Category

Film

Art, Film, My back pages

Jonathan Demme, Film Director 1944-2017

A few hours or so spent in the company of a great film is akin to falling in love. A spell is cast; like a lover, the images on screen evoke a flipbook of feelings. That was what it was like to experience a Jonathan Demme film. I won’t soon forget the unbeatable elation I felt…

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Architecture, Art, Film, Museums/Galleries

Haunted Art

How apt that the red barn on top of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is called Transitional Object. It’s a term psychologists use to describe that which weans us away from, while providing the comfort of the original—think pacifier, though such objects might also be defined as props used to test reality. Could the same…

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Film, Television, Theater, Vespers

Patty Duke 1946-2016, Ken Howard 1944-2016

For us union performers, the names Ken Howard and Patty Duke were synonymous with leadership; both served as president of the Screen Actors Guild at pivotal transition times. Duke famously took over the reins from William Schallert, a case of TV-bred nepotism (Schallert played Duke’s character’s father and uncle). More recently Howard shepherded the merger…

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Criticals, Film, Gay, History, Short Cuts, Theater

Oscar Bait!

It isn’t true for every child that grows up in a large family, but it was true for me: I wanted to be seen. There I was, a middle child (one of ten) convinced of his invisibility, and fighting like hell to rectify the injustice.  From where I sat, recognition came either by way of…

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Film, Television, Theater

Mike Nichols, 1931-2014, Director

The very first play I saw on Broadway was the original production of D.L. Coburn’s The Gin Game. By then, Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy had left, and been replaced by E.G. Marshall and Maureen Stapleton. No matter: it was still a once-in-a-lifetime evening watching those two deliver performances so perfect they made me weep….

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Film

Gordon Willis, Cinematographer, 1931-2014

If he’d only shot The Godfather, Annie Hall and Manhattan, Gordon Willis’s reputation would be secure as one of the visual artists responsible for Hollywood’s last golden age of artisanal filmmaking.  But his other films were equally masterful–this was the man who also did Pennies from Heaven, Woody Allen’s wonderful run of 80s films (Zelig,…

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