Don't be fooled by the grim-faced picture. It was the only unblinking one. For me, words are worth a thousand pictures. I'm looking forward to saying hi to all of you.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

At the Guggenheim today, I saw kids lying on the floor on their stomachs, squinting up at Marc Chagall's , Paris Through the Window, their brows furrowed with concentration, their tongues flucking over their lips as they tried to make copies. A little girl held up a blue colored pencil for her parents' scrutiny. "Do you think this color is right for that dark blue in the sky?" she asked in a voice squeaky from worry. Kids were craning their necks to check out other kids' drawings. "Do you think mine is better than Will's?" I heard a boy ask his dad. To think of how hard Chagall must have worked to get at this playful child's vicion and now these kids have to leave their own creativity to copy his painting. I say, "Kids, fling your Tupperware containers of colored pencils that your parents' paid the museum who knows what to loan you? and hop on the spiral railing, swirl down to the lobby and out that door. Run, run!"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, check this out:


Monday, November 22, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010


I cannot tell you how often I've tried to post this. My friend, Fran, and I went to an upstate graveyard just before Halloween. Let me tell you, neither of us know a thing about photoshop or any way to do trick effects. But just let me loose in a graveyard and anything can happen....

Here's is the picture with the ghost activity

This is the scene from the graveyard in Upstate New York a couple of weeks before Halloween. As I said, my friend, Fran, and I have no idea how to photoshop, etc. I can't do one fancy thing on the computer, but just let me loose in a graveyard and...

Sunday, November 14, 2010


In Viande, an downscale eatery barely wide enough for my hips, I heard a familiar, rough voice call out, "Sunday the food is free here." It was Joan Rivers. Since I'd recently seen the documentary about her, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, I felt as if I knew her. Without thinking, I called out, "Hi, Joan." I braced myself, half-expecting her to say, "You idiot!" Instead, she flashed me a charming veneered smile.

What a tribute to Jona Rivers and to the film makers who could get so comically and tragically present her history and the quirks of her dailiness.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I am too worked up to go to bed. I knew all the facts. Valerie Plane was outed because her husband, Joe Wilson, wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times saying that Iraq didn't buy uranium from Niger. As a result, his wife was outed from the CIA right in the middle of a number of crucial missions, one of which was to rescue some Iraqi scientists. But to this movie is to feel the facts, have them hammered into your psyche. Aside from being a great film, think of the implications for us as writers. We can take a story everyone knows, whether a biography or a fairy tale, a news story, a historical incident, and breathe life into it, make it our own and the readers' own as well.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blog about what you love and eventually reap emotional AND financial rewards

Gregory Robson shows up at a film with a legal pad and a pen and takes notes as he watches a film. (I notice he can do it without taking his eyes off the screen.) Then he goes to his blog and writes everything you, the reader, would want to know about the film, and writes it with the kind of depth that is missing in most blogs. As a result, he gets 7,000 hits a week and has gotten some advertisers on board. Advertising on a blog is where the money comes from. Sure, he's just beginning, a great beginning, but when his readership grows, so will the advertising opportunities. But think of it. He's getting an audience for doing just what he loves and isn't this a hope that all of you have when you sign up for a class at UCLA Extension?

Check out his blog for intelligent film discussion and inspiration.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Charity with A Little Night Music

Went to see A Little Night Music last night and grinned my way through it. Ah, Sondheim! The play had all the magic of A Midsummer's Night Dream, alas without Puck. (Ever see the old movie version of M.N.D where Mickey Rooney plays Puck?) Anyway, at the end of the play, Bernadette Peterson offered to sell her earrings straight from her lobes on behalf of Actors Equity's charity. I didn't see any takers. Elaine Stritch offered to sell her hankie. Didn't see any takers either. How much courage actors have to face donation-rejection. It's probably nearly as hard as waiting for the reviews.