Friday, March 09, 2018

Jane Bernard Loves March

I am very happy that Paperclips Magazine selected author Jane Bernard as their featured writer this month. Jane loves March! And she makes a great case for March in her wonderful article titled "Be Playful. It's March!" 

I love this month anyway (my birthday month and St. Pat's Day), but after reading Jane's article I feel even more fonder of March. Lots of good advice! Thanks, Jane.

Be sure to check out the article by clicking the link below.   

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Friday, March 02, 2018

Seven Years of Showbiz Fun!

Congratulations to George Bettinger, a recent Friars Club inductee, for making fans very happy during the past seven years with his wonderful Mom and Pop Shop radio show. As one of his many, many fans, I will miss listening to this fun show, which aired on Dream Stream Radio and on Tune In Radio in Miramar, Florida, and was heard all over the globe. I call George “Mr. Showbiz” because of his multiple talents, which I am sure will come in handy in his new ventures.

I felt honored when George read my poem below on his last Mom and Pop Shop Show that was broadcast on Friday, February 23.        

Number One on my Showbiz list,
The Mom and Pop Shop will be missed.
We’re lucky to have heard this show
as all its fans most surely know.

George Bettinger, the great EmCee,
gave us music and jollity.
Impressionist extraordinaire,
he made us forget each day’s care.

Bogart, Benny, Groucho and more
George summoned for us to adore.
Great guests joined in from everywhere
to laugh, to chat with lots to share.

When Mom Lizette came on the show
we cheered because we love her so.
Thanks, Pop George, for all you’ve done.
Our hearts and friendship you have won.

For what comes next, our wish for you
is that it makes your dreams come true

I am also thankful to George Bettinger for being one of our most entertaining guests on Movie Addict Headquarters, my own radio show, and for his enthusiastic support of that show. Of course, I never knew for sure who he planned to bring along with him: W.C. Fields, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, etc. And he gave a delightfully amusing performance in CAKE: A Love Story, a short film based on It Had To Be Us – the romantic memoir my husband and I co-wrote under the pen names of Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence. In fact, George and the lovely Lizette Amado-Bettinger assumed the roles of Harry and Elizabeth during one MAHQ episode where they read the first chapter of that book for our BlogTalkRadio listeners. Mom and Pop were both great!  

Please keep on being Mr. Showbiz, George Bettinger.

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Something's Afoot

Documentary, mockumentary -- and now socumentary!  Director Brian T Shirley has invented a new film genre with his amusing Two Go in One Comes Out: A Socumentary. It’s a short film starring Shirley as an investigative journalist trying to solve the missing socks mystery. Who hasn’t wondered what happens to all those socks that seem to disappear so frequently? And that’s probably why this little movie made me chuckle through every scene. Of course, Shirley’s ability as a talented entertainer helps considerably!

Watching this comic gem motivated me to write the following poem.

Two go in, only one comes out.

So what’s this film all about?

This socumentary presents

a mystery with fun nonsense.

Missing socks puzzle a worried guy.

to find the answer he must try.

He works hard to solve the case.

He questions subjects face to face.

Cleverly made and funny too,

this film is one that you should view!

(For more information about Two Go in One Comes Out: A Socumentary, go to the IMDb website at this link

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Thursday, February 01, 2018

Fun Tap Dancing Film

Everyone loves to cheer for the underdog. If that underdog happens to be a wannabe tap dancer, I’m the loudest cheerleader of all. No wonder I’m so excited about Dance Baby Dance, written and directed by Stephen Kogon, who also plays the leading role in this delightful independent film. Movies about tap dancers don’t come along too frequently nowadays -- so whenever one shows up, I’m a happy camper.

The plot is simple. Jimmy (Kogon) always wanted to be a successful tap dancer but an injury has confined him to an office occupation. He’s never lost his passion for tap dancing and now hopes to be chosen for a touring dance show. Kogon endows Jimmy with such likability that we can’t help wanting this guy to be successful. Do his dreams come true? It’s worth watching Dance Baby Dance to find out. 

