Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
November 22
Nov. 17, 1942
Martin Scorsese born

Hear the name "Martin Scorsese" and you'll most likely remember an iconic scene from one of his seminal modern classics, like the "You talkin' to me?" monologue from Taxi Driver or the gloriously long single-take Steadicam shot through a mob nightclub in Goodfellas. But Scorsese, who was born on November 17, 1942, has always been a two-track filmmaker, pursuing studio-based projects that mix auteurist smarts with audience appeal while pursuing smaller, personal documentary and producing projects. So, while we wait for his latest, the gothic thriller Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, the director remains perhaps even more active than normal. His Boardwalk Empire series is soon to premiere on HBO, he's finishing a documentary on George Harrison, and he heads not one but two organizations designed to the preservation of great works of cinema. One, the Film Foundation, recently restored Michael Powell's masterpiece, The Red Shoes, while the other, the World Cinema Foundation, oversaw a stunning restoration of the 1969 Egyptian film, The Mummy, directed by Shadi Abdel Salam. Scorsese is slated to receive the Cecile B. DeMille Award, given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, at the Golden Globes next year.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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