Chris's blog

Get Your Joy On

top to bottom: Marnie Ward, Alison Mueller and Christine Herival

If your wish list for December includes getting out amongst 'em and enjoying some of the season -- we've got you covered!

Celebrating the best of the holiday season, as well as commemorating the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, our golden girls, Reveille 3, are hosting their annual Christmas concert and cookie party here at the Denver Public Library.

Thanksgiving (Dysfunction Palooza) 2011

Norman Rockwell's Freedom From Want

Are Norman Rockwell's images portrayals of the world he lived in or are they wishful painting?

One year for Thanksgiving, I begged my mom to bring the roasted turkey to the table uncarved so that we might participate in a tableau vivant of Norman Rockwell's painting Freedom From Want. As a middle class kid interested in art, I was familiar with many of Rockwell's beloved illustrations and I was convinced that this Thanksgiving scene should be acted out. Here's how it went down:

Hey Pilgrim, Let's Party Like It's 1621

An early publicity shot of Marilyn Monroe as Pilgrim. MM loved Thanksgiving.

Does our contemporary Thanksgiving menu bear any resemblance to the original?

The first Thanksgiving feast was launched by the Pilgrims in the autumn of 1621 to celebrate having made it through their first winter and a summer growing season helped along by their friends in the Wompanoag tribe. But does our contemporary Thanksgiving dinner have any connection to that first celebration?

Remember, Remember -- Poppies for November

Guest Blogger Trish Tilly gets us sorted out on the ubiquitous poppies of November.

 

On Remembrance Day in Great Britain, the Queen lays a wreath made of poppies on the Cenotaph, a monument in Whitehall that commemorates all the dead in all wars in which British soldiers have fought.

This day of remembrance coincides with similar ceremonies in the United States, Canada, France and all British Commonwealths. Americans call it Veteran's Day.

From the File: Where Are They Now?

The children of the village of Midwich, England. Don't make them mad.

Just in time for the season of scares, I've researched the Village of the Damned kids. They are apparently all doing nicely on a Paris runway.

Enquiring minds want to know. So I tried to track down the actors who played the oddly empowered kiddies in the cult flick Village of the Damned. Where do you go, career-wise, after you've lit up the big screen with glowing eyes and mind powers that can enslave an entire English village?

According to this photo of a recent Paris fashion show, you go on to become an expressionless runway model. Same hair, but glowing headlights on dim.

Give Me the Creeps

The Bride of Frankenstein

Every generation seems to get the monster they deserve -- in film anyway.

If the phrase "Art imitates life" is true for cinema as well, it means that our film represents our culture and society at the time the film is made. It might then follow that horror films represent our nightmares or our worst fears.

The posters and lobby cards for these films are as imaginative and chilling as the films themselves. Highly sought after by collectors, in good condition these posters can fetch upwards of five-ten thousand dollars. And much more.

Halloween at the Crawfords

1. Anne Bancroft.

KnitFlix presents the camp classic Mommie Dearest for our Halloween-Hollywood Royalty special screening. Tuesday, October 18, 5:30 p.m. in the Fresh City Lounge.

Here is some Mommie Dearest trivia to put you in the mood for this weird, cult film. Click on the pictures for the answers to the questions.

1. Who was originally picked to play Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest?

2. In a record breaking 'sweep,' how many Golden Raspberry Awards (the Razzies) did this film win?

3. What did costume designer Irene Sharaff say you needed to do before entering Faye Dunaway's dressing room?

4. Which memorable line from this film is #72 on the American Film Institute's list of top 100 lines of dialogue?

A few tricks for a big treat: Reverse Painting on Glass

Day of the Dead skeleton

With a rich and varied history, reverse painting on glass is making a comeback. You can do it, too -- Fresh City Life takes this technique and applies it to Halloween imagery.

I was surprised to find out that painting on glass dates to the middle ages. Check out a very brief history of painting on glass here. It was traditionally used to capture religious iconography. 

We're utilizing this fascinating approach to painting and connecting it to Dia de los Muertos imagery and retro Halloween icons.

Quick Bread Throwdown: The Recipes

They all came rolling into my email on Monday morning -- the recipes for quick bread contenders in our Sunday cooking throwdown. I opened each email like I was excitedly opening presents on Christmas morning. Our quick bread competition and demo this Sunday will be a photo finish - with lots of good eats!

I actually couldn't imagine a quick bread recipe that involves a blow torch until I read through the recipe from one of our competitors. That's right, at a certain point in the preparation a blow torch is pulled into service. Can't wait to try this at home!

Everything But a Singing Frog

No singing frog, but three boisterous artists, one firebrand moderator, hors d'oeuvres and canapés, beer, wine and soft drinks. Do we really need the frog?

The first annual (and every event planner writes those words with a hopeful smile) eatART has something for everyone. We're going to discuss how art is surviving and thriving in Denver and in the new economy. Before we release our panel of artists to help us sort it all out, Whole Foods Market is providing a buffet fit for a New York gallery opening; while one of Fresh City Life's most loyal benefactors provides libations for everyone. eatART is the capstone event of another great year of producing cultural programming for Denver. And you are invited!

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