Alan Ball (screenwriter)
Alan Erwin Ball is an American writer and producer for television and theater. He wrote the screenplay for American Beauty, he created the series Six Feet Under and True Blood, works for which he earned an Emmy, awards from the Writers and Producers Guilds. Ball was born in Marietta, Georgia, to Frank and Mary Ball an aircraft inspector and a homemaker, his older sister, Mary Ann, was killed in a car accident when Ball was 13. He attended high school in Marietta, he went to college at the University of Georgia and Florida State University, from which he graduated in 1980 with a degree in theater arts. After college, he began work as a playwright at the General Nonsense Theater Company in Sarasota, Florida. Ball broke into television as a writer and story editor on the situation comedies Grace Under Fire and Cybill. Ball has written two films, American Beauty and Towelhead, the latter of which he produced and directed, he is the creator and executive producer of the HBO drama series Six Feet Under and True Blood.
He was showrunner for True Blood for its first five seasons. In 2010 Ball began work on a television adaptation of the crime noir novel The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston, to be titled All Signs of Death. In December 2010, after several months of pre-production, HBO cancelled production on the project. Ball is one of the executive producers of the Cinemax series Banshee. In July 2016, it was announced that Ball's family drama Here and Now had been ordered to series by HBO. A ten-episode first season stars Tim Robbins and Holly Hunter, it was cancelled in April 2018 after one season. Ball has discussed his Buddhist faith in numerous interviews, noting how it has influenced his film making. In an interview with Amazon.com, Ball commented on the iconic scene in American Beauty with the plastic bag, stating, "I had an encounter with a plastic bag! And I didn't have a video camera, like Ricky does... There's a Buddhist notion of the miraculous within the mundane, I think we live in a culture that encourages us not to look for that."
Ball has discussed how his Buddhism has shaped themes in Six Feet Under and True Blood, which he has contributed to. Ball is gay and has been called "a strong voice for LGBT community". In 2008 he made Out magazine's annual list of women. For his work in television and film, Ball has received critical acclaim and numerous awards and nominations, including an Academy Award, an Emmy a Golden Globe, awards from the Writers and Producers Guilds. Alan Ball at TV.com Alan Ball on IMDb Alan Ball at the Internet Off-Broadway Database Alan Ball at The Interviews: An Oral History of Television
Macbeth (1960 American film)
Macbeth is a 1960 television film adaptation of the William Shakespeare play presented as the November 20, 1960 episode of the American anthology series Hallmark Hall of Fame. The series' second production of the play was, like the 1954 live telecast directed by George Schaefer, again starred English-born American actor Maurice Evans and Australian actress Judith Anderson; the supporting cast, was different, consisting of British actors, was filmed on location in Scotland. Filmed in color, the program was described in a contemporary publication as the "ost expensive TV show of all time, costing $1,200,000."Internationally, this version was treated as a feature film, was released theatrically in Europe. It was entered into the 11th Berlin International Film Festival; this television film won five Primetime Emmy Awards at the 13th annual award ceremony, held in 1961. Maurice Evans – Macbeth Judith Anderson – Lady Macbeth Michael Hordern – Banquo Ian Bannen – Macduff Malcolm Keen - King Duncan At the 13th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, the top show of the night was the NBC anthology Hallmark Hall of Fame for this production of Macbeth.
It won in all of its nominated categories. Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Drama The Program of the Year Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Drama 13th Primetime Emmy Awards Macbeth on IMDb
Robert Patrick Mulligan was an American film and television director best known as the director of humanistic American dramas, including To Kill a Mockingbird, Summer of'42, The Other, Same Time, Next Year and The Man in the Moon. He was known in the 1960s for his extensive collaborations with producer Alan J. Pakula, he was the elder brother of actor Richard Mulligan. Mulligan studied at Fordham University before serving with the United States Marine Corps during World War II. At war's end, he obtained work in the editorial department of The New York Times, but left to pursue a career in television. Mulligan began his television career as a messenger boy for CBS television, he worked diligently, by 1948 was directing major dramatic television shows. In 1959 he won an Emmy Award for directing The Moon and Sixpence, a television production, the American small-screen debut of Laurence Olivier. In 1957 Mulligan directed his first motion picture, Fear Strikes Out, starring Anthony Perkins as tormented baseball player Jimmy Piersall.
