in his white lab coat,  to Hoss Cartwright in his white Stetson, to Sr. Bertrille in her  white habit. That lasted until 7:30 p.m. Monday, September  12, 1966 when four long-haired teenagers began dancing a Monkeewalk while singing, “Hey, Hey, We’re the Monkees.”

Though it looked simple enough, the comedy was about  more than four struggling musicians living in a beach house  they couldn’t afford, without adult supervision, and hoping for  success while engaging in Marx(Bros)ian humor. According to  star Micky Dolenz, the only actor with previous television series experience: “It brought long hair into the living room and  changed the way teenagers were portrayed on television.”

Dolenz’s opinion is backed up by psychologist and author  Timothy Leary in The Politics of Ecstasy: “While it lasted, it  was a classic Sufi[ism] put-on. An early-Christian electronic  satire. A mystic magic show. A jolly Buddha laugh at hypocrisy. And woven into the fast-moving psychedelic stream of action  were the prophetic, holy, challenging words. Micky was rapping  quickly, dropping literary names, making scholarly references.”

Read the entire article

Download entire Written By issue as PDF

Providence High School opens new science center complex – The Tidings

Providence High School opens new science center complex
Written by BY ROSANNE WELCH

The theme “I’ll Make a Difference” permeated the opening of the new Science Center complex at Providence High School in Burbank on the first day of the 2012-2013 school year.

Attended by students, parents, Sisters of Providence and local City of Burbank officials including Mayor Dave Golonski and Vice Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, the Aug. 20 ribbon-cutting ceremony included a prayer service celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Wilkerson and Msgr. Robert Gallagher.

[…]

Read the entire article

Tidings Article on St. Cyril Vocal Ensemble Organist

The article I wrote about our church Organist and Music Director, Mr. Beck, assisting the school’s Vocal Ensemble is in this weekend’s issue of The Tidings with a photo that includes Joseph!
St. Cyril student choir excels with help from renowned organist 

In his position as organist and director of music for St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church in Encino, William Beck has been recognized for accompanying the congregation and 40-person choir each Sunday and producing more than six special concerts a year involving special guest conductors and world-renowned musicians and colleagues.

School parents are most familiar with him for accompanying the middle grade choir at Sunday Masses, working with each grade individually as they prepare their annual Christmas concert and taking the time every June to drive down to Anaheim to accompany the school’s Vocal Ensemble when they perform at the Forum Festival.

Read entire article

My Written By interview with Russell T. Davies is here!

When Written By editor Richard Stayton asked me if I would enjoy interviewing Russell T. Davies for an article in the magazine, well, I won’t say it was like all my dreams come true – but certainly one of my dreams coming true!  Writing FOR one of his shows would be amazing but writing ABOUT Russell and his writing style was pretty fun.  I took that opportunity to ask him several questions that will help me write my chapter on Torchwood for the upcoming book Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television. I also used the opportunity to ask about certain plot twists from my favorite Who episodes and basked in the fun of debating them with the man who invented them.  I must be turning into a true academic ’cause talking process was nearly as good as processing itself!

Read the full interview with Russell T. Davies – “The Doctor is in America”

Recent Publication: Book review of Born Southern: Childbirth, Motherhood, and Social Networks in the Old South Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2010.

Womens studies

Book Review: V. Lynn Kennedy. Born Southern: Childbirth, Motherhood, and Social Networks in the Old South
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2010.

My book review was recently included in the Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 40, Issue 3

Coming soon! My interview with Russell T. Davies

I interviewed writer-producer Russell T. Davies (Doctor Who/Torchwood) and it will appear in the July issue of Written By Magazine just before the new season of Torchwood premieres on the Starz network.

Russell T. Davies

RTD autograph

“Class of ’80” in Written By Magazine

If you’re a fan of 80s TV, check out my interview with Kenny Johnson, Steve Bochco, Don Bellisario and Stephen J. Cannell in this month’s Written By Magazine — “Class of 80”

Written By Magazine

We talked about all their signature shows that have been ‘re-imagined’ and their days as staff writers at Universal. The issue has a wonderful memorial to Mr. Cannell as well.  I spoke to him a couple of months before he passed away with no knowledge that he was ill.  It lead to the magazine collecting several pages of tributes from other writers he worked with across the years – a real time-capsule of television in one of its heydays.

 

‘Tween a Rocker and a Hard Place – Written By Magazine

From Rosanne’s article in Written By Magazine…

'Tween a Rocker and a Hard Place - Written By Magazine

Tween a Rocker and a Hard Place by Rosanne Welch

“I knew there was something different about the Hannah Montana television show when I found my 11 year old son watching what I had dismissed as just another tweener show – and a girl show at that.  But he was watching it on a regular basis – and laughing.  Big, boy belly laughs.  As he flipped past other fare with the remote control fused to his fingertips, he would bypass several other tweener shows, but always stop on Hannah.  It intrigued me. So I started to pay attention and I found myself laughing with him while using the show to introduce him to Lucille Ball, vaudeville and even African-American history (didn’t expect that one, did you?)  Clearly this show was more than ‘just another tweener show’ and I decided to find out why.”

Read the entire article

Joseph on the Hanna Montana set