Monday, February 27, 2012
the oscars 2012

So.....The Oscars have come and gone and I cannot say there were any true surprises....! "THE ARTIST" cleaned up at almost all the Awards shows this season---including The BAFTA'S and yesterday, The Independent Spirit Awards.....! As I believe I said in my review of this film that it was charming and very much worth seeing---personally, I did not think it was a "Best Picture", but....obviously the Academy and lots of other people disagree with me....! The Director, Michel Hazanavicius, won, Best Director...... And Jean DuJardin, won the Best Actor Oscar for his delightful performance in this 'silent' but very wonderful film...... He looks so much like Gene Kelly---it's kind of amazing....My personal choice for Best Actor was George Clooney in "The Descendants" and quite honestly, that film was my choice for Best Picture, too....! That wasn't meant to be....! Then.....there was Meryl Streep for Best Actress...! Indeed, she was quite extraordinary in "The Iron Lady" playing Margaret Thatcher....As always Meryl disappeared completely and we saw Mrs. Thatcher---especially when she is older....At least, that is my opinion. But....I really really wanted Viola Davis to win the Best Actress Oscar. I thought her performance had a purity to it that was quite incredible....She too disappears into the character she is playing, and in this case with no extraordinary make-up.....It was such a beautiful performance---if you haven't seen this film, do go see it, or rent it....! And the Best Supporting categories...Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer both won in their category's and this was expected and well deserved, for sure...But, no surprise there in either one of these cases.....! I'm happy for both of them....! I did think they cut off Octavia Spencer's speech very quickly---and that seemed strange to me, since it was one of the only moments during the show that was on the way to being moving...!As to Billy Crystal...I thought he was terrific, as always....The first ten minutes or so with the special filmed segment and the song segment---Were Both Terrific and Funny! It was good to see him back as the host, though I think he had an uphill battle, in a way. So much expected of him after stepping into a very sticky situation, and I thought he came through with flying colors.....The show itself felt streamlined in a way---no playing of the Original Music Scores...no singing of the two nominated Songs...That all worked well for me, as did the Artful Technical Awards---I liked seeing and hearing all those people talk about their work....I thought the "Focus Group" filmed piece was very funny....and I loved all the people talking about their love of movies throughout the show---I thought that was truly inspired......Sometimes we forget why we love going to 'the movies'......One thing that was really disappointing for me was my dear friend Betty Garrett not being included in the "In Memoriam" section....Last year she was not included because the Academy's cutoff date for people who have passed on is January 31st, and Betty died on February 12th, 2011.....But, this year they included Whitney Houston, and rightfully so, though she died on February 11th, 2012. So much for cutoff dates. I felt badly for Betty's family and for all of us who loved her so dearly.....I'm disappointed in The Producers of The Oscars for this omission....So....another Oscar Show has come and gone.....Too much 'Red Carpet' for me...it all seems to be about that now, and not about The Awards. And, I cannot say I was terribly moved by anything that took place---And I dearly wish I had been, but....that wasn't meant to be, either. Well, there's always next year. What did you all think?


More To Come........



NOTE: Anyone wanting to write The Oscars about the omission of Betty from their Memorial section--here is the Email link: http://www.oscars.org/contact/general.html








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Tuesday, February 21, 2012
the passing parade

Every day of the week and especially on Saturday's and Sunday's, there is this 'Passing Parade' of people, dressed up as characters from the movies.....and of course there are the tourists who come to see the 'Passing Parade' and the Walk Of Fame Stars in the sidewalk and the Hand and Footprints in front of Grauman's Chinese.....Where are we? Why, we are on the north side of Hollywood Blvd, between Highland Avenue and Orange Drive.....And sometimes it so crowded it looks like Times Square.....Add Image I don't know who those two guys are that look like Robots---I'm sure some of you do know and will tell me...But the creature over on the right has a "Yoda" mask on.....Here is a closer look at him, and a closer look at 'Yellow Man Robot'........ What is kind of fascinating to me is how many people want their pictures taken with these 'pretend' characters---and will pay to have their picture taken with whomever.....Here below, a rather grim group..... In case you aren't sure, the woman in the middle with the sun glasses is the tourist....."Chucky" reigns......And here below is Charlie Chaplin....I thought he looked pretty damn good....No one was hurrying over to him at that moment, but I'm sure he did get a lot of play as the afternoon wore on....... I included the picture above because you can see two other characters in the car mirror...I don't know who they are either, but they certainly look colorful.....And below...a closer look at the Chaplin man.....I think about what it must cost these people who come out and 'play' the characters....Some of the costumes are very elaborate, especially the Robot figures....Here's another one, below....... This looks like it had to be quite costly.....It looks very well made and very classy too......The woman below....Well, not so much.Then, of course, you have the many Spiderman characters---there are always a few of them.....the variety of costumes is quite amazing----some well made and some, not so well made, and with quite a variety of materials, too! This Spiderman's costume doesn't look very well made and it doesn't seem to fit too well---and that is an odd slash of color on his back...The lady with him? I don't know who she is supposed to be....Spiderwoman maybe? Her costume is not very good either, in my opinion......Below...Another Spiderman....... His costume seems better made....It seems to be kind of puffy.....He had a 'pretend' gun, too...... When he saw me taking a picture of him from the car, he came over to the car pointing the gun at me--I wasn't fast enough to get a picture of that.....Then, to me, the best dressed Spiderman of the day was this fellow below....... His costume looked the Best Fit and the most Well Made.....There may have been others there that day, but these were the ones I was lucky enough to capture from our mostly moving car.....Here below is a fun picture of a Spiderman and a Batman which I took back in 2008..... I thought it was funny that these two guys were having a conversation....And below---a close-up of Spiderman's 'package'......How clever of him to carry his cell phone right there......! There were lots of other characters out and about....Below, this terrific One Man Band...... What was great about this was the fellow who was dancing with him was a tourist....And all the other people on the sidewalk there, really got into it, too.....You never know what or who you are going to see on any given Saturday or Sunday........ Darth Vadar out for a stroll......And, last but not least....the One, The Only....... Like I said, you never know who you might see.........








