Category Archives: Blog Archive

Amazing Grace, Dad Jeans and Roasting Trump: 8 Years of Obama

On January 20th, President Barack Obama will hand over the White House to the most undignified, undeserving person we could ever imagine. Before we take the leap into the horrifying era of Trump, the time has come to remember Obama’s presidency. This is primarily a movie blog, so let’s do it in clips. This is … Continue reading Amazing Grace, Dad Jeans and Roasting Trump: 8 Years of Obama

The Best Shakespeare Films

400 years have passed since William Shakespeare died on April 23rd, 1616. I recently finished Stephen Greenblatt’s amazing 2004 book “Will in the World”, which vividly brings the Bard to life in a way that feels down to earth. By using the historical facts and records of Shakespeare’s life that we have, and tying them … Continue reading The Best Shakespeare Films

Happy 200th, Frankenstein

On a dark and stormy night 200 years ago, Mary Shelley created Frankenstein. Traveling through Europe, visiting among other places Frankenstein Castle near Darmstadt, Germany, together with her future husband Percy, Lord Byron and the writer John Polidori, Shelley came up with the idea of a scientist who finds a way to reanimate a corpse. … Continue reading Happy 200th, Frankenstein

The Chaotic Era When Hollywood Found Sound

I recently finished Scott Eyman’s book “The Speed of Sound”, a chronicle of how sound transformed Hollywood in the late 1920s. This may all seem very stodgy since talkies have been around now for  close to 90 years… but Eyman makes us understand not only how big a change this was, but how fast it … Continue reading The Chaotic Era When Hollywood Found Sound

An Honest Friedkin Book – Except When It Comes to Women

One of the most entertaining books I’ve read recently is “The Friedkin Connection” by William Friedkin, the director behind The French Connection and The Exorcist. That’s how the book is sold, and those two movies take up a sizable portion here. No wonder, because they are masterful films that have defined Friedkin’s career, for better and worse, since … Continue reading An Honest Friedkin Book – Except When It Comes to Women

Woodrow Wilson 100 Years Ago

I’ve just finished reading “Wilson”, A. Scott Berg’s biography of the 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson. A life-long dream of Berg’s, the ambition was not to create a biography that ran several volumes, but a “page-turner”. I believe that he succeeded. After having read the 700-page tome, I feel somewhat exhausted but … Continue reading Woodrow Wilson 100 Years Ago

Highlights from 88 Years of Oscars

The Oscars are on tonight, with Chris Rock as host. It’s the 88th annual event since the first Academy Awards were handed out in 1929. The “show” looked decidedly different then – it was in fact a dinner, the ceremony itself took 15 minutes and the awards had already been announced three weeks earlier. There … Continue reading Highlights from 88 Years of Oscars

Dead Wake: Lusitania and the Movies

If you’ve never read anything by Erik Larson, it is high time. I recently finished his latest, “Dead Wake”, and was as thrilled by it as the other books by him that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. The first, “The Devil in the White City” (film rights sold to Leonardo DiCaprio in 2010) followed … Continue reading Dead Wake: Lusitania and the Movies

When Steve Martin Was Really, Really Cool

I’ve just finished reading “Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life”, Steve Martin’s chronicle of his rise to stardom in the 1970s. I have to admit that it was a bit of an eye-opener for me. I grew up in the 1980s and as a kid I saw movies like ¡Three Amigos! (1986), Roxanne (1987) and Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987). … Continue reading When Steve Martin Was Really, Really Cool

Washington’s Presidency on TV

I recently finished reading “Washington’s Circle: The Creation of the President”, an engrossing chronicle of George Washington’s two terms as the first president of the United States. Written by David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler, the book follows not only Washington but those who mattered the most to him as president during those years, … Continue reading Washington’s Presidency on TV

10 Hollywood Icons and Their Political Awakening

A few days ago, I finished Steven J. Ross’s book “Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics”, where the writer has profiled the political careers of ten liberal and conservative Hollywood figures. He chose his subjects well, because they differ a lot from each other. Some of them were movement politicians, meaning they … Continue reading 10 Hollywood Icons and Their Political Awakening

Reading Martin Short and Tina Fey

I recently read biographies written by what must be two of Hollywood’s most likable talents, Martin Short and Tina Fey. Short’s “I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend” was published last year; Fey’s “Bossypants” in 2011. The books are similar to some degree, but also differ from one another. However, both are great … Continue reading Reading Martin Short and Tina Fey

Jon Stewart: 16 Years of Groundbreaking Satire

The day has come to bid Jon Stewart, legendary host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central for the past 16 years, a fond farewell – and everybody’s talking about him. Fox News chief Roger Ailes said today that Stewart is probably sorry that he was unable to have him fired. A more genuine sentiment came … Continue reading Jon Stewart: 16 Years of Groundbreaking Satire