The film was the first feature he would direct alongside longtime collaborator Alan J. Pakula a big-time Hollywood producer. Pakula once confessed that "working with Bob set me back in directing several years because I enjoyed working with him, we were having a good time, I enjoyed the work." After the release of Fear Strikes Out, Mulligan disbanded with Pakula and made two Tony Curtis vehicles, The Rat Race and The Great Imposter, as well as two Rock Hudson vehicles, Come September and The Spiral Road. In the early 1960s, Pakula returned to Mulligan with the proposition of directing To Kill a Mockingbird, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee. Mulligan accepted the offer despite the awareness that "the other studios didn't want it because what's it about? It's about a middle-aged lawyer with two kids. There's no violence. There's no action. What is there? Where's the story?" With the help of a screenplay by Horton Foote as well as the pivotal casting of Gregory Peck in the role of Atticus Finch, the film became a huge hit, Mulligan was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director.
Mulligan and Pakula followed To Kill a Mockingbird with five more films: Love With the Proper Stranger, starring Natalie Wood and Steve McQueen. V. Olsen and reuniting Mulligan and Pakula with Peck, this time in the role of Sam Varner, a scout who attempts to escort a white woman and her half-Indian son to New Mexico after they are pursued by a bloodthirsty Apache. After this film, Pakula broke ties with Mulligan to pursue his own career in directing. Up the Down Staircase was entered into the 5th Moscow International Film Festival. Mulligan began the 1970s with The Pursuit of Happiness, based on the 1968 novel by Thomas Rogers, a finalist for the National Book Award; the film starred Michael Sarrazin as William Popper, a college student whose life is complicated when he accidentally runs over and kills an elderly woman and is sentenced to one year in prison for vehicular manslaughter. He contemplates breaking out of prison and fleeing the country with his girlfriend, since neither feels their lives have made any significant difference in America.
In 1971, Mulligan released Summer of'42, based on the coming-of-age novel by Herman Raucher and starred Gary Grimes as a teenage stand-in for Raucher who spends a summer vacation in 1942 on Nantucket Island lusting after a young woman whose husband has shipped off to fight in the war. A box office smash, Summer of'42 went on to gross over $20 million, Mulligan was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Director. Summer of'42 was followed by The Other, a thriller film scripted by former Hollywood actor Thomas Tryon from his own book, it told the story of two 9-year old boys and Holland Perry, who get involved in a series of grisly murders at their home on Peaquot Landing in the 1930s. Although the film was not an immediate success at the box office, it has since gone on to gain a steady cult following. In the mid-1970s, Mulligan was engaged in talks with producers Julia and Michael Phillips to direct Taxi Driver, with Jeff Bridges to star as the psychotic Travis Bickle. Objections posed by screenwriter Paul Schrader caused the project to be turned over to Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro instead.
Schrader elaborated on his disapproval of Mulligan as the film's director: "I was fighting that off because it didn't make any sense to me. Yet it was a deal, God knows I wanted to see the film made. To Michael and Julia's credit, they were not keen on this either, but it was something, around and that could have gone... You can write the most complex character, if the director isn't a complex man, it won't be a complex character on the screen. Travis Bickle is complex, full of contradictions. If Mulligan, Aldrich or Rydell had directed that, it would have been a simple person. If they do, they end up cardboard complex, lacking in passion."Unable to direct Taxi Driver, Mulligan proceeded by rounding out the 1970s with three films dominated by performances from A-list Hollywood actors: Jason Miller as a Los Angeles locksmith threaten
Six Feet Under, Vol. 2: Everything Ends
Six Feet Under, Vol. 2: Everything Ends is a soundtrack album to the HBO drama series Six Feet Under, released in 2005 on Astralwerks. This album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media in 2006, was chosen as number 96 of Amazon.com's Top 100 Editor's Picks of 2005. Nina Simone, "Feeling Good" Jem, "Amazing Life" Phoenix, "Everything Is Everything" • Featured in "Coming and Going" where Claire and co. are discussing their upcoming art project. Coldplay, "A Rush of Blood to the Head" • Plays at the end of "Perfect Circles" Sia, "Breathe Me" • A much-extended version plays under the closing montage in "Everyone's Waiting" Radiohead, "Lucky" • Featured in "Parallel Play" Irma Thomas, "Time Is on My Side" • Plays at the start of "Perfect Circles" Bebel Gilberto, "Aganjú" Interpol, "Direction" • Featured in "Static" when Claire drives to the nature preserve to visit Nate's grave. Caesars, " The Reaper" • Featured in "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" Death Cab for Cutie, "Transatlanticism" • Featured in "Terror Starts at Home" Arcade Fire, "Cold Wind" • Featured in "Static" Imogen Heap, "I'm a Lonely Little Petunia" • Featured in "The Dare"
