The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters.
- Audrey Hepburn

Welcome to Writer Cari Beauchamp!

Past chats with our guests.

Moderators: Sue Sue Applegate, movieman1957, moira finnie, Lzcutter

User avatar
moira finnie
Administrator
Posts: 8176
Joined: April 9th, 2007, 6:34 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Welcome to Writer Cari Beauchamp!

Postby moira finnie » June 25th, 2015, 8:01 pm

Image

Image
Writer, speaker, producer and world traveler Cari Beauchamp will join us next weekend on Saturday, June 27, and Sunday, June 28, to discuss her latest book, My First Time in Hollywood: Stories from the Pioneers, Dreamers and Misfits Who Made the Movies

Academy Award-winning film preservationist, historian, and author Kevin Brownlow revealed that Beauchamp's latest book is “what every film fan yearns for––first-hand, eyewitness accounts of a Hollywood none of us can remember and all of us wish we’d known. Completely fascinating.”

Cari Beauchamp is the award-winning author of Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and The Powerful Women of Early Hollywood. She also edited and annotated Anita Loos Rediscovered: Film Treatments and Fiction by the Creator of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and co-wrote Hollywood on the Riviera: The Inside Story of the Cannes Film Festival.

Her book, Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary: Her Private Letters from Inside the Studios of the 1920s, was published in 2006 and has been optioned for television. Joseph P. Kennedy Presents: His Hollywood Years, was published by Knopf and Vintage. Her books have been selected for “Best of the Year” lists by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and Amazon.
Image
Cari wrote the 2003 Emmy nominated documentary film The Day My God Died which played on PBS and concerned the horrific abuses of the child sex trade in Nepal and India. She was nominated for a Writers Guild Award for Without Lying Down: The Power of Women in Early Hollywood which she wrote and coproduced for Turner Classic Movies.
Image
She has also been interviewed in over a dozen documentaries including Turner Classic Movie’s Moguls and Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood and Mark Cousin’s The Story of Film.

She has written for Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and various other magazines and newspapers. She has twice been named the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Scholar and is currently serving as resident scholar of the Mary Pickford Foundation.

She has appeared as a featured speaker at venues throughout the United States and Europe including The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The British Film Institute, the Museum of Modern Art, The Edinburgh Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, The Women’s Museum of Art in Washington D.C. and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Before turning to writing on a full time basis in 1990, she worked as a private investigator, a campaign manager and served as Press Secretary to California Governor Jerry Brown. She lives in Los Angeles.

At this year's TCM Film Festival, Cari Beauchamp moderated the interview with Oscar-winning editor Anne Coates in Club TCM, and introduced the presentation of Calamity Jane with Doris Day, remarking that it was time for Day's honorary Oscar "whether she shows up to accept it or not." (Beauchamp got my vote for "Best Introduction To A Classic Film 2015" for that remark!)

Blog link to an excellent account of Cari Beauchamp's interview with Oscar-winning editor Anne V. Coates on Saturday, March 28, in Club TCM during the TCMFF 2015:
http://www.theblackmaria.org/2015/03/30 ... -v-coates/

One of the most interesting articles I've ever read in Vanity Fair was also co-authored by Beauchamp, "Cary in the Sky With Diamonds" : http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2010/ ... ood-201008

And another Vanity Fair article solely authored by Beauchamp about Joseph Kennedy and Hollywood, "The Mogul in Mr. Kennedy": http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2002/04/joekennedy200204

TCM partners with Women in Film to Spotlight Gender Inequality in the Film Industry: http://deadline.com/2015/06/turner-clas ... 201445747/

Cari Beauchamp's Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Cari-Beauchamp/e/B001IXROKW

Christy Putnam's short article about Cari's visit to the SSO: http://www.examiner.com/article/award-w ... reen-oasis

You can access Cari Beauchamp's web page here: http://caribeauchamp.com
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)

The Skeins
TCM Movie Morlocks

User avatar
Sue Sue Applegate
Administrator
Posts: 3319
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 8:47 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Welcome Cari Beauchamp on 6/27 & 6/28

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » June 25th, 2015, 8:36 pm

Welcome to The Silver Screen Oasis, Cari!

