Topic: Biography/Actors and Filmmakers
Hedy Lamarr (), born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler (November 9, 1914 – January 19, 2000), was an Austrian-born American actress, inventor and film producer. She was part of 30 films in an acting career spanning 28 years, and co-invented an early version of frequency-hopping spread spectrum.
After a brief early film career in Czechoslovakia, including the controversial Ecstasy (1933), she fled from her husband, a wealthy Austrian ammunition manufacturer, and secretly moved to Paris. Traveling to London, she met Louis B. Mayer, head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studio, who offered her a movie contract in Hollywood, where he began promoting her as the "world's most beautiful woman".
She became a star with her performance in Algiers (1938), her first film made in the United States. Her MGM films include Lady of the Tropics (1939), Boom Town (1940), H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941), and White Cargo (1942). Dismayed with her MGM contract, Lamarr co-founded a new production studio and starred in its films including The Strange Woman (1946), and Dishonored Lady (1947). Her greatest success was as Delilah in Cecil B. DeMille's Samson and Delilah (1949). She also acted on television before the release of her final film, The Female Animal (1958). She was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.
At the beginning of World War II, Lamarr and composer George Antheil developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes, intended to use frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology to defeat the threat of jamming by the Axis powers. She also helped to improve aviation designs for Howard Hughes while they dated during the war. Although the US Navy did not adopt Lamarr and Antheil's invention until 1957, various spread-spectrum techniques are incorporated into Bluetooth technology and are similar to methods used in legacy versions of Wi-Fi. Recognition of the value of their work resulted in the pair being posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.
- "Hedy Lamarr" | 2020-02-12 | 38 Upvotes 18 Comments
- "Hedy Lamarr, femme fatale and inventor of spread spectrum communications " | 2010-05-21 | 65 Upvotes 8 Comments
John Michael Crichton (; October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008) was an American author, screenwriter, film director, and film producer. His books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide, and over a dozen have been adapted into films. His literary works are usually within the science fiction, techno-thriller, and medical fiction genres, and heavily feature technology. His novels often explore technology and failures of human interaction with it, especially resulting in catastrophes with biotechnology. Many of his novels have medical or scientific underpinnings, reflecting his medical training and scientific background. He wrote, among other works, The Andromeda Strain (1969), The Great Train Robbery (1975), Congo (1980), Sphere (1987), Jurassic Park (1990), Rising Sun (1992), Disclosure (1994), The Lost World (1995), Airframe (1996), Timeline (1999), Prey (2002), State of Fear (2004), and Next (2006). Films he wrote and directed included Westworld (1973), Coma (1978), The Great Train Robbery (1979), Looker (1981), and Runaway (1984).
- "Gell-Mann amnesia effect" | 2018-09-17 | 361 Upvotes 162 Comments
William Goldman (August 12, 1931 – November 16, 2018) was an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. He first came to prominence in the 1950s as a novelist before turning to screenwriting. He won Academy Awards for his screenplays Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and All the President's Men (1976). His other works include his thriller novel Marathon Man and comedy/fantasy novel The Princess Bride, both of which he adapted for the film versions.
Author Sean Egan has described Goldman as "one of the late twentieth century's most popular storytellers."
- "William Goldman, author and screenwriter of “The Princess Bride”, has died" | 2018-11-16 | 32 Upvotes 3 Comments
Fredrick Allen Hampton (August 30, 1948 – December 4, 1969) was an American activist and revolutionary socialist. He came to prominence in Chicago as chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP), and deputy chairman of the national BPP. In this capacity, he founded a prominent multicultural political organization, the Rainbow Coalition that initially included the Black Panthers, Young Patriots and the Young Lords, and an alliance among major Chicago street gangs to help them end infighting, and work for social change.
In 1967, Hampton was identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a radical threat. The FBI tried to subvert his activities in Chicago, sowing disinformation among these groups and placing a counterintelligence operative in the local Panthers. In December 1969, Hampton was shot and killed in his bed during a predawn raid at his Chicago apartment by a tactical unit of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation; during the raid, another Panther was killed and several seriously wounded. In January 1970, a coroner's jury held an inquest and ruled the deaths of Hampton and Mark Clark to be justifiable homicide.
A civil lawsuit was later filed on behalf of the survivors and the relatives of Hampton and Clark. It was resolved in 1982 by a settlement of $1.85 million; the City of Chicago, Cook County, and the federal government each paid one-third to a group of nine plaintiffs. Given revelations about the illegal COINTELPRO program and documents associated with the killings, scholars now widely consider Hampton's death an assassination under the FBI's initiative.