More To Come.......



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Thursday, February 16, 2012
the view

This was one of those very clear days when you can see Catalina Island, really clearly....Most days it is much more obscured---if you can see it, at all! That's it, in the distance, just right of center......It is 22 miles off of the coast of Los Angeles....and another 20 or so miles away from me...... There it is above, from a pull-back position---now you can see more of the view, including La Brea Avenue....it is dusk, and it is so very pretty....! Below, two pictures I took back in 2010.....it was even clearer on that day...... It is pretty amazing to me that there are days I can actually see Catalina from my house.....Back in the day, when I began looking at houses in the early 1960's---the "selling" point for a house with a view was always....'On a clear day you can see Catalina....'....though in truth, the only house I could ever see Catalina from was the house I have lived in for 48 years....! Maybe I just never looked at any other homes on a "clear" day......And below..... There is a kind of panoramic view---(well, not really)---of what my camera sees.....There is Catalina right in the middle on the horizon....and there is La Brea Avenue, over to the left....with Century City and Santa Monica and The Pacific Ocean beyond, on the right......... And above.....what the eye can see and what the camera can capture---two different things....Again, a 'pull-back' position above....Now we can see my trees....For those of you reading my blog for a long time---you know I love those trees......For those of you who haven't seen them before.....Here they are below.....a somewhat closer look..... And, below....a really close look on this lovely twilight night...........
I never tire of this always changing and constantly interesting view



More To Come........



Note: I feel like I have become the 'Obituary Column' of your local newspaper....I have just lost another dear dear long time friend.....Hazel Medina, who died, around 10pm on Valentines Night in NYC.....I wrote about her here....with such good news....Unfortunately that only lasted for about a year......And then, the horrible Multiple Myeloma Cancer-torture, began again, a battle she lost, on February 14th, after an incredibly long and valiant fight.....I am devastated.......My heart goes out to her dear sweet husband Jerry......He fought that good fight right alongside her....Sending you loving hugs, my dear Jerry............In happier times...April, 2011, Hollywood, CA....The last time we were together.......A very special time.


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Saturday, February 11, 2012
the heart remembers

It is hard to believe that it was a year ago, February 12, 2011, that we all lost our dear dear Betty.....I cannot believe that a whole year has actually gone by....I miss her more than I can put into words. We all do. Betty was a rare and special person in every one's life who knew her and in the lives of all those who loved her work as an actress, too.....There are so many times I want to pick up the phone and call her---especially in the wee hours of the morning when I knew she would be up....She was a 'night owl' and it was one of the things we had in common. Just about 2:30am or so, I might be calling her, or she might be calling me. I think I miss those phone calls more than anything else......When you reach a certain age, there aren't that many people around who not only knew you, but who knew your family, too...I mean your mother and your father!That's Betty over on the right side next to Joyce Van Patten, and I'm next to my father with the scarf on my head---We were at my father's house for lunch---it was 1963, the group from "Spoon River" on Broadway---Joyce and I are the only one's left from this picture..... My mother and me, in Betty's Dressing Room at the Belasco Theatre, during "Spoon River", 1963-64.....My mother was quite ill at the time........
My friendship with Betty went back a long way, and before we met and became friends, she was in my life as a performer on Broadway, 1946, "CALL ME MISTER" (above).....Our actual friendship began in 1962 and lasted till the day she died.....Almost 50 years.....I've been thinking about her a lot these last few weeks---just as her boys have, too....her 'boys', who are such wonderful men....so devoted to her...such wonderful sons and such wonderful daughters-in-law, too....and than there is her very special granddaughter. I know Betty is much on all of their minds these days, and of course, always in their hearts.....Mine, too.....And speaking of Hearts....Betty loved Valentines Day and would always send these very dear cards to many people, which were always different from each other and very personalized....So....Here is a Valentine to you dear Betty.....And to all of you out there in the Blogesphere---my dear blog buddies.....A Very Happy Valentines Day to each of you and to all of you......Cherish those you love and hold them very close.......

More To Come.........








Note: 2:20a.m. 2-12-12: Whitney Houston, a singular voice---a gift from God---died on February 11th, 2012.....Here is that magnificent pure voice, one more time......R.I.P., dear Whitney.........





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