- The Washington Times - Monday, May 30, 2005

Dylan drama sought

The BBC is beginning a worldwide search for a lost 1960s television drama that featured the acting debut of the legendary Bob Dylan.

Producers on “Arena,” the corporation’s flagship arts program, hope someone from the star’s huge army of fans will have a copy of “The Madhouse on Castle Street,” which aired just once, in 1963. That also was the year in which the first home video recorder became available — although at $30,000, the 9-foot-long, 900-pound Ampex Signature V was not widely owned.

The program, which features Mr. Dylan’s first televised performance of “Blowin’ in the Wind,” is classified as missing by the BBC. “Arena” wants to include the film, which also starred David Warner, in a series to celebrate Mr. Dylan’s life and work. The series, to be broadcast this year, also will feature a two-part documentary by filmmaker Martin Scorsese, who is also a Dylan fan.

“The program is not in any archive, and we are hoping that someone out there will have a copy. There is a huge market for Dylan memorabilia, so we may stand a chance,” Anthony Wall, “Arena” editor, told London’s Sunday Telegraph.

“All we have is the script and part of the soundtrack. For us the play is the holy grail of missing film.”

Mr. Dylan, then 21, was just beginning to make a name for himself when he flew to Britain to film the drama in December 1962. He dreamed of being an actor and got his debut role after being spotted by Philip Savile, the drama’s director, while performing at a gig in New York’s Greenwich Village.

Mr. Wall has spoken to three people who have vivid memories of watching the film. They describe the star’s musical performance, which also includes a rendition of “Ballad of the Gliding Swan,” as “life changing,” Mr. Wall said.

“The drama itself was very Pinteresque, like many programs popular at the time,” he said. “Millions of people would tune in and then wonder what it was all about at the bus stop the next day.”

Set for sale

As soon as actress and Arkansas native Joey Lauren Adams finished filming “Come Early Morning,” her directorial debut, starring Ashley Judd, she decided to have a yard sale.

She began selling pieces of the movie’s set Saturday in a North Little Rock, Ark. hotel parking lot.

The sale will let locals own a piece of movie history, film producers told Associated Press.

Mitchell Patterson, who was in charge of purchasing items for the set — including couches, coffee tables and cooking utensils — said most came from secondhand stores and flea markets, and a few were bought at Target.

“We’d have to store it,” Mr. Patterson said. “So we’re selling it for real cheap.”

“Come Early Morning” is about a small-town woman who has never committed to a serious relationship. It’s set to debut in January at the Sundance Film Festival.

New ‘Bat’ channels

Oscar winner Morgan Freeman said he chose “Batman Begins” as his first major action movie because, basically, the superhero is a human.

“Batman was my favorite superhero as a kid because he didn’t have superstrength. He was just a guy who trained all the time,” Mr. Freeman said yesterday at a news conference in Tokyo, Agence France-Presse reported.

In the movie, Mr. Freeman plays Lucius Fox, the CEO who, in the Batman comics, had a magic touch to help failing businesses.

The movie also is a first for Liam Neeson, who is playing a villain in his role as Batman’s early mentor, Henri Ducard.

“As a boy, Batman was always a bit scary,” Mr. Neeson said. “I couldn’t say why. He wasn’t my favorite superhero. Superman was.”

Killers’ ‘Thriller’

Living up to their moniker, members of the new-wave-retro act the Killers are moving forward with plans to produce a 25-minute movie based around a murder trilogy.

“It’s kind of like our ‘Thriller,’” drummer Ronnie Vannucci told Billboard.com. “We want to make a movie — not so much a music video — based on three songs to be played on MTV.”

The Las Vegas-based band reportedly has met with various Hollywood directors and actors and hopes to have the project finished later this year.

“We want to get established actors, not like some hot actor right now, and we want to make it as real and as serious as possible,” Mr. Vannucci said. “We don’t plan on being in the movie. It’s going to be something that’s by the Killers and our idea, but it’s not going to be like, ‘Look at me.’ We want to try and make it more about the art than the exposure.”

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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