Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

L.A. Heat Wave and End Of Summer Movie Premieres

The summer movie season is nearly over and I am running out of steam and interest. Two new movies premiered this week, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga' Hoole premiered at Graumann's Chinese and You Again premiered across the street at the former Masonic Hall(where Jimmy Kimmel's show is taped) in Hollywood.

Legends is by the makers of Happy Feet and is shot in 3D. You Again is a mother-daughter high school nemesis revenge movie starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Kristen Bell and the astounding Betty White. I was at the red carpet premieres for these 2 movies but I couldn't stay for the arrivals. I did get some shaky video footage of the receiving line though and I've posted it below if you're interested(lol).

Update: 9/29 This week's heat wave didn't help the movie season heat up either(it hit 115 degrees F on Monday). I wisely stayed inside (can anyone say Air conditioning)but missed out on a road-trip Indie premiere and after-party in Los Feliz Village and a screening of Little Fockers in Burbank. Update: 10/3 I just saw Legends of the Guardians at the 3D Film Festival and I loved it!

Norman Lear At Sentinel Health Awards

Legendary screenwriter, Norman Lear, attended the Sentinel Health Awards presented by Hollywood, Health and Society (HHS) at the Writers Guild Bld. at 3rd and Fairfax (WGA)this past week. The Sentinel awards are presented by HHS, USC's Norman Lear Center (Lear's names sake) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Writers from Grey's, Private Practice, Law & Order:SVU, telenovellas and Sesame Street were on hand to receive their awards and all remarked about how influential Lear has been in the development of their careers and their lives. Lear has created numerous top 10 TV shows including All In The Family, Sanford And Sons, Good Times, One Day At A Time, Square Pegs and Silver Spoons just to name a few.

The night began with a light buffet style dinner and a chance to network. I sat on a table with a medical doctor who was on the judges panel. Then we gathered in the hall for presentation of the awards followed by a Q&A panel with the various award recipients. Afterwards there were more opportunities to network with more health professionals and screenwriters. I met Lear afterwards and had a chance to tell him personally how his TV shows impacted me. I raved about All In The Family and it's spin offs like Maude and I told him of my encounter with Rob Reiner in August. He raved at length of his visits to Caneel Bay in ST. John. Lear is still so very energetic and interested in the craft of writing and world causes that it's hard to believe that he is 88 years old. I got photo of us together, too. Simply amazing!

Monday, September 13, 2010

R.I.P. Kevin McCarthy

Veteran character actor Kevin McCarthy dies of natural causes on Sept. 11 2010 at age 96. McCarthy did stage and screen work for over 70 years but he is most known for his iconic role in the 1950's sci-fi horror thriller, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. He also received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Biff in Death of A Salesman on stage and screen.

I knew Kevin McCarthy's face from years of watching him in movies but I never knew his name. I loved him in Invasion of the Body Snatchers etc. but I especially loved his work on TV. He did lots of appearances on TV westerns in the 1960's and as a kid I thought all sheriffs looked like him. In fact, I still have a strong visual memory of him tipping his tan Stetson or squaring his jaw at some town folk in one episode or another.

He also made guest appearances on many of my favorite TV murder mysteries (remember the way he would say “Jess” to Angela Lansbury on Murder, She Wrote?). He also appeared in many detective dramas and TV sci-fi series as well as made for TV movies in the 1970's-90's. By this time he was usually playing more established authority figures (military majors or generals, politicians, doctors or family patriarchs) and he was especially convincing in all his roles.

It's great to see that he was still working well into his nineties and, though 96 years of life is a blessing, I'm sorry to see such a fine actor go. It seems like a little of my childhood, teens and early adulthood is gone with this man as well. Plus it's my birthday today and it sucks to think that his family is sad when I'm rejoicing. But it's not about me.

My condolences and prayers go out to his family.
R.I.P. Kevin McCarthy and may God bless you.

It's My Birthday Today!

Happy Birthday To Me:
Calls, e-mails, cards and gifts are already pouring in (keep them coming-lol)and I'm about to blow out the candles on my lemon bundt cake with drizzled icing (yum). Don't ask me how old I am either... or how much I weigh for that matter. Remember, in Hollywood, you can't be too young or too thin. Seriously though, 21 feels great. ;)

On the industry side of things:
Heading to see the Academy of Arts and Sciences (i.e. the Oscars) presentation of The Maltese Falcon tonight at the Samuel Goldwyn Building for its Film Noir series. A panel of present day film noir screenwriters or cinephiles will be on the panel discussion before the movie. I love me some Humphrey Bogart, John Huston and Peter Lorre so I thought it would be a perfect birthday/industry gift to myself. Yesterday, I filmed the exterior of the historic building at Hollywood and Cahuenga where the scenes from The Maltese Falcon was shot so I am very much hyped already. I'll keep you posted on how the showing and panel goes.

Wishing all the other September(Virgo) babies out there a "Happy Birthday" and a big "God Bless"!