ED WOOD IN FANTASPORTO 2012
SO BAD THAT IT’S ACTUALLY GOOD!
"So bad it's actually good" is the phrase that defines the work of Ed Wood. Hailed as "the worst director of all time", Edward Davis Wood Jr. will have a retrospective of his work at Fantasporto 2012. Born in America, he was a producer, director and writer of horror movies, "love stories" and science fiction films that clearly stood out in their creativity, taking into account the limited resources he had, both technical and monetary. Ed Wood was quickly to become a cult filmmaker.
His films "Glen or Glenda" and "Plan 9 from Outer Space" are indicated as the "worst films in cinema history" because of the idiosyncratic dialogues, very naive special effects and continuity errors.
Ed Wood was born in New York in 1924. As a child he developed passion for cinema and began making amateur films. He also worked in a cinema for some time, and that was where he gathered memorabilia like posters and photographs from such masterpieces as "Frankenstein", "The Mummy" or "Dracula", his favorites.
After the WW II he went to Hollywood, and managed to convince the Series B film producer, George Weiss, that he was the most appropriate person to make a film about the sex change of Christine Jorgensen. That was the birth of "Glen Or Glenda" (1953) and the creation of a legend!
One of the most interesting parts of the life of Ed Wood is his friendship with Bela Lugosi, the Romanian actor who immortalized Count Dracula. In the decade of 1930s Lugosi was the face of evil because of the famous vampire, but his own fame did not last long. First, because Lugosi never managed to step out of the role, appearing several times in public with the hood worn by the character, and second, because no one offered him parts other than in horror films. It was around that time Wood and Lugosi met each other and became friends. Lugosi plays the scientist in "Glen or Glenda".
In 1959 Ed Wood directed what would be considered the worst of all the films he ever made: "Plan 9 from Outer Space", telling the story of an alien invasion, in which the aliens attempt to conquer the Earth by raising the dead. But what makes "Plan 9" such a great fun is the continuity flaws, the bizarre dialogues and homemade special effects. For the title of curiosity, Bela Lugosi died during the filming. Wood replaced him with another actor, his wife's chiropractor, who had to cover his face with a hood all through the very end of the film.
Currently, the films of Ed Wood are considered too funny to be bad. And no doubt, Wood created some of the most bizarre films of the cinema history.
His passion for filmmaking has inspired filmmakers like Tim Burton who made a film in his honor. "Ed Wood" by Burton stars Johnny Depp in the main role and Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi. Landau won an Academy Award for this interpretation.
Ed Wood is unique. Despite being forever labeled as the worst director of all time, the fans of cinema continue fascinated with his work.
Starting next February 20th, the 38th edition of Fantasporto- Oporto International Film Festival, ends on March 3rd (competitions) and March 4th (the awards screenings), 3 more days than usual.
38º FESTIVAL INTERNACIONAL DE CINEMA DO PORTO 38th OPORTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Entries for fantasy shorts and features are now open till the 5th December. According to the festival regulations (www.fantasporto.com), each entry must have a form filled and a screener available on line for appreciation of the selection jury.