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Watched Blogging Basics by Greg McVerry from YouTube

Learn in six easy steps how to become a master blogger (Caveat the only way is to read and write a lot)

I’m reminded here of my friend and Academy Award nominated screenwriter Millard Kaufman who once told me while standing in front of his immense library, “If you want to be a good writer, then practice writing; if you want to be a great writer, then read everything and then steal from the best.”

A Bad Day at Black Rock America

We should be able to learn from history to create better immigration policy today rather than repeating past mistakes

There have been a growing number of reports [1][2][3][4] this week of creating lists of Americans and immigrants. I’m worried about the long term repercussions these acts will have on not only America’s future but that of the world at large. Though some of these reports contained slightly softer verbiage than Donald Trump’s original campaign statements almost a year to the day last year[5], I can’t help but think that his original statements were closer to his real intent.

Many have likely forgotten about the horrific black eye America already has as a result of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Why would we be contemplating thinking about going down this road a second time? Almost a year ago I wrote a short homage to my friend and WWII veteran Millard Kaufman, who I know would be vehemently against this idea. If you haven’t seen his Academy Award nominated film Bad Day at Black Rock, I recommend you pick it up soon–it’s held up incredibly well since 1955 and is still more than culturally relevant today.

In Memoriam: Millard Kaufman, WWII Veteran and Front for Dalton Trumbo

A crippled character played by Spence Tracy shows us by example how not to cave in to menacing bullies in the John Sturges 1955 MGM classic Bad Day at Black Rock written by Millard Kaufman.
A crippled character played by Spence Tracy shows us by example how not to cave in to menacing bullies in the John Sturges’ 1955 MGM classic Bad Day at Black Rock written by Millard Kaufman.

Even Comedy Central’s The Daily Show ran a snippet of the news with their thoughts:

 

For those who don’t think that senior leadership in America might bend the rules a tad, I also recommend reading my friend Henry James Korn’s reflection of the incident in which Eisenhower expelled him from Johns Hopkins University for a criticism of LBJ during the late 60’s: “Yes, Eisenhower Expelled Me from Johns Hopkins University.”

Yes, Eisenhower expelled me from Johns Hopkins University

In his article, Henry also includes a ten-minute War Relocation Agency propaganda film which is eerily similar to some of what is being proposed now.

Needless to say, much of this type of behavior is on the same incredibly slippery slope that Nazi Germany began on when they began registering Jews in the early part of the last century. When will be learn from the horrific mistakes of the past to do better in the future?

Footnotes

[1]
D. Lind, “Donald Trump’s proposed ‘Muslim registry,’ explained,” Vox, 16-Nov-2016. [Online]. Available: http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/16/13649764/trump-muslim-register-database. [Accessed: 18-Nov-2016]
[2]
“Trump’s Muslim registry wouldn’t be illegal, constitutional law experts say,” POLITICO, 17-Nov-2016. [Online]. Available: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/donald-trump-muslim-registry-constitution-231527. [Accessed: 18-Nov-2016]
[3]
N. Muaddi, “The Bush-era Muslim registry failed. Yet the US could be trying it again,” CNN, 18-Nov-2016. [Online]. Available: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/18/politics/nseers-muslim-database-qa-trnd/. [Accessed: 18-Nov-2016]
[4]
M. Rosenberg and J. E. Ainsley, “Immigration hardliner says Trump team preparing plans for wall, mulling Muslim registry,” Reuters, 16-Nov-2016. [Online]. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-immigration-idUSKBN13B05C. [Accessed: 18-Nov-2016]
[5]
“Donald Trump says he’d ‘Absolutely’ Require Muslims to Register,” New York Times, 20-Nov-2015. [Online]. Available: http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/11/20/donald-trump-says-hed-absolutely-require-muslims-to-register/?_r=0. [Accessed: 18-Nov-2016] [Source]
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In Memoriam: Millard Kaufman, WWII Veteran and Front for Dalton Trumbo

On Veteran's day, a memoriam of writer Millard Kaufman.

