In 1979, the Somoza dictatorship of Nicaragua was overthrown by the FSLN (Sandinista National Liberation Front) and it led to a decades long war with the country’s National Guard and the U.S. backed Contras aligned against the left wing Sandinista forces. The conflict raged until 1990 and it was a terrible time for the people of Nicaragua, especially the peasants and native communities like the Miskito in rural areas. Although several documentaries have been made on the subject over the years such as Werner Herzog’s Ballad of the Little Soldier (1984), there have been few high-profile dramatic features about the conflict. One of the rare exceptions is Under Fire (1983), Roger Spottiswoode’s intense drama about three journalists (Nick Nolte, Gene Hackman and Joanna Cassidy) covering the final days of the corrupt Somoza regime. Another worthy contender is Alsino and the Condor (1982), directed by Miguel Littin, which was filmed on location in Nicaragua and was Oscar nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film. Unlike the more realistic approach of Under Fire, Alsino and the Condor functions more as an allegory and was loosely based on Pedro Prado’s famous 1920 novel Alsino about a young boy who dreams of flying like a bird.Continue reading
Tag Archives: Apocalypse Now
Norman Lloyd: Hollywood’s Long Distance Runner, Part 1
On November 8, 2017 Norman Lloyd will be 203 and he shows no signs of slowing down. In recent years, he has become the go-to historian for the American film industry’s golden era due to his friendship and working relationships with such cinema legends as Charlie Chaplin, Jean Renoir, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, John Garfield, Bernard Herrmann, John Houseman, Joseph Losey and others. Lloyd also continues to take acting roles (he has a nice cameo in the 2015 Judd Apatow comedy Trainwreck starring Amy Schumer) and appear as an interviewee in documentaries such as Marsha Hunt’s Sweet Adversity (2015) and Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age, which is currently in post-production.
*This is a revised and updated version of the original interview which was recorded in March 2010 just prior to Lloyd’s appearance at the first Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival. Continue reading