- "Fred Hampton" | 2020-06-05 | 20 Upvotes 2 Comments
Trevor Paul Moore (April 4, 1980 – August 6, 2021) was an American comedian, actor, writer, director, producer, and musician. He was known as one of the founding members, alongside Sam Brown and Zach Cregger, of the New York City-based comedy troupe The Whitest Kids U' Know, who had their own sketch comedy series on IFC which ran for five seasons.
- "Trevor Moore, co-founder of Whitest Kids U Know, dies at 41" | 2021-08-08 | 172 Upvotes 47 Comments
Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince (28 August 1841 – disappeared 16 September 1890, declared dead 16 September 1897) was a French artist and the inventor of an early motion-picture camera, possibly the first person to shoot a moving picture sequence using a single lens camera and a strip of (paper) film. He has been credited as the "Father of Cinematography", but his work did not influence the commercial development of cinema—owing at least in part to the great secrecy surrounding it.
A Frenchman who also worked in the United Kingdom and the United States, Le Prince's motion-picture experiments culminated in 1888 in Leeds, England. In October of that year, he filmed moving-picture sequences of family members in Roundhay Garden and his son playing the accordion, using his single-lens camera and Eastman's paper negative film. At some point in the following eighteen months he also made a film of Leeds Bridge. This work may have been slightly in advance of the inventions of contemporaneous moving-picture pioneers, such as the British inventors William Friese-Greene and Wordsworth Donisthorpe, and was years in advance of that of Auguste and Louis Lumière and William Kennedy Dickson (who did the moving image work for Thomas Edison).
Le Prince was never able to perform a planned public demonstration of his camera in the US because he mysteriously vanished; he was last known to be boarding a train on 16 September 1890. Multiple conspiracy theories have emerged about the reason for his disappearance, including: a murder set up by Edison, secret homosexuality, disappearance in order to start a new life, suicide because of heavy debts and failing experiments, and a murder by his brother over their mother's will. No conclusive evidence exists for any of these theories. In 2004, a police archive in Paris was found to contain a photograph of a drowned man bearing a strong resemblance to Le Prince who was discovered in the Seine just after the time of his disappearance, but it has been claimed that the body was too short to be Le Prince.
In early 1890, Edison workers had begun experimenting with using a strip of celluloid film to capture moving images. The first public results of these experiments were shown in May 1891. However, Le Prince's widow and son Adolphe were keen to advance Louis's cause as the inventor of cinematography. In 1898, Adolphe appeared as a witness for the defence in a court case brought by Edison against the American Mutoscope Company. This suit claimed that Edison was the first and sole inventor of cinematography, and thus entitled to royalties for the use of the process. Adolphe was involved in the case but was not allowed to present his father's two cameras as evidence, although films shot with cameras built according to his father's patent were presented. Eventually the court ruled in favour of Edison. A year later that ruling was overturned, but Edison then reissued his patents and succeeded in controlling the US film industry for many years.
- "Louis Le Prince, the missing inventor of an early motion-picture camera" | 2023-01-15 | 61 Upvotes 15 Comments
Agnès Varda (French: [aɲɛs vaʁda]; born Arlette Varda; 30 May 1928 – 29 March 2019) was a Belgian-born French film director, screenwriter, photographer, and artist. Her pioneering work was central to the development of the widely influential French New Wave film movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Her films focused on achieving documentary realism, addressing women's issues, and other social commentary, with a distinctive experimental style.
Varda's work employed location shooting in an era when the limitations of sound technology made it easier and more common to film indoors, with constructed sets and painted backdrops of landscapes, rather than outdoors, on location. Her use of non-professional actors was also unconventional for 1950s French cinema. Varda's feature film debut was La Pointe Courte (1955), followed by Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962), one of her most notable narrative films, Vagabond (1985), and Kung Fu Master (1988). Varda was also known for her work as a documentarian with such works as Black Panthers (1968), The Gleaners and I (2000), The Beaches of Agnès (2008), Faces Places (2017), and her final film, Varda by Agnès (2019).
Director Martin Scorsese described Varda as "one of the Gods of Cinema". Among several other accolades, Varda received an Honorary Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, becoming the first woman to win the award, a Golden Lion for Vagabond at the 1985 Venice Film Festival, an Academy Honorary Award, and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for Faces Places, becoming the oldest person to be nominated for a competitive Oscar. In 2017, she became the first female director to win an honorary Oscar.
- "Agnès Varda" | 2023-05-17 | 19 Upvotes 5 Comments