O

n Veterans Day this year, which lands very near the release of the film Trumbo starring Bryan Cranston, I thought I’d take a moment to remember my old friend and mentor Millard Kaufman.

Millard not only fought for us in the war, but when he came back home he helped to defend our right to free speech and our ability to pursue happiness in a very fundamental way in his career as a screenwriter.  I often hear friends in the entertainment industry say, “This isn’t brain surgery, we’re not saving lives, here.” but in a great sense Millard was doing that in small steps throughout his career. Millard Kaufman enlisted in the Marines in 1942, served on Guadalcanal, landed at Guam with the 1st Marine Brigade (Provisional) where he wrote an article for the Marine Corps Gazette about the battle, then participated in the Battle of Okinawa with the 6th Marine Division.

Millard Kaufman

I met Millard 20 years ago in 1995 on a trip to Los Angeles with Matt Gross while we were ostensibly programming the 1995 Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium entitled “Framing Society: A Century of Cinema” which coincided with the 100th anniversary of film.  Dr. John Irwin, the long-time head of the Writing Seminars Department at Johns Hopkins, had provided us with a long distance introduction as Millard was a Hopkins alum from the class of ’39. So we met him at his home in the Hollywood Hills looking out over a forested sanctuary. Over our first simple tuna fish sandwich lunch, we began a friendship that spanned the next decade and a half.

Most may remember Millard Kaufman, if at all, as the co-creator of the cartoon character Mr. Magoo, who he based on his uncle, while many others will know his Academy Award nominated films Take the High Ground (1953) or Bad Day at Black Rock (1955). I’ll always remember him for his charm, his wry wit, his ability to swear comfortably in any company, and his sense of fairness.

Millard Kaufman in his youth

Apparently Hollywood itself has glossed over his contribution to helping to maintain Dalton Trumbo’s writing career in the recent release of Trumbo (2015), in which he isn’t mentioned (or portrayed on screen). [I’ll note here that I haven’t yet seen the movie, and may boycott it for the slight.] It is here in which Kaufman’s strong internal moral compass pressured him to help ensure Trumbo’s freedom of speech and, in part, his writing career. In short, the House Un-American Activities Committee’s (HUAC) pressured Trumbo which resulted in Trumbo’s being blacklisted in Hollywood and effectively destroying his writing career.

Trumbo and Kaufman shared the same agent at the time, George Willner. One day, relatively early in Kaufman’s career, Willner approached him to see if he would be willing to put his name on the script Gun Crazy that would turn into the 1950 film-noir crime classic to allow it to get made. As Millard told me many times, “I didn’t have much sense then, but at least I had sense enough to say, ‘Let me talk it over with Laurie’ [his wife].” “But we discussed it and we believed it was rotten that a man couldn’t write under his own name,” Kaufman told Daily Variety in 1992. That same year Kaufman, a board member of WGAw, officially requested that the Writers Guild take his name off the credits and replace it with Dalton Trumbo’s name. Kaufman’s fronting for Trumbo helped allow the film to get made, and Trumbo’s career to continue on, even if in the dark. As a board member of the Writer’s Guild Millard helped to restore credits to many writers of the blacklist era who were similarly slighted as a result of their politics at the time. It’s a travesty, that a film gets made highlighting this exact period in Trumbo’s life, but Millard’s small contribution to it has been all but forgotten.  Fortunately there are enough who do remember to tell the story.

Millard Kaufman

When I think of Millard and his various contributions, my favorite is always that he wrote the stunning script for Bad Day at Black Rock (MGM, 1955), a superb Western suspense film starring Spencer Tracy as a one-armed veteran facing mysterious enemies in a small desert town. The film shows how post-World War II America could be be both horrifyingly racist and cowardly, but it also showed a way out through Tracy’s character which always reminds me of Millard’s high-mindedness. It was such a great film, I was personally honored to screen it on November 3, 1995, as the premiere film in Shriver Hall after we had mounted a year-long renovation of the film equipment, screen, and sound system. The day before we were all honored to have Millard speak on “Censorship in Film” as part of the Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium.

