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Arthur Penn (September 27, 1922 – September 28, 2010)


  • Arthur Penn and Warren – Photo by Irving Penn
    Arthur Penn (September 27, 1922 – September 28, 2010)

    Arthur Penn brought the sensibility of ’60s European art films to American movies.

    Arthur Penn -(Cerebral – Subversive)

    How did Warren Beatty and Arthur Penn come to make the classic firm Bonnie and Clyde

    The Big Idea – Bonnie & Clyde

    After finishing the script, the writers sent it to Truffaut, their first choice to direct. He was interested, but eventually passed on the film, suggesting they offer it to Godard, who also turned them down.

    Beatty learned about Bonnie and Clyde when he and then-girlfriend Leslie Caron had dinner with French director Fran¿s Truffaut in an effort to convince him to direct a film biography of Edith Piaf for Caron. Truffaut passed on that project, then suggested that a script he had just received had a great part for Beatty. The role was Clyde Barrow.

    Beatty had worked with director Arthur Penn on Mickey One, a small, surrealistic film that had failed at the box office in 1965. But Benton and Newman thought the film had a distinct European-American flavor and suggested they offer Bonnie and Clyde to him. Penn’s career was at a standstill after the failure of Mickey One. He had just been fired from The Train (1964) by that film’s star, Burt Lancaster, and shortly after that, producer Sam Spiegel seized control of The Chase, (1966) another film Penn was directing. Naturally, he was depressed and turned down Bonnie and Clyde at first, complaining that he didn’t like the script. Beatty almost had to browbeat Penn into taking the job.

  • Left Handed Gun, The Miracle Worker, Bonnie and Clyde, Little Big Man Four Friends., Alice’s Restaurant (see Previous post )
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    The Chase (Marlon Brando, Robert Redford, Angie D and Jane Fonda in Chase.)

    Night Moves, Mickey One. LIttle Big Man, Marlon hijinks with Sam Spiegel, the producer on “The Chase”
    (Arthur in an interview)

    Arthur arthurMekas with Jonas Mekas

    Harvard Archive

    Previous post – learn from Arthur about Bucky Fuller and the history of Black Mountain College.

    Arthur Penn on Ingmar Bergman(his last interview)
    Anthropologist Erikson is mentioned here.

    Irving Penn and Arthur Penn (artists brothers – vanity fair)

    On being brothers
    There was an inherent competition and inherent admiration—both, you know. It was fragile … except that we knew our lives sort of depended on each other. His wife, Lisa, was an absolute marvel. We all four were very close.

    And the secret to their success …
    I do think it was something we learned from each other. [A beat.] I just don’t know what.

    Update Arthur Penn died a day after his birthday Sept 28, 2010..
    Obit from Vanity Fair

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