April 28--Richard Bare is a veteran of the Hollywood studio system, when those fortunate enough to have a job could rely on a steady paycheck. But he also knows something about being an unknown filmmaker trying to slip a foot in the door.
The 99-year-old Newport Beach resident, who will appear at the Island Cinema 7 on Sunday to talk about his life and career, made a Hollywood career in the 1940s and 50s with his educational Joe McDoakes series -- live-action shorts about how to give up smoking, build muscles, buy a used car and more. Bare made the first entry as an educational exercise for his USC students, then "brazenly" offered it to Warner Bros., which accepted.
Bare, who went on to direct episodes of "Green Acres," "The Twilight Zone" and other shows in addition to movies, has never been to the Newport Beach Film Festival before despite living in town for four decades. He counts his movie tastes as mostly conservative and prefers Turner Movie Classics to most modern releases. But he suspects he has at least something in common with the up-and-coming filmmakers in this year's program.
"I imagine there are a lot of people who go to festivals hoping they can crack the business, too," Bare said.
The "Celebrating Richard Bare" event is part of a series of classic film tributes at the festival, a few of which converge Sunday. At the Lido Theatre, the 1988 classic "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" will screen alongside a panel discussion with cast and crew; later in the evening, Disney producer Don Hahn and creative director Dave Bossert will host a program of rarities from the studio's vaults.
The Triangle Square Cinemas will host 1996's "Muppet Treasure Island" at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, while those eager for another dose of Bare can stop by the theater at 7 p.m. Tuesday for his 1973 horror film "Wicked, Wicked," which is filmed in "Duo-Vision" split screen.
Riki Kucheck, a senior programmer for the festival, said the classic screenings tend to draw large crowds -- in part because they're often not merely screenings, but retrospectives with cast and crew on hand.
"We're not just throwing out a classic," Kucheck said. "Usually, it involves something. We have someone coming out like Don Hahn who can say, 'This is what's going on. This is how the creative process works.'"
The Disney rarities program, now in its sixth year, compiles a century's worth of little-seen artifacts. In the past, Hahn and Bossert have dredged up clips from the 1946 feature "Song of the South" (rarely seen now because of its perceived racial attitudes), footage from the World's Fair, a film Walt Disney made in collaboration with surrealist artist Salvador Dali, and other finds.
Hahn stayed tight-lipped about most of the items on Sunday's docket, but revealed a couple: a rehearsal clip from the "Newsies" Broadway show and footage of composer Howard Ashman working with Jodi Benson, who voiced the title character of "The Little Mermaid." In addition to the film clips, the evening will include live performances by "Disney legends," whose identity Hahn wouldn't specify.
Getting to blindside the audience, he said, is part of the fun each year.
"The real joy for us is that we have these secrets that we know about or have unearthed, and it's like Christmas morning to be able to come down there," Hahn said. "The audiences are so responsive, especially in Newport Beach."
'Celebrating Richard Bare'
Where: Island Cinema 7, 999 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach
When: 2 p.m. Sunday
'Another Evening of Disney Animation Rarities'
Where: Lido Theatre, 3459 Via Lido, Newport Beach
When: 7 p.m.
Information: (949) 253-2880 or http://www.newportbeachfilmfest.com
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