We are so happy you have taken time from your busy schedule to visit us here at the Silver Screen Oasis to discuss your latest book, My First Time In Hollywood: Stories from the Pioneers, Dreamers, and Misfits Who Made The Movies.

As a writer, I know that compiling and editing such a vast amount of information from so many sources can be a daunting task. Can you share with us a little of your process for the creation of such an anthology?

Thanks so much for your visit here this weekend.
Blog: http://suesueapplegate.wordpress.com/
Twitter:@suesueapplegate
TCM Message Boards: http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/ ... ue-sue-ii/
Sue Sue : https://www.facebook.com/groups/611323215621862/
Thelma Ritter: Hollywood's Favorite New Yorker, University Press of Mississippi-2018
Avatar: Ginger Rogers, The Major and The Minor

User avatar
Sue Sue Applegate
Administrator
Posts: 3319
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 8:47 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Welcome to Writer Cari Beauchamp!

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » June 26th, 2015, 11:21 pm

Since Lynn is moving this weekend and is without online access, she asked me to pose a few of her questions, too.

What made you want to become a film historian and author? How did you get started as a writer?
What are some of the biggest obstacles you face when writing a book or working on a project?

Lynn also wanted me to tell you "Thank you for your visit to The Silver Screen Oasis!"
Blog: http://suesueapplegate.wordpress.com/
Twitter:@suesueapplegate
TCM Message Boards: http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/ ... ue-sue-ii/
Sue Sue : https://www.facebook.com/groups/611323215621862/
Thelma Ritter: Hollywood's Favorite New Yorker, University Press of Mississippi-2018
Avatar: Ginger Rogers, The Major and The Minor

Al Doshna
Posts: 15
Joined: May 28th, 2015, 10:23 pm

Re: Welcome to Writer Cari Beauchamp!

Postby Al Doshna » June 27th, 2015, 12:23 pm

Hello Cari,

Thank you for visiting SSO.

What if any particular thing inspired you, and at what point did you decide to write My First Time In Hollywood? Do you have a favorite section or story in the book?

User avatar
Cari Beauchamp
Posts: 0
Joined: June 19th, 2015, 8:06 pm

Re: Welcome to Writer Cari Beauchamp!

Postby Cari Beauchamp » June 27th, 2015, 2:11 pm

First, Sue Sue and Lynn, thanks for the invitation to join the conversation.

Let me try to answer both Al and Sue Sue at the same time. My First Time in Hollywood really evolved out of my realization of the fact that often my favorite part of the over one hundred of books I have read on film history, for work and pleasure, is the story of someone’s arrival in Hollywood. There is an innocence, excitement, and sense of possibility that is infectious, and it reminds me that everyone, including the greats, struggled to find their place in the world. What started out as a "good idea at the time" that I thought would take a month or two ended up consuming much of the last year and a half, but I have enjoyed almost all of it.

As the project gelled, I found I had a variety of motivations for pulling the anthology together. One was to call attention to memoirs long out of print that I had really enjoyed such as Robert Parrish's Growing Up in Hollywood and Evelyn Scott's When Silents were Golden. Then, I realized my files held several gems that I had never put to use such as Hobart Bosworth's speech to students at USC that to the best of my knowledge had never been published before. And I have long appreciated the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Science's oral history program and so this project gave me a great excuse to revisit some of those. When I came across Ben Hecht's letters to his wife during his first trip to Hollywood, I knew I was onto something special.

In terms of the bigger picture, My First Time in Hollywood was an opportunity to remind people that half of all films written before 1925 were written by women and that film making is a very collaborative business, so it takes actors, directors, writers, editors, cinematographers and set decorators, each focused on their particular tasks, but all hoping to elevate the end product. Only about a third of the over 40 stories in the book are from actors and half are from women. I was searching for stories that were simultaneously intimate and reveled the constantly evolving process of making movies.

It is hard to pick a few favorites and the ones I would name are for different reasons -- I love Salka Viertel's because of her European sensibilities in her response to Hollywood; I love Kay Thackrey's because of her determination to find her place in the movie business and Colleen Moore's because of her innocence combined with her certitude that she belonged in Hollywood.

Compiling the stories was the best part. While I enjoyed revisiting each of the subjects to write their "mini-bios" was a time consuming challenge, but the only thing that was a bit of pain was the process of getting all the releases. That said, I must add that I had a wonderful publisher who helped with many of those necessary details.

