Prometheus honest movie trailer

This is so frickin' true ...

T-minus 10 days and counting until we take off for the Big Easy again. We'll be driving from California so if you're anywhere on the way and don't mind joining two smelly, half-asleep people for dinner, message me.
grok barak

One Term More

The gloves are off in this one. Some of you may remember the "One Day More" video from last election. Here's the new one and boy does it roast the other side.

Enjoy ...

My apologies to my European friends for more US politics. It's only six weeks now -- and little is more important than this to me.
comma chameleon

West Wing fans may like this

It's a commercial for a Supreme Court judge in Michigan. Why am I posting it? Because the candidate's sister was an actor on the West Wing, who somehow got nearly the entire cast (including Martin Sheen) to star in this ad -- a rather funny send-up of the West Wing. It's definitely worth a watch. I loved Martin's entry line -- "It's an apocalypse now?"

nothing is written in stone

Happy Birthday, Grayson … a few thoughts

Grayson Hall

There’s so much fandom political crap going on these days. I don’t bother to post in most of the DS fan groups because one human primate or another has pissed on the borders and staked their claim there. That isn’t most of the fans, just one or two who must feel important and in control — or who listen to the wrong people. Grayson Hall, to those of you too young to remember, played the iconic Dr Julia Hoffman on the original Dark Shadows. She played a lot of other roles on the series, but Julia is the one for which she is most known.

I was inspired to do this by my old friend Nancy Kersey’s wonderful posts about Jonathan Frid. She knew Jonathan much better than I did Grayson, but here are the memories I can share.

I’m just writing this about a lady I knew a little. I had the rare opportunity to know my childhood hero. For a brief period of years, I co-ran a fan club for Grayson Hall. I was the (brave) one who called Grayson on a weekly basis to “check in” and catch up on the news. She was always very kind to me. I think she sensed in me a wounded bird and she was the champion of all wounded birds, having been one as a young girl and grown up to be somewhat stronger. Toward the end, we had words on occasion, because I didn’t understand she was ill and thus pushing me away. I understand her a lot better now that I’m older.

We talked about her parents. Her mother who lived in Pomona. Her father, Joe Grossman, a car dealer who had brought home a series of showgirls after his divorce. Both of her parents were very poor role models. Grayson (then Shirley Grossman) raised herself, I think. She mentioned once that her father was planning to leave town on September 18th. Shirley had replied, “but that’s my birthday.” Joe responded, “It is?” That sort of summed things up.

We talked a lot about my parents. Grayson helped me make one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made. My mother died from alcoholism, leaving behind her my little sister, then 15 years old. She had wanted our older sister to raise her, which my sister didn’t want to do. My other sibling was likewise unwilling. Ergo, it was me — trying to deal with a very angry, grief-stricken 15 year old girl who had been largely isolated from society for a few years during the depths of my mother’s drinking — dealing with her. Our father was still alive. Our father, for lots of reasons, was a bad father, but I couldn’t manage my kid sister. The only other place for her to go was to my dad’s. It was that or our stepfather, who was a worse alcoholic than our mother.

Grayson helped me parse through that decision. It was painful, but I eventually determined that I had no choice but to send my sister to live with our father. She played the stand-in mother for me while the rest of my mother surrogates were busy doing other things. She didn’t have to bother to do that, but she did.

She always made me laugh. At the time I first knew her, my husband and I had a problem neighbor — a real psycho. Eventually, he set fire to his apartment and gutted it. Our place was fine and no one was hurt, so I found it funny. When I told her what he’d done, she roared with laughter and said, “Well, of course he did!” It was the only batshit crazy thing he hadn’t done.

I remember when she broke her hip, falling down some stairs at Sam and Grayson’s country home in Rhinebeck, NY. She had a swimming pool prescribed by her doctor. I always thought that was wonderful — he RX’d a swimming pool. When she was questioned by the IRS, she had to get the prescription in writing. “My life is on that paper!” she said to a friend of mine.

Grayson attended the Grayson Gathering, which the fan club threw for her at Tavern on the Green in NYC. A few fans got to talk to her and interact. I couldn’t attend due to a bleeding ulcer, but my dear friend and co-director, Beth Klapper, and Marcy Robin from Shadowgram attended in my place. Grayson entertained everyone and finished the evening by picking up the tab. “Tax deduction,” she told me later.

I would meet her about a year later, during a “lost summer” period in which I cut-off all contact with fandom. I took a road trip with my husband. We had dinner with Grayson at a weird little restaurant near her home. Her son, Matt, had just taken a newspaper job somewhere in the southwest. We talked about that. She showed me a box of photos from “the olden days” — Dark Shadows period. I got to hear stories.

We ended on a good note, for which I’m glad. Losing her was painful, even though there was some acrimony, because I was a dumb kid at the time.

As I said, I didn’t know her well, but I’m very glad I knew her. She will always be my hero.

BTW, if you’re interested in reading more about her, there’s a great biography on her by Rebecca Jamison, based in part on the research of Steven Shutt (I think that was his name).