For those who never had the chance to meet him, I’m including a short 3 minute video of several clips of him talking about a variety of topics.  The Millard portrayed here is the no-holds barred man I’ll always remember. Thanks for fighting for all of us, Millard!

 

For those looking for more information about Millard Kaufman, I’ll include the following articles:

Millard Kaufman, on writing novels. Quoted in Vulture while discussing his debut novel Bowl of Cherries.

Kaufman hands to head

“…[Millard] is the only first-time novelist I’ve met who could relate first-hand writing advice from Charlie Chaplin.”

Jordan Bass, editor, McSweeney’s in Salon (April 21, 2010). 

 

4-04-2008 Los Angeles ,CA Novelist Millard Kaufman, who published his first novel, "Bowl of Cherries," at age 90, at his home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. Mr Kaufman is a veteran of WWII , a former newspaper copy boy, and a Hollywood screenwriter. He is also co-creator of Mr Magoo. photo © Jonathan Alcorn
4-04-2008 Los Angeles ,CA
Novelist Millard Kaufman, who published his first novel, “Bowl of Cherries,” at age 90, at his home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. Mr Kaufman is a veteran of WWII , a former newspaper copy boy, and a Hollywood screenwriter. He is also co-creator of Mr Magoo.
photo © Jonathan Alcorn
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MSE Symposium Considers the Cinema at 100 | Johns Hopkins Gazette

Reposted MSE Symposium Considers the Cinema at 100 by Leslie Rice (Johns Hopkins Gazette: September 18, 1995)


MSE Symposium Considers the Cinema at 100

Leslie Rice
-----------------------------------
Homewood News and Information


     It was just curiosity that drew the crowds of people to see Thomas Edison's latest invention one century ago. How could they have known then the colossal impact those odd, grainy, flickering moving pictures would forever have on American culture?

     Two Hopkins undergraduates have marked the 100th anniversary of the moving picture by bringing to the Homewood campus an impressive group of film industry personalities to talk about the movies.

     The 1995 Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium, entitled "Framing Society: A Century of Cinema," will examine the power of the medium of film. Admission to the symposium, in Shriver Hall at 8 p.m. on various nights from Oct. 10 through Nov. 16, is free and open to the public.

     During the lecture series, chaired by Hopkins seniors Matt Gross and Chris Aldrich, an independent film maker will discuss the recent boom in independent, low-budget films while another director will talk about the importance of her identity as a Latina lesbian and her fight not to be pegged as a "queer" director. Other speakers will discuss the portrayal of African Americans and women in movies, and India's leading film director will discuss the international movie scene.

     "We chose speakers who could talk about film in a historical context," Gross said. "We didn't want someone to just come in and say, 'Here's my film: look at it'."

     Kicking off the series will be James Robinson, founder and CEO of Morgan Creek Productions, who will talk about how the film industry has become big business. Since 1988 Robinson has produced a couple dozen films, including Young Guns I and II, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Enemies: A Love Story, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and True Romance. Last year Robinson, a Baltimore resident who commutes every week to the West Coast, was named the most prolific producer of the year by Hollywood Reporter Magazine.

     Aldrich says he's particularly excited to hear screenwriter Millard Kaufman, scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 2. Kaufman, 78, has weathered the ups and downs of the film industry for decades. Besides writing memorable Lee Marvin and Spencer Tracy westerns like Bad Day at Black Rock and Take the High Ground, he is known for risking his career by fronting the screenplay Gun Crazy for a blacklisted friend during the McCarthy era. Still, Kaufman may be most famous for creating the quirky and comical cartoon character Mr. Magoo.

     "Kaufman is planning to talk about censorship in film, but even if he just talks about his career it will be very entertaining," Aldrich said. "He's very colorful and tells really funny stories about his experiences with some of the most powerful people in the industry." 

     During the symposium, Hopkins will also hold the grand opening of the Shriver Hall Theater within Shriver Hall Auditorium, which will, by then, be outfitted with state-of-the-art 35mm projection and sound equipment, making it the largest movie theater in the Baltimore-Washington area.

     In the future, the new theater, made possible through university grants submitted by Aldrich and Gross, will host movie premieres and sneak previews as well as off-beat and foreign films.