User avatar
movieman1957
Administrator
Posts: 5490
Joined: April 15th, 2007, 3:50 pm
Location: MD

Re: Welcome to Writer Cari Beauchamp!

Postby movieman1957 » June 27th, 2015, 3:36 pm

Thanks for visiting. Judging from the introduction and how busy you are it is very kind of you to carve out some time with us.

I'm embarrassed to say that I know very little about you but it seems many of the things in your bio revolve around the silent era. Was that from an interest in that period filmwise or more to do with it being, then, a very young industry fleshing out the way it works? And what about it drew you to it?

Thanks.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

User avatar
Cari Beauchamp
Posts: 0
Joined: June 19th, 2015, 8:06 pm

Re: Welcome to Writer Cari Beauchamp!

Postby Cari Beauchamp » June 27th, 2015, 4:53 pm

What first drew me to writing about the women of early Hollywood was my frustration at seeing the names of women writers in the credits - such as Frances Marion, Anita Loos and Adela Rogers St. Johns - and knowing so little about them. They each wrote memoirs of sorts but Frances's was much more about other people than about herself. When she gave only one paragraph to the death of her husband, I kept thinking pages must be missing because she went straight into writing about the emergence of sound. I remember laying there thinking "you cant do this to me" and that's when I really started digging. My original intent was to write a cultural history of half a dozen women writers from the silent era into talkies, but Frances Marion so quickly rose to the top that she became the focus of Without Lying Down. As Adela said about her, "She was the senior all of us sophomores wanted to be." When I learned she was the highest paid writer - male or female - from 1915 thru the mid thirties - it just seemed ridiculous that she was so unknown.

But I also learned that many of these women did not value their work and/or were so busy with their lives that they tended to save little of their material - unlike someone like Cecil B DeMille who saved every letter he ever wrote and received. It made the research much more challenging - and time consuming - but it was worth while.

Women were welcomed in Hollywood in the teens because movie making was not considered a serious business so it was wide open to those who would not be welcome in more acceptable professions - i.e. women and Jews. These creative and adventurous souls who gravitated to Hollywood created a robust community and formed friendships that lasted a lifetime.

User avatar
CineMaven
Posts: 3818
Joined: September 24th, 2007, 9:54 am
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Contact:

Re: Welcome to Writer Cari Beauchamp!

Postby CineMaven » June 27th, 2015, 5:30 pm

Hi there Cari. Welcome and thank you for giving the Oasis some of your very busy time.

I have seen you speak at TCM's film festivals. You introduced "The Smiling Lieutenant" and "Calamity Jane" this year...and one year I saw you give a fascinating presentation of Frances Marion that was great. It actually brought tears to my eyes ( yeah, I'm corny ) hearing you speak of the Hollywood that once was and the important place women used to hold in it. Damn!

I have two questions for you. The first one requires just a teensy bit of background to get to it:

In my movie travels, my favorite era is the 1940's. But some of the actresses I came upon in the 40's did nothing for me. Yeah there's Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and Ann Sheridan...and Barbara Stanwyck; gals who were sharp and sassy and didn't take "tea for fever" as the old saying goes, and I
love them. But I have seen others in my first experiences of watching 'old movies' as a teenager was seeing these stars in movies made during the 40's era. I'm thinking of two in particular: Loretta Young and Claudette Colbert. One of my friends told me if I wanted to see what these two gals were really made of, check them out in the 1930's and I did. My friend was right. Well...at least about one of them. I've seen several of Loretta Young's films from the 30's and came away a fan. Now I can enjoy her progression into the 1940's. But I've been having a tough time with Claudette Colbert. I still can't warm up to her. Can you tell me, what am I missing. Can you give me a clue or a hook to watching Claudette Colbert? Why do YOU think she's an icon of that "Golden Age of Hollywood"? What's so special about Claudette?
_____

My second question for you Cari is, is there anyone you've read or researched about - actor or actress - who you see being able to survive and thrive in movies of today? And vice-versa...who of our stars today would have had a good solid career back in the 30's...40's.

