This is a continuation of memories and thoughts stimulated by a preceding post “More Movies” in which I ended the piece with observations about one of the movies I had viewed being a sometimes overlooked suspenseful psychological thriller.
I will repeat here some of my comments with a quote from an interview in special features on “The Night Listener” DVD with the book’s author, Armistead Maupin, on whom the movie’s lead character is based.
“…I was intrigued by some of Maupin's observations about the world in which we live today and how we frequently find ourselves in virtual relationships. He talked about how we "...have constructs about the other person that are often more about what we need than what that person actually is and we fool each other by mutual consent in order to get what we want." Interesting thought for those of us in the blogosphere.”
And now … TV Day Memories …
Glass Ceilings for Women … The classic for me along the psychological thriller line, as for many people, was "Psycho" and Janet Leigh in the shower scene. Here's a bit of behind the scenes humor I learned recently
about the filming of that scene for the movie trailer. Seems another well known actress may have been coerced into playing that role for the filming of that trailer as retribution for her earlier withdrawal as the lead actress in another of this director’s movies.
Before “Psycho” many years ago, I recall seeing a movie that may have been "Cat People."
This was the first and only movie, that quite unnerved me, until "Psycho." I was haunted, literally for years, after exposure to some of that movie’s cat scenes. My horror film aversion developed then.
I recall when "Psycho" was finally first released in movie leasing packages for airing on television stations. I was working at a TV station during that time when movies were carefully edited to allow far fewer commercials than today. Film editing was seriously taken to minimize disruption of the mood and storyline with commercial scheduling sometimes adjusted, even omitted, for a film judged to be of top quality. Movies then were not made to accommodate the time schedules for television showing to end on the hour or half-hour, unless specifically edited to do so, unlike many today. There was little or no TV cable service, much less all movie channels. Old movies were shown for night owls, shift workers just returning home, those who just couldn't get to sleep in the early wee hours of morning.
Also, more serious consideration was given as to the time of day and/or evening when some movies would even be allowed to air, in consideration of younger eyes and ears. The expectation also was that parents used some influence on the viewing habits of their children to enable them to develop some critical judgments about what they viewed, that still seems like a good idea today.
Our station had acquired a certain number of runs or airings for "Psycho," so, it came to be one afternoon, unbeknown to me, the time had come for the engineers to follow-up on our film director's careful editing instructions on "Psycho." Knowing of my sensitivity to this "Psycho" shower scene, and on what must have been a dull afternoon for those engineers, they contrived to lure me into the edit room where I was treated to the shower scene, audio, video in all it's gory glory. My imagination created the rest from the stimulation of a stabbing knife, running blood, a collapsing victim, and that instrumental eerie-sounding music segment. To say that I became unnerved would be putting it mildly. I just could not help myself, to their great delight, since this was probably the only time they ever got the best of me in such a manner. Keeping one step ahead of their pranks took some pretty fancy dancing footwork, let me tell you. Of course, when all was said and done, that was a fun and enjoyable time of my life and the guys were a great group with which to work.
These thirty to forty engineers were all members of the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.) At that time B&W television cameras were huge in size and heavy in weight, were mounted to a cameraman’s eye level, then the mount on wheels had to be pushed around on the studio floor (see the evolution of the floor camera size in pictures HERE at the site of a then major powerhouse electronics manufacturer.)
Cameras became even more cumbersome when we went to color. In both instances there were large circumference thick black cables spread out all over the studio floors during our live programming. These cables came under the province of engineering, to be moved only by them. If the cameraman's responsibilities were such he was unable to do so, then clearly another engineer needed to be hired was the classic view. This increased the costs for producing programs and commercials. Cost containment was always of concern to programming, production, sales, sponsors and managment.
The cables often needed to be pushed out of the way so guests wouldn't trip over them. If the need arose I could with some slight effort readily push the cables aside with my feet (couldn't touch them with my hands.) This was more than welcomed by engineers and all production crew members as an incidental little act, a quick convenience for all concerned, since I was there in the studio, responsible for the welfare of guests and audiences and a multitude of other tasks required of all in a station of only one hundred or so employees. Periodically, though, union contract negotiations with management would occur. Sometimes they could become quite contentious. I was young, new and these engineering guys carefully protected me with a reminder that no one could touch the cables, not even with just their feet but them during this time, or a grievance would be filed. That was my first experience with labor unions.
This was the late fifties, early sixties. It did not escape me that there were no women in their ranks, nor until someone slightly older than me, who later became my good friend, returned at the behest of a male supporter to our NBC-TV affiliate station in her home state from then network offices at NYC’s ABC-TV did we have a woman in the control room. This was one of many glass ceilings in various professional areas of which I had been aware. I challenged them first hand as best I could in my limited way. I am quite confident pressures brought to bear by many women of that time, with the support of numerous men, resulting in some limited success, laid the groundwork for the gains from which later generations of women have continued to benefit.
The gains of these later generations of women, to some extent, are a matter of timing and when they were born. The time was ripe for break through and those in later generations who have done so were quite fortunate to have been born into the generation they were. For anyone to fail to recognize groundwork laid by this earlier fifties generation, and the one before them, and the part birth timing played in women’s gains in the sixties and later, or to fail to accord consideration of these older women’s contributions is simply ignoring reality.
The fact there continues to be a disparity of income between the sexes would suggest the women of today should not be idly resting on their laurels, but pressing ahead, enlisting the support of fathers, brothers, other males who understand and support the women in their lives, much as increasing numbers of those in earlier generations have for their own benefit and the benefit of daughters, granddaughters, all women to come.