Koszarski, Richard

Koszarski, Richard

King of Jazz: Paul Whiteman's Technicolor Revue

  • Published Date: Media History Press, 2016

Richard Koszarski, David Pierce, James Layton

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King of Jazz: Paul Whiteman's Technicolor Revue tells the story of the making, release, and restoration of Universal's 1930 Technicolor musical extravaganza King of Jazz. Authors James Layton and David Pierce have uncovered original artwork, studio production files, behind-the-scenes photographs, personal papers, unpublished interviews, and a host of other previously unseen documentation. The book offers a richly illustrated narrative of the film's production, with broader context on its diverse musical and theatrical influences. The story concludes with an in-depth look at the challenges Universal overcame in restoring the film in 2016. Additionally, the book's appendix provides a comprehensive guide to all of the film's performers, music, alternate versions, and deleted scenes.

King of Jazz was one of the most ambitious films ever to emerge from Hollywood. Just as movie musicals were being invented in 1929, Universal Pictures brought together Paul Whiteman, leader of the country's top dance orchestra; John Murray Anderson, director of spectacular Broadway revues; a top ensemble of dancers and singers; early Technicolor; and a near unlimited budget.

The film's highlights include a dazzling interpretation of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, which Whiteman had introduced to the public in 1924; Walter Lantz's A Fable in Jazz, the first cartoon in Technicolor; and Anderson's grand finale The Melting Pot of Music, a visualization of popular music's many influences and styles.

The film is not only a unique document of Anderson's theatrical vision and Whiteman's band at its peak, but also of several of America's leading performers of the late 1920s, including Bing Crosby in his first screen appearance, and the Russell Markert Dancers, who would soon become Radio City Music Hall's famous Rockettes.

  • Published Date: Rutgers University Press, 2008

Richard Koszarski

altThomas Edison invented his motion picture system in New Jersey in the 1890s, and within a few years most American filmmakers could be found within a mile or two of the Hudson River. They planted themselves here because they needed the artistic and entrepreneurial energy that D. W. Griffith realized New York had in abundance. But as the going rate for land and labor skyrocketed and their business grew more industrialized, most of them moved out. The way most historians explain it, the role of New York in the development of American film ends here.

In Hollywood on the Hudson, Professor Richard Koszarski rewrites an important part of the history of American cinema. During the 1920s and 1930s, film industry executives had centralized the mass production of feature pictures in a series of gigantic film factories scattered across Southern California, while maintaining New York as the economic and administrative center. But as Koszarski reveals, many writers, producers, and directors also continued to work here, especially if their independent vision was too big for the Hollywood production line.

East Coast filmmakers-Oscar Micheaux, Rudolph Valentino, Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur, Paul Robeson, Gloria Swanson, Max Fleischer, and others-quietly created a studio system without back-lots, long-term contracts or seasonal production slates. They substituted "newsreel photography" for Hollywood glamour, targeted niche audiences instead of middle-American families, ignored accepted dramatic conventions, and pushed the boundaries of motion picture censorship. Rebellious and unconventional, they saw the New York studios as laboratories, not factories-and used them to pioneer the development of new technologies (from talkies to television), new genres, new talent, and ultimately, an entirely new vision of commercial cinema. 

Fort Lee: The Film Town (1904-2004)

  • Published Date: John Libbey Publishing, 2005

Richard Koszarski

altDuring the 1910s, motion pictures came to dominate every aspect of life in the suburban New Jersey community of Fort Lee. During the nickelodeon era, D. W. Griffith, Mary Pickford, and Mack Sennett would ferry entire acting companies across the Hudson to pose against the Palisades. Theda Bara, "Fatty" Arbuckle, and Douglas Fairbanks worked in the rows of great greenhouse studios that sprang up in Fort Lee and the neighboring communities. Tax revenues from studios and laboratories swelled municipal coffers.

Then, suddenly, everything changed. Fort Lee, the film town once hailed as the birthplace of the American motion picture industry, was now the industry's official ghost town. Stages once filled to capacity by Paramount and Universal were leased by independent producers or used as paint shops by scenic artists from Broadway. Most of Fort Lee's film history eventually burned away, one studio at a time.

Professor Richard Koszarski re-creates the rise and fall of Fort Lee filmmaking in a remarkable collage of period news accounts, memoirs, municipal records, previously unpublished memos and correspondence, and dozens of rare posters and photographs not just film history, but a unique account of what happened to one New Jersey town hopelessly enthralled by the movies.

Von: The Life and Films of Erich Von Stroheim

  • Published Date: Amadeus Press, 2001

Richard Koszarski

altIn this revised and expanded edition of Professor Richard Koszarski'sThe Man You Loved to Hate, published in 1983, about one-third of the material is completely new or significantly rewritten. It takes into account information unearthed by researchers in France and Austria that had previously been ignored or overlooked by other English language writers. It also makes use of documents, scrapbooks, photographs and correspondence uncovered or provided only recently by members of the von Stroheim family. This material, crucial in shaping and enriching the new version of the text, clarifies details of von Stroheim's personal life and serves to bring the pioneering film director into sharper focus.

New York to Hollywood: The Photography of Karl Struss

  • Published Date: Univ of New Mexico Pr; First ed edition (July 1, 1995)

418gkWzgA4L. SX352 BO1204203200 ec7aaRichard Koszarski (Author), Barbara McCandless (Author), Bonnie Yochelson (Author)

Karl Struss (1886-1981) was a master of both still and motion picture photography. A native of New York City, he first studied photography with Clarence White and soon mastered the tenets of pictorialism. Alfred Stieglitz featured his work in a 1910 exhibition and a 1912 issue of Camera Work and invited Struss to become a member - as it turned out, the last member - of the Photo-Secession.

New York to Hollywood: The Photography of Karl Struss surveys this consummate artist's long career with the camera, including his pioneering color photography using the autochrome process, his photographic explorations of New York and Europe before War World I, his images of Hollywood stars and western landscapes and seascapes, and his motion picture work. Essayist Bonnie Yochelson surveys his early work in New York, Richard Koszarski his career in cinematography, and Barbara McCandless examines how Struss' background and early work not only led him to Hollywood but greatly contributed to the artistry of the still-young film industry there. John and Susan Edwards Harvith, who rediscovered Struss' work in the 1970's and interviewed him at length in his later years, round out the portrait of both the man and the artist.