Thanks again for visiting us here at the Silver Screen Oasis.
"You build my gallows high, baby."

http://www.megramsey.com

User avatar
Robert Regan
Posts: 290
Joined: June 12th, 2012, 3:59 pm

Re: Welcome to Writer Cari Beauchamp!

Postby Robert Regan » June 27th, 2015, 6:39 pm

Hello, Cari. I have two questions about Frances Marion.

1) Are any of the films that she acted in known to have survived?

2) Why was her script for 7th Heaven not used? There is nothing wrong with Benjamin Glazer's, but she and Borzage had worked so well together in the past.

User avatar
Cari Beauchamp
Posts: 0
Joined: June 19th, 2015, 8:06 pm

Re: Welcome to Writer Cari Beauchamp!

Postby Cari Beauchamp » June 27th, 2015, 11:40 pm

To Robert - Frances Marion did not act in that many films -- and she was never comfortable in front of the camera - but none of them are known to survive. The one I would really love to see is Girl of Yesterday from 1915 which starred Mary Pickford and featured the future director Mickey Neilan. It was filmed in Griffith Park and Catalina and so would be fun to see for the locations as well as the actors. Most of Mary Pickford's films do survive, but unfortunately Girl of Yesterday is not one of them.

And regarding 7th Heaven - I'm not sure why her script wasn't used - or if any part of it was used. That was in 1927 when she was writing for a variety of studios, so it was a work for hire for Fox. She and Borzage were friends, but I doubt either one of them had much to say about it.

User avatar
Cari Beauchamp
Posts: 0
Joined: June 19th, 2015, 8:06 pm

Re: Welcome to Writer Cari Beauchamp!

Postby Cari Beauchamp » June 28th, 2015, 1:44 pm

Cinemaven - dont know how I missed yours yesterday but let me reply now. First, "knowing" Frances Marion really has made my life so much richer and given me a sense of security that I think only comes from knowing you are a link in the chain. One time after a screening of the WLD documentary, a woman who I had never seen before or since, came up to me, gave me a big hug and said "I will never feel alone again." And I think that is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me about the effect of my work. Knowing nothing we face has not been faced by others is, I think, incredibly liberating.

Now regarding what actresses then and now could time travel is a bit outside of my sphere of imagination. I too love the movies of the forties - and thirties - in part because of the fabulous female protagonists. Compare the number of films with titles that focus on the lead female character then with today. Its ridiculous. So to me it is not just about the actresses but the characters they played -- three dimensional women with guts, humor and confidence.

To be honest, while I admire the talent of actors on the screen tremendously, I find I am much more interested in the lives of people behind the camera. While I am sure there is someone out there who can "explain" Claudette Colbert -- and I do enjoy her a lot in The Smiling Lieutenant - when you look at the lives actors lived off screen, they are too often self absorbed and wrapped up in their on screen persona. When I heard that Colbert late in life in her house in the Bahamas had a special chair where she sat when receiving visitors that was lit to highlight what she considered her best side, my heart broke a little for her. And it was hardly just Claudette -- Ava Gardner reportedly had a similar set up in her home - Dietrich didn't allow herself to seen in public for the last 5 or so years of her life - the list goes on and on.

User avatar
Sue Sue Applegate
Administrator
Posts: 3319
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 8:47 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Welcome to Writer Cari Beauchamp!

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » June 28th, 2015, 6:40 pm

Cinemaven and Robert, those were great questions.
Cari, I enjoyed learning those fascinating tidbits about Claudette Colbert and Ava Gardner! I just may have to do that at my house. :D
Image
(Photo by Sue Sue)
Cari, your presentation at the San Francisco Silent Festival for Why Be Good? starring Colleen Moore and Neil Hamilton (more popularly known as Commissioner Gordon on the 60's Batman series) was informative and definitely geared the audience up for the screening. Do you enjoy these appearances, like the interviews you conduct for the TCM Film Festival, as much as you seem to? I've been to several of your introductions and the Anne V. Coates interview you did this year, and I always learn something new from your interaction with the audiences.