Seattle is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat of Washington. With an estimated 730,000 residents as of 2018, Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. According to U. S. Census data released in 2018, the Seattle metropolitan area’s population stands at 3.87 million, ranks as the 15th largest in the United States. In July 2013, it was the fastest-growing major city in the United States and remained in the Top 5 in May 2015 with an annual growth rate of 2.1%. In July 2016, Seattle was again the fastest-growing major U. S. city, with a 3.1% annual growth rate. Seattle is the northernmost large city in the United States; the city is situated on an isthmus between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, about 100 miles south of the Canada–United States border. A major gateway for trade with Asia, Seattle is the fourth-largest port in North America in terms of container handling as of 2015; the Seattle area was inhabited by Native Americans for at least 4,000 years before the first permanent European settlers.
Arthur A. Denny and his group of travelers, subsequently known as the Denny Party, arrived from Illinois via Portland, Oregon, on the schooner Exact at Alki Point on November 13, 1851; the settlement was moved to the eastern shore of Elliott Bay and named "Seattle" in 1852, in honor of Chief Si'ahl of the local Duwamish and Suquamish tribes. Today, Seattle has high populations of Native, Scandinavian and Asian Americans, as well as a thriving LGBT community that ranks 6th in the United States for population. Logging was Seattle's first major industry, but by the late 19th century, the city had become a commercial and shipbuilding center as a gateway to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush. Growth after World War II was due to the local Boeing company, which established Seattle as a center for aircraft manufacturing; the Seattle area developed into a technology center from the 1980s onwards with companies like Microsoft becoming established in the region. Internet retailer Amazon was founded in Seattle in 1994, major airline Alaska Airlines is based in SeaTac, serving Seattle's international airport, Seattle–Tacoma International Airport.
The stream of new software and Internet companies led to an economic revival, which increased the city's population by 50,000 between 1990 and 2000. Owing to its increasing population in the 21st century and the state of Washington have some of the highest minimum wages in the country, at $15 per hour for smaller businesses and $16 for the city's largest employers. Seattle has a noteworthy musical history. From 1918 to 1951, nearly two dozen jazz nightclubs existed along Jackson Street, from the current Chinatown/International District to the Central District; the jazz scene nurtured the early careers of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson, others. Seattle is the birthplace of rock musician Jimi Hendrix, as well as the origin of the bands Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters and the alternative rock movement grunge. Archaeological excavations suggest that Native Americans have inhabited the Seattle area for at least 4,000 years. By the time the first European settlers arrived, the people occupied at least seventeen villages in the areas around Elliott Bay.
The first European to visit the Seattle area was George Vancouver, in May 1792 during his 1791–95 expedition to chart the Pacific Northwest. In 1851, a large party led by Luther Collins made a location on land at the mouth of the Duwamish River. Thirteen days members of the Collins Party on the way to their claim passed three scouts of the Denny Party. Members of the Denny Party claimed land on Alki Point on September 28, 1851; the rest of the Denny Party set sail from Portland and landed on Alki point during a rainstorm on November 13, 1851. After a difficult winter, most of the Denny Party relocated across Elliott Bay and claimed land a second time at the site of present-day Pioneer Square, naming this new settlement Duwamps. Charles Terry and John Low remained at the original landing location and reestablished their old land claim and called it "New York", but renamed "New York Alki" in April 1853, from a Chinook word meaning "by and by" or "someday". For the next few years, New York Alki and Duwamps competed for dominance, but in time Alki was abandoned and its residents moved across the bay to join the rest of the settlers.
