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.

Labels: , , , ,

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.  

Labels: , , , ,

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.

Labels: , , , , ,