Reviews and Blog Posts: movies

Happy Birthday, Dame Maggie Smith!

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Dame Margaret Natalie Smith, aka Maggie Smith, was born December 28, 1934 in Essex, England. She is a highly respected actress, winner of 2 Academy Awards, 2 Golden Globes, 2 Emmy Awards, 2 SAG Awards, and a Tony. Her films have ranged from the serious to the comedic. She currently stars in the television series Downton Abbey. Check out one of the titles from her vast filmography today!

Othello (1964)

The V.I.P.s (1963)

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)

Travels with My Aunt (1972)

Death on the Nile (1978)

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:

What If Shakespeare Wasn't Really Shakespeare?

Possible portrait of William Shakespeare

What if William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon didn't actually write the plays and poems of "Shakespeare?" What if someone else secretly wrote them and Shakespeare was merely a front?

This is the plot of the new movie Anonymous, but the Shakespeare authorship question has been around for more than 200 years. The historical Shakespeare didn't leave much of a paper trail - and some people believe he lacked the education and experience to write such masterpieces of English literature as Hamlet and Macbeth.

Many different people have been proposed as the true author of his works - Christopher Marlowe, Francis Bacon, and even Queen Elizabeth herself!

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.

Tina Darling, Mommie's Home!

 Faye Dunaway's portrayal of Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest has become a cult classic. Fresh City Life presents this weird, absurd biopic as our KnitFlix movie for October.

 It was meant to be a faithful film rendition of Christina Crawford's book of the same title, but Mommie Dearest quickly became a midnight showing cult film. In fact, during its initial release, it developed a following as loyal as The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

I'm not a film academic, so I can't know with any certainty why Mommie Dearest moved into the realm of cult classic. But some of the reasons I love it might be contributing factors. In no particular order:

Three Film Fiestas left in July!

Film Fiesta image

Three free Film Fiestas remain in July at Su Teatro at the Denver Civic Theater! On the remaining Wednesdays in July--July 13, 20 and 27--see movies, performers and food related to various Latino cultures.

Plus, Byers Branch Library has related book displays and some children's activities during their regular hours.

All events are FREE and open to the public, except for parking in some cases. Free parking is available on the street for those that arrive early. Lots are available for $3.00 on the north and south sides of the theater.

Movies that Tell the Story of America

Fourth of July fireworks

The holiday weekend promises to be a hot one! Stay cool inside with a movie about American history and culture.

As a child, I looked forward to the Fourth like it was Christmas in July. I wasn't especially patriotic or anything, it was just that the Fourth of July was the one day in the whole year when all of the kids ruled the neighborhood. We had a bike parade, an ice cream social, a block party that took up the whole street, and we shot off fireworks from the time we woke up until midnight, starting with caps and snakes in the daylight and ending with the most dramatic, colorful, and highest-flying for a nighttime spectacle (I didn't grow up in Denver so I wasn't breaking any laws!)

One Wild and Crazy Guy

Steve Martin

Don't you just love it when you stumble upon a book that you really want to take your time to read? Slowly and mindfully placing yourself in the right frame of mind and chair as you peel each page open with indulgence.

An Object of Beauty, Steve Martin's latest novel, is just that book. Tucked in its pages are color copies of both fine and contemporary art that accompany the story of the central character, Lacey Yeager, a young and ambitious woman who craves to make a name for herself in the art world.  Similar to his previous book, Shopgirl, Martin develops a female character navigating her way towards what she feels is most important.

Parks

Need a place to play and rest?

Parks are wonderful places to play, hike, skateboard, play with a dog, take a walk, spend time with a significant other or do a variety of other activities. With many trees just beginning to flower, it is a great time to plan a visit so you can dream of summer. DPL has books and DVDs about state and national parks here in Colorado.

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