David Swinson "Doc" Maynard, one of the founders of Duwamps, was the primary advocate to name the settlement after Chief Seattle of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes. The name "Seattle" appears on official Washington Territory papers dated May 23, 1853, when the first plats for the village were filed. In 1855, nominal land settlements were established. On January 14, 1865, the Legislature of Territorial Washington incorporated the Town of Seattle with a board of trustees managing the city; the Town of Seattle was disincorporated on January 18, 1867, remained a mere precinct of King County until late 1869, when a new petition was filed and the city was re-incorporated December 2, 1869, with a mayor–council government. The corporate seal of the City of Seattle carries the date "1869" and a likeness of Chief Sealth in left profile. Seattle has a history of boom-and-bust cycles, like many other cities near areas of extensive natural and mineral resources. Seattle has risen several times economically gone into precipitous decline, but it has used those periods to rebuild solid infrastructure
Eric Salter Balfour is an American actor and singer. He is the lead singer of Born As Ghosts known as Fredalba, he made his film debut in the drama Shattered Image, followed by roles in What Women Want and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. His roles on television include Milo Pressman on the action-thriller TV series 24, a supporting guest role in the HBO drama Six Feet Under as Claire's boyfriend, Duke Crocker in the supernatural series Haven. Balfour was born to a Jewish family in Los Angeles, the son of David Balfour, a chiropractor and Sharon, who works as a marriage and family counselor, he has Tori. He described his household growing up as "creative," and said that his family would make trips to the Esalen Institute in Big Sur. Balfour appeared on the kids TV show Kids Incorporated for one season in 1991. During the early 1990s, he had a variety of minor juvenile roles on such television series as: Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Arresting Behavior, Boy Meets World and Step by Step. In 1997, he appeared in the pilot for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as one of the show's first victims, Jesse McNally.
He appeared as a regular cast member in three short-lived TV shows. ABC's Veritas: The Quest was cancelled after four episodes in 2003, NBC's Hawaii was canceled after seven episodes in 2004, UPN's Sex, Love & Secrets was canceled after four episodes. In 2005, Balfour starred in the sexually explicit Canadian drama Lie with Me opposite Lauren Lee Smith. In March 2006, Balfour debuted as Brian Peluso on producer Dick Wolf's short-lived NBC crime drama, which lasted one season. Balfour was a guest star on the hit show Dawson's Creek, in the ninth episode of the first season, he starred in the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre opposite Jessica Biel. He played a minor character in several episodes of The O. C. as Eddie, Theresa's fiancé, in the hit HBO show, Six Feet Under, as Claire Fisher's boyfriend, Gabriel Dimas. Balfour appeared in seven episodes of the first season of 24 as computer technician Milo Pressman in 2001. Five years Balfour reprised the role for nineteen episodes of 24's sixth season before leaving the show by his own request.
Balfour appeared in ABC's Life on Mars as Eddie Carling, the brother of detective Ray Carling, as played by Michael Imperioli. He was the face for the new Valentino male fragrance, Valentino V. In September 2009, Balfour appeared in an episode of Monk. In that same month, Balfour booked a recurring role on the new CW drama show The Beautiful Life, but the show was canceled after its second episode and production was shut down immediately. In 2010, he starred in the Strause Brothers thriller film Skyline, he starred as Duke Crocker on the Syfy drama Haven. Balfour co-starred in the creature film Backcountry, he appeared as Spiro Dalon on the 10/24/18 episode of Chicago PD. After five years of dating, Balfour married fashion designer Erin Chiamulon on May 30, 2015 in Pacific Palisades, California. Balfour and his wife had a baby boy on August 2nd, 2018. Eric Balfour on IMDb Eric Balfour at AllMovie
The Plan (Six Feet Under)
"The Plan" is the third episode of the second season of the HBO series Six Feet Under. The episode was directed by Rose Troche, it first aired on March 17, 2002. The episode features a parody of the program used by The Forum; the episode begins with the death of Michael John Piper. As he dies, Mrs. Piper states. Nate begins to experience muscular twitching and loss of verbal skills, which after some internet research David determines to be a condition known as AVM; as Mrs. Piper is selecting a casket for the funeral assisted by David, she informs him that she is being advised by her late husband. In a scene in the kitchen, Ruth comes downstairs and informs Nate and Claire that she will be attending a self-improvement seminar called "The Plan", her friend Robbie had urged her to attend the course. Claire is worried that "The Plan" is some kind of cult, Nate remarks that it must be "one of those self-actualization things from the'70s where they yell at you for twelve hours and don't let you go to the bathroom".
