Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
November 22
Mark Ruffalo November 22, 1967
Mark Ruffalo born

If every generation gets the leading man it deserves, then we should be grateful that Mark Ruffalo’s star is on the rise. Sensitive yet sexy, masculine but not mindlessly macho, funny without being a goofball, Ruffalo has carved out a unique place in the current movie landscape. He’s able to appear in Hollywood blockbusters and independent dramas, finding new notes to hit in each while avoiding the clichéd characterizations that so many A-listers fall into after their initial defining successes. Born November 22, 1967, Ruffalo first caught moviegoers’ eyes in such independent films as The Last Big Thing, Safe Men, and 54 before stepping into the larger canvass of Ang Lee’s period Western, Ride with the Devil. Then, in 2000, came the role that defined his early work -- Terry, the itinerant brother in Kenneth Lonergan’s You Can Count on Me. Opposite Laura Linney, Ruffalo’s performance was hailed by critics and propelled him into an eclectic array of movies, from Michel Gondry’s sci-fi romance Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, to Jane Campion’s darkly erotic serial killer drama, In the Cut. Other noteworthy performances include in Terry George’s Reservation Road, Michael Mann’s Collateral, and David Fincher’s Zodiac. At the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, Ruffalo surprised moviegoers with two unexpected roles. He humanized the rootless, free loving sperm donor in Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids are All Right, making the film’s interloper understandable but also appealing. And, in the festival’s Dramatic Competition, he premiered Sympathy for Delicious, his directorial debut. A personal project borne from his friendship with screenwriter, actor and musician Christopher Thornton, the film told the story of a wheelchair-bound DJ and faith healer (Thornton) subjected to the pressures of his priest best friend (Ruffalo). The New York Times called the film “moving, funny and surreal” while hailing him as “excellent” in Cholodenko’s “generous, nearly note-perfect” picture.


More Flashbacks
November 22, 2002
Far From Heaven opens

When Far from Heaven opened in 2002, audiences could believe they had traveled back nearly 50 years to 1957, when the film is set.

Read more »
November 22, 1963
The Film Seen Round the World

On November 22, 1963, an accidental filmmaker made what became the most obsessed over film of the twentieth century. Standing on a concrete overpass in Dallas, women’s clothing manufacturer Abraham Zapruder raised his Bell and Howell 8mm camera and tracked the motorcade that carried president John F. Kennedy through Dealy Plaza. Zapruder’s 27 seconds of footage shot from a clear, elevated vantage point are the only complete recording of Kennedy’s assassination and a focal point for government investigators and conspiracy theorists alike. The film also became the object of one of the stranger ownership tussles in modern cinema. Zapruder gave copies of his film to the Secret Service and, three days after the shooting, sold the negative and all rights to Life Magazine. Zapruder’s heirs later disputed the sale, and the film was eventually returned to them by Life owner Time Inc. for $1 dollar. In 1992, however, the U.S. declared the film an “assassination record” and the property of the government. A lengthy dispute ensued over the amount Zapruder’s heirs should be paid. The government proposed paying the family $3 to $5 million; the Zapruders argued that the film should be valued similarly to recent sales of a Van Gogh painting and an Andy Warhol silk screen of Marilyn Monroe. Finally, arbitrators worked out a value of $16 million. Shortly thereafter, Zapruder’s heirs donated one of the original copies of the film and its copyright to the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, which now oversees all rights requests.

Read more »