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Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

by Joe Dante May 13, 2024

Hopefully the passing of Roger Corman, my former boss, mentor and friend of nearly 50 years, will shine more light on the fact that, although his honorary Academy Award was bestowed largely for his vast influence on the movie industry, his accomplishments as an artist and filmmaker are equally defining.

Yes, he had an eye for spotting talent and ambition in the vast number of first-timers he gave breaks to, but many of them (including myself) were already fans of his freewheeling independent genre films–and went on to make their own movies in that spirit.

We’re a large and diverse group, united in our devotion to film and forever grateful for the careers we might not otherwise have had, and the lessons we learned about pacing, editing and the nuts and bolts of putting a movie together. To roll with the punches, think on our feet and get the most out of even the most reduced circumstances. Plus, he was one of the smartest people ever to emerge from Hollywood, and one of the most honest. He also gave the most incisive notes in the business. I treasure my friendship with Roger.

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Ryan Whearty

I only met him once but was really awed at how intelligently he spoke. He was obviously as sharp as they come. I’ve read his book 3 times and the thing I always take away from it is – do the best with what you have and yes, roll with the punches.

Ellis

The past week I was watching Battle Beyond The Sun to see Coppola’s barrel cactus monster eat the vagina mouth monster, I was laughing at a clip of Creature From The Haunted Sea when I clicked on X and a Trailers From Hell post reported Corman’s death. It is amazing to see all the outpouring of affection for the man. It’s obvious everyone who knew him personally is to be envied.

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