Although a low-budget offering with less than perfect production values, this film makes up for that with its great heart and passion for dance.

As a former tap dancer myself, I felt compelled to write the poem below. 

Just tap tap tap that old time step.

Give it pizzazz and lots of pep!

Or shuffle off to Buffalo.

It feels so good if fast or slow.

Then shimmy with real style and grace.

Remember this is not a race.

Next do some wings like it’s a dare.

Feet a-flyin’, hands circling air.

Tap dancing chases blues away.

It helps you get through every day.

So tap tap tap as time goes by.

Dance Baby Dance” will make you try

(Released by Indie Rights/Winds of Hope. Not rated by MPAA.)

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Friday, January 26, 2018

Hostiles Film Poem

Hostiles, a powerful Western, boasts memorable performances by Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike and Wes Studi. It motivated me to write the short poem below.

After bloodshed, battles and gore,
anger boils deep within one’s core.
True today as in our Old West
where everyone faced one big test.

Can trust be built with former foes?
An answer to that “Hostiles” knows.
Settler, Captain and solemn Chief
learn lessons while suffering grief

Kindness and strength pave ways to heal.
They open up hearts and help us feel.
This film may be one hard to see --
but it’s a great Western to me.

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Big TV Week for Annette Bening

It was a joy to watch Annette Bening on two television shows last week. She appeared on TCM to talk about her new movie, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, and was also interviewed by Jimmy Kimmel on his show. In her latest film, Bening plays film noir actress Gloria Grahame, so she gave TCM viewers important insights into Grahame’s career before introducing In a Lonely Place, a film co-starring Humphrey Bogart. From Bening’s articulate presentation, it became clear why she was chosen to play Gloria Grahame.

On the Kimmel show, Bening discussed her own acting career and seemed to have a great time bantering with this popular talk show host. She was very calm when Kimmel asked for her reactions to husband Warren Beatty’s handling of the “envelope glitch” at last year’s Oscar ceremony. She answered, “He handled it very well” –  of course.
But, to me, the icing on the cake of that discussion came when Bening mentioned attending San Diego’s Mesa College. I was fortunate to be Dean of Humanities at this community college for a few years after she graduated.  Because she was achieving such acting success, I asked Bening to return and conduct an acting workshop for our current drama students. Her enthusiasm for acting delighted everyone. “My goal is to become a very old woman playing all sorts of character parts,” she told the students. She also expressed a desire to play Hamlet, reminding the group about Dame Judith Anderson’s success in that leading role.

Bening had just completed filming Bugsy with Warren Beatty and appeared very careful when answering questions about him. Those two must be up to something, I thought to myself. So when they married each other within the next few months, it failed to surprise me. 

I feel certain that Bening’s fans and friends at Mesa College are still proud of her splendid contributions to the cinema.  

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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

A Movie That Matters

Steven Spielberg’s The Post takes us back to a time when our government tried to stop the Pentagon Papers -- documents that exposed a cover up of U. S. actions regarding the Vietnam War and Southeast Asia -- from being published. This dramatic film pairs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks as Katharine Graham and Ben Bradlee, publisher and editor of The Washington Post, respectively. What a treat it is to watch these great actors play off each other as their characters work together during a major crisis for freedom of the press in our democracy!  I felt like a fly on the wall during their conversations and even forgot that it’s Hanks and Streep up there on the screen.

As someone who lived through this crisis while it played out in reality, I am surprised at how suspenseful The Post was for me to watch.
Publish or not, they must decide.
Free press at risk, and it’s their guide.
“The Post” looks back to show the need
to make sure truth is there to read.

Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks play roles
that evoke cheers for their fine goals.
As editor and publisher,
they muster courage, that’s for sure.

An injunction stands in their way --
and prison if they don’t obey.
Though slow a bit with its tense plot,
this powerful film means a lot.

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