Flicker: The Life and Death of Hollywood Director

On Oscar Sunday I’m teaming up with Karie Bible to discuss the life, career and murder of silent film director William Desmond Taylor.

I was born and bred in William Desmond Taylor’s hometown of Carlow, Ireland, but it was only after moving to Los Angeles to make movies that I became aware of my fellow emigre’s compelling story. I subsequently returned to Ireland to produce the well-received docudrama, ‘Who Killed Bill?’, about Taylor’s murder, and to establish in his honor ‘Taylorfest’, an annual Arts and Silent Film festival to celebrate the contributions of Irish filmmakers to early Hollywood.

Karie Bible has been the official in house tour guide at Hollywood Forever Cemetery since 2002. She has lectured at The Old Town Music Hall, The Queen Mary, The Homestead Museum and is also a “Lady in Black” to honor silent film star Rudolph Valentino.

Karie has appeared in the segments for Turner Classic Movies, CNN, History Channel and Travel Channel. Her book credits include “Location Filming in Los Angeles” with historians Marc Wanamaker and Harry Medved and “Hollywood Celebrates the Holidays” with Mary Mallory.

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Berkeley Talk for St. Patrick’s Day

“Los Angeles-based Irish artist, Marc-Ivan O’Gorman talks with Catherine Flynn, Director of Irish Studies at Berkeley, 5 PM, March 17, 2021. Working across the genres of fiction, film, theater, radio, and musical performance, O’Gorman has created reinterpretations of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake and of the writings of Brian O’Nolan/Flann O’Brien/Myles na gCopaleen, as well as original feature films and shorts. With a career spanning Ireland, India, and the United States, O’Gorman reflects on narrative, genre, and medium.”

Berkeley Events

A Bright and Guilty Place

So I’m on the bus. I’m soaking it all in, up the Ventura freeway, a route in part sponsored by “Bad Boys Bail Bonds”, we pass a shocking pink van advertising the essential “Topless Maid Service” (dial 1-844-SO-DIRTY), and I’m already computing the calculus of California. Is it better to take the 405 to the 101 to the 134 or the 105 to the 10 to the 5 to 134? These permutations were once a local pastime and the equivalent of Irish people scanning a grey morning and assessing whether it calls for the winter coat or just the windcheater. Of course, now there’s an app for all that.