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Nick Clooney speaks at Town Hall Shares movies that changed society

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Nick Clooney speaks at Town Hall Shares movies that changed society

Post by Merlin on Fri Mar 16 2012, 07:17

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Nick Clooney speaks at Town Hall
Shares movies that changed society

March 15, 2012

WARREN - Nick Clooney is an award-winning television journalist, former American Movie Classics host, author and one-time congressional candidate in his native Kentucky.

Still, he is certain what the lead items will be in his obituary - brother of singer Rosemary Clooney, father of actor George Clooney.

Clooney's famous relations got only a passing mention in his Trumbull Town Hall lecture Wednesday at Packard Music Hall - he said George's movie ''The Descendants'' ''should have been Best Picture'' at last month's Academy Awards and Rosemary took him to a dinner with Bing Crosby and director Leo McCarey, who helped inspire his book, ''The Movies That Changed Us: Reflections on the Screen.''

Instead, Clooney focused on those movies that inspired his book, mixing film clips within the talk.

When presented with the opportunity to write about movies that influenced society, Clooney remembered that dinner with McCarey, who directed a long-forgotten film called ''Make Way for Tomorrow,'' about an elderly married couple forced to separate due to economic hardship.

McCarey told Clooney he took the movie to Washington, D.C., screening it for members of the House of Representatives on one night and the Senate the following night.

''Four days later, they voted on Social Security,'' McCarey told Clooney.

It was the just the kind of story Clooney wanted to tell. The only problem was, as Clooney did his research, he discovered that ''Make Way for Tomorrow'' was released in 1937. Social Security passed in 1935.

McCarey turned out to be a better storyteller than a historian, but Clooney had no trouble finding examples of movies that were ''before or on top of the curve,'' Clooney said. ''They had to be a part of the element making the change.''

And those changes weren't always for the better.

He showed scenes from D.W. Griffith's silent epic ''Birth of a Nation,'' a masterpiece as far as filmmaking goes, but a movie that sparked a re-emergence of the Ku Klux Klan and, ''Set us back at least a generation on race relations,'' Clooney said.

Clooney showed clips of Marlene Dietrich sharing a same-sex kiss clear back in 1930 in ''Morocco'' and the 1932 musical ''Love Me Tonight,'' which created the storytelling devices used in movie and stage musicals for generations.

Today's movies have a harder time making a cultural impact because going to the movies isn't as popular today, Clooney said. In the 1930s, '40s and '50s, about seven out of every 10 people went to the movies once a week. Today it's about one in 10 people that are weekly moviegoers, and they tend to be younger audiences.

''It's more difficult for a movie to affect a great number of people and change things,'' he said.

Clooney said he used to give different answers depending on his mood when asked what his favorite movie is. But in recent years, he keeps coming back to 1946's ''The Best Years of Our Lives,'' a movie that looked at the impact of World War II on the men who fought and the families that were left behind.

Harold Russell, a World War II veteran who lost both of his hands in a dynamite accident, became the first person to win two Academy Awards for the same role - one for Best Supporting Actor and an honorary award for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans.

''It was a movie about the effect of war on individuals and families,'' Clooney said. ''It was prescient enough to look at that as it was happening.''

Merlin
More than a little bit enthusiastic about Clooney

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Re: Nick Clooney speaks at Town Hall Shares movies that changed society

Post by Joanna on Fri Mar 16 2012, 10:44

Thanks Merlin for that interesting article

Joanna
George Clooney fan forever!

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Re: Nick Clooney speaks at Town Hall Shares movies that changed society

Post by it's me on Fri Mar 16 2012, 12:22

thanks Thumbs up!

it's me
George Clooney fan forever!

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Re: Nick Clooney speaks at Town Hall Shares movies that changed society

Post by melbert on Sat Mar 17 2012, 22:31

Thanks Merlin!

melbert
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Re: Nick Clooney speaks at Town Hall Shares movies that changed society

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