Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman For KV Honorary Membership

Generous, unpretentious, inclusive, politically progressive, a good friend, a good husband, a good father and crazy enough to drive race cars. Sounds like he belongs. Also he spent time on the LES while filming, "Somebody Up There Likes Me."
below an interview with Robert Wise from 1998 From December 13, 2007 a LES clip from the movie
Let's talk a little about Somebody Up There Likes Me, with Paul Newman as Rocky Graziano. Is it hard to tell the story of a man making his way to the top in the fighting ring? It was a particularly hard story. It was from an actual book written about Rocky Graziano. It was a real character and he was a real middleweight champion at one time. And Paul and I had the advantage of spending a lot of time with Rocky. He was living in New York, and Paul was there. I'd go back and we'd spend time with him. He would take us down to the Lower East Side where he grew up and where he hung out, and introduce us to a lot of his friends from those days and the candy store they used to hang out in. And he even got us a lot of photographs for wardrobe things. Also, there had been a long story about him in Look magazine, a long two-part series, and the writer had taped the interviews. So we had a chance to listen to the tapes and hear Rocky's actual voice and his manner of speech. And Paul decided, and I decided with him, that whatever he could make real and natural, and honest for himself from the speech patterns and his way of talking he would do, and if something wasn't right he wouldn't do it. So he picked up certain things that I think helped his characterization tremendously. I think it was one of Paul's very best characterizations as an actor, because it's so far away from actual Paul Newman, who's Cleveland and Shaker Heights, certainly not the Lower East Side.
Right. He had a rhythm, which he got from Graziano?
And you actually tried to pick up that rhythm in the way you shot the film?
In a way. Rocky was always kind of moving around, in little jerky movements, and I wanted the film to have a little of that same kind of feeling. So I shot it in short bits and pieces, little short sequences, and tried to get an essence of that in the structure and methodology of shooting the film as it was.
When Rocky fights the winning fight for the championship at the end, there's a series of sequences, shots of his family, the crowd scene, but also the streets of New York. There's one scene were everyone is listening to the radio and you made it absolutely silent, the city street. That was quite effective.
Yes. It really worked, I think.

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