Image
Several years ago I went to the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas, and wanted to look at some of the files in Gloria Swanson's archives there, and when I signed out for the boxes, you were the person who had previously checked out the materials. I was fascinated by all the letters, memos, notes, and programs she kept in her files. What was it about Swanson's collection that interested you or fascinated you the most? What were you disappointed that you didn't find?
Image
And what special treasures did you unearth for your latest book, My First Time In Hollywood: Pioneers, Dreamers and Misfits Who Made The Movies that truly pleased you because you took the time to do the research?
Thanks so much for your wonderful responses so far!
Blog: http://suesueapplegate.wordpress.com/
Twitter:@suesueapplegate
TCM Message Boards: http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/ ... ue-sue-ii/
Sue Sue : https://www.facebook.com/groups/611323215621862/
Thelma Ritter: Hollywood's Favorite New Yorker, University Press of Mississippi-2018
Avatar: Ginger Rogers, The Major and The Minor

User avatar
Cari Beauchamp
Posts: 0
Joined: June 19th, 2015, 8:06 pm

Re: Welcome to Writer Cari Beauchamp!

Postby Cari Beauchamp » June 28th, 2015, 7:55 pm

To Sue Sue one more time -- about Gloria Swanson's collection - and yes I think she saved everything - I learned one very important lesson. I had assumed that they had been gone through so often there was nothing new to find and in fact was told that there was nothing relating to Kennedy and Swanson. However, in actually reading the letters and memos I came across a treasure trove of letters written by people who worked for Kennedy and while not exactly written in code, the wording was hedged. Still, together they laid out the details of how Kennedy had taken over Swanson's business, which of her employees they fired (almost all of them) and various other details that were amazing.

And about TCM - Of course I love the network and their great programming - and I am proud that I have been asked back every year to introduce films and interview people at their Classic Film Festival. I might think I know a particular film well, but the responsibility of introducing a film - particularly to an audience that is so educated about classic films = is always both a challenge and a joy. It is a great excuse to delve into the lives of the filmmakers, the cast and crew and whatever was going on in Hollywood at the time. Sometimes I spend hours and hours prepping for those 10 minute presentations - People have come a long way to attend the festival, it isn't cheap to be there so I always want to be able to impart something they wouldn't have known if they hadn't chosen to come to that particular film. I aim to give each presentation its own arc and really enjoy the preparation process. Not only do I always learn something, but I get so much energy from that enthusiastic audience. When you spend as much time writing as I do, you inherently spend a lot of time alone so it is so great to be surrounded for those several days by people who love classic films as much as I do. Their energy is contagious.

Lastly, let me thank you, Lynn for inviting me to join you all, and Cinemaven for my promotional photo, and for putting in all the work you do to keep the conversation going.

User avatar
Sue Sue Applegate
Administrator
Posts: 3319
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 8:47 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Welcome to Writer Cari Beauchamp!

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » June 28th, 2015, 8:51 pm

Thank you so much for your time and fabulous responses, Cari!

Writer, educator, and researcher Lara Fowler has written a lovely review of your latest book here: http://backlots.net/category/lara-gabrielle-fowler/

One of our members who has had difficulty logging in, kingrat, wanted me to share this with you:
"Please tell Cari Beauchamp how much I have enjoyed her introductions at the festival, especially the interview with Hayley Mills at WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND. Cari got Hayley to confirm that she had been offered the part of Lolita, which is mind-boggling, and that her parents were offered a Renoir if she would do it."

That was a juicy tidbit, kingrat!

Cari, please feel free to visit us anytime you can. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your responses and visiting with you over the phone to coordinate your Guest Star thread.
Blog: http://suesueapplegate.wordpress.com/
Twitter:@suesueapplegate
TCM Message Boards: http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/ ... ue-sue-ii/
Sue Sue : https://www.facebook.com/groups/611323215621862/
Thelma Ritter: Hollywood's Favorite New Yorker, University Press of Mississippi-2018
Avatar: Ginger Rogers, The Major and The Minor

kingrat
Posts: 2207
Joined: August 20th, 2009, 2:46 pm

Re: Welcome to Writer Cari Beauchamp!

Postby kingrat » June 28th, 2015, 11:05 pm

Cari,

Thank you so much for chatting with us. I always enjoy your intros at the festival and am looking forward to your new book. It was jaw-dropping to read in your book on Gloria Swanson how Joseph Kennedy swindled her.

The best of look with your writing and your appearances!

David


Return to “Archived Guest Stars”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 108 guests