John Summers: As the armies of tolerance celebrate To Kill a Mockingbird–it’s the 50 anniversary this month—one is put in mind of a maxim by W.H. Auden: “You do not read a book,” Auden said. “A book reads you.”
Michael Sigman: Strong candidates for Part 2 included such stomach-churning charttoppers as Barry Manilow’s I Write the Songs (no, you don’t, not even this one, which was penned by Beach Boy Bruce Johnston), Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman (no, you’re not) and Starship’s We Built This City on Rock and Roll (no, you most definitely did not).
Ed Rampell: I remember during small kid days the arrival of Ringling Bros.’ in New York, and the elephant march up one of Manhattan’s avenues – an irresistible photo op if ever there was one – to Madison Square Garden, where I’d join thousands of other “children of all ages” to watch the thrilling spectacle.
Randy Shaw: Many believe that Hollywood films provide escapist entertainment, and should not be seen as sending political messages. We are told that studios are about making money, and that they would make tribute films to Karl Marx if that were good for the box office. Well, the historic record and the films of 2010 say otherwise.
Michael Sigman: If the multiverse theory holds, there’s a land far, far away exactly like ours except that the following cuts — which never made it to American pop charts — would be as much a part of our musical DNA as the songs endlessly repeated in movies, oldies radio and commercials in our neck of the cosmological woods.
Ed Rampell: Freakonomics is a great documentary adaptation of Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt’s bestselling book that applies statistical and economics theory to various phenomena, finding extraordinary explanations and insights. Master documentarians direct various segments linked to interviews with the co-authors
Ed Rampell: This beautiful, moving film goes on to show the eventual meeting(s) of Mburu and his benefactor, who had no idea a charity was named after her. Nor that this Holocaust survivor’s small act of generosity would enable Mburu to play a role in campaigning ethnic cleansing around the world as a U.N. international civil servant, including at his native Kenya.
Ed Rampell: This refreshingly formal elegance compliments Madagascar’s content, as a visitor is invited by Natives to witness and participate in some sort of indigenous rituals that have to do with something like raising the dead. The short reminded me a lot of my time in another French colony, Tahiti, in terms of its delightful ukulele-sounding music, “bizarre” (to outsiders’ eyes) customs, language, local people, etc.
Ed Rampell: Readers may remember President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s dubious remarks about gays at a Columbia University forum in 2007, and In Dog Sweat Keshavarz dares point his camera directly at the homosexual scene in Tehran, where same sex relationships are probably more controversial than gay marriage is here.
Ed Rampell: Mahler On the Couch is co-written and co-directed by that rarity, a father and son team, Percy (1987’s Bagdad Cafe) and Felix Adlon. Their German language movie reminds me of 1976’s The Seven-Percent- Solution based on Nicholas Meyer’s novel about Sherlock Holmes (Nicol Williamson) being treated by Sigmund Freud (Alan Arkin).
Mike Price: Like I said, dark and stormy with thunder pounding out a maniacal back-beat under the fierce snap-crackling of lightning that slammed against the Truckee River like a homicidal laser beam stabbing through dead-weight Indian-summer air, so screw you, Mrs. Randall, English Composition 101, who said run-on sentences don’t work.
Linda Milazzo: Serendipitously, perhaps even miraculously, a second movie had been made; a documentary originally titled THE CHORUS as a take-off on THE SOLOIST, that was now titled LOST ANGELS. It was an expose dedicated entirely to Skid Row and to the extras employed on THE SOLOIST. Joe Wright was an Executive Producer. Susan Klos, author of the above email, who’d read my article, was a Co-Executive Producer, and Thomas Napper, a long-time associate of Joe Wright, lovingly and patiently directed.
Ed Rampell: Here’s your Miranda warning: You have the right to be charmed, beguiled and to go bananas during the Hollywood stage production of Carmen Miranda, The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat. Magi Avila incarnates the 1940s dancing and singing sensation of stage, screen and nightclubs who personified Latin America for a generation of U.S. audiences.
Sharon Kyle: Today is the day we honor our fathers. Many would say I’ve chosen a peculiar way to honor mine. I won’t be having dinner with him. In fact, I will not see him today even though he lives 60 miles away. I will be in a class all day – a California bar review class – as I prepare to take the California Bar Exam. I am a middle-aged woman who has had three major jobs and is now beginning a fourth as a people’s lawyer (after passing the bar) and my father is one of the biggest reasons I push myself the way I do.
Walter G. Moss: Wise person that he was, Sandburg saw that life is both a comedy and tragedy, containing vibrant life and sad death, the beautiful and the ugly, the wise and the foolish, moments of transcendence and ones of banality. As the Bible’s book of Ecclesiastes says (and Sandburg admirer Pete Seeger later adapted for his folk song “Turn, Turn, Turn”)
Mike Price: Many other L.A. saloons (let’s face it, they’re ALL saloons) have enjoyed a healthy share of celebrity. Scandia. The Cock ‘n Bull. The Ming Room…all successful, all popular, and all gone. Only a very few well-known bistros prospered until they became the stuff of legends. Among those is Chez Jay’s.