Russ Meyer

Ebert and Meyer

Years before At the Movies graced our televisions and “two thumbs up” ever entered our lexicon, Roger Ebert was still a third-string film critic at the Chicago Sun-Times who had a friend in filmmaker Russ Meyer. Now, their exploits as they teamed up to make Beyond the Valley of the Dolls are being brought to the big screen in Russ & Roger Go Beyond. The film, penned by Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons writer Christopher Cluess, focuses on the late 1960′s, when Meyer, already well-established as a master of pulp, decided to try his hand at a studio piece. Twentieth Century Fox handed him Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, and he agreed under the condition that Ebert write the script; he was a huge Ebert fan, as Ebert had written one of the only positive reviews he had ever received. From there, it was a major battle to make the movie they wanted as opposed to limiting themselves to the studios expectations. Hey, they had to know what they signed up for when they hired the director of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! to helm their film. There are going to be a lot of groovy babes engaging in questionable behavior and ratings boundaries being pushed (Beyond the Valley of the Dolls wound up getting an X rating).

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Oblivion Bubble Ship

On this evening’s edition of Movie News After Dark, we take a closer look at Tom Cruise’s ride in Oblivion, get up close and personal with Silent Ben Affleck, see what Russ Meyer’s Star Wars universe might look like and get down and dirty with the Internet’s finest movie-related accomplishment: the Supercut.

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If I could finish that time machine taking up space in my guest room to travel back to visit college-aged Gwen I think the first thing I would tell her would be to take more notes in her Film Studies classes. Remarkably she would need them nearly five years later. All those hours spent in the dusty, haunted film book section of the library stacks devouring the almost forgotten tomes detailing women’s objectification in cinema, the battle between art and pornography, and the influence of 1960s era sexploitation films on modern day moviemaking would definitely not be for naught. I still have vivid memories of discovering there were in fact sexy movies being made before 1970, and they were considered treasured celluloid artifacts. In 1966 the previously used American rating standard known as the Hays Code was traded out in favor of the industry-wide rating system we now know. While the studios got used to this new form of self-governing rather than censoring, many controversial films passed through to receive national distribution. Audiences could now attend sexual charged films just as easily as they could a family-friendly picture. By the time the rating system really got its legs in the late 1960s to early 70s it was too late. The country had had a taste of something always featured off-screen, and they wanted more. In the coming weeks I’m going to explore each decade’s contribution to modern-day exploration of sex on screen. I chose to start in the middle, mostly […]

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Porn Star Tera Patrick

It looks as though Struggle Pretty Captive and Reign of Tera star Tera Patrick may be joining colleagues Jenna Jameson and Sasha Grey in making the move from mainstream porn to, well, mainstream Hollywood film.

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