Our Man In Havana

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Happy Birthday Alec Guinness 2nd April 1914 - 5th August 2000

An actor is usually no more than an assortment of odds and ends which barely add up to a whole person. An actor is an interpreter of other men’s words, often a soul which wishes to reveal itself to the world but dare not, a craftsman, a bag of tricks, a vanity bag, a cool observer of mankind, a child, and at his best a kind of unfrocked priest who, for an hour or two, can call on heaven and hell to mesmerise a group of innocents. 

- Alec Guinness: Blessings In Disguise, 1985

VINTAGE CLASSICS GRAHAM GREENE

Graham Greene was born on this day in 1904. To celebrate, we are pleased to share our Vintage Greene series in its entirety. A total of 29 covers were created with photographer Tim Hetherington, beginning back in 2004 to coincide with Greene’s centenary and concluding this year with Reflections and Collected Essays

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Harry Belafonte, Jean-Claude Carrière, Hayao Miyazaki And Maureen O'Hara 
To Receive Academy’s Governors Awards

LOS ANGELES, CA — The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted Tuesday night (August 26) to present Honorary Awards to Jean-Claude Carrière, Hayao Miyazaki and Maureen O’Hara, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Harry Belafonte.  All four awards will be presented at the Academy’s 6th Annual Governors Awards on Saturday, November 8, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center®.

“The Governors Awards allow us to reflect upon not the year in film, but the achievements of a lifetime,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs.  “We’re absolutely thrilled to honor these outstanding members of our global filmmaking community and look forward to celebrating with them in November.”

Carrière, who began his career as a novelist, was introduced to screenwriting by French comedian and filmmaker Pierre Étaix, with whom he shared an Oscar® for the live action short subject “Heureux Anniversaire (Happy Anniversary)” in 1962.  He received two more nominations during his nearly two-decade collaboration with director Luis Buñuel, for the screenplays for “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” and “That Obscure Object of Desire.”  Carrière also has collaborated notably with such directors as Volker Schlöndorff (“The Tin Drum”), Jean-Luc Godard (“Every Man for Himself”) and Andrzej Wajda (“Danton”).  He earned a fourth Oscar nomination for “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” with director Philip Kaufman.

Miyazaki is an artist, writer, director, producer and three-time Oscar nominee in the Animated Feature Film category, winning in 2002 for “Spirited Away.”  His other nominations were for “Howl’s Moving Castle” in 2005 and “The Wind Rises” last year.  Miyazaki gained an enormous following in his native Japan for such features as “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,” “Laputa: Castle in the Sky,” “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service” before breaking out internationally in the late 1990s with “Princess Mononoke.”  He is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, a renowned animation studio based in Tokyo.

O’Hara, a native of Dublin, Ireland, came to Hollywood in 1939 to star opposite Charles Laughton in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”  She went on to appear in a wide range of feature films, including the swashbucklers “The Black Swan” and “Sinbad the Sailor,” the dramas “This Land Is Mine” and “A Woman’s Secret,” the family classics “Miracle on 34th Street” and “The Parent Trap,” the spy comedy “Our Man in Havana” and numerous Westerns.  She was a favorite of director John Ford, who cast her in five of his films, including “How Green Was My Valley,” “Rio Grande” and “The Quiet Man.”

An actor, producer, singer and lifelong activist, Belafonte began performing in theaters and nightclubs in and around Harlem, where he was born.  From the beginning of his film career, he chose projects that shed needed light on racism and inequality, including “Carmen Jones,” “Odds against Tomorrow” and “The World, the Flesh and the Devil.”  He was an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, marching and organizing alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. and often funding initiatives with his entertainment income.  Belafonte was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1987 and currently serves on the boards of the Advancement Project and the Institute for Policy Studies.  His work on behalf of children, education, famine relief, AIDS awareness and civil rights has taken him all over the world.

The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, also an Oscar statuette, is given “to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”

Our Man in Havana
Graham Greene


Inauspicious vacuum cleaner retailer, Mr Wormold, agrees to enlist in the British Secret Service, mainly in order to pay for his beautiful and willful daughter Milly’s increasingly expensive tastes, and soon finds himself caught in the centre of a deadly conspiracy entirely of his own devising.


In this black comedy that predates the Cuban Missile Crisis, Greene presents a world of espionage: where men are not as they exist in reality; but as they are created through the power of another man’s imagination, and where the only thing that makes a man real: is not loyalty to country, government or institution; but the love and empathy he elicits from a fellow human being.


The photograph is of the First Edition, published by William Heinmann in 1958, with a wrapper design by Donald Green.

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