Originally published at Melody Clark. You can comment here or there.

grok barak

Handicapping USA Election 2012

It's a first -- it's the ONLY time in modern televised history when a major party's convention did NOT give them a bump in the polls. Nothing. Nada. There was a two point blip up for Romney in some polls that wasn't shared by others. It also melted by the next day and seems to have been a statistical burp.

In other words, Obama is still ahead, not only in the general election trend, but, where it counts, in the electoral college. And the Democratic National Convention (at which we can actually showcase our previous Democratic President, unlike the GOP that had to hide their last two Presidents) only starts today.

Everything is very good. Nobody likes Romney. I know lifelong conservatives who aren't voting for him. They're voting for Obama.

Still, we have extreme billionaires who'd love nothing more than a return of the Third Reich ...
nothing is written in stone

AFI "Best 100 movies" Movie meme

My friend lil_shepherd posted this one (bold the ones seen, add comments)

Citizen Kane

The Godfather
(love it, love Coppola)
(great little film, not terribly ambitious, been to Burbank Airport and the little storefront where it was shot)
Raging Bull
(hated it, can't stand Scorcese)
5. Singin' in the Rain
Gone with the Wind
(a big load of wind)
Lawrence of Arabia
(One of the great films)
8. Schindler's List
(saw it, can't remember much about it)
The Wizard of Oz
- it's beyond a film now, it's more like a part of history
11. City Lights
12. The Searchers
Star Wars
(saw it, at the time the FX seemed astounding)
(saw it, don't recall much about it)
2001: A Space Odyzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Sunset Boulevard
- Swanson's Desmond on the stairs always reminds me of Count Orlok in Murnau's Nosferatu.
The Graduate
((best film -- seriously??? Are they tripping???))
18. The General
19. On the Waterfront
It's a Wonderful Life
(prefer the SNL "lost ending" -- and I'd much rather watch "A Christmas Story")
21. Chinatown
22. Some Like It Hot
The Grapes of Wrath

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
- vile, just vile -- especially on a list like this.
To Kill a Mockingbird
a good, solid film
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
- as much as I admire Jimmy Stewart as a person, I think he was kind of limited as an actor
27. High Noon
28. All About Eve
Double Indemnity
- I remember liking it at the time.
Apocalypse Now
unintentionally funniest film I've ever seen -- Coppola's one big silly misstep. Martin Sheen coming up out of the river never fails to crack me up.
The Maltese Falcon

The Godfather Part 2
- even better than the first, I love Coppola
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
-- I can't believe this is on there and Mary Poppins isn't.
Annie Hall
- Seriously, were the AFI people on something when they compiled this?
The Bridge on the River Kwai
(probably saw it, don't remember it)
The Best Years of Our Lives
(probably saw it, don't remember it)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(probably saw it, don't remember it)
Dr. Strangelove
- saw it with my parents in the theater, still enjoy it when I see it.
The Sound of Music

King Kong
- I presume this is on the list for its place in technical cinematic history.
Bonnie and Clyde
- The AFI Guys were probably on acid
Midnight Cowboy
- Serious acid
The Philadelphia Story


It Happened One Night

A Streetcar Named Desire
- not a Brando fan
Rear Window

49. Intolerance
50. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (avoided due to my well-known elf allergy)
West Side Story
- meh
52. Taxi Driver - avoided due to a 12 year old hooker
The Deer Hunter
- a truly great film, though very hard to watch.

North by Northwest
-- on here for technical reasons obviously
- I adore this movie
- I just threw up a little in my mouth
58. The Gold Rush
59. Nashville
Duck Soup
- Loves me some Marx Brothers.
61. Sullivan's Travels
American Graffiti
- meh
- meh2
64. Network
The African Queen
- worth it for the boat shots alone
Raiders of the Lost Ark
- grave robbers of the lost ark
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
- Liz Taylor with bad hair, that's all I've got

- We're talking serious, serious acid
70. A Clockwork Orange
71. Saving Private Ryan
72. The Shawshank Redemption
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
- I like the film, but I can't see how it merits inclusion above a lot of other enjoyable movies. It didn't seem to be great cinema.
The Silence of the Lambs
- another superb film
75. In the Heat of the Night
Forrest Gump
-- I just threw up a LOT in my mouth
All the President's Men
- a great film
78. Modern Times
79. The Wild Bunch
80. The Apartment
81. Spartacus
82. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
-- yeah, I admit, I like it, but it doesn't deserve inclusion on this list imho
Easy Rider

A Night at the Opera
- another Marxist treasure
WHAT?????? Seriously??? What's next, Rambo?
12 Angry Men
- definitely one of the best films
88. Bringing Up Baby
The Sixth Sense
- I figured out the twist in the first few minutes. I was shocked that was the "big twist" since it was obvious to me.
90. Swing Time
Sophie's Choice
- no, just no
- Again, Scorcese is not my thing
The French Connection
- good film, like Hackman
94. Pulp Fiction
95. The Last Picture Show
96. Do the Right Thing
Blade Runner
- wasn't impressed
98. Yankee Doodle Dandy
99. Toy Story
100. Ben-Hur