Buzz (2006)

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Movie Info

Buzz is a memorable, absorbing and illuminating profile of the legendary Hollywood scriptwriter (and acclaimed novelist) A. I. "Buzz" Bezzerides from Director N. Taraviras. His most notable credits are Robert Aldrich's timeless Kiss Me Deadly (1955), Jules Dassin's Thieves' Highway (1942) and Raoul Walsh's They Drive By Night (1940). Bezzerides quickly became known as "the King of Noir" -- in fact, no less an authority than Francois Truffaut reckoned the Bezzerides-scripted Juke Girl (1942) to be America's first real film noir. The man himself is well into his tenth decade, but on the evidence of Taraviras's loving tribute, "he's lost remarkably little of his famous zip and joie de vivre."Taraviras carefully traces Bezzerides' exotic pre-Hollywood existence: born 1908 in the Black Sea city of Samsun (now Turkey) under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, he moved to America at a very young age and was brought up among the fruit pickers and truckers of Fresno, California -- which background became source material for several of his novels and screenplays. Interviewed between 1999 and 2002 in his spartan Los Angeles residence, Bezzerides proves enormously engaging company as he takes us on an idiosyncratic tour down memory lane. Anecdotes abound, featuring the likes of Faulkner, Monroe, Reagan, Bogart, Mitchum and many more -- Buzz will be invaluable to future historians as it is entertaining to general audiences.His was truly a fascinating career. "Graylisted" during the McCarthy era, "Buzz" was one of many talents to suffer from the industrial-style practices of the "dream factory" in which writers were regarded as being at or near the very bottom of the food chain, and frequently denied screen credits. Filling in the background of the era, Taraviras includes incisive contributions from academics Georgakas and Garnier, who put everything in accessible historical context. Hollywood bible Variety neatly sums it up: "manna to movie buffs!" -- © Outsider Pictures
Rating:
PG-13
Genre:
Documentary , Special Interest , Television
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
Runtime:
Studio:
Outsider Pictures

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Critic Reviews for Buzz

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (5)

The documentary tale of a Hollywood screenwriter -- not just any writer but A.I. (for Albert Isaac) 'Buzz' Bezzerides, a movie writer, as it turns out, for the ages.

October 26, 2006
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

[The] film traverses Buzz's career with reasonable depth, helped by good-quality trailers from several pics.

Full Review… | August 25, 2006
Variety
Top Critic

... a good 30 minutes could come out of this 124 minute film to its benefit ...

August 25, 2006
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

... an insightful look at a remarkable behind-the-scenes life and slice of American and Hollywood history.

Full Review… | August 25, 2006
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

... [A] warm and wide-ranging documentary ...

Full Review… | August 25, 2006
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Buzz laid much of the foundation for the genre that became known as film noir on which the Tarantino's and Soderbergh's now firmly stand.

Full Review… | September 1, 2006
Boxoffice Magazine

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