Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John Wooden and the influence of his assistant, Jerry Norman, whose contributions Wooden  ignored and tried to bury.

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. The players tell their their stories in their own words. This is the book that UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan tried to ban.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information. Also available on Kindle.


The Artist (3/10)

by Tony Medley

Run time 100 minutes

OK for children.

There's a reason why there has only been one silent film made since the 1930s. And that reason is that they are excruciating to sit through. They are passť and their appeal is strictly esoteric.

This is a story about a silent film star, George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) who looks like John Gilbert, circa 1927-31, whose career is undone by the talkies. When he's still on top he gives a young dancer, Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo, the director's wife in real life), a break and she becomes a star, effortlessly making the conversion from silent to talky.

That's about it. She likes him and mourns his descent from stardom and does what she can to help him. But the film is far too long to not hear any dialogue. Even though it's done well technically and the acting is very good, it's just tedious to sit through. The only silent films I can sit through are Laurel & Hardy two-reelers, which are generally less than 25 minutes.

The film has lots of nostalgic old Los Angeles locations, including Mary Pickford's house across the street from my house where I grew up. These are lovingly captured by DP Guillaume Schiffman, which is unusual, to say the least, since most of the filmmakers are French, including director Michael Hazanavicius, whose previous efforts were spy spoofs. 

Both Dujardin and Bejo give fine performances, as does the rest of the cast. The acting isn't campy; it's as realistic as a silent movie can be.

If silent, black and white films were what lots of people wanted to see, they'd still be making them. They aren't because most people don't.

 

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