Upon arrival at the seminar, the leader begins to use jargon and metaphor which compares a "blueprint" for home renovation to self-improvement of one's life. She singles out Ruth and berates her for "tiptoeing around her own house like she's afraid of waking someone up". Claire attends a counseling session at school, David brings Nate to the Independent Funeral Directors lunch, where Nate proceeds to rant about the evils of corporations as related to their industry. Claire returns to the counselor's office, where a police detective questions her about her boyfriend Gabe's involvement in a convenience store robbery, Claire is angry with her counselor for breaking their trust. Brenda and Nate have a conversation about college-life while she is selecting courses for her adult education, the conversation leads to Brenda's current lack of interest in sex. Brenda decides to leave the genetics class she had enrolled in, after getting in a public argument with the instructor. Ruth comes home late at night from her seminar, finds Claire waiting for her on the couch.
Ruth mentions that she will be attending more seminars of "The Plan" because she has paid for the coursework and does not want to appear rude. Ruth begins to use jargon from the course in her conversation with Claire, Ruth complains that she cannot yet go to sleep for she must first do "homework" from the course; this homework includes writing a letter to her dead mother forgiving her for "all the terrible things she did to me", writing a letter to herself, describing how she will "renovate" her life. As Nate prepares for the funeral, his father Nathaniel visits him, they discuss philosophical opinions regarding death and the afterlife. A poem by Walt Whitman is read aloud at the funeral. After the funeral Claire requests assistance from Nate, but David interrupts them with follow-up news from their Independent Funeral Directors meeting. Keith and his mother have a heated discussion about the care of Taylor, the neglected responsibilities of his sister Carla. Brenda flirts with a patron at a bar, he gives her his business card moments before Nate arrives to meet her.
At "The Plan", the seminar leader gives the group a new assignment: to go outside to ready banks of phones, call their family members to inform them of how they wish to "renovate their homes" together. Robbie goads Ruth into calling a family member, but she fakes a conversation with Claire while listening to an automated message. Gabe calls Claire, asks her to come meet him. Nate and Brenda have dinner together, where she tells him of her academic experience and he discusses concepts of death with her. In the seminar, the leader asks everyone to close their eyes and imagine that everyone else is laughing at them for being stupid, asks the participants if they get the joke. Everyone does, except Ruth. After her rant, the leader congratulates her for "knocking down her old house", proceeds to tell her that now she can rebuild a new house. Ruth and Robbie hang out at a bar where they flirt and Ruth asserts herself in conversation. While driving Gabe, Claire witnesses him shoot at another car while they are stopped, but does not see if he has hit anyone.
Claire grabs Gabe's gun, leaves him to go seek help from Keith. Keith questions Claire in a supportive tone, while David are more concerned. However, Keith explains to them. Sources "Opus 29, No. 1, Andante" by Franz Schubert "Young Girl" by Roy Kohn "Invierno" by Andy Caldwell "Somewhere in a Dream" by Joel Evans "You Were Right" by Built to Spill "Strong Nature" by Meeting Minds "Hey Mister" by Custom "Man of the Road" by Wayne Hancock Reading Six Feet Under: TV to Die For by Akass et al. compared the episode to Werner Erhard's est and The Forum, as did the Pittsburgh City Paper. Akass cites the episode while analyzing the phenomenon of self-improvement, notes that: "Repairing her shingles leaves Ruth in shackles", she writes that: "..the series performs the logic of self-help, both its silly and seductive sides". However, she points out that Ruth's rant at the end of her seminar is cathartic for Ruth, she ends her analysis of the episode by asking: "So, what do we make of our times when all this supposed nonsense works?"Donald Kummings cites the episode in his A Companion to Walt Whitman, while analyzing the effect of a poem by Walt Whitman on a grieving family.
Walt Whitman had been character Michael John Piper's favorite poet. Kummings notes "The facial expression of the bereaved wife indicates that she is pleased and co