     The Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium was established in 1967 by Hopkins' undergraduate student council as a means of honoring the university's eighth president. Every year since then, a team of two to three students chosen by the student council, after a very competitive proposal process, has arranged and managed all aspects of the series from beginning to end--from selecting the topic, to raising money (this year roughly $35,000), to booking the personalities to reserving rooms. Usually about six prominent figures are booked to address a current national issue.

     Covering topics like the nuclear arms race, human sexuality, freedom of the press, and foreign policy and race, the symposium has drawn top-flight speakers like Aaron Copeland, Kurt Vonnegut, Carl Bernstein, former senators George McGovern and Eugene McCarthy, Pat Robinson and Isaac Asimov.

     Aldrich and Gross decided they wanted to direct the 1995 symposium after attending many of the lectures from last year's symposium on children's issues.

    "Chris just turned to me and said, 'Let's do next year's symposium,' " Gross recalled. "Without even thinking, I said, 'On movies, right?' He said 'yeah,' and that was it. I wish I could say it was a decision we pondered long and hard on, but it wasn't." 

     Since their proposal was chosen by the student council last December, the two have felt the weight of all the successful symposia of the past, which have captured national and local attention.

      "It's really been a constant pressure, and over the summer it was a full-time job for both Chris and me," said Gross, who happens to be a fledgling director. "All things considered though, I feel really lucky to have been able to do this. Just the experience of having to deal with every single detail, getting to know some of these people, and the kinds of things I have learned has been incredibly rewarding." 

*****************************************************************
THE MSE SYMPOSIUM - 1995 SCHEDULE
     "Framing Society: A Century of Cinema," is a series of lectures by film producers, directors, critics and screenwriters. All lectures and film screenings are free and open to the public and will take place in the new Shriver Hall Theater on the Homewood campus. 

------------------------------
Tuesday, Oct. 10, 8 p.m.
------------------------------
Lecture.
     "The Film Industry." James G. Robinson, CEO of Morgan Creek Productions; producer of True Romance, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Major League 2.


------------------------------
Wednesday, Oct. 11, 8 p.m. 
------------------------------
Screening.
     Go Fish, written and directed by Rose Troche.


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Thursday, Oct. 12, 8 p.m.
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Lecture.  
     "Sexuality and Film." Rose Troche, writer/director of Go Fish. 


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Wednesday, Oct. 18, 8 p.m.
------------------------------
Premiere and Screening.
     English premiere of Ondanondu Kaladalli, directed by Girish Karnad. 


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Thursday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m.
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Lecture.
     "World Cinema." Girish Karnad, leading film director of India and past director of the Film and Television Institute of India. 


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Thursday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m.
------------------------------
Lecture.
     "Women in Film and Criticism." Molly Haskell, New York film critic and author of From Reverence to Rape.


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Thursday, Nov. 2, 8 p.m. 
------------------------------
Lecture. 
     "Censorship of Film." Millard Kaufman, screenwriter, Bad Day at Black Rock, Take the High Ground, Raintree Country; board member of the Writers Guild of America; creator of Mr. Magoo.


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Friday, Nov. 3, 8 p.m.
------------------------------
Screening.
     Bad Day at Black Rock, written by Millard Kaufman. The film will be introduced by Kaufman and followed by a question and answer session.


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Thursday, Nov. 9, 8 p.m.
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Lecture.
     "Race and Film." Thomas Cripps, author and history professor at Morgan State University.


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Wednesday, Nov. 15, 8 p.m.
------------------------------
Premiere and Screening.
     Premiere of Mardi Gras, Baltimore, written, produced and directed by JHU students Gil Jawetz and Matt Gross.         
     Screening of Laws of Gravity, produced by Larry Meistrich.


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Thursday, Nov. 16, 8 p.m.
------------------------------
Lecture.
     "Independent Films." Larry Meistrich, producer of Laws of Gravity and New Jersey Drive; CEO of the Shooting Gallery.
*****************************************************************

     Call the symposium office for further information at (410) 516-7683.