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Triple Threats: 
Films Written and Directed by Their Stars
Kurt F. Stone
Recipient of the 2004 Excellence in Teaching Award

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Back in Hollywood’s “Golden Age,” Charlie Chaplin was Hollywood’s only “Triple Threat” - a star who wrote and directed (as well as edited, scored and financed) his own films. Then along came Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane which the then 25-year old wunderkind not only starred in and directed, but won an Oscar for his original screenplay.  From that point on, “Triple Threat” films started trickling onto the screen. The reason why there are so few “Triple Threats” in the world of cinema is the same as why there as so few “Triple Threats” in baseball: hitting for power is far different than hitting for average . . . or in cinematic terms, writing is far different from acting, and acting is far, far different from directing. In this series, we will view and then discuss four brilliant examples of “Triple Threat” films.

1. Jose Ferrer - The Great Man (1956): A man preparing a eulogy for a popular radio commentator finds that virtually nobody has a good word to say about him. 

2. Mel Brooks - The Twelve Chairs (1970): In 1920s Soviet Russia, a fallen aristocrat, a priest, and a con-artist search for a treasure of jewels hidden inside one of 12 chairs.

3. Sir Charles Chaplin - The Kid (1921): Chaplin’s immortal tramp “adopts” an abandoned child (Jackie Coogan) only to find that their relationship is put into serious jeopardy.  A classic.

4. Jacques Tati - Mon Oncle (1958): Jacques Tati’s famous bumbling M. Hulot visits his sister and brother-in-law who are really into technology; unfortunately, M. Hulot is a fish out of water.

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Dr. Kurt F. Stone is an author, essayist, political activist, longtime medical ethicist, and ordained rabbi. He calls himself a Hollywood Brat, having been born and raised in and around the film industry, and calls his love and knowledge of film a "genetic inheritance." Dr. Stone is the author of two books on the US Congress, and for more than a dozen years has written nearly 700 op-ed pieces for his online blog, The K.F. Stone Weekly. An occasional actor, he has performed his one-man show, Teatime with Sholem Alechem more than 250 times over the past 40 years. A longtime medical ethicist, he is currently vetting research proposals for the federal government's Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Date: Thursdays, April 5, 12, 19, 26
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: Member - $50
Non-member - $65
Cash will no longer be accepted as payment for lectures.

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